I have not gone through this thread in a couple of weeks. Like old Sienfield re-runs I get a good chuckle reading through it after not seeing it for awhile.
I thought my kid whinned alot. I now appreciate my kid even more after reading the cry baby whinning that has been posted in this thread.
Retailers, B&M's, if your business prior to the internet was supported by local sales and you claim you have lost sales because of the internet, well I think you need to take a serious look at your business model, and namely #1 your customer service. I think you need to revisit the Buggy Whip Manufacture story in your history of manufacture/distribution.
You seem to all have the same whinning attitude I heard some 20 years ago when Ray Price started Price Club, (now bought out by Costco). .....This warehouse store is undercutting the B&M stores pricing on tangible goods, for example TV's, etc....Whaaa Whaaa Whaaa
Why should I as a consumer go to Best Buy, Circuit City, Sears, etc (B&M) stores and buy a Plasma T.V. when I can go to Costco and buy the same TV, same model number, for a thousand or more dollars less. Please explain this too me, so that I can eat the extra $1000.00+ and support Best Buy and Circuit City. Oh and all let you in on another little secret. When Price Club started doing this in the early 80's. US distributors did complain to the Manufactures. They whinned alot, and in fact they went to companies like Sony, Panasonic and made a big stink. So Price Club got there hands slapped to make the US distributors feel all warm and fuzzy. You know what Price Club did, they went overseas, and loaded up containers full of product ear-marked for other countries distribution and brought it into the US, completely elliminating the US distributor of all incentives.
So US distributors said they would not carry through the warranty on these out of country imports. Guess what the Feds stepped in and told them if they wanted to distribute the product, exclusively in the United States they had to honor the warranties. Manufactures like Sony said the same thing when they saw the volumn of sales that Price Club was generating. (You don't cut off one of the hand that feeds you)
All let you in on a little secret. Do your homework. Understand manufacturing history and distribution.
Every heard of a company called Microsoft. Gates gave away 3.1, as if he was throwing beads at Mardi Gras when it first came out. At the same time retailers like EggHead Software were trying to sell it for a couple hundred bucks in there national B&M stores, and complaining about Gates practice of giving it away. Apple was giving away Apple computers to Elementary and middle school all over the country in the 80's, while there distribution B&M stores were trying to sell them for $3,000.00.
There was a recent interview in which Microsoft picks and chooses who they go after for software pirating. They have found that in some markets, it is better to let the product be pirated because it offers emmediate and swift distribution exposure.
I go to Comdex every few years. They hand out software, and hardware like candy. All you have to do is ask for it, and be in the industry.
Manufactures are in the job of selling and distributing products. There also responsible for getting that product into the public view as fast as possible.
I have some manufactures that provide us with incentives that allow us to buy direct from them. Its called a VAR, (value added reseller) I can actually buy product in limited quantities, cheaper then the authorizied distributor I normally buy the product can sell it too me.
You would be surprised how many manufactures actually look the other way when they hear about pirates, illegal distribution, undercutting price points, etc... The Ski manufactures are no different. Do you honestly think that european manufacutres are sitting around contemplating how to aggresively control and go after people that are undercutting their pricing structure. If you do you are sadly misinformed. My family background is French, there the biggest whores in the world when it comes to selling behind eveyones back and looking the other way.
Heres the bottom line in the ski industry. They compete in a aggresive marketplace, that is seasonal and annual. They develop on average six too ten new products each cycle. There distribution time is a narrow window. Those products need to be in the publics hands as fast as possible and if there is some cost cutting done in the mix so be it. The products out there, its being used and most important, its being seen, and discussed by others.
B&M's, maybe if you spent less time whinning on this board and spent more time infront of your customer providing expert service and dropped your price far below the MSRP, you would keep people like myself as customers. All gladly pay a little extra for it.
Case in point. I just had a pair of boots fitted at Footloose in Mammoth California. The only place I have boots fitted, and have been doing so since Sven Coomer opened in 1981. I paid close to $200.00 and spent two hours plus having it done.
I could have had the fitting done at a shop in SoCal where I live, in fact one shop I personally know the Ski Shop Manager. Hes competent, good, etc....but does not provide that extra customer service that I want when I get a boot fitted. He even charges a flat $100.00, and I still will pay more money to have it done, 350 miles away I might add.