The Art of Negotiating Prices for Used Fly Fishing Gear Online | Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

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As a fly fishing enthusiast, you know that quality gear can enhance your experience on the water. But buying brand-new equipment can be expensive. Fear not! The world of used fly fishing gear offers hidden treasures at more affordable prices just about everywhere. Whether you’re eyeing a pre-owned rod, reel, or other accessories, here are specific tactics to help you negotiate like a pro in the online marketplace.

Do Your Research

Before diving into negotiations, arm yourself with knowledge:

  • Market Prices: Research the going rate for the specific gear you’re interested in. Check out comparable items on resale platforms like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or Poshmark. Knowing the market value gives you leverage. Remember that these are asking pricing not sold prices. People can ask what they want but what do they sell for? Then look at retail prices with discounts. Understand where you are outmatched and or when a warranty and professional guidance are worth it. 

Fly Fishing Tip: Start with a clear understanding of fair pricing.

Be Friendly, But Firm

  • Friendly Approach: Maintain good manners and positive communication. Sellers appreciate pleasant interactions.

  • Firm Stance: Set your terms and stick to them. If the deal doesn’t align with your budget, be prepared to walk away.

Fly Fishing Tip: Politeness doesn’t mean compromise. Be assertive about your price range.

Use the Good Guy/Bad Guy Approach

  • Good Guy/Bad Guy: Sellers often play this tactic. One person seems accommodating, while the other plays hardball.

  • Flip the Script: Ask to have a phone call or video call during negotiation. This disrupts their strategy and levels the playing field.

Fly Fishing Tip: Witness their conversation and maintain control over the negotiation.

  1. Know When to Walk Away
  • Set Limits: Determine your maximum acceptable price before negotiations begin.
  • Strategic Exit: If you can’t reach an agreement, don’t hesitate to walk away. It establishes your authority and may lead to a better offer.

Fly Fishing Tip: Walking away is a powerful tool. Use it wisely.

Avoid Price Ranges

  • Seller’s Trick: Some sellers provide a price range. Beware—the final negotiated price often leans toward the high end.
  • Request Specifics: Politely ask for a precise figure. Avoid vague ranges.

Fly Fishing Tip: Pin them down to a specific number.

Leverage Virtual Tools

  • Simulate In-Person Tactics: Use virtual tools to replicate hallway conversations or backchannels. These mimic face-to-face negotiations.
  • Tech Preparedness: Avoid tech glitches. Familiarize yourself with the platform to prevent awkward interruptions.

Fly Fishing Tip: Master the art of virtual negotiation.

Negotiate on the Details

  • Problem Areas: Know all the problem areas of the product. Point out the potential concerns. Building an understanding of the potential risks for you or other buyers in the seller's mind can help you negotiate a better deal.
  • Comparison: Comparing to what you’ve seen on the market is often a great approach. Be gentle but let them understand that they are not number one and have issues. Also, it is most likely that they did not perform the research much more than a few quick searches to build discouragement in their assessment. 

Fly Fishing Tip: Know all the details and write a list. Think of now and potential problems or concerns.

The Bundle

  • Bundle: When sellers are selling multiple items you can often bundle in deals by combining products or asking them to throw something else in. This can be extremely effective at live events.

Fly Fishing Tip: A quick look at a seller's item list can bring a welcomed deal into consideration. Some items people are more emotionally attached to than others.


Negotiating online for used fly fishing gear requires finesse. Armed with these tactics, venture into the digital marketplace, reel in those deals, and gear up for memorable fishing adventures! Be prepared, understand your final price, and be willing to walk away. There is almost always another deal to be had. 

If you haven't read the articles on buying used rods or buying used reels I'd recommend it. 

 ***Do you want to get deals on equipment, fly fishing trips, and lots of information? Become a member of the Loyalty Club on the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast.

Christian Bacasa, Host of the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

By Christian Bacasa
Host of the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast
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