A few years ago when we decided that bike riding is something we want to do as a family, we sure didn’t have a lot of money and couldn’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on good bikes, trailers, and gear. For the matter affect our first bikes came from the craigslist with a value tag of $80 for both my husband’s and my bike. However, when it came to the children trailer, we were seriously puzzled. We knew there were so many people out there, that spent a bundle of money on the bicycle trailer with good attentions of riding it into the ground but ended up storing it in the garage for years for most of the time. We also found that the expensive used trailers still were priced not cheap.
Today years later I still don’t know if we made the right decision by spending a few hundred dollars on the brand new trailer, and every time our friends ask us about used trailer, we are hesitant to give advice.
However, if you think this might be the question you’ll ask yourself at some point time (maybe even this year?), I have something special for you. Our guest-expert Jeff has many years of experience in family bike riding and he agreed to share with us some of the things you have to really be careful with while looking at used trailers and making an ultimate decision:
Things to consider when buying a used bicycle trailer.
As you all are aware children’s product are subject to recall more so than any other product. Many of these recalls are minor, but some are not. You should check with the CPSC to make sure that the trailer you are looking at has not been recalled. If it has – that is not the end of the world, but make sure the recall issue was taken care of. Many times it is a simple as adding a small part or even an easy as removing a label or sticker. Just so you know, there are few Smartphone apps out there, like Recalls, All Recalls, Recalls Plus, and Consumer Product Safety Commission, so if you love garage sales, you should definitely download one of these free apps.
Things You don’t know
You just don’t know how the previous owner treated the trailer. Was it left outside, ridden over by a car in the garage, or damaged in use? Look for any signs of wear or damage that could affect the structural integrity. Ask the owner if they are the first owner? Ask if it has been stored outside? Ask if it has been in an accident? Check all moving parts for wear and damage, check wheels, breaks, folding system and so on. Don’t be afraid to ask many questions – it is about safety of your family.
What are You Saving?
What is the saving you are going to get by buying this particular trailer? If it is $50 -100, you might want to go with a new trailer and get all the perks of new ownership such as the warranty and peace of mind. Do your homework and know your prices.
If you have ANY concerns contact the manufacture of the trailer you are looking at. Personally I enjoy answering any questions I can to help families get out riding more.
I am a firm believer in buying used product, but I think it is important to put safety above saving when applicable. If you are in the market for a used trailer, see if your friends or neighbors are selling their old trailer. Always try and buy from a trusted source when buying used. Put a note up in your child’s day care or community board asking if anyone has one available.