or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › The internet and ski shops. Where do you buy your gear?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The internet and ski shops. Where do you buy your gear? - Page 4

post #91 of 142
Originally Posted by skifordad
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but all Lange lasts have changed since the inception of the new upper end Lang product 5 years ago. The traditional Lange fit was thrown out the window when the went to the Pinnafarina designed shell.
I know that, it doesn't stop me from buying a boot made on the old last, though. In addition I have a solid D width foot. If the old last was narrow, then I like a tight fit (which I do).
post #92 of 142
I think that one should support the local shop if they know what they are doing. I get Volkl/Tecnica/Marker products at lower prices. I can get Rossi products at lower prices too but i am not interested in their products.
post #93 of 142
I buy boots at the shop, new (previous year model) and used skis on Ebay, and jackets, goggles locally at the shop. I suppose if I was replacing a boot with the exact model I would buy on Ebay or from an online store. Tuning gear is all purchased online from Tognar, etc. The local ski shop carries very limited tuning gear and online shipping beats gas expense for the 3 hour drive to Portland, OR and back.
post #94 of 142
Originally Posted by skidiver
Bob Smith's Wildnerness House on Comm. Ave. (conveniently, it's very close to my office). The bootfitter was Gordon Hay, though I think I read somewhere here recently that he's not there anymore. He did a great job.
Gordo update: he has resurfaced in Marblehead (i.e., North Shore of Boston) and will soon be introducing some radical new stuff (details to be revealed...) at this website:
post #95 of 142

Local Ski Shops

A small local ski shop is a vital community resource. Finding a small local ski shop is important to me as these shops usually are a valuable resevioir of expertise and knowledge that can help a begginner or intermediate skier improve their skiing. That these small shops exist and make their expertise available to me is well worth the small amount of extra money I will spend by giving them my business. I recently bought skis at a small local shop, Larson's Ski and Sports in Lakewood Co. The salesperson questioned me about my skiing and suggested the perfect skis for my replies. I chose a fat waisted ski and was told in a polite and respectful manner that it would be challenging for me. Again, this is excellent customer service that is getting much harder to find these days. My experience in large chain sporting goods stores is hit or miss as far as salesperson expertise is concerned. I was extremely aggressive when a mistake by the manufacturer caused a problem with the binding mount. I posted the name of the store online before finding out it was not their fault, and contacted the manufacturer. They cleared the problem up and continued to treat me kindly and courteously. I will pick the skis up next week and couldn't be happier. I actually got a great deal from them price wise on a discontinued ski that is really hard to find. I fully expect to purchase my next pair of skis from them in a few weeks and will certainly recomend them to everyone who asks. After the freak problem they had with the ski, and the problems I gave them, I would be willing to bet they will be the best shop for mounting bindings in the area.
post #96 of 142
One of the things missing here is that many of the internet sellers are B&M stores. Other net sellers have relationships with 2 or 3 local shops to buy out the old inventory when the owners need some cash flow. This is becoming a new era of retailing. The B&M ski shops that prosper will be those that come to terms with net sales. One of the things that has made Sure foot the fastest growing ski industry retailer is, that they saw the writing on the wall 10 years ago. If the big box retailers wanted to they could crush the competition on ski sales. On the other hand even a novice skier soon learns the importance of good fitting boots.
There will always be a segment of the skiing public that will pay top dollar for the privilege of having the newest gear. But most of us are out there on a budget looking for and needing a deal on our ski gear.
post #97 of 142
I just got a pair of volkl mantras at a shop cheaper than any online price. Plus, they mounted the bindings free. However, I would agree that non current year gear, on-line is the way to go.
post #98 of 142

Shop service rant

First a rant. (sorry) I may be a skier, but I'm not stupid. The teenager who helped me out at the slope-side ski shop talked me into demo-ing a 2004/2005 ski, after I asked about the latest line of this mfgs skis. I really liked them, and he told me these were a discontinued line, (and a little beat-up) and were about to hit the "sport package" rental pile. Surely the owner would make me a good deal?

Enter the owner, a shrewd business type, (right) talked to me out of earshot of "the kid" and explained that these were indeed demos, and could let them go at 90% of full retail (including the retail cost of bindings and mounting), I explained that I could get a NEW pair for the same $$, plus I'd already paid to demo these. He told me that if I waited until after the season, he'd knock another $100 off. Needless to say, he still has them. Why the ***K would I want to wait until AFTER the season? It's January on my planet! This shop has some nice sales people, but the owner needs to remove his head from his butt. I guess in his eyes I’m just a stupid, walking pile of money, right?

I found the same ski on Ebay, from a seller with a long record of good customer service. I called a local shop, not at a resort, to ask about buying and mounting bindings. The first question THAT owner asked me was "where did you get the skis from?" WTF? He then when into his well practiced (I guess from the tone he took) on "stolen" and internet skis retrieved from "dumpsters and garbage pails" of _legitimate_ ski shops"...blah blah blah.
I was really taken aback. I rent from him, bought my jacket, gloves, my kids jackets, etc. from his shop. I was bringing him business, in that I needed to buy bindings and have them mounted, and figured I get poles and a ski bag too. Maybe a helmet. Not anymore, Oscar. That business will be taken elsewhere.

Look: Camera shops, electronics and auto dealers, hobby shops, video stores, etc. have all had to deal with internet sales. Most have adapted to provide better customer service, hands-on and personal sales to provide value that cannot be matched on-line. Many will approach the price of an on-line shop, if they want the sale. I have never gone into a shop looking for free advice, or to waste the sales people's time. I bought my boots from a local dealer who spent 10 minutes asking me what kind of skier I was, where I skied, etc. He took the time, and I spent the money.

Here's a helpful piece of advice for shop owners: I’m not stupid. If I did the research and the average price of the ski I want is $800, please don't feed me a line of crap why you can't do lower than $1200. (I saw your new BMW parked outside, I drive a ’94 Dodge) Spare the BS about “expertise” while I watch a minimum-wage kid slap my $1000 skis into a jig and bore 4 holes with a power drill. Quit bashing your internet competition, I really could care less. Save your effete snobbery regarding Ebay: If I can't sell my old skis, then I won't be buying any new ones, will I? The guy who buys my old stuff will still have to visit a shop to get them adjusted, tuned and maybe in a few months, upgrade to a new pair. That's a sale for you, dumbass!

Me = customer. I drove out to your store, with the intent of spending money. Stop making me ashamed to spend it with you.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled program.....
post #99 of 142
Thread Starter 

Just as there are bad internet "shops", there are bad brick & mortors, looks like you just had an experience with the "latter".
post #100 of 142
In my experience, the online "small" ski shops are the best -- it seems like if they take the initiative to go online and expand their sales, they are also usually ski enthusiasts and knowledgeable about their products. I would rather buy online/mail-order from an enthusiast ski shop in another state than support a local shop if their service is not good.

It may also depend on who you talk with at the local shop. I have had several lousy experiences at our local shop because I was waited on by an inexperienced teen or a snowboarder who didn't really know about skis. I would have a hard time spending hundreds of bucks in a situation like that. Yet, at the same shop, we bought a full ski-binding-boot package for my wife after getting 1 hour of focused attention from the manager, who was a nice guy and seemed really happy to help us out. This is another case where, when interfacing with an online shop, you're likely to only be talking with an enthusiast expert, so the experience may be better and more consistent.

post #101 of 142
Originally Posted by skier219
In my experience, the online "small" ski shops are the best -- it seems like if they take the initiative to go online and expand their sales, they are also usually ski enthusiasts and knowledgeable about their products. I would rather buy online/mail-order from an enthusiast ski shop in another state than support a local shop if their service is not good.

It may also depend on who you talk with at the local shop.
I had some great experiences with my local shop when I was just getting started. Now dealing with the same guy, I feel that he is arrogant, and insulting to me. This is the guy who told me that I couldn't possibly ski the Atomic Metron B5 to it's potential so he didn't want to let me demo it. I've often wondered if he ever gets out of the shop to actually ski any more??? (Truthfully...I am thoroughly enjoying my Metrons, but I haven't made it to real powder yet so I haven't used them to their potential but I WILL!)

The shop at the ski resort is a much better resource for me. These guys have been very informative and helpfull. They let me demo the Metron B5.: I would have bought it from them except they didn't have their stock yet, just the demo's, and I was eager to get on them.

My internet dude, at Deep Powder Ski Hut, has been awesome to me. One thing that assures me about him, is the fact that he is tough to get on the phone. That's because he's a one man opperation and he is either busy with another customer, or he took some time to ski. Either way.....He can serve me better because he's an enthusiast.

Nothing beats buying from an enthusiast!
post #102 of 142
I think we've all dealt with shops like the ones Spin describes. That's another reason why the internet sellers thrive. They give us what we want at a price we want to pay, and NO attitude.
post #103 of 142
For Australians about to travel, any sense of obligation to support ski shops at home is hard to rationalise. Some of the 05/06 skis we have listed to demo in the US next month are going on clearance over there at US $750 or less... under AU $1000.. and we already know they'll retail here at AU $1700+ (e.g. the Allstar) in 4 months' time.

Whaddya gonna do? Sorry local shops, you're not in the game.
post #104 of 142
I'm torn between the two. On one side there is the money one can save, on the other is the service you get. I know just about everyone who works at my local shop. This shop has an association with my local resort. With my season pass, I get 10% off on any retail item.

Last year I bought a 10 rental ski card which saved me some money over individual rental prices. After only 3 uses I decided to buy skis. The guy discounted my skis, then he applied the other 7 rental I had left on my card to reduce the price and finally let me keep the card to give to someone else. I feel that I should support this shop and I do. So my next ski purchase which will be soon, I will bring some ads from the net and see if what they can do. I feel confident that they will do something for me.

In addition there are 2 specialized shops where I live. One is a boots shop, and the other is a tunning shop. I will be supporting those in their specific specialties.
post #105 of 142
Online. All the way. I don't support a business with my $$$. That just makes no sense. Darwin wouldn't approve of the "ignoring" the internet idea.

I do see the value in getting properply fitted for boots since that is an investment, but if they aren't willing to bargain a little, forget em.
There is ALWAYS an employee discount and so long as they try to match on current priced gear, or cut you a break if you might shop elsewhere, then it's OK.

I hate big box sports shops because there is no trained staff.
So, using the nets resources and being motivated by a student's budget, I went in, fitted MYSELF, picked out the brand and model I wanted, and ordered it online.
^^Yeah, well, $350 vs $160 is a big difference. That and I got a boot that was a few steps up "performance" wise, but still in my league.
Can't argue with that.

And before I get chastised, BIG BOX! Say it with me!
I served myself and it was dead empty - so no harm done.

Support is for smaller things, like tuning, waxings, incidentals.
But in no way is ANYONE obligated to throw away their money by "buying local". Let the other guy (read: yuppie) do that.

Last year gear is the way to go.
With closeouts and steepancheap, skis and bindings = online shopping.
Boots - def. do it local.

^^^I KNOW I didn't, but I know the merit of getting gear to fit properly, especially boots.
post #106 of 142
Canadasteep, I was Pm'ing you but your inbox is full.

http://www.untracked.com/ has some Elan m10's on sale (299USD) which I thought might suit you. They will very likely take your salomon bindings (check with store or Elan) Free shipping within US so...get you NYC friend on the case.

Seeya dude!

As for this thread, Buy anywhere if the price is right. I wouldn't buy boots online, for me the risk of non fitting is too great, that's just my opinion obviously..
post #107 of 142
Originally Posted by Max Capacity
Hint, tips work well, as well as they like cookies, brownies, cakes, pizza...

Spot on. Beer is also good currency for the shop folks as well.
post #108 of 142
Originally Posted by VASKI244

Spot on. Beer is also good currency for the shop folks as well.
Word to that.

The sad part, I guess, is that the people that hook us shop guys up with cash, brownies, beer, whatever, are always the people we truly enjoy helping and talking to, and never the dinks that give us a hard time...
post #109 of 142
Also, whenever the possibility of hook ups arises, I always pass on what I CAN DO ex: Someone I know works at a shop, and can give me their employee discount (need new gloves).
Me: She needs a board so I email my list of all the good online shops and offer to facilitate her purchase

Klimski: Forgot about Al's, bookmarked it. But they don't price match at all.

The problem with some big stores is that there are no "decision makers".
Recently I spotted some 04 SX 9's WITHOUT bindings, for $500, on "sale" from $600. There were 2 other atomic skis WITH bindings for $199.
I ask for help and get The store manager - I think it was sports authority, maybe something else.
I ask what can be done since 2 other skis WITH bindings from the same maker and the same year were discounted from $700 to $200, but the SX9 alone was down $100?
He told , me $50. I figured that I could help clear inventory and that it was some type of error, also I explained that online the same skis were $300 with bindings for 05's, and that the price was probably wrong, that and 06's were on the way. I got a "50 bucks is all I can do".
Yeah right.
So I told him I wasn't going to buy anything from him or his store.

It's the people at the small shops I find, that go the extra mile for you.
Sometimes in a big place you can find someone genuinely good, but it's rare. It's like finding a barista that knows what they're doing, or at the very least, a coffee lackey that makes a drink properly!

More on the mail-oprder boots:
Before I took the risk on the boots: I tried similar boots from the Big Box, exact same footwidth and MM footsole and read all the reviews:
performance AND comfort, fits true to size. The price I paid is cheaper than
a few rentals - 160 CDN delivered = a no-miss opportuinty on my budget.

When I get "older" and work FT and have more discretionary income, I will tour the shops for a proper fitting.
post #110 of 142
Originally Posted by skifordad
your are right, you are clueless!! and dead wrong!!
If he is so clueless and dead wrong why did I just get a new pair of 2006
metron B-5 from a atomic rep in my ski school for $321.00 and the 2006
neox 612 binding for $100.00. that is the price shops pay for a set-up that cost over $1300.00 retail
post #111 of 142
Originally Posted by sibhusky
Talk about sweeping statements. I have been a waitress, a bartender, and retail clerk in my life. I've never worked for the government and I've definitely worked LOTS of years in big industry with my coworkers being outsourced left and right. BUT, I also know how much markups are, from working in retail. And if someone came within $75 of an internet price, I'd pay it. But, since I'm only making $9 an hour now, if it's $175, that means three days of work so that I can "support the locals". Sorry, not going to happen. I've got other uses for that money.

Yeah sibhusky.... I agree...

I work in retail & if someone has been quoted a lot cheaper I will check what I can do... I will tell them the best price I can manage...that is all you can expect

HOWEVER... i do dislike people who come and ask me for advice & spend a lot of time with me telling them what they need (as opposed to having some idea and comparing prices) & then buy over the internet from someone that does NOT provide the consultation....

If someone can come within a reasonable price I will be happy to pay for the service aspect.... eg I will probably buy my stocklis from the local store next year because the owner always looks after me with demos etc and I do not mind paying a reasonable price for this ....

As I can never get a salesperson to be at all sensible when I shop for jackets I will buy where I can get a good price... I do not want to know if it "looks nice" I want to know the fabric specs etc dammit! get some sales people that know some stuff...(I ski in a xc shell atm because of this - at least the xc shop has intelligent staff!)
post #112 of 142
^^Yeah. I would agree. It even seems counter productive: going all the way to a store, when you can read up online.
Then again, maybe preference, or to get someone to "read between the lines" for you, but if they have no intention of buying and wasting YOUR time, thats B.S.
post #113 of 142
Interesting for Australians: an eBay seller has a couple of pairs of 05/06 Atomics listed, at a fair discount on RRP. I think this is unprecedented here - officially those models don't even exist.
post #114 of 142
We live in competitive economies, and buyers will go where they get the best value for their money. It isn't a moral question.

What is unfair, IMO, are buyers who "shop" at B&M retailers, using the shop's resources and expertise to help them make their selection, but with no intention of buying from that shop.
post #115 of 142
There is a common theme to this thread that goes something like: Shop Owner – “I do not like it when people come into my shop, ask me questions, get advice, and then go buy something on e-bay.” Personally, I am tired of hearing this response.

As a business owner myself, I am aware that the most difficult challenge we face is getting people in the door. Once they are in the door, the battle is over unless you a) have nothing tangible to provide, or b) have poor customer service. As long as you have something to offer and an enjoyable atmosphere you will make sales.

A few months ago I bought a pair of brand new Salomon Scream Limiteds off of eBay for $170 shipping included. The cheapest I could find them in a local shop was $449. I had a pair of Marker bindings that were still in the box. I took them to the shop I normally use and paid the $25 to get them mounted which included an iron wax. The owner was impressed when I told about the bargain I had found. He did not:
a) Bitch about losing a sale,
b) Lament the fact that internet and eBay deals can be had
c) Imply that the ski either had to be hot or tainted in some way.

What he did was recognize that I buy wax, gloves, hats, boots, liners, hand warmers, and many other things from his shop. I bring my skis to him when they need repair or a good tune. Sure I will pick he and his staffs brain about equipment and then buy off of eBay. I also spend quite a bit of money renting demos from his shop before I make a choice. Every time a relative or friend comes out I have them rent from this shop.

To you disgruntled shop owners; I am willing to pay a little more to buy local or for good service (good service does not equate to “in person” either). However, I will not bend over and grab my ankles so you can mark up your equipment 800%. Let me give you this scenario. You are shopping for a car and the salesman spends an hour extolling the virtues of a specific car. Do you buy from that salesman or dealer because of the time invested if you think you can save $5,000-$10,000 down the road? If the answer is yes, then please consult me the next time you are looking to buy a car. I will spend lots of time with you!
post #116 of 142
Originally Posted by matt7180
Let me give you this scenario. You are shopping for a car and the salesman spends an hour extolling the virtues of a specific car. Do you buy from that salesman or dealer because of the time invested if you think you can save $5,000-$10,000 down the road? If the answer is yes, then please consult me the next time you are looking to buy a car. I will spend lots of time with you!
How about this scenario: You are considering buying a used, late model car from a friend, and to find out more about your friend's car you waste an hour of a car dealer's time on a test drive while quizzing the dealer on the attributes of the car. All on the false premise that you're considering buying the car from him.

I think that's deceitful and wrong.

I have no problem with someone checking out merchandise at a retailer and buying somewhere else, as long the buyer is honest in his intent. And I'm not a retailer and I don't work in a shop.
post #117 of 142
February 10th, 2006, 05:45 PM
bluemonkeyglider vbmenu_register("postmenu_434951", true);
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 18

i decided to get the 2006 nordica speedmachine 12 boots in a 27.5. i should receive them next week. i'll let everyone know how they work out for me. they should work great with the new 2006 atomic metron m:10 164 skis with neox 412 bindings i just ordered...ahhhhh...can't wait to try them out at big sky in 4 weeks.

for my wife, i ordered 2005 atomic metron m:8 skis with device 312 bindings and nordica gts 10 womens boots in a 25.0. she's hard to fit, but these were as close as we could get; may have to do some custom boot fitting around the ankles and heels because of her very narrow feet (AAAA). i really think she should have gotten the 24.0 or 24.5. she may have to send them back for a different size or different boot...maybe rossi exp 2 or rossi bandit 2 boots--any opinions advice welcomed and appreciated.

btw, we got the skis at skidiscounters.com (talk to eric) and the boots at evogear.com (talk to molly) and got such incredible deals they swore me to secrecy...no joke...but they will deal with you. the skis are perfect. still waiting on the boots, but they were just ordered. evogear has a great web site and a strong reputation. fyi, i do not have any affilitation with either company.


post #118 of 142
Just wanted to draw everyone's attention to my post about on line retailer Action Sports Outlet found here:


I just bought my third pair of skis from them and they even reduced the price post sale after they dropped it online. I've had nothing but good experiences with them.
post #119 of 142
What about the small bricks and mortar shops that have taken to selling merchandise on the 'net? There seems to be more of that going on every year. Since it appears to be seasonal, I assume it is guys clearing out their deep discount rack. But it sure does blur the lines.
post #120 of 142
Matt1780 has got it. For those of you into cycling, you know the same debate goes on there.

Many LBS owners complain that people are buying frames and groups online (eBay or from overseas) and refuse to build up these customers' bikes. Other LBS owners realize that service is the key. They make their money on shop work as well as accessories and soft goods. They will gladly build up and service anything a customer brings in. Otherwise, the LBS just can't compete.

B&M ski shops are in a similar position, but not a similar mindset. Maybe they should thin out the hard goods inventory and offer service incentives for every x amount of dollars spent on soft goods like some LBS.

LBS that focus on service, soft goods and replacement parts (tires, chains, saddles, etc.) still maintain their position as the local centers of bike culture. I don't see that from ski shops, and I live in a ski town.

Just my 2¢, but I will spend it where it makes sense to me. We all can't pro form our new stuff. ...skiing in a changing marketplace.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › The internet and ski shops. Where do you buy your gear?