You can't have it both ways!

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

  1. Chris Bellows

    Chris Bellows Your Preferred WFF Poster

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    the other side of the equation is that the manufacturers have created some of this by selling to the big box outlets. it used to be that premium fly fishing products and brands were only found at shops. now the big names are in cabelas, bass pro, and other large outlets.

    with the internet, sales tax becomes an issue for many local shops. i do not know, but it seems that covering the tax for the customer is not discounting the MSRP as the customer did pay the MSRP. i'm not sure but there should be some allowable sales tax wiggle room to allow for shops to compete with the huge number of out of state online shops now available.

    shops that survive and thrive are gracious with those who try on stuff and buy online. those people can be turned into customers but not by treating them badly but giving them great service regardless. they may not always become good customers but the other side of the online world is that negative feelings towards shops can linger much longer and are harder to erase.
     
  2. coastal cutthroat

    coastal cutthroat Active Member

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    Buy your gear where you like, but don't rip folks off. That is what you are doing when you walk into a shop use the gear to try out, take up people's time and pick their brains and then spend your money somewhere else. Yes an item may be more expensive in a local shop, but you've received extra value in the knowledge of the staff and in the ability to try on and try out the gear; if these services have no value, then why did you go into the shop in the first place.

    After you've done this a couple of times, don't expect a friendly reception; and if you keep it up, don't expect the shop to survive.

    And no, I don't own a fly shop.
     
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  3. BRsnow

    BRsnow Member

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    You see, I think I figured out the issue. You state that fly anglers will be lucky if there are any independent shops in 10 years. I think a better approach is, shop owners will be lucky if they are in business in 10 years. After the realization that you the shop needs the consumer rather than seeing it the other way around, you can start to make changes to help not only stay in business buy grow. The consumer has options, you need to make yours the most attractive. If someone was willing to leave your store to order on line, wait for delivery, and not have the option to purchase other items in order to save sales tax, something went wrong. It could be as easy as the inventory layout is not conducive for shopping. Hard to say without having been in the shop, but the shop needs the consumer and the consumer has choices. The mind set that fly fishing people will be the lucky ones if shops are around is arrogant and problematic for business success. BR
     
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  4. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

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    The way I read Bob's comment is if you want to buy online then do it just don't screw the shop owner over in the process. His store's inventory is not a display case for online outlets and taking up his/her time fitting clothes, trying rods, etc. with the intension of buying online is a really crappy thing to do.

    And I agree.
     
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  5. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    With my job, I get a lot of gear for free, and a lot of stuff at discount. I still make every effort I can to go spend money at my local fly shop, even if I can get what I'm buying through one of my "industry connections." I just find these places too valuable to not have. They do so much to get new people in to this sport, and work so hard doing what they do. Not the case with every shop, but we have plenty around the Seattle area that do. Puget Sound Fly CO, Pacific Fly Fishers, even Ted's. While I haven't actually purchased anything with him yet, I was really impressed with Jesse's shop and his willingness to talk shop and help. Saving a few bucks in sales tax to order online is a bummer of an excuse to make when you took advantage of someone's time like that (and the company I work for is an online fly company).
     
  6. 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.
     
  7. 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.
     
  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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.
     
  11. 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.
     
  12. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald that's His Lordship, to you.....

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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.
     
  13. 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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  14. 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
     
  15. 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.