Annual sales on ropes / trad gear


Original Post
Ziv Israel · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 0

Hi everyone,

I'm a beginner outdoors / hopeful multi-pitch trad climber, and I was looking into buying a trad rack. Seems that there's no real reason to go on it piece by piece, so I'm wondering - when is the best time to buy gear? With labor day sales coming up, do REI/other websites offer significant discounts usually? Or should I just bear the cost and go at it? (NYC local btw)

Many thanks,

Ziv

Eric L · · Roseville, CA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 105

I just purchased my rack this year.  Here's what I found... Never buy anything less than 20% discount - that comes up around most US holidays on most everything, somewhere.  Occasionally you will find a 25% off somewhere online.  You can also watch "active junky" for more discounts or cash back deals.  You do not need C4 sizes 5 and 6 (yet) so don't order the FULL rack, better to double up on #1-3 and buy a #4 if you really think you need it (which you may not at first).  Read the plethora of articles on "beginner trad rack" to figure out what you need first, knowing where you will climb.  Get a mentor to keep you from buying S--- you don't need.  Have fun.

djh860 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 110

buy it used one piece at a time here or on ebay.  Insist on good pictures of the cam lobes and only buy excellent gear at excellent prices.  It will take all winter but it will be a good deal.

David Tennant · · Denver, CO · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 2,043

You can also follow this thread for awesome deals that people find:

https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/110053037/great-online-deals-thread?page=41#ForumMessage-113440166

There's always sales on cams and other gear that people post as they find them. You could also go through and see what time of the year specific things went on sale. I definitely agree that there's no reason to pay more than 20% off retail. I also recommend getting an "Active Junky" account as you'll get money back when you start at their site and then go to backcountry or rei or wherever first. I thought it was strange to get extra money off just for starting there but it really works.

Speaking of which, two posts ago in that thread was 20% off a single item on backcountry (have c4 packages that count):

https://www.backcountry.com/rc/take-20-off-one-full-priced-cimb-item?p=category%3A3.bcs.Climb.Rock%5C+Climb.Protection

Andrew Krajnik · · Plainfield, IL · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 253

I'll second EricL's advice above. Assuming you want to buy new, and don't need it immediately, wait for at least 20% off. There are periodic sales all the time (memorial day, Labor Day, Independence Day, plus various annual sales, beginning-of-season sales, end-of-season sales, etc.) that any given item can usually be found on sale multiple times a year, spread across several stores.

I've personally ordered gear from REI, backcountry.com, backcountrygear.com, campsaver.com, mountaingear.com, gearexpress.com, patagonia, and sierratradingpost.com. All were good experiences, and they all tend to run sales at different times, on different brands, so if you're patient, you rarely (if ever) have to pay full price. Pay attention to the pro shop at your gym, as well. My gym gives a 15% discount to members off regularly-priced gear, or an extra 5% (for members) on sale-priced gear.

fuck you · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

i really like this dude's climbing blog....he takes a lot of time to aggregate weekly deals:

http://mojagear.com/weeks-best-rock-climbing-gear-deals-offers/?mc_cid=a60eeac88b&mc_eid=1276eff6bf

Andrew Krajnik · · Plainfield, IL · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 253
faye marshall wrote:

i really like this dude's climbing blog....he takes a lot of time to aggregate weekly deals:

http://mojagear.com/weeks-best-rock-climbing-gear-deals-offers/?mc_cid=a60eeac88b&mc_eid=1276eff6bf

That's awesome. Thanks for the link!

AndrewArroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

This might seem obvious and depends a lot on where you live, but also look into what online retailers charge sales tax for your state and which don't. My locale has close to 10% sales tax. So getting something for 20% off at an online retailer with no sales tax is really more like a 30% savings. 

Noah Yetter · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 105

The major brands all do 20% and 25% sales at different (not necessarily consistent) times of year.  Basically, paying full price is for emergencies only.  If you see 20% off that's good.  If you see 25% off that's better.  If you see better than that, either on clearance or via some kind of discount stacking, it's a great deal and you should jump on it.


One of the few predictable-ish stacking deals is when Steep & Cheap sends out a coupon code for $20 off $100, $40 off $200 (most common), or $60 off $300.  There doesn't seem to be much pattern to when they send these out, but when they do you can get some serious savings.


EMS seems to have the best rewards program. I feel like they're just sending me free money.


No matter what else you do, use Active Junky.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190
EricL wrote:

I just purchased my rack this year.  Here's what I found... Never buy anything less than 20% discount - that comes up around most US holidays on most everything, somewhere.  Occasionally you will find a 25% off somewhere online.  You can also watch "active junky" for more discounts or cash back deals.  You do not need C4 sizes 5 and 6 (yet) so don't order the FULL rack, better to double up on #1-3 and buy a #4 if you really think you need it (which you may not at first).  Read the plethora of articles on "beginner trad rack" to figure out what you need first, knowing where you will climb.  Get a mentor to keep you from buying S--- you don't need.  Have fun.

I actually think #4s are undervalued and should be part of a "standard rack."  Maybe not the first thing you buy (or even the 5th), but I'd get one before going crazy in finger sizes or doubles to be perfectly honest.

Eric L · · Roseville, CA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 105
Ted Pinson wrote:

I actually think #4s are undervalued and should be part of a "standard rack."  Maybe not the first thing you buy (or even the 5th), but I'd get one before going crazy in finger sizes or doubles to be perfectly honest.

Completely agree!  I purchased a full rack up through #6 at a screaming deal and then found the 5 and 6 useless (and expensive) for me at my level.  I sold the 5 and 6 (here in the forums) and went back and bought 1-3 losing about $20 in the process (count myself lucky).  I kept the #4 as I expect it to be more reasonable useful (at my level).

Jason Eberhard · · Atlanta, GA · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 48

I've been hunting and slowing putting my trad rack together over the past year.  From my experience you're better off buying gear new on sale than trying to get it used unless you're going to buy someones entire rack and they cut you a good enough deal.  25% off and free shipping from backcountry will put you very close to what you'll pay for high condition used gear.  Some of the areas you can really save used are biners, ALPINE DRAWS, and accessory type stuff.  The people I've bought from here have been easy to deal with and shipped quick FWIW.  Get on backcountrys email list, or message one of their gear-heads about sales and you might find some insight to when you can catch those deals.

AndrewArroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

Here's another tip. Cruise ebay looking for whole lots of gear. Sometimes people are dumping weird assortments of gear and are too lazy to break it up into 5 different auctions that make sense. And people tend not to bid on the big lots because they don't need all that stuff. They're just looking for a single cam or something.  I bought a couple big lots and ended up with a great overall price for the underlying cams that I really wanted. And now I have enough stoppers, hexes, and weird odds and ends to fiddle with for years. 

Garrett Collier · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 25
Jason Eberhard wrote:

... From my experience you're better off buying gear new on sale than trying to get it used unless you're going to buy someones entire rack and they cut you a good enough deal.  25% off and free shipping from backcountry will put you very close to what you'll pay for high condition used gear.  ...

While I certainly agree with most of what has been said here, and really appreciate the links that people have put up, I'll suggest buying a used rack from someone here (or ebay or whatever). There is a ton of perfectly good gear out there sitting around in closets.  Plenty of people who got excited about trad climbing, went out and bought a full rack, only to realize that it wasn't for them. 

Buying used helps out other climbers instead of a big company, reduces waste, and builds community. I've met good people and picked up partners buying from within this network. Think of it like adopting a pup versus buying a pure-bred.  Give that gear a good home.

Cheers,

Gunks Jesse · · Shawangunk Township, NY · Joined May 2014 · Points: 233

If your an NYC local you probably climb in the gunks.  Rock and Snow in New Paltz usually runs sales on everything in-store over holiday weekends.  Should be an upcoming sale within a month.  They also price match online retailers.  They have full lines of every cam and on top of the sales when you buy I think it's 5 cams or more you get another  10% off.  You can pick the stuff up, play with it, and support a local shop that does a TON to support the Gunks climbing community.  In a way, purchasing from them, even when it's on sale or price matched, is a way to say thanks for everything the owners have done over the past decades to push climbing in the Gunks.

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,530
Gunks Jesse wrote:

If your an NYC local you probably climb in the gunks.  Rock and Snow in New Paltz usually runs sales on everything in-store over holiday weekends.  Should be an upcoming sale within a month.  They also price match online retailers.  They have full lines of every cam and on top of the sales when you buy I think it's 5 cams or more you get another  10% off.  You can pick the stuff up, play with it, and support a local shop that does a TON to support the Gunks climbing community.  In a way, purchasing from them, even when it's on sale or price matched, is a way to say thanks for everything the owners have done over the past decades to push climbing in the Gunks.

This. 

Alot of people like trolling the internet for sales and 'never paying full price' for equipment that they will use and love for years. The thing is, this approach costs people, most likely your fellow climbers, their jobs. Brick and mortar retail shops, especially small businesses owned by climbers are taking a beating because of internet sales and locals refusing to support their local shops. 

Please consider supporting your local retailers, even if it costs a little more. If you're buying a full rack, rope, etc, they'll cut you a deal, and you'll be helping to make sure they're around for a long time. 

Eric L · · Roseville, CA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 105

Do check with your local shops first and support them, especially if they price match.  That said and/or lacking any local shops, Backcountry.com posted a "refresh your rack" sale today; most stuff is 20 or 25% off. 

Idaho Ian · · Pocatello, ID · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 5

25% of Black Diamond Camalot sets right now on Backcountry.com.  Also some pretty good Black Diamond rope deals  too 

StellaBea · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 30

Wilderness Exchange offers up to 20% off BD Cosmetic 2nds & free shipping over $100. That could be a decent way to build your rack, if you decided to buy new.

http://www.wildernessx.com/camalot-c4-2nds.html

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190
Jason Eberhard wrote:

 Some of the areas you can really save used are biners, ALPINE DRAWS, and accessory type stuff.  The people I've bought from here have been easy to deal with and shipped quick FWIW.  

Those are actually the areas that I would recommend against buying used.  Dyneema slings have a limited shelf life, even if they are literally sitting on a shelf, and they take a lot of abuse from regular use.  Carabiners might be ok, but make sure you inspect them for burrs or grooves.

Idaho Ian · · Pocatello, ID · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 5
StellaBea wrote:

Wilderness Exchange offers up to 20% off BD Cosmetic 2nds & free shipping over $100. That could be a decent way to build your rack, if you decided to buy new.

http://www.wildernessx.com/camalot-c4-2nds.html

+1   These are great

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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