I just posted 29 items for sale on the MEC Co-op Online Gear Swap. It’s all high-quality clothing and equipment made by Patagonia, the North Face, Lowe Alpine, Royal Robbins, Smith, C.A.M.P., Ibex, Valhalla Pure, Granite Gear, etc. And I bet all of it will be gone—purchased and in use by someone else—before Christmas.
I’m not telling you this so you’ll check out the stuff Kath and I are selling, though please feel free to do so. I’m telling you because the MEC Gear Swap is a brilliant service, and I strongly recommend it.
When you sell your un-used gear, you’re not simply recyling it. You’re doing something much better than that: You’re making sure it gets re-used.
All those recyclables that you and we take to our local recycling bins each week? How much good is that really doing? I have no idea. But ensuring that a perfectly useful item continues being used via the MEC Gear Swap is certainly worthwhile compared to keeping it in a closet until it’s so outdated nobody wants it and you end up having to drop it in a recycling bin.
Gear swapping is especially worthwhile if you price your items reasonably, making them affordable for people who might otherwise have difficulty purchasing a comparable new item. By doing so, you make the outdoors just a little more accessible to others, enabling them to get out there and hike, ski, mountain bike, road cycle, climb—whatever—with clothing and equipment that increases their safety, comfort and enjoyment. The more people who appreciate the outdoors, the more voices in the conservation chorus.
Another benefit of the MEC Gear Swap is that it can enrich your life—not just monetarily but socially, by introducing you to some good people. The prospects who contact you about the items you’re selling will probably be a lot like you: enthusiastic about the outdoors. They might be very different from you: perhaps living in a distant corner of our vast country. Either way, you’ll almost certainly find you can trust them.
Over the years, I’ve sold hundreds of items on the MEC Gear Swap. Only once was I disappointed. It happened when I sent an item C.O.D., and the person declined to accept it, which meant I paid the expensive cost of sending the item C.O.D. plus the return postage. In every other case, the people I’ve sold gear to trusted me completely and were themselves completely trustworthy. As a result, the MEC Gear Swap constantly bolsters my faith in humanity—or at least in the outdoor-oriented portion of humanity.
Gear and clothing that Kath and I were no longer using is now being used by people in numerous states, all ten provinces, and two territories. We’ve yet to sell anything to someone in Nunavut, but that’ll happen eventually. Today, someone emailed me about the SteriPen water purifier I’m selling. Guess where he’s from? Walkerton, Ontario.
Gear that Kath and I have purchased via the MEC Gear Swap has logged hundreds of kilometres with us on trails all over the world. Some of it was new in every respect other than a 50%-or-greater price reduction. (Attention frugal shoppers: Christmas is fast approaching.)
If you’ve never used the MEC Gear Swap, you should try it. Here’s the link:
MEC continues earning my patronage for many reasons, and their online Gear Swap is one of them.