Do you have valuable head protection hanging around the house just gathering dust? If you’re wondering how and where to sell it, then let me give you the answer.
The best place to sell your helmet is either online via platforms like eBay and Amazon, or by selling locally with a platform like Craigslist.
Some people may balk at the idea of buying a used helmet online, but the truth be told, a helmet is an essential piece of kit whether you’re riding a motorcycle, kayaking, or playing football. If a second-hand helmet is all you can afford, then that’s better than nothing. I would argue that you shouldn’t be riding until you can afford a good helmet, but hey, that’s just my opinion. If you have a helmet in the closet covered in cobwebs, it may be valuable to someone. All you need to do is connect with a person who needs what you have to sell.
On the other hand, from a buyer’s perspective, I do not recommend buying a used helmet online. I will tell you why, later on in this article. However, from a seller’s perspective, there is no reason why you shouldn’t sell your helmet. There are plenty of reasons why a buyer would want a used helmet. As long as you’re open and honest during the selling process, there should be no problems.
Now, I’m going to tell you about a few popular ways to sell your gear.
Before you sell anything online, you need to figure out the best marketplace for your goods. Where are people likely to be looking for what you have to sell? Trying to sell your helmet on a website specializing in blue cheese would be a fruitless and frustrating exercise. In this article, I’ve discussed the primary online marketplaces, and I’ve included some vital information about who buys there and the fees you are likely to pay.
Online storefronts and auction sites
There are a few major online auction sites and sellers, their audience and fees differ quite dramatically. They are called Amazon and eBay. They have much higher fees than most, but their biggest advantage is the vast amounts of traffic they get each day. They are pretty much the largest players in the industry, and if you are trying to sell your item quickly, then this is probably the avenue you should pursue. If you have a little more patience and want to pay less in fees to maximize your profit, then you may want to use the other methods on my list.
Everything and anything you can think of is sold on Amazon. A quick search of their website will show you the thousands of sellers that are selling helmets on their platform already, and the competition is fierce. People are making thousands through various channels on Amazon. However, if you only have one or two items to sell, I wouldn’t recommend selling on Amazon, unless your helmet is an extraordinary collector’s item worth plenty of money. If you’re selling less than 35 items, you will be charged $0.75 commission per item to use their services.
eBay is an online auction, and if you haven’t heard of them by now, then where have you been? Sellers on eBay sell everything from salt shakers to combat boots and almost everything in-between. You will pay eBay and Paypal close to 15% of the item’s final sale price, including shipping costs, which is quite steep when you’re selling one or two things.
It’s relatively straightforward to list an item for sale on eBay. All you will need is a decent photo of the helmet, and you will have to write an accurate and attractive description. Be honest, and don’t try to talk your item up or fail to tell the buyer it’s completely damaged. In the end, they will complain, and your account might be suspended. Depending on your settings and personal choices, you would typically enter the item into a seven-day auction. If it sells, the buyer will transfer the money via PayPal, and you will ship the item. If it fails to sell, it will be relisted continuously until you decide to withdraw it from the auction.
You can pay extra to advertise your item if you wish. You can also set a reserve price that will stop your item from being sold under a specific threshold. Like an in-person auction, there is an additional fee for this —$5 or 7.5% of the reserve price — whichever is greater, with a maximum fee of $250. You will have to pay this fee whether the item sells or not. Again you will need to think carefully and weigh up your options to get the best deal on eBay. It can be great for selling higher-priced items, like bikes or electronics.
Bonanza is pretty similar to the previous two options on my list. It’s an online marketplace where you can buy almost anything. There is a good selection of new and used helmets on the site too. Bonanza fees are based on the sale price of your item, plus any amount of the shipping cost over $10.
Pricing Examples (Taken from Bonanza.com)
- You sell a $2 item. Although $2 x 3.5% = $0.07 you still owe $0.50 as that is the minimum on any item.
- A buyer buys three of your items for a total of $109 after shipping. The total shipping for the offer is $14, of which $10 is deducted. So your FOV is $109-$10 = $99. Your fee is then 3.5% of $99, or $3.47
- You sell one item for $750 with free shipping and did not opt into advertising. You owe 3.5% on the first $500 ($17.50) and 1.5% on the remaining $250 ($3.75) for a total of $21.25
If all of the above seems confusing, too much hard work, or if the rates are far too expensive, don’t worry. There are other ways to sell that thing and get your money.
I recommend selling your stuff locally.
Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace
Websites like Craigslist simply facilitate the sale and try to connect you with the buyer, but you will have to do the leg work yourself. You will have to ensure the money is paid, the item is delivered, or often you will deliver it in person. Selling this way can be a little riskier as there is no guarantee or compensation if the buyer turns out to be a con-artist. Also, many people are uncomfortable meeting and exchanging money with complete strangers. If this is you, then I would recommend a different method.
It can be a pleasant experience though. With Facebook and Craigslist, there is little confusion about the price. You can personally arrange the day, time, and place for the meeting. Thousands of people successfully sell this way every day.
Trade websites and local store owners
Talk to owners of websites and independent businesses in your area. There are thousands of local businesses selling motorcycling, skiing, kayaking, or football equipment. Most of them will be engaged in selling second-hand items. They usually list it on their website or display it in their stores. If you speak to the owner, they may list your item for sale for a small commission. Or better still, they may even accept it as a discount on a new piece of kit. You never know the owner’s policy, all you need to do is ask.
Things to consider before you sell your helmet
I will repeat that I do not recommend that you buy a used helmet for personal use on the road or any activity where you need proper head protection.
The reason being, it’s just impossible to know if the helmet is in good condition. Even a clean, shiny helmet that is seemingly straight out of the box might be out of date and completely useless.
Buyers have all kinds of motivations for needing used helmets. Here are a few examples
- Costume parties
- Display purposes like museums, restaurants, and cafes
- Impact and other scientific experiments
- Paintballing enthusiast.
If you are thinking about listing a helmet right now, and hopefully you’ve read this far because you are, I would include the following information in my advert.
- Be honest and give an accurate historical account
- Detail when and where you bought it
- Tell them where you have kept it
- Has it been involved in an accident?
- Is it heavily used?
- Provide them with pictures of scratches and blemishes.
- Have you ever dropped it?
- Detail the expiry date
I would also state directly in the advert that you would not recommend this helmet for use on the road.
If the idea of making money selling your old gear online sounds good to you then check out this article about how much some of the higher end helmets are worth.
If this is your first visit to my blog, welcome and I hope you have enjoyed it. I discuss all aspects of owning or buying new helmets. From crash helmets to the humble hard hat, this blog has the answers. I talk about the best brands, safety ratings, value, and maintenance. Please, choose another article if you would like to know more.
My name is Matt, and I am a helmet sports enthusiast. I love climbing, motorcycling, kayaking, amongst other things. But no matter what sport you love, please stay safe.