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Question about buying skis on line.

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I have had the oppurtunity to demo a few skis and found a pair, with bindings that I'm ready to buy. I have used the same shop to demo all skis. I feel a little "loyalty" to that ski shop and it's owner. BUT, I have found the same ski on line for about 40% less. Question: If I decide to buy the skis on line am I a jerk? AND, if skis are purchased on line (with bindings) what is the best way to have the bindings set for my boots? Only a small amount of the demo price is applied to the purchase price. See, I like the idea of a locally owned shop competing against the big guys, but I guess I don't know if I like the idea enough to pay an extra 40%!! Thanks
post #2 of 25
Remember your also paying for the service and after the sale service from the local shop.

If you buy from on line, just give them your boot brand and sole length.

I hope the on line place is someone that is recommended from people here.

That have been horror stories in the past.
post #3 of 25
My opinion - if you paid for the demos then I would feel less obligated than if they were free (or really cheap) demos. On the other hand, it's good to establish a relationship with your local shop -- so I'd see if they can give you a break -- maybe not match the online price, but enough so you can be happy and they can make a profitable sale.
post #4 of 25
I'd mention to the shop that you saw "XYZ" at a discount and give them a shot at your business .... especially ... after the free demos.

FYI ... some shops are charging some much higher prices for "walk-in's" to get mounting done.

We no longer have any shops in our town, we had two but both closed .... the reason cited was the owner was getting sick and tired (and broke) ... because he was being used as a "fitting room" for gear.

IMHO .... it takes balls to walk in, try on a jacket to size it and then run to the net. Same for skis.
post #5 of 25
Sounds like you paid for your demos, so you've met your obligation to the shop if the skis were returned in good condition.

Speak honestly with the shop manager/owner and tell him or her that you have done your homework and are shopping for the best value (notice I didn't say "price".) This is a two-way street - you're exchanging hard earned money for something of comparable value. The shop is exchanging something of value to them for your money.

Depending on market conditions be prepared if a shop owner says, "I'll sell these skis at my asking price within a week, why should I discount them for you? What's in it for me?"

Somewhere in the middle you both will meet - the shop providing service(s) and convenience that you don't get online, and you forking over an amount of money that feels like you're getting what you are paying for. i.e. no shipping charges or risk of damage, easy support for post sale problems, maybe free binding mounting, a free tune or two, ... Of course you can both play number cruncher and try to screw each other to the wall. In that case, enjoy the competition.
post #6 of 25
I missed the part where you paid for the demo, but I'd still give the shop a shot.

Where are you going to get the DIN done? Send out the sole length and get back something that may be mounted off center, too far fore or aft, and no initial DIN ..... think twice about that.
post #7 of 25

buying local

I just recently bought new skis from my local shop. He let me demo pretty much any ski I wanted to try. He didn't charge me for any of the demos. He talked to me about differences in the ski and what to expect on the slope. So I felt obligated to buy from him. His price on the ski was about $30 cheaper than I could find online so I got lucky in that regard. Had I waited I would have probably found the same ski cheaper online. I have since seen some better deals than what I got on the price. Had he been higher in price I probably still would have bought from him. I know if I have any problems in the future I can take the ski to him and he will help. I also feel like I have made some new friends at the shop. I am going to miss stopping by and talking to them.

I, like you, am not made of money. I can understand wanting to find the cheapest price as I often do that also. Most of the time that cheaper price is online. A 40% difference in price is fairly significant. I guess I would talk to the shop and see what their best deal is and tell them what you have found online.

When you buy locally you are getting service in the future also. To me that was just as important because I will be needing other ski equipment in the future. What would it cost you if you bought the skis online and then had problems? Balance what is important to you.

Good luck in your decision.
post #8 of 25
I tried what many are suggesting here the last time I bought tires for my Motorcycle. I went to my local dealer, whom I've bought a lot of stuff from in the past, and told them I value their presence, and want to support them, that I was willing to pay them more for tires than I could find them for online, but not the nearly twice the price they were asking.

Sorry, can't budge on the price. Made my online pruchase decision guilt free. I want to support local merchants, but not at that high a cost to me. Either they really will sell those tires to the next guy at full price, and stay in business, or their unwillingness to deal will drive too many others to buy online, and they will fall by the wayside. But buying from them at too high a price just prolongs the inevitable, and costs me in the meantime.

So pick a price that you are willing to pay someone local, the added value its worth to you to support your local shop. If they meet it, buy from them. If they don't, buy online.
post #9 of 25
We are living in an age where the Mom and Pop stores are obscelete due to optomization and econimies of scale that come with being global. Along with that unfortunately face to face service is also becomming extinct. At what price you ask? PRICE! Great prices!
post #10 of 25
I've often debated this dilemma in my mind. But I'm feeling less and less guilty with buying online as I'm shopping in local shops and realizing that instead of paying a competent staff a fair wage, they hire incompetent people at minimum wage, and carry a very limited product selection so that they don't have to bear the cost of inventory.

I recently "re-tooled" and bought skis, boots, bindings, jacket, pants, baselayers. I searched high and low within 50 mi radius of my home, visited about 15 shops, and ended up buying everything online. In the case of the

garments: simply not available in my size anywhere so I paid retail price online

boots: poor selection in my size, last time I let them sell me what they had in stock and not what I really needed/wanted, boots are way too big now that they've packed out. So now, I'm buying 3 pairs online and plan to send 2 of them back, I'll create my own showroom in my house.

skis: simply can't muster paying a 60% markup to have a high schooler salesmen sells me skis, when he would never be caught dead on anything but a snowboard (no offense, snowboarders), but seriously, unless you've been on the skis yourself, I think online research for skis is just as good as someone working in a shop

I've been reading threads in frustration/jealousy where you guys have competent shops in your areas for bootfitting, advice, etc. Maybe the fact is sustainable jobs in retail are gone, or nearly gone. I think the other thing is once you are exposed to shopping online, you expect to have unlimited choices. So I see some piece of gear online, or in a magazine, read about, and then decide I need THAT, and won't settle for anything else, and can't find it anywhere locally.
post #11 of 25
Penny wise and pound foolish. The "Cyber Generation" ... :

Who is going to mount your skis?

Who is going to help with boot adjustments?

Who is going to petix your gouges and do your tunes?

Your ...... "Cyber Shop" ..... :

Now I have to drive 40 miles for good service. It used to be a 5 minute drive.

I have never worked in a shop so my comments are as a consumer. What used to be a trip into town is now a three to four hour trek. Add up the time you have lost and the addtional price of mounting ..... Langhorne in PA was charging twice the price for a mount for anything not bought in their store.

Add it all up .... time and money ....
post #12 of 25
for what you can save on a pair of skis online you can buy all the tuning gear you need to to your own ptex and tunes, and have money left over for a pair of bindings, mounting, and a couple of stonegrinds.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
Penny wise and pound foolish. The "Cyber Generation" ... :

Who is going to mount your skis?

Who is going to help with boot adjustments?

Who is going to petix your gouges and do your tunes?

Your ...... "Cyber Shop" ..... :

Now I have to drive 40 miles for good service. It used to be a 5 minute drive.

I have never worked in a shop so my comments are as a consumer. What used to be a trip into town is now a three to four hour trek. Add up the time you have lost and the addtional price of mounting ..... Langhorne in PA was charging twice the price for a mount for anything not bought in their store.

Add it all up .... time and money ....

Who's gonna pump my gas?

Who's gonna check my tires and oil?

We're actually not far from not having any cashiers in retail stores. You just fill up your cart and everything will get scanned as you exit. You'll need to use touchscreens for help finding things.

Seriously though, don't you get satisfaction maintaining your own sports equipment and vehicles some? I do everything I can myself because more often than not other people mess it up.
post #14 of 25
How much did the demos cost?
How much do the skis cost on line?
How much do they cost at the store?
How many hours of "service" discussing skis did you get?
How much of the demo price would be put toward the purchase?

The devil is in the details.
post #15 of 25
Pilam99 apparently has had the same luck I have with the local shop.

They carry very few options, know little (or just give bad advice), charge WAY too much, and have a variable (depending on whether you are in the process of buying or returning) return policy. I've spent a lot of money there over the years due to them being the only game in town. I've regretted an embarrassing percentage of my purchases...

I would LOVE to have a local - or even "less than 3 hour drive away" - shop with good selection, knowledgeable staff, a qualified bootfitter, and "only slightly exorbitant" prices.

bes
p.s. On the up side, poor service encouraged me to learn to:
- wax and tune skis
- fix bases
- mount bindings (local shop doesn't handle Look...)
- do minor boot tweaks
post #16 of 25
I did the same, i do feel for the local store but the truth is today most stores treat you like crap anyway unless you bring your wifeand five kids and pay list price. The days of good small shops are just about gone. Most of your local shops aren't small anymore and have no personall touch anymore. Get em online, have them mount, give your info, give the make of your boot and mm's. You most likley wont have to do anything. But they will tell you to go to a shop for adjustment to keep from getting sued.
post #17 of 25
Full Holmenkoln set up in the basement. The only thing I don't do is bindings.

Thanks ..... comments were directed for the average person who doesn't.

:
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
We are living in an age where the Mom and Pop stores are obscelete due to optomization and econimies of scale that come with being global. Along with that unfortunately face to face service is also becomming extinct. At what price you ask? PRICE! Great prices!
It is a new age. Not just for skiing. The analogy I offer is the scenario that I’ve seen (and unfortunately played a part in) many times. People in India will work for $8,000/yr to do the same job that people here get paid $28,000 to do. While working with a scientific instrument company that was having great difficulty competing in the price game, we ran the numbers and it made better financial sense to lay off 300 people at an average savings of $20k/yr per worker and move the jobs and manufacturing offshore. Immediate savings of $6mil to the bottom line from payroll. I don’t particularly like that line of logic and I believe that it is detrimental to the US economy, but it is a very effective short term way to gain economic advantage. Some “major” headaches getting things set up and transitioned, but overall it worked. …for the company. Not sure I’d say the same for the 300 families.

I guess when it comes to a buck, everyone has do what they gotta do. Whether you're buying skis or paying someone for their labor - price is price. Value is a longer term thing. Either way, there are long term implications. Are they good or bad implications … not sure. Personally I like having “mom and pop” ski shops and would like to see an environment where they can exist and thrive. But, as you point out, it is getting ever more difficult to make the business side of that equation work.

Sorry for the thread jack, but while the OP has no obligation to do business with the demo shop, if the owner can't find a way to run a profitable business from "renting" demos and other services - next time the shop won't be there when it comes time for another pair of skis. As long as the owner finds a way to connect with people online, it probably is best for him/her to close shop, get rid of the staff, and look for a less expensive operating environment. Depends on the goal of the owner - selling gear or providing services.

If the owner really has a handle on the business and his/her customer base, then the majority of the skis in the shop at the beginning of the season are already "pre-sold". Meaning they were brought into inventory based on customer history. The sure way to go out of business is to buy a bunch of skis and hope you can sell them to someone.
post #19 of 25
There usually is a "cost" for everything, even at a lower price. I have bought on line and from B&M's. Like Yuki I have a shop in my basement inc all jigs that I need.
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
Full Holmenkoln set up in the basement. The only thing I don't do is bindings.

Thanks ..... comments were directed for the average person who doesn't.

:
Average people read this forum?

In my experience some shops are adapting by become more service oriented. This year I had four pairs of skis mounted up at my local shop and they were very happy to do it. I bought all of those boards on line. Ideally I'd like to buy everything locally but but on those four pair I saved nearly a couple grand, not to mention that my local shop only carried one of the four pair.

I do value the B&M stores. I spend $ there, I have a good relationship with the staff, I sell stuff at their swaps. But with the price differential they're gonna have to adapt to my decisions.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by medmarkco View Post
It is a new age. Not just for skiing. The analogy I offer is the scenario that I’ve seen (and unfortunately played a part in) many times. People in India will work for $8,000/yr to do the same job that people here get paid $28,000 to do.
for their labor - price is price. Value is a longer term thing. Either way, there are long term implications. Are they good or bad implications … not sure. Personally I like having “mom and pop” ski shops and would like to see an environment where they can exist and thrive. But, as you point out, it is getting ever more difficult to make the business side of that equation work.

Hang in there folks. These business trends are cyclical. In the 1700s it was the Asian products that were horrifically expensive. It was far cheaper to build an entire factory home based to copy and produce their products than it was to buy what they produced there and ship it across the globe. As the emerging economies develop and thrive so will their workers, wanting cars instead of bikes, etc. Then they will unionize and fight for better wages and benefits just as they did in the US and Europe in the 1900s til they get what we have now. In the meantime folks here that can't afford to move or adapt to more high tech job offerengs will be willing to work for lower wages. Give it 100 years and all the production and service jobs will move back over here.


Oh ya, there was a question wasn't there.. Definately buy the skis online but be sure to thank the shop and inquire about other things (services, accessories, boots-can't try on boots via the internet and they all vary some) they can offer you for a competitive price. :
post #22 of 25
I live in Florida so the number of ski shops...count em on one hand and their prices???: Best have that Visa card with a zero balance before ya buy from them. From reading, doing research, and knowledge gained form 34yrs of skiing, one can make a reasonable purchase online now and get a good product at a good and fair price. As for bindings...went with the new railflex system and completely left the ski shops out of it. Tuning a ski isnt rocket science either. With the right angle tools, files, and ordinary wax, and some elbow grease.....anybody can get their own skiis ready for the snow. People depend on so-called experts too much these days. : Gotta stand on your own two feet. Educate yourself about this sport. Would love to work in it to but maybe someday when I retire. Everyone down here wants to go to Wal-Mart and be a greeter....I tell everyone I'm going to snow country and gonna be a liftie or an amdassador when I retire!
post #23 of 25
I'm lucky enough to have a local shop that understands the internet pricing problems and they price their products to compete. For a shop to remain open I think they need to consider this. Do I buy all my gear there? NO. Sometimes internet deals cannot be matched or product selection is limited at the local shop and I buy online. I do however buy enough from the local guy that he realizes I am a regular customer and provides exceptional service. I have bought several pairs of skis there but not all my skis are purchased locally. The local shop mounts my bindings and seems happy to do it. They recently mounted a pair of Dukes for me. They were late getting their Duke order in to Marker and have not been able to get any in. I also purchased the skis online. However when I asked about having them do it the owner said give me a week and I'll order in a jig so we can get it done right. I could not believe they would get a jig for bindings they did not even have in stock. When I picked up my skis and made sure to tell them thanks but I also purchased a couple pairs of ski socks, new tubes for my bike, a new pair of poles for my daughter and a few other things. If you get good service you have to give back somehow. I could probably pick up new shoelaces for my hiking boots at Walmart for a few cents cheaper but I don't I always go to the local place. By the way the shop charged me $10 for the mount. How can you beat that?
post #24 of 25
One more thing. If you've got a good local shop that provides excellent service, let others know about it. It seems I am quite often asked by friends/workmates about where to get ski/bike gear. I always send them into the local shop and tell them to to let the shop know I sent them in. This free advertising goes a long way to keeping the shop open. It also keeps them happy when you come in with something that you need help with that doesn't bring them any profit.
post #25 of 25
I hate to admit it, but I have bought much online also in the past. But as it was said earlier, go to the local shop and mention you saw them online for cheaper and see if theyll deal. Always buy local if you can, build a solid relationship and be happier....either way CONGRATS on the new purchase
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