buying used gear

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by Rocknrone, May 27, 2012.

  1. Rocknrone

    Rocknrone Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Idaho
    Just got certified and I'm looking for my first gear purchase.

    Problem is I'm also buying a set for my wife and my 14 year old son.

    I don't want to buy new in case they don't like it very much.

    Lot's of used gear around here to choose from. I have a couple of questions.

    1. How important is it to buy the same brand that our local shop deals in? (Tusa, Aqua lung)

    2. Are parts for other brands not available to them?

    3. Can I order parts and fix things myself?

    4. When I go to look at regulators and BC's what do I look for?
  2. a22shady

    a22shady Surface Interval Member

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: New Jersey
    getting gear serviced is very important, Buying used gear is great way to save some cash....

    1) for your BC and especially your son I would go with a Backplate and wing they are less expensive than traditional BC's and IMO a lot better. For your growing son they will be an asset since as he grows you can adjust the straps to fit him reducing the need to have 2-3BC's. Same could be said about your wife as one of thenmost common complaints from womes is they can notseem to get BC that fits right again thats where BP/W shine as they are custom fit to you. To Save cash I would recomend looking into the HOG line which is the least expensive but very good quality (Especially the reg's which are very high quality some that have them even say they are better than the big manufactures (Scubapro/oceanic/Apeks) I tried them and they worked very well. Best thing is they are about 1/2 the price of others reg's and you can get these new.

    Hog regulators you can take a class and get your own parts and service them your self. I believe with all other you need to be apart of a diveshop.

    For reg's I personally like ones that are adjustable also looki into what type of climate if you will only be diving in warm waters any reg will work. If you will be diving in colder waters than you want a reg made for cold water. (a cold water reg can dive in water Cold/warm most can even perform in polluted as they are sealed)

    I 2 places I could recomend purchase is Ask for mike and talk to him he will work out a great package deal for you and trully takes care of his customers

    Piranha Dive Mfg. Same could be said here Owner Name is randle and will also work out a terrific deal for you and same goes he takes caer of his customers.

    You could probably get into a brand new HOG system regs/BC for about the price 1 new reg set from Scubapro/Apeks would cost you.
  3. Tfast78

    Tfast78 Divemaster Candidate

    If you aren't sure if they will like it or not rent a few times and let them see before you drop a lot of money on gear (even used gear will cost a lot by the time it's all said and done). The plus side to doing it that way is trying different stuff before you buy. I rented a lot different gear before I decided what I actually wanted.

    This is just my opinion but I hope it helps.

    Best of luck in what ever you decide to do.
  4. supergaijin

    supergaijin Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Indonesia
    I agree- apart from the basics like a good set of mask and fins, there's nothing wrong with renting gear for the first 10 dives until you get a feel for what works for you.

    It is good to get gear that can be serviced local- the reg at least. Personally I would buy the reg new from your LDS. It will normally be more expensive than what you can find online, but $300-400 on a decent no-frills reg is money well spent IMO.

    Jacket BCD's are fairly generic.

    I wouldn't rely on internet forums on advice on buying used diving equipment, just as I wouldn't for buying a used car.
    Culcuhain likes this.
  5. KD8NPB

    KD8NPB Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Hartford, MI
    If you're on a budget, the older Aqualung Conshelf line is great. I picked up my set...Conshelf XIV 1st + 2nd + octo, with a Farallon console for under $100. To rebuild the Conshelfs, you're looking at about $25 per 1st stage, $10 per 2nd stage. They're quite easy to rebuild, and share a lot of parts with the Aqualung Titan lineup. The bodies are solid chromed marine grade brass. They were / are the US military's SCUBA regulator of choice as well.

    Wetsuits are tough to shop for on the used market. They have a lifespan that is dictated by build quality, diving conditions, and upkeep. I got lucky with mine, it was only dived once. Just keep in mind, the zipper usually blows out after about 300 dives with most modern wetsuits. Repairing the zipper usually costs almost as much as buying a new wetsuit.

    The Neosport wetsuit lineup is a bargain if you want something new that hasn't been peed in.

    BCs, look for fading, stitch quality...take off the hose and smell the inside of the bladder. Does it smell like it has been kept clean? Or does it smell like a heavily used pair of wet shoes?
  6. Rocknrone

    Rocknrone Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Idaho
    Our diving will be cold and warm. We travel to Seattle and Ft Lauderdale every year.

    We have rented a few different setups. I'm partial to the Aqua Lung brand. However, I think I could get used to any brand BC.

    Our shop carries Tusa, Aqua Lung, and Oceanic. Any suggestions for regulators from these guys.

    Can you manually inflate a BC enough to tell if it leaks?
  7. supergaijin

    supergaijin Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Indonesia
    :confused: Yes. Unless you put it in water, you may not hear minor leaks but anything major will be audible.

    Diving warm and cold you'd need two types of exposure suit. Look to get a vest as well- they can be worn under any wetsuit you may buy and insulate well for their size/bulk. I use just the vest in here in the Maldives as temps are in 29-30C range.

    Aqualung Titan is a good solid reg. The cheaper Calypso is also a good choice for normal recreational diving and popular as a rental model for it is pretty much bulletproof and easy to service.
  8. herman

    herman Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh,North Carolina

    On last thing on used. I highly recommend you avoid online buying such as eBay. While you can sometimes get great deals, you need to understand what you are doing, otherwise you may end up with an expensive paperweight. Local places like Craigslist are much better options. You can get your hands on the gear and evaluate it better. If you can find a local diver who understands equipment you will be way ahead.
  9. Colliam7

    Colliam7 Tech Instructor Staff Member

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Hillsborough, NC
    Herman has a great deal of experience working with (very) used equipment (aka vintage) and his words are to be heeded. I agree with the comment that you really need to understand what you are doing, especially on eBay. I see a lot of 'irrationally exhuberant' bidding on eBay that simply makes no sense whatsoever. But, I am not quite as reluctant to support buying on eBay, as I have made a substantial number of scuba gear purchases on eBay with consistently good results. A big part of 'understanding what you are doing' is to a) determine in advance what you are looking for (develop a brand and model list and stick to it), b) determine what the abolsute best online NEW price is for each item, and c) limit your bid to no more than 50% of that lowest new price.
    If that is the case then Herman's comment about Craigslist is spot on. You have a better chance to inspect the gear before you buy.
  10. Rich Keller

    Rich Keller Great White

    # of Dives:
    Location: Long Island NY
    +1 on the older model Conshelf regs. These are easy to service yourself as they do not require any special tools. I have done the same thing with older Scubapro regs that I picked up on Ebay. I choose Scubapro as I am very familiar with servicing that brand but the principal is the same. Your local shop should be able to return an old Conshelf to like new condition assuming it is in reasonable condition to start with.
  11. diversteve

    diversteve Administrator Staff Member

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Phoenix
    HOG regulators are DIN. Although finding DIN valves in Seattle or Ft. Lauderdale is probably easy enough, most dive operations will have a majority of yoke tanks.
    Especially if you expand your diving to other, overseas locations.

    I believe you have to have a tech certification to take the HOG repair class. I don't think you'll find much world-wide support for HOG yet either.

    Aqualung otoh can probably be serviced just about anywhere if it breaks on a trip.
  12. ScubaSteve

    ScubaSteve Wow.....what a DB

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Acton, Ontario
    Unless something has changed, you cannot take the service course unless you can produce a Tech level certification card. I purchased HOG with the mis-impression that I could service them myself and then was told that I could not sign up as I am only a Recreational (read OW/AOW) diver. At the very least, the OP needs to confirm this one way or the other with the shops that offer the course.

    From the HOG website

  13. Rocknrone

    Rocknrone Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Idaho
    Craigslist is where I will purchase. I quit buying off ebay a long time ago. It's a dumping ground for used garbage.
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  14. MMM

    MMM Administrator Staff Member

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sask. Canada/Cozumel, MX
    Maybe your LDS can sell you some used equipment? In which case they may well also service it for you. I bought my first set of regs and BCD (both used) from the local guy who I did my OW training with. Sometimes they are ones they have been using for training and sometimes they belong to divers who have quit or upgraded. But the shop is generally aware of the equipment's history. I bought my first wetsuit (a shortie, big mistake), fins and mask from the LDS, new. Subsequently, on ebay I have bought new (with tags) wetsuits, a computer (new, in box), a mask with prescription lenses, and a few other odds and sods. Have done much more shopping (on-line and at LDS) since then, but I think your approach is very sensible if you are buying for 3 people and you aren't sure how long they may stay at it. That is, in part, where all the 2nd hand stuff comes from! The rental suggestion is a good idea also, but you will likely get something different every time you rent, which has its pros and cons.
  15. DivemasterDennis

    DivemasterDennis ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lakewood, Colorado
    [h=4]I blogged on this subject a short while back- here is what I wrote:

    Buy New or Buy Used? [​IMG][/h]
    byDivemasterDennis , March 25th, 2012 at 05:31 PM (388 Views)

    In reviewing some recent threads on gear purchases, the issue of buying new or used, from a local shop or line, have emerged. Let me first confess that I mostly buy new gear from my local shop. I have bought some things on line, but they are accessory-type items: lights, floats, gear bags, etc. I have bought some used gear, including a few regulators, but never on line. When I have bought used equipment, it is from people I know, who can accurately report the use history of the equipment and have the service records for it. If the gear was acquired from a Denver area shop, I have been known to contact the retailer to confirm age and servicing if it seemed questionable. Also, I have only bought used gear from people I have met and whose whereabouts I know so if there is an issue with any item being as represented, I can find them to discuss and resolve that matter. I buy new gear from my LDS because I can get it serviced there, I can exchange it if there is problem there, and I don't have to worry how used or abused it is. If you are going to look at used equipment, the information and criteria varies with the type of item. A used wet suit will not require servicing, and inspection visually and by sniffing can tell you pretty much how used it is. But when it comes to tanks and valves, first stages, regulators, spg;s, computers, and bcd's I suggest that in addition to price, the buyer should know the following:
    Use History. How old is the item, how many hours of use does it have in fresh and salt water?
    Maintenance and service history: was the item serviced in accordance with manufacturer spec's, and are there records to prove it?
    Who is the seller, and can I contact them easily if there is an issue with the equipment?
    Does the item fit me- both as to size and as to the type of diving I will do?
    Can I have the gear checked out before purchase?
    Is the seller the original owner? If not, where did they acquire the item?
    What are the anticipated maintenance and service costs for the next 2 years?
    I ask this because at my local shop, most near gear comes with 2 years free
    service and maintenance.
    Is there a local shop in my area that can service the item?
    What level of use do I expect to get from the item? Will it be a back up, a limited use item, or do I hope to put hundreds of dives on it in the next year or two?
    If you take a moment to ask these questions, some of the seller and some of yourself, I think you will be less likely to make a bad used gear purchase. There is more to be considered than saving a few dollars at the time of acquiring gear. There are good deals to be made on quality used equipment that will serve you well, just sure that is the deal you make.
  16. awap

    awap Giant Squid

    # of Dives:
    Location: Central TX
    So who would you rely on? The car salesman:confused:
    Fish-R-Man likes this.
  17. Rocknrone

    Rocknrone Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Idaho
    I did check with my LDS on used equipment. They have two complete setups laying in the back. The owners of the gear dropped it off to see if it would sell......... ten years ago, they never came back. It looked like it should be in a museum.
  18. herman

    herman Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh,North Carolina
    Don't be too quick to write it off. If it's a Scubapro or Aqualung (US Divers) there is a good chance you can have it serviced and have a good reg.

    I don't totally agree with Dennis. History, age and hours of use are not really important factors when considering a reg from a serviceability standpoint. It does have a major impact on the price however. As long as parts and service are available, there is no real reason to stop diving a reg. You will need to have the reg serviced when you get it so any wear due to age (dried out orings and the like) or wear will be eliminated with the rebuild. A few parts that are not normally replaced on a rebuild such as the second stage diaphragm and the hoses may need replacing but those are obvious and easily replaced however you do need to consider them in the purchase price as they will add another $100 or so to the rebuild. The main parts of a reg do not wear, the outside gets dings and scratches but those have not impact on it‘s performance. Poor maintenance by the owner can have bad effects on the reg but that has nothing to do with age or hours of use. How the req was maintained- was it properly rinsed and salt water kept out of it are much more important than age or hours of use. Granted age and hours of use do have a major impact on the need for service but you should have an unknown reg serviced anyway so that becomes a moot point. Some of the regs I restore are over 50 year old and a good number of them look very good inside, new rubber parts and they work like new. Others are a real mess but it’s always the result of poor maintenance, not age or hours of use. Even those are rarely basket cases that are beyond repair but they do take more work.
    fjpatrum, MMM and awap like this.
  19. BDSC

    BDSC Great White

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wake Forest, NC
    To the OP,

    If you do buy used I'd certainly look right here on the classified section of ScubaBoard as a source of dependable used gear. Except for a guy named "Keithdiver" (who will likely never be back here), I wouldn't hesitate to buy from a fellow member. I have both sold and bought from here and have been more than satisfied with the experience.
  20. oly5050user

    oly5050user Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Westchester NY
    That is the issue with buying used gear..Unless you really know dive gear stay away from used gear. Used gear can cost as much or more than used. Regulators/bcd need service and that can cost more than $150. Unless used gear is like new(used 1 time or very little) and selling at less than 1/2 the cost of when it was new stay away. Check with the LDS and tell them what your budget is. There is usually options for them to work with you. We have a new package consisting of Oceanic bcd, Yukon regulator with Oceanic computer,alt air source on sale for around $800. Wet suits do not buy used,unless brand new and used less than 10 times and sell for less than 1/2 of original cost, they have a limited lifespan .

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