Let’s be honest, most of us want new ski or snowboard gear all the time; I walk into a snow store, I want that new beanie; I spend a couple for hours on line picking out the perfect boots and bindings arrangement, I whip out my credit card; I see someone on the slopes with a wicked new season snowboard, I want it. I want them NOW!
Reality now sets in. Unless that money tree I planted when I was five, has started bearing real fruit, I may have to put this ‘”all new gear” pipe dream on hold for another few seasons. Ski and snowboard equipment prices in Australia are expensive. The retail price we see ourselves faced with in Australia, is often more than double, even triple what US consumers pay for an equivalent product.
Skiing and snowboarding is increasingly becoming the sport of choice for the financially well off, and lets face the truth, small minority of us! By being resourceful, clever and careful, there are ways and places you can get your top of the line ski and snowboard gear for a fraction of the prices we are used to paying. Buy it on line.
Doing Your Research
There is nothing that annoys me more than some one paying more than retail for an item online. It boils my blood when I see an ebay auction go for more than an item is worth down the shops. Just as bad is the on line retailer charging full retail prices, when they have no overheads, labor costs and minimal advertising costs – it just does not make sense! My advice to you is to know your product and your prices. Before you buy something on line, try and go see one at a physical store. Try them/it out, check out the different colors, see which size is right for you, and most importantly, ask the advice of the professional who works there about the product.
Read a heap of online reviews! People love posting about their great finds, their massive failures, and anything else you can think of to do with a particular product in the online forum. Simply do a search for “<Insert product name here> + review” into Google, and you will be presented with a wealth of information.
Know What You Want
You know when you go grocery shopping just for a loaf of bread and some milk, and you come home with 4 blocks of chocolate, some rolls, and a packet of muesli bars? Yes, we’ve all been there, but don’t let that happen with your ski or snowboard gear. This is one item which should never be bought on impulse or a whim.
As per the previous topic, research and know your product, know what the expected Australian RRP of the product is, and most importantly, stick to your budget. Having a budget for your entire setup is usually the best idea, as savings and prices will vary between different product groups. A great saving on your boots, may give you that little bit extra to get your preferred snowboard. Don’t go overboard though, stick to your enforced limit, and rejoice at the savings!
When you are buying a new car, do you only go to one dealership? Buying on line is exactly the same scenario. Different on line stores will have different prices. Don’t fall for the trap of going for the first good deal you find. It may end up being the deal you go back to, but make that purchase decision based on thorough research, not just a hunch.
Buy When the Time is Right!
When buying a Snowboard in the real world, if you want to save some money, when would you buy? The answer is obvious to those of us who have been around the traps a while, either before are after a season is the best time to pick up a bargain.
When buying online, the same theory applies, although the timing is significantly different. Knowing the world snow clock can help you know the best time to buy your new Snowboard, Snowboard jacket or even a Snowboard helmet.
To help you guys out I will list some of the world wide snow season dates:
- USA: From early November to mid April [Best time to buy May-June]
- Canada: Late November to end of April [Best time to buy May-June or September-October]
- Europe: Early November to June [Best time to buy July-August]
- Asia: Early December to March [Bets time to buy April-May]
Shipping is Your Enemy
So you’ve checked the latest conversion rates, found some really great bargains on line from the US, added everything to your shopping cart, enter your address, and BOOM, crazy shipping costs are added to your order. What the hell?
Shipping items from the USA is not a cheap exercise. After you stop and consider the weight and size of the average Snowboard gear, its hardly surprising the poor postman charges you an arm and a leg to get your goodies to you.
When buying gear from overseas, make sure you ship your items over in the most economical way:
- Buy all your Snowboard gear in one bulk lot. Shipping one snowboard on its own is sometimes the same as shipping it with boots and bindings. You do the math.
- Share the shipping cost with a friend
- When you have made your purchase online and have a thought about a another item you might purchase? Don’t place another order, contact the company, explain the situation, and quite often they will add the product to the order for no additional shipping!
Tips and Tricks
- Buy all your Snowboard gear at once
- Try everything on for size in a retail store before buying
- Split the shipping costs with a buddy
- Buy just after the season ends, or just before it starts
- If your not too vain, buy last seasons stock, its heaps cheaper than the latest design (And lets be honest, all thats different is just the paint job!)
Enjoy choosing your new Snowboards and Happy shopping!