the gear switcheroo

12:14 p.m. on September 4, 2011 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,439 reviewer rep
1,299 forum posts

this maneuver can justify a gear upgrade via a self-created discount, selling the item that you are upgrading.  i have run this one a couple of times this year.  while i am still spending money, that i'm spending less somehow justifies the upgrade.  

when i purchased my marmot/dana designs mid-sized backpack years ago, it was on clearance; i sold it earlier this year for about $15 less than what i originally paid, after several years of generous use, to pave the way for a new gregory backpack of roughly the same size.  main bugaboo with the Dana was the complete lack of an external pocket for a water bottle or anything else one might want to have handy.  with REI discounts and the switcheroo, a gregory baltoro set me back about $120.  say what you want about gregory, but i'm really enjoying this backpack.  

one of my go-to knives for trips always irked me a little because it had a partially serrated blade, which i didn't really need.  it also had a black coating on the blade that made it look needlessly scary.  everything else about the knife (a kershaw avalanche, no longer in production) was really great.  i recently sold it on a knife forum to help fund a replacement, a spyderco with a sort of reverse liner-lock (the paramilitary 2) that had a lot of the same knife steel as the Kershaw, plain, non-coated blade, a better lock, more comfortable scales.  total cost for the new knife, 65 bucks shipped (full retail is $170, but you can find most knives, new, at a healthy discount somewhere on the web).  by 'reverse liner lock,' i mean that the locking mechanism is on the spine rather than under your fingers, but it operates with the same high level of security as a liner lock.  it's a great feature, because it means your fingers aren't under the closing blade when you unlock and close it.  

feel free to share your gear upgrade strategies....

1:12 p.m. on September 4, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

My "strategy" ?

One of each.

On a more serious note ... I somewhat parallel your attitude about gear upgrades, via the 'sell / trade what I have for the next best thing to replace it' approach.

My choices evolve.

I wish / want to replace all my gear with "Made-In-America" products.   I am fiercely loyal to that mantra.

It IRKS me to no-end, that my FGL boots are Italian, my vehicles are German, my mid-layers are Canadian, my base-layers are Australian, my rain / casual jacket is Italian (it's a lightly DWR-treated Ventile cotton ... and you guys have NO IDEA what you're missing, regarding cotton ... plus, I DO NOT look like a modern-day John Muir or an Ed Viesturs clone, when about town).

I often acquire a new gear item, and use the intended item to be replaced, as a comparator for a while, before making a decision as to which one goes.  Sometimes, the "new" item goes, and I keep the older.  I always keep the hang-tags, receipts, instructions, warrantee papers.

If you have any vintage Filson, Orvis, Barbour outerwear, you know what I am talking about.   Good Gawd, that stuff is GREAT !   The heck with UL !

I have several  vintage  (from the 1970s)  Kelty, Lowe Alpine  and Gerry backpacks -- Made In The USA.   Why replace them?   And, with what? 

Soooo ....  YES.    I go along with this "leadbelly"-character's methodology.   More-or-less.   Makes sense ( and saves dollars ).

                                                   ~r2~

3:02 p.m. on September 4, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

I tend to take a different tack.  As I usually buy the things I buy for life,  I generally just keep the stuff I buy.  Usually I by items, not to test, but that have along history of already being tested.  I find that if I buy time tested stuff that works well I'm very rarely disappointed, and I don't like being disappointed............. The exception is if the items flat out doesen't fit or work for me then I turn around and sell it right of the bat.  I learned long ago not to get rid of a thing that is proven as well as being a time tested item.  I really makes me angry when I sell somthing that works and then I get a newer "better" item that now dosen't work.  I'm then stuck with somthing I have to sell (the newer "better" item) and without a necessary item (the older one I jsut sold) and have to go buy the thing back that did work in the first place.  I also like to have extra stuff around for people to use who don't have gear, then we can do a trip and they can feel comfortable that they have quality equiptment to use.  The other thing is that in this economy unless you have a cult item (Dana Design, Moss, etc,), quite often your top of the line really expensive piece of gear is only worth 20-40% of what you paid for it (plus you take a loss of inflation over time).  That's a really big hit!!  I have this old Holubar Expedition sleeping bag that I got for $20 at a garage sale 18 years ago and there is just no reason to sell it even if I don't currently use it.  It just won't bring in enough money to make a bit of difference.  I would put this bag up against many of the expensive high priced bags out there.  Plus it's really fun to go to "Brian's Sporting Goods Store" and pick different equiptment for each excursion.

4:40 p.m. on September 4, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
396 forum posts

I wish I could lay claim to a strategy.  I'm more at service to my own whimsy than anything.  I get a wild hair, and I'm off to the races.  I also hate to sell stuff, which is in direct opposition to my minimalist/hate to own stuff intuitions.  I don't like clutter, and I don't like to have things that aren't in use.  For instance, I have an embarrassingly tall pile of backpacks.  I like them all for one reason or another, but I would like to sell a handful of them.  The pile as a whole stares at me and taunts me, but when I pull any particular one of them from the stack, I come up with a bunch of reasons not to sell it.

To address your preference for outside pockets on backpacks:  I've picked up a couple different side bags (always vertical types) and have even sewn a few of my own.  I don't care for backpacks that don't have sizable outside bags, so I find a way to add them.  I don't care so much about pockets, because I usually come up with a solution for a water bottle.  I like the simplicity of the rucksack, but in practical terms, I don't think it is always the best design.  The DD Terraplane/Terraframe/Bridger and the Osprey Vector Two/Vector Mega...those are my kind of backpacks.

4:44 p.m. on September 4, 2011 (EDT)
245 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

arrrr discounts, "the more you spend the more you save"

11:05 a.m. on September 6, 2011 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
563 reviewer rep
286 forum posts

I have to admit I've become a "try it and return" shopper of late.  Curse you, REI no questions asked return policy!

 

8:37 a.m. on September 10, 2011 (EDT)
153 reviewer rep
235 forum posts

I am some what in that situation now.  I want go to MLD pyramid tent, but I don't have a surplus funds.  So I may have to let some gear go so I can make the upgrade.  I do hate to see stuff go unused.  For some reason that really bothers me.

6:23 a.m. on September 11, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

Guyz said:

 ...  surplus funds.  .

 

Please explain.

I've never encountered "surplus funds".

                                                   ~r2~

1:41 p.m. on September 11, 2011 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,439 reviewer rep
1,299 forum posts

Robert:  i think you took the quote out of context.  it said "i don't have" before "surplus funds."  a common quandary of the gear-hungry public, i think.  

3:52 p.m. on September 11, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

I have encountered INSUFFICIENT FUNDS.

                                             

                                                 ~r2~

8:55 a.m. on September 12, 2011 (EDT)
153 reviewer rep
235 forum posts

lol.  I hear you brother:)

9:17 a.m. on September 12, 2011 (EDT)
299 reviewer rep
141 forum posts

My big problem was not finding trailspace.com first.  I made some bad mistakes with the boots and gear.  I have a rule on anything I buy except for food and shelter: wait 30 days before you buy what ever item you want, if you don't remember what it was, it wasn't very important.  The other question is why I didn't follow my first rule when buying gear?

2:57 p.m. on September 12, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

Mike,

   We all are guilty of "impulse buying".   Sometimes, it's a "must have" circumstance ... or, a super-great deal (perceived). 

  And then, there might be pressure from a "won't take NO for an answer" salesperson. 

  Occasionally, we fall for advertising gimmicks or "saturation advertising"  (like the Progressive Insurance chick, who's on every 15 minutes).

   We learn, hopefully.

                                                   ~r2~

11:20 a.m. on October 4, 2011 (EDT)
108 reviewer rep
45 forum posts

Zeno Marx said:

 I've picked up a couple different side bags (always vertical types) and have even sewn a few of my own.  I don't care for backpacks that don't have sizable outside bags, so I find a way to add them.  I don't care so much about pockets, because I usually come up with a solution for a water bottle.  I like the simplicity of the rucksack, but in practical terms, I don't think it is always the best design.  The DD Terraplane/Terraframe/Bridger and the Osprey Vector Two/Vector Mega...those are my kind of backpacks.

 I bought a pair of the Deuter Accessory Pockets that I use either singly or as a pair on my MEC Alpine 30 or my Lowe 50, both without the side H2O pockets, to add that extra 5/10l that may be needed... A very useful purchase.

8:20 p.m. on October 4, 2011 (EDT)
121 reviewer rep
601 forum posts

I literally have never bought an item at full price, so I've never had the need to do much with selling old before buying new.

My current WPB shell has great performance and it's original price tag of $250 took a back seat when I bought it brand new for $60.

Same goes for a $100 fleece layer I purchased new for $20, and a $120 windproof layer that I bought for $29.

Every piece of gear I have has a similar story. It all comes back to the same old song and dance regarding brand names charging out the rear because it has their name on it, when a newer brand or less popular brand performs just as well for much much less.

Edit - the only "trade-in" I've ever done is with an LL Bean back pack. LL Bean has a life time promise on their items because they are so confident about the quality. When my older pack's strap failed on me, and I was unable to repair it, they gave me $75 store credit for it, and I picked up another LL Bean pack. It may not say Osprey or Gregory, but it performs incredibly well, is comfortable, fits everything I need, and has TONS of pockets, straps, and functional accessories. It is the red pack in my profile picture, and in that picture had 65lbs of gear in it for a multi-overnight winter climb.

8:55 p.m. on October 4, 2011 (EDT)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

iClimb- I can definitely relate. I purchased my MH Windstopper Tech jacket for $49.97(originally $180) out the door brand new on sale... It was 50% off and red tagged another 50% off that.

I didn't really need it but for $50 I couldn't pass it up.

2:40 p.m. on October 5, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

iClimb said:

I literally have never bought an item at full price, so I've never had the need to do much with selling old before buying new.

My current WPB shell has great performance and it's original price tag of $250 took a back seat when I bought it brand new for $60.

Same goes for a $100 fleece layer I purchased new for $20, and a $120 windproof layer that I bought for $29.

Every piece of gear I have has a similar story. It all comes back to the same old song and dance regarding brand names charging out the rear because it has their name on it, when a newer brand or less popular brand performs just as well for much much less.

Edit - the only "trade-in" I've ever done is with an LL Bean back pack. LL Bean has a life time promise on their items because they are so confident about the quality. When my older pack's strap failed on me, and I was unable to repair it, they gave me $75 store credit for it, and I picked up another LL Bean pack. It may not say Osprey or Gregory, but it performs incredibly well, is comfortable, fits everything I need, and has TONS of pockets, straps, and functional accessories. It is the red pack in my profile picture, and in that picture had 65lbs of gear in it for a multi-overnight winter climb.

Nice iClimb.  I think part of the deal is that people just like to be parted with their money.  There really is no other reason with this brand name thing.  Even if a persons favorite brand name is the "best",  if you wait just a bit it will be on sale at the end of the season and then discounted even to make way for next  "best" newer item which is quite often not even better than the item it is replacing.  Not to mention that 80% of the gear (my estimates) is bought and never used or used very little and then sold as used at huge discsounts.  I kinda hate paltitudes, but you know what they say, " a fool and his money are soon parted"  and in this country, there's a lota money being unnecessarily parted with on brand name stuff, IMHO.

3:30 p.m. on October 5, 2011 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,439 reviewer rep
1,299 forum posts

apeman - that's true to  a degree.  but, having guided trips where cheap, poorly made backpacks, footwear, and outer layers have fallen apart, i can tell you that branding does make some difference.  especially when i end up lugging someone else's gear or escorting the person with the crapped out shoes. 

Brands with a reputation often offer a lifetime guarantee.  it usually means they build gear to last and stand behind that guarantee in the unlikely event that gear fails.  i have personal experience with this, specifically The North Face and Patagonia.  hard shells that failed after years of use (but did not fail due to abuse) were replaced with new ones, no questions asked. 

3:53 p.m. on October 5, 2011 (EDT)
121 reviewer rep
601 forum posts

leadbelly, you are right about that, but there are plenty of brands that don't charge as much as the "elite" companies like TNF, Patagonia, and others, but still offer lifetime promises because they are so sure that the quality is there.

LL Bean is a prime example - while some of their stuff is almost as pricey as other brands, the quality is proven time and time again, and with that backpack example I provided, new the backpack was $149 at the time. A similar pack on sale at LL Bean with the brand Gregory on it, was upwards of $350. There was no difference in frame type, storage capacity, and in my opinion no difference in comfort. 

So why the drastic difference in price? simple: Brand naming, and the psychology behind brand loyalty and brand induced euphoria. A lot of people feel "good" walking around displaying a brand that others know costs a lot. I personally couldn't care less - even though I COULD afford the highest price brands, I don't see the point in wasting my money.

Plus there are lots of downsides to the "popular" brands. I hate seeing people walking around in North Face jackets and fleeces that are meant for hiking or climbing, when clearly they've never stepped off the pavement.

Companies like TNF and others are moving towards being retail pushers rather than outdoor outfitters. Eddie Bauer, on the other hand, is doing the opposite. They were the original outfitter of major expeditions, and then switched to retail. They released the First Ascent line, and are getting back to their roots with HIGH QUALITY gear designed and actually used and tested by professional climbers in the Himalaya. All of the gear I mentioned in my above post that I got for 70% off came from this new and relatively unknown line.

I've seen plenty of videos of climbers wearing the same items I purchased while climbing on the Lhotse face of Everest. That would be one hell of a advertising ploy if the gear wasn't really meant for it, since once on the Lhotse face you have to be committed to the weather and climbing conditions of everest - the gear better work.

4:08 p.m. on October 5, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

leadbelly2550 said:

apeman - that's true to  a degree.  but, having guided trips where cheap, poorly made backpacks, footwear, and outer layers have fallen apart, i can tell you that branding does make some difference.  especially when i end up lugging someone else's gear or escorting the person with the crapped out shoes. 

Brands with a reputation often offer a lifetime guarantee.  it usually means they build gear to last and stand behind that guarantee in the unlikely event that gear fails.  i have personal experience with this, specifically The North Face and Patagonia.  hard shells that failed after years of use (but did not fail due to abuse) were replaced with new ones, no questions asked. 

I agree with you to a point.  But only the point in so much as you get what you pay for when you buy crappy gear new.  Crappy new gear is, well crappy.  Here is an example of what I'm taliking about.  Person A goes to the Seattle REI and buys a brand new Arcteryx bora 80 for $400+.  Person B (me) goes to Seattle and buys a mint Arcteryx bora 80 (made in Canada) for $100 from a guy of of Craigslist.  Person B (me) saved $300 over person A and infacxt can compund his/her savings by spending the $300 on more gear on ebay and or Criagslist.  Person B also has a better backpack because it was made in Canada where as REI's new Arcteryx's back packs are now farmed out to a third world country that uses materials that are not as good quality as the Canadian made model.  I would think that common sense dictates that what  up above is true.   You can have all the brand name stuff you want for the same price of the "cheap, poorly made backpacks, footwear, and outer layers............" or even less.  This is not an anomally,  All the gear I buy is brand name, quality gear that I have researched exhaustively.  All the gear I buy I get for 10%-50% on the dollar.  All the gear I buy is in lightly used to new condition.  This is not rocket science and I'm not doing anything special other than getting on line and looking for it.  One does not have to have a PH.D to do this.  I mearly have a high school diploma.  So again,  if one want's to spend a ton of money with no savings at all, have at it, go to REI or some other store.  Just because they tell you that you are saving money does not mean you are saving money.  They welcome you with open arms.  If you want quality, brand name gear for 1/4 the price (sometimes less), it's all out there on Ebay and Craigslist.  "A fool and his/her money is soon parted."  IMHO.

P.S. My intent here is not to call anyone on Trailspace a fool.  Far from it.  My intent is to say that if you are trying to save money on brand name gear there is a way to do it that is easy.  If you are trying to save money and go buy band name gear at a store then I believe that to be foolish unless it is discounted by at least 50% or more (and even then I can still usually get it cheaper) .  If you have money to waste then please disregard this post.

7:40 p.m. on October 5, 2011 (EDT)
121 reviewer rep
601 forum posts

the methods you have taken up sound spot on to me apeman. The keyword is research - you MUST research your gear before making a decision to buy, which goes back to the OP's original idea that impulse buys aren't the best because often little research is done.

There are many ways to cheat when it comes to gear - certain things you just don't want to do...like buying an ozark trail tent from walmart for conditions that would call for a NF Mountain 25.

Clothes, however, are the easiest place to cheat - take base layers for example. Minus the most expensive wools, which I can safely say most of us probably don't use, the synthetic stuff is very easy to cheat on. TNF base layers that are made of synthetic materials like polyester, spandex, nylon, etc cost $50-$100 depending on weight. Instead, go to any department store and buy base layers from their "active wear" section - take a look at the tags - polyester, nylon, spandex, etc.

It's the SAME materials, but cost $10!!!   :-)

8:35 p.m. on October 5, 2011 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,439 reviewer rep
1,299 forum posts

the starting point for this thread is that it's good to save money.  shop discounts (or buy used - i'm an experienced craigslist/geartrade hunter), sell old gear, and get what you want and need for less.  see my original example - i waited until the gregory baltoro (the pack that fit me best) went on sale, at a store where i had a dividend.  i didn't buy a gregory because i'm fixated on the brand; i have never used a gregory backpack before.  i chose it because it was the best fit and most comfortable, loaded to 50 pounds, among the more affordable packs of its size.  independent of price, i would have picked a mystery ranch trance (i have years and hundreds of miles of experience with dana design and mystery ranch - most comfortable backpacks i have carried) or a custom job from mchale packs.  alas, i don't have that kind of excess money.

 i happen to agree, llbean and eddie bauer do a good job at a fair price, and they both have great return/guarantee policies.  

but, how my initial thread turned into a critique of brand loyalty or buying full retail is beyond me.

WHINING

If you expect to score points by whining, join a European soccer team.

 

9:02 p.m. on October 5, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

@ leadbelly2550 said:
"the starting point for this thread is that it's good to save money."........................................................................."but, how my initial thread turned into a critique of brand loyalty or buying full retail is beyond me."

 

I only mentiond it as blind faith to a brand of anything can lead to spending vasts amount of money that don't need to be spent if in fact the idea is to save money.  The same thing applies to paying full retail.  If one is savy (as you are) one can buy the same new items that others paid full retail for just months before at hugly reduced prices when clearence time comes around.

I agree it is my goal to save maney and also help others save money.

10:06 p.m. on October 5, 2011 (EDT)
121 reviewer rep
601 forum posts

lol I love the whining poster. I lived with a European professional soccer player for a while when he was here in the states.

October 25, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: New shell/jacket suggestion Newer: Microfleece full zip jacket
All forums: Older: Caldera Cone vs. Clikstand Alcohol Stove Tests Newer: Your New Community Evangelist