Originally Posted by sars
Actually you are wrong. I do not know why his prices are so low, but what I do know is that he is paying less for skis from his suppliers than the US retailers. He is also sacrificing margin and destroying brand image. Hense the reason they are no longer on ebay and they will not be carring product from many manufactures next year.
If ski manufacturers are charging less to canadian retailers than to american retailers, then they are practicing price discrimination, which hurts US consumers. If we are able to buy cheaper from Cupulos or other canadian retailers, then this counteracts the practice of price discrimination. The loss of american local shops is not bad in and of itself. After all, trade causes losses to american firms, but is extremely beneficial to society when all things are said and done. The problem arises when production shifts to canadian shops simply because of price discrimination even though they dont have any comparative advantage over american shops. Without comparative advantage, there is no benefit to shifting production of this particular service overseas (or in this case, overborders) and american society as a whole, as well as the local ski shops, are the losers.
However, it is not exactly clear to me which is the greatest factor that allows cupulos to charge less for skis on ebay. Getting the skis wholesale at a lower price is one factor but im sure there are others, such as increased efficiency as an internet ebay business and decreased costs due to decreased customer service (since they are now out of business on ebay, stupidity might also be a factor)
As for destroying brand image--im not a big fan of branding since it tends to decrease competition which makes the whole system less efficient.