Whether you’re just taking up scuba diving for the first time or you’re an experienced diver who needs to invest in some new gear, the cost of scuba diving accessories can be very off-putting.
Unfortunately, high-quality scuba diving equipment can be very costly when bought new. However, it’s still important to purchase good quality items for your safety while under the water. With this in mind, it’s no wonder that so many divers ask where they can find more affordable scuba diving accessories. So, here, we take a look at some of your options.
What About Renting?
The first option that you could consider is renting your equipment. In many cases, you’ll probably find that it’s an affordable option. Especially if you don’t have the opportunity to go diving very often. However, it’s also important to be aware that rental accessories aren’t the highest specification, and also, there’s an issue with personal hygiene.
While most diving centers take a lot of care when cleaning the equipment, it can still be worrying, particularly in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, to think that others have been using the same items that you’re now breathing through. You can only really know that your equipment is clean and safe if you own it, but acquiring an entire kit at once is extremely expensive.
Therefore, if you’re going to invest, you’ll probably need to buy just a few items at any one time, and you’ll still need to do plenty of research about where to buy them to get the best value for money.
Should I Buy Scuba Gear Brand New?
Of course, it’s always best if you can buy your scuba accessories brand-new as you’ll be getting kit that uses the latest technology and that comes with a guarantee. Also, if it doesn’t fit you correctly, you can easily return it. Furthermore, the service intervals could be further away, so you won’t have to rush to find a servicing center or pay a large fee.
On the downside, though, brand new equipment will cost a lot of money. Still, there are some items that you should absolutely purchase from new. Dive watches, for example, should probably be purchased brand new to make sure that they’re in full working order and meets the appropriate waterproofing standards.
Is It Safe To Buy Second-Hand Scuba Diving Accessories?
Although you may not like the idea of buying your scuba accessories second-hand, it’s an excellent way to get your hands on the kit you need at a price you can afford. Often local scuba diving centers will have ex-rental gear to sell, or you may be able to find items online in marketplaces like eBay.
While you’ll save money by buying used items, you’ll have fewer return options, and you may have limited guarantees. Even items under a year old don’t come with transferable guarantees. Also, if you’re buying BCDs or regulators second-hand, servicing them is absolutely essential for your safety.
Second-hand cylinders must be “in test” and have enough time remaining to the next test to make financial sense. While purchasing some second-hand scuba items may be false economy, second-hand accessories like fins, wetsuits, masks, hoods, and gloves are usually excellent value.
Where To Shop?
You can buy scuba diving accessories in either a physical retail store or online. If you choose to purchase items online, whether used or brand-new, it’s essential to ensure that you’re buying from a reliable and trustworthy company. You don’t want to get swindled, and dive gear can undoubtedly be very expensive.
It would be a lot of money to lose to an unreputable seller. If you go to a physical store, you’ll be able to see and handle the equipment, but you’ll probably be charged a higher price. You may also have less choice of equipment.
Tips For Purchasing Scuba Diving Accessories
If you’re buying scuba diving accessories online, you won’t be able to inspect the equipment physically until you receive them in the mail. That means you could benefit from some top tips to ensure you’ve maximized your chances of making a good purchase without risking your hard-earned money on something of poor value or even dangerous.
- Always use PayPal or a credit card when making your purchase, so you’ll be protected if you never receive your item or if the item is faulty, damaged, or not as described.
- If you’re buying an item second-hand, find out why it’s being sold and whether the seller is a diver.
- Check out the ratings and reviews of the seller if you’re using a marketplace site like eBay or Amazon to ensure that other purchasers are happy with what they’ve bought and that the seller has already made some successful sales where buyers have had positive experiences.
- If you’re buying regulators second-hand, ensure that you figure in the cost of servicing on top of the purchase price to ensure you are getting a good deal.
- If you’re buying a BCD, check the Velcro on the photos. This will give you an idea of how often it’s been used.
If you follow these tips, you’ll have less chance of buying dud scuba diving accessories.
That said, it’s essential to remember that scuba diving equipment is vital for your safety and well-being under the water. It’s imperative that you never use any equipment you have concerns about and feel confident that the items you’ve purchased are suitable and safe for use.
If you have any concerns about purchasing a second-hand item, don’t buy it. Instead, look around for the lowest price from a reputable retailer. Don’t take a chance on equipment you don’t trust.
You can read more of our diving articles here.
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Emma brings over a decade of freelance copy and content writing experience and is our Editor, Social Media Manager, and regular contributor. Specializing in long-form content such as blogs, articles, lead magnets, and white papers, Emma also provides businesses with email marketing, website copy, and landing pages.