Buying a used climbing frame is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, as children grow up quickly and the products available on eBay are generally built to last. Buying a pre-owned climbing frame is a sensible route to take providing that the climbing frame is:
* built by a recognised and trustworthy brand
* hasn't been damaged in any way
Climbing frames are fantastic playthings for kids of all ages up to about 12 years of age. They offer them a challenge at every early stage of life, and activate the imagination like nothing else. Even more importantly they get out of the house and away from the TV, and start to really play. The climbing frame is a terrific mental and physical stimulant. Providing that certain measures are adhered to then it is a safe and secure plaything to be enjoyed by the family.
Before buying any used climbing frame, take care to get the correct measurements. The site must be big enough to accommodate the climbing frame with plenty of space around it. The age of the child is also important, as it is a bad move to over face a child with a climbing frame that is too big. The parents, carers or guardians will want to feel comfortable and relaxed with a climbing frame that they know that the child can enjoy but will not come to harm.
The used climbing frames to avoid are old metal and wooden structures that have been outside for a number of years. Even the highest quality climbing frames if left to face the elements for a number of seasons and having had children playing hard on them will start to wear out. The metal climbing frames tend, after a long time, to rust at the screw holes and joints and can start to twist and buckle.
Wooden climbing frames tend to be more permanently constructed and so are rarely sold used. If they are then it is wise to carefully inspect the product as they can get very badly damaged in deconstruction, particularly if they have been standing out for a number of years. Over time even machine smoothed and pressure treated timber will start to rot and splinter so it is good to know where the climbing frame has been standing and for how long before purchase.
Small plastic climbing frames are probably the least risky used purchase as often the smallest ones have been used inside the house as much as outside. Because they are made of moulded plastic they are entirely waterproof and don't suffer from mould, rust or rot as in wooden or metal climbing frames.
Brands to look out for
Climbing frames are generally made of, either wood, metal or plastic and quality brands should always be sought. In plastic climbing frames, Little Tikes, Mookie and Bizziebodies are well established brands with all the health and safety credentials required. Similarly in metal climbing frames some brands have been in business for a long time and make good quality products. These include:
The timber constructed climbing frame market is a lot more widespread and less branded. These wooden constructions are often bespoke or semi- bespoke and supplied by timber specialists. This is not to say that they are not of high quality; quite the contrary. But it does make pinning down specific brands more difficult.
Here the simple question to ask is whether the climbing frame has passed a RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) inspection or if it holds an EN1176 European Safety Standards for Playgrounds Inspection certificate.
The accessories available with used climbing frames are also extensive and wide ranging. Because most of the products out there are built in modules, it is easy to buy additional accessories to make the climbing frame more fun and keep the child's interest up as it grows older. The standard brands supply all manner of different things including:
* sand pits
* monkey bars
* climbing walls
* cargo nets
* rope swings
* extra ladders
These all make the climbing frame to more and more interesting as it is added to.
When buying a used climbing frame it is worthwhile considering what sort of ground the frame will be sitting on. Obviously tarmac and gravel surfaces are much the most abrasive but even grass after it has been played on and compressed over a summer can become very hard. There are a number of woodchip or rubber matting products out there, which may make the surface upon which the climbing frame stands a more pleasant landing for the children.
Do not be tempted to buy cheap for the sake of it, try and buy the very best quality climbing frames whatever the material required.
Try not to buy a climbing frame that is too big for the child or children as it may over face and alarm them quite apart from causing a worry to the parents. Equally important is not to buy a used climbing frame that is too small.
All children love to be challenged a bit and if the frame is not exciting it will very soon become redundant.
* Climbing frames are generally the biggest toys the children will have and they will always take up a lot of room whether in the garden or in the house.
* It is sensible to make sure that they are engaging enough and used enough to justify that use of space.
With the modular systems available it is possible to grow the frame with the children's development and up to the age of about twelve a good climbing frame will give hours of pleasure. Children climb on them; that much is obvious. But climbing frames can also become a structure around which a multitude of games and adventures can be generated from the child's imagination. Attach swings and slides or other accessories to the climbing frame to make it even more exciting and challenging and the benefit to the body and soul is huge.
How to Buy a Used climbing frame on eBay
Now that you know which Climbing Frame you want you can find them quickly and easily on eBay. To start shopping, go to the Sports and Leisure category. Click the Toys & Games then the Outdoor toys & Activities. Click on the Climbing frames sub-category portal.
Use the Climbing Frame Finder to quickly narrow down item listings by brand, model and condition (new or used).
Search eBay listing titles for specific words. For example, if you want to find Used Climbing Frames, type the keywords "Climbing Frames Used" (without quotation marks) into the Search box. Click, "Search title and description" to expand your results. Visit eBay's Search Tips page for more tips on searching with keywords.
If you can't find exactly what you want, try browsing eBay Stores or tell the eBay Community what you're looking for by creating a post on Want It Now, or save a search on My eBay and eBay will email you when a matching item becomes available.
Buy Used Climbing Frames with Confidence
Make sure that you know exactly what you're buying and understand how eBay and PayPal protect you.
* Read the details in the item listing carefully.
* Remember to add delivery costs to the final price. If buying a high value item, check that the seller will insure it until it is delivered.
* If you want more information, click the "Ask seller a question" button on the seller's profile or the "Ask a question" link at the bottom of the item listing page.
* Always complete your transaction on eBay (with a bid, Buy it Now or Best Offer) otherwise you will not be covered by eBay Buyer Protection.
* Never pay for an eBay item using an instant cash wire transfer service like Western Union or MoneyGram. These are not safe ways of paying someone you do not know.
Research the seller to feel safe and positive about every transaction.
* What is the seller's Feedback rating?
* How many transactions have they completed?
* How many positive responses do they have?
* What do buyers say in their Feedback?
* Are they positive about the seller?
Most top eBay sellers operate like retail shops and have a returns policy.
* Do they offer a money-back guarantee?
* What are their terms and conditions?
In the very unlikely event that you do not receive your item or it is not as described, eBay Buyer Protection covers your purchase price plus original delivery cost.
Even with all the health and safety requirements met and all the inspections carried out there will be little bumps and bruises. That however is the nature of children and the nature of really good healthy fun. Providing the product is of good quality and in good condition, then everything that can be done to make sure that an accident won't happen has been done. The nature of climbing frames and children playing outside is that they will push the boundaries and that should be seen as a positive thing in development terms.