Winning Savings on Sports Apparel and Equipment
by Valerie Spate
The parents of young athletes know that while sports equipment and apparel can be quite expensive, it rarely gets used long enough to need replacing. Instead, most of these items are outgrown and, unless they can be handed down to a younger sibling, much of the cost is wasted. There are, however, many options that parents may take advantage of in order to keep these costs under control. These range from the straightforward, like using Finishline Coupons, to the more creative, like forming an equipment co-op within a team community.
The high cost of sports equipment is not a new development for parents. Similar to the challenge that parents face when keeping their children clothed, the rate at which kids can outgrow items has been frustrating parents for decades. The first step in managing costs is to try to spend less when purchasing these items. This may range from using online coupon codes, shopping sales, buying at the end of a given season in the hopes that discounted items will fit next year and shopping for lightly used items. Used sports equipment has become more mainstream through both websites like Craigslist and stores like Play It Again Sports. Either of these latter options can be an effective way to keep the cost of apparel and equipment lower than buying new.
The economic challenges that have arisen over the past several years have led parents to look for ways to more significantly manage their budgets. In the sports arena, one such approach has been to form equipment co-ops with a given community. For example, if the local park district has an active hockey program, the parents in the community may choose to come together to defray costs. After the initial start-up costs have been absorbed, a parent may sell used equipment to the co-op, while simultaneously buying other equipment. Essentially, the community allows the parents of various athletes to contribute equipment that they can no longer use in exchange for equipment that fits plus a small fee. The net effect is to dramatically reduce the cost for all participants.
One of the obvious questions that arises within the co-op scenario is to address what happens if one cannot find the right size. This might occur, for example, after some equipment has been worn out. While this is certainly a concern, in most cases certain members of the community will favor new equipment. These players will likely purchase new apparel and equipment and still be willing to sell their used equipment to the co-op. Players requiring new equipment may be those that excel in the sport, but this is not always the case. Regardless of the driving factor, in many instances, such a co-op can function smoothly and offer significant price savings to those most interested in defraying costs.
While sports equipment and apparel are an expensive element of raising children, there are options available to keep costs under control.
Valerie Spate is always searching for the best deals and coupons to help to reduce costs for her growing family.
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