Swap Shop Cancelled – Online Buy and Sell Suggestion

The annual cross country ski Swap Shop has been held in mid November for over 30 years, but like so many other events during the COVID-19 pandemic, CCSAM has decided to cancel it this year (and that was before Winnipeg was moved to level orange under the province’s pandemic response system for 28 days starting on September 28th). The Windsor Park Nordic Centre is far too small to accommodate physical distancing for hundreds of people. We had considered renting a much larger facility, but the extra cost, extra work, many unknowns, probability of decreased attendance, and other factors convinced us that the only Swap Shop in 2020 would be an online one.

We informed the ski shops, who supply 75%+ of the equipment for sale each year at the Swap Shop, about this decision, and we asked them for ideas. Most shops are very busy right now … as they have been since Phase 1 reopening in early May.

There are a number of online buy & sell platforms that individuals can use to buy or sell products and services — Facebook and Kijiji are the two most obvious, but rather than just hope buyers and sellers of cross country ski equipment in Winnipeg/Manitoba find each other, we’ve decided to provide leadership — a specific suggestion.

Facebook’s Marketplace is popular and there is also a Manitoba Cross Country ski gear Buy, Sell and Trade public Facebook group, but many people don’t have a Facebook account (and won’t create one).

Kijiji is also very popular. The volume of listings can make it difficult and time-consuming to find exactly what you’re looking for, and there is usually a lot of dusty, low-end, old technology XC ski gear listed among the downhill ski and snowboard stuff. However, if everyone who wants to post an ad to sell (or buy) quality cross country ski gear puts their ad in a specific category and tags their ad in a specific way, other people should be able to find it easily. (Yes, you need a Kijiji account — or need to create one — before posting an ad, but Kijiji is much less intrusive and controversial than Facebook.)

Our suggestion when posting an ad on Kijiji:

  • Post your ad in Kijiji Winnipeg — in the Buy & Sell category, Sporting Goods & Exercise sub-category, Ski sub-sub-category.
  • For Ad Type, you have to select either I’m offering (for sale) or I want to find (wanted). If you select I want to find, the word Wanted will automatically be inserted as the first word in your ad’s title after it is posted.
  • Select Cross Country under Type.
  • Select one of the options (Skis, Boots, Poles, Accessories, Clothing, Other) under Item.
  • Here’s the key idea: Include one or two “special” words in your title: CCSAM, and for kids gear: Jackrabbits (plural … ending with s).  Alternatively, you could add these “special” words to the optional Tags, but we’ve found that it’s much more effective to add them to your title.

To search for cross country skiing ads on Kijiji you don’t need an account. To find ads that were posted using the above posting suggestion:

  • Go to Kijiji Winnipeg.
  • Limit your search to the Buy & Sell category, Sporting Goods & Exercise sub-category, Ski sub-sub-category.
  • Use these filters:
    Offer Type (Offering, Wanted),
    Type (Cross Country),
    Item (Skis, Boots, Poles, Accessories, Clothing, Other).
  • Search for CCSAM or CCSAM Jackrabbits.

Try searching. A few ads have been posted.

Hopefully this helps.

We’re looking forward to a great cross country ski season, despite the pandemic. As we move closer to the start of ski season, we’ll be updating the CCSAM website with news about the Windsor Park Nordic Centre, Manitoba Parks, and any other changes (restrictions, etc) we learn about.

Kevin Miller
CCSAM Board of Directors, Recreational Skiing
k.a.miller@mts.net