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"Pro Form": What is it?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Have come across this term here recently, regarding ordering skis(?) from reps(?). Someone please enlighten me. Thanks.
post #2 of 28
Pro form is a printed order form used by people who work in the ski industry to order gear at a steep discount. Examples would be ski shop employees, ski instructors, and ski patrol. Back in the dark ages when I worked in a shop, you mailed it in to the distributor with your check. I remember getting K2 710s with Marker Bindings and a pair of K2 logo strapless poles for half the list price of just the skis. That would have been in 1978?
post #3 of 28
Pro Forms do not cut into the manufacturers profits, since though it may seem like a deal to the pro - its really just the wholesale price. But if abused Pro-Forms do cut into the profits of local shops, which is why companies try to control their usage - they don't want to hurt their distributers.
post #4 of 28
I noticed that I could have picked up PowerKarves on ProForm for $40 more than I paid at Gart's Sniagrab sale. Pays to shop I 'spose.
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
thanks. don't really wanna open a hornet's nest here but it DOES seem a situation absolutely RIPE for abuse. IF, for example, someone comes into possession of a pro form and orders skis, does the manufacturer ASSUME it's all legit? maybe they can be used only for ordering mass quantities(which is hardly a deterrent, of course, especially with venues like e-bay, or just classifieds) or the buyer must "prove" he/she is a "real" buyer (for a shop, team, whatever).

and i wonder if, as in every other area, the manufacturers simply raise the prices of skis, knowing there will be "abuse of facility."

very interesting...
post #6 of 28
Although when I worked in a shop 1978-1986 there was only a "Pro Form," it appears that most sporting goods manufacturers now provide "Shop Form" as well. This is what my local ski shop employee friends tell me. Most retailers allow "Shop Form" use for the part-time folks, and "Pro Form" use for the full-time folks.

Todd, I agree that the mfr doesn't lose money when providing "Pro Form" skis, but...

if the employee takes those "Pro Form" skis and turns around and sells them for a profit without even using them, doesn't that cut into the mfr's profit, and doesn't it run afoul of the whole purpose of giving "Pro Form" deals to shop employees etc.?
post #7 of 28
From what I can gather about the hardgoods, it seems that Pro-form really limits abuse to an extent. I mean, you can try to mass buy skis and boots and bindings...but most forms limit you to 1 or 2 pair of skis for each company that the store has an accoutn that's about 5 skis per person, and i think the shop would get suspicious if an employee went on a shopping spree with the pro-forms.

Not 100% sure about the sporting good stores, but majority of the ski specialty shop employees work there because they enjoy the sport, so they tend to be pretty ethical in that sense...atleast the one's i've been around [img]smile.gif[/img]

post #8 of 28
Absolutely Gonzo - hence my "abuse" comment. Happens in every industry, refrigerator salespeople making $ on the side, TV sales, car sales . . . etc. What do you think the solution is?
post #9 of 28
Shop forms and Pro forms are the same basic idea but the shop forms typically give a better discount. As for the requirements the companies usually require you to be a full time employee in either case.
Most companies regulate 1-2 pr of skis per person per year.
post #10 of 28
Is it abused? I would think not too bad, since if it was, the companies would halt it's use. It really comes down to the manager of the stores. They have to sign off on the form and should, in most cases, see the item come into the shop for the employee. However, there is no fool proof way to keep employees from getting something for a friend or just selling what they just bought at below wholesale prices. It all comes down to ethics. Hell, I've had reps tell me just to sell the item I had bought for a profit and use it to get 2 items. You typically see the worst abuse from the newer employees. nd since I'm starting to ramble, I'm outta here...
post #11 of 28
Heer is a thread from last year reguarding this topic:
post #12 of 28
Pro forms aren't as good as shop forms. Typically pro forms are wholesale prices or just shy of it, Shop forms are usually 10-40% below wholesale.

Typically most companies keep track of how much was purchase by each shop. We got in trouble with Black Diamond cause we shop formed more equipment than we actually purchased for the shop... needlesstosay, we got cut off, and the following year had to purchase way more stuff and limit our forms.
post #13 of 28
And shop forms are not as good as free - but in any case none of it is *really* discounted (or free) if you look at it as what it really is: part of your pay. We work in a poorly paying industry (in general) and the discounted or free gear is just part of the compensation. We could all live in the city and ski a lot less, but make a lot more money and then the price wouldn't be such an issue . . . so it all evens out in the end. Nothing is really free! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #14 of 28
SHop and pro deals are less, get worse every year, thanks to abuse by people that recieve them, and reps that give them to people that don't really qualify.
post #15 of 28
I got to the point where I would rather make $XXX,XXX and pay retail for skis than to make $XX,XXX and get free skis.
post #16 of 28
Ryan, historically the manufacturer pro form required the purchaser's PSIA or NSP membership number and the signature of a ski school or ski patrol director. For a period, the signature part changed to a ski shop manager or owner. Most recently, it requires the signature of the manufacturer representative. PSIA and NSP used to incorporate the form in their publications. Stores had them for awhile. Now the reps are supposed to be the only source.
post #17 of 28
One funny thing you read about people on their deathbeds . . . many last words are about regrets of not having lived and loved hard enough. Regrets of things said or not said, regrets of wasting time.

What you don't hear is "I regret that I didn't dedicate myself more fully to making money . . . instead of all that darn living and loving I did."
post #18 of 28
We are actually getting really good percentages from pro form this year. We get between 10 and 30 percent under wholesale on the ski companies. Salomon snowboards is also 30% under wholesale, as is obermeyer.
post #19 of 28
I used to deal with Reps. to get pro form, but they could be such d%ckheads at times that it wasn't worth the trouble. Instead I developed a good relationship with the local shop owners and go directly through them. They take very good care of me and in turn I recomend them to all who ask.
In my opinion, Black Diamond has one of the best pro purchase models going. Each year you must re-apply and be certified to purchase gear. Patagonias pro purchase program is also tops on my list.
post #20 of 28
This pro-form stuff is more hype and innuendo than it's worth. By the time our "mountain rep" for Volkl passed on the forms it was early March and all of the good sizes were gone. Sure, $229 was a good deal on a P-40 sl.... but on a 183.... I got a late season deal on a 170 for $249 at a local shops "street price".

Fischer had good prices but few of the folks who ordered ever saw the skis?
post #21 of 28
I think often the pro form quest is motivated more by ego than actual need or real benefit. It makes folks feel special to have gotten things on "pro-form" [img]smile.gif[/img] And thats ok, everybody needs to feel special!
post #22 of 28
If you want popular (say Volkl) pro/shop stuff, you should already have your form in. THere are often very limited quantities of of skis and boots in popular sizes. Some big ski areas do buy pro stock for thier employees to purchase, but that goes quick too.
post #23 of 28
Last year I ordered Salomon Pilot 10 on Pro Form in middle of October (without being able to demo) Had to wait until January to pick them up. Thought I got a good price.

Yesterday I saw the same ski in a shop for less than I paid last year. Probably a matter of supply and demand.

Pro form is an incentive to upgrade your equipment, but careful shopping will probably do you as well.
post #24 of 28
I've never gotten a Pro Deal on skis but have been getting pro deals from Patagucci and NRS for a while and have always been under the impression that you can only get them through employers. Isnt the a web site where you can enter all your info about your occupation and the hours and months you work and it determines who you are elidgable for pro deals from? Bueller....Bueller....?
post #25 of 28
There are numerous ways to abuse the system and I'm sure it's still being done every day. Some racers (college, etc.) now are asked to return skis to avoid unwanted selling.
post #26 of 28
The idea behind "pro forms" or "shop forms" is to get industry people in a particular brand of ski, cheap, with the intent that that particular "shop" guy will be seen on, for example, a pair of Rossi's, prompting people who see him or her to go out and buy a pair retail. It's a way of advertising since most industry personell are generally considered more informed or better skiers i.e. have more influence over the retail paying public.
They are pretty darn good deals too

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 15, 2001 10:40 AM: Message edited 1 time, by snojock ]</font>
post #27 of 28
Please take down the proforms prices. I don't think the Mfgs would be happy with us posting those prices..


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 15, 2001 10:37 AM: Message edited 1 time, by dchan ]</font>
post #28 of 28
Sorry about that...don't know where my head was...
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