I told you guys already, I don’t like to spend money. Unless I’m in a blow money mood and then it lasts for a week or so and I regret it afterwards and my wife reminds me how terrible I am with money. Then I’m back to my old crafty self, to whom I say, “Where can I find a cheap metal detector?” I suppose the definition of cheap becomes relative to the amount of income you make. When I say cheap I mean the twenty to one hundred dollar range. One hundred is getting a little on the pricey side for me. I keep telling myself that if I’m ever going to be one of these guys rocking some high end expensive metal detector like the Garret ATX for gold detecting that it’s going to come from money I made from something I found in the dirt. I suppose a man can dream can’t he? In the meantime we were more concerned with finding some on the skinny penny.

Pawn Shop

Sublime said it best I think “Down at the pawn shop”. People who find themselves in a pinch for cash, or teenagers who realize their parents aren’t going to miss this or that item in the attic or buried deep in the garage are prone to head to the nearest pawn shop. I know of three or four in my local vicinity and if you live in a bigger area I’m sure it would be nothing for you to hit ten or so. Don’t just walk into one and say, “Hey, I want to buy that metal detector over there.” Slow play your hand a little bit. (Funny story about the slow playing the hand a little later in article.) Visit a few of the shops and compare prices. Pull the each brand and type up on your phone if you have one and see what they are going for online. Don’t be afraid to ask the pawn shop owner to match their price up with what you have pulled up in front of you. Just level with the person. I would put it along these lines here, “Look, I’m going to buy a cheap metal detector at some point today. It might be from this website here, or you can quit shooting for the stars on your profit and realize you aren’t going to have a ton of people rushing in here to buy that thing. I would prefer to carry that one out of here, but I can wait for one in the mail all the same; I’m not picky about who gets my business. A small note here, before going for your bargain make sure you have already passed the point of turning the metal detector on and testing out that it works.

Flea Markets

The good old flea market, or bazaar depending where you’re from is another great place to pick up a cheap metal detector. You get a mix of people who are rookies or one timers just trying to get rid of junk that has been sitting around their house and you also get professional sharks trying to turn a profit one dollar and fifty cents at a time. Every penny counts in the flea market world. Now with any luck you can find yourself a good down to earth one time looking to get rid of his metal detector at a loss to gain space around the house. Think of it as he is paying you a storage fee if you will. Then again you may find yourself in the savage waters of haggling with a flea market pro. He buys the stuff at discount from some wholesale place and then treks it up to the flea market with all intentions of making a profit. If that is the case and you’re neither Jewish, a Gypsy, or from New Jersey then best luck to you.

Yard Sales

Here is a little golden ticket for you. This is like flea market training ground for the not so savvy haggler, myself included. This is going to take a little more work because of the nature of the prospect. Yard sales are seasonal, they are sporadic, and they are only lightly advertised. Enjoy the adventure though, go out cruising around and see what you find. I will share with you a little tale of my own. I mention on the home page that I’m using a Bounty Hunter Tracker II, and this is how I got it. This also is the part of the post where I get back to the funny part about slow playing your hand. My wife, daughters, mother, and I went out “yard sailing” as we call it in these parts after taking my daughters to a game farm. If you’re curious, I touched a bobcat, woot woot. So as luck would have it from going from place to place we cam to a garage sale. It was just up the street from another sale, so as my daughter and I were approaching I spotted the metal detector. I knew I was interested right then, so I told my daughter not to make a big deal or say “oooh Daddy look a metal detector!” We got up and I perused around their good and feigned interest as I casually passed by the detector. My mother was behind us, and she was not in on our little “act like we aren’t interested so we can haggle for a better price bit.”  “Hey, Jeffrey look! A metal detector! You were wanting one of these, is it like the one you mother-in-law has?” I hopelessly tried to maintain my reserve about the item as she continued to ogle it. The point is, even though all these things had taken place, I was still able to get my cheap metal detector. They had a price tag of fifty dollars on it and I offered them thirty five. They took the offer and I wondered if I should have offered twenty five. They told me their son had purchased it just last year at the beach, used it during their vacation and hadn’t touched it sense. I wasn’t sure of the value of it, but knew thirty five had to be cheaper than anything else I was going to find. If you look it up today you will find it selling for between eighty to one hundred and twenty dollars. I was thrilled to say the least.


No tricks here. Good old Walmart coming through in a pinch. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that a ZAAP metal detector may not be the same quality as some of the other names in the game, but at fifty five dollars out of the box and hunting I think it might be worth investing in for the beginner. Don’t make the same mistake I make with everything and go way overboard and many burnt dollars and new clutter later I’m kind of no longer interested in my hobby of the month. Make sure you are going to enjoy this activity for a while before you dump a lot of money into it. This all boils down to currents and tones, you will still find metal with you ZAAP.

Metal Detecting Events

This is a total shot from the hip on my part, but I’m just trying to extrapolate from my gun show experience. You know, the two or three gun shows I’ve been to so now I can speak as an authority on the subject 😉 I do know that there is always a guy or two walking at a gun show trying to get rid of excess weapons. Perhaps metal detecting events are the same? People are there, they get interested in the sport and they decide they need  a metal detector and someone provides that for them. On second though, I don’t know if that is really going to play into our cheap metal detector avenue, but it might be a way to turn a buck if you bought one and decide you don’t like it. Who knows, haggling can determine so much. I will try to gather up some information on hunts and events going on and news related to the hobby to help give folks an idea of places they might have a chance to attend and event. Who knows, maybe you make a friend at an event and they know a guy that runs a shop and then you get a killer discount.

In Conclusion

Let me boil this big pot of fat down to something tasty for you. You have pawn shops, yard sales, Walmart, shows, and perhaps folks you meet as potential purchase points for cheap metal detectors. Finding that deal is up to you. Be patient and persistent. Good things come to those who wait.



photo credit: Canadian Pacific <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/18378305@N00/30257254882″>7th Avenue Jewelers & Timepieces</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>


photo credit: Xavier Roeseler <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/34453416@N05/12486201094″>Mind your heads</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

photo credit: frankh <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/53938557@N00/2869660512″>great big old yard sale</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>