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Advice on Buying Used SCUBA Gear?

Discussion in 'General Scuba Equipment Discussions' started by mroman831, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. mroman831

    mroman831 Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Wilmington, NC
    Hi all!

    I'm new to SCUBA and am looking to purchase some used gear. I've done my research and have decided that used is the way to go with my budget.

    My specific question relates to a Craigslist deal that I am considering. The purchase includes:

    1. Mares Vector LX Buoyance Compensator Pink/Black XS (Like New)
    2. Mares (MR 12) First Stage Regulator
    3. Mares Voltrex Second Stage Regulator
    4. Mares 3 Guage Console (includes 500 PSI Presssure Guage Indicator and Compass)
    5. Large Scuba Bag
    6. Scuba Knife
    7. Spare Hose
    8. Owner Identification Cards
    9. 2 Instruction Manuals for Regulators

    The seller says the equipment is 10 years old and is in good shape. She said she bought them new, barely used them (after developing ear problems), and had a friend who owned a dive shop who performed routine maintenance while she was diving. She is asking $250. I know that if I get the equipment, I will need to have it serviced, but I wanted opinions before I went ahead with the deal!
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  2. cgvmer

    cgvmer Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Jersey
    Do yourself a favor and find out if the where you were going to have it serviced thinks the parts are still available for the equipment you list (Mares should be ).
  3. herbdb

    herbdb Manta Ray Rest in Peace

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Allentown, PA
    The console is missing either a computer or depth guage. All of the equipment is pretty old? Be sure to get an estimate on cost to service the bcd and regs before you buy. I've been burned by this in the past.

    The other, and most important consideration, is that your live depends on the reliability of these items. Add the servicing cost to the $250 price and look at the total. I suspect that for a few hundred more you could have new equipment, with a warranty.
  4. redacted

    redacted Guest

    If you die while your gear is under warranty, you are just as dead.

    If you do not believe you can deal with and survive, with little problem, a serious gear failure you should not be diving.

    Brand new gear is used gear after the first dive.

    The price is high for my taste but I prefer really old inexpensive gear.
  5. TravisS.

    TravisS. Angel Fish

    Check it over well yourself or if you trust a friend have them come look at it with you and DON'T get too excited about buying your own gear you settle for sub-standard life support items. I am slowly building up my gear, mostly used. The first used BCD i purchased looked awesome, no signs of wear but as soon as it was wet it broke in 2 places.

    Sill, do not undermine the value of purchasing quality used gear, just be wise about it.
  6. gcarter

    gcarter Orca

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ottawa, Canada
    You should get a better price just on account of the overwhelming pinkness :D
  7. mroman831

    mroman831 Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Wilmington, NC
    Thanks for the advice guys. I will look into the cost of servicing before I decide on anything. And I would undoubtedly try to negotiate the price if I decide to go ahead with it (it is Craigslist after all)!
  8. GrumpyOldGuy

    GrumpyOldGuy Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: West Texas/NH/CA
    The price is too high for 10 year old gear. With service the reg will be fine, but the BCD may develop leaks and the weight release systems on the Mares is not all that great. You should be at close to 10 cents on the dollar for this vintage. Even if you don't want to purchase on-line, go to LeisurePro.com or ScubaToys.com and get new pricing so you have a reference point.
  9. herbdb

    herbdb Manta Ray Rest in Peace

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Allentown, PA
    You missed the point. If you find something impossible or expensive to fix with used equipment, tough luck. Plus this is an inexperienced diver on a first equipment purchase, who is unlikely to be able to evaluate the serviceability of the used equipment without help.
  10. turnerjd

    turnerjd Divemaster

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Haute Kontz, France
    As long as you have somewhere to service the gear then this should be a pretty low risk purchase.

    Mares have always made good gear. They still make the MR12 first stage, and I think that the voltrx second stage has parts in common with several current second stages. Similarly, parts for the BCD should still be available, although I think that it is now a somewhat old model (I can't say anything here, I have a 25 year old Scubapro Master jacket that I bought second hand 15 years ago!). The missing depth gauge is easily and cheaply replaced (50$ if prices are similar stateside). However, as with all bcds there are some parts that are not replaceable.

    New, 10 years ago this was good equipment, and if it was looked after well it should last a long time.

    It does start to look expensive when you add the purchase and servicing costs. However, I would always recommend second hand, well looked after and serviced gear from a top manufacturer, rather then new, but cheap equipment.

    As standard advice I would suggest having somebody more experienced look at the gear and not be too fast with the purchase because you want to buy your own gear. Go slowly, do more dives in rental gear to find out what you like, and then slowly build up your own gear.


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