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Skis shop owners, how do you feel about internet buyers - Page 3

post #61 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by altagirl
The thing that killed me is.... for all he knew I was on my way to Alaska for a heli skiing vacation. He didn't ask. Didn't even ask if the skis were for me or someone else. Just said I didn't need them.
Did you want to take this putz out on the slopes and show him a thing or two?

Something tells me that you and I would get along just fine!
post #62 of 147
Most of what I've said in this thread implies that I've had nothing but grief from the local shop, but I have a good "shop" story too!

A friend of mine purchased a ski and binding(separatly) on ebay. She asked if I could get the bindings mounted for her so it could be a surprise for a Christmas present for someone in her household.
I went to the K P ski shop at Crystal Mountain, where the techs gladly mounted them for me for only $25.00.(significantly less than I'd expected to pay) While at the shop, another friend found a great deal a super help in puchasing a ski for his daughter.

This shop made a sale because of their possitive attitude about mounting my ebay ski/binding.

Wanna guess how much possitive "word of mouth" advertising that is worth to them?
post #63 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh

Furthermore, if you go the extra mile, call me when you're doing some demos, offer me access to demos, etc. I'll refer my friends to you. And so on.
This is a very good idea. Another great idea is pre-sales for your best customers. Basically you give your most valued customers access to the stuff that's going on sale before the general public. This requires actually tracking the information though, and I'm assuming most ski retailers don't do that. Still, I think it's worth a small investment in software, especially since families that ski will potentially be coming back year after year as their kids grow or their skills improve.
post #64 of 147
One other thought...Since many of us agree that the only reason to pay higher prices at the shop is for service, they woyuld actually need to provide service at a level exceeding that of internet dealers. In my opininion, service of many of them is getting better and harder for the local shops to compete with. For example:

I ordered a pair of boots form a ski shop posted on e-bay - great price. But I called them before I ordered and arranged for them to have th 28 and 28.5 shipped to me with me returning one or both pairs (at my shipping expense) if I didn't like the fit. Since it costs them little more to ship 2 pairs of boots versus one, they had little downside. I got to try on the same sizes I would have in a store. Given that many store reps (as has been pointed out) only know the typical catalog dteails provided by the manufacturer, I got about the same level of service I could have gotten as a walk in in most stores, but saved about 50% on the boots.
post #65 of 147
IMO the shop sentiment shouldn't be any different if someone comes in with skis bought elsewhere -- no matter whether they're from a friend, or from an online retailer, or from another shop.

I buy stuff wherever I find good prices. What is a "good price" to me will include notions of product information and customer service post-sale, if they're important to the buying decision.

I just bought the Head Monster iM88 from Dawgcatching at Village Bike & Ski, Mt Bachelor OR. Treated it like an "online" sale, but Dawgcatching provides great product information and customer service.

"Protectionist" buying decisions don't make much sense to me. I don't follow the logic behind supporting a local shop just because they're brick-and-mortar. there has to be more... better service, better prices, better knowledge.
post #66 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick

This shop made a sale because of their possitive attitude about mounting my ebay ski/binding.

Wanna guess how much possitive "word of mouth" advertising that is worth to them?
Excellent point trekchick....
Being in a brick and mortar retail business I can assure anyone that word of mouth advertisement from just ONE happy customer has been shown to be worth over $10,000 in paid advertisement. Likewise ONE dissatisfied customer takes the same $10,000 to overcome the negative impact.
post #67 of 147
Hey Dave M. a reputable boot fitter would have informed you that a 28 and a 28.5 is the same boot, the only difference is the stock footbed. Instead of wasting money shipping boots all over the place you could have gotten a superfeet trim-to-fit footbed and called it a day. You probably still saved money but I'll bet you didn't get the same level of fit a true professional would supply, or service after the sale. Maybe the amount you saved is more important to you than the comfort and performance a truely well fitted and dialed in ski boot can provide, if this is the case enjoy the internet experience.
post #68 of 147
Point taken, but in south/central nj, most of the shops don't have a reputable bootfitter. Most of the poeple in ski shops in my area are of the $10/hour/let me read and repeat to you the manufacturer's sales manual variety. Most know more about pools (their summer business) than skis. Agreed that if I visited a reputable boot fitter in a shop in my area, service might have been worth the extra cost.

My point, pehaps poorly made, was really this - ski equipment, like much other gear/equipment, has become commoditized with the mainstreaming of internet purchasing. The more flexible and service-oriented the internet sources become, the harder it will be for the B&M shops to compete for gear sales.

I did save a ton of money (bought skis and bindings over the internet this year, too), then took the whole setup to the one reputable shop in my area to have the boots hotformed, bindings adjusted, etc.

I paid the shop for what they really provide - the services - while saving a lot of money on the gear. They treated me well, and, as a result, I'll be back for tunes, leases for kids, etc. If I decide to have the boots fitted/adjusted, I'd bring them back there for that service. In the end, I'm still ahead $$-wise.

But, I'd only buy skis or boots form them in the future if they don't charge me double what I can pay for the same gear online.
post #69 of 147
Dave I didn't mean to call you out, I understand the predicament(sp?) of skiers in non-ski areas. What bothers me is the idea that good=cheap and that the lowest price is the best value. I've bought enough things in my life based on a precieved 'great deal' and later spent money on the item that I really wanted, the 'great deal' was a waste of my money. There is also the cost of my time, if I spend 5 hrs of my life to save $50 I don't feel I am ahead. Just my 2 cnts.
Great customer service can be had on the internet as well as in a shop, there is room for both. I hope people reward good service wherever they find it.
post #70 of 147
It's all good. I agree, what we're really talking about here isn't so much price, but value. If the value that someone attaches to what their shop of choice provides in the way of service is worth the extra cost of the gear to a customer, they'll go there. If not, they'll buy online.

For the shops around me, there is zero chance they can convince me that the value of what they provide to me in service is worth an additional 100% of the price of the gear. That means one of two things:

1) Either their prices need to come down to attract educated buyers; or

2) They need to expand their services by offering innovative programs/products that can't be replicated on the net. For example - charge me a fee that would allow me to demo two or three different ski's on three days in a two week period, then apply half of that fee to the purchase price of the equipment I choose to buy. At the end of the season, unload the used demo fleet through an online storefront. Difficult to do $-wise for all but the but/most profitable shops? Probably, but that is the way to compete against the inrternet outlets - Value added services that the internet folks can't offer.
post #71 of 147

Supporting your local shop

I do not currently work in the ski industry but did for 20 years and I have strong views on this issue.

1. I don't believe you should support a shop that gives poor service or has uninformed sales staff. However highly trained sales staff and bootfitters are more expensive and drive up the prices at the shop.

2. I am okay with people buying things on-line if they don't need local assistance

3. It is completely wrong to go and leverage a stores people and resources to make a buying decision and then go and buy equipment on-line. I think this is true even if you are just trying on a jacket.

Going into a shop and trying on their goods and even worse taking the time of one of their employees when you have no intention of giving them business is unfair and wrong. If you are going to buy on-line part of the cost savings accounts for the risk associated with the transaction. You are taking the risk that what you buy won't be right for you and that risk brings you an economic benefit.

I believe that going into a shop and taking 30-60 minutes of an employees time to try on boots then buying them online if you have no intent to give the shop your business is similar to stealing. You are stealing the employees time, the cost associated with carrying inventory and the overhead associated with a facility. Buying a pair of socks or having them tune your skis doesn't make up for this. Each of those transactions have appropriate profit built into them and are not priced to cover theft of service.

I fully support a shop having a separate and much higher mounting fee for people that buy equipment elsewhere and bring it in for mounting.
post #72 of 147
very well stated, Chef. Point 3 is probably the biggest ethical mistake made by those using e-commerce in any way. Customers who do that deserve some karmic swap in the bargain, i.e. if they buy item X online, they receive item Y from the e-Retailer and continue to have similar matching problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef23
I do not currently work in the ski industry but did for 20 years and I have strong views on this issue.

1. I don't believe you should support a shop that gives poor service or has uninformed sales staff. However highly trained sales staff and bootfitters are more expensive and drive up the prices at the shop.

2. I am okay with people buying things on-line if they don't need local assistance

3. It is completely wrong to go and leverage a stores people and resources to make a buying decision and then go and buy equipment on-line. I think this is true even if you are just trying on a jacket.

Going into a shop and trying on their goods and even worse taking the time of one of their employees when you have no intention of giving them business is unfair and wrong. If you are going to buy on-line part of the cost savings accounts for the risk associated with the transaction. You are taking the risk that what you buy won't be right for you and that risk brings you an economic benefit.

I believe that going into a shop and taking 30-60 minutes of an employees time to try on boots then buying them online if you have no intent to give the shop your business is similar to stealing. You are stealing the employees time, the cost associated with carrying inventory and the overhead associated with a facility. Buying a pair of socks or having them tune your skis doesn't make up for this. Each of those transactions have appropriate profit built into them and are not priced to cover theft of service.

I fully support a shop having a separate and much higher mounting fee for people that buy equipment elsewhere and bring it in for mounting.
post #73 of 147
Due to the deals on equipment found on line, I think I need to open a ski and bike shop that only provides services. I'll do boot fitting and provide knowledge and things such as mounting and tuning. I'll sell them a prescription for the proper boots and skis to buy for $50. For bikes, I'll do fittings and maintenance. I'll just charge a flat service fee, you provide any parts. I'd be able to run it out of a very small shop or even my basement (boy would that piss off the HOA ).

I get my equipment straight from the mfgr. I have a local shop that I get stuff for my daughter from (need to fit stuff) and that I take my boots to for some internal grinding when they are new, and I'll take my skis in for stone grinding, but my skis come with pre-drilled plates, so I don't need mounting. The senior people in the shops know me and know my situation. They also know I won't "steal" their time when they have paying customers that need tending to if I have a question for them. they also know that when I come to pick up my skis after asking for a FLAT base grind, I'll bring my own true bar, and if they aren't flat, they don't get paid, nor will they re-grind them unless they put a new stone on the machine that morning.
post #74 of 147
Interesting, I recently received a PM asking me about how a boot fit. Basicly saying that they tried a particular boot on in a shop then was considering ordering a model up off of the internet. I am interested how you would reply, then I will post how I did.
post #75 of 147
Boots are just too important to leave to chance on the internet, not only do you need a good pro to help you pick a boot that will fit your style of skiing and your foot, the after purchase adjustment, fitting, beds, etc. have to be done by a pro and it should be the pro that sold you the boot.

I wear 10 1/2 EEEE. narrow heal and wide across the joints. I have hated ski boots all my life, its not a matter of will they hurt its how much. I have to have a pro fit me.

For instance, i bought a pair of boots in a shop in Durango Co. the owner/pro was out and one of the salesmen fit me, then did some shaping on the boot to make it fit. Next day my feet were killing me and he did some more, next day the owner came back, saw my problems and took the boot back and replaced it with a better boot for me. They won't do that on the internet.

Thats what you pay for in a shop. So if I pay an extra $50 to $100 for boots and ski's it is worth it just for the service and knowledge of a pro.

But I do use the internet for learning and getting a general price. And since I live in a small town and nothing is available locally if I have to have something and do not have time to go somewhere that it is available I buy it on the internet. The bike shop in town has no bikes so I bought on the internet (not e-bay).

In a town of under 30,000 its either Walmart or E-bay. But if you need service its best to wait and get it from an expert.
post #76 of 147
I went to my local shop to try on boots. They didn't have what I want and I would have to order at full retail plus pay for fitting. I knew basically what size I needed at that point. I ordered it online at 50% off and then took them to the shop and spent $250 on fitting, alignment and cants, etc. I think that was fair.

For someone that is less experienced they should rely on the experts at the shop for the whole process. If they need extensive help with ski selection they should buy them there as well. If someone spend an hour or two with you selecting skis and bindings it really isn't fair to just walk away and buy it online IMO. Many of us here could teach most shop employees about the equipment. In that case you are simply "placing an order" and don't need the "consultation".
post #77 of 147
I see this question all of the time in my cycling forums. It just depends on what you are going to buy. If it is a big purchase, such as skis/bike, I try to buy them from a local shop. It is a little different with skiis because they are not as expensive as bikes, don't have as much problems, and there are so many places to get them online. If you buy the big purphase from a shop, they are always willing to help with a problem and are always nice about next purchases.

I tend to make smaller purchases online (well not that small). You can find things way cheaper online, where in almost every shop, they are retail.

I know if I was a shop owner, I would be angry at this. But for customers, we have a certain budget to work with too, and most of the time we can find the better deal on the internet.
post #78 of 147
for boots, sure, i'm willing to pay the premium to shop locally at a store with good service. for skis, no way! i'll take the internet pricing every single time. i recently bought $800 skis and bindings for $400 on-line. schwing!!
post #79 of 147
My story: I like to support the local shop and do 90% of the time. We just bought my wife's Siam 8s at Dodge Ridge.

But last April I demoed some Metrons at Dodge. After the demo I noticed they had a pair of M9s in a 157 at 40% off. I wasn't sure if that was the right length for me. When I discovered that 157 was right I called them up. Sadly the skis were gone. So I ordered the exact same ski at half price (with no sales tax and free shipping) from Backcountry.com. The folks at Dodge were happy to mount the bindings for me for a mere $20 and were actually happy for me that I got such a good deal. (I did mention that I tried to buy from them.)

Now with bike parts I do have a beef which has caused me to buy parts on line. Here's the deal. The local shop doesn't have part X. He says I can order it. OK I says. Two weeks later the part arrives. This has happened often enough to me that if the shop does not have part X I order it. I should mention that when it comes to forks or frames I always go through the local shop. But if I need to replace my XT rear derailleur I don't want to wait 2 weeks.
post #80 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef23 View Post
I
3. It is completely wrong to go and leverage a stores people and resources to make a buying decision and then go and buy equipment on-line. I think this is true even if you are just trying on a jacket.

Going into a shop and trying on their goods and even worse taking the time of one of their employees when you have no intention of giving them business is unfair and wrong. If you are going to buy on-line part of the cost savings accounts for the risk associated with the transaction. You are taking the risk that what you buy won't be right for you and that risk brings you an economic benefit.

I believe that going into a shop and taking 30-60 minutes of an employees time to try on boots then buying them online if you have no intent to give the shop your business is similar to stealing. You are stealing the employees time, the cost associated with carrying inventory and the overhead associated with a facility. Buying a pair of socks or having them tune your skis doesn't make up for this. Each of those transactions have appropriate profit built into them and are not priced to cover theft of service.
Last year 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 $500. 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 him about the bargain I had found. He did not:
a) Bitch about losing a sale,
b) Tell me to get out of the shop as he would not work on skis that were not purchased there.
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 300%. 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 $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 #81 of 147
I am a small Internet retailer in a small town and I have a mixed perspective.

I think people are welcome to save a buck if that is their way -- I do it too, but not all the time. For example, the pouches I made this year for my tuning kits are made in PA. They cost me 5-10 times what it would cost in Asia. But I did the math and found that I could still maintain a decent margin if I spent more to have them made locally. I also figured that, by supporting the local company, if I was ever in a bind or needed something special, having a local business relationship with them would help. I also have all my t-shirts, stickers and hats made locally -- again, I could get them cheaper if I sourced it out. I had my new logo made by a USA company even though 90+% of graphic art logo work is now done in India. Is everything local? No, but I always try to find a local first.

Like the local shop owner that is there for their customers, I have helped regular customers in a bind; I have Fedex'd people large orders without payment for an important race because I knew they would pay me later, and I have given regular customers large discounts after they had their gear stolen. So, I try to be the local small shop with good customer service, but I sell worldwide.

In the same way, the local ski shop is important too, I buy gear at Ski Liberty (my closest mountain) sometimes, even if it costs a bit more, because if they were not there I would either have to drive a long way or wait days for things by mail.
post #82 of 147
Last season I did a lot of shopping at various local shops around Tahoe and the Bay Area. I also did a lot of online comparison.

I went and got bootfitted at Tahoe Bike & Ski at the base of the Heavenly Gondola. Sadly they didn't have any boots in my size, so I ended up across the lake at Village Ski loft. Paid premium for my boots.

In terms of skis, I demoed and talked the ears off of folks at Tahoe Bike & Ski, Tahoe Sports, Granite Chief, California Ski Company, Porter's, and several other shops. I demoed all over Tahoe, so didn't feel bad about whether or not I was going to purchase my skis from this shop or that. I actually found that several shops (I ended up in several email conversations with the owner of Porters, for example) were incredibly helpful talking to me about skis and actually urged me to get the best price I could (in the example of Porter's I found some cheaper prices online and tried to see if they would compete. The funny thing is that they more or less said they couldn't then asked if the shop was Sierra Jim's!). That said, I bought 2 pairs of skis from Sierra Jim's shop online, but picked them up in the shop on the way to the mountain. I bought another pair of skis at the shop in Kirkwood after the ski rep set me up with free demos (the AK skis). I bought my last pair of skis at Any Mountain at the mid-season sale. In all reality, I paid less for my skis than I would have online and supported several stores in the process. In terms of online, I spoke with several folk's at Al's Ski Barn and they were incredibly helpful, but I ended up finding cheaper prices at the various shops, in may instances 10-20% cheaper than what I would have gotten online.
My last pair of skis, Blizzards, I bought online from a local shop in Connecticutt. I wanted to buy them locally from one of the Blizzard dealers in Tahoe, but they said they couldn't match the prices I'd found at other shops. When faced with the choice of paying $700 or $350, that's not a terribly hard choice to make. Spending the latter enabled me to buy another pair of skis from another shop, thus spreading my wealth around.

So, yes, I did a fair amount of online shopping and browsing, but in the end I wound up supporting the local shops.

I also found that many of the folks in the shops were only too willing to talk to me about skis and offer up advice, even if I didn't end up buying my skis from them. If the shop invested their time in me, then I ended up going back to them to have my skis mounted or to demo other models. Additionally, I hype these stores to my friends telling them that the service was good and that they were helpful, understanding, and above all not condescending.

Long answer short, I bought online, but mostly from local shops who have good websites and good prices.
post #83 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor D View Post
I am a small Internet retailer in a small town and I have a mixed perspective.

I think people are welcome to save a buck if that is their way -- I do it too, but not all the time. For example, the pouches I made this year for my tuning kits are made in PA. They cost me 5-10 times what it would cost in Asia. But I did the math and found that I could still maintain a decent margin if I spent more to have them made locally. I also figured that, by supporting the local company, if I was ever in a bind or needed something special, having a local business relationship with them would help. I also have all my t-shirts, stickers and hats made locally -- again, I could get them cheaper if I sourced it out. I had my new logo made by a USA company even though 90+% of graphic art logo work is now done in India. Is everything local? No, but I always try to find a local first.

Like the local shop owner that is there for their customers, I have helped regular customers in a bind; I have Fedex'd people large orders without payment for an important race because I knew they would pay me later, and I have given regular customers large discounts after they had their gear stolen. So, I try to be the local small shop with good customer service, but I sell worldwide.

In the same way, the local ski shop is important too, I buy gear at Ski Liberty (my closest mountain) sometimes, even if it costs a bit more, because if they were not there I would either have to drive a long way or wait days for things by mail.
Hey Doc - Didn't I recently read an article about you in one of my business magazines? Was it Entrepreneur?
post #84 of 147
The internet has changed the way many industries do business. If those who own ski shops are unable to adapt to the changing reality they won't be in business for very long.

The travel industry went through the same thing and travel agents had to reinvent themselves or face extinction. When was the last time you ski shop owners/workers went to the local travel agency to book that trip to Vail? They have reinvented themselves and remain profitable today because they have found a way of marketing themselves to people. If people perceive value in what they are receiving they have no trouble paying it.

My latest skis came from an Ebay purchase. I researched online (a lot of time spent right here on this forum) came to the conclusion of what I needed, and found the best deal possible. My boots came from a local shop, I wanted them fitted properly. I perceived value in what the shop was offering. I could have paid less online but didn't because I wanted these things to fit perfectly comfortably.

If folks are walking out of your shop and purchasing elsewhere don't blame the consumer. Find out why people don't perceive value in what you are offering and correct it.
post #85 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese View Post
Interesting, I recently received a PM asking me about how a boot fit. Basicly saying that they tried a particular boot on in a shop then was considering ordering a model up off of the internet. I am interested how you would reply, then I will post how I did.
My reply:
Quote:
I would suggest you go back to the shop where you tried the ****** on and ask them to get the ****** in for you to try on, I am sure they will be happy to help. Boot fitting is a science and art, you should deal with a shop so they can do the proper adjusting. Buying boots "on-line" just doesn't work out.
post #86 of 147
I try to support local shops for selfish, non-moral reasons -- I like having shops to go to, and if noone buys anything they will stop existing. Of course, that only applies to places that are actually pleasant to shop in.

For example, I buy most of my wine from a local shop where I have gotten to know the owner pretty well. Do I actually need his help to pick out wine? Not really. But it is fun to go there and talk wine, so I pay a (small) premium to buy from him.

The windsurfing business shows one possible future of the ski business. In its boom days, there were a lot of shops. Most of them have gone under, and sales are dominated by a few national players (most of whom grew out of physical stores). Only the destinations sites (where people travel to sail) still have a choice of retail stores. [But then people gripe that there aren't any local stores. Go figure.] In our world, its as if all the city ski shops went out of business and only the ones on the mountain were left. That could happen, but I hope it doesn't.

One other thing that gives an advantge to the internet is what the business press calls "the long tail." That's the idea that instead of selling a gazillion of something and then taking it out of the catalog when interest ebbs, you keep it around and dribble out a low rate of sales forever. Since physical shops only have so much shelf space, that only works for virtual shelves on the internet.

Again using windsurfing as a future snapshot, my "local" shop (which is an hour away) has less than a dozen boards in the store. (It is pretty small - sometimes I wonder how it stays in business.) But the catalogs I get in the mail (printed, but from internet stores!) have dozens of pages of boards.

On the internet the inventory can be virtual too, another price advantage. That reminds me of the way business to business sales sometimes work. You pick out an "off the shelf" component, but when you ask about delivery you discover that they actually build to order. With advances in flexible manufacturing, that could happen in retail too, eventually. Goodbye impluse purchases! (And overstock bargains!)
post #87 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattL View Post
Hey Doc - Didn't I recently read an article about you in one of my business magazines? Was it Entrepreneur?
Yes, I am in the November '06 issue. I won an eBay / Entrepreneur Magazine business boost contest and they gave me a business makeover. I learned a lot from the seminars and consulting hours they threw at me. I am going out to eBay Park in San Jose next week for a kick off party.

Pretty wild.
post #88 of 147
Good topic. My shop will match any prices advertised. E-bay not a chance, but any retailer who advertises a product I carry online I'll match or even beat the price. Honestly, I really don't have to do it too often. Usually once my customers look at the cost of shipping and then paying for a mount they realize that my prices are better than the online deals. That being said, I am happy to talk to customers all day about product but I really despise those losers who come in looking for a full boot fit so they can go online or even worse, order on a pro-form. I fully believe that if you have the knowledge to buy the right product, find the best deal and go for it. But I bet I can beat the deals you find without losing a penny.
post #89 of 147
My 2 cents.

I purchased my new skis on the internet for $300 under the lowest price dealer around. I brought them into a shop with my boots to have the bindings set and tested for me. I also had my boots fitted. Which are now way more comfortable then before. They are also tuning my skis from last year, which I am up in the air on selling or keeping for the days with exposed conditions such as rocks, dirt, etc... I purchased a helmet, and new goggles from him, which I probably could have got for less on the net.

When it comes to my skis, I will most likely always buy from the internet. I don't feel bad about doing this because the local shop I go to doesn't carry Volkls, and that is the brand ski I choose to use. When it comes to boots, I will not buy from the internet because I have a shop with a great selection, and does bootfitting. Jackets are another online item, shops mark them up way to much, and you can learn enough about something from the reviews. Ski pants are another online purchase(im short, so all pants are going to the tailor). If I get great service, and have salesman that keeps my attention, I start thinking about the other things I need/want. And who knows, they might have a sale.

Even though I didn't buy their skis, or their boots. Just by providing good customer service, even though they knew I am an internet shopper, the total for my bill after bootfitting, tuning skis, adjusting/testing bindings on new skis, helmet, and goggles, and the free red bull.... it came out to over $400. The money I saved on the skis went into their shop.

I feel shops need to evolve with the internet. It's not going away. More and more people are going to take advantage of it, and at times your shop. When they get to your shop, it's up to you to plant the seed that gets them to buy whatever else you can possibly offer the customer that they might need. If your sure someone is going to buy off the net, let them know of your services to mount bindings, test them, detune edges if necessary...etc. It's kind of like women shopping for clothing. While a retailer would love to sell them a complete outfit. A lot of women are going to buy their shirt from store X, jeans from store y, and shoes from store z. Do your part to be X, Y, or Z. If you just walk away, give them poor service, etc... You get nothing, and possibly a customer that's going to tell 10 friends how bad your store was. If you offer good service, even if the customer does not buy from you, they might tell one or two people how good you were. I'd rather have 2 potential customers then 10 that will not walk through my doors.

Sorry, if that was more then 2 cents.
post #90 of 147
I can't for thie life of me understand the statement:

"I don't purchase anything from them but if I recieve good (implied FREE) service I'll tell my friends..."

Will you really?

Tell them to spend THEIR money there? or will you tell them how much LESS you paid?? Will you factor in shipping and mounting when you tell your friends what a 'deal' you got?? I really doubt it.

Buy from wherever you want but don't justify wasting a shops time and knowledge when you have NO INTENTION of being a PAYING customer by saying "but I do buy my handwarmers there and chapstick, so I'm giving them that." Or the old "I'll send my friends there." No, You won't.

Also this whole "ski shops need to get with it..."

Getting "with it" means shutting down the Brick and Mortar store and going all internet, no inventory. Order what you get paid in advance for, sorry if the manufacturer is sold out, I'll refund your money in a few months or you can have a DIFFERENT ski that I (or the manufacturer) has.

Do you want this to happen???? Really?
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