Rollerskates: where and how to dig up good deals
Questing for the Grail
The diversity of practices in skating is huge: after street skating, you have a go at speed-skating, and then you fork to slalom-skating or roller-derby for girls. However, sometimes you need more than only one pair of skates to satisfy your skating bulimia. And the bill can be quite high...
When you own a pair of skates for each discipline that you practice, you also need a good bunch of spare parts in advance. Should some of your skates be old, bargain hunting for rare spare parts can prove to be no picnic.
Clubs: a privileged place for exchanging and selling
Clubs are excellent places for skate reconversion. They change feet and owners easily, and prices are generally unbeatable. During lessons, you can talk about equipments with your friends, exchange on the grip of such and such wheel, or on its rolling, debate on the rigidity of such and such frame, or even compare models in lending your skates to one another.
At the end of conclusive tests, it’s in everyone’s interest: One may buy a stronger model for free-skating, the other change for a more technical slalom skate, it is a “done deal” and it’s a win-win situation.
Slashed prices on new skates in big stores
Hard discount and specialized big stores can be mines of spare parts, but you rarely find good quality skates ready to use. Still you can dig out bearings, wheels of standard diameter (of mediocre quality most of the time), frames adjustable to boots waiting on your shelves at home… This can constitute your first aid kit, a small set of re-usable parts for ordinary uses.
Warning: Because of their poor quality, the skates you can find in these big stores are most of the time unsuitable for immediate use. On the other hand, you can sometimes come across a few branded skates from old stocks. For example in 2009 when Rossignol stopped, you could find half-price skates at “NOZ et Compagnie” because the brand had cleared its stock.
In your specialized store for sure…
Your specialized stores regularly make discounts on models of the previous years. Most of the time with big brands, there are new collections each year for winter and spring… So that old models get a discount from 10 to 50% while they are technically very similar to the new ones! Very often it’s only the color changing, or tiny finishing details.
Jump at the chance to renew your pairs of skates at low cost. Last but not least, on very old models, discounts can be above 50%. Even if the pair is not your size, it can still be worth being purchased for its frames, wheels, bearings or any other useful spare part to set up your dreamt skate. And you can fill your spare parts stock!
In spring and fall, flea markets can be good opportunities to seize first-choice skates. Remember the figures on people having a go at skating and then dropping the idea… How many of them buy skates, try them four times in their street and then give up? The skates end up hung to a nail in a garage or on a stand in a flea market…
What a tragic ending for the skates but proportionally what a delight for the sharp-eyed buyer! Let’s not worry about the size and color but let’s evaluate the potential for resale of the spare parts: axles, brakes, brand-new safety buckles that could replace the worn out ones on your favorite pair…
Tips: Look carefully at the stands, negotiate with the seller and do not regret the few euros that are going to be most helpful in a near future. Maybe behind the French fry truck you’ll discover the mythical pair of Rollerblade Lightnings coming right from the 90’s with its Mogema frame, the 250mm K2 Mod 10 frame that is impossible to get hold of anymore, or any other piece that only your expert eye will be able to spot in the middle of all these old things.
If you have the soul of a secondhand goods dealer, have a look at the manufacturing date on the inside of the tongue. You’ll never know, maybe in a couple of years the skate will be quoted on the stock exchange. (laughs)
Stores’ clearance sales and exchange markets
Some specialized super stores like Décathlon organize equipment exchange markets and other clearance sales like the Trocathlon. Principle: A seller leaves his equipment for which a price is suggested. If the store sells it, the seller benefits from a voucher.
Bartering is also quite common: barter your pair of skis or your bike to buy a new skateboard or skates… It’s a good plan but you’d rather show up at the opening and not waste too much time hesitating. The exposed brands are loss leaders most of the time, and rare pieces are immediately taken over.
Search engines on the Internet
Clippings and free ads papers are out of date. Search engines have become formidable prospecting tools. A couple of key-words are enough to lead you to websites where you can find uncommon things sometimes. Do not hesitate to take the chance, you might find what you want!
There are lots of them on the Internet! Some are fee-paying, others are free. Ebay is one of the best known. These websites are full of skates. For fun, try to make a search on the Rollerblade Coyotes, an all-terrain model the production of which stopped in 1997… you still can find a couple to buy here and there!
Exchange and want ad websites
For example sometimes on "leboncoin" or "priceminister", some people sell skates at attractive prices.
During the festive season, exchange websites get out of control. Be careful not to get swindled too easily, or buy obsolete or unusable models. Concentrate your searches on famous and reputable brands.
Ask pictures to the seller if you have any doubt or call him as far as possible. Lower the prices in including the shipping charges… it works pretty well!
Private sales websites
On the Internet, there are also very serious websites which episodically propose pairs of skates at rock-bottom prices: Vente Privée, Private Sport Shop, and lots of others…
For example “VP” recently put up for sale thousands of pairs of Roces skates at unbeatable prices. And they even offered complementary items such as clothes and accessories.
Thus do not hesitate to consult other websites than those of the specialized shops to get your equipment for cheap. Discounts can go up to 40 to 60% on well known branded models.
When a sale starts, you should be very reactive and already aware of the size you want because stocks melt away in no time: after a couple of hours, or even only a couple of minutes, the most interesting items are not available anymore.
Get ready, set, go and make your purchases! And good luck: first-come, first-served!
Buying second-hand skates: traps to avoid
Customize to stop hesitating between aggressive and free-skating
How to choose your skates
Choosing your wrist guards
Choosing your aggressive skates (1/2)
Choosing your aggressive skates (2/2)
Choosing your street skates
Choosing your long distance skates 1/2
Choosing your long distance skates 2/2Choosing your slalom skates
Choosing your free-skating skates
Choosing your skates for sizes over 45
The different protections for skating
Choosing your brakes
Choosing your frames for aggressive skating
Choosing kid skates
Choosing your hockey skates
Choosing your frames for speed skating
Choosing your speed frames (by Yann Guyader)
Choosing your speed skates
Translated by Close Yr E’s