On the Hill: Art of the deal | AspenTimes.com

On the Hill: Art of the deal

Joel Stonington

I got in line at the Vail Ski Swap early. I already knew what I wanted, a pair of 185 Volkl Karma’s. It’s a good all-mountain ski, pretty fat. I almost bought a pair for half-price at the end of last season, which would have been about four hundie with tax.

I cruised into the Ski Swap and went straight to the 180 zone where I nearly immediately saw exactly what I wanted: the Karma’s, unmounted, brand new. Only problem was that there wasn’t a tag. They weren’t marked in any way. So I asked the guy nearest to me and he just shook his head; then he took me over to the head guy, who took me to the real head guy.

That guy said, nothing should be unmarked. Then he thought for a moment and said he probably knew who brought the skis and we should go look. As we were looking around, some other dude kept looking at me weird and finally said, “those the 185s?”

“Yup,” I said.

“You going to buy them?”

“I think so, but probably not if they’re about $350.”

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So then the head guy turned towards me and asked what the skis were worth. I just shrugged my shoulders, holding my breath.

“How does a hundred bucks sound?” He asked me.

“Sweet.” I said.

Later on, when I was picking out a nice Patagonia jacket, the dude who wanted the skis came over and asked if he could pay me for the Karma’s.

“150?” He said.

And that, folks, is how you know you have a good deal: When someone offers you more than you are pay­ing for something before you even get out the door.