Paying to try on gear...the beginning of a trend?

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adkskier adkskier
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Paying to try on gear...the beginning of a trend?

Heard on NPR this morning- some retailers are beginning to charge for trying on clothing. Apparently the issue is that so many people are now shopping locally, trying on clothing to get the right size and then buying on line to get a cheaper price. Interestingly, the story specifically mentioned that one ski shop in Australia got so fed up with this behavior that they now charge $50- to try on ski boots; fee waived when one buys from them. I know skiers who have done exactly this and I have friends who own ski shops who have seen this behavior. I've suggested to the shops that when someone brings in skis and bindings to be mounted, they should charge a higher rate for those that weren't purchased locally.
What do you think? Do you support your ski shops ?
I Think, Therefore I Ski
gebbyfish gebbyfish
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Re: Paying to try on gear...the beginning of a trend?

Just got back into skiing and I had never even thought to purchase on line and try on at a local store.  Happy to give the business locally!  On-line stores won't be able to help me maintain my gear!
JasonWx JasonWx
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Re: Paying to try on gear...the beginning of a trend?

In reply to this post by adkskier
Unfortunately I'm guilty..I haven't bought a pair of skis in a shop in 10yrs..The deals are just to good online..
"Peace and Love"
Face4Me Face4Me
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Re: Paying to try on gear...the beginning of a trend?

In reply to this post by adkskier
WOW!!! This is certainly an interesting topic!!!

I can't say I'd support the idea of retailers charging a fee to try on a product. Honestly, it's not at all unusual that when you try something on, you just don't like it. It would really suck if I had to pay to try something that may not even fit.

My personal "barometer" on this is that if a salesperson provides actual sales support, I'll purchase the item from them if it's something I want. If, on the other hand, I'm going into a store just to get a look at something I'm thinking of buying on the internet, I don't feel quite as obligated. I guess I look at it as just a time saver ... if I buy something on the internet that I can't "touch and feel" first, and then I get it and don't like it, I'm just going to return it anyway. By getting a chance to see it first, I'm just saving myself some time and effort.

No matter how you slice it ... it's definitely a thorny issue!!!
It's easy to be against something ... It's hard to be for something!
riverc0il riverc0il
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Re: Paying to try on gear...the beginning of a trend?

In reply to this post by adkskier
While I am a big time online shopper, I absolutely refuse to try in store and buy online. Stores offer a service and that service is part of the price. I refuse to abuse the good will involved with that service. I used to feel somewhat guilty bringing skis and bindings that I bought elsewhere into shops to have them mounted. I don't really feel guilty about that any more since shops have increased their mounting prices to ridiculously high levels because of folks doing what I am doing. But there is a difference between buying else where and paying for a service versus abusing a free service and then buying your size else where.

All that said, as a manager of a retail store, I think it is extremely bad business to offend your loyal customers with add on fees and tougher policies because some people are abusing your services. I have customers abuse my store's generous refund policy continuously. I have associates come up to me rip roaring mad because customers are using my store like a library. But it doesn't matter. You are not going to gain those "non-customers" back by adding fees and making policies tougher. You will offend your best customers by doing so. Cutting off the nose to spite the face is not good policy, IMO.
Face4Me Face4Me
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Re: Paying to try on gear...the beginning of a trend?

In reply to this post by Face4Me
As a follow-up, sometimes it goes the other way around ... there have been many times when I've used the internet to do my research, which often involves using retail websites to get my information as opposed to manufacturer sites, and then going to my local store to buy the product.

For example, I bought my daughter a pair of skis this year (boots, bindings and poles too) from a local retailer after I had done all my research online. I used product reviews from retailer websites and other information to help me make my decision and then bought locally.

I think it's just one of the costs of doing business ... though for retailers, whether brick and mortar or online, probably a fairly annoying one.
It's easy to be against something ... It's hard to be for something!
Harvey Harvey
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Re: Paying to try on gear...the beginning of a trend?

This is basically why there is no such thing as a "stereo store" any more.

I've told this story before. On day two of a nine day Christmas vacation, I lost a tiny little nut that rendered all my ski gear useless. To me able to go into town and have the problem solved was fantastic.

To me it's pretty simple ... how bad do I want a ski shop in North Creek?   I want it pretty bad.

I just Google shopped these and they were labeled as a closeout - $20 less than what I paid. And that's comparing a April price with a December price.


Icelantic Pilgrims from the Gear Source in North Creek

One time, I left my skis to be tuned during the day, and Gear Source gave me a demo pair to ski that day.

Support your local ski shop.  
"You just need to go at that shit wide open, hang on, and own it." —Camp
tBatt tBatt
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Re: Paying to try on gear...the beginning of a trend?

In reply to this post by Face4Me
Face4Me wrote
As a follow-up, sometimes it goes the other way around ... there have been many times when I've used the internet to do my research, which often involves using retail websites to get my information as opposed to manufacturer sites, and then going to my local store to buy the product.

For example, I bought my daughter a pair of skis this year (boots, bindings and poles too) from a local retailer after I had done all my research online. I used product reviews from retailer websites and other information to help me make my decision and then bought locally.
Businesses aren't paying a sales rep to help you look online. I find the internet very useful to bring up specs and help narrow down choices. It still doesn't provide the service that a shop does, though. If you go in and tell them what you're looking for, they can help narrow down choices immediately and suggest ones you hadn't found yet. They (well, good shops) will really try to help find what is right for you.

If I ever am going into a shop with any intention of buying online (I'm a poor college student, give me a break) I'll usually tell an approaching sales rep that I'm just looking. I don't really want them wasting their time on me if they have potential customers where they can actually make a sale.

x2 on supporting your local shop.
Face4Me Face4Me
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Re: Paying to try on gear...the beginning of a trend?

fujative wrote
Face4Me wrote
As a follow-up, sometimes it goes the other way around ... there have been many times when I've used the internet to do my research, which often involves using retail websites to get my information as opposed to manufacturer sites, and then going to my local store to buy the product.

For example, I bought my daughter a pair of skis this year (boots, bindings and poles too) from a local retailer after I had done all my research online. I used product reviews from retailer websites and other information to help me make my decision and then bought locally.
Businesses aren't paying a sales rep to help you look online. I find the internet very useful to bring up specs and help narrow down choices. It still doesn't provide the service that a shop does, though. If you go in and tell them what you're looking for, they can help narrow down choices immediately and suggest ones you hadn't found yet. They (well, good shops) will really try to help find what is right for you.

If I ever am going into a shop with any intention of buying online (I'm a poor college student, give me a break) I'll usually tell an approaching sales rep that I'm just looking. I don't really want them wasting their time on me if they have potential customers where they can actually make a sale.

x2 on supporting your local shop.
They may not be paying sales reps, but they are paying for website design, development and hosting, etc. (I'm a web developer and I don't work for free! ), but that's not really the point.

I completely agree with supporting local businesses. To follow on Harvey's post, when you're in a jam and need something right away, online ordering doesn't get it done! You need immediate access to the products and services that a local store can provide.

As I mentioned in my first post, if a salesperson devotes his/her time to me, you can be sure that I will make my purchase from him/her, assuming of course that I find something that works for me. I wouldn't "use" a salesperson and then go purchase elsewhere, whether it be online or at another store, just for a better price.

I just don't want to be charged for trying something on in a store, which was the original point of this thread. That's going too far, and I would venture to guess, that any store that would implement such a policy won't be around for very long. On a related point, charging to "demo" equipment on the other hand, is a completely reasonable policy. That's something I have no problem with at all. The same holds true for "restocking" fees on merchandise that you've used.

It's easy to be against something ... It's hard to be for something!
JasonWx JasonWx
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Re: Paying to try on gear...the beginning of a trend?

My hard packed ski, is a Volkl 6 star....Retail with binding it ran around 1k..On Ebay I bought them used once for 500..
How can a retail store compete?
Boots I do buy at a shop. Ski clothing is also significantly cheaper online..
"Peace and Love"
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