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Used Sporting Goods a Billion Dollar Biz

Published July 9, 2008

MOUNT PROSPECT, IL (BRAIN)—Consumers purchased $1.08 billion in used sporting goods equipment in 2007, according to a recent report by the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA).

This is the 10th study done by the NSGA on the used equipment market and the second year in a row used equipment purchases have exceeded $1 billion. The 2006 data reflected sales of $1.01 billion, $45 million of which was used bikes or bike equipment. The NSGA only gets this bike specific number every other year, according to NSGA vice president of information and research Tom Doyle.

Used equipment for the outdoor sports (camping, fishing and the shooting sports) represented purchases of $669 million, the largest single category, which was up 11 percent over last year. Used exercise equipment (the second largest category) had purchases of slightly more than $208 million, a 6 percent gain versus last year.

“With the rise in the number of sporting goods stores that emphasize used equipment sales and the growing use of the Internet, it is important for NSGA to look at the impact of these changes in channels of distribution,” Doyle said. “The purchase of used equipment is a two-edged sword. It may take away from new equipment purchases initially, but it also may provide the entry point for future purchasers of upgraded equipment.”

In certain product categories, the number of units purchased is substantial. In exercise equipment, more than 850,000 treadmills and stationary exercise bicycles were purchased used.

“The average price is not high—$126 for a treadmill; $61 for an exercise bike. A majority of the sales continue to be between private individuals, but the percent of Internet sales grows each year,” Doyle said.

“Purchases of Used Sports Equipment in 2007” uses the same panel as is used for NSGA’s “Sporting Goods Market” report. The report is based on a survey of 60,000 households in which 39 products were surveyed regarding purchases during 2006.

“Because of the limited number of products surveyed, the total used equipment market is much larger than $1 billion reported in the study,” Doyle said.

The report provides information on the number of units sold, average price and total dollars as well as place of purchase information. Included in the place of purchase information are traditional channels of distribution as well as online/Internet purchases and purchases from private individuals.

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