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How do you tell if you're in a good shop?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Like the title says, how you gonna tell (before you get sold the wrong gear and have problems that aren't looked after properly? Let's have some hints/clues to tell that you are in a good ski shop.

 

I like to browse and listen in on advice given out.  Sometimes I like what I'm hearing (good shop).  Sometimes I have to bite my tongue.  Sometimes I can't stand it and I but in

 

Is the shop genuinely interested in selling you the correct gear, or just emptying their over-stock?

Do they do proper boot-fitting, or just sell over-sized comfy in the shop boots.

What do they do if a customer comes back with a problem (you might not get to see this very often in a good shop).

Do they go out of their way to help you out when you need bindings, tell you they can order one and charge you MSRP, or just tell you they don't sell bindings separately?

Do they give you a fair price on mounting stuff bought somewhere else? 

If you can't get your binding mounted there 'cause your just passing through, will they give you the information you need by tracking down the guy in the shop who knows and letting him tell you?

 

What are some clues you know.

post #2 of 18

The way I see it, you MUST know what type of skis/equipment/  you are looking  beforehand..

Then you have to do a little research and see what cosumers and reviews say about that certain skis that you looking for..

 

Then, when you go into the store and their offers match what you and others are saying, most likely the shop is good....

 

It can be based only on other people reviews, cause thay might be wrong.. You certainly, as I said before must know  what you want.. Because if you don't, then certainly you are not ready to purchase that skis...

 

The only exception that is obvious around here is Phil from Start Haus for example... They know their stuff..

Otherwise if youlooking for Race skis, Ski-depot/raceskis.com/ is a good choice..

This kind of reputation of course was built over years, not overnight...

 

 

 

post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy4g63 View Post

The way I see it, you MUST know what type of skis/equipment/  you are looking  beforehand..

Then you have to do a little research and see what cosumers and reviews say about that certain skis that you looking for..

 

Then, when you go into the store and their offers match what you and others are saying, most likely the shop is good....

 

It can be based only on other people reviews, cause thay might be wrong.. You certainly, as I said before must know  what you want.. Because if you don't, then certainly you are not ready to purchase that skis...

 

The only exception that is obvious around here is Phil from Start Haus for example... They know their stuff..

Otherwise if youlooking for Race skis, Ski-depot/raceskis.com/ is a good choice..

This kind of reputation of course was built over years, not overnight...

 

 

 

Start Haus, as its name suggests, is well known for being a premier Race Ski/Boot fitthing shop.  Their clientele consists of some world class ski racers, including the likes of Daron Rahlves, and Marko Sullivan. 

With the addition of Sierra Jim and Philpug, the past few years, they've achieved some balance on the other side of the mountain.

Phase three (or is it phase four?)in the expansion at Start Haus will begin in October. 


Edited by Trekchick - 9/12/10 at 3:15pm
post #4 of 18

First thought, your in Truckee and and the name on the sign out the front is Start Haus.


Edited by Taxman - 9/12/10 at 6:56pm
post #5 of 18

You see Shon Racicot when you open the door of The Boot Pro in Ludlow, Vermont.

post #6 of 18

Go to the back and check out the shop first.  If you smell hot Ptex and see a Lange "keep your tips up" poster over the workbench, that's a good sign.

post #7 of 18

Rule out any big box sporting goods stores, mainly sports authority unless you know they have a good bootfitter and a good tech, made that mistake once, skis were too narrow and boots were too loose

post #8 of 18

Most of us that are here on Epic all summer and posting don't need an answer to the question.   BUT   if you are a beginner, live in Fla. or Texas then:

 

As stated avoid the big box sporting goods stores.  99% of salesmen don't know a thing.

 

So you're a beginner, new to the sport or an intermediate that only skis a couple times a year and don't live in ski country.

 

First, if in a ski town i.e., Truckee, SLC, Denver, Spokane even Seattle or Portland.  Ask some locals where the best shop is.  Then upon entering the shop,  look around, listen, see if they have a repair and wax room and then do the one thing that will separate the pretenders from the real pros.

 

Ask WHY?   Why is this binding better than that one (safety, retention, price etc.).   Why is this sweater warmer than that one.  Why should I have a short ski, a cut ski, a rocker ski and a long ski.  Why does this ski suit me better than that one.  Why is this pole the right length.  Why should I buy here, do you have better prices, warrantee ?

 

I overheard a salesman trying to sell a beginner race ski's  once and interrupted her before the poor person got snookered.

 

Maybe the best advice is to tell your friend eetc. to take someone with them that knows the sport. 

post #9 of 18

the smell of wax.

post #10 of 18

Does the shop have autographed posters on the wall that include the words, "thank you".

post #11 of 18

Sadly unless you have been in the industry a long time and keep in touch through hit or miss ya just just never know if the shop will be good or not . All it takes is for there to be one good guy or really bad guy to make a reputation in a shop .  Ask around with the skiers you know first  do a poll then take your chances and give it a try .  A shop can look good but if no one knows how to use the equipment it wont matter .  Ski patrol &  instructors   tend to have a line on good boot fitters and ski tuners it never hurts to ask  . Then comes customer service  a whole different thing . 

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowyphil65 View Post

Rule out any big box sporting goods stores, mainly sports authority unless you know they have a good bootfitter and a good tech, made that mistake once, skis were too narrow and boots were too loose

 

Most Sports Authority shops I would agree are lame, but there are a few in Salt Lake City that are OK.  The SportsCastle on 900 East is actually pretty good.

 

post #13 of 18

Fun discussion-  I agree, most people who know ski gear or at least have a general idea of what they want won't get gyped at a shop.  I have been sold crappy stuff before a handful of years back, but looking back I don't really mind because I did not take the time to educate myself on what would work for me, and I figure the shop was just trying to move product.  I think educating oneself is key.  For those not in the know, I think there are various signs that a shop might be decent, including a good selection (suggesting they won't just try to sell whatever they have on hand), decent post-season sale prices, and knowledgable staff.  Personally, if I got the idea that the shop staff didn't know much about backcountry skiing, I would walk right out the door.  I would say the most important point for me would be return policy.  Do they stand by what they sold you?  30 day returns for at least store credit are a sign of good customer service.  If they don't even have that, I have little reason to shop there, as there are plenty of webstores that have really good return policies and usually better pricing.

post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowyphil65 View Post

Rule out any big box sporting goods stores, mainly sports authority unless you know they have a good bootfitter and a good tech, made that mistake once, skis were too narrow and boots were too loose

 

Generally I would agree with this since there's a Sports non-Authority store here, but there is a large multi-department sporting goods store that is now the only place in town where you can get properly fitted for boots or get bindings mounted and where at least two people working there are out skiing every weekend.  One of them had his own shop for several years, but having no business sense he is now back working for someone else.  None of us have any idea how long it will last, hopefully long enough for me to get the bindings mounted on my new Icelantic Shamans and test a pair of Dalbello Kryptonite boots.

 

So ultimately the best advise is, as someone else stated, ask local instructors, ski patrol people and racers.
 

post #15 of 18

If you're in a good shop, it will be posted above the door, "Good Shop"; if you're in a bad shop it will have the sign, "Bad Shop" posted above the door. Very easy.

post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

 

Generally I would agree with this since there's a Sports non-Authority store here, but there is a large multi-department sporting goods store that is now the only place in town where you can get properly fitted for boots or get bindings mounted and where at least two people working there are out skiing every weekend.  One of them had his own shop for several years, but having no business sense he is now back working for someone else.  None of us have any idea how long it will last, hopefully long enough for me to get the bindings mounted on my new Icelantic Shamans and test a pair of Dalbello Kryptonite boots.

 

So ultimately the best advise is, as someone else stated, ask local instructors, ski patrol people and racers.
 

Happens a lot and it really shoots holes in most blanket statements. 
 

post #17 of 18

One of the good ways would be to watch the way a bootfitter worked.  If he/she doesn't pull the bladder to check shell size, that's not the kind of shop I want to buy from.

post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by WVSkier View Post

One of the good ways would be to watch the way a bootfitter worked.  If he/she doesn't pull the bladder to check shell size, that's not the kind of shop I want to buy from.


I was in Sports Authority last season just looking around and saw some boots I wanted to try on so I took it off the shelf and pulled the liner.  The sales kid about had a heart attack, told me I was going to ruin the boots.  I asked him if he had been trained in how to fit boots and he said he had been trained by the store manager in the "Sport Authority" way to fit boots.  I told him he needed do a little research and proceeded to determine that the boots were much too wide for my feet.  I kept waiting for the manager but he never came to tell me I was ruining their boots.

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