Buyer Frequently Asked Questions
Can anyone come?
The Swap is a Public event, open to all at no cost starting an hour after 1st Tracks. You do not need to sell gear to buy gear.
Is there anyone to help select gear?
The Snow Sport Shops bring bring new and slightly used gear plus people, 45+ to help you. Snowsports training organizations also generally supplier another 20+ folk.
When should I come?
That is entirely up to you. Some are willing to pay $10 for the 1st hour, 1st Tracks opening. Some love the 1st three crazy startup hours when 2000 people are jockeying for gear. Some may rather miss that crazy time for a more leisurely pace and many still fabulous deals later the first day or more casual 2nd day. Seriously, early on there is so much gear that it can be hard to find the deals. 30% of our customers come in the 1st 3 hours. The later hours of the 1st day and the entire 2nd day is much more leisurely with more support available and fabulous deals right to the finish!
Is anyone turned away?
We have never turned anyone away. There is generally a huge amount of people in the first 3 to 4 hours. Due to Fire Regulation, we need to hold the line until some people clear out before allowing more in. Last year, early on the 1st day, there was rarely any wait to get in. The year before there was a long line. Both years had no line after 4 hours. We had about 4,000 people (not counting children) last year on the first day with 2,000 in the first 3 hours. This year is the first in a long long time that we are opening on Saturday, my guess is that a lot of folk will be there at opening but...
How does the 1st Tracks work?
No tickets, just a 1st Tracks lineup for the first hour entry. There will probably be a 1st Tracks line and a Free Entry line right away. 1st Tracks: $10/person, $20/family - children under 15 are FREE with parent. The line generally starts about an hour before opening, last year there were over 350 people at the opening. The year before almost 1,000 in line at opening. First Tracks customers can enter right up to Free Opening time to avoid the non-pay line which by then will probably be around 600+ people.
Note: Dependent on swap setup/prep success, we will try to open up early.
Will there still be a good selection on the 2nd day?
We sell about 60% of the gear on the first day but we start with around 10,000 items in 17,000 sq feet so there will be a huge amount of gear left the 2nd day. Sometimes the shops will bring in extra gear the 2nd day. It will look much bigger than most if not all swaps or sales that you have ever been to.
Is there any back country gear?
The amount amount of back country gear has been growing steadily the last few years. Last year, we had at least 50 skis of various sort with bindings and a fair number of boots as well. We even dedicated 20 feet of rack.
What is your return policy?
Sorry, all sales are final, there are no returns. The gear is on consignment from many different sellers. School is on again on the next morning. We are like a large neighborhood garage sale.
However, there have been 4 cases in the last 5 years where someone has bought ski boots or skis and only noticed after getting home that they were 2 different sizes. Each time, the person brought them back immediately with their sales receipt and the gear inventory tag and we have found the proper mate or exchanged them. **Try them on, check them out**
Several times people have bought boots for someone not at the swap (do not do this) and found them not to fit properly. The snowsports shops, for their own gear, are generally willing to trade for a suitable equivalent replacement item for the next several weeks.
Is the gear guaranteed to be usable?
We are like a garage sale for used gear. About 35%+ of the gear belongs to individuals. They may or may not be a aware that ski shops can no longer adjust a binding due to insurance support. We have people trying to keep the obvious bad and really old gear out. We can not call up each of the insurance databases to check each item. We also can not adequately check each of 3,500~ used items for defects. Our volunteers do their best but there is no guarantee. Our associated ski and snowboard shops do support exchanges for their new or used gear that is defective.
Is there tax on the gear marked?
Yes the State has ruled that all gear is taxed at the current local (Bellevue) rate.
Is the gear marked down on the 2nd afternoon?
There are no mark-downs or discounting during the sale.
Can we buy unsold gear on Sunday during gear pickup?
You can wait for the person picking up the gear and make an offer or you can tape a note to the gear to have the buyer contact you. If there is time which is rare and it is a donated item, we can take cash and mark the item sold electronically.
Can I bring a stroller to the swap?
Yes, you can but for the first 4-6 hours on opening day, it will be very difficult to get around due to the volume of people and gear. A back or chest pack would be much more efficient.
Is there a managed area to drop children off while shopping?
What happens to gear deemed not saleable?
1. Before the Swap - We try to weed out bad equipment before it gets into the swap.
2. After the Swap - Ski Artistry, a local company finds various ways to reuse skis and snowboards. We collect these and he picks them up. They are stored in the Commons and customers are also free to pick these up for their own projects like sleds, chairs, benches etc.
Other gear has to be disposed of.
Where are the Restrooms?
In the Commons (entry area) across from the cashiers by the stairs.
What if I have a problem or need Help at the swap?
There is a HELP/PROBLEM desk at the entrance of both gyms.
What if we have a questionafter the swap?