It’s nearing the end of the golfing season and many of you are already thinking of changing your equipment. It’s an exciting time. Maybe you can find a driver that hits it 30 yards further. Maybe there’s a set of irons waiting for you that eliminates that nasty slice!
Here’s a look at the pros and cons of the four most popular options open to the golfer thinking of changing up.
- GolfBidder.com are based in the UK and allow you buy, sell or swap your clubs online and have a nominal postage charge to all other European countries.
- They do a huge selection of pre-owned clubs as they are supplied from trade-ins to PGA pro shops across the UK. The website is easy to navigate and each club is priced according to a condition rating scale. Since the global recession kicked in Golfbidder has seen strong sales as their prices are unparalleled.
- Every item Golfbidder sells is photographed with a special 360º camera allowing the potential buyer to thoroughly inspect the clubs first.
- Golfbidder also do a lot of research into exposing fakes and guarantee each sale. http://www.golfbidder.co.uk/
The weak euro versus sterling adds a little.
The Pro Shop
- Whether it’s a big retail store or the local pro down in the club, nobody will give you the kind of personal service like these. Buying new clubs nowadays nearly always comes with sound custom fitting advice, ensuring you get the right clubs for you.
- Local Pro shops often have demo models which they will give to you to “try before you buy” and nothing quite beats being able to feel the club in your hands before buying.
- Most stores and club pros also usually take trade-ins.
· You usually pay a little bit more for your new clubs. Don’t forget every shop has overheads and taxes to pay!
· Trade-in values are usually fairly nominal.
Ebay, Classified Sites (eg DoneDeal, BuyandSell)
- Buying from other individuals online can result in you getting by far the best deals as nothing beats cash and classified listing also leave room for a bit haggling .
- Over the years listings have improved greatly. A good seller now will provide all the necessary information plus several pictures of the equipment.
- It’s generally very cheap to list on these sites.
- You are totally at the mercy of the seller when buying privately. For every 10 great bargains there’s one horror story. You need to ensure you are not that ONE!
- Unfortunately fakes are rife online, with cheap Asian copies flooding the market.
- Ebay has gotten more unpredictable with several buyers now using “snipe” programs to automatically bid for them. This makes having the winning bid all the more difficult for someone seeking a bargain as prices tend to rise dramatically in the last 30 seconds of the auction.
- Buying this way means you usually have to sell your old equipment privately first which can be headache in itself.
Buying From The USA
- Buying clubs online from the USA (on sites like GolfSmith) often provides the best value, especially on new equipment.
- The amount of equipment and specifications available mean the USA offer by far the biggest choice to the customer.
- The euro to dollar conversion rate is reasonably good right now (€1 to $1.25).
- There has been a major clampdown on excise duties payable for items imported from the US. Goods heretofore marked “gift” by smaller online sellers or whose value has been “written down” on a sales docket again to avoid heavy import duties are rapidly being eliminated. Most of these duties are now collected at the door by the delivery courier.
- Shipping in the case of bulkier items like a set of irons can be costly and takes time so be prepared to wait a couple of weeks.
- Potential shoppers need to background check all sellers before buying.