How to buy cheap climbing gear

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Rock climbers are always looking for a great deal when it comes to buying gears. This is because most climbers are not that well to do. Rock climbing is not exactly golf there isn’t many CEOs or GMs in our ranks. So most rock climbers are cheap.

Where can we find a good deal when it comes to buying climbing gears. Here are 3 options for you to explore.

Option 1 – Online e-commerce websites

Pros

Shopping online is great. You can search for gears of any brands you like without having to leave your home or talk to anyone. Pay online and wait for your orders to arrive at your door. Without the need for physical stores, prices from online stores are hard to beat.

Cons

Like all e-commerce websites, the price you see is not the price you’ll pay. There are issues when it comes to making purchases online. Some of the main problems of shopping online are:

Additional charges or hidden costs

You did your homework found that the price online is a great deal. You click and just before you enter your credit card number you find that amount is different. The additional charges and hidden costs such as handling fees and delivery charges can wipe out the savings you thought you got when making the online purchase.

Horrible exchange rates

Most mega online stores are based overseas. That means you have to factor in the exchange rates especially when the bank skims a bit off the top on the rates. When your credit card bill arrived you’ll find that you had paid more than you expected.

Quality issues

After waiting for days or weeks for your orders. It finally arrived, you open the parcel and you find that the item is damaged. You look at the deliveryman, he looks at you and he’ll tell you his just the deliveryman, you’ll have to take it up with the company. This will result in at less 10 to 20 email exchanges with different customer service personnel and having to explain the issue over and over again.

Unclear return and warranty policies

First of all, where the F is the return and warranty policy? Even if you found it, it’ll take you hours to decode every single word and sentences to understand the hidden meanings behind each clause. So unless you are a lawyer, if not…… enjoy.

Option 2 – Local Retail Shops

Pro

You get to see, feel and touch the products. You get to inspect your items to make sure it’s in excellent condition before paying for it. The best thing about buying from a retail shop is if you have a problem you can go back to the store and there is an actual person to complain to.

Con

Depending on which country you are in. Buying retail can be very expensive.

Option 3 – Buy retail in countries where climbing gears are cheap

Pro

Buy retail at a lower price. The countries where climbing gears are cheaper are France, Italy, Hong Kong, Canada and the US.

Con

You can only do this when you’re travelling to these countries. Alternately you can ask a friend to buy for you if they are travelling.

Be patient and wait for sales

To buy gears at a cheap price you’ll need to be patient. In order to get a good deal, you’ll need to wait for sales or holiday discounts. End of the year is always a good time to buy gears, as there will normally be year-end sales and retailers will also have discounts on last season’s gears. Both online stores and local retailers will have regular discounts and promotions so keep a look out for great deals. By subscribing to a mailing list or follow the company via their Facebook page you can get regular updates on new products along with discounts and promotions.

Online stores to check out

If you prefer buying online these are the websites you’ll need to visit. These websites have some of the largest selection of climbing gears from different brands. Check back on these sites regularly for sales and discounts on selected items.

Banana Fingers
REI
Back Country
Trekkinn 

These are overseas websites please take note for international shipments, your order will be subject to applicable customs, tariffs, duties, and any required taxes.

It is also very important to read customers’ reviews of the online platforms. Always buy from reputable sites. Customer service is important because of the likely event where your order did not arrive or if the order is wrong. Check with your friends if they had used the platform before and if they had encountered any issues.

Buying retail overseas

These are the 2 overseas stores (Hong Kong Chamonix Alpine Equipment / Paris Au Vieux Campeur Paris) where you can buy climbing gears at a much lower price compared to Singapore. For many of us in Asia, Hong Kong is the best option. If you are aware of other overseas stores that sell climbing equipment at cheap prices please share it in the comment section below.

Support local retailers

This article teaches you how to buy climbing gears at a bargain price. Although buying gears overseas or online seems like the best and cheapest option. However, if buying overseas or online gives you less than 20% savings compared to your local retailers, I’ll recommend that you stick with your local retailers. Do remember that your local retail stores are own, run and managed by your fellow climbers. So please support local retailers as often as you can.

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