The right clubs will boost your child’s enjoyment
|SCOTT KRAMER Senior Editor, GOLF MAGAZINE|
|You’ve decided to buy some new clubs. Hopefully, “ClubTest 2003” will help you make the right choice. But what are you doing with the clubs they’re replacing? Instead of stashing them in the garage or basement, you can easily sell them or trade them in toward new clubs. Be shrewd and you may get more for them than you thought.
First, find out the going rate. Frequently updated online price guides can help you find your clubs’ up-to-the-minute value. The GCE BlueBook, available at www.golfclubexchange.com, lists a club’s auction price (market value if you sell or auction them) and trade-in value (typically less than the auction price), depending on its condition, measured by one of four grades: fair, good, very good, and excellent. The difference in price between fair and excellent can be hundreds of dollars for a set of irons.
The Equipment Trade-In Value Guide, available soon on a number of sites, lists club values that will be honored within a network of PGA professionals and retailers. They receive a new, printed version of the guide every month, so their prices may vary from those online.
With this information, you now can make one of three types of deals: trade-in, auction, or sell.
The quickest and most convenient method is to take your clubs to a retailer that will give you immediate credit toward a new set. To receive the best offer, go to the store in your area that handles the highest volume. If you’re not sure which that is, ask a local pro shop. Reputations spread fast.
Two Web sites, www.golfsmith.com and www.webuyusedclubs.com, owned by Dallas Golf, work the same way: Price your clubs online, look for what you want to buy, then call. They will charge your credit card for the purchases, which they’ll ship with instructions and labels for sending your old clubs to them. After the company receives the trade-in, it will credit your charge card.
Dallas Golf accepts any club for trade-in and offers one price, regardless of condition. Golfsmith is selective, evaluating clubs before crediting your charge card within four days. Beware: Your interpretation of your old clubs’ condition could be different from Golfsmith’s, which is clearly explained on the site, and you won’t know the value until the end of the transaction.
If you’re not in a hurry, you’ll probably receive the best offer by auctioning your clubs on a Web site like eBay’s, where you can set a minimum acceptable price. For best results, post a clear, close-up photo of your clubs and list specifics about condition, lie angle, shaft, grip, etc. “Say so if they’ve been hit a few times,” says Drew Marich of eBay. “You’ll wind up getting more.”
There are a couple of downsides. One is the fees. On eBay, you will be charged for placing an ad (based on your listing price), and again after you sell the clubs (based on the sale price). The listing fee is nominal; the closing fee is less than 10 percent of the sale price. Another inconvenience is the logistics: You have to arrange shipping and payment terms directly with the buyer. (Shipping a set of irons runs about $25 for two-day delivery.)
The golf-specific auction company Golfclubexchange.com lists clubs on its Web site for free and charges a service fee, usually more than 10 percent of the sale price. The fee includes shipping and buyer protection — the company acts as a middleman between the buyer and seller.
If you auction or sell your clubs online, you’ll need a box. If you don’t have one, local golf retailers have plenty.
Some services will pay you quick cash, although you won’t get the best price. For example, if you list a popular model at www.golfclubexchange.com, you may see an offer from a company called Clearance Cat to buy your clubs before you post them for bidding. If you accept the price, which is usually less than the market bears, print out a FedEx form (Clearance Cat pays for shipping) and send in your clubs. Clearance Cat will cut a check within six days of receiving them.
In addition to taking trade-ins, www.webuyusedclubs.com buys any club, regardless of condition. Use its online price guide to figure what it will pay you, then contact the company (shipping is included). The service will send you a check within two days of receiving your clubs.
You also can place an ad in your local newspaper and probably get decent money for your clubs. But you only reach the local market and have to renew the ad if the clubs don’t sell.