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Ski Pricing and the law of Diminishing Returns - Page 2

post #31 of 57

While at Sun Valley this winter I saw some Zai skis. Not on anyone's feet but in the on mountain ski shop. The cheap ones were $4900 and the pricey ones were $6900. The Zai website claims that Zai skis loose 5% tension after 100 days while the mass produced skis from other manufactures loose 25% tension after 30 days. They list wood, patented carbon fibres and stone among the materials and of course the skis are hand made.

 

Isn't it nice to know that billionaires can buy a ski that offers great value and will likely out live them.:D

post #32 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 


I do think that someone in his right mind would pay 1150$ to ski a Nordica Doberman SLR or Fischer WC SC, or Head i. SL (or  SL RD) or any of a host of skis instead of being forced to ski the Rossi Hero Elite ST TI for a season or two.


I was refferring to the ridiculous assumption that Rossignol skis were only good for 50 days while Kastle skis for 400 !!!

post #33 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryBadger View Post
 

 

 

  But I really don't get why some here feel (outside of a specific sub category - best value) value is that relevant in evaluating ski quality.  

 

 

 OP  :  '' ...... I'm curious as to what you all see as the ideal price point for a ski where you're getting the best value for the performance you're getting................. ''

post #34 of 57

@Bogatyr Perhaps this was unclear, but what I actually meant is that being overpriced relative to performance of some other ski does not imply a ski inherently worse than one that is a better value.  Being a worse ski does imply it's a worse ski.  I was not trying to foreclose the thread topic.

 

As an example, you seem to believe that Kastle's are bad because they are overpriced and that people are delusional for buying them based on some other posts. Is that wrong?  My point is that whether they are a worse value than some other brands or not, some people may prefer them as some people have more money than others.

 

Edit: and that's why the question is subjective!  It does not admit an absolute answer.


Edited by AngryBadger - 3/31/16 at 6:18pm
post #35 of 57
The price is secondary if you love the ski. I've demoed a few skis that I just had to buy. Money well spent.

Spending the big bucks on a ski you haven't tried is seeking a risky return.

I've scored some great skis in the thrift store. Not too risky.

I have found the diminishing return in a couple skis that I demoed and liked but hated the cost - so I got something close that I could afford.

Eric
post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryBadger View Post
 

 

As an example, you seem to believe that Kastle's are bad because they are overpriced and that people are delusional for buying them based on some other posts. Is that wrong?  My point is that whether they are a worse value than some other brands or not, some people may prefer them as some people have more money than others.

 

 

 

It's not the nails its the hammer.  I've seen plenty of people on Kastles and Stocklis who obviously were on them because they were premium consumers who like to have "the best".  But their skills were such that the premium over a pair of Rossis really wouldn't be justified in any performance sense.  In fact you might say the more mass market skis might be more forgiving for their level of skills and actually facilitate greater enjoyment if you take the halo effect of owning the premium brand out of the equation. 

 

And of course you do see lots of people who can really use those skis but I also suspect a fair number of them are NOT paying full retail.  It's no different really to the car industry- people will buy based on brand perception and badge over actual needs - why does suburban soccer mum need a big German SUV for the school run and groceries?  She doesn't - there is no more real utility for the actual use (transportation and load capacity) than a minivan, but there are plenty of intangible reasons why it might be justified.

post #37 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post
 

While at Sun Valley this winter I saw some Zai skis. Not on anyone's feet but in the on mountain ski shop. The cheap ones were $4900 and the pricey ones were $6900. The Zai website claims that Zai skis loose 5% tension after 100 days while the mass produced skis from other manufactures loose 25% tension after 30 days. They list wood, patented carbon fibres and stone among the materials and of course the skis are hand made.

 

Isn't it nice to know that billionaires can buy a ski that offers great value and will likely out live them.:D

I had never heard of those before, that's awesome.  Thanks for sharing!

post #38 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbob View Post
 

And of course you do see lots of people who can really use those skis but I also suspect a fair number of them are NOT paying full retail.  It's no different really to the car industry- people will buy based on brand perception and badge over actual needs - why does suburban soccer mum need a big German SUV for the school run and groceries?  She doesn't - there is no more real utility for the actual use (transportation and load capacity) than a minivan, but there are plenty of intangible reasons why it might be justified.

 

I agree with your larger point that a lot of people buy for brand value but knowledgeable consumers don't typically care.  For skis in particular given that premium equipment is usually targeted at experts, it is true that getting premium stuff you can't use effectively is at best unhelpful and at worst counterproductive.  If I were a ski manufacturer with a rep for producing expert equipment, I might try and monetize that by producing intermediate friendly skis at a premium price point so I think it's fair to ask if a brand has started doing that.

 

That said, I'm not sure how big a rep Kastle or Stockli actually have among the Deer Valley crowd, but the point is absolutely valid that people who can afford nice things can't always use them effectively.

 

On the other hand, if you're a knowledgeable consumer who enjoys hanging out on ski boards you probably know that you don't need to pay full price for Rossis.  In fact, it could be argued you are more likely to pay full price for premium skis because they're harder to find at the end of the season (but still possible obviously).

 

My experience: I've definitely seen some locals who looked like they knew what they were doing in the Jackson tram line on Kastles.  I agree they probably didn't pay full retail, but neither of us really know that.  I'm not sure it's any less likely than the people on Fischers paying full retail.

 

I've also seen a few local looking dudes on frigging Igneous boards, which cost $500+ more than Kastles and because every single one of those is custom anyone who buys new is probably paying full retail.  I can't tell you how many of them bought new nor was I interested enough in observing skill correlations in equipment to follow them down the mountain to see if they could really ski.

post #39 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryBadger View Post
 

 

My experience: I've definitely seen some locals who looked like they knew what they were doing in the Jackson tram line on Kastles.  I agree they probably didn't pay full retail, but neither of us really know that.  I'm not sure it's any less likely than the people on Fischers paying full retail.

 

Without any evidence I'd speculate that the discounting on Kastles are down to some proform/shop hookup (& we can count people on epic buying up one of dawgcatching's deals closer to this I think) while the discount on Fischers is much more likely to be generally publically available.  I'm not knocking Kastles BTW - the 105HP is one of the best skis I've ever skied but I just don't think it's sufficiently distinct from a Cochise say to justify the extra moolah, when I could be spending the difference on another weekend in the Alps.  Any longevity issue is moot in my book because unless they've made Kastles rock repellent my skis are far more likely to die from blown edges and too many core shots than old age.

 

But I do concur with the basic point that for some people the price delta is immaterial because either they are so wealthy or are prepared to pay disproportionately for marginal improvements or because they are prepared to invest whatever it takes in one of their main activities.  I must admit I'm not really interested in driving a fancy car but do have far more skis than I need because I see it as a pretty cheap way of getting top end performance kicks & you gotta have a vice right?

post #40 of 57

Ahhhh, Iggys!!  Sweetest powder board I ever had the pleasure of riding!  I got  mine a while ago when they only cost as much as Kastles and Stocklis do now.  Cost easily exceeded in value, for me.

 

I wouldn't personally put Kastles and Stocklis in the same value category - I would take a Stockli over a Kastle every time.

 

 

And again, for me, value is so much more than just  the acquisition or resale price.

post #41 of 57

An interesting topic.  For me now (with other oblications and demands on my income) it's a question of setting a minimum performance level, and then searching for bargains that allow me to purchase a ski that meets that level.

 

I also look at driving more as a sport than simple transportation. In the past I justified expensive ski and boot purchases, by the fact that I couldn't afford to buy a high performance car (e.g. Porsche 928S) but I could afford to buy the equivalent performance level ski.

 

As to people buying skis that they will never access the performance there of: I once lent my old school Kästle skis to a friend who was just a beginner-intermediate.   He said he could feel the quality difference between it and his rentals.  I told him in a confused voice, that I couldn't see how it would make a difference to him because imho the skis didn't wake up until they were going 50 mph.  He said that even at his slow speed (probably about 30 mph) he could feel the quality in the "ride", in the smoothness, in the way they responded to his input.  

post #42 of 57

My price point is about $600 for a new ski. I don't buy new skis very often but do so occasionally.  $1000 for a Kastle or Stockli is pretty steep for my budget, but if I really wanted it I would adjust the budget to make it fit. Having said that, I usually buy my skis used for a lot less and have had really good luck doing so. A 1-3 year old ski works fine for me after a fresh grind and some hot waxing. I like stiff skis, so being slightly broken down makes them a little more versatile on the mountain.  

 

I tend to keep my gear for a long time, so investing more $$ doesn't bother me to much.

 

As far as a ski lasting for 400 days, I own one and still use it as  rock ski. It is a 90's Elan Comprex S  205 slalom ski. It is still in pretty good shape considering its 20 years old. If you want a picture I could  take one. I am on my third pair of bindings. The plastic ones don't last for 400 ski days, they crack way before that . I have an old pair of Marker MRR's on them now. They are wood cored and well made. I owned a pair of K2 710's that wore out in 3 seasons due to their foam core. Wood and metal make the best ski cores, IMHO.

post #43 of 57

As a 15 year old without a job who isnt a cheapskate, just has a very strict budget, I am willing to spend about $400 for some great condition current skis with bindings. Limits what skis I can afford but some deals persist. For example, ebay is flooded with 2016 Rossignol Super 7's with Axial3 demo bindngs for around $450.

post #44 of 57

Kabat, with the depressed Canadian dollar, you might wan to check out some Canadian online sellers like Sportchek.ca who are also a brick and mortar Canadian sporting goods discount chain.

post #45 of 57
People, you want good bargains shop now. Stores around Killington have lots at 40-50% off. You'll have to call them though as websites tend to be questionable.
What's unusual this year is the quantity of good stuff available. I've seen some Kastle at 1/2 off including 168, 178cm Mx88.
Here's a list of shops:
http://www.mountainsportsinn.com/ski_shops.shtml
Basin, Peak Performance, Northern Ski Works, Forerunner, Aspen East are the big ones.
There was a 183cm Stockli SR95 13-15year model for $499.
post #46 of 57

I buy demo skis in good condition in the off season for about 30% of the (70% off) retail price. I have my local ski shop check the bindings and always get the demo bindings which help me sell them when I find something I like better.  I use the consensus of opinion from ski reviews of all types and forums like EPIC, and experts like Phil and Dog to give me a feel for what will work for me. I value their judgement more than I do my own.

post #47 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveturner View Post
 

I buy demo skis in good condition in the off season for about 30% of the (70% off) retail price. I have my local ski shop check the bindings and always get the demo bindings which help me sell them when I find something I like better.  I use the consensus of opinion from ski reviews of all types and forums like EPIC, and experts like Phil and Dog to give me a feel for what will work for me. I value their judgement more than I do my own.


I wonder if there is even one single person on Epic who buys new ski (before November) and pays MSRP . Most probably no one. Or even if this person exists he prefers to remain silent and  to not give us his example.

post #48 of 57
If that means less than 10% off, yes. 0 percent off? Maybe. We start getting into off what? If a sk/binding Kastle is 1500 msrp and they pay 1400 or 1450 does it count?
post #49 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogatyr View Post
 


I wonder if there is even one single person on Epic who buys new ski (before November) and pays MSRP . Most probably no one. Or even if this person exists he prefers to remain silent and  to not give us his example.

 

I'll step up to the plate on that - already have elsewhere, so not very daring on my part.  It depends on the ski - for most, I would not, but for a very small subset ....... I have and could certainly do so again in the future. It also seems that more and more skis are being released in advance of the traditional Oct/Nov shop inventory arrivals.

And I would readily admit, if I thought the ski I wanted would definitely be available for less later in the season ( not too late though!), I would probably wait.

post #50 of 57
If you like it and can afford it, buy it. We're all grown up here and we don't need other people force their purchasing philosophy on us. Yes, I own a Kastle ski that i paid way more than I'd used to pay for a ski. The only person who I had to justify this purchase was my wife. So, here you go, suck it up and just enjoy skiing on whatever you are on.
post #51 of 57

Paying full price may be cheaper than renting it and then buying it later for less.

post #52 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
 

 

Why can't you ski on a ski for a decade?  Especially as part of a quiver.  A well made ski should be worth at least 100 days.  Premium ski, 200 days. Rossignol, 50 days.  I know more than one person with over 400 days on their Kastles.  

 

What is a "premium ski"? Stockli and Kastle? Any others?

 

Why 50 days for Rossignol specifically? The Hero line is exceptionally popular at one specific mountain I ski. 


Edited by Metaphor_ - 4/8/16 at 7:25pm
post #53 of 57

The one good thing about a miserable snow year is the abundance of cheap skis at the end of the season sales in popular models and sizes. Should be a good spring for buying skis in the east. 

 

A picky point--a number of people have referred to the MSRP--I'm not sure anyone in the history of the world has ever paid MSRP except for a boutique ski sold only factory direct. MAP (minimum advertised price) is what you're talking about--the price the retailer says is 30% off but which is the same price every other retailer is selling for and the price that no one has actually ever paid more than. Fake discounts in other words. 

post #54 of 57
Here are some cheap skis with a wack of performance currently on eBay for $310: 2015 Head Worldcup Rebels i.GS RD 183cm (Skis Only) w/ Race Plate. So yes, race skis - because the makers are always tinkering with their show boat, skis can get cheap real fast, especially with the not so kind ministrations of FIS changing some perimeter with or without reason, or for that mater consideration for best speed every couple of years.
post #55 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by aarrkk View Post

Here are some cheap skis with a wack of performance currently on eBay for $310: 2015 Head Worldcup Rebels i.GS RD 183cm (Skis Only) w/ Race Plate. So yes, race skis - because the makers are always tinkering with their show boat, skis can get cheap real fast, especially with the not so kind ministrations of FIS changing some perimeter with or without reason, or for that mater consideration for best speed every couple of years.


aarrkk obviously has more disposable income than I do.  Add $250 for a set of decent bindings (the good ones never go on sale!), and you're talking $560 for a pair of skis, perhaps good value for money, but not cheap.  

post #56 of 57
I make enough money for it not to be very rational to read ski reviews and buy from eBay. But I do it because I want lots of top class equipment and don't have time to go to ski test weekends and muck about renting 4 different skis from different shops to find one that is best. Also I realized that reviewers know more than me. I have 6 pairs currently and generally buy 1-2 pairs per season. Also I figure that if I buy skis when the price starts with a 3 or 50% off rrp I can sell them, or just use them for a week and then burn them for not much more than rental.

Where I ski it's often rocky, so if you're the sort of person who skis no matter the weather and visibility then the chances of any skis lasting 400 days is zero. Generally my favourites last up to 5 seasons before the bases are done, then the skis that are superceded are used as loaner models for friends so they are not raped by the in resort rental shops.

Looking at skiers here, you generally find that the people with the latest kit are not the best skiers. A scrawny guy with 110mm skis with chewed up tips will be really good. Stöckli skiers are usually top quartile. Vai skiers and others with shiny top sheets linking to premium car manufacturers are usually newly rich from Eastern Europe and sometimes good skiers, but often only there for the on piste dining.
post #57 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfish View Post


Looking at skiers here, you generally find that the people with the latest kit are not the best skiers. A scrawny guy with 110mm skis with chewed up tips will be really good. Stöckli skiers are usually top quartile. Vai skiers and others with shiny top sheets linking to premium car manufacturers are usually newly rich from Eastern Europe and sometimes good skiers, but often only there for the on piste dining.

Fair enough I was once riding a chair at a resort I didn't know very well and the patroller I been chatting to tipped me off about some terrain they were opening imminently. I asked him how he knew I could handle it and he pointed to my faded chipped and generally abused topsheets and said "holiday gapers don't ski skis like that!"
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