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Telemark Pyrnees

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Is anyone else missing those days when the Us Dollar was so strong against The Euro? Those days when every ski and binding on thier site was so cheap it was a sin to pass up the deal? I was just over there looking around there was some of last seasons skis at vary good prices but once you did a currancy conversion those good prices disappeared. I miss those days when the Euro was weak and the US dollar was strong. Guess I'll just have to keep looking north to our friends in Canada for those bargins.
post #2 of 19
You bet...our friends to the North have great deals on skis, eh, many of my bucks go to Calgary, eh! I find the best deals there. Drives the shops here in the USA nuts.
post #3 of 19
I think a lot of us are bastards because we gripe about American ski companies making skis overseas (China), but we don't even spend our USD's on gear in the US...
post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandit Man
I think a lot of us are bastards because we gripe about American ski companies making skis overseas (China), but we don't even spend our USD's on gear in the US...
You said it dawg! I agree, and I'm guilty too. I was born and raised a union man, yet I can't keeep my ass out of WalMart!

Th ski deals in Argentina were off the hook! I just didn't have the space to take them back.
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandit Man
I think a lot of us are bastards because we gripe about American ski companies making skis overseas (China), but we don't even spend our USD's on gear in the US...
Also quite fitting that Americans bitch most loudly about outsourcing, and yet we were the first people to turn skiing into a publically-held Chinese produced big-box enterprise.

And I don't shop at Wal-Mart. Heh.
-Garrett
post #6 of 19
There are alot of skis being built in the US. And the prices are less than a lot of Euro companies. Why not buy American products for less?
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sluff Vertigo
There are alot of skis being built in the US. And the prices are less than a lot of Euro companies. Why not buy American products for less?
I'm aware of a couple skis made in US. Could you provide a list?
post #8 of 19
Line
Igneous
PM Gear
Drake-Boinay
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
Line
Igneous
PM Gear
Drake-Boinay
K2 race stock
Phantom, maybe?
Maybe Hart, sometime?

Good job by gonzostrike in coming up with a list.

I wouldn't call that "a lot," though. I'm not so sure many of them qualify as cheap, either. Not Igneous anyway.
post #10 of 19
The skis you mentioned are either inapplicable to the general market, or mostly suck. Which is unfortunate. One has to go to a European or Chinese manufacturer for your run of the mill skier's best weapon.
-Garrett
post #11 of 19
True.

There are not "a lot" of American-made skis, by any normal meaning of the word, and what there are tend to be expensive, niche-products, or both.
post #12 of 19
[quote=Utah49]Is anyone else missing those days when the Us Dollar was so strong against The Euro? Those days when every ski and binding on their site was so cheap it was a sin to pass up the deal?QUOTE]

Well, yes and no. (The confusion stems from how the exchange rate affects the relative prices of goods actually produced in the U.S. vs. foreign countries, and how it affects the relative prices of foreign goods purchased from a U.S. vs. foreign retailer.) The strength of the U.S. dollar when purchasing, say, a Scarpa backcountry skiing boot really doesn’t make any difference between:
- buying the boot from t-p.com, which in turn bought it from the French distributor, which in turn bought it from Scarpa;
vs.
- buying the boot from your local shop, which in turn bought it from the American distributor (i.e., bdel.com), which in turn bought in from Scarpa.
The role of the exchange rate there just cancels out.
Short-term fluctuations throughout the ski season can make a big difference though. (That is, if the dollar suddenly gets stronger, then t-p.com prices instantly get better, but it's not like the price at the local shop on existing stock is suddenly going to decrease.)
The far bigger difference is made through some combination of the price-setting decisions on behalf of the manufacturer and the U.S. distributor. When the dollar had been consistently strong several years back, that should have made the local price and the t-p price for, say, the Diamir equally cheap. But no, the t-p price was about $160, and the local price was about $340. That had nothing to do with exchange rates, and everything to do with what economists call “price discrimination,” i.e., charge different prices for the same good or service to different groups based on their perceived willingness to pay.
And if you look at the retail prices this fall for some gear (especially the new Garmont Adrenalin, as well as the increasingly popular Dynafit bindings), this phenomenon appears to be happening again.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Shefftz
The far bigger difference is made through some combination of the price-setting decisions on behalf of the manufacturer and the U.S. distributor. That had nothing to do with exchange rates, and everything to do with what economists call “price discrimination,” i.e., charge different prices for the same good or service to different groups based on their perceived willingness to pay.
Point # 1. It is true that different countries pay slightly different prices for goods. The factories negotiate price with their various distributors according to the simple laws of supply and demand.

However.

Point # 2. An outfit like T/P presumably doesn't have the overhead that a US shop has. T/P doesn't need to have flashy retail space and staff in ________(insert cool mountain town here.) T/P just needs a warehouse and a computer, and that's much cheaper.

Point # 3. You are forgetting about that little thing US customs calls "duty." US distributorships pay the government huge duties on ski equipment shipments from Europe. This is often more than $35k per container. In theory, a US T/P customer is supposed to pay the duty when the skis arrive in the US, but this is rarely enforced.
post #14 of 19
2. TP is just a random retail “brick and mortar” store. (Well, okay, I can’t remember what the first-hand accounts said about the building materials . . . ) Their prices are no different from other traditional Euro retailers. The only thing different about them relative to other Euro retailers is their English fluency (I believe the owner is an English ex-pat) and how quickly they jumped on the idea of taking advantage of the higher prices that U.S. retailers charge. Their prices are no different than other major Euro shops that have websites, or from the prices I saw in shops when I was in Cham.

3. No, I am “fogetting about that little thing US customs calls ‘duty.” I just didn’t bother to mention it because it is indeed quite small. The duty on skis is 2.6%, bindings 2.8%, and 0% on boots. Even those U.S. purchasers who have the bad (and rare) misfortune to get hit by duties come out ahead financially. And an individual purchaser gets hit not only with the % duty but also some fixed-charge that portionally is far higher than the U.S. distributor would have to pay.
post #15 of 19
Jonathan,

OK, your numbers are correct, so I won't waste any time with that. I should've known somebody from Cambridge was smart enough to look stuff up...

Nevertheless, my point is that the prices US shops charge aren't negotiated through some shady deal in a smoky bar in Prague. Most US shops try to sell most of their gear at about 40% over their cost - hardly a goldmine when you consider how long it takes one shop to sell through their inventory, and well below the average retail margin of other consumer goods. If you want to complain about getting used - why is a box of cheerios $4?

Don't blame the US distributors, either. Because of the exchange rate, they're taking it in the shorts. They're paying 25% more this year than last year. You'll notice that much of this increase was not passed along to the US consumer. Consumer MSRPs are only slightly higher than last year. Furthermore, all shipping costs to the US are the responsibility of the US distributors. Though I don't know the numbers, I'm sure it's substantially more expensive to put a container on boat for a month than drive one the 200 miles from Austria to France.
post #16 of 19
I buy my Cheerios at Costco - fairly reasonably priced there. (Although I mainly eat generic shredded wheat & grapenuts from Shaws/Star Market.) Gotta save those pennies for ski gear!

Anyway, I have not analyzed (yet) the increase in U.S. backcountry ski gear prices over last fall compared to the increase in the Euro:$ exchange rate. But if U.S. distributors have absorbed some of the effective U.S. price increase from the dollar’s weakening (a potentially plausible occurrence), then that should *lower* the U.S.-tp,etc price differential (since the tp price in $ is always passed onto customers 100%). Instead, the differential for some new gear is quite big this fall.

For example, price delivered to my doorstep (including shipping, plus 2% credit card fee for foreign currency exchange) from tp.com saves me (vs driving up to NH) $216 for the Garmont Adrenalin, or $235 if combining orders with a friend. Comparable savings for the new Scarpa Matrix are $136 and $155 (respectively).

I’m not necessarily blaming U.S. shops or distributors for this. Could be the price that the manufactures charge to the U.S. distributors. But the weakening dollar does not explain it.

As for:
“Furthermore, all shipping costs to the US are the responsibility of the US distributors. Though I don't know the numbers, I'm sure it's substantially more expensive to put a container on boat for a month than drive one the 200 miles from Austria to France.”
- This is leaving out a critical step. If I buy a ski boot made in Italy at my local shop, it is first shipped en masse from Italy to SLC, then en masse from SLC to my local shop. By contrast, if I buy a ski boot made in Italy from tp.com, it is first shipped en masse from Italy to the national/regional distributor, then shipped en masse to tp, then shipped *individually* to my doorstep. Because of the inherently higher cost associated with this final step, the latter series of shipments has to add up to a higher cost than the former series. So the tp cost savings (net of shipping) can’t be attributed to *lower* total shipping costs.

[Disclaimer: I am *not* necessarily advocating at this particular moment for ordering exclusively from t-p.com. I have indeed received great service from them, but if you have a local shop you wish to support, then by all means please do so. My only point here is the economic analysis of the price differentials.]
post #17 of 19

It's all about value-add

Interesting discussion....I buy a fair bit of sports equipment, some locally and some via the Internet from places like TP and also MEC, REI etc for bike stuff.

For me its all about value - here in NZ the local price is almost always higher - the question is what extra value am I getting for the extra cost. I've recently bought both a pair of ski-boots and a high-end mountain bike, after some careful thought and a bit of negotiating I bought both locally, because I could see the extra value I was getting compared with buying them cheaper from overseas.

Already I have had some fitting work done on the boots (free of charge) and turns out I orderd the wrong size MTB frame so the supplier is getting me the next size (free of charge). So I consider I'm getting some good service for my extra outlay.

By comparison, I usually by skis overseas because it's cheaper, I've never had a warranty issue with a ski, so I figure if you know what you want just buy it the cheapest way possible because you'll probably never need any local backup.

grum
post #18 of 19
Want the deal of the century on Arno Adam poles??

Check out the TP price, then check out this thread:

http://tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17375
post #19 of 19
I have friends in France, Germany, Austria, Ireland, and Italy who have realized with the Euro, after one or two years, everything was 10 to 15 percent higher. The U.S. dollar was a lot stronger than the Euro five years ago - so if Bush and Cheney (his puppetmaster) want to send the U.S. in the poorhouse, so be it. Clinton had a surplus, and Bush with his federal tax cuts means that the states have to pick up the slack. Most states cannot pave their own roads...

The Euro is based on the value of the Deutschemark.
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