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Ebay commercial about buying used scuba diving gear.
Greg - 12/20/2009 10:51 AM
Category: Equipment
Replies: 22

I’m sure many of you have already seen this commercial for Ebay. It’s about an "active hobbiest" that buys used items on Ebay rather than buying new. He say’s "Well, why buy new gear when I can get it used, in great condition, for a lot less money?". That’s a good argument...and it’s a common question that many scuba divers ask themselves all the time. What are your thoughts on the impact this will have on the traditional dive shop? Does you local dive shop support you regardless or where you buy your gear?
UWnewbee - 12/20/2009 3:20 PM
 I Guess the term "We service what we sell" would no longer apply. And the local dive shop probally wouldnt be able to keep their doors open if we all bought from ebay, unless if they were a ebay seller, but I put all my faith in my gear from the dive shop. I have looked at some merchandise on ebay and the question in my head, is this really a bargan? No warranty, being sold from someone that just aquired a lot from a forclosure or seizure which ive noticed those ads on ebay. So you go for the deal, whatever the selling price is, gotta pay shipping, now go to the dive shop Pay to have it serviced, hopefully its not junk! support your dive shop,, be safe buy from them! I actually saw a ebay deal gone bad at a dive shop, Guy walks in with 2 tanks to be filled, vip, hydro, says his friend bought a boat these tanks were on it, there was no DOT numbers on them,, dive shop says cant fill them, not gonna even bother with the vip or hydro! the tank owner wasnt happy but after a long questioning from the dive shop the tank owner gave in, bought em on ebay, after the research the dive shop did it turned out the tanks came from outside the U.S.A., this wasnt in the description of the merchandise, sad in this case a picture wasnt worth a thousand words...... Buyer Beware 
hoofpick - 12/20/2009 5:43 PM

This is an on going question. Most Dive Shops take the if we don’t or haven’t sold it to you we won’t service the equipment with exceptions i.e. I am a certified diver and have move from one city to another and am looking to get set up with a local dive shop. The other question is the one of buying locally versus internet perchases. Local Dive Shops rely on divers buying from them as opposed to buying else where. I have personally seen divers buy off the internet and then find out the equipment is either no good or can’t be serviced locally and then they have to ship, at their cost, to have it repaired, and then pay to have it shipped back to them. All of the arguements aside, my question is, with all the training that we go through to become a certified diver, along with all the specialties and the more advanced certifications why would I buy life support equipment sight unseen, used and completely unfamiliar with its operation? Like I said this is LIFE SUPPORT EQUIPMENT, why take a chance on the unknown. In my opinion SUPPORT YOU LOCAL DIVE SHOP AND LIVE!!
mike2424 - 12/20/2009 7:08 PM
I my self like the the older us divers reg wich you cant find in a dive shop. I have a place that fixes nothing but regulators and they do not sell them . I think its a good idea to support your lds but can you trust them im sure over time and you get to know them its ok. I took one set of regs to a lds to get fixed they told me they were know good i took it to the place i found and they said no problum. EBAY is good if your looking four older or vintage dive gear . I live in south fl where there is 10 ds within 10 miles of me. what do you think of the big dive shopes scubanetwork force e divers direct i dont think of them as a local dive shop. 
Tiara_270 - 12/20/2009 7:12 PM
Yes my local dive shops do testing and service at a premium and they also sale new gear at 3 to 5 times more than what the big name dive shops sale for on the internet. I guess this is why they drive exotic cars and live in million dollar homes. I purchased enough equipment from EBay for three divers for what my local shop wanted just for the one regulator set, and yes it was taken in and tested and serviced before use , the shop had all the parts because it was the exact same unit they were going to give me such a great deal on! One set was from a person who purchased all their equipment and then could not complete their dive certification due to a sudden medical conditions that came up, and yes this individual should have an outlet to sale their equipment and yes the dive shop still gets paid for service, so I fell there is a market for EBay, and yes there are crooks that will try to sale junk and steal your money on EBay.
johng - 12/20/2009 7:16 PM
From hoofpick:

with all the training that we go through to become a certified diver, along with all the specialties and the more advanced certifications why would I buy life support equipment sight unseen, used and completely unfamiliar with its operation?


With all the training why wouldnt one learn how their gear works and service it themself?
sps3006 - 12/20/2009 9:54 PM
Just a few thoughts........

1) all gear is used after it’s first time in the water.
2) most divers take good care of their gear because their life depends on it.
3)many LDS will tell you that used gear bought "online" is substandard because it might have been used by someone who didn’t take care of it.
4) most LDS have specials on their "used rental gear" for divers on a budget.
5) properly trained service techs are trained to repair and bring "used" equipment up to the standard that it is safe as a life saving device.

Seems like a double standard to me for a LDS to refuse to repair an item bought "online" because it used and can’t be depended on but will sell you used rental gear.
I have bought many items online and yes from the "terrible" E-bay..... and I have bought a lot from my LDS.... I have had the same great service from all my equipment...... because I take good care of it and because I have it serviced regularly. Not because of where I buy it. If LDS don’t change their attitudes and their "customer service style" there will only be online stores..... times are changing.... A wise man once said... A tree that doesn’t bend in the storm ...breaks...... ooooo and about that "online air" that all the LDS like to through at you....... I went online and bought a brand new compressor and now fill my own tanks..... and yes I am certified for it. Do all my own tech repair now...... and only because of my LDS’s attitude toward customer service...... I will add...not everyone has a natural skill or aptitude to repair scuba equipment and many have NO BUSSINESS even trying to. If you aren’t certified to repair equipment then DON"T!! You will be risking your life and maybe that of your Divebuddy. This is just what works for me and my situation. Be safe and dive often.
RAWalker - 12/21/2009 2:36 AM

There is no arguement that buying online new or used can save a diver significant amounts of dollars. The real question becomes whether the LDS can survive in this age of online sales.The new business model for the LDS has to be based on equipment service, air fills and training. It seems to me that any shop that turns away a customer looking to have gear serviced is a shop that won’t last long. Equipment sales and diver travel services are at to small a margin today to be considered reliable sources of income that can keep the doors of most LDS open but are a necessity to promote continued training.
divemaiden - 12/21/2009 6:01 AM
I don’t buy from ebay, period. But, if the price is best, I will purchase online from LeisurePro, Joe Diver, etc. That being said, I price the gear online, then go to my lds and discuss it with them. More often than not, they will give me a better deal. If not, they are happy to help me find someone who will service it, if it’s a line they don’t sell and service.
ArchimedesPrinciple - 12/21/2009 12:33 PM


I prefer to spend my money locally whenever possible, thus benefiting the local economy and in this case the LDS.

I would never even consider purchasing the life sustaining equipment of SCUBA from an on-line entity.
oceanfloor - 12/21/2009 12:48 PM
I’m new to this and would rather buy from my dive shop. At this point I would rather still just stick to buying new stuff.... I know what I start off with and take care of it. 
knightddiver - 12/21/2009 12:59 PM

First off, I have used Ebay to buy and to sell a few things to me its no big deal I wanted to try something, found it on Ebay bought it and there you go.

The argument some dive shops make about used gear is that we expect them to service it even though they did not sell it to us, well I don’t know about you but the guy at the repair shop down the road did not sell me my car but he sure has no problem changing my oil, or rotating my tires, or fixing anything I need done.

The point is the internet is here to stay the local dive shops need to adapt a little to stay in business. Oh and that airfill thing well I hate to say it but there will always be someone there to move in on that too, if there were no shops in the area I can just see Wal Mart start doing it, you laugh now but I am sure the small car repair shops thought they were the only game in town until Wal Mart and others started doing service work too.

Instead of cursing everyone that comes in with a online purchase, service the equipment and make your money that way also.
KnifeDoc - 12/21/2009 9:32 PM
If a dive shop is willing to service gear they are certified for and charges the customer for it thay can still make money no matter where it is purchased from. Plus if it is bought on ebay and is a piece of junk they get to laugh while doing it.
carpenterobueno - 12/22/2009 8:39 AM

I agree with Divemaiden. My LDS told me from the get-go that he would compete with any online pricing, plus he’s a pretty cool guy. I personally like the idea of someone working on my stuff that I know and trust. Kind of like the bartender. You want them on YOUR side.
SCUBAU - 12/22/2009 10:34 AM


Being a Dive Shop Owner we do service all equipment no matter where the customer bought their equipment. We also accept equipment mailed to us for repair. The turn around time is between 2-3 weeks from receipt, most of the time less. That is our stores policy but I do not know what other dive shops policies are.

However, we prefer if they buy the equipment at our shop. The advantage of buying it with us is that we will put all their equipment together for them and make sure if they need a fine tune that will be done at no charge. We want the customer to be happy with their purchase because when they are a happy customer they will let their friends know.

What we do not like is someone spending 3 hours of our time going over all the equipment they want to buy online because they can save themselves $20 and then coming into the store and asking us to put the equipment together for them for free because they bought a scuba tank from us. We will gladly put that equipment together for a fee not for free and I can tell you that they will pay more than $20 for that service.

Everybody needs to remember that manufacturers set up minimum advertised pricing for online sales. Every legitimate dealer knows what pricing they need to adhere to and they do. If a dealer is selling something for less then this price, the buyer does not have a manufacturers warranty.

Also, if you are willing to buy used equipment then dive shops also have it for sale. Just ask!

Remember, every dive shop can provide you with an invaluable amount of knowledge about the equipment you will buy that you may not receive online. Also, we at our store always stand behind the products we sell. Our always strive to make our customers the HAPPIEST that they can be.

If anyone would like to contact me send me an e-mail at scubau [ at ]

toodive4 - 12/22/2009 7:36 PM

As America’s leading Dive Shop Consumer Advocate, Off the Wall Scuba encourages intelligent Used Gear Purchases... we’ll not only service your used equipment, we’ll actually loo at potential Ebay purchases for you and help you decide if the item and seller are safe bets.

We recognize the economy is tough... and any opportunity you have to save money is a blessing. It’s why we sell at the guaranteed lowest prices on earth for new gear... and we help our customers out with used stuff.

There is some used gear on the market that is just plain junk and should be destroyed... just like anything else out there... there is good and bad. It’s why we try our best to steer everyone in the best direction. It is life support equipment. There is also a lot of used gear on Ebay for which parts are no longer available... and the average consumer doesn’t know this.... so that $50 Regulator is great... bt if it arrives not working and parts can not be obtained, it’s the same as throwing $50 in the trash... and you’re back where you started.

If you need help, give us a call... we’ll be glad to assist you - whether you buy from us or not... (443)-772-0595

jimran - 12/22/2009 10:41 PM
Well said
Greg - 12/23/2009 5:06 PM
What is my New Years resolution? That all businesses in the scuba world act like the ones we have on :) Support all types of customers, regardless of where their gear was bought. Provide a friendly smile and helpful hand all the time (we are in a service oriented business). And recognize that scuba divers tend to be more on the intelligent side and will want to get the best deal for their money. I think everyone can agree that it’s only fair to pay for good/friendly service, honest/accurate answers, and high quality gear.
Fritz - 12/23/2009 5:47 PM
I have purchased online and at the LDS. The fact is that divers want the best price they can get on any item. There are some divers that will buy from a LDS with no concern for price, but I am not that diver.
I did purchase a used set of high end regs for less than 50% of retail even after having them overhauled. The advantage that the internet has provided me with is price comparison. I have also found that the LDS will sometimes match prices.
The most costly attempt at a purchase was when I received a pair of dive gloves that were labeled to be my size but would not fit. I returned them and paid for shipping. The pair they sent to replace them were labeled the same but had a completely different problem. I returned them and got my money back. I was out 3 shipping charges. I purchased a pair of gloves at a LDS that I could try on, they were twice the price but they fit.
So, if you buy used stuff online, be sure to pay a price that will accomodate any repairs. Purchasing new stuff online can be iffy as well, if you buy from someone that is just getting rid of stuff they picked up in a salvage sale, youmay ahve problems getting warranty repairs or exchanges.
I have purchased new equipment from internet scuba stores and had no problem.
The biggest problem with scuba equipment is the high cost. Everything cost more because of liability issues. Ahh, the age of litigation.
Pixel - 12/24/2009 1:06 AM
I just wouldn’t be able to trust second hand gear bought off ebay....I mean how are you able to first check it out before buying it?

In SA we have a site called "gumtree" it’s similar to the "craigslist" (not sure if that’s right) that’s overseas. I know of a few people who have bought gear from there (gumtree), but only if they can first inspect it and take it to a shop for any other needed inspections.

Though for myself, there are some things I just wouldn’t buy second hand. (bcd/reg)
bubblejack - 1/08/2010 4:26 PM
Bought a used regulator a few years ago on EBAY had it checked out at my dive shop. Seals were shot and the hoses cracked. Managed to return it after arguing multiple times with seller finally got kmy money back 1 month later and ended up paying shipping both ways San Diego/Montreal,Montreal/San Diego.100.00$ short.Purchased a new Sherwood Maximus and love it.
greysquirrel - 1/25/2010 10:05 PM

there are a lot of things that need to be considered when buying used gear. Your local dive shop may not be able to take care of the equipment that you buy from the inernet. Some warranties can’t be honored unless equipment is purchased from an authorized dealer which may not be the case when purchasing from the internet. these are the things that e-bay and other such sites don’t tell you. there may be some people who will get equipment from e-bay and other sites but the first time that they miss a dive trip because they had to send their gear away to have it worked on because the local dive shop can’t work on the gear they will return to the local shop.