So after getting a bunch of awesome responses on the first article about the economy and your local snowboard shop I decided to follow it up. I appreciate all the feedback from everyone and hopefully this will address your questions and concerns further.
The thing about a local shop is there will always be good ones and bad ones. A good shop is good because they train their staff, care about the customer, and want to help you. A bad shop is bad because at some point they became apathetic towards their customers when they saw them as cash cows. This is where the internet plays the biggest roll. If you as a consumer have a bad experience in a shop you will take your money elsewhere such is your right and thats fine, but you will also tell on the minimum at least 5 people of the horrible experience. This in turn hurts them.
I’ve noticed that consumers don’t realize they hold a lot of the power when it comes to their local shops. Without you the shop will not exist, you drive the sales, the merchandise, and hopefully to some extent who remains working there. Really think about it if a shop doesn’t have a product you want you can ask for it. If a shop is smart they will realize the demand and bring said product in. If the shop is stupid they won’t and since its your money you will go elsewhere. As I mentioned in the last article a good shop will try to price match or meet you half way they will also understand when to put things on sale and effectivly promote sales. As far as sales staff is concerned they are there to help you in one way or another, if you feel one isn’t doing their part talk to a manager. The power for a shop doesn’t fully lie in their hands you have some sense of control over it.
Unfortunately though everyone does not have a local shop near them. This is the beauty of the world and how we have adapted to situations. This is where online shops do come in. There’re definite advantages to shopping online, the store is always open. But as I mentioned in the first article are you a customer to them in every sense of the word or are you just number 93848238? This is where researching where you buy from comes in. Blogs, magazines, and forums really can show you what is out there. Google product search can always find you the best deals. If you’re an international customer you’re probably always getting a better deal ordering from the US compared to a online store in your country. The US still remains at one of the lowest pricescompared to others. But what if the product isn’t what you want with the fit, the color is off, its damaged in shipping, etc. etc? The list of what ifs and negatives can get big pretty quick. These are things to consider. Let alone the sales factor, lets say that a 300 dollar jacket you want is on a site for 150 the shipping on it is 35 dollars but it will take 2 weeks to get there. Is that 185 dollars worth the wait if you’re leaving on a trip right about when it should arrive and its late? Or would buying it at say 250 from your local shop and knowing you have it be better? Then there’s the whole what if its the wrong size and you have to return it.
Someone made a comment on the last article about there being a lack of information in store. That is a store specific flaw not an all store flaw. Every shop should have store copies of tech manuals to use incase they don’t know an answer to a question. Let alone if you need to know tech specs on boards flip them over there’s a reason they have those sheets on the back. If anything a shop is far more consistant with its information than the internet, if its not that is an issue you should bring up with your local shop.
Remember though its your money spend it where you feel comfortable. But a shops main goal is to be there to help you and provide you with what you need. The second they are gone you’re losing your first line of defense if you have a problem.