Originally Posted by Utagonian
1) I see Whiteroom's point about a dealers obligation here but I think it presumes that the ski buyer would have bought that Stockli ski at a higher price from the dealer. If that buyer had a certain budget for skis he might have bought a less expensive brand from a non-Stockli dealer at his "back of the van" budget.
2) I would think a Stockli dealer might want to look at something like this as an opportunity to create a relationship with a skier for the cost of a few phone calls or emails. Maybe they can show him some new boots or a jacket.
3) Maybe, when he is skiing so well on his Stocklis, someone else might want a pair and, because the guy at the local Stockli shop was cool, he mentions that they have a pair at the shop in town which he recommends.
I don't have a dog in this fight, I've never been a retailer or rep and I know the general public is generally annoying so could be off base, just offering a different perspective on the problem.
A couple of quick thoughts:
1) a skier getting a 'bro deal' out of the back door is bad for the entire industry (not the skier, the ski industry... who the skier might miss eventually), every shop loses because it gets harder to sell skis for a liveable margin. Buying a ski from a shop, any shop helps every other shop in a small way by strengthening the entire industry. It's a symbiotic relationship, customers are expecting to all pay the going rate, they aren't hearing about the 'bro deal' some random person got while riding a chairlift.
2) It's not a 'few phone calls', it's a few phone calls to get an RA#, a tech removing the bindings, a shipping person packaging and shipping the skis. That cost $$ in shipping, it cost time, it costs for each employee and it cost them not doing something productive for the store. I know the response to this is "well, charge the customer"... you try that with someone who feels they have defective merchandise. It is next to impossible to get the customer to pay. If they do, you aren't the 'good guy trying to help' you are the 'vulture trying to profit off their hardship'.
3) See #1, the only thing that 'bro hook-up' is going to talk about on the chairlift is how little he had to pay for his. 100% of the time. This the opposite of 'helpful' for the shop who was 'cool' (by cool I mean unfortunate enough to get dragged into this clusterf**k).