The expenses involved in having your child participate in sports can pile up. And it may surprise parents that they’ll spend beyond the registration fee as they’ll also need to buy their kid sports equipment.

However, when it comes to sports equipment, no one said you had to purchase everything brand new, and there are certainly no rules when it comes to which brands to choose. Here are some smart money-saving tips for buying sports equipment in preparation for the upcoming season:

Consignment Outlets

Get new equipment for less at consignment stores or slightly used items at second-hand stores that cater to sporting goods. You can enjoy between 20 – 60% off retails prices at these stores, ultimately saving you big money.

Look Online

Check out eBay, Amazon, and social media sites. You’ll find a huge variety and selection to choose from. But more importantly, you’ll have the ability to compare prices and review customer ratings and reviews.

On social media and other sports networking forums, you may be able to connect with people who are having a yard sale that involved sporting equipment. On your local Craigslist, it’s easy to perform a search for sale/wanted sporting goods and find everything from gear to equipment to attire. Also check out your community forums online for yard sales in your neighborhood. While you won’t always be guaranteed to find sporting equipment, it’s still worth a shot.

Clearance and End-of-Season Sales

Sporting goods store typically hold clearance sales and end-of-season sales once the season is over. For the savvy parent, this is the time to purchase sports equipment and gear regardless of the fact that the season is now over. If you know that your child is likely to go back to playing once the new season starts, it pays to be already prepared. Waiting until the new season starts to buy new equipment means you’ll be shopping when prices have gone back up again.

Make It Last

The last and probably most important tip is – take care of what you have so it lasts. Just because you’ve saved money on sports equipment by buying them at prices less than the retail price of brand new equipment, it doesn’t mean you can misuse them.

Teach your child to take care of their equipment to prolong its life. Sports equipment that is taken care of may last them until the next season. A ball glove, for example, tends to get better with age and athletes love a glove that is broken into. However, do know the difference between broken into and broken and replace old equipment the moment the extent of their damage can cause injury.

Doing what you can to save money on sports equipment doesn’t mean you’re being frugal or denying your child the pleasures of all-new branded equipment. In fact, you’re teaching them valuable lessons in how to be smart with your spending.