Used Sports Equipment Purchases Fall Below $1 Billion in 2008

Consumers purchased $969 million in used sporting goods equipment in 2008, according to a report just released by the National Sporting Goods Association.

MOUNT PROSPECT, IL – Consumers purchased $969 million in used sporting goods equipment in 2008, according to a report just released by the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA). This is the 11th study done by the Association on the used equipment market.

The used sporting goods equipment market had exceeded $1 billion the previous two years. Sales were $1.08 billion in 2007 and $1.01 billion in 2006.

Purchases of used equipment for the outdoor sports (camping, fishing and the shooting sports) reached $636 million, the largest single category. Versus 2007, the outdoor sports category fell 5%. Used exercise equipment (the second largest category) had purchases of slightly more than $158 million, a 24% drop versus the previous 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,” NSGA Vice President of Information & Research Thomas B. 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 500,000 treadmills and stationary exercise bicycles were purchased used. The average price is not high, $124 for a treadmill and $50, for an exercise bike. A majority of the sales continue to be between private individuals.

“Purchases of Used Sports Equipment in 2008” 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 2008. “Because of the limited number of products surveyed, the total used equipment market is much larger than the amount 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.

The standard demographics provided for purchasers include age, gender, annual household income, education of household head and geographic region of the country.

“Purchases of Used Sports Equipment in 2008” is available to NSGA members for $140; for non-members, $190. For additional information, contact Dan Kasen, NSGA, 1601 Feehanville Drive, Suite 300, Mount Prospect, IL 60056-6035. Phone: (847) 296-6742, E-mail:, or fax: (847) 391-9827.

About NSGA:
NSGA, which has served the sporting goods industry since 1929, organizes and hosts the annual NSGA Management Conference & Team Dealer Summit, the sporting goods industry's premier educational and networking event (Next: May 2-5, 2010, at the Saddlebrook Resort/Tampa in Wesley Chapel, Fla.).

For more information on NSGA member services, visit the Association home page (; call Sue Wenderski at NSGA, (847) 296-6742, Ext. 102; e-mail:; or fax (847) 391-9827.