Here's are a few thoughts from an occasional poster, and serious lurker:
1.) Did anyone at Epic complain when they were given a 3 week "heads up" on the Nordica blem sale?
2) If Phil, or any other retailer offers you a good deal, are you going to be upset?
3) If anyone offers you a "deal" are you going to accept it blind or shop around?
4) If Start Haus offers a deal, are other retailers prohibited from matching or beating it?
Here's my .02 ... I post far more often on skidiva. Phil and Sierra Jim (for obvious reasons) never post there and yet their reputation precedes them. I know TC posts there under a different screen name, but she absolutely abstains from any blatant favoritism. In fact, when I was compiling a bootfitter thread for skidiva, I had to PM her here and ask her to jump on skidiva to give me quote about Start Haus that I could use. She complied, with great humility, stating that she was only posting this because she "had been asked to."
It's only conflict of interest if other retailers are prohibited from joining the conversation. Otherwise, as a user I say ... if you've got a good deal, bring it! I'm interested. I am a shopper, a gear whore ... please, feel free to enable me!