Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow this Groundhog’s Day, which means spring is coming. But before we say goodbye to winter, it’s time to say “Hello!” to winter outdoor gear deals. Now’s the time to stock up on cold-weather gear and apparel so you’re ready for next year.
Of course, hitting every clearance event isn’t possible for many of us. To help you narrow down your choices I’ve put together this list of the best places to find amazing winter outdoor gear deals. Look for these types of sales and deals at locations near you and get ready to save!
1. Lift shops
Many lift shops upgrade their rentals every year, which means you can score a great deal on used gear that goes on sale at the end of the season. If there’s a lift shop near you, give them a call and ask when their blowout sales start — it often depends on snow conditions in your area.
2. Parking lot sales
Whenever you see a sale advertised as a parking lot sale, there’s a good chance the inventory will be great and the savings even better! Look for sporting good stores and rental shops hosting parking lot sales starting this month and going into early spring.
3. Sporting goods stores
Savings aren’t always the same in-store and online. Sporting goods stores like Big 5 have several in-store offers you can use to get a great deal on winter gear. Print coupons before you shop or use the Coupons.com mobile app to redeem a deal.
4. Sporting goods websites
That doesn’t mean sporting goods stores don’t have optimal savings online, too. Combine a store sale with a site-wide coupon code to maximize your savings on winter gear. Sometimes you get a higher percent-off savings when you spend more. Since winter gear is often a big ticket item, make sure you use the code that will save you the most.
5. Lifetime guarantees
L.L. Bean’s gear is guaranteed to last, which means you can return it at any time. REI also has an extremely generous and reliable return policy. Buy outdoor gear from stores like this and feel confident that if anything happens, they’ve got you covered.
6. Brand name savings
Sadly, savings for popular brand names like The North Face can be rare and many stores often exclude top brands from coupon savings. But lucky for you, you can find many stores advertising 25% off or more on The North Face right now!
7. Trade-in programs
If you like to have the latest and greatest, then consider a trade-in program. For example, a store might give you 50 percent of the original price in store credit if you trade in your ski or board equipment within one year. On the flip-side, if a store has a trade in program, that often means you can find great deals on gently used gear.
8. Secondhand stores
Some stores exclusively sell secondhand sporting good equipment. For example, you can buy, sell, or trade winter gear at a Play It Again Sports location.
9. Department store websites
Most department stores are no longer restocking winter gear, they’re moving onto spring. But if you shop on their websites and you can find a greater selection — and good prices, too!
Save 20% off your order at Kohl’s (Exp. 2/21)
10. President’s Day sales
Outerwear heads to clearance for President’s Day sales. Look for sale prices of around 60 percent off with the potential for additional savings when you bring a coupon.
11. Ski swaps
Typically held in a parking lot, school, or fairgrounds, these swaps are a great place to sell old gear and buy inexpensive used gear. They often require a nominal admission fee to put items up on consignment, but the proceeds typically go to a good cause making it a win-win for all. Ski swaps usually happen at the beginning of the season, so put it on your calendar for next year.
Jeanette is a household savings expert whose work has been featured in everything from The Today Show to CBS 5 News. Jeanette was even listed as one of the best personal finance experts in 2014, according to GOBankingRates.