Saturday, November 07, 2009

Annual Park City ski swap

About three years ago, Julie and I naively got up early on the morning of Black Friday to shop at a Best Buy down in Salt Lake. We didn't realize that thousands of people were camping out in the cold weather and that showing up at 4:30 a.m. meant you were twelve hours late.

Yesterday I discovered the local Park City version of this. Early in November, the US Ski Team holds its annual ski swap. It really isn't a swap. It's a sale. The week before, people bring things they want to sell to two local stores. You set your own price, but the ski team gets to keep 30%. Retail stores and distributors also bring things, both new and used.

I've wanted to attend this but we have always been in NC when it happened.

The lesson: Jillions of people drop off stuff to sell. Jillions of people attend. It's HUGE!

This is about 1/20th of the ski boots.

There were several thousand pairs of skis. They ranged from brand new to beaten to crap.

Jackets, gloves, sweaters, hats, goggles, ... If it sounds like winter, it was there.

It opens at 8:00 p.m. on Friday and stays open until 1:00. Then Saturday and Sunday have more reasonable hours. I got there around 9:00, and there was still a 100 person line outside the building. When I left around 10:00, the checkout line was 100+ people.

The event was extremely well organized. Julie brought some clothing to sell and the drop-off was easy. I would guess there were 100-200 workers at the event, checking coats, helping people find the right equipment and probably 15 checkout registers. I think if you want the best stuff, you have to get in line for the 8:00 opening and plan on finding a bunch of stuff. You don't want to wait in a 100 person checkout line to save $5 on a pair of gloves.

Certainly not unique to this sale, I love looking at the designs on snowboards. Here are two of the hundreds.

Finally, as much as I like my iPhone, I wish the thing took better pictures with indoor lighting.
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