It is a sales thing, and that's where it could be a problem. Reputable shops are more likely (hopefully) to offer options that suit the skier and his/her needs, not whatever product needs to be pushed out the door. The issue is not with people in the know, like those who reside on these forums; rather, the issue is with the vast majority of consumers who have no clue. How would they know what's good or bad for them, based on size, style, location, skill, etc, etc, etc? Some store clerk tells them Product X is great, but is it great for that person?
There is some responsibility on the part of the consumer, but the shops take much of the responsibility. When I take my car to get fixed by a mechanic, there is an element of good faith that they know what they're doing and won't screw me over, assuming I've done some sort of background research or minimal due diligence.
Ski shops are similar; they operate on consumer trust. Many shops are very good like this, and kudos to them! But there are also many shops that aren't as trustworthy, and educating consumers on the difference......who'll do that? "Let the Buyer Beware" and blaming the consumer isn't a good enough retort if someone blows out a knee using boots or equipment that they shouldn't have been using in the first place. Ignorance intrusting a supposed "expert" isn't the same as being purposely stupid. Safety is the key, it's not simply a matter of pushing product out the door.
Forums like this are part of a "solution" in helping educate people. Good thing I came here and started asking questions, I've learned a great deal. Just waiting for some snow now