A question and a rant?

jasmillo

Active Member
#46
It does not matter. If the first impression is bad, whether in person, on line, or on the phone, chances of a successful business exchange is significantly degraded. Period.
Yes, and? The “and” part is what you need to think about.

If you answer.....

“and I’ll come back another time and give a shop with a good reputation a second, third or fourth chance” because, well, I will not rehash my argument. Read it if you care.

If you answer.....

“and because a potentially new, inexperienced hire from a town with folks with limited interest or potential knowledge of a niche industry who are ok with making close to minimum wage so the shop can get within sniffing distance of the prices offered by internet retailers, I will never visit this shop again, even though it’s overall reputation is good.

I personally think that view is short sighted....

Keep thinking that way. Also, hit me up in 10 years when you try to test cast that rod you bought from Amazon, the only fly shop left in “town” and let me know how your “service” was then. The best things about the “service” these shops are providing is the convenience and the ability to hold and test the product you are buying. Their employees should not be pricks and if they are tenured, they should know the products well and know fly shop protocol. If they are new, cut them some slack for christ sake.

I have no dog in this fight btw. I have been to that shop exactly twice in the 5 years I have lived here. I buy gear at shops and online almost equally these days.

I’m just standing up a bit for a shop with a generally good reputation getting called out on one of the biggest fly fishing social media platforms in the country that is based in the state they do business in - over one bad “service” experience. Annoying to me, maybe not to all.
 
#47
Yes, and? The “and” part is what you need to think about.

If you answer.....

“and I’ll come back another time and give a shop with a good reputation a second, third or fourth chance” because, well, I will not rehash my argument. Read it if you care.

If you answer.....

“and because a potentially new, inexperienced hire from a town with folks with limited interest or potential knowledge of a niche industry who are ok with making close to minimum wage so the shop can get within sniffing distance of the prices offered by internet retailers, I will never visit this shop again, even though it’s overall reputation is good.

I personally think that view is short sighted....

Keep thinking that way. Also, hit me up in 10 years when you try to test cast that rod you bought from Amazon, the only fly shop left in “town” and let me know how your “service” was then. The best things about the “service” these shops are providing is the convenience and the ability to hold and test the product you are buying. Their employees should not be pricks and if they are tenured, they should know the products well and know fly shop protocol. If they are new, cut them some slack for christ sake.

I have no dog in this fight btw. I have been to that shop exactly twice in the 5 years I have lived here. I buy gear at shops and online almost equally these days.

I’m just standing up a bit for a shop with a generally good reputation getting called out on one of the biggest fly fishing social media platforms in the country that is based in the state they do business in - over one bad “service” experience. Annoying to me, maybe not to all.

I agree. One bad taste shouldn't necessarily mean I won't go back. Anyone can have a bad day.

And I certainly don't mean to come off as bashing shops. We have a lot of great shops in our area manned by some great folks. The shop in question does have a great rep and I personally have had nothing but great dealings with them. I don't know the new owners at all but used to really appreciate Dave's personal emails updating me on my order... And he was always a pleasure to chat with when I would stop in. He always seemed genuinely interested in my beach fishing adventures.

Once an employee of a local area shop bad mouthed me quite extensively to a good friend of mine when he had stopped in to buy some stuff on the way home from a beach fishing trip with me. The employee obviously didn't know we were friends. I had never met said employee but he sure had some not nice things to say about me and because of that I stopped going in there. A couple years later the new shop owner got wind of what happened and without going into detail will say he went WAY above and beyond to make it right. That shop is a good distance from me so I can't make it in as much as I'd like, but I try to stop in and spend some money every chance I get. Plus I get the enjoyment of shooting the shit with the shop employees who are all super cool. I'm very glad the new owner did what he did to change my attitude as now they are a favorite shop.

I do think its reasonable to cast a rod before buying, although honestly I've always been the type to just buy it and if I don't like it I sell it here. Maybe casting a rod is standard procedure at said shop and it was an employee having a bad day, or one bad apple, or a new hire etc. Who knows. Before writing them off as shit I would personally investigate a bit more and at least contact the owner. Nobody is perfect that's for sure.
 
#48
12 years ago I moved to Hood River. I didn’t even know about steelhead when I did( I was a sailor who occasionally went fishing). I had burned out on sailing so immersed myself in steelhead fishing.

When you come to hood river, a massive tourist destination, you take the exit and go two blocks to a 4 way stop. THE very best retail property is just ahead on the right; The Gorge Flyshop.

I never really got along with them, year after year of being greeted by “hello, how can I help you?” When I’d be in the shop 2-3 times a week will do that.

They offered what the OP wanted. Test rods, wallets of lines to try, etc. to their credit they did it right.

This year they sold the shop and moved out of town. 85% of their business was online. 5% was fly tying and they lost money on the because of the inventory they had to carry.

What would you do?
 
#49
I have been traveling a lot lately (I'm supposed to be retired and fishing) for a consulting job. I find that most of these service jobs in all industries have to hire young kids and frankly the kids don't really want to be there. For me, if I run into one of these kids I just give up and come back another day or time. I would have never spent $30 I would just leave and come back. No one should buy a fly rod without casting it, ever. I'm guessing Echo, Sage...would be bummed if you bought a rod that was not right for you and complained to everyone. We all cast differently and need to test cast. In fact being an engineer I've measured different flexes in the same model of fly rod. Try it some time you'll be surprised. Always test before you buy (besides if they have defect that's when it breaks).

One difference in WA is that kid may have multiple jobs. The service sector in WA is cutting hours to avoid additional cost and benefits. It's only going to get worse. I helped some young kids use TurboTax this year and I was shocked by their hours: 2 on, 2 off and come back for 2 more.
 
#50
I would share my concerns with the owner of the shop. Employees like that kill businesses and fly shops are a tough racket anyway. Any sales person who is interacting with a phone while a customer browses needs to be seriously educated. If I was the owner I would value your critique and take it up with the employee. For the record I've always had good experiences with the shop in question.
 
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FinLuver

Active Member
#51
I would share my concerns with the owner of the shop. Employees like that kill businesses and fly shops are a tough racket anyway. Any sales person who is interacting with a phone while a customer browses needs to be seriously educated. If I was the owner I would value your critique and take it up with the employee. For the record I've always had good experiences with the shop in question.
I think by now...the fly shop (in question) and the owner probably already knows, after this public display.
Word spreads quickly in this day and age.
Hopefully, some "serious training" took place.
The survival of this little shop depends on it. ;)
 

Rob Allen

Active Member
#52
When i worked at the Madison river fishing company we had lots of reels strung up
3-9 wts most had wfs and dts. People coukd cast anything they wanted.
Every fly shop should be prepared for you to cast any rod. It's not expensive to get a bunch of cheap reels and and good demo lines from major manufacturers.
Hell if i had to unbox a new rio gold so the guy could cast a rod hell yeah I'd do it, no hesitation.
Expecting a customer to buy a rod without casting it is absolutely absurd. A rod can be tested and still be new.

Ifva brick and mortar shop has a strong online presence and exceptional customer service they will make enough money to kerp talented and knowledgeable staff while paying a good wage. Yes it's posdible
 

Skip Enge

Uck Uck Uck, bitches
#53
The tactile experience is dying except for those premier enclaves...How many here buy exclusively untried unseen today? I dare say most do.
 

Griswald

a.k.a. Griswald
#54
Here is the deal that I wonder about. When I was 16 (1983) and found out an Orvis dealer was coming to my town, before the store had merchandise in it, I stopped by the shopping center office, found out who owned the store, and wrote him a letter. Then I proceeded to stop by the store every day until i met him. Even though I had never fly-fished I was so interested he hired me. I worked there for 4 years. I read every thing I could, when I did not know an answer, I asked the guide in the shop or the owner. I wanted to be there, I loved every minute of it. Does anyone remember Zen Piscatore? (I think that was that kids name) He was like that. Remember Backyard? There are so many folks with a passion for this sport that I don't buy it for a minute that it is hard to find quality folks to work there. I made alot more money mowing grass in school but I stayed with the shop. I understand the whole internet is killing the fly shop thing which is why I try to always stop in and purchase something, anything to help these folks out-Lord knows that unless you are Silver Creek outfitters or Dan Bailey's you are not going to get rich in the business. You will survive if you work hard, and show some enthusiasm. Otherwise you get eliminated. Finally you never know what your customer is, what they are going to buy...I don't mind being left alone in a store (I hate shopping anyway) but when a customer is polite and engaged to possibly purchase it is good business to pay attention.
 

Skip Enge

Uck Uck Uck, bitches
#55
when kids are in charge of a shop the knowledgible owners are fishing or going to one of their kids soccer games...Try a couple more times and then decide. The world is different now...Call it attention deficit disorder...That is the new way...
 
#56
Thanks primarily to internet discount sales, profit margins have become so thin for most flyshops that hired help is barely affordable, much less experienced help.

Whereas that doesn't excuse employee rudeness, why match it with an anger carried home like a heavy bag over your shoulder?

there is only one thing in life we can control, and that's how we react to what takes place around us and to us...
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
#57
Thanks primarily to internet discount sales, profit margins have become so thin for most flyshops that hired help is barely affordable, much less experienced help.
Some shops get the Internet (and social media). Others don’t.
There are several I can think of that do both the brick and mortar and Internet sales well.
They’ll likely survive. Many others will continue to perish like we’ve seen in recent years.
SF
 
#58
As a small business owner, I have watched this thread with some interest. I am surprised by some of the comments to the effect of "what do you expect from a kid making $15/hr?" I'll tell you exactly what I expect-as a customer AND as an employer. I expect that kid to want to be excellent. I expect him to be polite. I expect him to put his phone down and help. Being in business, especially in the PNW because of regulation and taxes, is tough.
No @Griswald, you are not an asshole. Being an asshole would be telling the kid his customer service skills sucked, that he needed to put his **** phone down and honor the man or woman who put their home or retirement at risk to pursue a dream, and earn the money they were not only paying him but to the government on his behalf. It would be telling him that if he couldn't provide more value for the owner of the fly shop, which the kid probably bragged to all his buddies about, maybe even poached some flies of other gear (because, like, this dude is only paying $15 bucks an hour after all) that he should do everybody a favor and move on. It would be telling him that a man would always give more than he got and every boss deserved his best effort....no matter how much he was getting paid. It would be telling him that if this was the best he could do for $15/hr why on earth would anyone ever want to pay him more?
Hmmm....I must be the asshole, because I've told more than one self absorbed kid those very things. I also told each of them that I was doing them a favor by talking to them like adults, no matter how they acted, because their boss had enough to worry about but If I ever got treated like that again or heard word of it, that's exactly what I would be doing.
 

SpudFly

Should be fishing
#60
I think there is quite a bit to think about in the replies you have received, so I won’t echo them.

I had an opposite experience. When I took up fly fishing again 11 years ago, I figured I should go to the local shop owned by a local legend for some help. Figured he would be the best guy for the job getting me on track. Low and behold, he was there in the shop at a computer. I walked in, said hello, and he grunted a little and shifted a bit in his chair.

For the next 15 minutes, as I reacquainted myself with the baffling array of fly fishing choices, he never looked up or said a word. I didn’t feel as though I was much wanted in the shop.

It culminated in me walking over to a mantle over a fireplace and taking a gander at a real pretty fly that was encased in glass. This got his full attention and he turned around to tell me, “absolutely don’t touch that”. I had made no attempt to do so. After the warning, the local legend went straight back to his computing.

Next to the fireplace was a shop dog in a chair. Moving away from the fly, I acknowledged the dog with a “hey buddy”. The dog showed his teeth and growled at me. I made no attempt to approach the dog.

Not another word was spoken to me as I left the shop with money burning a hole in my pocket and decisions to be made.

I have since spent 2, maybe 3 thousand dollars in other local shops.

I have watched many videos produced by the shop owner and fly fisherman extraordinaire in the time since.

I guess he didn’t need my money....