HI i have a lot of scuba diving gear , reluctantly i took as payment for a debt owed to me and now i wish to sell it. I don’t know much about the stuff other than there is both dry and wet suits regulators 2 tanks all the belts fins ect ect there is alot of stuff can anyone tell me where i could take it to sell it i live in east grinstead in west sussex
I hesitate to ask how much the debt was, because you may find that the gear doesn’t cover it. Secondhand scuba gear, even in prime working order, probably won’t sell for more than about half to 3/4 of its new value. At a rough guess, you have about 2-3 grand’s worth of gear there (which would have cost 3-4 grand new).
So the first thing you need to do is to make a complete list of what you have — item (drysuit, BCD, etc.), brand (Mares, Scubapro, Cressi, etc.), model, size (S/M/L/XL), and age/usage/no. of dives. If you don’t know enough to do this yourself, get a scuba-diving friend who you trust to look over the gear and do it for you (or ask the person who gave it to you).
Once you’ve done that, find out how much it sold for new, so you can figure out how much you could hope to get for it. DIVER magazine runs regular gear reviews (including RRP), and may well have covered some/all of these items — all articles are archived at http://www.divernet.com and free to non-subscribers after 1 year. Or, as someone above said, ask at your local dive shop(s).
Once you’ve got all that information, then eBay or Craigslist are good options. I would suggest you advertise each item separately, rather than running a ‘job-lot’ auction, including 3-4 detailed photos per item (I know this costs more, but potential buyers will appreciate it, especially for the BCDs and suits). If you want to run a ‘no returns/refunds’ auction, then I would suggest you specify ‘local buyers only’, since any sensible divers would want to inspect the gear before paying for/accepting it. Also, scuba gear is heavy/bulky, so postage would be pretty expensive.
Next best would be to advertise in the classified sections of the UK diving magazines. DIVER magazine is the oldest/biggest/best dive mag in the UK (URL above), but you might also try the former BSAC official magazine ‘DiVE’ (http://www.divemagazine.co.uk/ ), or the PADI Diving Society magazine ‘Sport Diver’ (http://www.sportdiver.co.uk/ ).
Otherwise try getting in touch with the local dive clubs — there are dozens if not hundreds of BSAC branches in West Sussex and the surrounding counties, including London (http://www.bsac.com/page.asp?section=2164§ionTitle=Branch+Lists ). (There are probably also a few PADI Diving Society chapters, but a quick Google search didn’t turn up a website which lists them). The local dive shops may also have noticeboards where you can advertise the gear.
Speaking personally, I wouldn’t buy any secondhand scuba gear from someone I didn’t know well, unless they could provide details of the item’s service history. That means itemised receipts for purchase and/or servicing (ideally dated within the last year). If you don’t have this, you might need to get the gear serviced yourself (add the service costs to the asking price).
Similarly, I would never buy a secondhand tank with a non-valid hydrostatic test date. Dive shops won’t fill them, because of the risk of explosion — so buying an out-of-date tank, which then fails its (expensive) hydro-test, is a total waste of money. (When I learned to dive in the UK in 1996, scuba tanks needed hydro-testing at least every 5 years, although this may have changed since — again, ask your local dive shop).
Finally, be wary about who you sell to. If you advertise through an online auction site, anyone can make an offer for the gear, but if you sell to a non-certified diver, who then goes and has an accident using it, you might find yourself in legal hot water. It might be sensible to ask any potential buyer to provide proof that they are a qualified diver, e.g. scans of both their C-card (which should include a photo) and valid photo-ID (e.g. a passport or driver’s licence, with the ID no. blanked out).
Good luck. Feel free to email me through Y!A if you have any specific questions.