Ready to find a new home for your old hockey equipment? Check out these ideas for tips about where to buy, sell, and donate used hockey equipment. There are so many great options that can help keep hockey equipment out of the trash, especially when it still has plenty of life left in it!
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Winter hockey season is coming to a close. If you’re a casual hockey family or player, it’s probably time to put your gear away and shift to another sport or season. If you’re an avid hockey family, you know the end of one season just means a transition to next year’s evaluations, spring hockey, and more ice time. I feel ya!
Our boys just wrapped up their winter hockey seasons, so it’s time to give the gear a good clean, sort through what still fits, and find new homes for old hockey equipment they’ve outgrown or no longer need. While it’s easy to throw the old gear in the trash or drop it at a charity shop, there are many better options available.
Up to 90% of donations to charity shops end up being recycled, sent to other countries, or thrown away. It’s nice to think that we are doing good by donating to thrift shops. But in reality, these organizations get so many donations they just can’t keep or sell them all.
If you can find a more direct way to sell or donate your gear to someone who can use it, that’s a great place to start. We’ve included a bunch of options below to buy, sell and donate used hockey equipment. Not only are these alternatives more affordable options when you’re looking to buy new gear, but they’re also more sustainable and help keep hockey equipment out of landfills.
Where to Buy & Sell Used Hockey Equipment
When it comes to buying and selling used hockey equipment, there are several options available. Here are some of the best places to find high-quality, affordable gear and sell the gear you’ve invested in but no longer need:
- SidelineSwap | This online marketplace is dedicated to buying and selling used sports gear, including hockey equipment. They offer a Value Guide to help you set fair prices, and you can filter your search by brand, condition, and more. You can post your items online or you can find a trade-in event. We saw Sideline Swap recently at our local Dick’s Sporting Goods Store collecting items for resale, which makes the process of getting paid for your goods even easier. They take your old sports equipment, take photos, and post it for you.
- Play It Again Sports | With locations across the United States and Canada, Play It Again Sports is a chain of stores and a popular choice for buying and selling used sports equipment. They offer a wide selection of hockey gear, including skates, sticks, pads, and more, and offer both cash and store credit for your items.
- Local Hockey Shop: Depending on where you live, you may have a local hockey shop in your area. Your local hockey shop is a great place to sell your used hockey equipment. They may offer you store credit or cash for your gear. Be sure to check it out (and support your local small businesses!) if this is available to you.
- Local Facebook Community Groups | Check to see if your area has a local Facebook group dedicated to buying and selling new and used hockey gear. Such groups exist in many areas and can be a great way to rehome good hockey equipment without much hassle.
- Hockeyhandmedowns.com | This site is an online buy-and-sell site to help connect hockey families to swap gear and make a little extra money when their old gear is ready for a new home.
- eBay | eBay is a popular online marketplace where you can sell your used hockey equipment. You can set your own price and wait for a buyer to make an offer.
- Facebook Marketplace | Facebook Marketplace is a free online platform where you can buy and sell items locally. You can list your used hockey equipment for sale and connect with potential buyers in your area. We use Facebook Marketplace for a variety of things. You can see check out more about how we use Facebook Marketplace here.
- Craigslist | Craigslist is another free online platform where you can buy and sell items locally. You can list your used hockey equipment for sale and connect with potential buyers in your area.
Buy, Sell, and Donate Gear in Good Condition
If your hockey equipment is too old or dirty for you to feel comfortable wearing it, chances are someone else isn’t going to want to use it either. Be mindful about selling or donating old hockey gear, and make sure it’s in decent condition for whoever will be using it next. Additionally, hockey equipment can be pretty stinky and gross if you don’t care for it diligently, so be sure items are clean before donating or selling them as well.
When selling your used hockey equipment, it’s important to be honest about the condition of the gear. Take clear photos of the equipment and describe any wear and tear or damage in the listing. This will help you attract serious buyers and avoid any disputes down the line.
When buying used hockey equipment, be sure to inspect the gear carefully before making a purchase. Look for signs of wear and tear, such as frayed straps or loose padding. Make sure the equipment fits properly and is comfortable to wear. If you’re buying online, ask the seller for additional photos and information before making a purchase if you can’t tell from the information and photos provided if the gear is in good condition.
Check Hockey Gear Expiration Dates
Some hockey gear, like helmets, visors, and cages, have certification and expiration dates. This equipment is certified by the Hockey Equipment Certification Council (HECC) based on performance standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and Canadian Standards Association (CSA). The HECC certification is good for 6 ½ years, the length of time accredited testing has shown hockey helmets provide the expected protection for players. If you’re buying used hockey equipment, be sure to check certifications and expiration dates where applicable.
Remember, buying used hockey equipment can save you a lot of money, but it’s important to make sure you’re getting high-quality gear that will keep you safe on the ice. With these tips and resources, you can find the perfect equipment for your needs without breaking the bank.
Where to Donate Used Hockey Equipment
Donating used hockey equipment is a great way to give back to the community and help grow the game of hockey. There are many organizations and programs that accept used hockey equipment donations.
While some of these hockey gear organizations have formal programs in place, you also may be able to start your own gear-sharing or swapping group to reduce waste and help families save money in your own hockey community. Here are some options to donate your hockey equipment and prevent it from ending up in the landfill:
- Set Up Club Closets | Before giving to an organization, you might consider setting up a club “closet” or space to collect gently-used gear from players in your own club or local hockey league. This is such a great way to share gear among friends and neighbors and support the growth of your own team. As an added bonus, it’s also nice to have the extra gear around the rink when a player (inevitably) forgets something from time to time during their own practices and games. Items from this collection can be gifted as needed or sold periodically through club events to make a bit of extra money for the organization.
- Host a Club Sale or Swap Day | Why not host an equipment swap within your own hockey organization? Pick a day (maybe a bit before the season starts and everyone invests in their own new gear) to have a sale or swap day. Everyone brings their old hockey equipment. You can do it in the format of a garage sale and the proceeds benefit the club. Alternatively, you could run it as a swap during which each person gets tickets/points to take items based on the number of items they brought and donated to the swap. Our local school club hosts a resale day once a year, and it’s a great way to make the club a bit more sustainable, help families save money, and build a greater sense of community within the group.
- NHL Partnership Donation Bins (United States) | Many local hockey rinks have partnered with their respective local NHL teams to provide collection bins for used hockey gear. That gear is given to organizations that serve underprivileged communities and those who want to play but can’t afford to buy their own gear. We have these bins at many of the local rinks in our area and have seen them in rinks in other cities when the boys travel for hockey tournaments.
- United Heroes League (Minnesota, United States) | United Heroes League actively works to ensure that children of military service members can afford every opportunity to participate in sports. They collect gently-used sports gear for a variety of sports, including hockey. They do accept donations sent to their facility through their national mail-in program if that works for you, and they have several drop-off locations if you are in their area.
- PickupPlease (United States) | This organization comes to pick up your donations for you, which is especially convenient. They specifically request sports equipment on their site. Proceeds support the Vietnam Veterans of America.
- Skate To Great (Canada) | Skate To Great’s main initiative is to collect new and used hockey and figure skates along with equipment such as sticks and helmets for organizations that need them. Recipients then participate in programs that provide skating opportunities in a supportive environment.
- Victory Sports (Buffalo, NY) | With a mission to help under-resourced schools, leagues, and athletes obtain the equipment they need to participate in sports, Victory Sports collects gently used and like-new sports equipment, including hockey gear, to provide to partner organizations. While they are based in New York State, they have supported organizations in many different countries and around their own community. If you aren’t in their area, there may be a similar organization where you live.
- Sport Central (Edmonton, Canada) | Sport Central accepts equipment for 15 different sports including hockey, soccer, skating, baseball, snowboarding, bicycling, and more. They are only located in Edmonton, but you may have similar organizations in your area.
- Leveling the Playing Field (Greater Washington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia areas, US) | This organization accepts gently-used sports equipment, including hockey gear, and redistributes it to those who cannot afford to buy their own equipment. They have collection events as well as drop-off bins in many locations, including lots of local hockey rinks and arenas.
- Buy Nothing Groups (International) | While not specifically set up for hockey gear, these hyper-local community groups are awesome ways to connect with neighbors and give the gifts of your abundance. If you have extra hockey gear, simply post it on the group page and someone in your community will likely request to receive it. We’ve been part of our Buy Nothing group for a few years now. It’s been such a useful and fulfilling way to rehome things we no longer need and to borrow or receive items from neighbors that we can use.
- Thrift Shops & Charity Shops (Various locations) | While noted above that they aren’t always the best options because they receive such large volumes of donations they cannot resell, they are still better than tossing your hockey equipment in the trash. If you’re not sure what to do with it or don’t have alternative options, secondhand shops are definitely a good last resort. Salvation Army, Goodwill, Savers, and Value Village are just a few options for these types of stores.
Donating to these organizations or hosting your own swap and resale events not only helps kids and underprivileged youth get access to the hockey equipment they might not otherwise be able to afford, but it also keeps equipment out of landfills and helps promote sustainability.
Overall, donating used hockey equipment is a great way to give back to the community and help grow the game of hockey. Consider donating to one of these organizations or selling your equipment to second-hand.
Now for the jerseys
Through various options from the list above, we’ve been able to donate most of the old hockey equipment our boys no longer need. It’s nice to see it find a new home and not end up in the trash.
Next up, we need to figure out what to do with all the old jerseys. There are so many of them (and most people have no interest in someone else’s jerseys). I’ve seen them used as bedroom decor, turned into blankets, and used for a variety of projects. But I only need so many old hockey jerseys decorating my sons’ rooms before it becomes a bit overwhelming.
Unfortunately, some of these may end up being recycled as textiles and turned into things like insulation. Do you have any great ideas for reusing or repurposing old hockey jerseys? What do you do with your old equipment? I’d love to hear in the comments!
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About The Author
Jen Panaro, founder and editor-in-chief of Honestly Modern, is a self-proclaimed composting nerd and an advocate for sustainable living for modern families. In her spare time, she’s a serial library book borrower, a messy gardener, and a mom of two boys who spends a lot of time in hockey rinks and on baseball fields.
You can find more of her work at Raising Global Kidizens, an online space to help parents and caregivers raise the next generation of responsible global citizens.