Mike: Getting my tax refund soon, and got some money to play with.  Went to the local archery shop with my buddy, who upgraded to a new Hoyt RX-8. I was looking at the used bows and picked up a Hoyt Alpha X 30 with draw weight and length that fit me perfect. “Sweet bow and hasn’t been shot a lot,” the shop owner said, “You can have it for $800.”

I wasn’t bow shopping, but before I could think I blurted, “Will you take $700?” Both my buddy and I walked out of there with bows!

Love the bow and it shoots fine, so I don’t have buyer’s remorse. But I wondered what you think of buying a used bow? Would you have done the same thing? Thanks, Mark from PA 

Mark: I wish I could do my taxes as fast as you, lol. While there are obviously some risks with buying anything used, I think you did a good thing. You saved about $400-$500 off that bow new, and you like the way it fits and shoots. I suspect that most year-old used bows for sale have less than 100 arrows shot through them. You got a nice deer bow, compact, quiet and forgiving.

Some things to keep in mind when buying a used bow:

Buy from an archery shop (not online) like Mark did so you can inspect and, hopefully, shoot the bow at the shop’s range to make sure it fits, feels right and shoots quiet and well.

Have the shop’s best and most experienced employee tune up the bow before you leave. “Best employee” is VERY important because a LOT of wannabes work part-time at archery shops, and know just enough about bows to be dangerous.

At the very least, the shop should throw into the deal a new string and set nock when you buy a bow. Inspect the arrow rest and sight carefully—you might (probably) will want something different. If so the dealer ought to give you a good deal on new accessories, otherwise you’ll eat up a lot of your savings.

Mark bought a 2023 model, which is fine. I would hesitate to buy a bow that is more than 2 years old, 3 max. Archery/cam technology is changing so fast that any new bow is basically a dinosaur when you leave the shop.