Thoughts on fair pricing for used racks?

I’ve been casually looking at maybe picking up a rack or two. Not an urgent need, and this isn’t about my personal husbandry choices. I haven’t seen huge numbers of used racks listed in my corner of the world, even with a 250-mile search. Which is fine. As I said, I’m casually looking rather than desperately searching. I’ve been casually looking at new, also.

Yesterday I did find a few used ones. They’re not far away, been used for about a year. They’re also priced essentially as new. They’re all C Serpents products, heat tape and tubs included. The best deal is an 18 tub hatchling rack for $250 (new $325). The others are an 8 tub V35s for $400 (new $475) and a 16 tub V18 for $400 (new $450). I haven’t seen them yet.

Let’s assume that they’re in fantastic shape. Still, the heat tape has been in use for a year and it all does eventually give out. I’ll need to put work into thoroughly disinfecting any used rack which wouldn’t be necessary if I buy new. Going to pick up any of these would be far cheaper than shipping costs, I’m sure, though I haven’t actually queried the good folks at C Serpents about shipping since my search has been casual and their time is important.

These prices seem high to me, but there are seldom any comparables near. What do you think is a fair price? As a broader question, what is fair for used racks? 75% off retail? 50%? 10% discount per year of age? I know that this will vary in different regions of the world. Given that there are some places where the items would be snatched immediately, others where they can hardly be given away, maybe the market is too local to have a fair answer.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.


I had a long response typed out and decided it actually wouldn’t be of help. Instead I suggest not worrying about price breaks but instead consider what you personally feel is a fair price for your time to pick up and prepare the rack for your use. You can then make an offer for the rack, usually sellers are willing to negotiate when the buyer isn’t insulting them with lowball prices.


Thanks for your reply. I know that any item is ultimately worth whatever two parties that it is worth. I hate haggling and I don’t want to waste anybody time with lowball stuff. It’s that desire not to waste somebody’s work time which is why I haven’t contacted C Serpents to get shipping costs to my area, but I guess I should. I need to know that in order to make a sensible offer.

Does shipping add 25%? Usually double the cost? Again, I know this will vary a lot.


I think those prices are pretty high. I would say to negotiate if possible like @randall_turner_jr mentioned. As far as the heat tape being used for a year it’s no big deal. Those racks have routed out areas that the bins never rub on the tape. And if installed properly should last for a long time. I still have a old melamine shelving rack I built in the early 2000’s still functioning fine on the original heat tape! Since your not in a hurry I would just keep looking around, I would say 50-60% of original price would be a fair range. Good luck to ya!


Thanks for your replying. I appreciate it.

That was kind of what I’m thinking. In my casual browsing, that 50-60% range seemed to be more usual. I was surprised when I got the quote.


If you don’t wanna pay cash I’ve gotten a few racks via trade for a snake. Maybe ask if they interested in that? Something of equal value.


I did wonder about that. The seller said they are getting rid of all their snakes but one, and that’s their burm. Good to know that it works out sometimes. I’ll keep looking.


Also in the past I’ve posted on Craigslist offering snakes up for trade for racks I got my hatchling racks that way just put in the description looking for rack of equal value.


Hm. Interesting. I might at least think about posting a “wanted” ad. I’ve been looking but not in a “gotta have it” frame of mind. It’s been more like, fine if I find it, fine if I don’t. But there’s certainly no harm in reaching out to see what may be out there. Hmmmm.


So here is my 2 cents worth. If you’re not in any hurry I would just start a “rack” fund and save for the “shipping” from wherever you buy the racks, since shipping is an added expense. That way down the road you’ll have plenty of extra money for the shipping and a new rack won’t seem so expensive. Imho, by the time you drive to wherever to pick up used racks that you will have to clean/disinfect, you may wish you had just bought new……?:upside_down_face::blush::snake::frog::lizard:


@caron I was just thinking about posting those thoughts myself, lol good thing I read the replies :sweat_smile:.


I have been debating. I’m not 100% sure what I want, or if I do in fact want a rack. We have been supposed to move for a while. I’m not anxious to add things which need to be relocated. The funds are available, although they’re not burning a hole in my pocket.

This is definitely a consideration. Getting a used rack ready is not to be taken lightly. The ones I referenced in this thread are practically next door, which was part of their appeal. In the end I decided that the convenience of their proximity wasn’t a good enough reason to buy. I am still kinda thinking about one of them but I probably won’t opt for it either.

A rack is a major purchase. I know me well enough to know that if it isn’t really what I want, well, I’ll keep wanting what I wanted. Sounds like a tongue twister, lol, but it’s also a fact. I don’t want to spend hard earned funds on something which won’t check my major boxes. So for now, I’m still in the market.


I think I’m of a different mindset than others in this post. Honestly I don’t see any reason why a used rack should only be 50% of what a new one costs.

For instance the rack you mentioned that was $475 new. Shipping on that is likely $60-$100. Yes disinfecting takes some time, but I can’t imagine it taking that much time to clean it.

If the rack is in fairly good shape, then it could be sold for 75-80% of retail, easily. Just because it’s used doesn’t decrease its functionality. I think we all want to get a “deal” but I don’t think this should apply here, because it’s equipment that works just as good as it did the day it was bought.

Just my 2 cents

Also editing to add,
I think pvc racks should experience some price drop after a few years (75-80% retail.)
However I don’t see any reason why a rack like a FB rack or others that are heavy, metal racks should go for much less than retail. You’re still paying for the same quality.


Thanks for the input. I was honestly asking what the community thought about pricing for used racks. I’d like to know before making any offer. That’s not because I’m anxious for a “deal,” it’s because I want to be fair to everyone.

I’ve got some physical challenges, so yeah, I anticipate a thorough kill-the-germs and evict-every-possible-mite in every crevice cleaning actually would take significant effort for me. I recognize that the effort is on me, not the community, but it is part of my price consideration. I don’t think saving $50 is worth it.

What’s the logic for the drop in PVC price? Again, honestly asking.


Hey! Great minds right?! :heart::frog::snake::lizard::blush:


I completely understand this, and when I wrote that in my post, I wasn’t referring to you specifically, just in general when it comes to selling things, a lot of people are looking for deals. Which I can understand to an extent.

I can imagine how that would make that side of things less appealing and the savings not worth it, 100%. I can also understand how that would factor in when considering how much you are willing to spend.

So for me, the logic here is solely that PVC racks typically aren’t going to last as long overtime. This might not be the case for everyone, if they aren’t moving them around much or changing things, you may never have issues. I just feel the steel racks (which I don’t have, yet anyway) are much more durable and have a lot more life to offer. This could just be a personal preference from me, but wanted to share it as well.

For instance, about 2 years ago I purchased 2 of the Cserpents 18 tub hatchling racks from someone through FB marketplace, and I believe I paid about $200 a piece for them, which I felt I got a deal on. but where they were local, I likely would’ve paid up to 250-275 for them if I needed them badly at the time.


I have found you can get better prices etc on racks at conventions, especially larger ones. There’s probably a couple within that distance for you - I have some smaller ones and then Tinley, which is where, especially subtracting shipping, I could have really got some deals on racks for all sizes, especially BP/colubrid heights. I would have bought some even tho I won’t have babies for some time, but I didn’t have room in my mom’s car I borrow lol.

Otherwise, both wood/melamine (which is heavy), PVC and other materials can be had for cheap and a custom made racks possible. I would love to build one that uses 4ft tubs with 18in of height for dwarf boas to still be able to climb.

Half this comment got deleted lol, I will just say I do recommend going to a convention to meet people who sell/build new and used racks etc. If at all possible.


Thanks for that thoughtful reply. Much appreciated. I am learning more, which is always good.

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You are right, a convention/ show can be a good place to find a rack. I’ll definitely bear that in mind.


Sellers of used racks/pvc are taking advantage of excess shipping times and a thin used market right now in order to justify their prices. It’s not really about the product quality or integrity…

If it WERE based off those factors (and i believe it should be) pvc and racks would average more around 65% of MSRP. 45-50% for ones with clear damage, 75-80% for new & no damage. Let’s say you buy one and it’s delivered to your house in a box. The moment that you, a consumer, put that product together, tack off 20% of it’s value for depreciation. Kinda like ‘off the lot’ depreciation for cars, but instead it’s ‘consumer assembly’ deprecation. From that point, after 2 years drop another 10%.

10% accounts for normal wear and tear a product accumulates after being used long enough to no longer be considered a ‘new’ item.

20% covers the potential for assembly mistakes that may raise likelihood of premature failure, and covers the fact that as a private seller, no guarantees can be made about any part of the products integrity, potential disease/parasite exposure history, possible damage, so on so forth.
It’s the biggest value detractor because a private seller has no established professional reputation to back up claims, little to no incentive to tell the truth, and everything is final sale.

For other products, that percentage would be higher, but because PVC/Racks are built to be robust, the quality of the product itself makes up for some of this risk. For example a TV stand would depreciate 10-15% more. Leading to overall deprecation of 40-45% after 2 years of good use, or 30-35% if still within the timeline of relatively ‘new.’

Any damage beyond that depends. Small damage? Maybe mention it, but wear and tear covers that. If it doesn’t effect functionality then don’t lower price. Noticable but not vital? Haggle with them and see if they’ll take it. Anything big or missing or that actually compromises aspects of functionality? That should definitely reduce the price depending on how bad it is/what’s missing.

This is how i sell my used enclosures and yeah, it’s a loss overall. But it’s not supposed to comp or come close to comping the price of new. It’s supposed to mitigate loss by getting paid to give it to someone instead having to pay someone to dump or store it. I understand that the value in our eyes is high because we paid a lot, these things are super nice, and it hurts to have to sell it when we’d probably sooner keep it if only it wouldn’t take up so much space/cost so much to put in storage. I mean, what if we end up getting another animal down the road that it would be perfect for? Right? Then it’s easy to try to get as much as possible for it to either put into the next one or invest back into your collection.

By my logic, say my rack system was $600 heat tape pre-installed, it’s now 5 years old, well loved with some stained bins, scuffs, and an annoying wheel, but nothing broken, i would sell it for like $420.
Now if the same rack was only a year old, it would be like $480.

What i actually see (in my area at least) 9 x out of 10 is a 600$ enclosure/rack system being sold dirty as all heck with years of use, (did they even try to remove the substrate? No.) and in some cases, missing equipment, going for like $500
(plus accessories that are mandatorily included for just 100! It’s a ’ ‘$300 value’ ’ but you can and have to take it for only $100!) It’s usually just a bunch of junk. (No one wants your spare micro sized heat mats, various too-tiny-for-anything-other-than-a-hatchling-corn-snake water bowls/hides or that one heat rock you got from way back when you were dumb and just started keeping, lol.) But more importantly, it’s junk that bumps the price right back up to $600!

You’d think it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that’s a rip off, but somehow they sell. Not to me lol, but they do.