Have you heard of the Turkey Sale in Whistler?
Over the Thanksgiving weekend there is a MASSIVE sale at the Backcomb day lodge in Whistler. They sell off all the previous years snowboarding and skiing stock to make room for the newer styles for this winter. If you need some ski equipment, snowboarding equipment or clothes, this is a good moment to go and buy it. This is something that most Vancouverites already know about, but we were completely clueless about it. So, I thought I should share my new-found knowledge for other newbies. Hopefully this post will help somebody next year!
Turkey Sale Survival Tips:
- Go early!
We hired a car and had already left Vancouver at 6:45am. This gave us plenty of time to drive over, find a place to park and buy coffee and a croissant before the crowds appeared. The first half an hour was the best time to look around. Within a hour it was getting hard to move around because there were sooo many people. When we left the lodge, there was a long line up just to get through the door.
- Free Parking
Head to Parking lots 4 or 5 and you can park for free during the turkey sale. There is even a free shuttle bus that can take you to the lodge. It’s not actually far, so you can easily walk over. We did find the shuttle useful after we’d spent all our money. It made it easy to carry everything back to the car.
- Wear layers!
Whistler was quite a lot colder than Vancouver. But the ski lodge is full of people in warm clothes so it gets really hot!
- For ladies, wear leggings.
I had leggings under my skirt, so I didn’t need to go and find changing rooms. I could try on ski-pants over the top. It made life much easier once the lodge was crowded. I guess you could flash your knickers if you don’t wear leggings, but my way is less embarrassing!
- Look at the most expensive things first.
We decided that we shouldn’t buy ski equipment as we have absolutely no idea what we actually needed. Our plan is to hire equipment this season so we can be slightly knowledgeable if we want to purchase things in the future.
- Buy your turkey early!
As we first entered the lodge there was a stand selling turkeys. We decided to come back later to buy a bird BUT there were none left when we came back about an hour later. You have to check in your bags, so we should have just bought one, and checked it in before shopping. I am a bit sad that we went to a turkey sale and left without a turkey!
Other tips I learnt from the staff:
- If you can’t find the right size within the turkey sale, it’s worth coming back the next morning, as they restock over night.
- If you wear glasses, look for goggles that say “flight deck” they have an indent that allows your glasses to fit underneath.
- For helmets, try them on! I tried on several before I could find one that fits my teeny head perfectly. Then, have a look in the piles of boxes. I found my perfect helmet in a brand new box (even though I was prepared to buy the slightly discoloured one that had been on the shop floor)
- For socks, if like me you are allergic to wool, ask the staff! We did manage to find some perfect socks that won’t make my legs all itchy!
What kind of discounts can you find at the Turkey Sale:
I wasn’t sure how expensive everything would be, even with the discounts, so I thought I should share what I bought to give you an idea. Things are still pricey, they are just much less pricey than they could have been! I am sure you can find even better savings. I just went for items that I really loved, rather than just finding the biggest savings.
– Ski Jacket: The one I liked best was £115 (down from $280), so I saved $165 (59% off).
– Ski-pants: These were pricey! They were £315 (down from $450), so I saved $135 (30% off).
– Goggles: These were $170 (down from $245), so I saved $75 (30% off).
– Mittens: This was probably the least bargainous item. They were $48 (down from $65), so I saved $17 (26% off).
– Helmet: I love my fluffy (on the inside) helmet! It was $120 (down from $170) so I saved $50 (30% off).
– Socks: These were $15 (down from £25), so $10 off (or 40%).
So the best saving was just under 60%, but most things were more like 30% off.
It was a pretty expensive day out, especially when you add in the cost of the hire car. BUT I am really happy that we are now ready to try skiing for the first time. We also got to explore Whistler for the first time. I can’t wait to go back and see it under a layer of snow!
I’ve write another post about our walk around Whistler too. For now, I hope this will be useful for other future turkey sale shoppers.