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Volkl AC4 - Mounting the Marker IPT12 binding

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Question:

I recently purchased a pair of 2007 Volkl AC4 170 cm with the Marker IPT12 bindings (brand new). I ordered the skis online from a ski shop out West, so I received the skis unmounted. Although the integrated bindings are rather easy to mount by myself, there are two holes that need to be drilled in order to mount the pistons (one on each ski). The rest of the binding simply slides into the integrated system on the ski (after being adjusted for boot length, and then setting the DIN afterwards). With the correct ski drill bit, I would be comfortable drilling these holes, but I am not taking the chance of drilling through these expensive skis with a normal drill bit. I live in North Carolina, and the local ski shop wants $75 to mount these bindings (in other words, drill two holes with their special drill bit - 1 minute of work), which is clearly highway robbery. Last year, I had older bindings mounted to one of my other pairs of skis, which required a good amount of work (balancing, measurements, drilling 16 holes, etc...) and it costed $30 in Connecticut. In comparison (my opinion), a relatively fair price to drill these two holes should be in the ballpark of $10-$20 considering I can have the entire mounting complete except for the drilled holes when bringing them into the ski shop. What would people here consider a fair rate to drill these two holes? Looking forward to some feedback... Thanks!
post #2 of 17
Good to see you supporting your local ski shop. :
post #3 of 17
Sports Authority/Garts charges $ 25 plus tax for their silver mount pretty much anywhere in the country. If you're planning a late season ski trip you can usually talk them into same day mounting for no extra charge if they are not busy.
post #4 of 17
The shop with whom I deal charges $45 if someone brings in a pair of skis and bindings bought elsewhere. However, I am a frequent customer there and if they are not able to get me a ski, they have had me buy them elsewhere and they have mounted the binding for free. (I always tip the tech who mounts the binding.) I don't know if that info helps.
Personally, I think it should depend on the binding. The Marker is certainly easier than mounting a binding on a flat ski, but not as easy as the Railflex system. JMHO
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by viking kaj View Post
Sports Authority/Garts charges $ 25 plus tax for their silver mount pretty much anywhere in the country. If you're planning a late season ski trip you can usually talk them into same day mounting for no extra charge if they are not busy.
In rereading this I can see that I was not clear enough. If you are planning a trip out west you can take the skis and binders with you and get them mounted out there. The SA in Dillon can do this in an hour if you catch the manager and the tech in the right mood. Let's Go Colorado 3 is just around the corner and would provide a great opportunity to try out those AC4's.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies

I feel that I am not alone in thinking $75 is a lot based on the prices that other people are posting. I have bought items from his ski shop, but he is clearly taking advantage of people who have bought ski equipment outside of his shop with the $75 charge (free if you bought from him). I may check out sports authority for $25 --- hopefully, they assign someone who knows what they are doing to mount the ski bindings. Typically, I lose confidence in the big chain sport stores, since you do not know who is working on your equipment behind close doors, but it sounds like a good price. $12.50/hole versus $37.50/hole...hmmmm
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiSkiSki View Post
I feel that I am not alone in thinking $75 is a lot based on the prices that other people are posting. I have bought items from his ski shop, but he is clearly taking advantage of people who have bought ski equipment outside of his shop with the $75 charge (free if you bought from him). I may check out sports authority for $25 --- hopefully, they assign someone who knows what they are doing to mount the ski bindings. Typically, I lose confidence in the big chain sport stores, since you do not know who is working on your equipment behind close doors, but it sounds like a good price. $12.50/hole versus $37.50/hole...hmmmm
Tech quality can be a little uneven but it you get a location in the mountains they are usually pretty good.

Since the Markers are mostly predrilled anyway they can screw up too much. The other advantage with getting them mounted at a factory authorized retailer is that you don't void the warranty.

Even though it's probably not strictly kosher I try to slip the tech five bucks for beer money just to insure that they pay a little extra attention to my mount.
post #8 of 17
How is the shop "taking advantage" of anyone? You have free will, you can go elsewhere, you can DIY. You are not obliged to give that shop business, you DIDN'T when you bought your ski gear. He's attempting to make his product more competative by giving free service for in store purchases and charging a premium for equipment brought in from elsewhere. thats business, try bringing your own meat to a steakhouse to save a few bucks. See how that works out for ya.

Welcome to the new age of ski shops.
post #9 of 17
Special drill bits 3.6 x 9.1 mm and 4.1 x 9.1 mm are available through Tognar.com. The smaller bitis for non-metal skis, and the larger one is used for skis with metal. The bindings are shipped with a paper template that is laid on the binding track and used to locate the holes. The person you bought the skis from, or perhaps Marker should be able to send you one by mail. Ski stores throw these out, but I'm sure the guy who wants $75 to drill the two IPT holes isn't about to give you one. That is an insanely high price, but from his point of view, he assumes all the risk. If he screws up drilling that hole, you might insist on new skis. He made nothing from the sale, so I guess I can understand. I have watched many small ski stores close their doors. Its a tough business, and like it or not, internet sales are becoming an essential part of it.
post #10 of 17

The Future of Local Ski Shops?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
How is the shop "taking advantage" of anyone? You have free will, you can go elsewhere, you can DIY. You are not obliged to give that shop business, you DIDN'T when you bought your ski gear. He's attempting to make his product more competative by giving free service for in store purchases and charging a premium for equipment brought in from elsewhere. thats business, try bringing your own meat to a steakhouse to save a few bucks. See how that works out for ya.

Welcome to the new age of ski shops.
You know, I have to agree. It is kind of sad to see the small bricks and mortar ski shops being squeezed out by the SA/Walmarts and Evogear/Ebays of this world. Back when I lived in Omaha I used to specifically support my local retailer, Bahnsens, even if it cost more. When they went out of business is when I moved over to the SA/Internet way of puchasing skis. Now that I live in Central NJ there are a couple of local shops like Ski Barn and Pelican, but they don't carry much that I am interested in.

There is, however, something to be said for supporting your local ski shop, because when they are gone they won't be coming back.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

Local ski shop versus internet...

For clarification purposes, my local ski shop was sold out of the 2007 Volkl AC4 as of November 1st, so by purchasing them at one of the few internet sites that still had the 170cm in stock a few weeks ago (at a really nice price - $668 brand new), I wouldn't consider that I was going against my local ski shop. This thread was started just to get a feel for the appropriate charge for drilling two IPT holes into the skis (for the piston on the marker bindings). After reading the replies and shopping around, I can do it myself for $10 (buying the drill bit) but void the warranty (not a very appealing option), or look around for a ski shop that will do it for $30, a reasonable rate (the option I will be pursuing). Since I have bought more than a few things from that ski shop, I would consider myself 50-50 ski-shop/internet buyer, typically going in the direction of the lower price (as most consumer would do in this world)....On a side note, the internet supports local ski shops that setup websites --- I bought my Falcon 10 boots this year at the local Kirkwood ski shop (over the internet) at a superb price during their winter sale...
post #12 of 17
SSS I'm not fighting you. No criticism of your position was implied, since I do the same thing myself. I've largely gone internet as well over the last several years for many of the same reasons you enumerate in your post. I live in central NJ but have my seaon pass at Copper. The local shops here cater to the stockbrokers and teenagers, they just don't stock a lot of the skis I want to ski. It's gotten so bad that I will actually fly out west with an empty slot in my ski bag just so I have room to get something I want.

For what it's worth, I do think your shop was overcharging you, perhaps on purpose as others have noted.

As regards the demise of the small specialty ski shop, you motivated me to go start a separate thread on this topic, which apparently is generating some heat and a few flames...:
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiSkiSki View Post
For clarification purposes, my local ski shop was sold out of the 2007 Volkl AC4 as of November 1st, so by purchasing them at one of the few internet sites that still had the 170cm in stock a few weeks ago (at a really nice price - $668 brand new), I wouldn't consider that I was going against my local ski shop. This thread was started just to get a feel for the appropriate charge for drilling two IPT holes into the skis (for the piston on the marker bindings). After reading the replies and shopping around, I can do it myself for $10 (buying the drill bit) but void the warranty (not a very appealing option), or look around for a ski shop that will do it for $30, a reasonable rate (the option I will be pursuing). Since I have bought more than a few things from that ski shop, I would consider myself 50-50 ski-shop/internet buyer, typically going in the direction of the lower price (as most consumer would do in this world)....On a side note, the internet supports local ski shops that setup websites --- I bought my Falcon 10 boots this year at the local Kirkwood ski shop (over the internet) at a superb price during their winter sale...

I am in NC as well and would like to know which shop this is so i know not to go there and get them to do work like this for me.
post #14 of 17
Please realize that as a shop, we MUST function test any ski/boot/binding system if we mount or adjust it, if we want to have any chance of covering our butts should a customer try and sue us if they get hurt. The time it takes to mount an iPT binding is definatly less than a traditional mount, but the testing still takes the same amount of time. Our shop charges $65.00 for binding installs on skis not purchased from us.
post #15 of 17
Want an example of why shops NEED to charge a premium for service on skis purchased elsewhere? Here's a personal incident from this summer.

I get a phone call from someone looking for a Marker Comp 14.0 eps, I've got one. He asks for a price, it's early summer, gear isn't exactly leaping of the shelf...I say I'll give them to you for $10 over cost and I'll mount them for free. He say's great I'll be in later.

He show's up with a pair of '07 Mantras, I mount the bindings, adjust the bindings and test the bindings. He leaves the shop happy.

He is waiting at the door as I open two days later...not happy.

he went home and used a dental calibrator to measure the binding, one toe is "off by almost 2mm!!!"...well, if it's off to one side 2mm it's really off by 1mm from center (but I digress). I mention (possibly flippantly) that it's "no big deal, I can easily loosen the screws and shift 1mm. easy." He is not thrilled with this, "I'm leading a group to Silverton this winter, you can die there..it needs to be perfect!!", It is jack*ss, i can have it 100% perfect in 30 seconds if you let me...no.

He's not having it. He want's to be 'taken care of', or else he'll 'tell everyone' about how we treated him (I'm guessing by that he doesn't mean he'll tell his friends he got a great deal). Oh, I'd love to take care of you buddy. I really would. Like the Mob takes care of informants. He feels that us giving him a new ski (sold out, unavailable), or (shocker!) he'll keep his (compromised, unsafe, could get him KILLED at Silverton) ski if we give him the binding for free.

Really, the binding mount is A OK if the binding is FREE. That's how it is?

Free binding? Not happening. Unfortunately, neither is reasoning with him. The customer is always right? Not very often, oh well.

What's the solution? A new 2008 177cm Volkl Mantra!!

Trying to make $10.00 on a binding sale cost me a ski.

There isn't going to be enough 'service' to make up for that loss for the rest of the summer. The kick in the nuts is, if I had charged him a substantial fee for the mount, comping him the cost would have been appealing to him and probably would have been all the 'taking care of' he needed.

C'est La Vie.
post #16 of 17
Hey man with guys like you screwing thier customers, it's no suprise the bricks and mortars ski business is in the shape it's in.
post #17 of 17
My mounts are covered, screw ups or not, they are mounted perfectly for free. A local ski shop has close relations with my sponsor, so everything is done right.
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