Repost from our previous blog site hooptricks.org - originally published on October 11, 2014 at 8:51am
Hoops are not cheap, despite many thinking they are a child’s toy. So it is no surprise that hoopers try to save a buck and help each other out by buying and reselling old hoops. When buying a used item, one must be sure of its condition before doing so. Here are some tips and guidelines before you make a used hoop purchase.
1. If it Ain’t Round, You Won’t Want it Around.
Have the person send you a photo of the hoop laid out, so you can see that it is entirely round, and not dented or kinked. Also be sure it isn't wonky near the connector piece.
2. Check the Overall Condition
Make sure it is in good condition before you make a proposition. The individual should send you a close-up picture as well, so you can see the wear and tear on the hoop.
3. Used LED Hoops
- If It’s an LED, You need a picture of it turned on so you can see if there are any lights out.
- You may not be able to tell if a light is out while the hoop is moving, so ask for a picture of it sitting still.
- Have the person tell you what brand and size the hoop is so that you can verify on that product’s website how many LEDs should be glowing on it.
- Have them send you a video of the hoop in motion.
- You can detect if the hoop is glitching or shorting out. You can usually see any sort of flashing that doesn’t seem appropriate for the hoop pattern.
- You can see how large the battery gap is in motion and decide if it’s right for you- this is big factor for many hoopers in the decision of what hoop to buy.
- Make sure you know what condition the charger is in (if included) and how many batteries you will be receiving. You don’t want to get a hoop delivered and have no way to turn it on when you get it. Replacement chargers and batteries can be found all over the internet.
4. Use PayPal!
- You don’t want to get scammed by someone on the internet, so make your purchase to them through Paypal using the “pay for goods and services” option.
- Paypal only insures payments made for goods and services. They do not insure purchases when you “send money to family and friends”.
- By using Paypal, you can file a dispute if your item does not arrive in the condition it was supposed to or if your item does not arrive at all. (see photo above)
5. Coiling the Hoop
- This is a 3/4 polypro hoop that is 34" in diameter.
- It is large enough to coil and re-connect safely (if done carefully).
- When shipping, only coil hoops down and re-connect when appropriate.
- You do not want to coil down HDPE that is too warm because it will bend too easily and may get ruined.
- You should not try to coil and re-connect 3/4 tubing hoops if it is 33" or smaller.
- You can usually safely coil and re-connect a 5/8 (skinny) hoop if it is above 30".
- It is always best to play it safe and just partially coil and tape or zip-tie it (see photo below).
- DO NOT force the ends of your hoop to be taped perfectly round. It is okay if it is not a perfect circle. Your box won’t be round, either! (see photo below)
- Pizza boxes and flat rate shipping boxes from USPS are the cheapest routes to shipping a hoop in a box. Never get a big box and package it with a ton of peanuts or bubble wrap. This will end up costing you 2 or 3 times as much as simply using a flat box to secure your hoop.
- Another common shipping method is securely wrapping the hoop (coiled or uncoiled) in a bunch of bubble wrap. This is usually slightly cheaper. However, it puts your hoop at higher risk for damage during transit and makes it obvious what is in the package.
7. Tracking and Insurance
- ALWAYS provide and ask for tracking and (sometimes) insurance.
- When conducting business with someone on the internet who may not have a professional page where you can see their transactions and reviews, it is important to require a tracking number as proof that your package has actually been mailed. This is especially vital if you’ve made a trade with the individual and you haven’t sent them money. (shipping through Paypal is the smartest way because your purchase is insured).
- If your item is worth insuring (over $25, in my opinion) then get the optional insurance. This guarantees your money back should the Post Office lose your package. A tracking number is also a bit of a guarantee your package won’t get lost, considering it requires the Postman to constantly scan it into each location it encounters.
- USPS 2-3 day priority mail offers free insurance for most packages worth up to $50. Check here to find out more: https://www.usps.com/ship/priority-mail.htm
Have fun with your new hoop! It may not be brand new but it is new to you! (and that counts!)