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Where do all the skis go?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I imagine manufacturers and retailers have perhaps a fair amount of this past season's skis still in inventory, and they will try to sell some of those next season, but will really want to focus for the most part on next season's skis. What happens to the rest of last season's skis?

I've heard of SNIAGRAB in Denver in the summer, and I imagine there are other such gatherings around the country, but I was wondering if there's anything like an overstock.com for older new skis?
post #2 of 28
 This is an unusual year as far as leftover are concerned. Manufacturers were very conservative regarding producing skis this season and in doing so there was minimal overage. Combining this and a huge snow year in the mid atlantic, there isn't the overage we have seen in years past. 
post #3 of 28
Philpug  appears to be right.  I called a few ski manufacturers to see about buying out some of their overstock inventory for resale, and some have said that they knew going into this year that it would be a tough year, so they essentially 'built what the ski shops had on order" and there really isn't much overstock available.  I even had a hard time finding the 2010 skis that I wanted for myself and my son at the end of the season, as the manufacturer was sold out as well as retail shops.  If you search hard enough and long enough, you'll probably find what you want.
post #4 of 28
 This explains why it's a lot easier to find deals on new 09 than 10 models. 
post #5 of 28
They dump them in eastern europe. You can still buy skis 3 seasons old in the wrapper over there.
post #6 of 28
The manufacturers are starting to address the oversupply issues that have plagued the industry for years. Many manufacturers were basically sold out of inventory by early December (some even earlier). While there were deals to be had for the retailer (closeouts) the numbers and variety as well as the discounts were lower than in the past. Many of the suppliers have also adopted pretty conservative and ongoing pricing suggestions. Lastly, the US distributors were also in a position of being a little more selective of whom they sold their last bits of inventory to.

Practically all the manufacturers went into this season with the stated goal of "cleaning up and flushing out" the market. I've talked to a few sales managers in the last month who agree that the overall unsold inventory in the US market is about 25% - 35% of what it was at this time last year. They appear to be well on the way to achieving their goals.

Time will tell as to whether or not this trend will continue. I suspect that someone will get greedy and overbuild with an eye toward buying market share but probably not everybody will do so.

post #7 of 28
 It's definitely better for the 'industry' to not have any stock left over at the end of the season, and to liquidate any excess inventory as quickly as possible.  Neither manufacturers nor retailers would want to compete against last years inventory at steep discounts.  We've conceptualized a new way to quickly  liquidate, market and sell overstock items, that works extremely well with items such as performance skis, bikes, etc. This also would be a great program for consumers.  We might have a Beta-test version out this summer.  
post #8 of 28
It might be good for everyone's early sales this year. Ski's like the  JJ, S7, Bentchetler were near impossible to to find  mid-season. I see these ski's blowing out the door fast early season this year. There's a couple of other ski's I see as potential hot sellers coming into next season also. Not from an industry perspective but from a consumer perspective.
post #9 of 28

Sounds as if the ski industry is tracking every other manufacturing industry.  I see this same scenario in the Automotive, Electronics, White Goods, etc.  Is this a first time for such low inventory levels in the ski industry or is it cyclical? 

Given the overall economic drop, if a first time for the ski industry it may be more related to cutting production (jobs) and being a bit gun shy to commit to excessive build that will only flood a market. 

I'd suspect as Sierra Jim mentioned, someone will want to capitalize to gain market, and the old ways will return.

post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
I'm curious to what (if any) degree manufacturers have the ability to do "just in time" ski production. Do the big ones typically guestimate market needs and produce all their skis ahead of a season, or do a healthy run up front and then produce more as the season goes on, or???
post #11 of 28
IIRC a few seasons ago one of the ski mags tested 177 different skis. That is way too many to choose from not only for the consumer, but how does the ski retailer figure out what to carry in the ski shop?

Now factor in the fact that usually the same ski performs differently in different lengths and some skis have different width dimensions for different lengths and some don't. There are subtle performance differences between skis and every manufacturer has literally dozens of pairs of great skis.

Sometimes from year to year the ski model name changes but the ski doesn't or the name is retained but the performance characteristics change. Ski demoing/purchasing can be a confusing nightmare.
post #12 of 28
 Dano, it was worse when there were 3x the amount of manufacturers out there and each model came in 8-9-10 sizes. The only saving grace back then was a model didn't change graphics every season, a model like a 4S or Olin IV stayed the same for 2-3 season. 
post #13 of 28
Originally Posted by jc-ski View Post

I'm curious to what (if any) degree manufacturers have the ability to do "just in time" ski production. Do the big ones typically guestimate market needs and produce all their skis ahead of a season, or do a healthy run up front and then produce more as the season goes on, or???

On the just in time thing.....almost not at all. Forecasting production is like throwing darts in a dark room with a blindfold on. In other words, sometimes you hit, usually  you miss. How badly you miss determines the amount of carryover hence > closeouts hence > consumer/web deals.

It goes like this......................
  1. Product line is finalized in say September-October(ish) of 2010 for the 2011-12 lineups
  2. Factories start sample production late October-November
  3. Samples shipped early December
  4. Trade shows/on snow intros start late December into January.
  5. Distributor places RGP #1 (first order) with Factory late January this is assumed to be 30% of the total. Factory starts production
  6. Distributor places RGP #2 (2nd order) with factory after trade intros. Usually by late Feb-early March (another 40-50%)
  7. Distributor places RGP #3 (3rd order) Usually by April 1-15th depending on the factory. This is the final order for production.
  8. Factory will start to ship to Distributors as early as May 1 as dealer shipments may start as soon as July 1.
  9. Factory will complete RGP #3 around mid-late July
  10. Europe takes August off..................................................
  11. Factories come back to work in Sept just in time to start the cycle again.

There is little time within this cycle to go back and produce skis from the previous cycle as the factories must continually move on. In years past, the Distributors have been either overly optimistic or they have made conscious decisions to overproduce in order to sell more off price goods. These forecasting errors or strategies (depending on how you look at it) have caused oversupply for some years now and that is what the industry is dabbling with changing.

post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
I thought that perhaps skis being simpler to manufacture than say, a car, it might be possible to just load up CAD/CAM profiles for a particular model and run more off mid season, but then even if it is *possible* I guess it's really not *practical* given all the other things going on in the cycle.

Anyway, that's a pretty interesting insight into the whole process; thx for sharing. Underscores what a tough nut the ski industry has to crack when it comes to perceiving/shaping the market.
post #15 of 28
Typically the left over skis are offered the next season at a reduced price to retailers.  That is why you find some shops that constantly sell one or two year old models much lower priced than the stores with current year equipment.  One chain in our area constantly buys in this manner.

As stated by others above by early in the new year the manufacturers are making next year models. 

post #16 of 28
I thought all the old skis end up at Ski Trucks in SLC.  There are 30 year old skis in there, still in the wrapper.

Previously mentioned Snigrab in Denver - I checked that out last Sept.  Out of thousands of old 'new' skis, maybe 3 or 4 pair were worth buying.
post #17 of 28
Originally Posted by SpikeDog View Post

I thought all the old skis end up at Ski Trucks in SLC.  There are 30 year old skis in there, still in the wrapper.

 Where is this place??? 
post #18 of 28
Right next to the SLC airport.
post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 
Edited by jc-ski - 4/30/10 at 6:58pm
post #20 of 28
I thought they ended up as picket fences or lawn chairs. The best use snowboards that I ever saw were the park benches at Blackcomb.
Edited by DanoT - 5/1/10 at 6:57pm
post #21 of 28
 Best use indeed.
post #22 of 28
Swing by our website. We specialize in lightly used demos and new overstock items.
post #23 of 28
Love SkiTrucks and Milehigh for kids gear and my year or two older gear pricepoint. 

For a fun answer..  I thought all the skis go to ski heaven!
post #24 of 28
Awesome - so that's the entrance to ski heaven?
post #25 of 28
Right you are, BaconandEggs. That's a dangerous store to walk into - I can't leave without something.  Wandered in a year ago and couldn't live without some superclean demo Watea 94's.

Looks like BaconandEggs' comment got wacked.
Edited by SpikeDog - 5/7/10 at 8:56am
post #26 of 28
SpikeDog - How do you like the Watea 94's? I demoed them for just a few runs, than ended up buying a pair, but didn't get them mounted before the season gave out on me. Looking forward to getting on them next season.
post #27 of 28
Which model did you get, ILOJ?  I've got the 2007 models, and there have been a few changes since then, like the boat hull tips.  I like them alot, and I'll bet you will too.  There is plenty of discussions on these skis on the equipment forums concerning mounting point of the bindings, which should be your next question if you haven't had them put on yet.
post #28 of 28

I got the 2010, so they have the hull tip and swallow tail.  Haven't mounted the bindings yet - was planning on a 'traditional' mount, as that's where they were on the demo's and they felt great - but??? I'm open to suggestions. Will be using Marker Griffons.

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