or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Skis shop owners, how do you feel about internet buyers
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Skis shop owners, how do you feel about internet buyers - Page 5

post #121 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by skierhj View Post
I totally disagree with you about shop employees not being trained. Granted, not all shops train their staff fully and in some areas it is pretty tough to get the employees onto all the skis. Many shops rely on reps to teach products to their staff. I have all the reps come into my shop. However, that is not even close to the end of the staff training. I hold classes for my staff talking about the basic of ski selling, I have every employee fill in report cards on the skis they demo. I pay my employees to go to the demo days. There are many shops out there who do a great job with their training and I know for a fact that there are many employees in many different ski shops around the country who are truly expert in skis. You might need another shop
The new shop I am going to, is the best one around IMO. And, I am already traveling out of my local area. This leaves me with what? Reasearch, and internet shops.
post #122 of 147
Service!

The big boxes and the internet can not offer the level of service the specialty shop can.

That's all we have left to give, darn it!

If they ever make a boot that fits everybody perfectly and skis great right out of the mail, or a ski that never needs tuned, I'm screwed and may have to go back to teaching or work as a janitor where I can make more money than an instructor.

b
post #123 of 147
I have one firm rule: When a shop says "we can order it", I reply "so can I".
Inventory is not a four letter word.
post #124 of 147
newfydog,

Unfortunately, there in lies one of the problems for shop owners. They can not afford to stock every popular brand, model, and length of ski out there. The fact is at the end of the season they would be left with far too much inventory and consiquently have to sell it at a loss just to liquidate.

I know it is difficult for the consumer to consider these things when purchasing equipment but many times if the dealer special orders it for you they may offer a competitive price with the web because they will at least make a few bucks on an otherwise lost sale???? It's worth asking and giving them a chance to earn your business. Don't forget the skis have to be mounted and tuned correctly!

b
post #125 of 147
Completly agrgeed on the "Service!" comment. I own a small business (non-ski related) and my prices are about two times higher than the national retailers, mail order/ebay.

I survive simply on customer service, and community presence. I provide something that the other models cant offer. Ofcourse, not everyone needs or desires this level of attention, so I don't mind when people utilize the cheaper means of obtaining product.

For me, my time in a shop or skiing is limited. So what do I do? I go to a shop that takes care of all my needs, although they are expensive. So basically, I think there is room for everyone in the retail game.
post #126 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
I have one firm rule: When a shop says "we can order it", I reply "so can I".
Inventory is not a four letter word.
A few years ago, my husband wanted to buy the Volkl724 Pro from our local shop, which carries Volkl, Atomic, Fischer, K2. The shop didn't have ONE ski from the 724 line. He said they weren't popular.:
He then tried to convince my husband he wanted the AtomicSX B5.
We asked him, "can you get the pro coming?"
This guy ingonred the request to get a 724 Pro for my husband, and kept making attempts to sell us the Atomic(nothing wrong with Atomic, just not what my husband wanted at the time)

Fast forward one year to this experience:


Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick
The only other thing more annoying is to have a shop employee who acts like a know it all, and degrades "me" the customer. Our local shop manager actually said to me(when I asked him about the Metron B5-a potential $1,000.00 sale)...."that's way too much ski for someone your height and weight"
What a dumb a$$!

I spent my money with a shop that is only an 800 number away!
Good news is that I have found another "localish" shop that has filled that gap for me.
post #127 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by skierhj View Post
I totally disagree with you about shop employees not being trained. Granted, not all shops train their staff fully and in some areas it is pretty tough to get the employees onto all the skis. Many shops rely on reps to teach products to their staff. I have all the reps come into my shop. However, that is not even close to the end of the staff training. I hold classes for my staff talking about the basic of ski selling, I have every employee fill in report cards on the skis they demo. I pay my employees to go to the demo days. There are many shops out there who do a great job with their training and I know for a fact that there are many employees in many different ski shops around the country who are truly expert in skis. You might need another shop
Being in Aspen, you have a better pool of employees to pick from plus you are taking control of your staff by doing your own training. Most shops (and not just limited to skiing) do NOT train, they let the salesperson read some manuals, slap them on the butt and say "go get 'em Tiger". Then they wonder why sales are down and people leave w/o buying.
post #128 of 147

msrp?

how do you feel about msrp +10% or 20%. i have been in shops where even the msrp is a fiction. and then they have a "sale" which is msrp? btw, these are "reputable" shops with well-known bootfitters. and how bout shops that charge retail or more for boots and still charge for all the "fitting" as if you had bought the boot elsewhere? btw, many online places have much better return policies as well as prices.
post #129 of 147
I just went through a similar inventory related experience when trying to get boots. I came into the shop with a pretty good idea of what would and would not fit my foot reasonably well and what would require only a few modifications. Needless to say, they didn't have any of the boots I was looking for in my size, but they insisted on trying to cram my foot into boots I knew wouldn't fit. Think Lange WC 150 on a foot with a very high instep and wide forefoot. My foot wasn't right for a day or two after buckling those things. And this was at a very reputable shop. I asked if they were planning on reordering any of the models I was interested in, and they said no, but I could special order them, but had to pay up front and could not get a refund if there was a fit issue. Are you kidding me? Its October, thats a load of BS that they're not going to reorder inventory of some very popular performance boot models in one of the most common sizes around (26.5).

Needless to say, I went to another shop that I typically loathe to see if they had the boots, but lucked out that they had a new bootfitter that used to fit boots for Fischer's athletes and has worked for some of the manufacturers. I'm about 1-2 boot stretches away from foot happiness
post #130 of 147
Phil..I completely agree with you. Shops won't continue to do well if we as service providers do not step up our service and training. I take great pride in the level of training I give my staff. If everyone in customer service businesses trained more and cared about their customers more than the retail world would be a happier place. I don't blame anyone from buying online or from a competitor if they aren't getting the service they need. My point was that if you do provide great service and you train the staff to be the best, people will gladly come and support you and your business.
post #131 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick View Post
The only other thing more annoying is to have a shop employee who acts like a know it all, and degrades "me" the customer. D

I got the best of one of those. I have a nice, comfy, well fitting vest a friend gave me. I try to cover it up because it is US ski team issue with big letters: US Ski Team Lillehammar with the Olympic rings (yes, my friend earned it)

Anyway, I was looking at some skis for a friend and mister know-it-all finally got me so steamed up I had to take off my jacket. He suddenly became quieter, and let me advise my friend. It wasn't til I looked in the mirror that I realized what finally convinced him I might know something about skis.
post #132 of 147
Newfy,

We've got tons of dudes like that around here. I went to a local shop with my girlfriend's father to look at some new skis. He's a very good skiier, but the guy in the shop saw a 50+ year old guy with a beard and just assumed he was a gaper and started trying to shove some garbage rec ski down his throat about 15 cm too short. When he picked up the Nordica Hot Rod Nitrous, first thing out of the guy's mouth was "oh, too much ski for you" (he hadn't even asked what kind of skier he was, plus he's a big guy.. 6'3", 220) We finally had to start inquiring about factory edge bevels before he finally started acting like we may actually have a clue. Despite all of this he was planning on buying the skis, but they said that even though he was a type III skier (on the I-III scale), they'd only adjust the bindings to Type II specs, since he was over 50. Now maybe this is some sorta legal thing I've never heard of, but that sounds to me like it would be MORE of a liability. The din they wanted to set them at, he would have flown out of them. Needless to say we ended up going to another shop.
post #133 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBowers View Post
Despite all of this he was planning on buying the skis, but they said that even though he was a type III skier (on the I-III scale), they'd only adjust the bindings to Type II specs, since he was over 50. Now maybe this is some sorta legal thing I've never heard of, but that sounds to me like it would be MORE of a liability. The din they wanted to set them at, he would have flown out of them.
True, once you hit 50, DIN drop one line. He just explained it wrong. BEsides being a mArker, he would have flown out even if they were set right.
post #134 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese View Post
True, once you hit 50, DIN drop one line. He just explained it wrong. BEsides being a mArker, he would have flown out even if they were set right.

Phil,

Is this a universal thing? The other shop didn't do that. I'd think dropping a DIN just because of a general assumption that after 50 your technique/agressivemess goes down the tube is a giant "Please Sue Me" waiting to happen. Not that I'd wish harm on anyone, but whoever came up with that part of the indemnification process needs to prerelease into a tree
post #135 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBowers View Post
Phil,

Is this a universal thing? The other shop didn't do that. I'd think dropping a DIN just because of a general assumption that after 50 your technique/agressivemess goes down the tube is a giant "Please Sue Me" waiting to happen. Not that I'd wish harm on anyone, but whoever came up with that part of the indemnification process needs to prerelease into a tree
It is universal. The other shop might have done it as a matter of proceedure, and just didn't say anything.
post #136 of 147
The ski shop business has to be a tough. I don't claim to have an insider's understanding of it, but my wife has a small retail clothing store. Her margin on goods sold is in the low 40 percent range, she does a nice business, owns her inventory, no borrowed line of credit, and unfortunately doesn't make a lot of money either. We don't even have the uncertainty of weather to deal with either. Your vendors have your money, so you buy something sell it 40 days after paying for the good it becomes a cash flow thing.

The number of ski shop failures that have occurred tell the story. Too few are making it work. If you're at a name destination resort maybe the rental business is a good profit producer and gets people in the shop that might buy something? I remember out in Vail a few years back Double Diamond had a boot demo for every boot they sold. I thought that was a good concept, albeit expensive. I 've had friends buy boots there and they always ended up with a custome footbed, and I bet the shop made as much or more on the footbed as they did the boot.

A pipe dream of mine was to retire and open a shop in ski country. Chances I'd be broke in a couple of years keeps the lid on that idea.
post #137 of 147
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBowers View Post
Phil,

Is this a universal thing? The other shop didn't do that. I'd think dropping a DIN just because of a general assumption that after 50 your technique/agressivemess goes down the tube is a giant "Please Sue Me" waiting to happen. Not that I'd wish harm on anyone, but whoever came up with that part of the indemnification process needs to prerelease into a tree
It is universal and has nothing to do with aggresiveness. It's based on bone density.
BTW, US gallons are smaller than Canadian Gallons(4 quarts= 8 pints = 160 oz) too.
post #138 of 147
I had an interesting experience with our local shop this week (I'm guessing the same shop that pi**ed TC off ) relating to customer service and expectations.

We've also had run-ins with some of the personnel at this shop (the short, fat chick can't possibly need serious race boots/skis afterall), but got to know them better when we began racing at Caberfae last year.

Anyway.... I've been seriously shopping for boots. At the time, I had no intention of plunking down $$, but was merely shopping several stores looking for the boot with the best fit and flex for me. We had already been to 4 other stores and hadn't yet found anything. I expected the same crappy attitude I'd gotten there before and was dreading going in. Instead, I got immediate assistance and they spent over an hour fitting different boots, with and without footbeds. They finally pulled out a pair of boots that one of the shop employees had used last year and were intending to send to the ski swap, then spent another 1/2 fitting those. I had forgotten my custom footbeds, so they set the boots aside and told me to come back the next day to fit them with my own footbeds and check my alignment. When I returned the next day, he had already ground out the problem areas I had commented on, and this was without even putting any money down on them. They sold them to me for 1/2 of what I've seen them on e-bay for, and I'm just ecstatic about the service I received. And, while all that was going on, the hubby bought a softshell and a fleece. Had I gotten their usual service, I would have walked right out, so it turned out to be a win-win all around.

I guess just racing with them convinced them we weren't just blowing smoke....they finally treated me like I really DO know what I'm talking about.
post #139 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklgirl View Post
I had an interesting experience with our local shop this week (I'm guessing the same shop that pi**ed TC off ) relating to customer service and expectations.
.............I expected the same crappy attitude I'd gotten there before and was dreading going in.


.............. Had I gotten their usual service, I would have walked right out, so it turned out to be a win-win all around.

I guess just racing with them convinced them we weren't just blowing smoke....they finally treated me like I really DO know what I'm talking about.
VG, you are absolutly right, and you understand what I'm talking about.

I, too dread the thought of going back in there, but its so dang convenient and close to my house, I'll probably go back some time. Your recent experience makes me a little less apprehensive.

One Question I have is this:
Why is it that you needed to race with them for them to take you seriously?

Its not as if you and "C" don't walk in with real knowledge.

Well, Volklgirl, you know what I do for a living. Some day he WILL need me and he'll find out who know's their sh*t!
(this comment is funnier that most of you will ever know)

And, I'm really glad you got a deal on your boots!
post #140 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
I got the best of one of those. I have a nice, comfy, well fitting vest a friend gave me. I try to cover it up because it is US ski team issue with big letters: US Ski Team Lillehammar with the Olympic rings (yes, my friend earned it)

Anyway, I was looking at some skis for a friend and mister know-it-all finally got me so steamed up I had to take off my jacket. He suddenly became quieter, and let me advise my friend. It wasn't til I looked in the mirror that I realized what finally convinced him I might know something about skis.
Can I borrow that?
post #141 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
Service! That's all we have left to give, darn it!
The good news is its the only thing you've ever had to give in the first place.
post #142 of 147

my 2 cents

I own a speciality shop in Montana. I believe when someone recieves top notch service from my staff, they will buy from my shop. My shop can also convince a customer why this years AC4 is much better than last years on ebay, and we arent lying. I think when I fit a boot most customers realize the attention they are getting is much more important , and worth more than the amount they can save online. If they do buy online the 60 dollar an hour rate to work on their boots puts money back in my pocket and I believe convinces the customer they should have just bought the boot from me to begin with.
I think a smart owner has to choose brands that sell out. You will not find very many great buys on Volkls . The Mantra, Aura, AC4, Gotomas and karmas have already sold out . On the other hand you will see closeout Atomics, salomon, Rossi, and dynastar every where. TJ Maxx is selling atomic and salomon products at some stores. So it is important to buy smart. My shop stocks the mantra and Gotomas heavy so I have been selling them all over the country with no need to mark them down other than free shipping and no tax.
It does suck when someone you talked to buys elsewhere but thats the nature of the business and if someone wants to settle for a fischer on closeout over the more expensive ski on my wall thats is their choice. But there is a reason the product needed to sell for cheap and thats because the demand wasnt there. shop owners need to stock whats hot and let ebay have whats not.
post #143 of 147
I will be honest. I have always been the type of person who tries skis out this year, to buy them next year. Let's face it. Skis are kind of like computers. There is always a new model coming out which makes your model obsolete. A year behind isn't that bad. But, for the of us who aren't getting in 100 days of skiing, we are also not going to be buying new skis every year. Online retailers usually have last years model for me. I was with a friend in a shop recently, and they had some last year model skis. Lets just say the bases looked like they had been through a war. Im going to assume from all the consumers looking at them. I have not had a problem with any online retailers.
post #144 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptex1 View Post
shop owners need to stock whats hot and let ebay have whats not.
I talked to a coach last week who said some of his kids were getting race skis on ebay cheaper than the racer deals the factory was giving them, He doubted they would get full- on race stock skis, and advised them not to buy them.

The surprise was when they ignored his advice, they DID get the real deal in full race stock skis, at a great price.
post #145 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
I talked to a coach last week who said some of his kids were getting race skis on ebay cheaper than the racer deals the factory was giving them, He doubted they would get full- on race stock skis, and advised them not to buy them.

The surprise was when they ignored his advice, they DID get the real deal in full race stock skis, at a great price.
To find this years skis on Ebay less than factory deals is highly unlikely, but to find last years skis for less than this years factory deals are is common. Very well it is the same ski with a slight variation in graphics.
post #146 of 147
shop owners need to stock whats hot and let ebay have whats not.

Do manufacturers really let you only buy the hot skis, and not require you to carry some of their dogs?
post #147 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesB View Post
shop owners need to stock whats hot and let ebay have whats not.

Do manufacturers really let you only buy the hot skis, and not require you to carry some of their dogs?
There are minimums that need to be ordered. Shops do need the lower end skis, what is called long margin. Remember, we are not the buying populous here, even the average gear geek here is 100% more knowledgable than Joe and Jane Skier walking into a shop. I helped out at a ski sale last weeek, you would cringe at what boots I was asked to fit people in. I had to bite my tongue and work with what I had in customer and "leftovers".
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Skis shop owners, how do you feel about internet buyers