Costco & Sage

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

  1. Shad

    Shad Active Member

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    The thing I love about Costco is getting dangerously close to the reason why I hate Walmart. The two things separating those two corporations that have kept me in the Costco supporter camp have been that they sell high quality products (many manufactured in the USA) and that they take reasonably good care of their employees. The more I see them selling high end stuff that traditionally has been available only through small retailers, the less I feel good about buying from them.

    Small retail shops are the foundation of the American dream. Not so long ago, a guy who wanted to escape a lifetime of working for The Man could decide he was willing to work a little harder in exchange for financial independence, and most of the time, he had a decent chance of succeeding. As his business grew, he found a need to hire help. This was the sort of "job creation" that true free enterprise provided, and it's the reason people used to be able to find entry level jobs so much more easily. The more markets today's giant retailers get into, the less opportunity there is for small businesses, and the fewer opportunities for non-professional people to go to work there are.

    More and more, it looks like the days of the great American entrepreneur are over. That's not a good thing, unless you delight in the prospect of corporate overlords deciding the fate of our children. In my opinion, the government needs to step in and limit the number of different types of products retailers can sell. Of course, those making the laws are profiting hugely from allowing the current trends to continue, so it seems unlikely they will be interested in changing much.

    Ah, well. Might as well go drown my sorrows in some Kirkland brand booze and mixed nuts while I watch my Samsung TV that I bought at Costco.
     
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  2. Dipnet

    Dipnet The wanted posters say Tim Hartman

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    Regardless of the corporate finagling, I'm glad I still have Sportsman's Warehouse up here in Silverdale with all the employees of the previous Wholesale Sports store.

    Was just there an hour ago buying some more tying materials!
     
  3. YAMMY

    YAMMY Member

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    Yup-a lot of people profess principles but sorry if I can buy a Sage rod at 60% suggested retail I am going to do it.iI haven't got several hundred dollars to throw around-when I run out of money principles don't put any food on the table nor do the people preaching principles.
     
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  4. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    I agree 100%. I patronize my local shop, and small online retailers. But if I am honest, a chain sporting goods store that carries any amount of fly gear is over an hour away. And in that location most small shops have struggled, in fact I think since 1998 they have gone from three to none to one.

    Your statement is the best argument for why service is more important than gear, especially for the "little guy." If the "little guy" (and gals) can get good gear at the price point you and I are looking for, and then add on top of that services that a large chain is no good at providing...well then you have a winning mix for the little guy.

    The real tough thing for small operators (again IMO) is that you have less volume to work with to target what the customers want. Errors in stocking can be VERY costly. That's why I think a healthy mix of customer desired services is essential. A little luck won't hurt either.

    Diversification of services to mitigate variation in purchase habits.
     
  5. Porter

    Porter Active Member

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    Maybe you should be looking at TFO? or something even cheaper. I mean you want to stick to your principle of being able to put food on the table....right?
     
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  6. Porter

    Porter Active Member

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    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. :(
     
  7. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    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).
     
  8. Porter

    Porter Active Member

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    not of your rocker...gotcha now....;)
     
  9. Lap Dog

    Lap Dog New Member

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    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.
     
  10. Porter

    Porter Active Member

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    Well...how about how sage reacts...that would be kind of important too... wouldn't you say?
     
  11. Eric Denny

    Eric Denny Summer is over but I'm still fishing!!

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    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?
     
  12. luv2fly2

    luv2fly2 Active Member

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    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
     
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  13. kmac

    kmac Active Member

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    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.
     
  14. Tool Fly

    Tool Fly Member

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    Not possible. ALL Sage brand rods are made on Bainbridge.
     
  15. hydrological

    hydrological beads are NOT flies and snagging is just ghetto

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    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.