How much is a 5lb CO2 tank worth? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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How much is a 5lb CO2 tank worth?

I put an ad up on Craigslist that I was looking for a couple of CO2 tanks.

I have someone that has (2) 5 lb tanks that are not up to date on the hydro test.

I called MaineOxy where I would swap them out and they said, I'd have to pay for the test and it is $18.

What are these tanks worth? What would be a fair price to offer this guy for them.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 12:40 PM
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How old are the tanks? Do you have photos of them? How have they been used and stored?

If you're interested in swapping tanks on a regular basis, it may be cheaper just to go to a supplier to pick up a tank. That way you don't have to take any risks or determine a value.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 01:00 PM
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I bought a new aluminum 5lb for $60 shipped online, then swapped it for a full aluminum one locally for $15.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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I was just looking to use them as a immediate swap. MaineOxy said, I would just need to pay for the hydro test & gas, so I didn't think condition or storage or any of that would need to be considered?

I didn't want to spring for a brand new tank to get a crappy one when I swapped. I figured if I got one used then it wouldn't matter.

So, if I could get one for $60, shipped that was brand new...I have to pay $18 for a hydro test on each of these...what should I offer the guy that would be fair.

Maybe I should call MaineOxy again and ask if there is a certain condition/age, that they wouldn't accept the tanks for a swap. They want $89 for a 5lb tank + the gas if I went that road...so I'm looking to save a few bucks.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 01:26 PM
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Well I did call ahead and made sure they had a pretty new aluminum one to swap with before I headed over, I don't think that's unreasonable. So $75 from no tank to a still shiny but tested and full tank seems fair to me, plus $15 swaps from then on? Good stuff.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I just called MaineOxy. It would cost $89.96 to get a full 5lb tank.

With used tanks, he said, any scars, dents, dings or burn marks they won't accept the tank for a trade. If the valve is bad it is also a no go. They don't fill the tanks there, and there is no way to tell if the valve is bad until they fill it.

I guess probably the thing to do is not risk it & buy directly from them. There won't be any issues and swapping out won't be a hassle, in the long run.

Thanks everybody for feedback.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 04:44 PM
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For what it's worth, I just did the same thing and placed an ad on craigslist that I was buying. Prices here in fairfield county are higher than the rest of the country as a comparison. After some minimal negotiating, I got a 5 lb expired steel tank and an unexpired 2.5 lb aluminum (still shiny) for $20. I was pretty ecstatic about it but I lucked into a former kegger who was moving and wanted to get rid of a lot of stuff. There are deals to be had if you're patient.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 04:57 PM
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It needs to be considered when you're trying to decide how much is appropriate to pay the seller for their used tanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elyssa View Post
I was just looking to use them as a immediate swap. MaineOxy said, I would just need to pay for the hydro test & gas, so I didn't think condition or storage or any of that would need to be considered?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 05:05 PM
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How much is a 5lb CO2 tank worth?

Offer 20 each.. I wouldn't pay more than that unless you need it bad and he is the only seller in town. It's gonna cost you to test it so use that in your bargain. Then you need to fill it... I have seen much larger used tanks go for less than 20 on Craigslist. Good luck to you.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Ozymandius,
Patience I do have. After calling MaineOxy, at least I'm clear on what to look out for and stay away from.

I had a lot of replies of people wanting to get rid of pepsi/coca cola tanks. No problem getting them filled, everyone has told me. Yeah, that is true, but only if you have a bill of sale from the companies. I've also been told that the tanks are full...it reads 800 on a gauge, so I can prove it..yeah okay..how much does it weigh...oh I don't have a scale. I had one guy give me the a weight that indicated the tank was completely empty! Buyer beware, right!

This guy wanted $50 for both and I said thanks but no thanks because of the hydro test. He then told me to make him an offer if I was still interested. That's why I asked. He obviously thinks there worth something and I don't want to offend him by saying no more that $20 for both or maybe $30, if he'd be willing to meet me at Maine Oxy, so I'd be closer to knowing if I was going to get burned or not.

After finding out today, that it's only $7 more for a 10lb tank fill, I think that I might be better off going that way. I'd definitely need two tanks, though. As the MaineOxy here doesn't have them on the floor. I'd have to send it out and wait...
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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somewhatshocked,
I understand what your saying. I was just wondering if there was any *going rate* that was normal for used tanks.

Putting it into perspective, if a full tank costs $90 and to refill it costs $20. Then all they are charging is $70 for the tank itself. Which doesn't seem that bad, if the cheapest I can get one delivered is $60.

If these used tanks were actually hydro tested than the $25 each would be more than fair ($25+20=$45). It be about 50% off what Maine Oxy is charging. The whole out of hydro test date is what is throwing me. $25(tank)+$18(hydro test) $20 (gas)=$63 (doesn't seem like much of a bargain for 5+ year old tank & valve)...

I live out in the sticks and this MaineOxy is pretty picky. They are going to be giving the tanks a good look over and just not swapping blindly. He said if the tanks are out of test and freshly painted, they won't take them...

So, I'm getting there is no set value and it just depends...
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 04:13 AM
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You can sometimes find a new 5lb for around $60 or even less sometimes. Sometimes it hard to find a used 5lb for less than $50. Sometimes you find one in spec for almost nothing.

My experience...I got a free 20lb. I brought it in, they didn't look it over at all but had no noticeable issues. Paid for hydro test but they didn't make sure it passed the test or anything, just paid for it being out of date. I paid around $20 for the test so I saved money but I may have found a 20lb for say $40.

You pay for a core charge basically if you don't want to go to the trouble of buying a tank. It's a bit expensive upfront (60ish if I am following correctly) but you get going and are on your way. If it's anything like where I go (Air Gas), it's really minimal as they credit you back if you go smaller or charge you minimally more to go bigger if you change your mind. You never have to do another hydro test ever as you are doing their tank and you are just using it so if you are in the hobby for more than 5 years, you don't suck up that cost of testing ever again as it is their tank. I don't know if they will do it if you store it for 10 years but if you use it and it's not in date, it's not a problem after you are in their system. I hope that makes sense.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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talontsiawd,
You know, I was under the impression that I had to *purchase* a tank and that initial purchase was the *core* charge and then I'd just swap it out every time I went in.

That is why I was looking for a used tank to just get the ball rolling and get in the system. Next time I'm out that way, I'll have to stop in and talk with them in person.
It would be great if I could swap out my existing 5lb and get a 10lb. Only $3 more for the gas.

Thanks.
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