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PCSkiGal: Baby Needs New Skis... Go Swapping

Ski SwapsI’m on a mission. Baby needs new skis. Not me. The actual kid. Ok, Sage isn’t much of a baby anymore. She’s nine and she’s outgrown her pink, Atomic unicorn skis. 

She’s had them since I bought them for $3 at a yard sale two summers ago and it’s time to upgrade; maybe lose the pink? Do I want to spend $150-200 on skis she’ll outgrow in a year? NO. 

This summer, a Saturday morning acting class got in the way of my yardsaling and I found nothing. I could do the season-long rentals like at Canyon Mountain Sports, Breeze and Ski n' See (they even include waxes and tunes). But then I couldn't sell the skis and make my money back.

It's time to hit the swaps.

If you haven’t done all of your winter shopping yet, call your nearest ski resort to see if they have any ski swaps coming up. (Also, check out SnoCountry.com’s long list of swaps here). That’s where you’re going to find the best selections and deals. If the swap lasts longer than one day it’s good to know that the best-priced gear is scooped up on Friday night and the best prices are found on the last day.

Here’s additional beta to ease your purchasing panic:

1)    Make a list of all the items you would like to find, including the sizes - no time to waste calling home to see if something is going to fit.

2)    Set a budget. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the deals but if you drop $2k in a night on two items or 10 it’s still $2k.

3)    Get there early. If you miss Friday’s opening make sure you’re ready to go when the doors open Saturday morning. 

4)    If you really want a deal, volunteer so you get to see everything that comes in and will have first shot at it. 

5)    Bring a bag and cash. Get in, get out. The madness is dizzying.

6)    Wear comfortable shoes and pee before you go. 

7)    Bring hand sanitizer for after. You’re touching a lot of items other people have also fondled. 

8)    Unlike regular swap meets, there’s no haggling here. The only drop in price will happen on the last day if things haven’t sold. Most skis sell for around $100; nice winter clothing about $50.

There’s always Craigslist if you come up empty, Most unsold goods end up there or on eBay anyway.

Photo: Ski Swaps may have just what you need (Ryan Frietas)


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