September 5, 2023

Will You Save Money Buying Second-Hand Flight Cases?

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Kangaroo Cases
At Kangaroo Cases, we create the toughest custom ATA cases, standard cases, and footlockers to protect your valuable assets. Based in Dallas, Texas, we're passionate about delivering the best quality products and being your go-to case heroes that protect like a mother.

You hear someone is clearing out their warehouse and giving flight cases away. You pick them up, full of hope — only to find out the hard way why they were free.

Some deals are just too good to be true. Even if second-hand flight cases can save you money, are they worth it in the long run?

When to Buy Second-Hand Flight Cases

Asset protection is the main goal of purchasing a high-quality road case. When you opt for something cheaper, your equipment may not be as well protected. Still, there are some situations where second-hand cases do a good job.

You can bring new life to a second-hand flight case if it’s in decent shape. A few minor repairs and a good clean-up may add years to a well-built case. Also, even a case in poor condition can have its uses, like holding all the random gear that doesn’t require a lot of protection.

Of course, when you value quality over price, buying a new case is the better option. And there are situations when a second-hand flight case won’t cut it.

For example, a high-quality case is worth the cost when you’re protecting high-end gear. You aren’t saving much money if you have to replace damaged equipment.

What to Keep in Mind When Buying Second-Hand Road Cases

Infographic: Will You Save Money Buying Second-Hand Flight Cases?

You get what you pay for, so it’s best to know exactly what you’re getting. Here’s what to look for in second-hand flight cases.


If you’re getting a great deal on a used case, there’s probably a reason the original owners are eager to part with it. The quality of a case tends to diminish the older it gets, which can compromise protection.

You can tell if a road case is built to last based on its material and construction. Check the thickness of the plywood and foam, then make sure the case and hardware are sturdy and reinforced.

Size Consistency

Unless you need a one-off case, most cases need to match up with others to properly stack and pack. Used cases may be custom-sized, which can be difficult to fit with the rest of your fleet.

To avoid an uneven pack, pay attention to the size of any second-hand flight case you’re considering. Always have a plan before you make a purchase.

Current Condition

You wouldn’t buy a used car without looking under the hood. Inspect used cases closely to make sure there are no unfixable issues — and that the repairable issues fit into your budget.

Damaged casters, handles, and latches are easy to fix, but don’t stop at the hardware. Be sure to check the interior as well. Mold, compromised panels, and other damage could be hiding under foam or carpet.

Potential Issues With Retrofitting Second-Hand Flight Cases

Efficiency is key to a great road case strategy, so it’s important to avoid “square peg, round hole” situations. Custom cases are designed to reduce wasted space for secure, efficient packing.

Second-hand flight cases don’t exactly fit your equipment like a glove. As a result, retrofitting a case often requires extra dividers and foam to fill the unneeded space. If your goal is to save money with second-hand flight cases, make sure you budget for these extra costs.

Will Second-Hand Flight Cases Save You More?

Second-hand flight cases can potentially save you money as long as they’re in good condition and fit your needs. If repairs, retrofits, and readjustments start adding up, you may be better off with a new case that’s built for you — and built to last.

Kangaroo Cases will repair any case, even if we didn’t make it. If your second-hand flight cases need some TLC before use, send them our way.