GUIDE: Buying Used Tackle Online


In a follow-up to our previous article on selling your unused and pre-loved tackle, this article gives you a few hints and tips on buying used tackle, well give you a run down on the do’s and don’ts and what to look out for to a avoid a dodgy dealing.


The most important thing when buying second-hand tackle of any sort is to know what you’re buying. Try do a bit of research online or go down to your local tackle store and suss it out. Knowing  the recommend retail price of the product will allow you to sort the bargains from the rip offs.

Make sure you read the listing carefully and observe any photos that have been included. These will give you a good idea of the over all condition of the product, and also any flaws should it have any.

Check for visible signs of wear or corrosion and if present, ensure that its cosmetic only. There’s no point savings $100 on a reel buying it second-hand if its internals are rusted out from going in the drink.

If you have any questions about the product, it is best to ask them first before informing the seller of your intention to buy. The last thing you want to do is stuff the seller around.


It’s a good idea, where possible to go and check out the item in person before committing to the purchase. Most sellers are generally happy for inspections of items. If they wont allow you to have a look before you buy, there’s a possibility they maybe trying to hide something and it might be best to keep looking.


OK, it’s not what your thinking. No this does not refer to inviting the seller over for a barbecue on a Sunday arvo and getting to know them.

Many websites have ways in which you can get an idea of who you’re dealing with.

In the case of eBay, all members are given a feedback score. The feedback system allows members to rate each other after a transaction based on satisfaction. If the transaction was hassle free then members will give a positive feedback response, in turn, if the transaction was negative, members will receive a negative response. This is great for those wanting to purchase from sellers as the feedback rating allows you too get an idea of how the seller has carried out their transactions in the past. You are looking for a seller to have a feedback score as high as possible, ideally 100% positive.


In this example we see that in the past this eBay user has had 352 transaction (both buying and selling) and of those 100% have been positive.

When buying items though internet forums, it’s a good idea to become a member and interact with the other members before start making purchases. This allows you to get a general “vibe” from the sort of people on the site. Users are usually given a post count (the number of posts they have written on the site) which can usually be found at the top of any posts they make . Post counts can help you determine the genuine sellers from those who are trying to move off gear quickly, trying to make a quick buck or profiteer from selling. Those with a high post count will have usually been around a lot longer than those that have just a few posts to their name. Community based forums are pretty good stamping out dodgy dealers, but you don’t want to be the next victim.

Post counts and locations included on forums can be a good way to get an idea of how “genuine” a member is.

The old saying “if it’s too good to be true, then it usually is” very much applies to the purchasing of second-hand tackle. If you get a gut feeling that something isn’t right, then it’s probably best to look else where. After a while you can get a pretty good idea of whats a good buy and whats a recipe for disaster.


Don’t be afraid to make offers to those that are selling items, if an item has been listed for a while or the seller just wants a quick sale, you might just find yourself with a bargain. Do keep in mind that ridiculously low offers will usually get ignored and are generally frowned upon by sellers. Also if a seller has mentioned that their price is firm and not open to offers, its best not to bother.


Buying items from internet forums is usually a first come first served basis. The person that first contacts the seller usually has first chance at buying the item.

Most transactions are undertaken via pm (private message). There is usually a little button next to their name or profile picture that allows you to send them a pm. Pm’s allow you to deal directly with the seller so you don’t have to post personal information on the open forums.


Use the private message function provided on forums to communicate privately between members.

Once you have decided you want the item, it’s best to send the seller a message of your intention to buy, then if the item is still available for sale you can exchange details.

They will usually send you a message with payment details. Payment type is solely based upon what the seller requests. 90% of forum transactions are via direct deposit. As with all types of internet shopping, payment must be made before any goods are sent off. It is best to make sure you have the funds available to make the payment as soon as possible to make the transaction nice and smooth. Sellers do not want to be waiting on payment from buyers, and may offer the item back up for sale if they have not been paid. As mention in the article about selling, communication is vital.

For buyers, you want to give your name and postage address, so that the seller knows where to send the package too.

Keep in contact with each other, its best to send a message when the payment has been sent and when the goods have been received.

Keep in mind when on internet forums that they are usually offered as a facility for members to buy and sell. The forum admin or operators are not liable for any bad transactions that may occur. Don’t expect them to follow-up for you. However if you have found yourself in a bad situation it is a good idea to let the admin of the forum know about it, so that they can possibly ban the member from selling in the future.


Purchasing items from auctions is different from other forms of purchasing,  in that the final price is not decided until the auction is over.

If you plan on bidding on an item, it is important to first set yourself a limit. Try and avoid getting yourself into a bidding war in the heat of the moment, just so you could beat the other bidder (this does happen). Also be sure to check out the postage costs that the seller is charging and include these into limit before bidding.

There are many different techniques on how to bid in an auction, however the follow are the two that I find most effective.


While this can sometimes be hard for items you really want, bidding on an item just before the very end of the auction can be a successful strategy. You want to wait until the very last 10-15 seconds of the auction and then place your bid. It’s a good idea to keep in mind that placing a bid is not instantaneous and will take a few seconds to process, so don’t leave your run too late. When placing a bid, i find it best to place a bid of an obscure amount, say $50.60 for example. People will  often bid in “round numbers” so if someone has placed a maximum bid of $50.00 and you place a bid for $50.60, you will win the auction. If you had just placed a bid of $50 because they had bid before you, their bid counts first. This is where the second strategy can be beneficial.


The other successful strategy I have found is to be the first bidder on an auction. Being the first bidder and bidding most or all of what you want to spend puts you in the best place to win, as your bid will count first.

In the case of eBay, eBay will automatically bid on your behalf until your maximum bid has been reached. This allows you to only bid as much as you need to and only place your maximum bid should it be needed. Other members have no idea how much your maximum bid is until they place a bid that exceeds it.

Bidding first can often turn other bidders away who are just trying to get a bargain, when they see that they getting outbid they will often pursue other auctions.

The downside of this technique is that it can be open to dishonesty from the seller. While unethical, the seller may get a “friend” to place small incremental bids on the item to drive up the price. There is not much that you can do about this.

Protect yourself

Where possible pay via PayPal, as its generally considered a safer method of payment, and if things do go bad, there is a possibility of seeing your money again.

If buying items of value, it’s a good idea to request registered post or postage insurance, it should only cost a few dollars more but will give you piece of mind should your package go missing. It will also allow you to track your package during the postage process.

If buying a rod, make sure that the seller will package the rod properly. Cardboard tubes are not recommended for posting rods.and you should request a PVC tube to make sure that your item arrives safely and in one piece.


Buying used tackle can be a great way to save money or purchase higher quality gear, than you would normally be able to afford. Following a few simple tips and informing yourself about a purchase will keep you out of trouble and satisfied knowing you got a good deal.

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Published on: March 31, 2013

Filled Under: GUIDE

Views: 2853

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