Re: cheap climbing spikes?
As a small business, if I was replacing equipment like that I'd like to think I would have had the nous to research a bit first and would know that my surplus equipment had a second hand value and would dispose of it myself, even if the cash just went into a slush fund for the christmas party. I'd be a bit hacked off if my staff were selling them for their own gain.
I don't sell surplus materials from our sites for my own benefit, it comes back to the yard and goes on the company ebay account.
However... for a firm like WPD for instance, selling second hand spikes is not going to be a priority and if someone was injured using spikes they'd sold, they must be concerned they'd be liable, so I'm sure people are correct when they say that spikes are replaced with new regularly and the companies don't ask for them back.
It's definitely a grey area. There are bound to be genuine staff who use them well and get new ones when they're given them, and let people they know have the old ones. But there must also be staff who keep selling them and claiming they've lost them and getting issued new ones.
Personally I'd rather have something cheap and honest than cheap and potentially dishonestly acquired.... But I don't really know any linesmen to tap for their old spurs....