Sage and Simms at Costco?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Philster, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. scottflycst Active Member

    Posts: 1,711
    Ozark Mtn springwater
    Ratings: +24 / 0
    only if Jason Borger used it to make a movie!
  2. sportsman Active Member

    Posts: 803
    Kirkland, wa., 98034.
    Ratings: +78 / 0
    Totally agree Kent, what's amazing is the total response in one day, I know the rivers are blown but a lot of lakes are open! Just wait until the Class 1 1/2 river pontoons go on sale next month. Everybody will posting and sending PM's to their buddies about the great buck 99 sale going on. The only griping then will be that Costco is so far away from home.
  3. Porter Active Member

    Posts: 6,414
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +508 / 0
    Can't agree. Has far as I know Cabelas charges MSRP or within a dollar. Costco was plus side of 100.00 off on the sage z-axis and the simms I don't know but it was significant I bet.
  4. Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

    Posts: 1,786
    Bellingham Wa.
    Ratings: +316 / 1
    I remember reading, about 6 or 7 years ago, that nike's median priced shoe cost them about $7.60 to put on the shelf. Haven't worn a pair since! But hey, I'm a cheap f*cker!
  5. Kaiserman content

    Posts: 2,592
    Ratings: +401 / 0
    ABSOLUTELY, and I have. Bought two BIIx rods at the Silver Bow Fly Shop. I could have saved $317 on those two rods buying them online - new. I chose to support Sean. I don't even know how that place online was able to sell them cheaper. I thought Winston didn't allow that kind of thing.

    I buy a few flies there when I don't have time to tie, and supplies that I could get at "the box" stores. No, I'm not loaded but I support Sean when I can. They supply things that a big store can't.

    I caught the fish of a lifetime last year, and had two back-to-back double digit stealhead days, they shared in my joy as I retold the stories. Can't get that online or at Costco.....but you can at a local fly shop.

    The other fly shop, Westslope Fly Shop does the same. You won't find the kind of guys, Jesse and Jon from Westslope at Costco either. 98.7% of the time you're going to save maybe a few dollars on most of your purchases at a box store.

    And no, I don't work for a fly shop either.
  6. Mike T Active Member

    Posts: 849
    Gig Harbor, WA
    Ratings: +54 / 1
    I’m not sure why anyone would be outraged at this. We all lament the damage done to the independent fly shops by the economy & wholesaler’s policies. Yet, most independents now have their own web sites, these sites inevitably poach consumers who would otherwise visit their local fly shop for their needs. I can think of two site sponsors who offer to pay the tax on internet orders. Who is this policy aimed at? Certainly not customers from out of state.

    At times we've all talked about "buying local" as being some kind of moral imperative, that the responsibility of our local shops survival is on us. I’m don’t believe that’s wholly correct. One could say they're cannibalizing themselves, and they'd be right.

    I support the local shops because I genuinely like the experience of dealing with a small business. That rapport, banter, service and knowledge will never be replaced by an online store or mega store. The day that's lost will be the end of the small shop.

    I just realized the irony of posting this on this board as I looked up and see a Sierra Trading Post ad for big savings on Lamson, Sage, etc...
  7. Woodman60 Member

    Posts: 89
    Sacramento, CA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    So let me get this straight...Simms is going to every Costco store that has these...and of course they don't know which stores because they weren't involved. Maybe they're just calling every Costco...oops, forgot you can't get anyone on the phone at Costco. Must be flying around the country to Costco stores with loads of cash - since Costco doesn't take credit cards - buying it all up. Then they're putting it in their carry on luggage and hauling it all back to Bozeman...to sell it at a discount, because it's now used. No real flyfisher would want waders that had ever been in a Costco.

    I hope Costco still has some pairs left. I asked the tooth fairy to leave me $399 under my pillow.

    How many of the people complaining about this have ever taken a picture of the fish they caught on their $799 z-axis with a camera that was not purchased at their local camera store. It must have really cheapened the experience. Or maybe that's okay since our hobby is flyfishing, not photography.

    Get over it...buy it, don't buy it...leave everyone else alone.
  8. Kaiserman content

    Posts: 2,592
    Ratings: +401 / 0
    If there were camera shops that specialized in just cameras (and gadgets that go with photography) then yes, it would be a shame to buy online or at a box store - thus hurting the small camera shops. Oh wait, that's already happened. Too late.

    You've made the point for those in favor of supporting local fly shops with your comment. ANY specialized "Ma and Pa" store is hurt by the big box stores. Very few camera shops around anymore. There were three in my city, gone now because they simply could not compete.

    Thank you for making our point for us. :thumb:
  9. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,396
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,355 / 9
    It is a discussion about something someone saw. Nothing wrong with a healthy discussion, even better when not everyone agrees. More angles to consider, more perspective, more conversation. That is all good. More items being taken off the floor of my local shop because they are being mass marketed by the big box stores means that my local shop will have to alter its inventory game plan. Personally I don't like the idea. Successful shops will find a way to get by without carrying these items if available at Costco. My local shop just expanded, almost doubling the floorspace and wall hanging space. I guess if these items are available 15 miles away for less than he can afford to offer them I know what will no longer be in his inventory.
  10. Mikey Member

    Posts: 62
    Washington.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Reminds me of a song by Johnny Hickman...

  11. martyg Active Member

    Posts: 981
    The world at large
    Ratings: +74 / 0
    Kim - let me simply say - as someone who commutes between Washington and China - as someone who is intimately familiar with those brands - as someone who does QA inspections and walks those factory floors - you simply have no clue.
  12. Chef New Member

    Posts: 1,102
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Tell us marty
  13. Kim McDonald member

    Posts: 289
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +138 / 0
    Yes, Marty, please tell us. Because I am very familiar with many outdoor brands and their "factories" in Viet Nam and China. Fly rods, waders, wading boots...the QA on those isn't that much different than the QA from, er, let's see, all the high end dog and cat food that hit the US market a few years ago which ended up killing hundreds of animals and tons of recalls. Or how about the toys? Or....it's all about the profit margin. Sorry. I don't think Sage or Simms is that much different. And I own products from both lines and enjoy what I own. But because they have tight regs on MSRP doesn't mean the quality is all that much better.
  14. martyg Active Member

    Posts: 981
    The world at large
    Ratings: +74 / 0
    Kim -

    I am simply not going to waste my time on-line explaining the nuances of development cycles, inventory control and product positioning in the marketplace on an on-line forum. If you ever see me at a WWF event I will be happy with talk to you.

    It sounds like you are intimately familiar with those "factories" and probably spend a lot of time in Asia. Hell, I bet you have an apartment in HCM - don't you? You obviously see an opportunity in the marketplace since everyone is producing such junk, and since you have answers on how it could be done better. So why don't you leverage everything that you have - your retirement, house, vehicles, savings, etc. bring out your own brand? You obviously have the sourcing contacts and have spent time in those "factories." It sounds like you area a master of design and fabric development. I say go for it!

    You boys play nice now.
  15. Anil Active Member

    Posts: 1,054
    Tacoma, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +205 / 6
    Both Simms and Sage are among the few manufacturers who do still make (many of) their products here.

    SIMMS: For Simms all of their ‘Gore-tex’ waders are made from raw material (sewn, taped, tested) in Bozeman Montana.
    SAGE: All rods labeled with the ‘SAGE’ brand are still rolled from graphite sheets at their factory on Bainbridge Island (many high end rods are still made here in the U.S.) They are then sanded, painted, polished, rapped, glued, dried and the ferules are hand fitted.

    If you would like, both companies offer tours. Obviously Simms is going to be a trek for you, but I highly recommend the Sage tour. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 17 different American workers touch a Sage rod before it leaves the factory. Since you already own Sage rods, you might appreciate them even more.
    Anil
  16. Chef New Member

    Posts: 1,102
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Marty: I am not trying to be a dick but would love to know more about your insights. It interests me.
  17. dennysmith New Member

    Posts: 9
    Longview, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    For those that do not believe the aforementioned manufactures would not sell to Costco and for those that believe Costco only purchases items that they can purchase in massive quantities at heavy discounts, the following article will open your eyes to some of Costco's buying practices.

    Aggressive and Uncaring Methods
    This is part of an article written by Elise Eden & Wendy Berner titled "At What Price Costco?" The article was published in the April 10-16 issue of Willamette Weekly.


    When Bob Laman's company started out seven years ago, it sold the rooftop carriers through a toll-free phone service. Within months, Laman says, Packasport had developed a small but loyal group of customers, who loved the luxury item and its wide variety of options. As sales grew, the company began to sell the storage systems at automotive outlets and high-end sporting goods stores. These retailers were chosen, Laman says, because they could maintain attractive floor displays of the six Packasport models and afford to train customer service representatives in the finer points about the features and custom work available with each carrier.

    In January 1995, a Costco buyer approached Packasport and asked to carry the company's rooftop storage systems in its warehouse stores, Laman says. Packasport refused, giving two reasons. First, the company was concerned that Costco couldn't provide adequate customer service for the specialized equipment. Second, Costco admitted that it would sell the cartop carriers below the manufacturer's suggested retail price. This, in Packasport's mind, could sully the product's reputation and anger its regular retailers. Those retailers would be so upset about Costco offering the same product at a discount, Laman says, that they might decide it wasn't worth the effort to order any more Packasport merchandise. "For a small company, [selling to Costco] destroys the market," he says. "The last place we'd sell to is Costco." Laman thought that was the end of the conversation. He was wrong. "Telling Costco you won't sell directly to them," he says, "is never the end of the story."

    Soon after Costco's inquiry, Packasport received a large order request from a small sporting goods shop in Seattle, which Laman won't identify. The size of the order seemed out of place given the size of the store. "It raised an immediate red flag in my mind," Laman says.

    Laman was so curious that he asked one of his other retailers to call the shop's owner, who confirmed that Costco had approached him about getting Packasport's basic model and that the products his store had ordered would indeed end up on Costco's shelves. Packasport refused to fill the shop's order.

    Several months later, the Bend manufacturer received an order from New Delhi-based Indian Distributors for 104 carriers. Suspicious, Packasport made the small export company sign a contract stipulating that the Indian firm would not sell any Packasport products to any stores in the United States. The cartop carriers were to be picked up at Packasport's small Ohio manufacturing plant, loaded onto semitrailers and trucked to Los Angeles, where the shipment would go through customs and end up in India.

    The shipment, however, never arrived at customs. Within three days after the products left Ohio, the Packasport System 90 rooftop carrier was on shelves at Costco warehouses in Oregon and five other Western states.

    Laman didn't find out right away. It was only after handfuls of warranty response cards, which accompany each Packasport cartop carrier, started pouring into the Bend office from destinations as far away as Wyoming and Montana. "It was kind of like a little mystery," he says.

    Even though he suspected Costco right away, Laman was baffled. His company had done everything within its power to keep Packasport products away from the discount chain. He drove to the Bend Costco and walked straight down the automotive aisle. There, sandwiched between haphazardly stacked truck storage boxes and an occasional radial tire, sat his product--only partially displayed and still in the original shipping boxes. He stood motionless on the cement floor as he stared at the price tag: $499.99, almost 33 percent below the suggested retail price of $745. He took a minute to remind himself that this wasn't a personal attack, just a business technique. But still, he says, "They're not the kind of business partner I'd like to have."

    Costco officials won't comment specifically about their dealings with Packasport, but top brass don't deny that their company often obtains products by using what it euphemistically calls "diversion." "Our goal is to bring high-quality products to consumers at the lowest price," says Richard Galanti, Costco executive vice president and chief financial officer, from his Issaquah, Wash., office. "We try to buy directly from manufacturers, but in instances where they refuse, we buy through a third party--legally." Galanti estimates that about 4 percent of the goods in Costco are diverted, but a number of retailers are convinced that the figure is closer to 12 percent. At an average of 4,000 products per warehouse store, that means that anywhere from 160 to 480 brand-name products on Costco's shelves at any given time are there without the express approval of their manufacturers.


    This should scare the you-know-what out of all small business owners. Costco is certainly not the first to obtain their products through diversion, but they are certainly the first to do it in such a manner. Small businesses must be able to control their market to compete with large corporations. The way they compete is by keeping their products out of the bottom-end sales bracket. The advantage of large corporations is that they can produce lots of products for a very low price, a price that small businesses can't match. The key is to find a niche in an existing market or create an entirely new one that operates on variables other than the bottom dollar.

    Using Packasport as an example, that business is only successful because it has found a market where they are sheltered. By selling to the upper-middle class outdoor types, their product is evaluated on presentation, customer service, and sign value. When Costco acquires this product, they destroy its presentation by leaving it in the shipping box, customer service is non-existent, and the low price makes it just another car top carrier. Costco has taken it out of its market where could do well and dropped it down to the bottom-dollar market where the only thing that counts is the price tag. Small businesses can never compete in this market so Costco's actions destroy small businesses while fueling large corporations. The effect that this could have is frightening. If power-boxes like Costco continue to spread and consumers continue to only be concerned with getting the lowest price, small business will suffer greatly. Say "hello" to monopolies, larger corporations, more powerful corporations, homogenization of products, and an ever growing lower-middle class. View Original Text in Willamette Weekly
  18. Philster New Member

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    .
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    Right on Pee Wee
  19. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    Duvall, wa
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  20. Philster New Member

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    DURK A DURRRRRR!!!!!