Buying a Light

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Note: This article may represent a Canada-centric view of the subject, not a worldwide view. Please edit the article and improve it.


It's easy to buy a flashlight: visit your local dollar store, pay $2, and buy a flashlight. But if you want a better and brighter flashlight for $20, $30, or more, you must shop elsewhere. Here are some of your options.

Used

If you buy a second-hand flashlight, you can save money. Visit forums or auction sites. Visit the budgetlightforum.com marketplace forums or the http://www.cpfmarketplace.com forums. (Be careful shopping on CPF Marketplace, as some of the prices asked there are quite high, sometimes higher than retail for limited edition lights, and it is against the rules to point out high prices there.) Or visit your local eBay site and take advantage of the "used" filtering option.

New

Lots of vendors sell brand-new flashlights.

  • Hardware stores.
  • In Canada:
  • Canadian Tire's selection is limited, but they do carry Maglites. If you're considering a Maglite, note that they are fine for seeing, but may not be ideal if you need to be seen. See the Step-down regulation section of the "Mag Instrument" article. Canadian Tire's website is merely a catalog; it does not allow online orders.
  • Home Depot has a better selection in-store. They carry not only Maglites, but also Rayovac Indestructible flashlights (a good value), Coast flashlights, and others. Home Depot has an even better selection on its website.
  • Warehouse clubs. You do not need to be a member.
  • In Canada:
  • Go to Costco. You either must have a gift card, or must shop with a member, or must be a member. Costco is a typical warehouse club: it focuses on providing low prices, not on providing a very wide selection of flashlights.
  • Or visit Costco's website. They sell several different flashlights. As of January 2013, they all cost $50 or more. You do not need to be a Costco member to shop at Costco's website. Their selection is probably completely different than Costco stores' selection, and may be smaller.
  • Lots of outdoors stores sell a wide variety of good flashlights. In Canada, Mountain Equipment Co-op has a good selection both in-store and online. Shipping is "free" on orders over $50.
  • Certain electronics stores sell good flashlights on their websites. In Canada, Best Buy and Future Shop both sell a good selection of multi-mode flashlights online. Shipping is "free" on orders over $20.
  • Or you can buy from other online retailers — general-purpose retailers like Amazon, or smaller online retailers which specialize in selling flashlights.
  • You do not have to buy flashlights from inside your country. For example, even if you are in Canada, you can buy flashlights from international online retailers such as amazon.com. Before ordering, find out what shipping fees the vendor will charge, and what customs-brokerage fees the courier will charge.

See also