The leaves are changing color, days are getting shorter, nights cooler, and suddenly everything seems to have pumpkin spice in it – whatever that is. All of this means only one thing to those who read Ski Racing: winter is just around the corner.
For ski racers, hobbyists, or even just die-hard weekend warriors, it’s time to line up your equipment so you’ll be able to hit that deep pow, pristine corduroy, or whatever your particular corner of the world offers up this winter. Wherever you are, here are some of the best ways to buy equipment on the cheap or sell off last year’s goods before the upcoming ski season arrives.
#1 Ski Swaps
Swaps are one of the easiest places to check out gear options before the winter hits. They are locally driven, often hosted by ski clubs or race clubs, neighborhood high schools, or the ski resorts themselves. They are typically held from late September through the beginning of November, so be sure to check online, on social media, and in your local newspaper for specific dates in your area.
If you are buying, you will have the best chance at getting quality equipment by showing up near the opening time on the first day of your swap. If you wait until the second day or even just a few extra hours, you’ll risk having only subpar gear from which to choose.
If you plan to sell, ski swaps are an incredibly convenient way to unload your gear. Simply take your equipment to the location of the swap at the advertised time to register your goods. If your equipment sells, you’ll receive a check from the swap organizers. If it doesn’t sell, you can pick up your things once the sale is over. Some swaps also give you the option to donate your items if they do not sell.
Ski swaps generally charge a consignment fee of 15-25 percent which benefits the club or high school. But if you want full price with no paid fees, there are a couple alternatives. See below.
Craigslist is a website localized to your area where you can buy and sell just about anything imaginable. The website is a platform that connects sellers to buyers who live nearby so transactions can be conducted in person, eliminating shipping costs.
You decide how you pay or get paid, as Craigslist does not handle any transactions. The website is specifically designed to put you in touch with someone local who needs goods or services, and that is all. You can list your equipment or search for listings under the “for sale” section of the site.
#3 Masters Websites/Facebook Groups
Much like Craigslist, most websites used to organize Masters racers and events have a classified section where you can buy or sell equipment. Some will direct you to a regional Facebook group to post ads. The difference is that while Craigslist caters to a large variety of goods, Masters classified sections are geared exclusively towards ski equipment.
The websites are split up by region, so there is a greater chance that you might have to handle the inconvenience of shipping. However, these exchanges are handled interpersonally, so there is no third party receiving any fees.
The one major drawback is that you might have to post across several of these pages and platforms to reach a larger consumer base. If a mass audience is your target, you have more options. Keep reading!
eBay is an incredibly efficient way to sell equipment. As of March 2017, the retail website boasted 171 million active users as a truly incredible resource to reach a worldwide community and as many ski enthusiasts as possible.
To list something on eBay, simply click on the “Sell” button in the upper right corner of the website and follow the steps to either auction it off or list a Buy It Now price.
eBay claims between 8.75-12.25 percent of the sale depending on the final selling price, which is not so steep when you take into consideration that anything you put on the site has a very fair opportunity to sell.
SidelineSwap may have less of a presence than eBay, but it is a peer-to-peer marketplace with 150,000 users where athletes can buy and sell pre-owned sports equipment.
The skiing section of SidelineSwap (they also have dedicated lacrosse, hockey, baseball, golf, and more options) is dedicated specifically for skiers with a large emphasis on racing. The targeted customer base makes it more likely for your gear to sell, and it is also easy to communicate with a seller for additional information not included in the listing or to negotiate the price.
SidelineSwap’s commission is 9 percent which does not include an additional 3 percent charge for credit card fees (totaling 12 percent). The commission charge caps out at $50, so if you sell any individual item for more than $555, you’ll just pay SidelineSwap the $50 plus a 3 percent credit card fee.