I began tracking the sales/purchases of used Rainbow Play Systems awhile back. These are interesting purchases, because there are so many people out there, who really can't afford them but buy them anyway for their kids for many reasons. These are normally $4000 to $5000 swing sets, and can go a LOT higher than that in price. (like $11k to $15k) I use Craigslist as my resource, and what I notice is several things: These systems have typically sold used for fairly high prices, even when 7 to 10 years old. I have been watching this for over a year now, and what I'm seeing is interesting. Prices on the used systems are dropping and there are a lot more regular sales of them. Typically they get snapped up pretty quick, but there has been substantial price erosion, and there are more people selling them when the systems are only 2 or 3 years old. Previously you couldn't hardly find one used, and if you did it commanded a fairly high used price, yet now there are usually a decent number each week, and the age of them are much newer. many couples hang onto them until all kids are in their teens. So Ive called a number of them as they get listed or emailed, and gotten responses. Trying to figure out why they are selling, a very common response now is they "need the money" for (car, bills, moving, etc.). Whereas before it was my kids have outgrown it. My best recent find is a less than 2 year old system, that retailed for over $4000, and can be had for $900. Knowing the quality of the redwood, heavy metal chains that are rust proof, rubber coated, and materials that have lifetime warranties, and finding they have a couple of kids still very young and able to use it, this is a sign of the desperation out there. its emotionally very hard for parents to part with something they've watched their kids grow up on and play on and develop into stronger and happier kids. I've held off buying one, for a couple of years now, as my neighbor bought a new one for well north of $5000 about 5 years ago, and my kids have gotten great use out of it. We really dont need one, but their kids are older, they ain't ready to part with it, but the simple fact remains that our kids don't hang with them as much, so they can't use it as much as they used to. My kids are still young enough to use one and the youngest loves to climb and would likely enjoy one for another 4 years. so maybe its time to make a grab on one, and my bet is I could sell one that I buy right now, is 2 years old now, for more than I pay for it, 4 years from now, as i see 8 to 10 year old systems get snapped up in a fairly rotten economy at prices that were recently about 25% higher than Im seeing currently. Some nice things about these is it keeps the kids outdoors instead of in front of video games, they get stronger, develop better balance, and you don't have to take them to a park or pawn your kids off to someone else. Now if I could only buy an in ground pool used at 20% of its new price, and only 2 years old, I'd be all set.
Rainbow Play Systems Desperation Indicator
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