July 16, 2010, Newsletter Issue #307: How to Find Good Prices on Ski Head Gear

Tip of the Week

As if skis, boots, ski wear and ski vacations were not expensive enough, when you factor in the cost of ski helmets, neck gaiters, balaclavas and helmet liners, you will discover that you have a rather pricey hobby. Fortunately, savvy skiers know that they never need to pay full price for ski head gear. Here are some of the best methods to pay less for these items.

Shop Online.

In most cases, you can get a better price for ski head gear online than in-store. Although you might have to pay shipping and handling, many sites occasionally offer free shipping, or other types of shipping discounts.
If you are looking for hats, it may be hard to find the exact brand at the ski store. However, the hatís material will probably be listed on the website, so you can try on similar materials to see if they feel comfortable.
Your next choice is eBay. If you go this route, be sure to check the sellerís reputation. If you donít like getting into bidding wars, your other choice is to choose one of the sellers that have a ďBuy NowĒ option. The price may be higher than what you would pay on a bid, yet lower than what you would pay in retail.
Finally, for those of you that hate to buy online, a bit of timing and a whole lot of loyalty can get you some good buys on ski head gear at retail shops. In general, the best time to buy at ski shops is at the end of the season. Also, if you become a regular buyer, the shop owners might cut you an occasional deal.
If itís convenient, consider becoming a ski area employee. Most resorts give their staff anywhere from 5 to 20 percent discounts at the shops.
You can also check out the local consignment shops, as well as the pre-season ski swaps. While these usually feature skis, you can sometimes find a helmet. Kids ski helmets are especially easy to find, since kids rapidly outgrow these items.

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