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Steep and Cheap, Tramdock, etc.

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
First, I realize that all of these deal sites are owned and operated by Backcountry, a fine establishment and sponsor of this site.

However, I'm just curious how many people here regularly buy gear from these sites.

I only recently learned of them, and in fact, the first week was quite a bit of fun.  I made a few purchases, but as time goes on, it just seems to be recycling the same gear over and over and the sizes and color selection doesn't seem to make it very worthwhile.

I also notice the proportion of item to be heavily weighed towards woman's gear.  Is this typical as well?

I have all the notifications set up, etc. and hope that eventually something will come up that I can't live without that happens to be in my size and not at 3:00am, which seems to be the case with the few items I actually need (new goggles for the wife, nice pair on gloves).
post #2 of 29
Regularly buy from there? Closer to addiction.

At least half of my Arcteryx collection is from SAC or Tramdock, goggles, socks, pants, waaaaayyyyy too much stuff.

First class establishment. Keep an eye on those pop-ups, and have all your personal information already entered into the site so you can pounch when it comes up.

Yes, there's a fair number of repeats, and sometimes the sizes or colors aren't necessarily what you want, but often it is. Never has "you snooze you lose" been more appropriate than those sites.
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post

Never has "you snooze you lose" been more appropriate than those sites.

Too true.  That seems to be the problem for me.  Most of the deals that I would be interested in pop up at the rare moments I'm not at my computer and/or sleeping.
post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by elduderino View Post

However, I'm just curious how many people here regularly buy gear from these sites.

I only recently learned of them, and in fact, the first week was quite a bit of fun.  I made a few purchases, but as time goes on, it just seems to be recycling the same gear over and over and the sizes and color selection doesn't seem to make it very worthwhile.

I also notice the proportion of item to be heavily weighed towards woman's gear.  Is this typical as well?



 

a few better question:

How many of you have closets full of 'great deals I couldn't resist'... on stuff you never use? Which begs the additional question, what did you actually save?

You understand that these are 'close-out' items, meaning less desirable items in less desirable sizes and/or colors, made to seem desirable by lowering the price?

Why don't more manufacturers make more technical womens gear, there is a big market... right?
post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post




a few better question:

How many of you have closets full of 'great deals I couldn't resist'... on stuff you never use? Which begs the additional question, what did you actually save?

You understand that these are 'close-out' items, meaning less desirable items in less desirable sizes and/or colors, made to seem desirable by lowering the price?

Why don't more manufacturers make more technical womens gear, there is a big market... right?
 

Good point!  Something is only a good deal if you can use it.  Resale sucks on used ski gear, so only buying what you actually really want/need rather than on impulse probably serves most people best. I know that when I purchase a personal ski on closeout from a manufacturer, thinking 'hey, it is a good deal, can always use more skis, right?" I hardly ever end up using it unless it fills a spot I need in my quiver.  If I already have a ski plugged in that quiver spot that I like, the other ski probably sits in the garage, or I end up selling it at a loss down the road. 

I usually recommend getting what you really want, and if it pops up on Tramdock for cheap, all the better!  If the wrong size or wrong ski pops up, it is better to pass and spend more to purchase the ski you really want.  It works out better in the long run. 

The other dis-advantage that I have found with Tramdock and the like, or just spending hours looking for a deal in general, is that it can be a huge waste of time. I really don't get that much free time these days, so when I do have it, I would rather be riding my bike or skiing.  I have done the "spending hours upon hours researching gear and looking for a good deal" method, only to really just end up wasting a bunch of time and be frustrated in the end.  If one is unemployed, perhaps time isn't an issue, but for most people, they probably get paid more per hour than the time they spent surfing the web looking for that big fish that might get away.  I have found out the hard way how inefficient scouring the web for deals can be. 

Tramdock is great if they have what you are looking for.  Not so great for the impulsive gear buyer who picks up 5 pair a year on there, and 4 of those end up back on Ebay or the Gear Swap forum at a loss.

post #6 of 29
It's a gear hoe's paradise.

Actually, I've picked up much of the equipment, jackets and some other items on both sites for next to nothing. I'm all for it, I think they're both great.

My last purchase was a pair of Oakley Seth Morrison edition Crowbar goggles for $39.95. They sell in shops for over $120

You just have to be an educated consumer and the sense to resist temptation.
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post

It's a gear hoe's paradise.

Actually, I've picked up much of the equipment, jackets and some other items on both sites for next to nothing. I'm all for it, I think they're both great.

My last purchase was a pair of Oakley Seth Morrison edition Crowbar goggles for $39.95. They sell in shops for over $120

You just have to be an educated consumer and the sense to resist temptation.

Amen brotha'.........  On the good stuff, you gotta be quick and know exactly what you want.
post #8 of 29
^ Gear hoe in paradise.  ("DtEW" is actually "Dave the Equipment Whore" from another forum)

I spend in excess of thousands of dollars with them annually.  And I virtually never resell (I have a very low opinion of for-profit Ebay resellers), as what doesn't work for me I simply return for a ~$5 pre-printed shipping label.

The majority reason I shop with them is because of the clearance prices.  The biggest contributing reason why I keep shopping with them is because of their excellent customer service that's on-par with Costco.

There's:

steepandcheap
tramdock
chainlove
bonktown
whiskymilitia

These sites are useless if you need something specifically, right now, which is of course why I still spend quite a bit of money with my local shops and regular internet retailers.

However, if you're the kind of person who regards gear as consumables, it's great to use to stock up on backup gear, or have the next replacement waiting in line.

Re: closeout items: you need to be an educated consumer, or a gear whore, as it were.  What's newest and most current often is not necessarily the greatest especially from a bang-for-the-buck point-of-view.  That said, virtually everything I've encounted on those sites backcountry.com daughter sites have been high-quality, top-performing gear.  They've even educated me to some excellent makes and models that I have not been aware of.  The only caveat is that you need to know (or quickly researched) whether what you're buying fits your needs.  You can't blame them if you buy an ultralight Millet climbing shell for resort skiing, and gripe about how short-sleeved (Millet shells have been known to be cut that way) and how short-lived it was (Paclite is NOT for resort skiing).  Again, paradise for the gear hoes.
Edited by DtEW - 1/7/10 at 12:50pm
post #9 of 29
yup, another regular and satisfied buyer here too, never had any problems...except of course the problem of conspicuous consumption...
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
I supposed if I wasn't sized so damn average, I would find more ways to spend my hard earned cash on those sites!
post #11 of 29
 Probably not a bad idea to mention the iPhone app "ODAT" here. As for sites, I think gearscan.com is the best SAC-tracker.
post #12 of 29
You may also find better stuff closer to the end of the season, when there are more closeouts happening in general.
post #13 of 29
I must confess ,I too am addicted .I picked up all my Christmas gifts on SAC and TD .I even snagged a Marmot soft shell for my son at 99% off the other day .I make all ski and boot purchases at the local shops though...........
post #14 of 29
 Love the sites, and use them so much it prompted me to develop the MacSAC app for OS X and ODAT Tracker for iPhone.  I only buy stuff I actually need, or items that make good gifts.  It's good for things I file in the back of my head -- for instance, I just replaced my 20 year old kayaking life jacket with a new one from SAC.  Been meaning to get a replacement for a few seasons, and the deal was the impetus to finally do it.  I think I paid about $45 for what would have cost well over $100 at retail.
post #15 of 29
I've already passed Step 1 and admitted that I have an addiction.  I hesitate to look at my order history from the first six months after I discovered these sites. 

Since then, my impulse buys have decreased as I keep a running list of items that I need for my hiking and skiing gear and act fast when I see them.  Very rarely do the SAC gods act when I need something right away, but it has happened and it's an awesome feeling.
post #16 of 29
Go here to view all the deals at same time:  www.cleansnipe.com.
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski_steep View Post

Go here to view all the deals at same time:  www.cleansnipe.com.
 


Thanks for link. One of these days I will see Watea 84's go up again on one of those sites.
post #18 of 29
Hi, I haven't bought from these 2 shops, only glanced.  But from the items you  have bought (goggles, socks, pants, maybe bibs) I suggest you create a account with sierra trading post.  Besides having a price of %40 -%70 off on things like goggles, pants, bibs, if you sign up with them you can get as much as a extra %30 off (of prices that are around %50 -60 off) PLUS free shipping.

I know this site doesn't have as many fly fisherman as say TGR, but a year or two ago I bought 3 Ross Flywater 3 reels, each about $27 OUT THE DOOR, INCLUDING SHIPPING.  These sold for about $110 EACH
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post

Regularly buy from there? Closer to addiction.

At least half of my Arcteryx collection is from SAC or Tramdock, goggles, socks, pants, waaaaayyyyy too much stuff.

First class establishment. Keep an eye on those pop-ups, and have all your personal information already entered into the site so you can pounch when it comes up.

Yes, there's a fair number of repeats, and sometimes the sizes or colors aren't necessarily what you want, but often it is. Never has "you snooze you lose" been more appropriate than those sites.
 
post #19 of 29
 I had no idea those 99% of items were real, I thought they were just some ploy to get more people watching.  By the time I click they are on a new item.

So yes I am also addicted.  Just know what you're looking for in advance.  Assuming it isn't urgent figure out the need you are trying to fill, its criteria and a handful of items that fit that criteria so if one of them pops up you're on it.  

Oh and yes the stuff cycles through a few times, but typically its only for a few days or weeks.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveys View Post


Hi, I haven't bought from these 2 shops, only glanced.  But from the items you  have bought (goggles, socks, pants, maybe bibs) I suggest you create a account with sierra trading post.  Besides having a price of %40 -%70 off on things like goggles, pants, bibs, if you sign up with them you can get as much as a extra %30 off (of prices that are around %50 -60 off) PLUS free shipping.

I know this site doesn't have as many fly fisherman as say TGR, but a year or two ago I bought 3 Ross Flywater 3 reels, each about $27 OUT THE DOOR, INCLUDING SHIPPING.  These sold for about $110 EACH

 
I know STP well, and buy quite a bit from them, particularly diving, snorkeling and kayaking stuff. But they haven't got the Arcteryx deals like SAC, and when SAC (or the other related sites), have a stupid good deal, no one can touch them.
post #21 of 29
I just found the site around Christmas also and have mad about 5 purchases and cannot help but checking the site all day long.  I wish I had found it a while ago before I bought jackets, pants, etc.  There are some really good jackets and softshells at very good prices.  The reviews seem like they are all written by the same 3 or 4 people.  Are they real?
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by northeasterner View Post

The reviews seem like they are all written by the same 3 or 4 people.  Are they real?

I think so, because I've come across some negative reviews and some pretty craptastic reviews (meaning pretty far off-base).  However, it's not surprising that there are "core" reviewers, as there is a "leaderboard" in which submitting useful reviews gains them points which I presume is rewarded in some way.  It's a competitive thing regardless.

http://www.backcountry.com/store/rankings.html?page=1
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by northeasterner View Post

I just found the site around Christmas also and have mad about 5 purchases and cannot help but checking the site all day long.  I wish I had found it a while ago before I bought jackets, pants, etc.  There are some really good jackets and softshells at very good prices.  The reviews seem like they are all written by the same 3 or 4 people.  Are they real?
I've been solicited for reviews, and (sometimes) participated and seen them included afterwards, so yes, they're real.
post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 
Does anyone ever score the super cheap deals?  I have all the alerts on my desktop, firefox, etc and I have yet to catch one of those "dollar deals" or any of the really great ones.

I do spend way too much on there though, for things I really don't NEED.
post #25 of 29
 I am setup to check every 20 seconds with MacSAC and 30 sec with ODAT on the iPhone, and have been seeing most of the dollar deals when I pay attention.  I do miss stuff when I am away from the computer or phone, but it's not like I have an addiction or anything....
post #26 of 29
Thread Starter 
I see the dollar deals, but have never been able to grab one.  It's usually something I would get for my wife or kids due to the size, but I've gotten to the point where I try regardless...just out of principle...and have yet to score one.

I'm not addicted either...
post #27 of 29
I just pulled the trigger on a $280 Oakley parka on TD this morning for about $80.  Opted for an XL.  Hoping they run at tad small.  Sizing on L was 42-44 chest, 34 waist.  I'm 36 waist and at least 44 in the chest so I thought the L might have no room for layering.  It's insulated which means it will be my cold-weather rig.  I have a couple shells and opt for one of those when I ski over about 20-25F so I figure my cold weather rig should have a bit of room for insulation.

I got a pair of $170 hiking boots off SAC for $80 a couple weeks ago and then fit perfect.

I have to stop. I need money for lift tickets.  It's just so fun to have extra gear when you get it way cheap.

-l2t
post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 
I got my kid an Oakley parka on SAC before Christmas for about $70.  Don't recall which one, but it's pretty nice.  We got him a men's Small (he's 12) and it's HUGE.  Works well though, and he'll be able to wear it FOR YEARS!!! :-)

A little tight, but it actually fits me.  I wear Large in almost everything (I'm a bit smaller than you).

Maybe your version will be a different fit.  I will say the Oakley stuff is surprisingly nice.  I didn't really know what to expect and we were pleasantly surprised.  Based on my one experience though, I would guess they are a baggier cut and tend to run extremely large.
post #29 of 29
Got my Dynastar trouble makers (225 regular 600) and px 12 bindings( 100 reg ~200) from there. Its awesome.
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