Used Playsets

Navigating the second-hand playset market

If you’re navigating the second-hand playset market, you’ve landed in the perfect spot. If you’re handy and have access to a truck, you can score an amazing playset for your backyard with significant savings. Often, people are giving away playsets for free! One crucial factor is time—you’ll need plenty of it to disassemble and reassemble the set, and you might have to replace some old parts and hardware along the way.

We guide you on how to pick the best and avoid the pitfalls. Many options might not be worth it due to rotten wood, problematic old hardware, or the sheer bulkiness making them hard to disassemble and move. Check out our tips to ensure you make a smart and rewarding choice!

Wooden Playsets​

The best place to start your search for used playsets is Facebook Marketplace. While Craigslist is also a viable option, most sellers and buyers have shifted to Facebook for its convenience. Similar to new models, the top pick for used playsets is Rainbow Playsets. These high-quality wooden structures often cost thousands when bought new, but as you can see in the above image, they can be snagged at massive discounts, sometimes even for free. However, prepare for significant effort in disassembly and reassembly when dealing with Rainbow Playsets—they’re built to last for many years. Be cautious with other brands of wooden playsets; they are often cheaper but can deteriorate quickly.

Metal Playsets

For those seeking a more manageable project, consider Lifetime playsets. These metal playsets typically involve fewer parts, making them easier to disassemble and reassemble. They also maintain excellent quality and durability. However, keep in mind that they are harder to find.

Checklist for Buying a Used Playset

  1. Inspect the Wood Quality

    • Check for signs of rot or decay, especially at the base and joints.
    • Look for cracks or splits, particularly in load-bearing areas.
  2. Evaluate the Hardware

    • Ensure that bolts and screws are not rusted or stripped.
    • Confirm that all hardware is present and in good condition.
  3. Assess the Overall Stability

    • Check for any wobbling or instability in the structure.
    • Make sure the playset is safe and secure for use.
  4. Consider the Playset’s Age

    • Ask about the playset’s age and how long it has been used.
    • Older playsets might require more maintenance and replacement parts.
  5. Availability of Replacement Parts

    • Confirm that replacement parts are still available for the model.
    • Consider the cost of any necessary parts when negotiating the price.
  6. Check for Safety Certifications

    • Verify that the playset meets current safety standards.
    • Look for certifications from recognized safety organizations.
  7. Ease of Disassembly and Transport

    • Consider how easily the playset can be taken apart and transported.
    • If the playset is anchored in concrete, understand the additional effort required.
  8. Measure Your Available Space

    • Ensure the playset will fit in your designated space, including safety zones around the equipment.
  9. Ask for the Original Purchase Details

    • Request information on where and when the playset was purchased.
    • Ask for any original manuals or assembly instructions.
  10. Negotiate Based on Condition

    • Adjust your offer based on the condition and age of the playset.
    • Factor in any additional costs for repairs or modifications.