How To Sell Your Surfboard Better
Wanna sell that used board quickly, and, for more? Welcome to Stab's master class in slinging used craft.
Now, Stab supposes you could just tape gold to the stringer, but we’ve got better ways to help you move that old foam. Consider this an advanced class in used board sales. Soon you’ll be trading your white for green like a Colombian jefe.
Words by Tom Fjord
First, make it hot. Every bit better the board looks means more coin in your pocket, so…
– Get dings fixed professionally — “watertight” is the magic word.
– Re-wax the board. Don’t leave your old crusty layer (ugly) and don’t strip the wax entirely (shows pressures on the deck). Instead, lead with a fresh white coat.
– Take the fins out of the board (but include ‘em in the sale). Psychologically, this positions the fins as an extra item — a free bonus in the mind of the buyer that sweetens your ask. Also, if you’re selling at a shop, they love stocking finless sticks ‘cause more of them fit on the rack. Floor space is money, child!
– Stab would love to bust the myth right now that slapping sponsor stickers on the nose and rails will help a used board sell — as if some pro has just dropped it off after barely one session in use. We’d really love to bust this myth, actually. But sadly, we cannot. The trick works marvellously.
– Unless it’s a fruity retro shape, don’t try to sell boards without traction today. This ain’t 1985.
– A note about cracks: Sometimes that hairline fracture in the glass is less of an eyesore than the (costly) repair job would be. You might be wise to skip it and let the buyer decide whether it really needs a fix. Of course, don’t try to hide cracks or lie about ‘em though — you’re the honest sort, ain’tcha?
Next, decide where to sell. Options include…
– A well-trafficked surf shop with a good used board selection. This is best when you’re not in a rush to sell and want to maximise the payout. Your board can cruise comfortably on the consignment rack for months until the perfect buyer happens along bearing fat pocket, all with no marginal effort on your part. Plus, haggling is rare at a shop — most folks accept the sticker price as fixed — so you won’t have to bend over to meet some chintzy prick’s lowball in a sketchy carpark rendezvous. Yuck! Which brings us to the main benefit of shop sales: the shop does the dirty work, usually for a quite reasonable cut of the butter.
– Online listings like Gumtree or Craigslist are your best bet for fast action, as prospective buyers refresh a page ten times a day scanning for that new hot deal. The sites are also good for pushing cheap boards — that yellowed beater, say — as online buyers tend to hunt a bargain.
– Also consider your habitat. A populous surf zone like the Gold Coast or Hawaii is swarming with boards and people who want ‘em, meaning plenty activity but also competition and low prices. In a smaller surf community, though, supply is low — so your used board will fetch more than it would in Huntington but can take much longer to sell. Plan and price accordingly. (Places like NYC with a nascent surf scene have especially large appetites for entry-level equipment. Mals are gold.)
Finally, watch the calendar. Smart timing can really fill a man’s wallet in this game. To wit…
– Pay attention to the season. A step-up’s gonna move in the wintertime. A fish or a disky punt shape goes wild in the summer. Give the people what they want, when they want it.
– Weekends are hot, with loads of foot traffic in shops and eyeballs glued to the online markets. List your board early Saturday and let the offers roll in. If necessary, re-list again Sunday morning so you’re back on top of the pile.
– The holidays matter. In the lead-up, shoppers are after that perfect gift, and your board may fit the bill. Then, afterward, kids flush with holiday cash are looking for somewhere to spend it. Don’t disappoint!
Employ these tips and Stab estimates the average surfer can heck-tons more over the course of his lifetime — not a paltry sum. Post your own brilliant tricks in the comments, too. C’mon, we know you’re holding!