Looks like one retailer's finally had enough of being undercut by Costco...

scottr

Active Member
#47
Leland is in California, we should be buying our fly gear from local fly shops like Creekside Angling, Patrick's, Puget Sound Fly Company, Orvis, Reds, etc. They are owned locally and/or employ locals.

Quoting myself to be clear that my statements above are not anti-Costco. We shop there weekly, they are a great local company that treats its employees very well.

When it comes to buying a new Echo or Sage fly rod, I'll be going to see Pete at Creekside even if it means I have to spend a few more bucks than if I bought it online or from a big box store.
 

dflett68

Active Member
#51
The rumor in the industry (I've heard it from several shop owners) is that Sage dropped Leland for continually discounting rods. That ad is the most appalling thing I have seen from a fly shop. Beyond that, they are lying to their own customers. This is very sad since Sage did the right thing in dropping them. All shops are expected to play by the same rules and its good to know that repeat offenders don't get away with it even if they are one of the largest dealers in the country.
to me this touches on my sympathies, as a business person, for both sage and leland, and for that matter, costco. if sage is dropping them for discounting, that's the right thing to do and it indicates sage defending their own best interests and those of their other, MAP compliant distributors. the problem is, they have no such leverage with costco (so i sympathize with sage on that level), but costco has done nothing illegal (so i sympathize with their right to compete and their high level of competence). in order to maintain order and their business model, sage has no choice but to hold all of the other dealers, including leland, to what is now uncompetitive MAP pricing at least on whatever costco is selling (which makes me sypathize with both sage and the dealers). to me the end result is basically that sage takes a hit in terms of good will with their dealer community, but this has little real impact if you are the undisputed industry leader. the real financial hit goes to the dealers. and as such i sympathize with the human reaction of one of those dealers lashing out by violating MAP to try to stay competitive, and further lashing out with the ad when they got disciplined by sage. i expect its a move that will bear bad fruit for them, as most rash acts do in any kind of relationship, but i do feel for them and i kindof like the spunk they showed in breaking MAP because it was sage's fault they ended up competitively exposed by the costco thing.

to me, the only party that can really prevent all this mess is sage, because they have to take responsibility for who they sell their stuff to, and they have repeatedly jumped in the sack and had unprotected sex with someone they really didn't know well enough. i agree they are an important local company, make an industry leading product, and by all accounts are good people too. but as an outsider, on the surface, it looks like it is their incompetence in some aspects of their supplier management which has led to these repeated escapes of inventory, and the dealers pay the highest price. the ONLY sustainable and tenable solution is for them to get better at it and prevent the escape of inventory into unauthorized channels. penalizing end users or dealers will never solve this.
 

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
#53
. . . to me, the only party that can really prevent all this mess is sage, because they have to take responsibility for who they sell their stuff to, and they have repeatedly jumped in the sack and had unprotected sex with someone they really didn't know well enough. i agree they are an important local company, make an industry leading product, and by all accounts are good people too. but as an outsider, on the surface, it looks like it is their incompetence in some aspects of their supplier management which has led to these repeated escapes of inventory, and the dealers pay the highest price. the ONLY sustainable and tenable solution is for them to get better at it and prevent the escape of inventory into unauthorized channels. penalizing end users or dealers will never solve this.
All true and a very insightful analysis. Yet the one thing missing from any of this discussion so far in this thread is the role Sage plays in continually setting the high bar for price.

Maybe the news travels slowly across the water to Bainbridge Island, but the US has been in a recession for the last 4-5 years with unemployment rates only now beginning to return to pre-recession levels. Unemployment in narrower age, racial or geographic subcategories is still as high as 25%. I know several folks with substantial skills and experience whose unemployment checks ran out last year.

Yet Sage is asking $1325.00 for a Method Elite with what seems like a straight face. Really?

Smack me if maybe I'm missing something obvious, but aside from the rare software zillionaire, I can't imagine how many real people are gonna spend that kind of money for a brand-new, tubular plastic rod.

It seems to me that Sage is being more than a tad unrealistic about the market for their products. IMHO, to the extent that they push the upper end of the price envelope, they end up doing themselves and their retail partners a disservice by creating unfulfillable expectations.

K
 
#55
All true and a very insightful analysis. Yet the one thing missing from any of this discussion so far in this thread is the role Sage plays in continually setting the high bar for price.

Maybe the news travels slowly across the water to Bainbridge Island, but the US has been in a recession for the last 4-5 years with unemployment rates only now beginning to return to pre-recession levels. Unemployment in narrower age, racial or geographic subcategories is still as high as 25%. I know several folks with substantial skills and experience whose unemployment checks ran out last year.

Yet Sage is asking $1325.00 for a Method Elite with what seems like a straight face. Really?

Smack me if maybe I'm missing something obvious, but aside from the rare software zillionaire, I can't imagine how many real people are gonna spend that kind of money for a brand-new, tubular plastic rod.

It seems to me that Sage is being more than a tad unrealistic about the market for their products. IMHO, to the extent that they push the upper end of the price envelope, they end up doing themselves and their retail partners a disservice by creating unfulfillable expectations.

K
It seems like you may be focusing all your energy on the ultra-premium rods that Sage has. Keep in mind that their least expensive rod is under $300 and performs better than top end rods from 5 years ago. There are plenty of people out there that have enough money to spend on premium rods, and they will continue to demand the newest technology and functionality. For those of us who would never spend that much on a rod, there are very good rods available from Sage that cost much less.

This also leaves out the fact that Sage and Redington are owned by the same parent company and the new technology Sage uses gets passed down to Redington. The Pursuit series from Redington are incredible fishing tools for the approximately $100 price tag.

It's also interesting to me that many on here complain about Sage pricing so much. I don't think anybody complains about the exorbitant pricing of a BMW because they are more expensive than most people can afford.
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
#56
If someone has the means to purchase a $1,325.00 fly rod, then so be it. Some folks also like to drive 100K Mercedes as well.
Does a $2,700-$3,000 Winston bamboo fly rod get a pass just because it is bamboo?
I'm sure they've done their research and there is a market for rods of that value.
It is easy to focus on the highest end model, but I believe Sage has done a good job over the years of offering a wide variety of rod models. They've offered most anglers the ability to own a Sage should they choose to.
Combine that with Far Bank's Redington brand and brands such as TFO and Echo, I don't think we've ever had it so good as far as gear choices.
Nearly every angler can now acquire a very functional outfit to fit their budget.
SF
 

Lugan

Joe Streamer
#57
Yet Sage is asking $1325.00 for a Method Elite with what seems like a straight face. Really?

Smack me if maybe I'm missing something obvious, but aside from the rare software zillionaire, I can't imagine how many real people are gonna spend that kind of money for a brand-new, tubular plastic rod.

It seems to me that Sage is being more than a tad unrealistic about the market for their products. IMHO, to the extent that they push the upper end of the price envelope, they end up doing themselves and their retail partners a disservice by creating unfulfillable expectations.

Kent - The purpose of a $1300 plastic rod in any company's list of products is at least as much about positioning the overall "Sage" brand as it is selling that model. Having the most expensive high-tech rod on the market helps them sell every other rod in the market because it helps position Sage as "the best". Many fishermen will then feel good about owning any Sage, even one at the lowest end of their range.
 

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
#58
Yet Sage is asking $1325.00 for a Method Elite with what seems like a straight face. Really?

Smack me if maybe I'm missing something obvious, but aside from the rare software zillionaire, I can't imagine how many real people are gonna spend that kind of money for a brand-new, tubular plastic rod.
Of course you're all right about how Sage's high price rod offering sets the tone for the company's technology and reputation, just like how fielding a Forumla 1 car sets the tone for Ferrari.

I consider myself duly smacked!

K
 
#59
Given Sage sells more rods than pretty much anyone else out there, I'd venture to say that they might know a thing or two about their markets.