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internet skis - Page 3

post #61 of 89
one last note, there is a lot of talk about service, like many, i have sh*t service in a local store and great service. same goes for the web.  if you dont think great service exist on the web, just look at Zappos, Amazon, or our very own Sierra Jim. 
post #62 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post
  The hell with those guys then, I say.  
 
Or, maybe hope for new management?


Lest folks think I'm exaggerating...I stopped in once when the place was empty and a salesman asked if I needed help. I told him I was looking for XC skis, and he immediately turned around and walked away from me without a word, and without asking anybody else to help me. That cheap stuff wasn't worth his time (they did carry XC at the time). And, that's really just the tip of the iceberg.
post #63 of 89
Ok here is a good example of why some shops aren't making it -

I just came back from picking up some stuff that didn't sell from the weekend swap at a local shop. This shop keeps 15% or you can use it for store credit with no commission. I had over $900 worth of stuff to sell so I asked at drop off if I could take some credit and the rest in a check, "No problem you can split it up however you want". At pick up I said I wanted to do about $115 in credit and about $350 in a check ($530 worth of my stuff sold minus the 15%). I couldn't do that, I had to leave ALL of it there as credit and get a check after I used the credit, which I won't need for 2 months. I took my check for all of it and left. I was willing to pay the $85 "punishement fee" for a mount on skis I didn't buy there and whatever it is for a binding check that I will need in Dec. but they wanted to hold my $450-500.

So if this happened to 10 people they lost over $1,000 in service fees plus each would be entering their store 2 additional times, tripling the foot traffic for those people (and possibly buying stuff).
post #64 of 89
The first year the Mantras came out I was considering buying a pair and I walked into a local shop that sold Volkls, and had several models on display, but not the Mantra.  I asked the "salesman" who wanted to help me if they carried the Manta, and he had never heard of them.  Just another reason I don't pay that shop extra for skis to keep them in business, and to receive their "expert" advice.
post #65 of 89
good story. Robin Williams lives in Sausolito (on S.F. Bay) and is an avid cyclist. I understand he bought about a dozen top end bicycles from his local bike shop. He loves bikes; has a quiver of road bikes. And he supports his community. He has the means to help and he does.  

I really don't right now, (have the means to help with dollars), but I'm on every tourist I ride a chair with to upgrade their stuff locally so they will enjoy their turns more. My logic to them: "you paid a fortune for this trip; why not enjoy it more with skis that really work for you and for conditions?!"
 
repeating here: When the owner of the shop is on the floor greeting customers, that is as real as it gets. That is what it's all about.

Also, ski shop jobs are awesome for local kids. A young skier's right of passage.
post #66 of 89
We have the over optimistic product demand forecasts of marketing product managers at ski companies to thank for late season interwebox ski equipment deals.  If they captured demand for new product sales correctly there would be no left over inventory to liquidate via web warehouses.  Even so, the beauty of free competition is some comaany will always produce a bit more and cut profit to lowball a competitor even with brand new fresh stock.  They may suffer percieved quality or image damage if they do though.


Anyway, I've wondered lately if it would be profitable for someone (not me) to set up a ski shop that ONLY mounts bindings, fits boots,  and tunes skis as the main product offerings to cater to all the people that got in over their head with internet purchases.
post #67 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post



Anyway, I've wondered lately if it would be profitable for someone (not me) to set up a ski shop that ONLY mounts bindings, fits boots,  and tunes skis as the main product offerings to cater to all the people that got in over their head with internet purchases.
 

"Ski truck"....it's like the lunch truck but for your ski mounting and tuning needs.
post #68 of 89
SierraJim nailed it on the head, overproduction from the big players is the only reason there is soo much product available to feed the discount sellers.
post #69 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattL View Post




"Ski truck"....it's like the lunch truck but for your ski mounting and tuning needs.
 

Guy in Whistler set up his van as a custom boot fitting shop, he comes to you.
post #70 of 89
It would probably help if Ski Truck did sell bindings.   Then,  they'd have easy access to the jigs.  Plus, bindings don't have as much product model seasonal changes as skis do and are easy to store.  If that were successful and expanded as a business venture this might be as big a threat to B&M ski shops as internet sales were initially.  The shops would be getting hit from both sides losing sales to internet and service to the trucks.
post #71 of 89
Thread Starter 
 Many good points here,maybe the best being that those of us on this page represent the 20 in the 80/20 rule and are actually the lunatic fringe,but skiing is happily for lunatics anyways(my first ride up the chair at Wildcat on a 0 degree,30 mph wind coming down off Mt.Washington was with a local ski patroller who didn't even have his jacket zipped up).I think I can relate this all to my world now-when somebody comes into my small food shop with bread from another bakery under his arm,but wants to buy cheese and fruit from me,I look twice but I still want to sell the goods.
post #72 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by andescott View Post

 Many good points here,maybe the best being that those of us on this page represent the 20 in the 80/20 rule and are actually the lunatic fringe,but skiing is happily for lunatics anyways(my first ride up the chair at Wildcat on a 0 degree,30 mph wind coming down off Mt.Washington was with a local ski patroller who didn't even have his jacket zipped up).I think I can relate this all to my world now-when somebody comes into my small food shop with bread from another bakery under his arm,but wants to buy cheese and fruit from me,I look twice but I still want to sell the goods.

And I didn't mean that in a bad way. 
post #73 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virtus_Probi View Post

Or, maybe hope for new management?


Lest folks think I'm exaggerating...I stopped in once when the place was empty and a salesman asked if I needed help. I told him I was looking for XC skis, and he immediately turned around and walked away from me without a word, and without asking anybody else to help me. That cheap stuff wasn't worth his time (they did carry XC at the time). And, that's really just the tip of the iceberg.
Sounds like you have a pretty sucky local shop, and I don't blame you one bit for not supporting them, they don't deserve it. However, please don't lump all local shops in with them. At my shop it is pretty much just the owner and myself and a few part timers we bring in for the busy time (two of which have been with us for 20 years) and this our 33rd year. The owner of my shop is a level III PSIA instructor, tried out for the Demo Team and he teaches at Winter Park for at least a month every year, I'd say he knows what he is doing and keeps current with the state of the industry. I myself am a former USSA coach from Maine, taught full time at Sugarloaf for a number of years and have been in the ski industry since I was 17. Our philosophy is that your gear either works for you or against you, and we want to help our customers get set up with the right stuff, is that worth a little extra?
post #74 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDoyal View Post
Sounds like you have a pretty sucky local shop, and I don't blame you one bit for not supporting them, they don't deserve it. However, please don't lump all local shops in with them. At my shop it is pretty much just the owner and myself and a few part timers we bring in for the busy time (two of which have been with us for 20 years) and this our 33rd year. The owner of my shop is a level III PSIA instructor, tried out for the Demo Team and he teaches at Winter Park for at least a month every year, I'd say he knows what he is doing and keeps current with the state of the industry. I myself am a former USSA coach from Maine, taught full time at Sugarloaf for a number of years and have been in the ski industry since I was 17. Our philosophy is that your gear either works for you or against you, and we want to help our customers get set up with the right stuff, is that worth a little extra?
 
I hear you, JDoyal...like I said in reply to Bob, I'd probably be trying to figure out ways to give business to my local shop if I liked the place. I already make an effort to give at least some business to a small shop I like right where I get off the highway when heading to my usual hill, although the shop on the hill itself is also a decent place.
I do have to give the local place credit for getting me motivated to figure out the system bindings on my latest skis...doubt that I'll ever drill into any flat skis on my own, though.
BTW, I'm originally from Skokie, not too too far from your shop. I used to sled on Trashmore before it was converted to skiing!
post #75 of 89
Thread Starter 
 So after all this discussion I gave the local bike/telemark shop a call .They don't do a whole lot of sales and specialize pretty much on service.Been in business for more than ten years now,so something must be working.The bottom line is-35 bucks to install bindings.No questions asked,no attitude. It seems like he's filling a good niche.
post #76 of 89
A lot of shops suffer from the "why should I buy here syndrome" most don't have any compelling reason for customers to feel the need to shop at thier store. Frankly, my local shops are staffed with skiers/snowboarders who know very little about the products and have little experience overall.  They have not created any kind of a "you must shop here" atmosphere. No incentive- no need. So when I walk in looking for a pair of ski's or a jacket and no on knows about the product, why am I shopping there?  If I am looking for a jacket or something and I have checked it out online, I will always ask if they can meet or come close to the online price (for upper-end stuff, there isn't usally much difference if any). If it's a local shop, a little more is well-worth it if it needs to be returned, exchanged or if there's a problem.  Buy a jacket online and you return it, more than likely you just ran up about $15-$20 in total shipping costs. 
post #77 of 89
Frankly, I don't see how a B&M ski shop can afford to have enough knowledgeable and trained sales staff while still matching every internet warehouse price.  I see a shop having a manager, and assistant manager, and two techs.  Staffing a store 7 days a week with 4 people is pretty demanding so you will get some minimum wage folks that have a turnover rate so high that few ever get fully trained in what they really need to be helpful before they quit.  So, my answer to needs that require a human is to show up at the store with patience and wait until the experienced person (likely to be only one or two there) is available.  You might also try asking another customer.  I'd help a stranger if I could.
post #78 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

A lot of shops suffer from the "why should I buy here syndrome" most don't have any compelling reason for customers to feel the need to shop at thier store. Frankly, my local shops are staffed with skiers/snowboarders who know very little about the products and have little experience overall.  They have not created any kind of a "you must shop here" atmosphere. No incentive- no need. So when I walk in looking for a pair of ski's or a jacket and no on knows about the product, why am I shopping there?  If I am looking for a jacket or something and I have checked it out online, I will always ask if they can meet or come close to the online price (for upper-end stuff, there isn't usally much difference if any). If it's a local shop, a little more is well-worth it if it needs to be returned, exchanged or if there's a problem.  Buy a jacket online and you return it, more than likely you just ran up about $15-$20 in total shipping costs. 

I have a question for you. Because of the poor service at your local shop, do you assume that most shops that you may walk into fall into that category?
post #79 of 89

Interestly, most internet shops are B&M shops too, and should be. It's reality. How can you afford, knoweldgeable folks? how long does is really take to set aside a little slow-time or preseason time to educate the basics about what you are selling or just as important, how to sell? I am sure you are aware of the many on-line study programs offered by the manufacturers. How can you afford to not to do some kind of education?  How can you sell unless your folks don't know? As a person who "sells" I am always amazed that "salespeople" don't know the first thing about selling!

Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

Frankly, I don't see how a B&M ski shop can afford to have enough knowledgeable and trained sales staff while still matching every internet warehouse price.  I see a shop having a manager, and assistant manager, and two techs.  Staffing a store 7 days a week with 4 people is pretty demanding so you will get some minimum wage folks that have a turnover rate so high that few ever get fully trained in what they really need to be helpful before they quit.  So, my answer to needs that require a human is to show up at the store with patience and wait until the experienced person (likely to be only one or two there) is available.  You might also try asking another customer.  I'd help a stranger if I could.
 


No! 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDoyal View Post




I have a question for you. Because of the poor service at your local shop, do you assume that most shops that you may walk into fall into that category?
 
post #80 of 89
Just wanted to add a little something- when you see these super low deals, 40% off, you aren't talking about this years stuff, 99% of the time, its left-overs, overstock (getting back to SierraJims comment) and odds/ends. You don't really ever see a 30% off deal on this years skis. Look at the largest e-tailers out there, backcountry,evo, altrec and even shops like levelnine and others, you won't see this years stuff any lower than your local shop (unless they are slopeside). They are all pretty much at or near MAP. Same goes for brands like arc', cloud, marmot, Pati, That argument doesn't hold water (or snow) 
post #81 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

 how long does is really take to set aside a little slow-time or preseason time to educate the basics about what you are selling or just as important, how to sell? I am sure you are aware of the many on-line study programs offered by the manufacturers. How can you afford to not to do some kind of education?  How can you sell unless your folks don't know? As a person who "sells" I am always amazed that "salespeople" don't know the first thing about selling!


 
I actually have over ten years retail management experience selling high involvement goods.  The high school folks and others you get when you pay minimum wage aren't going to pay attention to those online training segments worth a damn.  They rarely show up to the training seminars the sales reps put on even when there is lots of free stuff.  Then, the few that do well and learn leave the moment someone dangles another dime (or maybe actual benefits) in front of them.


By the way, I'd NEVER tell this to a DM, RM, or anyone else that frequented the home office for fear of being replaced.  When the bosses or other folks that work with the bosses asked me about staffing and training I usually said something to the effect of what you said up there.  Kind of "can do" attitude ignoring reality.  That's what gets folks manager positions, not telling it like it is LOL.


This has probably changed some in the current economic climate with more folks competing for fewer jobs.  I'm not so sure that is a good thing though.  It's better for folks that want cheap stuff AND great service of course... but it widens the gap between upper and lower class eliminating the middle class.  I guess minimum wage is better than nothing, It just means some folks need three jobs instead of one these days.
Edited by crgildart - 10/12/09 at 1:39pm
post #82 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

By the way, I'd NEVER tell this to a DM, RM, or anyone else that frequented the home office for fear of being replaced.  When the bosses or other folks that work with the bosses asked me about staffing and training I usually said something to the effect of what you said up there.  Kind of "can do" attitude ignoring reality.  That's what gets folks manager positions, not telling it like it is LOL.
 

And this is how America became what it is...
post #83 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by PasadenaProf View Post




And this is how America became what it is...

And another reason why working retail sucks.  My current career REQUIRES me to take paid time off on the holiday breaks that I was REQUIRED to work for free when working in retail (on salary but way over 40 hours already).  Folks, when you're arguing with the manager in that store on Black Friday or Christmas Eve keep in mind that they probably aren't really being compensated for the crazy hours they have to work.  They might get a bonus, but only if the store makes its numbers (usually 10% over the previous year).   I have the utmost sympathy for people that work in retail and especially retail management.  I'd do it again if I had to, but only as a last resort.
post #84 of 89

I appreciate your insite and opinion. I own a small business but we are not a retail service. the problems you encounter seem to run consistent across the board in all retail but some seem to have overcome the challenges. As a "boss" I can say that I would like to hear the truth and not some "line" about the issues you face otherwise, I cannot change them, It's a bad sign that you  are not comfortable or fearful of upper mgts lack of concern or fear of reprisals. Not sure of the company but I can't see how it can possibly be successful with kind of mgt mentality. That's a tough one. Best of luck.


Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post



I actually have over ten years retail management experience selling high involvement goods.  The high school folks and others you get when you pay minimum wage aren't going to pay attention to those online training segments worth a damn.  They rarely show up to the training seminars the sales reps put on even when there is lots of free stuff.  Then, the few that do well and learn leave the moment someone dangles another dime (or maybe actual benefits) in front of them.


By the way, I'd NEVER tell this to a DM, RM, or anyone else that frequented the home office for fear of being replaced.  When the bosses or other folks that work with the bosses asked me about staffing and training I usually said something to the effect of what you said up there.  Kind of "can do" attitude ignoring reality.  That's what gets folks manager positions, not telling it like it is LOL.


This has probably changed some in the current economic climate with more folks competing for fewer jobs.  I'm not so sure that is a good thing though.  It's better for folks that want cheap stuff AND great service of course... but it widens the gap between upper and lower class eliminating the middle class.  I guess minimum wage is better than nothing, It just means some folks need three jobs instead of one these days.

 
post #85 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

I appreciate your insite and opinion. I own a small business but we are not a retail service. the problems you encounter seem to run consistent across the board in all retail but some seem to have overcome the challenges. As a "boss" I can say that I would like to hear the truth and not some "line" about the issues you face otherwise, I cannot change them, It's a bad sign that you  are not comfortable or fearful of upper mgts lack of concern or fear of reprisals. Not sure of the company but I can't see how it can possibly be successful with kind of mgt mentality. That's a tough one. Best of luck.



 
No worries, I've been out of retail for quite some time as a full time gig-thank God!  I just take an occasional part time job at Christmas if I need extra cash.
post #86 of 89
buy a pair of line skis or k2 extreme skis
post #87 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by whistlerboy View Post

buy a pair of line skis or k2 extreme skis

Strangest... most irrelevant first post ever??
post #88 of 89


Quote:
Originally Posted by JayPowHound View Post




Strangest... most irrelevant first post ever??
post #89 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by whistlerboy View Post

buy a pair of line skis or k2 extreme skis

My guess is wrong thread post. I've been guilty of that. Doh
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