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When to get the best prices?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm hoping to buy skis soon (I've tortured the board on the topic of which ski to getin another thread .

I'm on a limited budget, so I'm loooking for the best deal I can get. When is the best time to buy?

I would imagine that the summer is probably the cheapest time to buy based on laws of supply and demand, but how would this year's model of a given ski priced this coming summer compare to the current price (Feb. 2004) on last year's ski of the same model?

In other words, if my choices are as follows:

1. Buy last year's model now

2. Buy this year's model in summer 2004

which would be the best, assuming availability is similar (i.e., I can get the ski I want at either time)?

(This of course assumes away the cost of renting skis in the meantime, but I'm trying to get a baseline. I am also assuming that the skis don't change much from one model year to the next.)

post #2 of 15
the not-so-obvious answer is, it depends on whether there's been a significant change in the ski model between last year's and this year's.

with that aside,

when Summer 2004 rolls around, you can't be assured that you'll find a pair of any particular 2004 model, nor that any pair you find will be the size you want. if it's a hot ski, you might not find them in any size anywhere. I recall seeking the Volkl G31 in Summer 2001 and not finding it anywhere -- it had sold out everywhere. so, you run the risk of uncertain stock when you wait for the Summer.

those are the two factors I always consider. for bargains (sometimes), you might want to check Telemark-Pyrenees, a Euro distributor that frequently has prior years' skis for low prices.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Gonzo! If we can assume that the models haven't changed (that's easy enough to know now, since I'm comparing this year's model to last year's), and that this year's model will still be available in the summer (much harder to know), do you have any sense for which would be the better deal?

My sense is that this year's model shouldn't be any cheaper in the summer than last year's model is now, but I don't have a sense for how seasonal effects play in to this.

And thanks for the link -- I'll check it out.
post #4 of 15
your question really depends on economic trends in the region where the seller's located... and nationally.

I don't peer into crystal balls nor do I have a PhD in The Sociology of Human Spending (Economics), but I would be willing to bet that the better deal is last year's model right now. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #5 of 15
This is why Ullr invented e-bay.
post #6 of 15
If you are truly on a limited budget, don't forget to look at this years demo skis. You can frequently pickup a good pair of skis with bindings for about $300 - 400 or so depending on the model and condition. I hang out at a local shop and keep tabs on their demos. If they have one I am looking for, in good condition with low miles and the price is fair, I am more than willing to buy them.

post #7 of 15
I would suggest that you may want to look at ski-swap's at various hills. These are usually pre-season events that happen in November. Talk to your closest resort.

Other sources are the 'net for closeouts -- corbetts sports in Canada is pretty decent. Cupolo's is great. They have an e-bay store as well as a retail outlet. They will answer the phone and give you a quote while you wait.

Otherwise, e-bay is the way.
post #8 of 15

Besides crawling around the web to see what's available, you might also want to be pro-active, that is, select 2 or 3 skis you really like and call a few places. I have found some great deals on skis I have really wanted that way. Here are a few places that have come through for me on occasion (not always) - and don't pay too much attention to the prices posted on their websites:

1) http://www.skitrader.com

2) CUPOLO'S SPORTS csports@sprint.ca
5510 FERRY STREET, Niagara, CANADA. 905-356-4850

3) Gonzo told you about Telemark-Pyrenees - if you email them, they can make some attractive offers.

There are some others I can't think of right now....

Good luck. -Bb
post #9 of 15
If you want to buy off the rack on this year's equipement, the best deals are often at shops at ski areas when the start their late season sales. You often see this years skis at 35-40%. Bindings don't get discounted as much as there isn't that much appeal to having the latest year's model when it comes to bindings.

If you trully limited then finding a close-out on the net or going with demos are probably the cheapest.

As far as when prices drop, since you're in Boston, it's usually one to two weeks into March when Mountain Side at Wachusetts drops it's prices and often they are quite good. I have to be like a regular customer when buying for other's and got a real good deal on some Volkls for my wife a couple years ago.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the great replies, everyone (skitrader.com looks like a great site also). I stopped by my local shop today, b/c they were having a sale. What I had thought was last year's ski is actually this year's, at what seem to be roughly last year's prices from what I've found on ebay and online stores. I got what I think (hope!) was a pretty good deal on a pair of Head Cyber iC 160 with LD11 Super Railflex bindings ($420).

If anyone is looking for a good sale in Boston, Bob Smith's Wilderness House is having a pretty good one this weekend. They've also got a great bootfitter, Gordon Hay, who helped me with a nice pair of cork footbeds for my boots, which I didn't buy there b/c they don't carry what I wanted. (Thanks to this site for the list of master bootfitters.)

Edit: I bought the boots elsewhere, but the footbeds from Gordon, in case that wasn't clear before.

[ February 08, 2004, 05:44 PM: Message edited by: bostoneel ]
post #11 of 15
I always found that the best time to buy skis was the day after the rep handed you the "Employee Form" or "Hook-up" card. Boy, I miss working in a shop.

On a more serious note, Bostoneel, what models are you looking at? As long as you aren't after a K2 Axis XP or Volkl 6-star, you might have a chance of finding late-seaspn deals. The only bummer to that approach is, that unless you live in the southern hemisphere, all the good snow is gone by then!
post #12 of 15
Buy everything this summer on eBay.

I got all my current gear last summer for about 55% of the retail cost. Atomic R11s for $440, Race 614s for $130, and Lange 130 World Cups for $399 shipped. It pays to wait if you are willing to do so.

This coming weekend is a good time to buy too, it being an end of the season holiday. Shops in VT have all sorts of discounts. Labor Day and Colombus Day weekends are good ones for deals on the previous year's gear too.

Good luck, and again I'd like to stress how good the deals are you can find on eBay. I go for the "buy it now" bargains. I don't like the bidding wars, and a dialup connection doesn't help either ;^)
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
For some reason, the big sale at my local shop was a Groundhog Day sale. Don't know why, but the prices on skis were about 50% of normal, and even less compared to MSRP. Friday was a snowy day in Boston, and sales were really slow, so they were willing to come down a little from their sale prices.

Can't wait to try out the new setup!
post #14 of 15
Sounds like you got a good deal on the skis and bindings. Out here in the PNW, a lot of the shops have mid-winter sales in Feb. to try and unload un-sold stack. I find, however, that the best deals are had in late March and early April when the mountain ski shops try and un-load both un-sold new stock and demo skis. I was fortunate enough to pick up a pair of demo Rossi Bandit X's in excellent condition 2 years ago up at Whistler for $299 CAD. After the VAT and the exchange rate it was a major steal.
post #15 of 15
Try this place: MC Sport Market (Lodi, Italy)

I bought my Volkl Supersports from them last season and got a great deal (although the exchange rate helped).
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