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Demo skis in the mail?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
The bike industry has been doing "Demo in a Box" for awhile and I think maybe it works for them.

I don't know of anyone doing it in the ski industry, although I have not done an exhaustive search yet.

Would you be willing to pay the shipping cost to get a set of demo skis to test for a weekend? A hold goes on your cc for the value of the skis in-case of loss or damage?

You get to demo the skis on your home turf at your leisure as many runs as you can cram in.

We, Movement skis, get many requests to demo skis in areas that we don't have dealers. It sucks telling someone they can't try out the skis.

I'd really like to try a Demo in the Mail program, I am looking for feedback to gauge interest.

What do you think?
post #2 of 16
About $20 shipping one way + $30 demo cost (which is cheap considering the high end skis) = seems to be too expensive...  Unless of coarse you want to promote your skis and then you charge shipping only.
post #3 of 16
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Edited by comprex - 8/18/2009 at 10:10 pm GMT
post #4 of 16
If you only attracted skiers who are serious about your product then it would be cool.  However, in addition to shipping costs the skier would have to take them to their local shop to get the bindings adjusted appropriately.  Also, I think that you would get people "demoing" instead of renting skis for their vacations when they had no intention to buy.  From a skier's perspective it would be good to be able to demo skis you might otherwise not have access to.  From your perspective I suspect it would not work out so well.
post #5 of 16
Get more dealers instead.
post #6 of 16
 Have select dealers as demo centers. You supply them with a few pair of skis. The consumer can demo there for a nominal charge (with that amount going to the purchase). If they purchase through that dealer/center you ship skis overnight for them to have them the next day. 
post #7 of 16
Yes!  Do what Philpug says.  Much better idea.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
The whole US dealer system is broken. Time and effort is better spent finding alternative ways to get serious skiers on the skis.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by shirk_007 View Post

The whole US dealer system is broken. Time and effort is better spent finding alternative ways to get serious skiers on the skis.

Serious skiers do not support the industry, Joe and Jane Skier and their 3 kids support the industry by dealing with their local brick & mortar. I do agree the system is broken but is is also not beyond repair. For it to get better the manufacturers and dealers need to work towards a common goal, right now they are not. 
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post




Serious skiers do not support the industry, Joe and Jane Skier and their 3 kids support the industry by dealing with their local brick & mortar. I do agree the system is broken but is is also not beyond repair. For it to get better the manufacturers and dealers need to work towards a common goal, right now they are not. 

I agree.

But when you make a product that is not aimed at Joe and Jane or their 3 kids and dealers have been your barrier in certain markets you need to try different approaches.

We know that expert skiers lover our skis once they have had a chance to demo them. I've lost count of the number of skiers that come back to the tent at the end of a demo day and tell me they were their favourite ski they tried that day.

My idea is no cost other than the shipping to demo the skis.

The legalities of public adjusting their own bindings will likely be the hurdle.
post #11 of 16
You're going to get the "one weekend wonders" that demo skis and never buy them.  So, how bout a 14 day "money back guarantee"?  Customer buys the skis but can return them if they do not like them after 14 days-assuming they pay the shipping.  Or, get a credit card number and send the skis.  Then,  bill the customer if they don't return the skis by midnight of day 14.  It's the same concept that most as seen on TV dealers use, fancy vacuums and Bose radios, etc..  You gamble that the customer buys them with the idea of using them/trying them then returning them if they aren't ideal.  But, customers rarely go to the trouble of shipping something large back.unless there is a REAL problem with it. 
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by shirk_007 View Post


But when you make a product that is not aimed at Joe and Jane or their 3 kids and dealers have been your barrier in certain markets you need to try different approaches.
 

Been there and ran into same issues. As far as running into barriers with dealers, where are the issues? product? delivery? terms? 
post #13 of 16
 Why not see or set up some type  "demo consolidator". I know SLC/LCC/BCC has an outfit that demos a few smaller  brands exclusively and will come to the customer to set em up. May be Wastgach Powder works" or similar. They could also be a dealer. Im not sure of the geography but it could work at some of the other areas where there is a concentration of hills.  I also bet that the costs would not be as high as expected if some of the employees were given a pair for the season.  

youd have to take a look around a viable areas, but im sure aspen/snomass. highlands would work.  Maybe a few of the tahoe resorts.  Vail/beaver creek etc.  Heck if i wasnt working now id be pushing real hard to start up this type of operation. Means a few pairs of skis, minor tools, van and insurance.  There would be incentive to buy the skis as well which helps out the demo company.

On the east coast, it could probably be done on a smaller scale at okemo, flatton, bromley  and magic area. maybe a stow/smugglers stop.  And sugerbush valley.
post #14 of 16
Hi Shirk_007.

The beauty of a demo-in-the-mail program is that if people like something, they're usually not going to go to the trouble of shipping it back.   But the demos you'll be shipping will have demo bindings on them, which people are probably not going to want.  So they'll have to ship the skis back anyway, which is a hassle, combined with getting the bindings adjusted, etc.  Possibly you could arrange for the skis to be picked up at the skier's house, which is less hassle than going back to the ski store.  Still, I imagine it would be relatively inexpensive for you to implement such a program.  If people take advantage, you could shut it down easily, too.

A 14-day money back guarantee is another idea, but it's more of a commitment than a demo. 

Finally: HOW DO I GET MY HANDS ON SOME FLYSWATTERS?  We demoed them last spring at Whistler, my husband can't stop talking about them. 
post #15 of 16
I've had a manufacturer mail me skis to demo - no charge for either demo or shipping.  I thought that was great, and set the bar really high for customer service - it really helps in building loyalty and a very favorable impression of the manufacturer - and yes, I loved the skis and am planning on buying a pair. However , I don't think that doing this no-charge would be very practical in most situations.  I'd have to agree that the best bet is to have a dealer with demo skis available.  For the few locals where you may not have a dealer, than yes, mail demo skis for cost of shipping with credit card back up would be an acceptable alternative.  The more people you have demoing your skis - the better (if they like them)!
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acrophobia View Post

Finally: HOW DO I GET MY HANDS ON SOME FLYSWATTERS?  We demoed them last spring at Whistler, my husband can't stop talking about them. 

US dealers will have stock are, Bent Gate Mountaineering, Backcountry.com and EMS.

I see you are in WA. Pro Ski Service in North Bend is a Movement dealer and can order a pair in for you.

Last option is to buy them direct off the website. The 2009/2010 stuff is not up yet, the Euro guys should have the new website up in mid Sept.

I don't know anyone who tried that ski that did not love them.
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