Hobby fun without the ex­pense

The Courier-Mail - Weekend Shopper - - Weekendshopper - - AN­DREA LUNT

EVER had dreams of per­form­ing in front of ador­ing crowds as a clas­si­cal vi­o­lin­ist, mak­ing it big as an elite fig­ure skater, or be­com­ing the world’s next Tiger Woods?

Many of us have har­boured am­bi­tions to ex­cel in some type of pur­suit and spent hun­dreds of dol­lars on the items that can help us achieve our dreams.

Of­ten, though, th­ese new hob­bies don’t last and be­fore long the ex­pen­sive ice skates or golf clubs that friends warned you not to buy are rel­e­gated to the back of the garage.

Be­fore pur­chas­ing ex­pen­sive new equip­ment for a pur­suit that might only last six months, con­sider check­ing out the sec­ond­hand al­ter­na­tives.

Shael Daw­son, man­ager of iconic For­ti­tude Val­ley store Monty’s Pawn­bro­kers, said buy­ing pre-loved goods for a new hobby made sense.

"If it’s a hobby that you’re just start­ing off with you don’t want to be spending too much," Mr Daw­son said.

"For in­stance, so many peo­ple want to play the gui­tar but from per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence it’s not as sim­ple as it seems. Why would you spend $500 on a new gui­tar when you can get one for $100, play for six months and then de­cide whether you’re in love with it or if it’s just a phase.

"In­stead of buy­ing a cheap, brand new gui­tar, you can get a sec­ond hand, bet­ter gui­tar for the same price."

The Week­end Shop­per has a range of pre-loved sport­ing and hobby items avail­able each week, from karate suits to tap shoes and ice skates.

Fu­ture rock stars can find dis­counted prices on good qual­ity mu­si­cal in­stru­ments, from acous­tic and elec­tric gui­tars to cel­los, clar­inets and flutes.

Fish­ing rods and reels start at about $30 and range up to sev­eral hun­dred dol­lars, while golf club sets are priced on av­er­age be­tween $50 and $500, de­pend­ing on the qual­ity.

There are also abun­dant golf­ing ac­ces­sories avail­able, from gloves and shoes to balls, bags and bug­gies.

Those who have been toy­ing with the idea of don­ning some whites and tak­ing up bowls can grab a bar­gain on a good qual­ity set of lawn bowls for be­tween $150 and $400 on av­er­age.

Mr Daw­son said when buy­ing preloved it paid to be se­lec­tive to en­sure the items were still in good work­ing or­der.

"Even if it’s sec­ond hand you don’t want some­thing that is trashed," he said.

"Also, de­pend­ing on how much money you have, con­sider the brand."

If you’re one of those whose dream pur­suit has not worked out, all is not lost.

Items from past hob­bies can be sold through the Shop­per – and if it costs less than $500 you can ad­ver­tise for free.

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