Costco & Sage

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Nathan B, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. Comparing apples to oranges here....and sage wants all apples, costco is an orange in this. Sage doesnt want costco selling their gear. the price point you refer to should be the same no matter where you buy it...washington, montana, new york, etc, (however you can save sales tax.) ...The service is important, but if you think you are going to buy at costco then run to your local fly shop to be informed/educated on what the hell you just bought, then well ....those days will soon become numbered. :(
  2. Sorry, i was not real clear. I meant a price point on an entry rod (regardless of manufacturer). I was talking more about the general mix of products then the particular Sage issues that were noted at the top of this thread. While many in the flyfishing world know of Sage, many new buyers won't have much brand loyalty or recognition to start with. So having a good, $200 or less beginner rod would (I assume) be critical to a shop with long term intentions. While there is clearly a market for $500-$1000 rods, I suspect it is orders of magnitudes smaller.

    But I really have no first hand knowledge of the markets involved. So I could be off my rocker.

    So while I too advocate hitting the small shop...any business is only going to "make it" with an appropriate product mix (I include in this instruction, guiding, etc.) in addition to the billion other things a company has to do to flourish (marketing, staging, stellar customer service, advertising, managing inventory, HR, blah, blah, blah).
  3. not of your rocker...gotcha now....;)
  4. I happened to be in the Issaquah Costco yesterday as well and saw these rods. I didn't buy one, but I did walk out with $300 worth of other items. I did ask one of the Costco guys about the rods and he just shrugged his shoulders and said he didn't know a lot about them.

    The single biggest difference between Costco and a small shop is service.

    How many fly shops are going to do anything positive about this? There’s one that comes to mind, that I’m sure will belly ache about it left and right (they did the last time this happened as well) . Bottom line, they are not going to get up off the stool behind the counter, stock their shelves and go the extra mile to do anything to help themselves. They would rather complain about how poor business is and give their customers a poor shopping experience. Why not take a pro-active approach and turn this into an opportunity?

    My thoughts as a consumer, what a great opportunity for the local fly shops? How many of these rods will go to an individual that knows nothing about fly fishing? How many will go to an individual that has never walked in their local fly shop or doesn’t even know it exists? Why not run an ad on WFF or Craigslist - we live in the age of FREE social media – market yourself! Try to win over a new customer and show them why they should be shopping you. If one guy with that Costco rod walks thru your door, you are better off than you were before. You have a new customer. It’s simply your job to keep him or her.

    I’m fortunate that I get to a number of areas / states over the course of the year to hunt and fish and get to experience a number of small shops along the way. I think there are a couple of shops locally that do a great job. My one and only experience with Anil at Puget Sound Fly Company and what has turned into a few trips to Gig Harbor Fly Shop have been outstanding. Both shops deserve huge kudos for how they treat their customers. That being said, I’ve probably been in 5 or 6 Washington based fly shops in the last 6 months and these were the only two that went out of their way to make it a memorable experience for me, the consumer.

    I visited a shop in Bend, OR earlier this year, the Patient Angler, that I thought did a nice job with a customer appreciation / bumper sticker program. These little things, the extra efforts (to even say hello when an unfamiliar face walks thru the door) are the things that make customers want to come back.

    Yammy's comment is dead on. We shop at Costco because we know we get a good deal. We support our local fly shop because they take care of us. Just my opinion, but I think it’s less important that Costco is selling Sage and more important how our local fly shops react. As a small shop, I wouldn’t worry about what Costco does, I’d worry about what you do (or don’t do) better.
  5. about how sage reacts...that would be kind of important too... wouldn't you say?
  6. Is this the same outfit you can find at caddisfly shop on the net for 295$? I mean if so then it looks like maybe sage has given them the go a head to lower there prices on this model?
  7. bottom line i like low prices on quality stuff. i am an echo ion guy and luv it. if they land steel and salmon they must be good, and for $189. mike w
    Alosa and David Dalan like this.
  8. My guess is they're selling seconds or just a less quality Chinese made model that they slap a brand name on. The rod case looks pretty generic too. If you want a Sage rod with the same warranty they have traditionally offered, don't buy from big box stores. You may end up with crap.
  9. Not possible. ALL Sage brand rods are made on Bainbridge.
  10. i heard recently of patagonia in sams, or costco somewhere. i guess it was a hijacked truckload recovered by the insurance company after settlement. i imagine the hijackers were dissapointed to find 50,000
    better sweaters, and not 50,000 nikons.
  11. I seem to remember this happening once before in the past. The fly shops tossed a fit (rightfully so). If I remember correctly, Sage sold the rods to a company that were supposed to retail them in a different venue. The third party sold them to Costco instead of the outlet they claimed they would use.

    I don't know if that is the case this time but I know Ford dealerships would certainly take offense if Costco started selling F150s below dealer cost.

    Fly shops rely on exclusive rights when it comes to selling high priced flyfishing gear. If those products show up at Costco at ridiculously low prices, this does a lot of damage to the fly shops. In this day and age, fly shops have a hard enough time keeping their doors open due to competition from web sites and big box stores. The last thing they need is competition from Costco.

    This is a very bad deal for fly shops.
  12. ,,,,,,,,,,,
    Tim Cottage and Builder like this.
  13. Well i will be my Costco later today on the other half of the state so i will let you know if they are over here.
  14. costco's whole model is low margin high volume, and that flows to the companies they buy from. returns are a marginal impact to that model when it is working as designed, as witnessed by the colossal success costco enjoys. the impact to sage of a return in five years will be tiny.

    don't forget this is one style, one item, one option, out of sage's entire assortment, and it will be at costco for a very limited time. i don't see how this kind of thing doesn't increase the size of the market for the small shops and ultimately create more customers and business for them. those folks that buy the outfit at costco aren't going back to costco for knowledge, flies, accessories, or their next rod/reel. and if they are spending this much on one, they will be getting another. i'd be really surprised if anyone could show that this was really bad for the local shops. i like costco's business model, and i think by nature it doesn't compete directly with small business.
    Kent Lufkin and TwistedChimp like this.
  15. there are no villains. it's a market, just compete.
  16. I feel this can help a fly shop. Costco has swarms of people in and out of the stores daily. If they sell one fly rod and the customer then goes to another store for supplies( gear) it would seem like a win-win for all fly fishing parties. Costco got the ball rolling and now its up to the fly shop retailer to maintain that customers needs. Fly shops should be thanking Costco for bringing new customers in their doors. Costco is making money and so is the fly shop. How many people walk thru the doors of fly shops daily? People know Costco has great products and service, and that could and should carry forward for the fly shops if they are worth their salt.
  17. Are you saying that if someone offered you a Sage Rod vs a TFO rod for the same price you would take the TFO on principle?? If so good on you but i think you may be in the minority
  18. I can't find anything to hate here. Big surprise, I know.

    You have two local companies who are working together to clear some inventory of a rod that'll likely be discontinued soon. I remember the zaxis that showed up a couple years ago was at the very end of its' availability.

    I think this'll probably end up helping fly fishing shops. I bet a lot of these rods are getting snapped up by people on an impulse buy. They'll be coming to the shops once they figure out you have to put a fly on the end of those rods ;)
  19. I think someone on this board nailed it right when refering to the simms and z-axis issue (alpinetrout maybe?). These items sold at costco, not an authorized dealer, should be voided of all warranties, sold as is. Sage should not honor any repairs/defaults/ etc. from their rods purchased at costco. I'm sure they know (or can find out) the serial numbers of the rods that made their way in to Costco hands.
  20. who has established that costco obtained these against sage's will?
    Kent Lufkin likes this.

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