How to Buy a Second Hand Parachute: Tips & Advice

June 13, 2024

The parachute second hand market is a wild beast! And finding the right canopy for you can be a bit of a mind f*&k. What model should I get, is it the right size, what is the history of the parachute, who is selling it? So many questions to answer, it can be difficult to even know where to start. Of course, the last thing you want is to end up with a canopy that is on its last legs and falls apart on the first jump. Or even worse, handing over your hard earned cash to a fake seller. Here are our tips and advice on how to buy a second hand parachute.

Do your research

Know the canopy model & size you want. Read up on the manufacturer’s website all the product information. Set yourself a budget and stick to it. Think about what age you are willing to purchase a canopy. Is it the latest model on the market and what would the resell value be when you are ready to move to the next one? Or are you wanting to stay with the canopy for the rest of your skydiving journey? If that’s the case, purchasing new might be the better option for you.

Something that we see frequently happening is sellers offering buyers parachutes that are beyond their skill level. At JYRO, we vet every single one of our canopy purchases and make sure the buyer’s skill level matches the canopy model and size. The same cannot be said for the second hand market. So make sure you know your skill level, research the best canopy for you and stick with that.


Ask a rigger to inspect the used parachute

This is an absolute must! And an easy way to verify the sale is legit. If the seller isn’t willing to have the canopy inspected by a local rigger, then move on to the next sale. Every DZ should have a rigger either on the dropzone or in the local vicinity. Inspections are relatively cheap and well worth the money.

Buy a second hand parachute through a dealer or manufacturer

There are plenty of dealers around the world who sell second hand skydiving gear and are a great option for purchasing through a recognised and verified seller. It also means you will get a complete history of the parachute.


Alternatively, some manufacturers offer second hand parachutes (usually ex-demo canopies) on their websites. Again, the advantage of this is purchasing through a verified seller.

JYRO has a Preloved page that lists our used canopies. They vary in usage – some are ex-demo, some are returned canopies. Our refund policy allows customers to exchange or refund a canopy that has 10 or less jumps (see refund policy).


Do your research on the parachute seller

If you are looking at buying a second hand parachute through Facebook, then make sure to check the credentials of the seller. What does their page say they do? Do they have skydiving friends in common? Are they a skydiver? That seems like a silly thing to confirm, but a clear indicator that this person is fake is no history of skydiving. You could also ask for verification from the admins on the facebook page the seller is advertising on. Another option is to ask the seller to take a photo of them holding the parachute.

It’s also best to avoid places like eBay & Reddit. We’ve seen postings on those sites and often the sale is too good to be true. Which inevitably means it is! Pay attention to how the person describes the parachute. Do they use skydiving terms correctly? Is the serial number hidden or missing? If in doubt, check with the manufacturer for the serial & DOM. Usually they can find the record with the model, size & colour design.

The internet has made it increasingly easy for scammers to take advantage of people. If something seems sketchy, then it’s best to steer clear. Verifying that the person is real, has the canopy and is the owner of it will save you the potential heartbreak of losing money. This Reddit thread has some interesting comments regarding this.

Ask for a full history of the parachute

Not all sellers are honest, so this can be a tricky one to get a real history of the parachute. But stick with it. Find out jump numbers, how many relines it’s had, the DOM, serial number, where it’s been jumped (desert, beach, pond, etc.). And then get a rigger to inspect it. You can also ask the seller to take more photos including close ups of any damage or repairs it’s had. We’d also suggest getting photos of the lineset, making sure to include close ups of wear points (brake-lines, at the softlink connection).

If the canopy has 500 jumps on it and never had a reline, you might want to factor in the cost of this when agreeing on a price. Relines can be anywhere from $200-$600usd and not all riggers are qualified for this service. Most manufacturers will offer relines and at JYRO we include a full inspection as part of the service.


Check the price against the current second hand parachute market

Have a look at multiple listings of the same canopy model and check the price. The second hand parachute market price fluctuates with demand and availability, so it’s always worth checking the price against other listings.

Verify the serial & DOM with the parachute manufacturer

Once you’ve found the parachute you want to buy and have all the information, ask the manufacturer to check the details. You can confirm the DOM is correct and the serial number is legit.

Ask for advice from your local DZ

If you aren’t sure, ask your mates at your local DZ to check the listing. They may have heard about stolen gear or know if a seller is bogus. Or they may know them and say, go for it! It also pays to make sure you are buying a parachute that is right for your skill level and experience. So your instructors, coaches, DZSOs, S&TAs are all good people to check in with first.


Our final bit of advice is to take your time! Make sure you get all the information, verify the seller and the history of the parachute before you hand over any money. What does your gut tell you? Does it look legit? There are so many options out there, even if you miss out on this sale, another one will come around.

FAQs for buying second hand parachutes

What comes with the main canopy?

Just the canopy. Risers, d-bag and pilot chute stay with the container/harness. Also, not everyone will include the softlinks so it’s a good idea to check.

Is the slider standard or RDS?

Most main canopies will come with a standard slider (Petra is the exception at JYRO).

Will it fit in my rig?

We have a pack volume chart that provides some info for a select group of containers but you can also contact the manufacturer to find out more. Scroll to the ‘Features’ section on the canopy model product page and click on ‘Pack Volume’ for the chart.

Is the lineset aftermarket or factory made?

Ahhhh, aftermarket linesets. We’re not the biggest fan of those here at JYRO, but understand that they are out there. We have a strict quality control policy for all our products and cannot guarantee that aftermarket linesets will undergo the same process.


Is shipping included and if not, how much will it cost? Will I need to pay import duties?

If you are buying from someone overseas, there is a chance you will have to pay customs & taxes. It’s also a personal choice as to whether you insure the shipment or not. Tracking shipments is usually a good idea and we recommend always opting for signing at delivery. It’s a risky adventure to have your canopy left on the doorstep!


What is the lowest price you will take?

We understand that you want to get the best price possible. After all, you want to be able to pay for jump tickets once you have your new (to you) parachute. Just be aware that being respectful to the seller goes a long way. Our rule of thumb for working out a price of a used canopy is to start with retail price, take off $1 for every year and a dollar for every jump, minus 10%. Then factor in +$100/-$100 if the parachute needs a reline. This should give you a ballpark to aim for.

How crispy is it?

Ummmm, yeah ok. This question is not a favourite of one of our test pilots. Maybe don’t ask that question.

Are you the original owner?

A good question to ask. If they are the original owner, then they should be able to give a full history of the parachute. If not, it gets harder to find out that information.

Has it always been packed inside?

UV rays are harsh on our beautiful parachutes and the less time they have under the sun, the better. If the canopy has always been packed indoors, the better the condition. If the seller has done inHopps, beach jumps, demo jumps, then there’s a good chance it will have been packed outdoors.


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