Today’s post is about purchasing golf equipment and how to maximize benefit while reducing cost.

Many people don’t realize that the “price” of something isn’t really the price. In America, we are conditioned to believe that the price marked on an item is the price of the item. If you have the money, you buy it; if you don’t have the money, you don’t buy it. But anyone who has traveled abroad knows the value of a marketplace setting and “haggling” to get a deal.

When I was in Italy, I found a marketplace where a very nice man was selling wallets. I found one I especially liked and internally valued it at about 12 euro. It had “25 euro” marked on it. I told the man I wanted to pay about 10 euro. He came down from 25 to 18. I asked if I paid in cash, would he take more off (credit card fees), and he came down to 16. I said “I really didn’t want to pay more than 12” and he came to 15. He told me how nice it was; how the craftsmanship was excellent; how he couldn’t make money if he sold it for less than 15. Politely, I said “OK. Well, it’s a very nice wallet, but I don’t want to pay more than 12 euro. Thank you so much for your time.” Then I walked away. As I turned the corner, he yelled out to me “OK! OK! I can do 12!”

People don’t really understand where all the numbers come from, though. They think “well, I need to start low so I can work my way up to the price I want to pay.” That isn’t the strategy at all.

Instead, the strategy behind buying and selling is figuring out an independent value for things BEFORE looking at the price tag or negotiating a transaction. This value is something completely subjective–something that only you can define. As in my wallet example, I decided that the wallet was worth about 12 euro to me before I saw that the price was 25. If the marked price was 12–great, I would have simply paid the price. But I wasn’t going to go above what I thought it was worth.

The same thing holds true for buying golf equipment. Value is a completely subjective measure. For one seller, a club needs to bring in at least $150 or it’s just not worth selling, whereas another seller’s main concern is getting the club out of his closet, so he’ll take $100 for the exact same thing.

Now, all of this isn’t to say that you offer the seller whatever price you think it’s worth. Instead, figure out whether the seller’s price is close enough to the price you’re willing to pay so that an offer will seem reasonable to the seller. I once had a seller call me a “dumb uck” (intentionally leaving out the “f” to avoid being thrown off of the website) because I offered him a price that he perceived was too low for a club. Often times, however, a seller will accept a lower price. By following this procedure, I have consistently saved between 20% and 50% on used golf equipment.

So, with that backdrop in mind, I have listed some guidelines for buying equipment (and saving money). Hopefully they will help you with your search for equipment.

(1) Know what you want; know Read the rest of this entry »