It’s summer in Texas and the temps are in the triple digits plus humidity at +50%. Most of my riding is on hold until the weather gets a little cooler. During this off time I start to “troll” through Craigslist and eBay for riding gear. Trolling is simply the act of enthusiastic searching. Shopping can be very fruitful when looking for off-season riding gear.
I’m a bit of a collector of riding gear and because of that I have to be frugal when shopping. This leaves me looking at quality pre-owned/used gear. Some are put off by used gear and I can understand. Most jackets, pants and such can be washed/cleaned. I would be leery about purchasing a used helmet but almost everything else is game. My suggestions and methods may vary in your area or your comfort level. Used gear can be from from online retailers, forums and local classifieds. When dealing with an online retailer, you may not have the luxury of a return policy. Knowing your particular size from the manufacture you are considering is key. Most manufactures will post sizing charts and guides to give you an idea how their gear will fit. A common issue is that European companies tend to sway to a more a slim/athletic fit. We here in America tend to be more robust in areas so be aware. Sizing can also deviate from the normal XS-XXL and use a traditional jacket measurement utilizing Chest/Waist/Neck sizing normally found in suits and others. Sizing may be in inches others in metric measurements. A quick visit to YouTube can sometimes find a review or two from a retailer that can help with sizing.
I start with my local Craigslist and a similar site called OfferUpNow. Search through the general catagories vs the specific category to cast a wide net. Trying common misspellings and such. Next in the motorcycle sale ads. Sometimes you can pick up some gear from a person selling a bike. Next I’ll try SearchTempest.com. SearchTempest is a search engine that polls multiple Craigslist cities at once. Sometimes it will pull up older ads folks may have forgotten or passed by. Dealing with an out-of-town seller can take some trust. Some may agree to a PayPal transactions other may not.
Forums are another great source for gear. But with like minds comes like tastes. Gear usually gets snatched up pretty quickly. The trust level is higher in forums. Folks tend to have a reputation within that community and the likelihood of being scammed is low. Your riding groups is another great resource. Some use Meetup and Facebook to organize rides and discussion chats. Easy to set up a face to face for a purchase or even a trade.
I know of one retailer that sells pre owned gear. That is Motorcycle gear.com (formally new enough.com). Revzilla and others may post closeout and limited size runs sometimes but are few and hard to find sometimes. I really miss YellowdevilGear.com. The owner moved on to other things but her gear exchange store was unique and classy.
eBay tends to be self-explanatory. What I have found out is to search for misspellings and sometimes auctions with little description. You can ask the seller for more info to see if an item fits the bill. Don’t be swayed away from the international market. I have found some great deals from Europe and Australia. Shipping can be higher but it all depends on the deal.
I hope this helps someone fill their gear closet with the missing pieces they need. If you have other suggestions, please feel free to share.