How to Sell Used Golf Clubs

By Matthew DeBord

One of the best things about modern golf clubs is they're virtually indestructible. Sure, graphite shafts can break, but it doesn't happen very often. Irons and woods are made of steel and titanium, both very durable materials. With proper care, a set of clubs can last for decades. Which means there's a thriving resale market for used clubs. As with any market, the used golf club market entails some ins and outs. They're worth knowing about if you want to earn top dollar for your used clubs.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Step 1
Buy brand-name clubs. Clubs manufactured by well-known golf companies--such as Callaway, Titleist and TaylorMade--command higher prices used than clubs produced by more obscure companies or clubs built from interchangeable components.
Step 2
Evaluate the condition of your clubs. Most sellers use a 10-point system. There's really no such thing as a 10/10 used club, but lightly used clubs that were only played for a few months often can rate 9/10. A 1-year-old set of irons might be 8/10. A driver from a few years back could be 7/10. Irons with nicks, dents and groove wear could be 6/10. Once you get to 5/10 and below, you're looking at the bargain bin or garage-sale territory.
Step 3
Check out trade-in retailers or certified pre-owned programs. Roger Dunn is a bricks-and-mortar store that will buy used clubs and accept trade-ins on new sets. Callaway operates a certified pre-owned program, under which golfers can sell their old Callaways just as they would a car. Buyers then can purchase clubs that have been rated and in some cases repaired to be almost as good as new. Golf pro shops also often will purchase used clubs or make trade-in deals.
Step 4
Use online auction sites and classifieds. Many used golf clubs are sold on eBay. You can list your clubs under the terms of an online auction, with a reserve price or no reserve, or choose a "But It Now" price and go for a quick sale. With eBay, you will need to establish a means of payment (usually a cleared personal check, a certified check or PayPal) and determine shipping costs. With a service such as eBay, you can sell your clubs to someone who lives thousands of miles away. If you prefer to deal locally, Craigslist is a good option. Here, you can list your clubs, name your price and wait for someone to pay you or negotiate a lower price. Buyers usually will pick up their purchase, eliminating the hassle of shipping. One important aspect to selling clubs this way: You must include photos of your clubs. Potential buyers want to see what they're paying for.
Step 5
Think of selling used clubs like selling a used car. Clean your clubs thoroughly before listing them or taking them to a pro shop for a trade-in. You also might want to spend some money having them regripped if the grips are dry, cracked or worn. Finally, when selling woods, make sure you have the original head covers, even if you've changed to different ones. Buyers like to have the complete, original package.

Tips & Warnings

Some clubs, especially iron sets, have a following and can bring in good money even if they're pretty old. A 30- or 40-year-old set of Wilson Staff irons might be worth more in good shape than a newer set of Wilson irons. Callaway clubs hold their value better than others. If you plan to sell your clubs at some point, buy Callaways.
Some clubs, especially iron sets, have a following and can bring in good money even if they're pretty old. A 30- or 40-year-old set of Wilson Staff irons might be worth more in good shape than a newer set of Wilson irons.
Callaway clubs hold their value better than others. If you plan to sell your clubs at some point, buy Callaways.
Very old sets of clubs aren't necessarily worthless. Older iron sets can remain playable and still fetch some money. But old woods, made from actual wood, aren't worth much as anything other than collectibles. Truly beat-up clubs aren't worth selling online. Sometimes, they can be worth a few dollars as trade-ins. But a better plan is to take them to a thrift shop, such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army, and donate them, taking a modest tax deduction.
Very old sets of clubs aren't necessarily worthless. Older iron sets can remain playable and still fetch some money. But old woods, made from actual wood, aren't worth much as anything other than collectibles.
Truly beat-up clubs aren't worth selling online. Sometimes, they can be worth a few dollars as trade-ins. But a better plan is to take them to a thrift shop, such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army, and donate them, taking a modest tax deduction.

About The Author

Matthew DeBord has written about sports, cars, and wine since 1994 for a variety of publications. Formerly the golf columnist for the “Improper Hamptonian,” he has covered major championship tournaments and played some of the best courses in America. He graduated from Clemson University and has a master's degree from New York University.

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