Buying or selling used outdoor equipment was once a major hassle. Other than yardsales, placing a classified ad was the only reliable way to trade used gear, and for smaller-ticker items the cost of the ad itself might easily eat up any profit. But—hurray—we now have the Internet. And everything is easier.
For years, I've been buying and selling bicycle gear on ebay. It's my go-to site for components and wheels, unless I can find on-sale parts at an online cycle shop like Excel Sports. But for general-purpose outdoor gear, like this Sierra Designs ASP 2 tent ($149 for buy-now, less than half the original retail price) ebay is probably your best bet.
Believe it or not, I actually use Craigslist quite a bit, too. That's mainly a function of how many people are on the site, and in my area there's a great selection. I once found an Osprey pack for $175. It'd been out of production for for years, but it's one of my favorites. Offer $125 and you'll get a hell of a good pack for a great deal. Another benefit to Craigslist, which is organized by state and town, is convenience. Once I find something it's never far away.
I should also mention the purpose-built sites for outdoor gear, like GearTrade.com. Prices seem comparable to Craigslist, but because it doesn't get much traffic, only a few buyers have high ratings, which makes me a little uneasy. You may also run into selection issues—I couldn't find any canister-type camp stoves, although there were quite a few packs and sleeping bags.
You might also take a look at Mountain Equipment Co-op's Online GearSwap page. MEC act as referee, lending the exchange credibility and providing a safe harbor for buyers and sellers both. You also can find people to hike with! A win all around.
Support Outside Online
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.