Words by Kelly Denison

There’s no question that skiing is an expensive sport. Aside from lift tickets, the lion’s share of costs revolve around the seemingly endless amounts of technical gear required to enjoy oneself while being safe in the mountains.

To purchase the absolute bare minimum for skiing, that is, a pair of skis, boots, bindings and poles, you’re looking at a price tag stretching into the multiple thousands, and you’ll still be skiing buck naked. Add in all the frivolous additions like outerwear, and be prepared to apply for a second mortgage on your ex’s house to cover it all.

To cut costs, many skiers have abandoned summer garage sales and moved the hunt to the internet. If you can blow off the dust on your 2004 Macbook, jammed with urban ski edits that never saw the light of day, there are often some good deals hiding down online rabbit holes such as Craigslist, Facebook and Newschoolers.

However, with the presence of good deals, you must also assume there are bad deals, so knowing the jargon of the internet marketplace is essential to avoid getting fleeced. To help, here’s a short glossary of common acronyms and industry slang that you’re bound to come across while hunting for new (to you) ski gear. Good luck out there!

One skier's trash is another skier's treasure. Photo by Reuben Krabbe

"Lowball" An offer made on a listing that is insultingly low. These rarely receive a reply, but if you send out a lowball offer, expect a pretty equal response. Sometimes you’ll get lucky though, so blast one out at every opportunity to build up that reputation of a shrewd capitalist that society always wanted for you.

"Firm" This term is not an observation of the ski conditions in Eastern Ontario, but rather a statement made on the listing by the seller, indicating they will not budge on the price. Go ahead and offer them $200 less than what they want anyway. They’ll love it.

"I Know What I Have" A phrase used by people who think their old garbage has value just because it held a certain degree of quality at one point (i.e. 15 years ago) in its life. See first-generation pickup truck.

"ISO (In Search Of)" A label on a post denoting that the author is not selling but looking to buy something in particular, frequently at a price too low for any interest. This term is often found all over online housing marketplaces, where masses of Australians desperately search for long-term winter accommodation in November.

"Pick Up Only" This statement usually means the item in question is under about 10 feet of snow or decaying plant material, and you’ll have to dig it out if you want to look at it, let alone buy it. Might be worth it though, so grab a shovel.

"Old But Still Has Lots Of Life Left" A typical line that is utilized to indicate that the item still holds value, even though it’s been beaten like a rented mule. It’s a miracle this artifact is still in one piece, but it’s pretty cheap if you’re feeling brave. Not advisable when buying an avalanche beacon.

"OBO (Or Best Offer)" The person selling the item will accept the best price, above or below what they’re asking. Essentially, they’re trying to start a bidding war. Try as they might to incite a heated auction, they usually end up with more lowball offers than Whistler has overpriced homes.

"Sent PM" A post in the item’s comments section informing the seller that a potential buyer has sent them a private message. This message often includes an offer so far below the asking price that the potential buyer feels too ashamed to post it on the listing itself.

"NT (No Trades)" A term used when the seller is not interested in trading their goods for your junk and will only accept cash. Offer them trash regardless. It doesn’t even have to be yours. Your roommate’s piano? Worth a shot.

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