Originally Posted by ecimmortal
The it's the lazy person who thinks that Volkl is the pinnacle of ski manufacturing. There are just more options out there. Like I said earlier, there are a bunch of ski's out there out Mantra'ing the Mantra.
I think you're missing Whiteroom's point. A small retailer isn't in business to sell each customer what he or she personally thinks is the best whatzmathingie out there. He/she's in business to offer the customer a range of interesting options that will create a match between the customer's stated desires and the customer's likely needs. (Which a good retailer knows more than the customer, often.) Otherwise, a retailer would just carry one line of everything. Works for some car dealers, doesn't work for small businesses that sell whatzmathingies.
Realize that customers have a lot of different stated desires, ranging from "uh, I think I need a new whatzmathingie, can you set me up" to "Hi - I want to buy this whatzmathingie. Do you have it?" Former customers are great if they actually listen and reward you for your time and expertise by buying something, instead of leaving and buying it online. But lot of the latter customers take it badly if you say, "well, it's an OK whatzmathingie but this one's better." They've done their thinking already, probably aided and abetted by their buddy Ralph, and the new Whatzmathingie Guide, 2012, and their minds are made up. They're not lazy at all, just not as OCD as Epic members. They've done their version of their homework, and they see your suggestion as you trying to push something on them. If you don't have it, or try to sell them something different, they'll just say, "Oh, well, OK, thanks anyway," and go to your competitor's store. You can have a nice short season, culminated by a great going out of business sale, if you insist of setting each customer straight about the perfect whatzmathingie this season. Instead, you try to stock several types of whatzmathingies that you and your staff think are solid, that will satisfy a range of customers, and you hope people will walk out with something.
Put another way, the Mantra is still a fine ski, and I hear, incrementally better than last year. I still see a lot of damn good skiers on them, particularly AT. It's not like you're foisting a piece of fecal matter on someone when you sell them a pair. And if you haven't heard, the new Volkl mid-fats are getting strong reviews. Their racing line and powder skis never left the top ranks. So OK, there may be another coupla brands that do the same thing as well or a bit better than the Mantra. But does that mean that you're gonna turn away sales? Should all humanity now be on the current Best Ski Line, or suffer ostracism? And what about two years from now, when Blizzard is overtaken by Kastle or Volkl or someone else? Should everyone be required by the Ski Police to turn in their Bones as they leave the slopes?
Seriously, stop sounding so elitist.