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Kayak Wholesale Prices.

Do you have any idea what they are, and or, how they are determined? I am totally amazed that many dealers only mark boats down by five or maybe ten percent, (and they think that's a great deal). I suspect that the pricing model has to be somewhere near that of the publishing industry. (Retail price equals ten times cost.) By that model, a one thousand dollar roto-molded boat would cost somewhere around one hundred dollars to produce. (Yes, I know you need to "roll-in" the cost of the mold, but that is written off over time.) Wholesale cost to dealers would be around thirty to forty percent of the "suggested" retail. So.....why no bigger discounts?


  • Not exactly!
    Back in the day, when whitewater boats were well under a $K, the cost of the Nth hull was about halfway between one and two hundred to produce and were sold to dealers at a wholesale that was/ is 30 - 40 % below retail.

    This did not includes the $65K cost of the mold, wear and tear on the $250K rotomolding machine or tooling for seats, rims, thigh hooks etc.

    Composite hulls have a much lower mark-up to wholesale, maybe because tooling is around $25K for a kayak, hull, deck etc, and ~ $10K for a canoe. Composite hulls manufacturing equipment is also significantly lower than rotomolded or vacuum formed shops.

    Once freight and interest on operating capital are included, most dealers are losing money at 20% off list, and a 10% discount is more than generous and fair. There are no significant margins in boats as there is in books, department store clothing, etc.

  • 30-40 %
    -- Last Updated: May-21-12 7:43 PM EST --

    You can't look at the cost to make a boat (materials plus labor to make it) as compared to what a retailer sells it for. The retailer doesn't buy it at parts and labor cost, but at wholesale. And you are right that most boats wholesale are in that 30-40% margin range.

    Just think. $1000 boat that he gives you 30% off on, so you get for $700. If it was 35% margin, he bought for $650. You pay by credit card, so he pays a fee of 3.5% on the $1000, or $35. He has a total of $15 left to cover rent, payroll, shipping to him, insurance, utilities, etc. And he might have thrown a free class in on top of all this. And wear and tear on the demo boats which you used to make sure you got the right boat.

    Retailers sure aren't getting rich.

  • your suspicion is wrong
    30-40%, when you're expecting 15% discounts as a matter of course you're expecting the business to go out of business and the person helping you to be of no value.
  • Options
    I have been
    in the sea kayak business 30 years. started in 1982.
    If you think there is plenty of money to be made retailing kayaks get into it. There are fewer and fewer kayak shops every year and one of the reasons is that the mark up for the shops is so low. There are plenty of places in the country without a shop. Go For It.
  • Options
    How to make a million in the canoe &
    kayak business:

    First you start with 2 million dollars.

    At least that's what CEW said at a Raystown campfire.

    Go ahead, blow out your trust fund!

  • You should compare to manufacturing
    Not to publishing. Using your model, then a car with MSRP of $30K costs only $3000 to make. I don't think so!

    Kayak retail price = TEN TIMES the cost to make it????? Maybe 10x the material cost, but what about the labor? Especially for hand-made kayaks, which many of them are.

    10% off MSRP is actually pretty good, *assuming* the kayak is a 1st-quality new one with full warranty, from an authorized dealer. You should never assume that, by the way. Find out for sure.
  • Options
    Freight costs
    Besides the wholesale cost of the boat to the retailer, the other possibly big variable is FREIGHT. If a retailer can drive to the manufacturer, they often do, as it is cheaper and less prone to damage. But if it has to shipped cross country, could easily be $100 per boat. And freight cost is based on size, not price of boat. So as a percentage of the total retail price, it's actually higher on say a short cheap rec boat than a longer boat. Larger retailers can order a container at a time and save, but this is not possible for smaller brands/shops.

    Then you get the issue of damages. Depending on the contract with the vendor, the retailer might own it FOB - basically, as soon as it leaves the factory, the retailer is responsible. So if it gets damaged, the retailer needs to file a claim, then wait….for months.
  • You are way off.
    I was in outdoor gear purchasing for some years and can tell you that your estimates on markup are WAY out of line. The best markup in outdoor gear tends to be in the lower tech higher volume items like clothing which are "keystoned", which is insider slang for being bought wholesale for half what the list price is (that $100 polartec jacket cost them $50 therefore a 50% margin). When you factor in shoplifting losses and the necessity of periodic clearance sales, any shop that can maintain a profit margin of 15% overall is doing an outstanding job. The mean was more like under 10% net when I was in the business.

    But, ironically, the higher tech major items like tents, frame packs and kayaks have a lower margin, generally only around 35% or less. Some items are even just 25% margin. If you ever see items like this on sale for more than 30% or 40% off the seller is just cutting their losses by trying to get them off the floor to raise cash and make room for stock that WILL turn over a profit.

    Even though I have been an REI member since 1972 and there are now 2 shiny new REI stores in my town, I admit I voluntarily forgo the 10% member dividend more often than not by purchasing my kayaking and other outdoor gear at our wonderful local independent outfitter, Exkursion, who has served the region's wilderness sports recreationalists loyally for at least 40 years with both an outstanding range of gear and excellent classes. They truly deserve my support.

    I get frustrated by the trend towards the big box discount and "amazon-can-send-me-anything" attitude that so many people have in outfitting themselves. We are rapidly losing our choices and convenience in where and what we can buy. My good-sized city used to have 6 independent outdoor gear vendors in a dozen outlets. Now we are down to one in town and one an hour distant. The same thing (actually worse) has happened with bookstores. The big boxes came in, drove the independents out of business and now they too have pulled out. There are no bookstores within the city limits now except connected to the colleges. EMS has closed its stores here and if REI does the same, the city will be in rough shape selection wise.

    Until people stop basing their purchases on squeezing the rock-bottom lowest price out of everything, we risk losing the invaluable blessings of personal service, local expertise and investment in teaching and community that independent shops can offer us.

    End of lunchbreak rant.
  • Great post w-leaf
  • Options
    The biggest loss
    Is that many dealers are no longer willing or enthusiastic about spending the time investing in the customer because they feel that the majority will milk 'em for info and then scan and scram for the best price. Can't blame them because that is exactly what happens quite often. Also can't blame the customer for wanting to save a few $ in the economy but long term maybe the dealer needs to start charging for that "shop education" time!
    Can't blame the manufacturer to selling to broad distribution channels because they want to get all of their product to market and the online sales channel is the fastest growing segment of new sales.

    I've been in the paddlesports industry as a sales rep for top companies of PFDs/Paddles/Boats for 14 years and 7 years prior as a shop employee. The ma and pa stores are losing enthusiasm rapidly. Just spent 2 hours responding to one dealer that is getting hit with the price match and aggressive buyer so often that they are losing the passion that has helped produce countless new paddlers. Sad. In the end, the sport loses a community hub to meet new paddlers, expand skills and service the product they spent their hard earned money to get.

    There is a good government study on the airline industries challenges in the mid 90s that is analogous to the online discount sporting goods market today:
    Check this out: http://www.gao.gov/archive/1999/rc99221.pdf

    Take home, the shops that evolve and offer more services can actually gain market share but there will be a loss of many retailers along that path.

    Give your local shop a chance to compete and remember that you are buying a lifetime investment that you may need help with down the road. I often ask people at boat ramps the exact price they paid when they bought their boat. No one ever remembers but the ones that patronized the experts always seem better equipped with the right gear and a set of skills to pursue their adventure. Value can be calculated in more ways than % off the msrp.

    Happy Paddlin,
  • 2nd that. good post.
  • Reminder that REI is a co-op
    -- Last Updated: May-24-12 7:07 PM EST --

    Since it is being used so strenuously in this argument, I feel compelled to remind everybody that REI is fundamentally different from EMS, Cabela's and particularly WalMart. It has always been and remains a member owned co-operative. I've been a member since 1972 when they mainly sold climbing and backpacking gear out of a Seattle store and a catalog. They pay a dividend yearly to every member and are governed by voting by that membership and a lot of direct involvement from their employees.


    It's a good place to work because the employees and customers own it.

  • the "crowing" bothers me
    I have to confess I was upset by WB's crowing about walking out of the shop when the owner who he'd gotten so much information from got cranky. We all have bad days and i doubt you can really appreciate the level of stress and frustration that arises from trying to run a small outdoor business. i worked for 3 of them and have had friends that operated several more. They put enormous hours into those shops, and are usually teetering on the brink of personal financial ruin at some point every season. All it takes is a few months of bad weather or a dock strike in a foriegn country (like the year we couldn't get any cross country skiis from Norway when the big XC fad hit in the mid 70's) and all your work goes down the drain.

    It would have been more gracious of WB to say -- "Yes, I admit I took up a lot of your time and I really do appreciate how patient you were and how much I learned about this boat I am now prepared to buy. You'll be happy to know your hard work is about to pay off." I guarantee you would have gotten a humbled apology from that owner and he would have fallen over himself to see that you got the deal you wanted and needed.

    We are too quick to be self-righteously indignant, I think, never acknowledging our own complicity in the events that offend us.
  • Bingo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You sure hit the nail on the head with that one.
  • my local shop is owned by a resident
    -- Last Updated: May-24-12 7:58 PM EST --

    100% of his state taxes stay in my state. 100% of his local taxes stay in my community. As a local merchant he understands the importance of community, so he spends as much as he can within the community. Want me to go on?

    REI does a decent job and as I posted above, I shop there occasionally. They make an effort when it comes to events. But they do not compete with any local shop I've been to in the last decade when it comes to service or selection.

  • self righteous was an apt description
    I really have nothing more to add. This person can make all the claims they want; it's pretty clear that price was a big determinant. Well, down the road, you get what you pay for.
  • here's what gets me
    someone driving up in a Mercedes could spend $600 at a fancy restaurant paying for four people and tip 20%.

    I'll help that person for two hours in the showroom and at the water THEN they ask for a discount, "what's the best deal I can get on these two kayaks?"

    I'm thinking to myself, why don't you do that at the restaurant or the Mercedes shop next time.

  • now just how do you think they got the
    -- Last Updated: May-24-12 9:50 PM EST --

    money for the mercedes?!


  • Customers are NOT "always right"
    I've spent most of my 45 years in the working world in businesses where my responsibilities were to directly "service" the needs of customers. The whole time I have firmly resisted the mistaken perception of "customer service" that is evinced by that old saw "the customer is always right." This is no more true than it would be to say "my children are always right."

    Good customer service should be like good parenting -- you, the salesperson and expert on the goods being considered, should be (like a good parent) the one who assesses what is in the best interests of the customer/child and then steers them towards making that choice. If the customer knew exactly what would best serve their purposes, they would not need your help but could just walk in, pick up the right item and pay for it and walk out. Pandering to misinformed or totally clueless customers does them no good and is poor "customer service". Being a truly good salesperson requires a great deal of understanding of human nature, much patience and a strong spine. Sometimes it means being insistent, pushy and even rude.

    This is particularly critical in sporting goods, since the wrong choices can lead to outcomes for the consumer ranging from buyer's remorse to actual risk of life and limb. I can't possibly tell you how many times customers walked into shops I worked in and demanded that I sell them items that were completely inappropriate for the purposes for which they intended to utilize them. It would have been simplest for me to just say, "sure, you're the customer and you can have whatever you like" and marched them to the counter to pay for it. (it should be obvious I am talking about major items like tents, packs, sleeping bags, boats, skis and climbing equipment, not cans of Sno-seal or rain ponchos.)

    But I always felt it my responsibility to gently draw some information out of them before closing the sale to determine if the purchase was going to meet their needs. Sometimes they can't be rationally persuaded to consider other more suitable items, like the guy who came in demanding our "warmest sleeping bag", which was a $300 down 12" loft arctic expeditionary bag. Turned out he had spent a miserably chilly weekend in a hunting cabin in an old army surplus bag and thought this purchase would guarantee his comfort. After I found out what was motivating his choice I tried to talk him into a more reasonable $75 polarguard 20 degree bag but he would have none of it and walked out with the arctic bag. Two weeks later he crept sheepishly into the shop and asked if he could put up an ad on our bulletin board selling the thing, which (as I had warned him) had been like sleeping in a sauna inside the cabin. I conferred with the shop owner and we made him a deal -- though sleeping bags were not refundable once used (per state law), we gave him back the wholesale price on the bag plus a discount on the more appropriate synthetic model, then had the down bag cleaned and put it in our gear rental livery. After that he listened to me when I advised him on other purchases.

    At the other end of the spectrum were the "tire kickers" (like what we have been talking about here), people who took up massive amounts of our time getting every detail of items in stock and never buying anything. Some clearly just wanted attention but I often picked up that they were merely very insecure people who had trouble making decisions. In such cases it was my responsibility in "serving" them to prod them into pulling the trigger on their purchases. We had a guy who came into our shop 3 or 4 times a week for two months one summer, and each time he would obsess over a particular premium Trailwise sleeping bag made with a very silky proprietary shell fabric. He would insist on having one of us take it down from the hanging display and lay it on the carpeted "try out" area so he could slide inside with his shoes off. Frankly, I thought the guy had some sexual fetish with it since he would lie in it sometimes for 20 minutes, grinning and patting the thing. His visits became an eye-rolling joke amongst the staff (though we were always courteous to him about it.) Finally he came in one night when the owner (a prosperous psychologist who ran the shop as a tax writeoff) was in the shop. The owner said "Is this the guy you've been talking about? Get rid of him." Instead of evicting him, I volunteered to close the sale (the other sale staff then placed bets on my attempt.) I walked over to the guy (who was standing by the hanging bag, fondling it) and told him straight out "No more test runs. It's time for you to take that bag home with you." He was startled and said "but I'm not sure it's the right one for me yet." Says me "I know you really want this bag and it makes me sad to think you have missed out on all the camping trips you should have been taking this summer -- no more looking, today is the day you need to leave here with a sleeping bag." I took a chance that he would storm out indignantly. But instead, he turned and looked longingly at the bag and said "You're right." He bought it. (and our boss ordered the employee who won the bet to split his take with me)

    Whether selling you hiking boots, a sleeping bag, a kayak or (as I do now) electrical upgrades to your facility, it is not my job to "kiss your ass". It is my job to use my expertise to assess what you need and then make sure that you get it. It isn't always the people who coddle you who are the ones best "serving" you.
  • good post (NM)
  • Options
    Electrical upgrades?
    I sell electrical upgrades as well...
  • this has come up before
    -- Last Updated: May-25-12 11:27 AM EST --

    The ones who complain about service at stores clearly have never worked in stores. More importantly, they have never owned their own small business. This is similar to the guy that doesn't leave a tip because their service was slow.

    Tire kicking is acceptable, but don't get mad when you get called out for it. After all honesty is more important than making you feel good about your purchase. Just pick up some smartwools or a canister of fuel every once in a while.

    In our coupon nation, we all want the best price, best deal, best service, best return policy, etc, etc. But then we want to have personal relationships and buy local, etc., etc. All of these things are in conflict with each other. Everyone is so concerned about calling out people in reviews online, and bragging about their deals, spending money to save money, blah, blah. In the end we are just buying crap we don't need. Talk about first world country problems. It's embarrassing that we don't have better judgement as a society.

    If one is worried about 5-10% price while buying something as useless as a kayak, I question their whole existence.

    Ryan L.

  • electrical upgrades
    (I work for a massive global infrastructure engineering and construction company -- don't get as much "hands on" dealing with customers as I did during the many years when I was a senior PM for electrical contractors)
  • tipping (and other social negotiations)
    I only worked as a waitress (back during college) for a total of 3 days. It was enough to give me a lifelong appreciation for how hard they work and what a thankless task it can be. Since then I have never left less than 20% for a tip. If the waitperson seems to be really "in the weeds" I will leave the same even if service has been crappy -- if it is clear that they are overwhelmed because of circumstances beyond their control I will leave even more and then stop and tell the manager that I noticed that the service was being badly run.

    I once stopped at a diner to take a break on a long solo motorcycle trip. I sat at the counter and just had tea and a pastry. The place was very busy and the waitress was grim, even rude, as she slammed my order down. I got the feeling she was having a really bad day. When I left, I put a $5 tip under my saucer before paying at the cashier. As I was putting my helmet on in the parking lot, the waitress came running out and tried to give me the bill back. I explained to her that I could see she was having a rough day and I had been there myself. To my surprise she began to cry and told me how her 10 year old daughter was in the hospital and she couldn't afford to take the day off to stay with her.

    There are some exceptions, of course, but I have learned that in most cases, if people are curt, ignore you or are unpleasant, there is usually something behind the behavior that explains it. If we would all try to respond with compassion instead of indignation, I think we could improve the world.

    Being indignant is a form of personal arrogance that benefits nobody, yourself included. In both in my professional and personal life, I have gained more success and cooperation through humility, candor and empathy than from being demanding and self-entitled. The squeaky wheel does NOT "get the grease". More often it earns itself the short shaft in the long run.
  • the cult of indignation
    -- Last Updated: May-25-12 11:51 AM EST --

    In fact, several of my friends and I were just talking the other day about the nasty trend (i call it a cult) of indignation in public and political discourse. The "how dare he/she/they offend me/us/them" has become a wearying pattern, too often replacing honest debate, exchange of opinions and any attempt to understand the opposing points of view. To many people appear too eager to seize the slightest opportunity to portray themselves as grieviously "wronged" over the smallest, even imagined, "slights".

    In fact, most of what I hear on outlets like Fox News consists mainly of pointless rants of self-righteous indignation.

    Since when did questioning someone's opinion, or disagreeing with them, or even offering evidence against a statement they've made, constitute a personal "offense" against them?

    Oops. Guess I should relocate this to "Bicker and Banter."

  • you can mark me down
    As being indignant about being indignant. On this I will not bend. Life is way too short to get run over. If that's personally arrogance, mark me down for that too.

    Side note, if you actually knew me you would know that I use indignance and hyperbole as a matter of style not an actually tool in my professional life. I'm rarely being completely serious about anything. So when I say that I question someone's existence, I don't really, but I would ask them to remember the kids in China.

    Ryan L.
  • Great observation
    that I'm sure many of us have made. You expressed it very well. What I worry about is that young folks who grow up in this environment of "I am entitled not to be offended" don't even understand what you're talking about. Disagreement is not an offense, but very few under 50 or so seem to see it that way.
  • transference
    People get mad because someone is mad, or get offended that they offended someone or they have been offended. This has been going on since the beginning of time. Please don't push this onto young people, I have had my fair share of people over 50 exhibiting this same behavior. What's worse is they use their "wisdom" as a sign of proof they are right.

    Also, my other least favorite trait of customers is when they make their problems your problems. I think it is an extension of learned helplessness in a world of blame.

    Also, also, no one watches fox news. It's the highest rated of the cable news channels and still a very small share of tv viewers. Plus kids these days don't watch news anyway :)

    Also, also, also. This is way too serious. Kayak shops don't make anyone rich, everyone go buy something so they can stay open and feed our need for stuff we dont need.

    Ryan L.
  • personal "offense"
    If you re-read my first "volley" in this, I framed it initially as my own response of being upset at hearing what WB's reaction was to the curtness of the dealer he visited. In all honesty, I've had that same reaction myself at times in my life "well, screw them if they are going to give me an attitude, I'll take my business elsewhere." I think that's a prety natural human reaction.

    What I have been trying to explicate here is that we should take a deep breath and consider if that instinctive reaction is really in the best interests of ourselves, as well as the people who have "offended" us.

    On a deeper level, have not most of the horrible wars and mass sufferings of humanity been triggered by that sort of defensive "indignation" by one or more parties? I would argue there is a continuum there between our personal everyday habits of indignation (to having our real or imagined entitlements thwarted) and to the holocausts our collective flag-waving and religious or political self-righteousness can lead us towards.

    I don't think I intentionally insulted WB (sorry if it came off that way). I have been trying to suggest alternate ways the situation could have been approached.

    This rise in the primacy of "indignation" has real costs at all levels of society. I have numerous friends who work in health care who unanimously report that their jobs and the medical industry as a whole are becoming almost unworkable due to the swelling dominance of "political correctness", i.e., no one is allowed to "offend" a patient/client or even other staff member for fear of legal or regulatory penalty. Doctors are chastised for, even expressly prohibited from, telling patients that certain ailments that they present with are directly attributable to their being overweight or from poor lifestyle choices or behaviors. ER staff are not permitted to evict unruly and disruptive family members from exam rooms nor to deflect chronic abusers of services (drug seekers or people who routinely tie up emergency staff with non-critical problems.) Patients file complaints about having to wait for exams or staff being "rude" in overcrowded facilities that are jammed up because those same patients won't take their routine medical issues properly to their family doctors. Again, no one is allowed to point this fact out to the complainers. And massive amounts of money (much of it our tax dollars in the form of Medicaid and Medicare billings) is wasted in "cover our ass" tests and procedures that the "entitled" crowd demands but does not really need.

    I've seen it in retail sales and I've seen it in healthcare: there is an entire category of people who revel in creating situations where they can claim to have been disrespected so they can flaunt their righteous rage to authorities. In past years this sort of pathological whining was routinely ignored by management or the whiner was placated in a benign way. I even had bosses in the past who would side with me against customers with spurious complaints, in one case even banning the client from the store.

    Now, most likely due to the eagerness of some branches of the legal profession to create income stream through spurious lawsuits, managers turn around and punish employees for trying to deal rationally with such people. It is "political correctness" taken to the nth degree. The squeaky wheelers end up not only getting the grease but bringing the entire cart to a full stop. Mass media contribute to this by hyping stories of these trumped up "insults."

    This modern glorification of the "offended" reminds me of the cartoonist Al Capp's creation (in his "Li'l Abner" comic strip in the late 1960's) of a mock student activist society based on the campus S.D.S. groups of the era. He had his crowd of placard waving hippies self-identify as S.W.I.N.E., an acronym for Students Wildly Indignant about Nearly Everything.

    Let me be clear, I am NOT accusing WB of being one of these individuals. But his (fairly benign and admittedly understandable) reaction and action in the boat buying incident brought up the wider topic of indignation and how it should be a response we ought to be cautious about indulging in ourselves.
  • wrong about Fox News
    Fox news has been watched regularly by 25% of the public since its inception in 1996. Furthermore it is the single most watched TV news outlet. Ironically, recent studies have indicated that Fox News habitual watchers actually tested lower than people who watched NO TV news at all on being informed about current events.

    The acrimonious tone, shrill (mostly right-wing) commentators and the blatant promotion of lies and misinformation by the network, as well as its general tone of sneering and indignation, I would argue, have been a major factor in contaminating public discourse over the past 15 years.

    There are many regions of the country and certainly certain industries where Fox is the major source of "news" and public opinion. I've lived and worked in the midst of such bubbles of rampant misinformation.
  • good one, Ryan
    We ought to remember to poke fun at indignation at all times.

    Think about it, hasn't being indignant been among the central themes of some of our best comedies, from "The Jack Benny Show" (and the star's signature crossed-arm slow burn), "All in the Family, "Seinfeld" and "Fraser" to the Sheldon Cooper character on "Big Bang Theory" (who is as apt to display it himself as provoke it in others)?
  • If you are in business
    You are entitled to make a profit. Profit needs to cover expenses and overhead and something for yourself. That's the way the world works.
  • this will put it in perspective

    This is why fox news never bothers me.

    Ryan L.
  • but that's a comedy show!
    (nevermind that some people take it as a news source...)
  • Just like the misinformation spewed by
  • No, but they always HAVE the right...
    to shop where they like. Just because a shop is local doesn't mean it has a captive audience.

    Have you never walked out of a car dealership after talking with a sales rep who doesn't hear what you say you want, who is merely pushing what's on the lot instead of trying to match your wants? Have you never heard a sales rep try to use insults to prod someone into buying something "better", i.e., more profitable? It's not limited to car dealers.
  • Ripcord
    Wow, I see WB deleted the encyclopedia of his/her threads and went home! I was indignant and really wanted to take my business elsewhere, but after some thought I figured I'd just get over myself.
  • Options
    taking my ball
    and going home...oh, wait, I am home. Screw this! I'm going to the river!
  • Just curious...
    I am curious as to what you do for a living or do you even have a job. You obviously have no business experience. Obviously you are not...but...I have a feeling that If you were a retail merchant and read your post above, your blood pressure would have risen a few points just like mine.

    In this day and time, many manufacturers are continually upping wholesale costs directly to their retailers while making them hold retail MSRPs. Believe me, a 5% to 10% discount is a BIG FAVOR. Way too many dealers have gone under due to being forced into cutting prices and not leaving enough profit to cover rent, taxes, payroll, insurance, etc. Sadly enough, another big thorn in the side of a legitimate local retailer are the large internet dealers who heavily discount and operate out of a warehouse (or doing on-demand only sales) instead of a retail storefront.

    With attitudes such as yours it won't be too long until you will have no local access for your paddling needs and you will have to wait for days for a simple item...if the clerk filled you order with the right item.

  • Mike do you have any retail experience?
    -- Last Updated: May-27-12 11:56 PM EST --

    Because after reading your post it sounds like you want to operate a business and have no competition. Do you pay sticker price for your car, the asking price for your home and always go with the highest bid as heaven forbid you raise a business persons blood pressure by trying to save some money.
    As far as waiting days for an internet order. Where have you been the last decade? Do you think internet sales have grown because of orders filled incorrectly and lousy service?
    The customer has the right to spend their money where they want and if you don't see it that way I am sorry for you because this is the reality of a free market.

  • Got you beat by two years.
    But I haven't been strongly impressed with how member participation and control influences the business. Still, I'm loyal and look to REI first for most outdoor needs.
  • really...
    How can you compare cars and houses to retail kayaks? That is flawed from the beginning. House prices don't have a fixed cost and the "price" is always linked to what someone will pay for it. Sometimes people pay more than the asking price. Cars are also different do to the money making avenues with service and finance kickbacks. The issue isn't competition. It's ignorance to the situation. If you are only interested in best price, by all means buy online. But you can never complain about local business disappearing, lost tax revenue, the lack of product knowledge, etc.

    Ryan L.
  • Same question to you...
    -- Last Updated: May-28-12 9:52 AM EST --

    Mr/Ms Jaws,

    You obviously have nothing to do with the financial side of "your" business either or you would not be making such comments. Just what do you do for a living or do you still live with your mommy?

    Retail wise, there is a definite gray area, price wise, between gouging someone and making sufficient profit to cover expenses to keep your doors open. That fine line is constantly violated by two people: those who cut prices ridiculously low and cannot cover their own expenses and the online retailers who have no storefronts or overhead. Both, in their own ways are cheapening the reputation of their products as well as pilfering business from their legitimate local shops all over the USA who contribute to the local economy as well as create jobs.

    Funny thing...whenever there is a warranty or repair issue the super low price shop is already bankrupt and locked out of his store and the online vendor is nowhere in sight. He will probably refer you to the nearest authorized dealer. Sadly, many of the major manufacturers bean counters enjoy high wholesale volume from these outlaw dealers but conveniently "look the other way" and ignore how it affects their "legitimate" dealer networks. I have seen it backfire several times and the major manufacturer is stuck with a big $$$$ loss since the boats are sold and gone but the bill was never paid. Sadly enough, this is true justice for them for "overlooking" dealer covenants that they created (and made the dealer sign) regarding consistent pricing, servicing, and territory protection.

    The local reputable dealer ends up spending his valuable time and expense cleaning up the messes of others. Even though we know that the person with a problem bypassed our shop to save a few dollars, we are always courteous and work hard to solve the issue. In almost every case, the customer is pleasantly surprised at our courteous attitude and is pleasantly surprised that we have been willing to assist and ends up a loyal customer.

    If your local shop is smart, they will always give you a fair and reasonable price and will be there for you with priceless value added service and expert advice. You will never know how much you need them until they are gone.

  • Well if what you say is true...
    then customers will realize what local shops have to offer, pay the higher price and local shops will prosper while internet sales fall.
    But if people continue to shop according to price and local shops fail to meet this challenge then they will continue to close.
    I could go on Mike but I just saw a mint P&H Quest on Craigslist for $1300 and don't want to miss out on an awesome deal. Will the seller give me value added service and expert advice? Who freaken cares it's only $1300!

  • Huh?
    Fox deliberately spews more misinformation and distortion in one hour on any given day than all the programs on NPR might broadcast accidentally in 10 years. And when NPR discovers they've presented misinformation they generally correct it publicly.

    A listener supported news reporting source produced by professional journalists , versus a ratings-pandering commercially owned "infotainment" source produced by hacks and shrill gadflies and hypocrites. Yup, real parallels there..........
  • Lets see....
    a radio station supported by tax dollars given to them by liberal democrats. Yep, no bias going on there!
  • Still waiting...
    You still did not answer my question. How does YOUR business respond to people wanting heavy discounts at or below your cost? I feel that you don't have the cajones to give an honest answer.
  • what do you mean, "will"?
    Where do you think the original owner of that p&h boat bought it? Here's a hint: not @ Dick's or Wal-Mart. They would never entertain the slim overhead.
  • Options
    Typing on a computer made in China?
    In the end, the business that provides the customers with what those customers want will be the business that wins. If that business is on the internet then so be it.

    Or are you typing on a computer made in the USA? You and everyone else shops by price more than by service and it's only the scale of it that differs between anyone here.

    I say that NO ONE here shops someplace because of the service they get unless the prices are the same and they get the service for free. Sure, you might say that you paid $100.00 more for a $1500.00 kayak to get some service but that's not even 10% and is just small change in the big picture of the purchase.

    And who says that internet businesses are evil? It's the wave of the future and it will not be the only way that we, as a society, destroy jobs and damage our own economy. We have wars. We have ethnic poverty because of racism. We have outsourcing. We ultimately always pick the lowest price alternative or we would have the worlds best auto manufacturing and we would be making flat panel computer displays here in this country instead of overseas.

    The high-and-mighty stance that we need to support local shops is great and I applaud those that actually buy American goods whenever possible even at a higher price. Unfortunately, the system does't really work that way for anyone. The only reason someone might buy locally for a higher price is not for service, it's for more immediate satisfaction because they WANT IT NOW!

    I actually pay more to local shops when I can but sometimes, the service and immediate satisfaction is just not worth the price. Plus, I actually trust internet companies to not scam me. Local businesses are great but there might actually be too much human intervention going on there.


  • you're entitled to your opinion
    -- Last Updated: May-29-12 12:00 PM EST --

    Wrong as it is.

    I shop local/independent shops partly because they're the only ones who carry what I want. The physical item, not a picture of the item on my monitor. If that's not service - tell me what it is.

    What do you suppose would happen to the retail economy if everyone shopped over the internet all the time to avoid taxes?

    Comparing the kayak market to computer keyboards is such an absurd comparison that I don't know where to begin.

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