You're comparing apples to oranges. Ski retailers are required to stick to pricing guidelines set by the ski manufacturers (called MAP, minimum advertised price), usually until Feb. 13Th of the current season... so any 'online' retailer that is dramatically below your local shop means one of three things:
1. your local shop is selling gear at FULL retail price... do you live at Aspen?
2. your comparing system skis with different binding options.
3. the online retailer is selling close-out gear, which they bought at a big discount and are offering a bigger price break than your local shop (which, odds are, ordered the skis 6 months before the season, paying wholesale pricing...).
If it is option #3 then think about this: if 'local shops' all fail due to 'shrewed consumers' buying online for big savings... where will the 'close-out deals' come from ???
The close-out business is essentially a 'parasite' of the brick and mortar shops/ ski manufacturer relationship, take away one or the other and that business plan fails. If you're a skier who likes having cool ski gear you better recognize this.
What exactly is a 'Close-out' anyway?
Gear that didn't sell very well to retailers, so it gets passed along to clearing houses to dump it. Is it 'bad' gear? No. It just wasn't popular, or well reviewed, or whatever... it wasn't desirable until the markdown became irresistable. So you buy a ski you didn't WANT because it costs less than it should have if you had wanted it... but you didn't... so you saved WHAT exactly?
once again, just askin'
A close out is a ski the manufacturer stopped making/selling. A last year model. Actually, exactly the ski I wanted. K2 stopped making the Apache Stryker. They make the sidewinder, same ski, so I got a deal. I'm not that particular about what ski I ride. I grew up dropping cliffs on three season old second hand rentals, so everything feels good. Savy?
Economically speaking, if people are more shrewd about what they spend on skis, the ski manufacturers will have to lower their prices. I think they still call it Macro Economics. It is pretty basic. I think technically its called supply and demand. Savy?
Seems to me that there is a tone to your post like your better than me because I didn't buy the best and pay a premium for it. This is the same tone that I don't like in local ski shops.