TIPS FOR SHOPPING THE SKI SWAPS
By Tammie Thompson
It's that time of year. You empty out the closet to find that nothing fits from last season. Do you really want to invest in all new gear for kids that grow and grow... and grow?
Enter the ski swap. Most ski shows and resort areas have fall swaps that are stocked full of used and NEW gear. Shopping the swap successfully can be an art. Here are some tips to make your swap foray a success.
Know what you need before you go: Pull out all the jackets, gloves, goggles, boots - everything winter related.
Make a checklist of exactly what you need.
Research big purchases before the sale: Check out KidznSnow articles on gear trends, what's new and more.
Use the Internet to find the best ski or board for your child.
Visit a specialty shop before the swap. Talk to the sales people about various options.
Beware the swap frenzy: Many swaps let volunteers shop before the general public. Inquire about helping out - and you might get a jump on the bargains.
Get to the swap BEFORE it opens. At good swaps, people will start lining up an hour or two before the door opens.
Wear something comfortable, without a lot of layers. Some swaps need to tag your stuff before entering.
Take cash with you. Credit card and check lines can be long.
If your children will run amuck - leave them at home. Know their sizes - and shop without worrying where they've run to.
Swaps can be an elbow nudging, pile picking, got-to-have it nightmare. Don't feel pressured. If you find something you love - grab it. If not - let it find a new home. Beware the "new" gear hype.
Just because something is marked half off doesn't make it a good deal. Be sure the fit, color, etc., is what you want. Online deals abound throughout the season - so patience can work for you.
Children's sizing dilemmas:
What may fit in September may not fit in January. If buying boots, size up GENTLY, as a sloppy boot won't help when skiing or riding.
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