The Art Of The Trade In

Spring is when golfers trade in their old clubs for the latest and greatest. We are starting to get a bunch of used clubs in at work so I thought it would be a good time to talk about trade in’s…

ImageHow Does A Retailer Determine Trade In Value?

It has nothing to do with what you paid for the club… we know what you paid… you probably bought it from us. Retailers often look at their last cost… that is, the last cost of the club when it was new… to determine trade in value. Everything has a life cycle… it is introduced, it peaks in price, it is discontinued and then it is blown out. Let’s look at an example using a fictional club and fictional costs…

TaylorMade releases R1000 driver… retails at $500.00 and costs $400.00
TaylorMade drops price to increase sales… new price $450.00 and new cost $350.00
TaylorMade announces R2000 and cuts price of R1000… $350.00 retail and $250.00 cost
TaylorMade blows out remaining R1000’s… new price $200.00 and new cost $100.00

Two months later Joe Blow walks into XYZ Golf Shop and wants to trade in his R1000 for the new R2000. He paid $500.00 for the R1000 and hopes to get at least $250.00 on trade. XYZ employee offers him $50.00 and Joe Blow storms out of the shop. If you look at the model above… $50.00 is fair trade in value for the club. XYZ would probably sell the club for $100.00. Why would they pay more than $50.00 for a club that only cost $100.00 new two months ago? Welcome to the wonderful world of trade in’s. Companies (not just TaylorMade and I’m not picking on them) are so quick to change clubs that it totally ruins trade in values. It used to be that companies kept the same line for a few years and it was not unusual for someone to get at least half of their original buying price back. Not now. Retailers also know what is coming out or what might be discontinued… that can also seriously alter a trade in value.

Trade in value also depends on customer demand. Remember supply and demand in school? An example… our shop has a lot of calls for Cobra SZ series woods. If we see one on trade, we don’t mind paying a bit more for it because we know that we can sell it for a good price. 

How Can You Increase A Trade In Value?

There are a few little things that you can do to increase the value of your trade in. The most obvious is keeping the club in good condition. Sky marks (marks on the crown of the club) are killers… we wonder what else you might have done to the club. After market shafts can be good and bad… good because they can increase value but bad because they might really limit who would buy the club. If I see a really high end, really stiff shaft in a trade in, I automatically think about how very few of my customers would be able to hit it and down goes the value. Pull your aftermarket shaft and put the stock one back in! Having the headcover is nice… it’s a selling feature because some people are picky when they are trying to match up their sets. Clean the club before you come in… it helps us to see and marks on the club. Don’t worry too much about putting on a new grip before you come in… we can do that and grips are cheap anyways. Take the club to a shop that sells the product… take a Ping driver to a Ping dealer. They will have the most up to date costs and may even have a buyer for it aleady. They also can service the club if it breaks sometime down the road. We don’t take clubs in on trade if we don’t actually deal with the company… we’re screwed if you break it and the repair charges come out of our pocket! 

Are Trade In’s Worth It?

Yes and no. Your best bet is to bring the club into a shop and get an idea of what it might be worth. Don’t be offended if the trade in value is low… we’re not trying to rip you off but we run a business and we have to make a bit of money. Don’t expect to get amazing money for a club unless it is something really special. You might want to consider posting an ad at your local club… many courses have notice boards for that kind of thing. You can try Ebay too… I know some people that do really well on there.

Something To Think About

Think about what you are trading in for. There are lots of items in a shop that we can move on. In general… people that trade a club towards high margin items like bags, shoes, clothing and accessories get the best deal. We might not give you as much as you had hoped for the trade in but we will give you a good deal on whatever you buy!

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