You can't have it both ways!

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Bob Triggs, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. Steve Saville

    Steve Saville Active Member

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    I buy some stuff on line. I have found that certain types of tying materials are not always available at the local shops. Many times, the material has been around for a long time, like Super Hair. I tie a lot of salt water flies and the original manufacturer doesn't sell it anymore. I had to go on line to find the stuff and was able to find three or four locations that continue to sell what they have or have found similar materials from different sources. Many times, cerftain colors are sold out and nobody knows when they will have more. If I go to a shop and can't find what I want, I find it somewhere else. It's simple. I spend a lot more money in the shops on other things, however and I doubt my local shop owner would say I'm giving business to someone else in lieu of him. I am an impulse shopper, however, and when I want something, I want it now; not in two weeks or a month when the next order comes in. That's when I go on line. Saving tax is okay but what you save in tax, you give back in shipping and handling so that makes no sense from an argument standpoint. There is no such thing as free shipping regardless of what is advertised.
     
  2. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    There really is nothing wrong with buying online since many shops and small businesses (like the one I work for) are still providing jobs. I spend hours a day, even into the evening and non-existent days off "talking shop" with customers, many of which don't have a local shop. When they buy a rod and reel from me after these discussions, I'll encourage them to go to their local shop to get their line, leader, flies, waders, etc. The problem lies in the scenarios previous where someone takes the time and energy of a local shop (if they have one) to see something in person before ordering from a big box store online. No es bueno.
     
  3. BRsnow

    BRsnow Member

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    For the shop the bigger issue is if someone just buys on line. If a customer takes the time to come to the shop, the shop is given the opportunity to create a client. You want people to come into your shop, it gives you the chance to build business. They are taking the time to drive up, provide an experience that results in a sale. It is all on the shop, the client is showing up in person. BR
     
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  4. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

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    Buying online isn't just effecting small businesses such as fly shops.
    Large brick and mortar store are feeling the effect as well. A prime example is Best Buys. They are struggling because their stores have become showrooms for people to try things out. So it isn't just small business that are feeling the online pinch.
    I make my living in sales. Never be afraid to ask any local store if they're willing to match a price you found online for a particular item. The worst thing they can say is no.
     
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  5. Kcahill

    Kcahill Active Member

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    I must be doing it backwards, last week I had some work to do in Olympia so I stopped into Cabelas since I had never been there, found something I couldn't live without so I stopped on my way home at my favorite fly shop and picked it up.
     
  6. bitterroot

    bitterroot Love vintage graphite!

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    Just because a manufacturer comes out with a new rod every year that doesn't mean you have to buy it! It's ALL marketing. Let's face it, if rod XYZ was a great rod in 2012 it will still be a great rod in 2013, 2014, 2015, etc. I'm not a gear whore, but I'm glad some of you are, and the manufacturers and retailers depend on it! No retailer is going to get rich off of me because I only buy the consumables like flies, leaders, tippet, etc. When my old waders finally crap out, I'll happily buy them from my local fly shop.
     
  7. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

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    I go into a shop for several reasons, first of which is the knowledge stashed behind the counter! If I'm looking for something they have, I'll get it at the shop, and have never been disappointed with my purchases. I value the experience and knowledge of the guys there, and you won't find that at Amazon. A combination of knowledge, products, and great service should always be a winner. Our shops are, to me, priceless resources, not to be used capriciously.
    Contrast that with looking for a plane in a home depot, and getting told it's not an airport!! I had to search out someone when I couldn't find any planes-nor even some decent bench chisels; I told the kid "it's for planing wood, idiot!", and walked out.
     
  8. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

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    I'll be happy when I find a fly shop that carries "salmon/shrimp pink" schlappen or saddle. Guess I will "have" to go online. Every shop with upcoming salmon season NEEDS TO CARRY every stinking shade of "pink"!!!! If someone knows...............PM me!!!! (Sample color attached)
     

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  9. Rick Todd

    Rick Todd Active Member

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    As a fly fisher who lives in a fly shop free zone, I will say you guys who still have a shop are very lucky! Do your best to support them. I always like to stop by Red's when I'm fishing the Yakima and buy some stuff. I know Red's online gives free shipping and no sales tax, and I wonder if other shops just need to follow suit on this to even the playing field with the online retailers. If I had a local shop to patronize, I doubt I would ever order fly stuff online. Rick
     
  10. dflett68

    dflett68 Active Member

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    Derek is right, if something costs more it should deliver more. That's a rule of the marketplace. And as many have pointed out, lots of shops get this and deliver on it. Most probably don't - which is another rule of the marketplace. The VAST majority of small businesses fail, and they fail because they run out of financing before they accumulate the business acumen to compete and succeed. Fly shops are no exception. Giving someone your business because you are sympathetic to them does them no favors because nobody's got enough loyal friends in the marketplace to survive off of sentiment. Dream-jobs are born of passion, but businesses have to be born of business plans that are cogent and will pay for themselves before the money runs out.

    Ultimately, it's business acumen + product expertise/passion that makes a small business work. In that sense, you CAN have it both ways, and you MUST have it both ways, or you'll be on the heap with the rest of the 95% of failed small businesses within 5-6 years.

    BTW, I agree it's unequivocally lame and rude for someone to browse a store and then order online from another seller from within that store. Still, Amazon knows very well that one of the most valuable assets they have is their catalog information - the product descriptions, specs, weights, dimensions, etc., to say nothing of reviews. Their content is CONSTANTLY referenced by consumers (and plagiarized by other sellers) who ultimately buy elsewhere and come to Amazon only to kick tires and learn about the product. People shop around - another rule of the marketplace and companies like Amazon play by those rules too. Their catalog info is their property but it is constantly copied and pasted into ebay listings and the websites of competitors. That's life.
     
  11. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    Video killed the radio star.

    I remember when Skagit Anglers was still open. It was far more than a fly shop. It was a meeting place for fishermen. If it weren't for the shop and the people that frequented it my steelhead fly fishing learning curve would have been one steep road. Ideas were exchanged, fishing reports were given, casting help, tying help. Trips were planned. A lot of the creativity that went into the Skagit style lines and cast was done while standing around the shop talking about fishing. I remember many evenings working on line lengths and weights for new 2 handers coming out. New flies, the first Intruder I saw was one Ed brought into Skagit Anglers one afternoon years ago. Kim closed the place for two reasons; first I think he was tired of running the place and second he felt he couldn't compete with the internet.

    Like others have said, if you have a local shop, support it. You will not know how much of a resource you have until it is gone.
     
  12. Gary Thompson

    Gary Thompson dirty dog

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    We used to have a fly shop here in Wenatchee, but no more.
    Reason is not for the lack of flyfishers, it was for the lack of fly fishing opportunities.
    All of the closed water here in the local area.
    Now I like to think of myself as my own fly shop.
    By searching the web I have found the best deals on rods, reels, lines, leaders, tippets, fly tying materials, clothing, boots, etc.
    If I want to find out how the fishing is at some location or what flies have been working, I just ask my friends right here on WFF
    I don't have to spend gas money driving to and from, and the only fly shop I drive by when coming and going from fishing is almost always closed.
    I won't darken the door of the big box sporting goods stores, or there web sites, hell I don't darken the doors of any big box stores, Walmart, Costco, Kmart, etc.
    I do all my shopping on line, except for food and TP.
     
  13. PETI

    PETI Member

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    Character is something that’s probably missing from your shelves, everyone’s for that matter judging by the lack of it.
    Problem is it’s too expensive for most, evidenced by many of the responses to your legitimate gripe.
    I feel your pain.
     
  14. deansie

    deansie Member

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    Spot on...you think other retailers in different industries are going to market the same way they did 10 years ago, nope. TImes change and the retailer has to be willing to change with them or be left behind.
     
  15. BRsnow

    BRsnow Member

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    Trying to guilt people into buying from you is not character. Character is stepping up to the challenge of competition and succeeding. BR
     
  16. jason.allen

    jason.allen Member

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    I think that if you are going to charge me $3 for a fly that I can get online for $1 I should at least get some good info on the river. A lot of times I get "I've never fished it" or completely wrong information about a river. If someone bought a pair of boots online to save on sales tax, they probably aren't your target customer. I buy things that I can wait for and standard basic flies online. Yesterday I bought a pair of Simms waders at outdoor emporium and realized they are the same price at my local fly shop so I am taking them back and buying them from the shop.
     
  17. jason.allen

    jason.allen Member

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    I think that if you are going to charge me $3 for a fly that I can get online for $1 I should at least get some good info on the river. A lot of times I get "I've never fished it" or completely wrong information about a river. If someone bought a pair of boots online to save on sales tax, they probably aren't your target customer. I buy things that I can wait for and standard basic flies online. Yesterday I bought a pair of Simms waders at outdoor emporium and realized they are the same price at my local fly shop so I am taking them back and buying them from the shop.
     
  18. Brian White

    Brian White Recovering Bugmeister

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    What is being described in this thread sounds like a phenomenon in retail we call "showrooming" - effectively, brick and mortar retailers across a number of categories are becoming showrooms rather than selling points. It is a major and very real concern for a broad spectrum of retailers.

    In the showroom model, the customer finds, looks at, touches and feels a product - typically at least a somewhat commoditized product. A fly rod. Wading boots. The customer makes the decision to purchase, but then proceeds to execute the purchase at the lowest cost channel they can find - often via a direct sales (online) channel. Sometimes a low cost brick and mortar retailer in another state with no sales tax. Those low cost channels typically have good return policies and attractive tax rates.

    Surviving and thriving in those environments requires retailers to rethink their strategies and tactics and is not easy. It is especially tough for retailers who are not "private brands" but rather are independents carrying manufacturers' brands. Surviving and thriving in this new economy is easier for, say, American Girl than for a Circuit City - for a number of reasons.

    Exclusivity. Finding new customers through marketing and retaining customers through marketing. Finding (and potentially employing) "tastemakers" who can drive people to the stores. Incentivizing the sales team. List of tactics goes on, and you have to pick the right tactics and execute them effectively these days because things are so much more competitive.

    I like to people watch and I think that Orvis Bellevue has a great resource in Leland, for example. A lot of sales volume runs through that store because of Leland. Sure they probably lose some sales to orvis.com or other channels for non-Orvis product, but they do a lot of smart things over there to bring in people in an "experiential" way (another retail term). Make no mistake, though - Orvis is more than getting its money's worth with Leland :)

    Must get back to my other tasks at hand (working for a retailer). Retail ponderings done for now. I love fishing, so wish success on all the good people in the fishing value chain!
     
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  19. dflett68

    dflett68 Active Member

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    to me what you described is a club, not a shop. all the internet has done is expose inefficiencies and weaknesses in small businesses. those who can adapt and find new ways to compete will survive. if you want to have a business that behaves like a club but generates profit like a healthy business, you're going to have to make your own rules and find a way to make a profit doing something that is traditionally not profitable. i'm sure it can be done, but it would have to be done very intentionally and with a plan. just having a club where there's also a bunch of stuff available for sale at uncompetitive prices is never going to work.

    btw, what you quoted is just a lyric. the person who wrote it is still getting a royalty check every six months from BMI or ASCAP for radio airplay. the radio still drives the vast majority of performance royalties earned by songwriters. the radio star is alive and well.
     
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  20. sportsman

    sportsman Active Member

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    Your second sentence qualifies as the dumbest quote of the year, but the year is fairly young. The people that do that[ONLINE SHOPPERS] have already decided where they are going to buy and have no shame in taking advantage of the shop owners. Go fishing..it should cure what's ailing you...maybe.
     
  21. BRsnow

    BRsnow Member

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    If you were correct I would not be successful. Thankfully you are the one projecting dumbness. BR
     

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