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Gear depreciation thread

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
No way is ANY gear an "investment", but it is amazing how fast of late gear has dropped in value. I think the majority of the blame goes to the manufacturers for two reasons...Graphics..there was a time when a ski would have the same graphics for 2,3 or 4 seasons! Now we are lucky to see one season. Two, overbuilding and fire sales at the end of the year. Infact..they don't even wait till the end of the year, gear now goes on "closeout" in December (back to reason #1). I don't know how shops can inventory gear when they have their supplier working against them with design and distribution.

Seeing skis 900.00 skis from last year being fire saled for 199.00 is crazy. I can understand why a good amount of consumers (here) will not buy this years gear early, it jsut doesn't make sense. Why buy now anyway? 60% of the skiers here will not be on snow until after the new years anyway. If they are, they can ski last years "latest/greatest" ski that they still have that is worth less than a pile of dead rats in a tampon factory if they were to try and sell them.

For those who MUST have the newest thing, wait..I am sure in a couple of weeks the 09-10 gear will be hitting the shelves.
post #2 of 25
Presumably there are enough consumers who are not price sensitive to justify the initial price tags.

You could say that for many skiers, who have limited time on the slopes, renting may make more sense than buying. Obviously there is a point where owning makes more financial sense than renting. However, this site seems quite hot on the idea of a quiver. As far as I can gather, a quiver consists of a collection of fairly current skis -as opposed to skis you have bought over the years but not wanted/managed to sell on. So you could have thousands of dollars tied up in skis. It is difficult to justify that on a financial basis. I have heard of people who have deals where they rent anything in a particular shop for a season. That may be more cost-effective - provided you ski the whole season in that area.

Anyway, the initial price differential is not exclusive to the ski trade. Lots of fancy electronics and other items have a similar pattern.
post #3 of 25
All very good points. I find it mildly amusing that I can get most gear now for the same or less than when I was in a shop...I just have to wait a few months.

/good bindings still hold their value...916s, P18s, whatever.

edit:
Quote:
Lots of fancy electronics and other items have a similar pattern.
There are stratospherically expensive electronics that sell for a small fraction of their original cost a year later, but the core goods do not follow that trend at all. Maybe they'll cost half as much in a year, and that is only a small fraction of fashionable goods and commodity PCs. There are tons of skis out there for 1/4 the original street price...in March sometimes. I really wish I could buy "last year's" LCD for 1/4 the price. Or last year's car.

I suppose the problem with skis is the surfeit of production combined with the lack of a sufficiently strong cabal of buyers. Some of the crap distributors do routinely to ski buyers is just flat insane and not common in other realms.
post #4 of 25
900 dollar skis going for 199? Where?

I don't see that depreciation. Surely last year's gear is cheaper, but not more than ever before.

On a side note- I do remember that 15 years ago, when I used to race, Volkl race tigers were 700 bucks. Today, go to any shop, and this year's model is 700 bucks. At least inflation hasn't killed us. I find that hysterical. How the F*** have retail ski prices not gone up? 700 has been the standard for as long as I can remember. And I've been buying skis for 20 years.

New = 700 from September and the price will drop in spring. Summer sales are around 400 for last year's race stock.

I'm even shopping online today and still not seeing drastic price drops.

system bindings have upped prices, but new model flat skis have essentially been the same price......... forever....
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai View Post
How the F*** have retail ski prices not gone up?
The incredible shrinking margin, perhaps. The retail prices have gone up as well. Street price on a new pair of race skis is more like 799 or 849.
Quote:
Summer sales are around 400 for last year's race stock.
Or around cost for people who didn't buy closeouts. Look harder, cheaper options aren't hard to find...especially talking about skis other than race skis.

Speaking of stupid tricks:
http://stores.ebay.com/discountskiracegear

That kind of crap should piss off retailers. The distributor should take this sort of thing and sit on it 'till spring, or find some way of making them useful for their specialty race retailers.
post #6 of 25
I was just talking about retail shops. And I stand by it- shops' prices have not gone up in 20 years.

700 to 799? Are you joking? That's no increase.

Sure ebay, or whatever is available, but ski retail is one of the very few things in this world that have not gotten more expensive.

Milk has tripled, for crying-out-loud.
post #7 of 25
Part of the problem is the long build cycles and wildly fluctuating demand, It's a supply chain nightmare.

Manufacturers are soon going to be building next seasons gear. Not only do they not know how the weather will impact product sales 12 months from now, they don't know if this year will see any demand.

All I know is last years late winter in the east and non-existent winter in the west has made a lot a good gear available cheap! I really need to stop buying gear (but its so easy right now)!

It's a buyers market, and it will always be difficult to build product for a sellers market due to 12 month supply chain and fickle demand.

Michael
post #8 of 25
Paging Sierrajim.

Sierrajim to the help desk please.

How have retail prices changed in the last 20 years?
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai View Post
but ski retail is one of the very few things in this world that have not gotten more expensive.
I was looking at a 1990 ad for a fishing rod and reel the other day. Full page ad in some old magazine for a mediocre combo for 24.99 at K-Mart. The same money today will get you a much, much nicer setup.

This is by no means unique to skis. Not even close. Its not even unique to sporting goods. Applies to a wide array of goods. My headphones I paid 20 bucks for the other day are nicer than the ones I paid 50 bucks for 15 years ago..this despite being made from the same materials with the same techniques and distributed by the same retailers.
Quote:
Are you joking? That's no increase.
I'm not joking, in part because your memory sucks. Street price of a race ski wasn't 700 bucks 20 years ago.
post #10 of 25
new skis have not gotten more expensive.

please quote me in context.

700-799 is not an increase in price.

I don't know, maybe you notice something different. I don't. I've been laughing for a decade at how new skis are always around the 700 mark.

That's wierd.

btw, I just saw garrett's profile. I outdate him by a decade.
post #11 of 25
Samurai, I wonder if part of the reason you are thinking prices are not Up, is because you used to buy skis at the shop without question about a better bargain. Now you are "on the hunt" and savy about finding a deal.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai View Post
new skis have not gotten more expensive.

btw, I just saw garrett's profile. I outdate him by a decade.
So you were buying $700 skis when you were a teenager?

The first skis I bought for myself I got in 1956. Hart Standards. Cost me $125. Of course, I was earning around $1 an hour at that time too. Folks doing what I was doing then now earn a dozen times that as an entry level worker, so a $700 ski would be half the half-century ago's price and a lot better in performance.
post #13 of 25
20 years ago I bought race skis for about $450.
2 years ago I tried to haggle a pair of Atomic Consumer race skis SL11, but down to 800 bucks, but the store manager wouldn't hear of it!. Skis are more expensive in shops today.
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
(1)All very good points. I find it mildly amusing that I can get most gear now for the same or less than when I was in a shop...I just have to wait a few months.

(2)/good bindings still hold their value...916s, P18s, whatever.

edit:
There are stratospherically expensive electronics that sell for a small fraction of their original cost a year later, but the core goods do not follow that trend at all. Maybe they'll cost half as much in a year, and that is only a small fraction of fashionable goods and commodity PCs. There are tons of skis out there for 1/4 the original street price...in March sometimes. I really wish I could buy "last year's" LCD for 1/4 the price. Or last year's car.

I suppose the problem with skis is the surfeit of production combined with the lack of a sufficiently strong cabal of buyers. Some of the crap distributors do routinely to ski buyers is just flat insane and not common in other realms.
(1)Agree'd, everyone want Pro or Shop forms...Ebay is better, just wait a few months or weeks.

(2) This actually hit the original thought of what this thread would be...what is some gear that doesn't depreciate like a brick, but something else. Metal Sallies are a good example. Volkls seem to hold value better than most.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai View Post
900 dollar skis going for 199? Where?

I don't see that depreciation. Surely last year's gear is cheaper, but not more than ever before.

On a side note- I do remember that 15 years ago, when I used to race, Volkl race tigers were 700 bucks. Today, go to any shop, and this year's model is 700 bucks. At least inflation hasn't killed us. I find that hysterical. How the F*** have retail ski prices not gone up? 700 has been the standard for as long as I can remember. And I've been buying skis for 20 years.

New = 700 from September and the price will drop in spring. Summer sales are around 400 for last year's race stock.

I'm even shopping online today and still not seeing drastic price drops.

system bindings have upped prices, but new model flat skis have essentially been the same price......... forever....
Remember the fire sale Sierra Jim had a few months ago? Ex: $900 Snoop Daddies for $199.00
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
It is also unfair to the shop's to have to compete with the manufacturer for sales. Shops do all the pre ordering, sticking and forcasts. Then a 8 months later the manufacturer is blowing out skis to places like overstock.com.
post #16 of 25
Our local shops have a two year guaranteed trade in. That's the best way to buy equipment today. Buy that 700.00 race ski & return it 2 years later & receive 350.00 credit. Try & sell that ski & I doubt you can get 200.00 for it after two years. Of course the ski has to in decent condition.
post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrski00 View Post
Our local shops have a two year guaranteed trade in. That's the best way to buy equipment today. Buy that 700.00 race ski & return it 2 years later & receive 350.00 credit. Try & sell that ski & I doubt you can get 200.00 for it after two years. Of course the ski has to in decent condition.
Is that the place in Rochester? I don't know how they do it, unless the initial ski is purchased at list and the ski being traded back in MUST be on a new ski purchase.
post #18 of 25
I'm gonna agree with Samurai on this, but add a bit of context.

He is comparing the price of Volkl from 20+ years ago to the cost of Volkl today...the company has changed dramatically. Volkl was like LaCroix 20 years ago, a true 'boutique' brand that was hard to find. When you did find them they were expensive, they were also worth it.

They are less exclusive these days.

The cost thing is true, ski gear has not kept pace with inflation. Prices aren't much higher than they used to be (compared to everything else around us), and the discount price cycle is brutal and getting worse. Phil's first point about changing graphics yearly is really, really valid. I remember skis changing every 4 years then it went to 2 years, now graphics change every year no matter what. The ski will stay unchanged but it can't be sold for the same price because the color changed, it's tough. The venues available to get discounts have also increased, SAC didn't exist a few years ago, neither did eBay...they've changed the game completely.

I do think the over production and early dumping of product will change soon.
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
20 years ago I bought race skis for about $450.
Wow - you got hosed!
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jer View Post
Wow - you got hosed!
That included good bindings. Looking back at where and how I was skiing, I'm glad I had those skis and didn't wait for a bargain.

The oversupply seems to be changing. Some 07-08 skis are already sold out. I don't understand why a different paint job can affect such a higher demand to justify the price difference. Why will people pay 500 more for "this year's" topsheets.
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
I'm gonna agree with Samurai on this, but add a bit of context.

He is comparing the price of Volkl from 20+ years ago to the cost of Volkl today...the company has changed dramatically. Volkl was like LaCroix 20 years ago, a true 'boutique' brand that was hard to find. When you did find them they were expensive, they were also worth it.

They are less exclusive these days.

The cost thing is true, ski gear has not kept pace with inflation. Prices aren't much higher than they used to be (compared to everything else around us), and the discount price cycle is brutal and getting worse. Phil's first point about changing graphics yearly is really, really valid. I remember skis changing every 4 years then it went to 2 years, now graphics change every year no matter what. The ski will stay unchanged but it can't be sold for the same price because the color changed, it's tough. The venues available to get discounts have also increased, SAC didn't exist a few years ago, neither did eBay...they've changed the game completely.

I do think the over production and early dumping of product will change soon.
Like DVD sales of a movie..I am sure that this is getting figured into the profitability schedule too.

I would say in 10 year the MSRP of skis has increased 30%, but "cost" has increased 50%, therefore lower margins. Then "closeouts" will go to a bigger margin.

Consumers are getting more savy by waiting, shops need to be just as savy and wait on their orders. Manufacturers need to be more aware of what they are doing to their shops. For years, shops going under and leaving big losses on the table for manufacturers has increased and the manufacturer wants to eliminate this. The should be careful what they wish for, they might get their wish and eliminate shops completely.

Good example of a company shooting them selves in the foot before they even get started is XXXXX. They were selling THIS years skis on Ebay for less than 200.00. These were skis that had a retail (hah) of 999.00 and were supposed to be world class skis. Yet they were selling some demo's with a couple of days on them for uber cheap prices. They wanted to get the "name" out there. What is a better way to get your NAME out there a couple of pair for stupid low prices (where thousands of people see the low price)? or Put the skis on peoples feet that can build up the demand either on line or at their local ski area?

If you had a shop and were approached by this manufacturer? why would you carry them? You will be competing against them. Which would you rather have come into your shop? someone asking? Do you carry XXXXX, I heard a lot of great things about them on line? or Do you have XXXXX, I saw them real cheap on Ebay, what can you do for me?
post #22 of 25
Really?

If you are talking about how skis value depreiciates for shops only, then yea, you're right.

However, among the people that I buy and sell skis to/from graphics and all that really don't matter. What matters is what shape the skis are in, and if they're good skis.
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGGOT View Post
Really?

If you are talking about how skis value depreiciates for shops only, then yea, you're right.

However, among the people that I buy and sell skis to/from graphics and all that really don't matter. What matters is what shape the skis are in, and if they're good skis.
Graphics are changing for the sake of selling. IMHO one of the reasons the Rossi 4S was so successful of a ski is that the graphics didn't change for 3-4 years. It was uccessful on many levels, for the manufacturer, the shop and buyers were very happy with them. There is no reason for manufacturers to be changing graphics every year, IMHO it is costing them, not increasing sales.
post #24 of 25
One of the local shops with whom I deal also sells used skis. There is no "trade-in policy" or guaranteed value as skis can receive a greatly varying amount of use. However, when you bring your skis in, they are placed in the used section at whatever price the seller wants - they will advise when asked. Once the skis sell, the seller receives a store credit for the FULL value.

Although it may not initially sound like it, everyone benefits with this arrangement.

The seller: The store will get more money for the skis than the seller would typically get from a private sale. The seller doesn't need to try to advertise the skis and he gets a lot more traffic than he would if advertising locally. He also has the shop people trying to sell his skis. The seller also doesn't have to get a box and ship the skis if he were to sell it non-locally to someone on ebay.

The store: Let's see, they are selling a pair of skis and then giving the buyer the full value toward the new skis. How are they profiting without making any commission on the used skis? Well, they are keeping the original owner of the skis as a customer which is good. They are also making some money on the new skis that the customer is buying and insuring that he buys skis from them. (Let's say that they receive $300 from the buyer of the used skis. They give the seller this value towards his new skis. He buys a new pair and the store makes a profit on them. Nothing made on the used skis, but the store credit guarantees they sell a pair of new skis.)

The buyer: The buyer of the used skis is now also a customer of the shop. Maybe he could buy a pair of new skis cheaper online than he could from this shop, but he doesn't because he is buying a pair of used skis at a lower price than he could find for new skis. Even better, he the customer may be buying a better ski than he/she thought they could afford because they are buying them used. By selling this customer used skis, the shop has a good chance of keeping him as a customer - a far better chance than they could if he bought a pair of new skis at the shop down the street or online. Also, the buyer having a, hopefully, positive interaction with shop employees, decides that he will use this shop to help him with the boot selection process.

Yes, this method requires a little extra work as the shop workers are selling the used skis with no profit. They are however, gaining an increased number of customers in the long run. The shop that does this locally has always sold my used skis quickly and they are happy with the results that this service offers. They also offer very competitive (typically lower) prices than surrounding shops so one doesn't feel as though they are being overcharged on new skis when they trade in their used skis.
post #25 of 25
I didn't read this whole thread, but the ONE MAIN CAVEAT to consider: will my size/model/length/color etc. be available if I put off buying and hope for the big price cut? Sometimes, but NOT always... It's a roll of the dice like most things.
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