Originally Posted by qcanoe
Two points I want to make here:
1) To the extent that I'd find objective and reliable flex ratings helpful, it would not be in the context of a ski shop conversation, where the number of brands and models might be very limited by what the shop carries and has left in stock. Instead I'd use it before visiting shops - as one of the earlier posters mentioned - to try to calibrate the stiffness of skis I know well first hand with those that I don't
Originally Posted by SierraJim
the salesguy says "I've skied all these skis in the following conditions and here is what they do and how they compare"
the salesguy hands you a little sheet that says "130-90-115, 20.2 TR, 1890 gr, 115-100-90-95-100 Nm/Cm" and you're gonna buy from shop (B)
because of that?
I completely agree with the above - there is absolutely NO substitute for excellent service from a knowledgable, experienced salesperson who offers genuine and relevant advice. Service is after all, by definition, the core business of a ski shop.
When I said a major ski store should develop their own flex index, more specifically, they would need to be large enough that they have a significant portion of online sales, and large enough that they could incur the costs of developing such an index (of course it would need to be a pretty damn good one - e.g makes sense to many, is consistent, etc) as a marketing expense. Brand it as the "(Insert ski store name here) Flex Index"...
This would benefit at least two types of customers (who are both highly involved with the decision and indeed enjoy researching before buying skis - e.g. myself);
1) Assist in narrowing down a list of skis to either a)consider and discuss with an expert in a ski store
, and/or b)demo
... (see qcanoe above)
2)Assist those customers in making a purchase decision based on reviews, other information - where they purchase skis sight unseen
- for whatever reason - e.g. no local ski stores, no chance to demo, over enthusiasm to buy skis before a trip.....
The second example especially is where the online sales part of a ski store's business is important;
Originally Posted by Whiteroom
OK, you guys would like flex ratings. That could be done by a shop, I run a shop, would you pay me a 'little bit extra' if I provided flex information
and consultation in a ski purchase. Be honest. I'm serious here.
The answer to this is flat out no I would reckon.. I don't think anyone would pay more for access to a flex index...
But if it was treated by the store as a branding exercise, then it will increase awareness of a ski store's target market, provide a little extra value/service, and could hugely increase traffic on the store's website. I can imagine a whole lot of enthusiasts like myself who love 'ski gear porn' hanging out to see the release of flex ratings for next season's skis each fall... So they'd need to have competitive pricing, and still focus predominantly on offering excellent service and advice (which as qcanoe describes with SJ is undoubtedly more valuable than numbers in a flex index
) in their bricks and mortar store AND online. I reckon that model could work and would be a win for the ski store and consumers who would value that kind of comparison info...
I know I'd love to be able to compare the flex of 2010 skis (I reckon five numbers anchored on a 1-10 scale works), say - Huge Trouble, Katana, P4, Mothership, etc. and get an idea of how they vary in flex. Just as a guide for one aspect of making a decision - which sits inconjunction with reading reviews, speaking to salespeople, demoing, etc.... No doubt some people wouldn't give a rats about flex numbers but I reckon there's enough people out there who would.