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Old 1st March 2010, 06:56 PM   #11
BelSkorpio
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Interesting topic.

I admit that I like to have the local windsurf shops around to have physical contact with the different windsurf products, they offer. It often tells you more about the products than you could ever obtain by looking at hundreds of images on the internet.

On the other hand, I also admit that I like to buy on-line because it is always cheaper.

Remains the thing about after-sales services of course ...
Everyone knows that these services are often much less or sometimes not existing at all with buying on-line.

I think, the way it is right now, is not that bad. Markets tend to stabilize itself automatically. Anyway, it is not only with windsurf equipement like this. My friend buys his cars & trucks on-line, often for almost 50% of the price. Dangerous you think ? Not for him, he says. It's true that he can solve a lot of mechanical problems by himself. And when he can't he always finds someone who can.
Probably, it all depends on if you believe you need the after-sales services or not.

Again, personally I believe I need the services to some extent and I definitely would not like to loose the physical contact with the products in the local shop. That's why I also buy at the local shop.

To attract more people to our beloved windsurfing sport, we need the specialized local shops for sure.
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Old 1st March 2010, 10:40 PM   #12
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Having a windsurfing shop in your city offers lots of benefits. While getting the "best price" is always important, being able to try on booties, wet suits, harnesses, vests, gloves, hoods, and helmets has been a big plus. Having a selection of fins numbering about 40 provides lots of options. Checking out the two dozen booms for grip diameters and head designs/function, etc. are all important for the novice and intermediate sailor. If the shop doesn't have what they/I want, they order for prices that are comparable to those on line.

Roll out a new sail and rig it on your mast to see how it rigs - get rigging tips to see that it is done right, or rig your sail on a new mast to see if they are compatible.

Advanced and expert sailors pretty much know what they want without going to a retail outlet, but to keep the sport growing, having a shop to walk into is critical.

The shops are great for getting new sailors on the water with lessons, swap meets and knowledgeable sales people.

In Dallas, TX - Mariner Sails is our shop and they host 2 or 3 "swap meets" a year. All the used gear gets checked in the week prior and tagged for sale by the equipment owners. At the sale, shop employees and knowledgeable volunteers do the selling, doing our best to match equipment with the skills of the sailors. Owners can't push a 95 L board on beginning sailor.

The seller has the option of taking 100% of the sales in store credit or they can take 90% in cash with the store keeping 10%. A win win for everyone.

However, Mariner Sails can't make it with windsurfing alone. They also are a sail loft, a Hobie dealer as well as carrying a big line of kayaks.

I don't work for the store, but I appreciate the benefits of having one in town where I can go in and visit my buddies as well as touch and see much of the current gear that is on the market. If I ever have a problem with gear, it's easy to find a resolution with the dealer looking after my interests. They keep me happy and I keep buying from the store.
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Old 1st March 2010, 11:06 PM   #13
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Would be interesting to see a break down of Starboard`s costs. The hundreds of "sponsored "sailors must increase the cost but it seems to work for Starboard.Shows how fickle / (gullable?) us windsurfers are. ???

A 7kg board costing 1500+ ??? Over 200 per kg ; for a product that is 95% foam.Not a bad return ???
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Old 2nd March 2010, 05:17 AM   #14
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I have 3 windsurf shops within 15 mins drive. One is within 2 mins walk. I also struggle to save any money to buy anything from them, so most of my gear I buy used.

My preference would be to support the local shops if they could make purchasing easier for me. This could be done by them being able to offer interest free time payments, which they could do if the manufactures offered them some way to make paying for stock up front not essential.

At one time, I had an automatic payment going to the shop 2 mins down the road. It wasn't much per month but enough to allow me to buy new gear on a regular basis so that over a period of a few years I had spent a few thousand dollars that I would not have been able to do otherwise....basically an interest free loan.
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Old 2nd March 2010, 06:31 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gestalt View Post
In these trying economic times we should be going online and buying things cheaper, and companies should be trying to get their products to the consumer as cheaply and efficiently as possible.

What would happen if you broke something at the beach? Small items you can always keep spares and shipping doesn't take long anyway.
If that's what you want to do, but online and not support your local shop that's fine, everyone loves a bargin and to get something cheap. But if everyone had you attitude and only wanted to shop online our local shop's would become a thing of the past, you wouldn't be able to check out the new kit in the shop or try it out before you buy. You would also not be able to call in to get advice or get them to show how your new rig is meant to be rigged. Also what would happen if your new board had a warranty issue, where would you go to get the warranty issue sorted out.

Windsurfing shop's as mentioned are most peoples first stop when they are starting windsurfing and it is vital that the are around to help attract new people to the sport.

That is why in this world wide recession we should be supporting our local shops with our buisness and not spend that money elsewhere.
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Old 2nd March 2010, 04:21 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rod_r View Post
I have 3 windsurf shops within 15 mins drive. One is within 2 mins walk. I also struggle to save any money to buy anything from them, so most of my gear I buy used.

My preference would be to support the local shops if they could make purchasing easier for me. This could be done by them being able to offer interest free time payments, which they could do if the manufactures offered them some way to make paying for stock up front not essential.

At one time, I had an automatic payment going to the shop 2 mins down the road. It wasn't much per month but enough to allow me to buy new gear on a regular basis so that over a period of a few years I had spent a few thousand dollars that I would not have been able to do otherwise....basically an interest free loan.

Very bad idea! What can you provide as a collateral? We should all learn from this current financial mess and spend within your means.

I do wish for cheaper gears too but I also understand that business needs profits to sustain...
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Old 3rd March 2010, 06:06 AM   #17
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How can boards be good value for money when best selling manufacterer (starboard) employ/sponsor more sailors (in theory on R + D) than Ferrari employ drivers !!!

Its ridiculous !!! Look in any SB brochure !!!! (Another product of board buyers cash !!!)
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Old 3rd March 2010, 07:33 AM   #18
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Here in Australia many WS shops sell on line as do some producers of WS gear (eg Sails, Helmets) direct to the sailor. Generally I would go to my local WS shop first as they have a good sourcing network, but if their best offering is not quite what is wanted or too expensive an option then I will purchase online. So we actually have a good mix with which to work.

Established suppliers are reputable and buddies who have bought boards and sails online have found the process quite good with turnabouts and packaging pretty well streamlined even with trade-ins. However it seems to depend on a viable retailers to sustain the network as there is a lot of swings and roundabouts with hands-on v. virtual shopping.
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Old 4th March 2010, 03:59 AM   #19
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Distributors increase their cost by minimum 30% to resell to shops, who again increase their cost price by minimum 70% ... basically double the landed cost price at anty country minimum ....

Distributor main risks, is financially advance money or garantees to the brand, import process, delivery to shops, collect money back from the shops.

...
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Old 4th March 2010, 04:47 AM   #20
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I wish I could add to the products i sell over 70% of mark up.
Thi is not the reality.
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