Fair price for used pair of kayaks

My daughter is interested in buying a10ft 3 yo perception sport kayak from a friend. How do we know what is a fair price? The kayak has very few minor scratches.
Thanks for any direction, Kate

How much does the seller want? What is the model name? Start negotiation at half the retail cost.
Maybe the seller isn’t aware of the current shortage.

It’s a set of two Matrix 10.0 with Harmony drifter paddles and pfd’s.

Kayaks go for 1/3rd to 2/3rd of new price. Extra gear (paddles and the like) and more like 1/4 to 1/2 of new. 3 years old is reasonably new, so would help move up a bit. Shape of gear would also impact where it would fall in the range.

It gets good reviews , esp about the price, which I couldn’t find.

These were $450 new, sold as a set with a low end paddle and PFD, at Dick’s Sporting Goods back around 2015. (and I recall they dropped to $379 on sale at the end of Summer). I remember this well because several co-workers at the time (who knew I was an avid kayaker) asked me if I thought these were a good deal so I looked at them. Honestly, I would not pay more than $250 for one. In normal times I would be apt to offer $200 but prices are up now due to shortages of new boats. So if you are desperate for a boat you might have to spring for $300.

Be sure to budget for inflatable flotation bags since these boats have no bulkheads and you will need to fill the bow and stern compartments for safety.

The aluminum shaft paddle is pretty much junk and I believe the “kit” included a 240 cm paddle which is too long for most people (and these are heavy). In fact, you might see if they will take $30 less if you don’t take the paddle and then put the money towards a decent fiberglass shaft paddle in the proper size.

I would take glowing “reviews” of entry level rec boats like this with a grain of salt. 99% of the buyers have never been in a kayak other than a similar rec boat in a rental livery, therefore they have nothing with which to compare the performance. Getting out on the water in your first boat is fun no matter how clunky it is so “10 out of 10” reviews are common for cheap intro boats and don’t really tell you anything. Kind of like if somebody who has gone barefoot their whole life gets a pair of plastic flip-flops and writes a review that “these are the best shoes ever! 10 out of 10”.

The Perception Sport boats are a step above junk like Sundolphin and Future Beach, and the “Sport” line was one I believe Perception put out specifically for the Dick’s chain. Their Conduit 13 was a decent boat for the price that even had bulkheads and some deck rigging. But the Matrix is a pond and small slow river craft you don’t want to take into deep or fast water.

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To the OP, if you read this board (and others) you will hear float bags come up a lot. For a recreational class kayak (which the kayaks you are looking at are in), the boat usually has just enough flotation in it to keep it from totally sinking. But in order for someone to get back into a flipped kayak in deep water, you need enough flotation such that it floats much higher even when flooded (enough to float even when the paddler is on top of it). Recreational class kayaks generally don’t come with this, where sea kayaks do (though having bulkheads and dry storage areas). The way to possibly add enough flotation to a kayak like this is with float bags in each end. Note 1 - it isn’t always possible to add enough flotation to all rec boast to do this. Note 2 - even with flotation, the paddler also needs to have some skills/knowledge on how to do it.

If you don’t add float bags, the other route to go would be to be very conservative in where you paddle these kayaks. Basically, without enough float bags the way to stay safe is to always paddle close enough to shore such that you could swim to safety should you flip. Keep in mind that if the water is cold, the distance you can swim gets much shorter.

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If your daughter does choose to buy one tell her to be careful how she stores and transports it. Perception kept the price point down on their Sport models by molding them of much thinner poly than their standard quality kayaks so they are very vulnerable to oil-canning, which is when the kayak deforms from heat softening the plastic. The boat should not be stored sitting on a hard surface unless tipped on its side. And she should never leave it on a roof rack for long in hot weather and NEVER use ratchet straps to fasten it to a rack (buckle straps or rope only). These boats are also vulnerable to having fasteners (like for the deck bungees and the seat) tear loose from the hull (again, because of the more fragile material.) So she will need to be careful not to put stress on the attachments. Parts are generally not available for inexpensive boats like this.

In kayaks, as in most things, you get what you pay for.

Disregard the above post. Perception Sport boats are NOT of lesser quality plastic or fasteners than regular Perception.

If true, that’s great. But that was NOT my impression when I looked at them back when Dick’s started stocking them under that brand name. The ones I checked out in their store here had such thin decks you could depress them manually. And I know two people who had problems with their back seat attachments tearing loose the first season they used them. Maybe they improved them after the beta model – the weights seem to be heavier in the later spec listings. Though since they are an extinct model it hardly matters any more.

Thanks to all who replied. This kayak is similar to what we have been using and we will get much enjoyment from it.