Buyer Frequently Asked Questions
We simply can not allow 1000+ people packed into our entry area or the gyms due to Fire Department codes so we have created a signup queue for Customer Entry again to alleviate past negative swap experiences of 1000+ people queued, difficulty getting around, finding gear and getting support, 1 hour+ entry and cashier wait times and parking challenges. The entry queue worked quite well last year creating a much better customer experience. We will again have an Not Registered queue. If we have room after each 1/2 half queue enters then we will pull folk from the Not Registered queue.
Can anyone come?
The Swap is a Public event, open to ALL at no cost after 1st Tracks (first hour). You do not need to sell gear or be part of Newport to buy gear. You do need to signup for an entry slot (see above).
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 supply another 20+ knowledgeable folk.
When should I come?
That is entirely up to you. Some are willing to pay $10 for the 1st hour, 1st Tracks opening to get those first bargains. Some love the 1st 3-4 crazy startup hours when there is the maximum amount of gear.
Some would rather miss that crazy time for a more leisurely pace and many still fabulous deals later the first day or the more casual 2nd day. Seriously, early on, there is so much gear that it can be hard to find the deals. 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 has generally been a huge amount of people in the first 3 to 4 hours. Due to Fire Regulations, we needed to hold the line until some people cleared out before allowing more in. Three years ago, early on the 1st day, there was rarely any wait to get in. The year before and last year, even with a signup queue, there was a long line. Both years had a small 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, we have again implemented an entry signup queue so we can spread our customers more evenly in the hours available.
How does the 1st Tracks work?
No tickets, just register for the 1st hour which is 1st Tracks only. 1st Tracks: $10/person, $20/family - children under 15 are FREE with parent. Payment as you enter.
Is there children's gear?
We have a lot of children's gear each year because children are the future of skiing and snowboarding. We believe that children's health is improved if they spend time in the mountains.
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 20,000 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. The second day, it will look much bigger than most if not all swaps or sales that you have been to.
Is there any back country gear?
The amount of back country and cross country gear has been growing steadily the last few years. Last year, we had at least 100 skis of various sort with bindings and a fair number of boots as well. We even dedicated 40 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 following day. 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 only to notice 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 both on, DOUBLE CHECK model and size, the same applies to skis**
Several times people have bought boots for someone not at the swap (please 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. 35-45% of the gear belongs to individuals. They generally are not 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 so many items. 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 while we have pretty wide aisles, it will be very difficult to get around due to the volume of people and gear, particularly on the first day. 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. During the swap - We set set aside unsaleable gear during the swap.
3. 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 and upstairs past the check-out line. You can set your gear aside by the Help Desk to exit and re-enter the swap floor.
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 question after the swap?