Hardbooter Price Almanac
Back to The Carver's Almanac
The Hardbooter Price Almanac is a record of hardbooting gear sold on eBay since February 2004
About the Almanac
The Price Almanac records the details of carving gear sold on eBay.com covering
the US and Canada since February 2004. Canadian prices are converted to USD. Only auctions that end in a winning buyer
are recorded, which requires either a winning bid (with the reserve met), or
a winner using buy-it-now. The dates indicate the month when the auction ended. The price
almanac gives you an idea of what sort of carving gear you can expect to find
on eBay, a rough idea of the prices
you can expect to pay, and how prices fluctuate during the year. The semi-automated system that collects this information uses two search criteria: one for eBay auctions, and another for eBay stores, since it's not possible to search both with one search link:
These search criteria catch most listings - probably more than 95%. The process of compiling the data into the Price Almanac is a semi-automated process that took a while to perfect, so there may be some things missing. However, all entries in the Price Almanac are accurate. Each entry lists all the information that was given in the auction. If a seemingly vital piece of info is missing, like boot size, it means the auction didn't include that info.
Guidelines for Buyers
See the general guidelines for buying used carving gear to make sure there are
no surprises. In addition, there are a few observations about carving gear on eBay:
- A few eBay sellers have buy-it-now listings for new, current model year items at full price, and also charge for shipping. Be aware that Bomber offers free shipping on some items.
- When comparing multiple auctions for the same or similar gear on eBay, the variance
in price is huge, typically with a 2:1 ratio between minimum and maximum price, so
it's hard to pin down a "going price" for anything - the liquidity
is low. But, the prices average around 1/3 of list price (with no
tax), so you can pick up some bargains.
- A few items sold for a penny, and they all were Burton Freecarve boots. Yet sadly, the boots aren't even worth that much, because it's not possible to tighten the cuff cant adjusters - they have permanent slop by design, and a lot of it, which means you can't really carve in them.
- Sometimes you will see Burton gear sold as brand "13".
- Sometimes you will see "Raichle SB724," which is actually SB124, since the 1 is written using the Euro-style.
- Carving gear from the alpine-dedicated companies, like Bomber, Catek, Donek, Coiler, and Prior, hold their value fairly well.
- Some gear gets put up with almost no information about it, then somehow sells for high prices.
- For boards sold stand-alone (no boots or bindings), the Price Almanac records symmetric carving boards only. Forget asym boards - they will prevent you from developing proper carving skill.
- In 2004, the semi-automated system was not perfected, and some shorter boards were not recorded. Currently, boards of all lengths are recorded.
- The board sidecut radius is almost never
listed in auctions, even though it's just as important as the length.
- The model year is also rarely listed, but it's often revealed by the topsheet graphics. Prices seem to be completely independent of model year. A Burton Factory Prime, model year 1995, will sell for as much as a Burton Factory prime, model year 2001, if both boards are used.
- Prices for longer boards tend to increase proportionally as the board length increases. Boards < 160cm might fetch 1/4 retail, then maybe 1/3 retail until 172cm, then maybe 1/2 retail above that. If you are debating which length board to buy, get the longer one: it has better resale value.
- Boards from race stock (longer, and usually a custom wider width) get the highest prices.
- It's important to make sure that the seller protects the tip and tail
when shipping. See the board shipping guidelines.
- All snowboard hard boots are recorded.
- Often, the seller provides only
the US size. Be sure to ask for the mondo point size, which is usually
stamped somewhere on the outside of the inner liner. Sometimes the seller will list the size as a range in mondo point, like "25-27.5," but that is the size range supported by the upper plastic shell - the actual size is a single number that is determined by the lower plastic shell and the liner. You may need to ask the seller what size is stamped on the outside of the inner liner.
- Some boots were originally sold in US sizes only, with no mondo point designation: these models include the Burton MGX, the Koflach, and the Raichle Snowboarder.
- A boot is considered
to have a Velcro strap only if the strap goes around the front and back
of the shell. Velcro straps attached to the liners don't count.
- Boots that come with step-in heels often do not have an extra price premium - it's like getting the heels for free.
- If you are looking for huge boots in the size 13 category, you can find them every so often on ebay.
- All snowboard plate bindings are recorded, as well as binding accessories
like wedges, cants, and step-in heels.
- Be warned that a lot of bindings do not include cant wedges.
- Each entry lists the supported
insert patterns mentioned in the auction, as well as the insert pattern supported by the wedge (if present)
- When buying Cateks, be sure to ask whether the bindings are short plate or long plate.
- Older Bomber bindings do not have springs or 3D compatibility.
- Snowpro bindings don't come with canting shims unless specifically mentioned.
- There are a few considerations for Burton bindings:
- It's best to find an auction that includes one or two wedge cants. The older Burton wedges had fixed insert patterns (3D or 4x4), but some of the newer models have metal center pieces that can be swapped out, so you can switch between 3D and 4x4.
- For Burton Race Plates, it's a bonus to get the extra Burton binding pads of different durometers
(red / gray / blue)
- Burton center disks come with one of several insert patterns: 3D, 4x4, or a universal pattern that accommodates both. If you are buying bindings that are only 3D or only 4x4, ask the seller if he will throw in center disks for the other pattern as well.
- This category includes a board that is sold with bindings, and optionally, boots. These are great deals - the prices are usually only slightly higher
than the price of a board alone. These packages are listed even if the board is an asym.
There are a few prominent sellers of hardbooting gear on eBay:
Hitting the "stats" button at the top of the Almanac will calculate monthly totals, broken out into boots, boards, and bindings. The binding sales have a low variance, and would be a good indicator of the "hardbooting GNP." But more specifically, a good trend index for hardbooting as a whole is the price that Dennis from Salty Peaks (u12) is able to fetch for his unending supply of new Burton Race Plates. Dennis prices the bindings so that they sell via Buy_It_Now within a few days. The price is generally unaffected by the "frenzy" of an auction, and it's new gear. It's interesting to see the trend in prices as a function of the month of the year.
Finally, you can actually find cheap gray-market lift tickets to your favorite resort on eBay.
Back to The Carver's Almanac