Shedding the Light on Black Friday

It's almost that time of the year — as avid consumers, we're keeping our eyes peeled for the first hints of big deals and jotting down locations and times in our calendars. But the whole shebang has grown more complicated than in years past, with Cyber Monday added into the throng and deals arriving sooner than ever before and stretching out for weeks afterwards. It's become less of a day and more like a winding marathon, and it's hard to sort out when to buy and what deals are going to last.

Black Friday shopping season is all about the hype of doorbusters and getting items at their lowest price points — but let's shed some light on Black Friday so that you can be sure you're getting the best deal at the right time. Especially as a snowboarder or skier, the money we spend on our gear needs to go the extra mile so we can be sure we have the apparel and hard goods we need to start shredding the winter slopes. Consumer Reports offers some great Black Friday shopping tips, but we would also like to offer you a few that will help you save money and get the best deals on specifically on ski gear and accessories.

Snowboarder in the air doing a method

Image: Tim Ove, Flickr

Early Arrival

Black Friday is no longer just a day but has transformed into a whole month of deals and savings, some of which are starting a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving. Online retailers,in particular, are updating their prices sporadically through the whole month, and it's important to start paying attention now. Track the deals leading up to Black Friday. Often if you see a discount a few days beforehand it is not likely that particular deal will get any better — but, it is likely there will a greater variety of deals as the month goes on. Take this into consideration when you're debating whether to buy now or to wait until Black Friday.

Get Your Soft Goods Now

Do your homework — soft goods, including snowboarding and skiing apparel, are at one of their lowest price points around this time of the year. You might think that summer is the better time to purchase a new ski jacket or those snowboarding pants you've been wanting. But during the summer you run into things like low inventory and a lack of style and color selections, making this time of the year a much better opportunity for you to get exactly what you've been desiring — plus there are often deals on the newest models. If you need a jacket or pants and you see a good deal, you should get them now.

Hard Goods Go With the Snow

How much snow is on the ground determines how much inventory a store is capable of selling. When there is a limited amount of snowfall, this leads to quality deals and discounts. Since it's impossible to predict how much snowfall there is going to be, if you're in need of a new pair of skis or a snowboard, you should get them now — before winter really sets in. This is also the time of the year when new models are coming in, encouraging store owners to drastically reduce the prices on the models from last year. You can purchase a high-quality pair of skis or a snowboard at an extremely low price point.

The Power of the Brand

The relationship between brands and retailers are often what drive discounts — powered by the brands. Rather than studying individual retailers looking for deals, pay attention to the brand itself. Usually you will see a pattern across all retailers when a brand decides to offer a discount on its products. At that point it won't matter which retailer you're buying from because the deal will be similar across retailers. The relationship between the brand and the retailer is the final determining factor for when and how much a product will be discounted. But, where you buy does matter, as you will see from the next tip.

The Power of the Retailer

A retailer serves as your connection to the brands you love, and they hold power through promotion and customization granted by direct connection to their customers. Though individual product discounts are driven by brands, trusted retailers often offer additional giveaways or benefits to loyal customers. If you are member of a mailing list from a retailer you trust, you'll be the first to know about a particular promotion or service they're providing. Especially during Black Friday, online members of individual retailers will have the advantage of knowing about particular deals and promotions before everyone else. For the avid skier or snowboarder, you can sign up for UtahSkis' mailing list and be one of the first to know about their upcoming brand promotions. As a bonus, we'll give you a direct link to Utah Skis Black Friday discounts, so that you'll know what will be on sale and when.

Woman skiing with a geen jacket and purple pants

Image: SnoCountry, Flickr
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