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Boot Buying Etiquette - Page 7

post #181 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldschoolskier View Post

BOOTech,Inc. hit it on the money as operational (hidden) costs are out of wack compared to wages.

Thank you for using the words "BOOTech" and "hit it on the money" in the same sentence. Even at the high end, it is still the ski business. You are in it for the love, not the money

It is often said that the best way to make a million dollars in the ski business is to start with two.

So instead of quibbling over how much service should come with a boot at what price. Here is a different perspective.

The average consumer in the US last year paid a little under $300 for new ski boots. This covers the whole market, where the low end is large and the high end is small.

To use a number, let's say that a high end product, with all the fixings, orthotic, canting, and lifted costs $1000.

Assuming each boot has a service life of 200 ski days, the $300 boot will have cost $1.50 per day to have owned and the $1000 boot will have cost $5 per ski day. Not considering that the orthotic and the knowledge gained can be reused in the next boot. In my shop, that accounts for roughly 1/3.

The $300 boot will be a low end to mid range boot (probably at least one size too big) and will only ski so well no matter how well you ski.

The $1000 boot if well executed, can be a game changer.

Now consider the daily cost of your average ski vacation, or if you live close to an area, your average ski day. Amortize your ski pass. Then consider the potential impact that your ski boot has on this experience. For those of you who only think in terms of comfort this may seem like a lot. Those of you who have stood correctly in ski boots you know what I am talking about.

Yes, I know $1000 is a lot of money for plastic shoes and it comes all at once. That $5 coffee you drink on the way to ski each time, or the $5 beer you drink afterwards, or the $5 hamburger (never mind), or the parking that's once a time.

All of these things cost more per diem and have nowhere near the potential impact on your experience.

I would go so far as to say that short of a problem with an airplane, no other single component has a bigger potential impact on your ski trip than your boots.

So, does everyone need to spend $1000 on ski boots? No, of course not. Can $1000 ski boots represent a good value ? Absolutely.

Unless, of course you are opposed to "buying a better turn" on some sort of ethical basis.

Feel free to discuss this amongst yourselves.

jl
post #182 of 286

VERY well put...IMO, one of the most important investments you can make for your skiing.  It's always amazing how some can justify spending all kinds of money for other parts of their skiing experience and yet try to scrimp on their boots.  Like someone who has a high performance car and buys "off brand" tires.

post #183 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by BOOTech,Inc. View Post


Thank you for using the words "BOOTech" and "hit it on the money" in the same sentence. Even at the high end, it is still the ski business. You are in it for the love, not the money

It is often said that the best way to make a million dollars in the ski business is to start with two.

So instead of quibbling over how much service should come with a boot at what price. Here is a different perspective.

The average consumer in the US last year paid a little under $300 for new ski boots. This covers the whole market, where the low end is large and the high end is small.

To use a number, let's say that a high end product, with all the fixings, orthotic, canting, and lifted costs $1000.

Assuming each boot has a service life of 200 ski days, the $300 boot will have cost $1.50 per day to have owned and the $1000 boot will have cost $5 per ski day. Not considering that the orthotic and the knowledge gained can be reused in the next boot. In my shop, that accounts for roughly 1/3.

The $300 boot will be a low end to mid range boot (probably at least one size too big) and will only ski so well no matter how well you ski.

The $1000 boot if well executed, can be a game changer.


Now consider the daily cost of your average ski vacation, or if you live close to an area, your average ski day. Amortize your ski pass. Then consider the potential impact that your ski boot has on this experience. For those of you who only think in terms of comfort this may seem like a lot. Those of you who have stood correctly in ski boots you know what I am talking about.

Yes, I know $1000 is a lot of money for plastic shoes and it comes all at once. That $5 coffee you drink on the way to ski each time, or the $5 beer you drink afterwards, or the $5 hamburger (never mind), or the parking that's once a time.

All of these things cost more per diem and have nowhere near the potential impact on your experience.

I would go so far as to say that short of a problem with an airplane, no other single component has a bigger potential impact on your ski trip than your boots.

So, does everyone need to spend $1000 on ski boots? No, of course not. Can $1000 ski boots represent a good value ? Absolutely.

Unless, of course you are opposed to "buying a better turn" on some sort of ethical basis.

Feel free to discuss this amongst yourselves.

jl

  The $300 boot is the $1000 boot ("the game changer'') from last year (or the year before) unchanged ! (except for cosmetic) 

post #184 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by BOOTech,Inc. View Post


Thank you for using the words "BOOTech" and "hit it on the money" in the same sentence. Even at the high end, it is still the ski business. You are in it for the love, not the money

It is often said that the best way to make a million dollars in the ski business is to start with two.

So instead of quibbling over how much service should come with a boot at what price. Here is a different perspective.

The average consumer in the US last year paid a little under $300 for new ski boots. This covers the whole market, where the low end is large and the high end is small.

To use a number, let's say that a high end product, with all the fixings, orthotic, canting, and lifted costs $1000.

Assuming each boot has a service life of 200 ski days, the $300 boot will have cost $1.50 per day to have owned and the $1000 boot will have cost $5 per ski day. Not considering that the orthotic and the knowledge gained can be reused in the next boot. In my shop, that accounts for roughly 1/3.

The $300 boot will be a low end to mid range boot (probably at least one size too big) and will only ski so well no matter how well you ski.

The $1000 boot if well executed, can be a game changer.

Now consider the daily cost of your average ski vacation, or if you live close to an area, your average ski day. Amortize your ski pass. Then consider the potential impact that your ski boot has on this experience. For those of you who only think in terms of comfort this may seem like a lot. Those of you who have stood correctly in ski boots you know what I am talking about.

Yes, I know $1000 is a lot of money for plastic shoes and it comes all at once. That $5 coffee you drink on the way to ski each time, or the $5 beer you drink afterwards, or the $5 hamburger (never mind), or the parking that's once a time.

All of these things cost more per diem and have nowhere near the potential impact on your experience.

I would go so far as to say that short of a problem with an airplane, no other single component has a bigger potential impact on your ski trip than your boots.

So, does everyone need to spend $1000 on ski boots? No, of course not. Can $1000 ski boots represent a good value ? Absolutely.

Unless, of course you are opposed to "buying a better turn" on some sort of ethical basis.

Feel free to discuss this amongst yourselves.

jl


JL , dont necessarily disagree with the sentiments.   And you obviously have a lot more direct knowledge of this area of the business than I do.   But just to stir the pot a bit here.... :popcorn

 

I think where a lot of the confusion arises is just what level of service is being included with the boot purchased and whether the most effective way to compete is to sell the boot at a discounted rate for "online type" sales (which may just be cash and carry from the shop) and to charge separately for fitting beyond the basics.

 

As examples, I assume that in the base "inclusive fitted" price you include basic punches and grinds but NOT sole planing and lifts, if required for canting?  Where is the line?  Or is a lot of the fitting cost compensated by the margins on the orthotics?

 

If there is such a strong value and ROI for having the "off the shelf " fit improved and refined (and again, no argument on the validity of this)  why not just be up front and show it as an extra cost value add service?  This would certainly focus people's minds much more than just touting it as a nice to have that is included in the higher price.

 

And of course, and admittedly a low ball  :D how many industry insiders, who keep promoting the value of not buying boots online, actually order their own boots on pro-form and still expect to get the fitting included???    :rolleyes    

post #185 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by fisch2332 View Post
 

Would it be inappropriate to go to a ski shop to try on boots, find one you like, then buy it online to save hundreds of dollars?


It is perfectly appropriate to buy your boots online (if you know what you are looking for) unless :  the shop that wants your business does a complete dry land and ON SNOW evaluation, canting (90% of the skiers need it),create a foot bed and not any foot bed, but the one that will fit your particular needs and will help and stimulate positive movements,will have a discussion with you to better understand your current level , your goals,your needs,will offer a boot that may not feel comfortable and your size( just to faster get rid of you and to limit the possible number of after purchase fitting visits),but will eventually grow on you and will help you become a better skier.If you find that shop and that fitter -- don't buy online....

post #186 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post


JL , dont necessarily disagree with the sentiments.   And you obviously have a lot more direct knowledge of this area of the business than I do.   But just to stir the pot a bit here.... popcorn.gif

I think where a lot of the confusion arises is just what level of service is being included with the boot purchased and whether the most effective way to compete is to sell the boot at a discounted rate for "online type" sales (which may just be cash and carry from the shop) and to charge separately for fitting beyond the basics.

As examples, I assume that in the base "inclusive fitted" price you include basic punches and grinds but NOT sole planing and lifts, if required for canting?  Where is the line?  Or is a lot of the fitting cost compensated by the margins on the orthotics?

If there is such a strong value and ROI for having the "off the shelf " fit improved and refined (and again, no argument on the validity of this)  why not just be up front and show it as an extra cost value add service?  This would certainly focus people's minds much more than just touting it as a nice to have that is included in the higher price.

And of course, and admittedly a low ball  biggrin.gif  how many industry insiders, who keep promoting the value of not buying boots online, actually order their own boots on pro-form and still expect to get the fitting included???    rolleyes.gif     

While I cannot speak to other shops policy I can say that our policy is to treat every single customer the same way, regardless of the price you have paid.

We charge an initial fee to take on a new client. We keep a record of all your angles,rom,sizes,etc. This makes the future much easier.

Any boot purchased from us, or suggested, if we don't have it, includes basic boot set up and any misc. comfort based fit issues at no charge for a reasonable amount of time.

All other services, orthotics, canting, lifters, fore/aft balance requiring sole mod. etc. are ala carte. Once an individual is in the system we will evaluate and reassess at no additional charge provided it is warranted. E.G. Knee hip replacement, significant change in body structure and so on.

If you include canting/lifting in the price it is not fair to the people who don't need it and it takes quite a bit longer,involves parts with hard costs and loud dangerous power tools.

During peak times we limit the availability of time to people who are receiving professional discounts.

That's probably about it. If you are pleasant and reasonable to deal with, we usually are as well.

Our goal is to help you perform at your best, if that is the customers goal as well, it usually works out pretty well.

Not at all ambiguous.

jl
post #187 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogatyr View Post


It is perfectly appropriate to buy your boots online (if you know what you are looking for) unless :  the shop that wants your business does a complete dry land and ON SNOW evaluation, canting (90% of the skiers need it),create a foot bed and not any foot bed, but the one that will fit your particular needs and will help and stimulate positive movements,will have a discussion with you to better understand your current level , your goals,your needs,will offer a boot that may not feel comfortable and your size( just to faster get rid of you and to limit the possible number of after purchase fitting visits),but will eventually grow on you and will help you become a better skier.If you find that shop and that fitter -- don't buy online....

That was probably the sort of stuff I was referring to with the "game changer" comment.

If you have good bio mechanics and do not require performance based accommodation and have no fit based anomalies that require extra attention, there is probably no reason not to shop by price.

But if by your own estimate 90% require canting how do they not seek or require professional help?

The whole premise was to show that a boot that was properly selected and set up might cost more, but could still represent the better value, because it fit and performed in a superior fashion.

That is all.

I did find the notion that previous years product would diminish in value despite no changes other than graphics very helpful. I'll be sure to check my inventory.

jl
post #188 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino View Post


Yup, agreed.  Take the money and provide a normal or standard level of service with no extras = fine.  Take the money and perform less than normal or standard service = not acceptable (that's what I was calling "crappy" service).

With a subjective and personal thing like boots, there always seem to be extras that a regular will get or a regular will get extra time spent on a problem.  I think that's OK - That's what I was calling preferential treatment.

When out of town 3 years ago I stopped in a shop that was highly recommend with my old NordicacGrand Prix's to fix my liner to try and squeeze 1 more season out of them. The shells had been stretched wide enough for me olso I didn't want to start over. Instead the brought out several pair of marshmallow beginner boots for me because they would fit a wider foot. No measuring, no shell fitting. Even after explaining what I wanted & how I ski they continued to push the beginner boots. I wish all skiers had someone knowledgeable with them at the start to help avoid these shops!
post #189 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbtbakkes View Post

When out of town 3 years ago I stopped in a shop that was highly recommend with my old NordicacGrand Prix's to fix my liner to try and squeeze 1 more season out of them. The shells had been stretched wide enough for me olso I didn't want to start over. Instead the brought out several pair of marshmallow beginner boots for me because they would fit a wider foot. No measuring, no shell fitting. Even after explaining what I wanted & how I ski they continued to push the beginner boots. I wish all skiers had someone knowledgeable with them at the start to help avoid these shops!
don't understand the tie in to the quote but that's crappy service.

Did you buy anything or just waste your time? Did you give feedback to the referrer? Post on Yelp or here? What did you do after the bad experience? What shop?
post #190 of 286
You know, a SHOP can be highly recommended, but it's the name of the bootfitter you need. And you need to make an appointment to make sure you get the right person.
post #191 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by BOOTech,Inc. View Post



That was probably the sort of stuff I was referring to with the "game changer" comment.

If you have good bio mechanics and do not require performance based accommodation and have no fit based anomalies that require extra attention, there is probably no reason not to shop by price.

But if by your own estimate 90% require canting how do they not seek or require professional help?

The whole premise was to show that a boot that was properly selected and set up might cost more, but could still represent the better value, because it fit and performed in a superior fashion.

That is all.

I did find the notion that previous years product would diminish in value despite no changes other than graphics very helpful. I'll be sure to check my inventory.

jl
The problem is not in the percentage of people who need professional help (for canting,etc) , the problem is how many of them are advised by the professionals to purchase boots that wil give them maximum performance and that will be a real game changer for them - many are still not aware of the decisive role of the boots for their skiing.The 'transactions' usually take the easiest path - buy a warm and comfortable boot and go skiing -- happy customer and happy ' professional'-- no returns after purchase, no additional work , no time lost.The real game changer takes time and work that only a few are willing to do.
post #192 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by BOOTech,Inc. View Post


But if by your own estimate 90% require canting how do they not seek or require professional help?


jl

 

There's no such thing as a "perfect" foot, ankle, leg, etc.  Nobody's perfect.  It's a fair statement that most can benefit from professional fine tuning.  But, for average to better anatomy, only those that are seeking to perform at the absolute highest levels "need" those enhancements.  You can ski pretty good out pf the box with average anatomy.  You can ski better with better, fine tuned gear modifications.

post #193 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogatyr View Post

The problem is not in the percentage of people who need professional help (for canting,etc) , the problem is how many of them are advised by the professionals to purchase boots that wil give them maximum performance and that will be a real game changer for them - many are still not aware of the decisive role of the boots for their skiing.The 'transactions' usually take the easiest path - buy a warm and comfortable boot and go skiing -- happy customer and happy ' professional'-- no returns after purchase, no additional work , no time lost.The real game changer takes time and work that only a few are willing to do.


You can lead a horse to water... The best shops have clearly advertised policies regarding boot work and returns/fit guarantees. The customer is informed, matter of fact, it's likely a large part of the reason they're there in the first place, and it's really up to them after the initial fitting session to take advantage of the services offered. Many do, some don't. Part of fitting is understanding the customers needs. A beginner with an 'average' foot skiing 5-8 days per season doesn't need and likely can't tolerate the same fit as a pro skiing 100+ days, but most all do need some sort of after market footbed, etc... I'm sure in most major markets, there are one or two shops that have earned a good reputation for optimizing boots for the customers' needs as part of the purchase price. As others have mentioned, sole planing, shimming, etc... Are usually an additional cost because they are labor/time intensive operations well beyond punching/grinding/cuff alignment/etc...

Most skiers (folks on Epic are not most skiers smile.gif ) will never take a lesson after their first couple of days on the hill either, so it's tough to lay blame on the industry for the publics' lack of interest in optimizing their own experience. So here we are full circle back to the proverbial horse and pond story. But honestly, for that 5-8 day per year customer, their new boot can still very much be e a game changer even if it's not an extensively tweaked high performance boot. In an ideal world, all skies would have a coach on the hill for at least a few days per season that could follow up the fitter's work with some on snow analysis and feedback for additional equipment modifications if necessary.
post #194 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino View Post

don't understand the tie in to the quote but that's crappy service.

Did you buy anything or just waste your time? Did you give feedback to the referrer? Post on Yelp or here? What did you do after the bad experience? What shop?

I guess it was just in relation to customer service.

I was out of town at our company home office. I don't recall the shop and several people mentioned the shop but the big plus was they were an Intuition dealer and wanted new molded liners, for my super wide feet. When there I asked to speak to their best boot fitter too! I didn't buy anything and shot an email to the people who said they were good. Then I called & emailed Intuition to let them know they lost a sale and why. It didn't seem like they really cared. My DaleBoots have Intuition that I love but they're made specifically for DaleBoot.
post #195 of 286
Just bumping for folks that might be wondering about boot buying heading into the new season. Some good discussion in here.
post #196 of 286
Does anybody know a good bootfitting shop in London?
I'll be travelling there in late november and I'm thinking on taking my left boot for a stretch/punch.
Need a few mm extra room for my left toe, i have asymmetric feet lengths.
I have a heat gun at home but don't have a mechanichal press to stretch the shell
Thanks
post #197 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by vmaprilia View Post

Does anybody know a good bootfitting shop in London?
I'll be travelling there in late november and I'm thinking on taking my left boot for a stretch/punch.
Need a few mm extra room for my left toe, i have asymmetric feet lengths.
I have a heat gun at home but don't have a mechanichal press to stretch the shell
Thanks


Suggest you PM @CEM who is one of the Ask the Boot Guys boot fitters.  He is in the UK somewhere.

post #198 of 286
His profile says he's in Bicester, which is 60 miles outside of London. But maybe he knows someone.
post #199 of 286
Take the train to Bicester and see Colin - he's worth it. And while you're there take advantage of the UK peso and stick up at the chi chi outlet mall with the Chinese masses. Warning though Hello Hanson got kicked out for not bring aspirational enough.
post #200 of 286
Otherwise Terry at Ski Bartlett knows his stuff but you really need to be in outer west London or near Heathrow to be local for him.
post #201 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by fisch2332 View Post

Would it be inappropriate to go to a ski shop to try on boots, find one you like, then buy it online to save hundreds of dollars?
Wasting their time, we hate this
post #202 of 286

#purchasebootsfromabootfitter 

post #203 of 286

I bought a pair of new, this year's boots at a specialty boot shop yesterday with an excellent fitter, top of the line performance boot. I had bought liners there once before. I paid less than MAP. (Hopefully they'll work as well as the pair they're replacing, which I bought for $100 new at a swap, but that was pure luck.) The only reason I would buy a boot on line would be if my bootfitter told me too because he didn't have and couldn't get what he thought I needed. And of course I would expect to pay him for adjustments.

 

I learned the hard way. I wasted a lot of years and a lot of money trying to save money on ski gear. Not to say you shouldn't try to get a good deal when you can, but price shouldn't be the primary consideration.

post #204 of 286
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RockerTwo100 View Post

Wasting their time, we hate this

Thanks man
post #205 of 286
Quote:
 Originally Posted by vmaprilia View Post

Does anybody know a good bootfitting shop in London?
I'll be travelling there in late november and I'm thinking on taking my left boot for a stretch/punch.
Need a few mm extra room for my left toe, i have asymmetric feet lengths.
I have a heat gun at home but don't have a mechanichal press to stretch the shell
Thanks

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

His profile says he's in Bicester, which is 60 miles outside of London. But maybe he knows someone.

 

 

about 45 mins on the train 2 stations within 10-12 mins walk away, just please call us to book if you are going to come in, it is starting to get very very busy

 

if you do need to stay in the capital then either Janine or Frazer at Profeet in fulham (it just depends on wher ein london you will be, it can be quicker to get to us than across london to them if you are on the west side for example

 

#theinternetcantfityourboots #supportyourbootfitter #punchandgrindmakesushappy

post #206 of 286

Earlier I was reading that my credit card has a price match guarantee for 90 days. Could be the best of both worlds.

post #207 of 286
I have bought boots online. I purchased some tecnica 10 2 hvl sight nseen for 175.00 shipped.Went to the shop spent 60.00 on some footbeds. No issues.

If I couldnt make them fit I figured at orst I would get my oney back in trade
post #208 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by fisch2332 View Post
 

Would it be inappropriate to go to a ski shop to try on boots, find one you like, then buy it online to save hundreds of dollars?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RockerTwo100 View Post


Wasting their time, we hate this

 

The end result happened to me. To give the complete story, I wanted to try the Dalbello Kryptons a year or two after they came out. It was recommended to me around mid season by a source I trust. I went to a place that carry them, he measured my length and last but they didn't have my right size. He let me try the next size up just to see if I was ok with the last and flex from a cabrio boot.  Then he told me to find them online and bring them in to tweak the fitting. 

post #209 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post


Isn't this indicative of an opportunity for a more segmented and diversified type of pricing strategy?  Perhaps brick and mortar shops could benefit from separating out the fitting/mods in to a separate product, possibly discounted for those smart enough to buy the boots on site instead of online. Many will already offer it for outsourced skis and boots.  Why not sell the skis and boots a la carte at online match price per Phil and Whiteroom's analogies?

A LOT of brick and mortar shops are failing and getting crushed by bigger fish with better margins due to bigger volume discounts.  I get that they can deliver better, more thorough service.  But, they could also capture some of the low margin business and build customer loyalty trading up to additional, higher margin services if they don't shoe the cheapskates back to the internet.

Just a thought..
Bingo. I worked in a small shop for 10 years. I never turned away customer because they bought equipment online or a big box store. At worst I was selling them a custom footbed. If more needed to be done I asked them to ome back n a Mon or Tues when it wasnt busy.
post #210 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris66 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post


Isn't this indicative of an opportunity for a more segmented and diversified type of pricing strategy?  Perhaps brick and mortar shops could benefit from separating out the fitting/mods in to a separate product, possibly discounted for those smart enough to buy the boots on site instead of online. Many will already offer it for outsourced skis and boots.  Why not sell the skis and boots a la carte at online match price per Phil and Whiteroom's analogies?

A LOT of brick and mortar shops are failing and getting crushed by bigger fish with better margins due to bigger volume discounts.  I get that they can deliver better, more thorough service.  But, they could also capture some of the low margin business and build customer loyalty trading up to additional, higher margin services if they don't shoe the cheapskates back to the internet.

Just a thought..
Bingo. I worked in a small shop for 10 years. I never turned away customer because they bought equipment online or a big box store. At worst I was selling them a custom footbed. If more needed to be done I asked them to ome back n a Mon or Tues when it wasnt busy.

as far as a la carte pricing--isn't that what we hate about the airlines? And it would create confusion. What does fitting mean? If the bootfitter looks at your foot and comes back with the pair that he thinks will fit the best, do you charge for that? Only for punches and grinds? 

I don't know where all these cheap on line deals are that shops are trying to compete with. Everywhere I've looked for gear I've bought, the price is the same--shop, on line--until we start talking about end of season or last season's gear, and in the last few years the best deals I've seen have been from shops. I know REI is able to drop its MAP before other retailers when prices start going down in February--but only by a week.

I think there are a lot of people who buy online out of habit or because they're sure they'll get a better deal even if they won't. I don't think on line is what is driving mom and pops out of business though. Around here it's been the drought and one big shop went out of business, but another has opened and is doing well. Our only bookstore looks to be dying though.

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