Best kayak shop price wise

What is the best kayak shop that has good prices? Want to get a paddleboy cart but do not want to pay full retail. Or am I better off getting it on ebay? Would rather give my business to a kayak shop. Thanks FishHawk

Catch 22
you want to support your local dealer but you don’t want to pay retail?

go to ebay.

a dealer makes his wage/rent/expenses (phone,heat,employee, insurance,etc) on above and beyond what he can get above wholesale. It’s called retail margin. as much as most folks think PaddleSport retail is making a killing, think twice.

and we’re talking a $100 item here.



Steve, I agree with you, BUT sometimes the local outfitter isn’t always a reasonable option. I bought two paddles this year, both werner bent shaft carbon models. The local retailer here sells them for almost $600 canadian plus tax (15%) so I checked on the internet and I found them at about $480, shipping and tax included. For someone who isn’t rich the difference is significant. I saved in the neighborhood of $400.

For items less than $100 I will support the local outfitters, but when talking about amounts of several hundred dollars like for the paddles I will shop around. I did the same thing with our drysuits, VHF radios, and our GPS. The total saving were substantial.

As an aside, I think the internet will make a significant dent in the profits of some retailers who have mark-ups that are excessive.


Excessive markups
Well, that would explain all of the independant retailers who are making money hand over fist!

Don’t confuse markup with margin. Department stores pretty much never sell anything at less than 50% MARGIN. That is, they paid a wholesale price of 50% of what the suggested retail price is. ANd the big discounts seen advertized already have the required margin built in. Thats another way of saying that the department store items are purposely marked high to accomodate teh discounts.

As for independant retailers, they are lucky to get 50% margin on clothing (need to stock more sizes than what will really sell), 40% is common on accessories & doodads, and boats (bicycles too) hover around 30% margin.

I was in the outdoor business in the last half of the '70s (declining sales) and as far as I can see the 80’s/90’s boom is slowing down. Examples? A full-range outfitter in Columbus OH has departed teh scene. The only indy in Charleston WV is closing in Jan.

Interestingly, two bike shops in the Chas WV area folded in the past five years, and both were known for discounting, especially to friends. Yet the remaining two (one that has been in operation since the early '70s bike boom) charge fair retail, offer good service, and are healthy. Each owner is making a good living, but neither has an extravagant lifestyle.

If you want to see3/touch/feel the item you will have to support the local retailer. Of course you could always try on gear for size locally and then buy over the internet. I have a special name for those shoppers. I’ll bet Flatpick has his own!


Rant over.

actually do!
but now I don’t worry about it as much, having recently left the retail portion of the PaddleSport biz.

Now it’s all about the EDU and the boating! oh… and the boat designs…oh…and the ‘testing’ and…the FUN.

but you’re right, support is support and if you want your local (insert any retail item) shop to stay in business and be there for you, it’s about support. to deprive a shop owner of a decent wage in the name of discount is not a great option in the BIG picture.

off to Wal*Mart for some xmas shopping!

N O T !!! ==:-000)


how handy are you
Hit the hardware store and look at the lawn mower wheels. Some allthread rod with aodm 1/2" PVC for a bushing. Double nut around the hub. I cut a V notch in a canoe gunwale cartop foam carrier and use a bungee. My wheels aren’t good for sand but have worked most every where else. Option 2: Find and old wheel chair and take the back off strap the boat to the seat and take off. I’m known around the area as “tightwad”. :wink:


Local Shops
You really should support your local shops. I noticed from your profile that you are on the Cape. I have heard that Billington Sea Kayaks in Plymouth, MA is a good shop, one of my friends raves about the owners willingness to ensure he has satisfied customers. Another shop is The Kayak Centre in Wickford, RI. I have been there, It’s a great shop with lots of stuff. I like going there just to drool over all the boats. I’m sure there are other great shops in your area, these are just two that I know of.

Seeing you post make sme think
about New england small craft. Deals ther can vary by the day and depengind on how much stuff you have bought ther but I got an old style paddleboy yedo on claarance there for $60, not for sale though. Part of the art is buying instantly when a good eal presents itself.

A pvc based threaded round axle cart will do fine for smooth paths.

got to put in a plug for paddleboy here, the new yedo kickstand is really much better that’s why the old model was so cheap. When I called them up to talk about getting another old kickstand and having the support of two they asked me how I was using the cart, and what about my paddling. I told them about my sea kayaking and spending couple days teaching kids at a local Y camping and they just sent me the new kickstand and told me to keep going. Very sweet or them.

The owner of my local paddleshop just spent 20 minutes on me teaching me his favorite navigtion tricks and currents for crossing from the vinyard to the entrance to woods hole harbor (Great Harbor) in 45 minutes or less. He would not even take my money for the half hour, but I’l buy a blem epic paddle through him when I need one, or a rack or something. I need to make sure he gets at least what he gives.

Walmart has kayaks
They come in green or blue and they throw in a paddle that can double as a windshield scraper.

Best price
If the way you judge the best kayak store is thru price, you’re screwed. Pardon the language.

it’s amazing
how many people think paying full retail price is somehow getting ripped off.

Support your local paddle shop! This way you won’t have to buy everything from REI/Galyan’s-now Dick’s/or EMS.

Yes there is a markup. But how much do you think it costs to have a building, with lights, heat, employees, the inventory mangement system, the banking and merchant services, and the knowledge to sell it to you properly? That’s what they call “cost of goods”. The cost of the goods is always relative to what it takes to actually put them in your hand. Places like your local paddling store need to have people paying full retail to stay in business.

paying full retail
Well I think I have the answer to the question. I’ll wait until the Spring when most of the local shops have pre-season discounts. This way everybody wins. This also happens in the Fall as everyone knows. Interesting thread. FishHawk

… and Goose Hummock. in Orleans…
… has a very complete store, not to mention a well-regarded teach & tour business.


when in doubt
shop local. I love shooting a bow, and I could send away for a lot of my stuff, but the local dealers take the time to show me how something gets used, what might work better etc. Same with x-country ski gear, yes, I could catalog shop but I want to see the hands on. I also know that by shopping locally I’m helping to keep the dealer in business for a least a while longer. Now if the dealer is a jerk and grossly over charging I’ve no problem walking.

maybe this story is relevent:
While in Jamaica, our hotel advertized day-trips at a desk in the lobby. The couple we went with booked one. I thought the price was a little high, and struck up a deal with a beach vendor for the same trip at about 25% less.

Well, we both saw the same stuff, but our friends had a knowledgable guide explaining everything & throwing in fascinating stories, while ours said practically nothing unless prodded.

Did I save money? Yes. Did my friends pay too much? No, We both got exactly what we paid for.

Unless you know
as much as the local dealer; or know exactly what you want, shop at the dealer. The dealers in our area have better merchandise than the “big box” stores, the prices are reasonable, and they generally have significant experience to guide you.

I don’t always buy…
from paddling shops for the same reason as the people who advertise their goods and services free of charge on this message board without paying anything to Brent. It’s cheaper!!!

If you can wait
a while to make your purchase you can probably get a good deal when your local outfitter has their going out of business sale.

Do you think…

– Last Updated: Dec-13-04 8:57 AM EST –

Brent will liquidate his inventory too?

By the way, the local paddling store that is three miles from my house is:


Middle ground
There is a middle ground that few people seem to bother with.

If you know what you want, do some shopping on the web and find the best price you can get. The real price, including shipping and any other extras.

Go to the local shop and haggle. You might not get quite as low a price, but you should be able to get a good chunk knocked off the sticker. Any dealer with business sense knows his bottom-line, and won’t sell below that.