Some with above-ground pools will have a notion of selling them. This is usually from either the kids being grown and no one is using it, or that they are moving.
Over the years, I have noticed that some try to sell their above-ground pool and are unsuccessful. I know of this because, as an installer, pool sellers contact me inquiring if I want to buy it, or where they can sell it, or if I would take it down, or if I would re-install it.
Some contact me later to take the pool down or put a new liner in it. And that’s when I know that they couldn’t sell it for one reason or another.
Here are Fifteen Tips for Selling Your Above-Ground Pool.
Determine a Realistic Price
Everybody is different. Some think what they have is worth a lot more than it is. Others will sell stuff way too cheap and then regret it later when they find out that they could’ve gotten a lot more.
As a general rule, a used above-ground pool is worth less than most think. Many will try to sell their used pool for way more than anyone would be willing to pay.
Read my article “How Much Should You Pay for a Used Above Ground Swimming Pool” to help determine what your pool is worth.
Know That it Will Need a New Liner
Let’s just get this out of the way right off.
“Regardless of the age, re-assembling an above ground pool will need a new liner”
For some, this is such a hard pill to swallow. Now, you can talk to a lot of people and do a bunch of research, or you can just take a professional’s word for it right now. Either way, the conclusion will be the same – the pool will be needing a new liner. Period.
Have an Installer Available if You Can
Please keep in mind that you are not trying to sell something like a freezer or gas grill. Above ground pools need to be disassembled and re-installed.
People love it when you can make things easier for them. Doing the leg-work and having installer information available will often make the difference between selling the pool and not.
If you had the pool installed, see if you can contact the original installer. He will be much more likely to disassemble it, move it, and/or re-install it than other installers.
Advertise on FB marketplace, Craigslist, local online classifieds, Marketplace apps, and FB pool groups Facebook marketplace and apps like Offerup are currently the best places to find and sell used above-ground pools.
Advertising locally is the key here. Most won’t travel too far to buy a used pool, so depending on how far out the country you live, know that most won’t go more than a hundred miles (or much less) from where they are.
Have Good Pictures of the Pool Full of Water and Clean
This may seem very basic to some, but have good pictures of your pool in your advertisement. And if corresponding in some other way, have some good pics available to e-mail or text.
My ex-father-in-law was a career salesman. He used to say “Don’t sell the steak, sell the sizzle”. Having some great pics of your pool with super clean water on a great, bright day full of swimmers is a lot of sizzle.
You may not be a salesman, but you are trying to sell something. Go the extra mile to make the pool look great.
Having Original Paperwork is Helpful
It is so nice to have the sales receipt and paperwork for the pool when selling it. The paperwork will have answers like the size and height of the pool, the model name (in case it needs any parts), any options that came with it, and the original price.
Having the paperwork for the pool legitimizes it and makes the potential buyer feel better about the product.
Please note that most above-ground pool warranties or not transferable.
Best to Try to Sell in the Summer
As an above-ground pool installer for three and a half decades, I can tell you that most people don’t act on buying or having a pool installed until it gets hot outside.
Every year, I deal with a number of “winter tire kickers” who hit me up with a million questions and the promise of a nice cool off-season install job. And even after telling them that I get backed up for weeks in the summer, most of them wait until May to get with me for the install.
Your odds are fifty times better to sell your above-ground pool if you sell it when it’s hot out, preferably in the early hot part of the summer.
Pre-Inspect for Wall Rust
An above-ground pool can look pretty bad and have a lot of rust with the frame and still be worth selling. If there is bad rust in the pool wall though, then it’s not worth buying or selling.
Check for rust on the outside of the wall of the pool everywhere, especially under the skimmer and return fitting. Some outside surface rust may be ok, so don’t think that just some rust means the pool is not salable.
Best if Drained and Liner Out. Otherwise, There’s a Possibility That the Wall is Rusted
The only way to know the status of the pool’s wall is by being able to see the inside of it. This means the pool has to be drained and the liner has to come out.
If you are taking the pool down regardless of whether or not you can sell it, then I recommend draining it and cutting out the liner. This way you will know the condition of the wall.
If you sell your pool when it’s full of water, then catastrophic rust may be found in the wall during the disassembly of the pool. This may result in the buyer backing out of the sale.
If you can, Offer Disassembly and/or Delivery, but Charge More for That
As mentioned earlier, people like simple.
There’s more to buying a used above-ground swimming pool than just paying for it. It has to be disassembled, transported, and then re-installed. Offering to take the pool down and/or deliver it may make the difference between selling it or not.
If you do provide taking down the pool and/or delivering it, my recommendation is to charge more for that. It’s a lot of work and extra liability.
If Disassembling, Make Very Sure That You Don’t Lose Any Parts
There can be a lot of little parts that go with an above-ground pool. Most of those parts are unique to the model and maker of the pool, so replacing lost parts can be a pain.
Be very systematic when disassembling the pool. Organize the parts well for storage or transport. Count everything before, during, and after disassembly.
Some parts of the pool may be buried in the ground a little. Make sure that you have removed all of the bottom track and bottom connectors from the pool site.
There will be all the same number of top rails, top connector plates, bottom rails, bottom connector plates, uprights, top rails, and top caps (for round pools). This will help you to make sure that you have all the parts of the pool frame.
It’s Better To Sell the Pool if it is Five Years Old or Newer
The older an above-ground pool is, the more likely it will have too much rust. Older pools will not come apart as easily either. Some screws will fuse or rust and some resin parts will be weakened and crack during disassembly.
If your pool is older than five years but in great shape, you can still sell it. I have re-installed pools that were ten years old or older before with success.
In most cases though, pools older than five years and not well taken care of will not be worth trying to sell or disassemble.
(Important tip) Spray the Wall Bolts with WD-40 or Similar
All metal-walled above-ground pools have wall bolts to connect both ends of the wall. These bolts run through the wall from the top to the bottom in a straight line.
Wall bolts are made of corrosion-resistant metals like stainless steel, but they can still fuse together over time. It’s common for these bolts to not want to loosen, so by soaking them with a penetrant like WD-40 way ahead of time will help a lot.
Spraying the wall bolts with WD-40 (or a similar product) an hour or a day before trying to remove them can make the difference between getting the wall apart and not.
With most models and with a professional installation, the wall bolts will usually be hidden behind an upright directly next to the skimmer and return openings. Gain access to them and spray them down with WD-40. You can do this weeks before selling the pool if you like. You can even hit it a few times over a period and that will help when the time comes to take them apart.
If the pool is drained and the liner is out(See #9 above), remove the tape covering the wall bolts from inside the pool and spray them with WD-40. This way, you’ll have sprayed both sides of the wall bolts.
Ovals are Harder to Disassemble
The difference between a round above-ground pool and an oval is a lot. Ovals have a lot more parts to them. And many of the parts in the ground are bolted together, which can make it tougher to take apart.
I have disassembled a few ovals and re-installed them elsewhere, but usually don’t recommend it, especially if the oval is more than a couple of years old.
Oval pools have structures called “buttresses”. These buttresses don’t have to be completely taken apart, but if kept intact, they are very bulky for transport. I use a trailer to move used oval pools for this reason. Only having a pick-up truck to move a used oval may result in several trips.
With older ovals, many of the bolted parts under the pool can be fused together and will be a super pain to take apart. It doesn’t help that these bolted-together parts are buried.
Digging up the bolted areas, spraying them clean with a water hose, and then soaking the bolts with WD-40 beforehand is a must.
Either Purchase a New Liner or Have Where to Buy One Available
As mentioned earlier, a new liner will be needed when re-installing an above-ground pool (See #2 above).
To make things easier for the buyer, either already have the new liner with the used pool or have a link or store information on where to buy one. This can make the used product that they are buying feel like a more complete purchase.
Selling something used and then saying “Oh by the way, you’ll have to buy something for this before you can assemble it” can give the potential purchaser caution. Already having the new liner situation worked out will make the purchased product more complete.