Should you buy used arrows?
There are certainly advantages to buying used arrows but also some disadvantages, let’s look at the advantages first.
Advantages of buying used arrows
- Cheaper than new
- Find no longer made arrows
- Add to a set in small numbers
- Allows you to try them out before committing
Used arrows will certainly be cheaper than buying new and it’s a good way of finding arrows that are no longer being manufactured. Buying used also allows you to add to your set of arrows and allows you to try them before committing to purchase an expensive new set.
Disadvantages of buying used arrows
- You don’t know their history
- Hard to find correct spine and length
- May need re-fletching, new nocks and cleaning
- You’re not helping your local archery retailer
Buying used arrows can be a problem as you don’t always know how the arrows have been treated in the past and it can be sometimes hard to find the correct spine and arrow length that you need. Expect to do some alterations to the arrows you buy used. You may need to clean them up, remove stickers, change nocks, points and maybe vanes. Some arrows may come with spin wings on, but check if they are left hand or right hand as you may need to change these to suit your handedness.
Where to buy used arrows
There are many places to look for used arrows, including at your local archery retailer or at their online store as sometimes arrows can be cut to the wrong length, or they may have some trade-in arrows to buy.
Other places on the internet includes eBay and Facebook archery selling groups.
What to look for when buying used arrows
- Correct spine
- Correct length
- Find out how the seller measured – full length or AMO length
- How much use – decals
- C numbers if matching batches e.g. ACE arrows
- Seller feedback
- Do not overpay and get in a bidding war, know the new price, set a limit.
When buying used arrows make sure you get the correct spine and arrow length you need. Also find out how the seller measured the length, did they follow the AMO length, or just the shaft or the whole arrow length?
You can tell how much an arrow has been shot by looking at the decal graphics on the side of the arrows, if these are mostly intact then those arrows have not been shot much.
If you are looking to buy used ACE or X10 arrows then check the ‘C’ batch numbers of the arrows to see if they match your set, if you are adding to a set. Also check the ‘C’ number is the same throughout the arrows being sold.
Check the sellers feedback if you can and don’t get into an auction frenzy against someone else and stick to your price you want to pay, and know what other arrows like the ones you are looking at regularly go for. Also check the new price, it may be closer to used than you think. In which case perhaps buying new arrows may be a better choice for you.
Selling your used arrows?
- Use a lot of photos, show the length in image / tape measure
- Put the spine and length in the title of the listing
- Be truthful about their history and use
- Package them up well before posting
If you are selling arrows, please use a lot of photo’s of the arrows and show the length of the arrows in the images by using a tape measure alongside. Please also put the spine and arrow length in the title of the listing as it saves people a lot of time having to go into the listing to find this information, plus it may help your arrows sell quicker. Please be truthful about how old your arrows are and how much they have been shot. Also remember to package them up well in carboard or in a cardboard tube when posting them.
Overall, I think it is safe to buy used arrows, just looks for the tell-tale signs of a lot of use. Be diligent, just like you should when buying anything. Buying used arrows is fine and worth doing if you can find a bargain. Then if you get on with the arrows you can then go out and purchase a new set. Plus we may all find ourselves selling arrows at some point during our archery hobby.
To see me chat about this subject and cover a lot of the points mentioned above please visit my Archery YouTube channel and watch my video Should you buy used arrows?