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April 1, 2022

How to Sell Used Ice Climbing Gear

Ice climbing season is wrapping up, and you may be wondering where to sell used ice climbing equipment before next season. 

Maybe you tried it and didn’t like it. Or maybe you bought used ice climbing gear this year and feel ready to upgrade for next season. 

You’re in luck. Most ice climbing gear, which can include anything from ice tools to crampons to boots to harnesses, resells easily online or in used gear shops. 

Whatever the reason may be that you’re looking to sell ice climbing gear, I’ll teach you how. Read on to learn how to sell mountaineering equipment and ice climbing gear. 

Plus, by learning to sell your gear, you’ll also know what to look for when buying used ice climbing gear!

What Ice Climbing Gear Can You Resell?

The typical rule for reselling climbing gear is that you can almost always resell hard goods, whereas soft goods are not as easy to resell. Hard goods typically last longer and are easier to repair, whereas soft goods can be harder to distinguish wear and tear and this gear is also very critical for safety. 

What are Hard Goods?

Hard goods include things like crampons, ice screws, carabiners, ice axes, belay devices, and more. Hard goods last for a long time. You could technically buy gear from 20 years ago that still would work just as well today, from a safety standpoint. That is definitely not the case with all used climbing gear, so use caution and keep reading to learn how to tell if used ice climbing gear is safe to use. 

What are Soft Goods?

Soft goods are — as they sound — soft. This includes ropes, harnesses, clothes, boots, and any sorts of slings or webbing. Unlike many hard goods, soft goods are not designed to last for extended periods of time. 

Typically with climbing gear, about 5 years is average for the life of soft gear, with moderate use. If you use your gear more often, that might be down to 2-4 years. Even if you never use your soft goods, most manufacturers recommend that safety gear (harnesses, ropes, slings) be retired after 10 years. This is because the material can potentially break down even with no use at all. 

When you’re dealing with life-saving equipment, it is best to stay on the safe side. It's often hard to resell harnesses or ropes unless they are new with tags or barely used because you never know how someone took care of their own soft goods. 

However, boots are the one sector of soft goods that are easy and great for reselling. Mountain boots are expensive, and many people buy them for one-time use and then don’t need them anymore. Besides, hiking boots already broken in are significantly more comfortable! It’s often very easy to resell or buy used ice climbing boots, and you don’t need to follow the deadlines of other types of soft goods. Sure, boots are important. However, if they failed or broke, you wouldn’t die, unlike with other types of soft goods. 

How to Tell if Your Old Gear is Worth Reselling?

Despite the rules of thumb, I spelled out above, there are still ways to tell if your gear is worth reselling other than just keeping track of the date you bought it. 

Cracks or Tears

Inspect your gear thoroughly for any cracks or tears. Cracks in carabiners or ice screws make them unsafe and therefore not re-sellable. Look for tears or abrasion spots on any soft gear like harnesses or ropes. 

Please don’t ever try to resell gear that you wouldn’t trust or use yourself. This is an easy way for someone new to the sport to get taken advantage of while just trying to get a good deal on expensive gear. 

Give Your Gear a Tune up

Once you have decided your gear is good enough to sell, make it as appealing as possible (this could help you get more money for it!). 

  • Sharpen crampons and ice tools and screws
  • Clean your boots 
  • Patch any holes
  • Re treat any waterproof gear with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) treatment

If a prospective buyer sees that the gear has been well taken care of, and recently maintained, they might be more likely to buy your gear at a higher price.  

Where can you sell used ice climbing gear?

There are lots of great places to sell crampons and other ice climbing gear. Of course, we recommend Rerouted, where you can easily take photos and upload your gear in less than a minute from the mobile app. 

However, if selling online isn't for you, look for a local outdoor gear resale shop near you. Most big cities and outdoor-focused towns have used gear shops, which can be a perfect place to resell and buy affordable used gear.  

Take Quality Photos

Make it look good! Well-presented, properly lit photos of your used gear can make the difference between someone puzzling over a dark dingy photo and deciding not to buy, and immediately clicking “buy now”. 

Tips for Taking Good Photos of Climbing Gear:

  • Use natural light if possible

  • Find a clean background without lots of distractions

  • Have at least one of the entire product 

  • Take close-ups of any possible damage spots or interesting features

Think about what you would care about if you were on the other side of the transaction. Then make sure to share those things visually or in your description. 

How to Price Your Gear

Pricing your gear depends on a lot of factors, including everything we’ve already talked about. The age of the gear, the condition, how much use it's gotten, and the original price all go into the price you choose. 

Remember that even the best quality gear can typically only be sold for 50% of retail value. Like new or new with tags on products may be able to be sold for 60% of retail value, especially if they don’t lose functionality over time like crampons or ice axes. 

Price lower for a quick sale, or price slightly higher if you’re interested in negotiating. 

Tips for how to price and sell ice axes and other used ice climbing gear:

  • Research New Gear: Find out what the current MSRP is for the item, or look back at how much you spent on it to establish a baseline.
  • Time the Market: Selling ski gear in the summer is going to be harder than selling ski gear right before ski season starts. Think about when people are going to be looking for the gear you want to sell, and get it posted during that season. Otherwise your gear may sit on the market for longer.
  • Look at Similar Used Products. Find out what other people are selling the same or similar products for. Make sure to also check out (if you can) how long they have been for sale. If a product isn’t selling, you may want to lower the price.

What to Include in a Description

Your description is going to help sell used ice climbing equipment as much as the photos do. 

This is a great place to be objective — yeah, yeah, your jacket has traveled around the world and back with you, but will the new owner care about the stories you have to share or the actual gaping holes ripped in the jacket? 

Spoiler alert, the buyer cares about how the gear is going to help them, and not what you’ve been through with the gear.

However, that’s not to say that you can’t use the description as a place to inspire and paint a picture of the awesome adventures that the buyer can have with this piece of gear. 

Your description needs:

  • Brand Name 
  • Product Model Name: This is more important than you might think. If someone is looking for a very specific product, they will be more likely to search and find your item. If you don’t remember what the model name is, do some research into the brand and current and past products. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen used gear listed generically as “Arcteryx Jacket” whereas if it was correctly listed as “Arcteryx Beta AR Hardshell” it would be a lot more searchable, and more likely to be bought. Even worse, I’ve seen gear listed as the wrong product name. 
  • Features: If your gear is still being manufactured, this is easy to find as you can probably just pull it straight from the manufacturers website. 
  • Any Issues: Make sure to include any potential negatives. No buyer wants to receive their gear and realize that there was some issue not disclosed in the description or photo. 

Selling your used gear is the way to go!

Selling your used ice climbing equipment is a great way to make a few extra bucks at the end of the season, or help a new ice climber get ready for next year. It’s easy to do through apps and websites like Rerouted

Plus, you can also buy new-used gear for next season’s sport! Rock climbing or mountain biking anyone??