Who’s Right and Who’s Wrong: Sierra Snowboards Vs. Burton Snowboards

If there’s one thing the newest generation of people that are getting interested in snowboarding doesn’t know it’s MSRP. Yeah, yeah, say what you want about price gouging and all that fun stuff. But the truth is, the newest generation have grown up with online mega warehouses severely discounting products. Add to that rampant over production and the ability to shop online from your cell phone you have a recipe for ultimate destruction.

Fingers can be pointed at just about anyone when it comes to online shopping, death of local shops, over production, and all that is associated with what’s wrong with the snowboard industry. This is not what its about its about a company that was a huge part of the problem finally doing something right.

As of today Burton has pulled the plug with its agreement with Sierra Snowboards. Sierra broke the contract and Burton finally realized they should use some of that almighty power and leverage to stop posturing and do something. The short of it is that Sierra will no longer be able to carry any products under the Burton umbrella i.e. Red, Anon, Forum, AK, etc. etc.

So begins the tail spin of what’s going on. Sierra has started its damage control spin by posting on their forum and others. What we’re left with here is Sierras side of the story and what ultimately looks like a smear campaign against Burton. I will give credit where credit is due they owned up to breaching a contract. But then proceed to make this out about the riders and “community”.  Sorry fellas but when you run a business it’s about the bottom line and that translates to dollar amounts say what you will about customer service and care but don’t even pretend that buying in bulk and discounting wasn’t to line your pockets. Their are responses from them pointing fingers at other shops (The House, Backcountry.com) the fact the CEO used to work for Louis Vitton and is now making the brand a “luxury”, and that Burton is selling direct and only doing this to line their pockets. How much of that is true and how much of that is propagated hate though? I’ll be shooting an email to Clark Gundlach over at Burton to get his side of the story as we’ve been inundated with Sierra’s side.

Now it’s understandable the patrons of Sierra are upset. Who wouldn’t be upset if their favorite store with huge discounts lost the largest snowboard company in the world? But how many of those patrons are only there because Sierra is notorious for giving products away to build up their “community” base and I use the world “community” loosely.  If you take away the cookie jar and there’s a lot of hands in it, it’s guaranteed they’ll be highly vocal about it.

So why would Burton now suddenly do this? Lets look at the sad state of affairs the industry is in. The big companies have horribly over produced  for the better part of this last decade, big online warehouses have destroyed the pricing models, and we have consumers that feel MSRP is price gouging. Burton is finally cracking the whip on their agreements and doing something that has the potential to help save the snowboard industry. Control your over supply and prices. When a companies board is supposed to sell for 500 bucks but it’s constantly marked down to 300 bucks every season it lessens its perceived value. When a big shop goes off price months before others then those shops now either eat it because they’re living up to the contracts they signed or they match the price and make less money due to the fact they aren’t buying in bulk.

As it stands right now Burton has done something right for the industry. It has the potential to right a lot of what’s wrong if things are done correctly. Sierra got busted and admitted to it but much like a child is now lashing out because they didn’t get their way. We have their side of the story published and for all to see. Where will this end and what do you think of this?

Causes controversy!

Latest posts by Angrysnowboarder (Posts)

146 Comments

  1. I have to say that I agree with a lot of what you’ve said here. I don’t know enough about the situation to speculate, but I definitely agree about pricing.

    A good example also is Whiskeymilitia.com. People were buying stuff on there at about 50% off the marked price.

    People want the service that they receive by having local shops, but will pay $5 less for a product and buy it online instead. It’s a difficult situation because shops need to be competitive, but without lowering the brands value.

    Warehouse style shops upset everything, because people just think that everything should be much cheaper. Those style of shops are cheap for a reason, they give poor service and buy in bulk.

    I guess the solution has to start with the brands not overproducing their products and controlling who they supply to. Otherwise people with shops will always try to compete with the warehouse style places to “line their pockets”.

    Interesting post, thanks.

  2. dc says:

    Like I mentioned in some forum posts (and touched upon in your entry), if Burton had done what Never Summer did and controlled their production they wouldn’t have to go make late season deals with the big warehouse stores to offload their inventory at substantial discounts. They wouldn’t have to worry about promotional pricing at all.

    “Sierra broke the contract and Burton finally realized they…” according to Mike from Sierra, that’s not true. According to Mike, he blacked out sections of the contract he didn’t agree with in front of Burton’s VP of Sales before signing. Doesn’t sound like they ever redrafted.

    Anyway, didn’t get a response from Clark, but hopefully he’ll respond to you. Interested to see Burton’s side of it. I’m not really upset about the situation. I’m just really curious on where Burton’s CEO is taking them. Never really been on the Burton bandwagon even though I’m riding on a Hero right now. When it comes time to replace and Burton isn’t being carried by Sierra, it’s okay. I could always go back to Capita, Ride, O-Matic (well for the O-Matic I would have to buy elsewhere) or finally get on a Rome board.

  3. Sactown says:

    Just to help Dave a bit, Sierra is a walk-in and buy off the rack shop too. There customer service is also very good. I live in Sac and go in the shop all the time. There staff will spend as much time as needed to make sure you have the right product or point you in the right direction and you can tell there passionate about what there doing, they simply love snowboarding and that’s why I go there.

    I personally loved the way Sierra discounts so early (Who wouldn’t), I agree this levels the playing field for other shops in the area and makes it fair for everyone selling Burton products. When I would walk into to other shops and ask if they price match, everyone would say yes, but not with Sierra. There’s actually a disclaimer on Porters Tahoe’s website that won’t price match against Sierra. That made me think how does Sierra do it? Now I know…they cheated.

    What I don’t like is how heavy handed Burton decided to be with there decision to cut-off Sierra from there product line completely. That’s a big blow to a lot of employees I know. If Burton knew this was going on they should have waited till next year and a new contract. I’m willing to put money on that local shops and retailers gave Burton a major headache because Sierra was just that low that early. Either way, you agreed to a contract – your done till it expires

    I’ll feel fortunate enough to get in on those discounts before the hammer fell. I guess we’ll have to wait for Burtons response to this because at this point I’m not too proud to ride my joystick anymore and I got to say a little scared because poor college student might decide to rip me off since he can’t afford one (Great review BTW angry, that’s why I got it. Fun Board for sure!). If Burton wants to keep it fair for all the shops, cool! I get it. If there prices go up like Sierra’s suggesting trying to be a luxury brand they will loose my business for sure.

    Good read, and thanks for letting me rant a little,

  4. shredpunk says:

    okay i’m a brit so this doesn’t directly effect me…. but surly dc… buying a different board brand from sierra isn’t going to solve the problem

    companies like sierra are fueling this desire from the noobs to get kit cheap all year around, to expect some discount on everything

    this in turns screws up our indy stores who have higher overheads, are supporting local riders and comps, (and providing demo’s to cheeky scrotums who then buy of the web) and are unable to compete with the stupid deals and discounts.

    I have used the same indy for the last 5 years since he left his chain company to go it alone, i get good discounts, and freebies thrown in (as do the rest of the locals)…and he knows what will work for me because he’s out riding with all the locals and has a good idea what we need, he’ll spend hours fitting boots on me and more hrs just talking shit

    this is the element of the industry that needs to be protected not some faceless internet superstore, TK Maxx clearout stores and bargainboards stores that uses gimmicks and alleged bargains to real us in!!

  5. Nito says:

    I’m no fan of mega online warehouses. They have a tendency to wipeout smaller businesses and then once the competition disappears prices go back to retail. As a consumer, I like to go to a store and try out the product I’m interested in buying; i.e. cloths, sports equipment, …

    Furthermore, blogs such as Angry Snowboarder provide me with information to help narrow my search, but in the end it comes down to the product. I like Burton because they allow me access to their product and therefore my willing to pay a premium. However, this winter I was lucky enough to demo a Neversummer SL and bought it the next week from the store running the demo at the resort.

    In contrast, the exceptions to this rule are electronics, car parts, books and media; basically items that are standardized or have been previewed already.

  6. […] written my thoughts on the whole thing here if anyone cares to read it. I'm waiting on 2 emails back from people over at Burton to get their […]

  7. burritosandsnow says:

    The main debate aside one thing that always annoys me with this issue is when people talk of the low overhead of these online stores. People get a clue, a 150,000 square foot warehouse with automated systems and a team of csr reps does not give you low overhead. A single forklift can cost about a years salary of an entry lvl management position. These sites make money off of volume NOT low overhead.

    Now to the main issue. The megastore vs local is a slippery slope. For example the small town in Alabama where Im originally from has one store that sells snowboard gear. Its a small local outdoor retail store and they only carry Burton product because they have a very low demand and have to carry a recognizable brand. So should I pony up for Burton equipment ( some of which is undiscounted but multiple seasons old?). No I shouldnt have to buy that and my only option is to go online. I currently live in Salt Lake and can walk into the Backcountry warehouse anytime I want and buy anything from them. They are local so Im still core right even though John Doe who lives in Chicago is a sell out for ordering the same item from them. Where does it stop? If a new shop opens in town is it now uncool to go to Milosport because they have the upper hand of a great pro team and inventory and the new shop does not? I view it like this … ultimately does the store Im purchasing from care about snowboarding. If snowboarding was suddenly very uncool and scandalous would REI drop its inventory.. probably so. Would Sierra or Backcountry .. probably not. For that reason I dont have any issue purchasing anything from them. This season Ive made purchases from Milosport SaltyPeaks Backcountry and one new board from an individual off Ebay. The board was a Sierrascope the capita/sierrasnowboard collab board. It broke and SIERRA CONTACTED ME after seeing a forum post about it and gave me a new one without hesitation. In my book thats cool thats customer ( even though I wasnt technically a customer) service and thats how you do things.

    MSRP is a whole different story. On that issue I have to agree with what Burton did. If you make an agreement you stick to it. There are multiple levels to this debate such as the previous mentioned over production, price fixing etc etc. Ultimately I view this particular incident in this manner. If you dont like the contract dont sign it. Sierra has a shit ton of leverage too and they more than most can weasel Burton into a more favorable agreement.

    Not that MSRP really matters any longer http://www.boardistan.com/?p=13113

  8. tooscoops says:

    burrito, online stores DO have lower overhead. mainly due to all those things you mentioned that they have to buy, being things that a brick and mortor store has to buy as well. if you do a proper comparative budget analysis being sure to only use the relevant numbers, i’m sure you’ll find that online retailers have lower overhead. given, you are correct that people seem to assume that the overhead is practically nothing and there, they are wrong.

    to shredpunk, i have yet to ride a demo supplied by a local shop. every time i have done a demo day accross the country, its been supplied by the manufacturer and the manufacturer reps. also, since i know a bunch of the guys supported by the local shops and know they are total douchbags, that won’t convince me either!

    overall, the discounts given are drastic online. i feel lilke all they have to do is ensure that shipping must be paid on all orders and you’ve got a fair marketplace.

    being canadian, i have to pay duties and shipping on a board. bought a scarmaster last year at the 50% off sale from ss. by the time all the other fees got tacked on and the cash converted to canadian, i ended up paying about 250 for the board… an ok deal, but one that i could have duplicated easily at a shop. in hindsight, i should have done that… but now i know.

    my feelings… if burton wants to correct things, decrease markup on msrp. then the prices will be in line with competition. if they want to be luxury, let them. there will be less of a discount (all of a sudden that 699 board is now listed at msrp 550, meaning a 25-35% discount is all you’ll get, but the overall price will be in line.)

    nothing should be able to sell at 50% off and still produce a profit.

  9. rader023 says:

    burritosandsnow,

    Some good points there, but I would say, having been in the logistics business my whole life (warehousing, trucking, planning) that I would consider that warehouses such as Sierra’s or backcountry have high upstart costs (which are most of the items you mentioned) but low overhead. Granted they may be leasing the warehouse, but forklifts (especially ones that may be going 4-5 racks high), the racks themselves, pick lines, etc. have huge startup costs, but relatively low recurring costs. CSRs I would consider the direct costs. Regardless, you have to pump out large volume to pay any of these costs and make money. So I would agree with you there.

    Its funny how nobody mentions that while backcountry may not reduce as much and as deep, they still offer unlimited return policy on everything they sell. This does not allow the small shops to compete, and leads me to believe that their profit margin is probably pretty damn high.

    It seems to me that most shops these days of any size have to have an online portion to stay in business. Around my way you have EVO and Snocon. So I guess you are stuck. If the Sierra’s and backcountrys werent around they wouldnt need an online presence, but they are so they must do it so the physical store can stick around.

  10. rader023 says:

    burittosandsnow,

    That article states that the bill just passed commitee. Doesn’t mean that it passed the house and senate and became law. Anybody know if it ever did?

  11. NYPD says:

    Burton played a large part in putting my former shop out of business. After supporting Burton for years, they went and opened a store (a “Snowboarding Boutique” in their words – makes me sick just to type it) in our backyard and began selling direct. All while doing nothing to support the “core shops,” whom they laud as the backbone of the industry. Yes it hurt when I’d spend an hour with a customer only to have them say “thanks, I saw it online for $20 less,” and I do think that online discounting is hurting the industry on the whole. But the only reason Burton has stepped in is because they are selling direct, and now somebody is offering their product cheaper than they are. They want to stomp out any and all competition. They seem to believe that no money made on their product should line any pockets but their own. So Burton isn’t the hero in this whole thing, they’re worse than the online retailer from where I stand.

  12. head_buried says:

    I think Sierra was wrong for violating their contract and they should be slapped.

    However, to think that the online retailer is going away, well, keep hoping. Sierra started off as brick and mortar, and built an online business off of it. Something every other brick and mortar store had the chance to do. What is stopping any other brick and mortar store from becoming an online retailer?

    You may not like online retailers, but I think the American populous has shown that they do. I particularly don’t care for them, but hey, different strokes for different folks.

    BTW, good article.

  13. Cmoore says:

    I agree with most of what you are saying except the part about Burton doing for the Industry. Burton does not care about any other companies but their own, you even said they fucked up in the last Decade and are now trying to fix it, fine. But they are fixing it for themselves not anyone else.

  14. terryterryhibbert says:

    NYPD makes an excellent point. If you think giving Sierra (or any other retailer) a bloody nose is gonna help your local indy store you’re living in La-La-Land. Sorry to hear about your store man, that sucks bigtime

    Burton are leading the way in manufacturer’s becoming retailers (who knows which manufacturers, if any) will follow them. They aren’t content with being the No.1 snowboard manufacturer they now want to be the the No.1 retailer as well.

    Gotta remember Burton dropped $150M profit last year – I’m betting their plan is to recoup it in retail rather than manufacture. Might be wrong it’ll be an interesting few years to see how it pans out.

    I think there’s a place for online retail in snowboarding (trying to stop progress is like trying to stop the tides) but there’ll (hopefully) always be a place for the local shop – just hopefully not the ones staffed by pretentious d1cks who just wanna stand around and chat to their buddies rather than actually work

  15. A. Nony Mouse says:

    KEEP PRICES HIGH! KEEP PEOPLE OUT OF SNOWBOARDING! OVERCROWDING! LOUD NOISES!

    wait, why isn’t snowboarding going anywhere

  16. lil' wayne says:

    uh…this is alot of nonsense with posturing and a staredown from both sides.

    way too much money is sitting out there for both Sierra and B not to come to their senses and form a mutual agreement. You will see burton at Sierra in August.

  17. terryterryhibbert says:

    Lil wayne – stop talking sense, it’ll never catch on :)

  18. terryterryhibbert says:

    A. Nony Mouse – that’s what I don’t get, Burton spend so much money and effort trying to get kids into snowboarding with LTR and Chill but wanna price their hardgoods as luxury items, I don’t see the sense in that, maybe I need glasses :)

  19. MTech says:

    A few friends of mine only got into the sport when online retailers made the prospect more affordable. Competitive pricing will most likely continue to be a relevant factor to some. I agree with NYPD in that the first impressions are that Burton is trying to stomp out competition rather than save the industry, but the truth remains to be seen.

  20. RicheWheeler says:

    Things in moderation. Dumping a major retailer, like Sierra, may seem just, but now SS is dumping Burton at 50% off. No other shops will be able to compete, or they might face the same wrath. I personally side with Burton, but if I were them I would have lowered SS’s overall buy in for next season, instead of dumping them totally. If they sell them less Burton, than what is demanded, then there won’t be anything left to dump, later next season.

    The snowboard industry needs sell through at near retail prices to survive. Burton is on point, about that. I say, if you want a deal, buy used. That is how it used to be.

    Mass discounting and dumping product will spell the death of our industry. First all the local shops will go out of business (already happening) and then there will be the loss of local snowboard communities, which means our sport will be no different than soccer. I don’t see online retailers traveling around the country, hosting community building events, which are lost with the death of local shops. The one exception is the Zumiez couch tour, which can be debated. Local events are what made snowboard culture in the 90s and early 2000s.

    Seeing Burton stand up to the cancer of discounting is good, and makes me want to ride one for the first time in a while, even if they could have been less over board about it.

  21. fhg25 says:

    BOOOOOOOOOOOO! Support your local shop!!!!!! However, Burton gives tons to the snowboarding community, seriously, where you may not see it localy its out there. I wonder how many kids saw a Burton sponsored contest or rider on tv or even in person that ended up drawing them to the sport that in turn caused them to drag their unwitting parents into a local shop to get them a snowboard?? I personally am not a fan of Burton products mostly due to pricing but admittedly a little because of the effect owning a burton board seems to have on ppl. For some reason (#1 board manufacturer I guess) it seems to attract the most posers and they types that taint our sport. Lol I cant tell you how many times i’ve been asked “why didnt you get a burton?? They are the best!” I have a small quiver that doesnt contain 2 boards from the same manufacturer (mabe came out of the same factory tho!) and I like them all for diff reasons and not one of them is the best board made!!! I would have to agree tho, Burton will be back at serria, they buy and seel way to may boards for burton and market share is importiant. It will work out! Like the rest of you, I want to hear what Burton says tho! My 2 cents!!!

  22. burritosandsnow says:

    radar023 heres the current status of that bill .. just in limbo waiting to be presented on the floor http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h3190/show

    tooscoopes .. no online warehouses DO have higher overhead its just things that you normally dont think about … for example which house has a higher power bill a studio or a 6 bedroom. Now think about stores .. Milosport is about 2000 square feet and Backcountry.com is more or less 125000 square feet. How do you think those power bills look. The warehouse I work at is pretty big about 250000 sq ft and we went to motion lights with in the warehouse. Our projected yearly savings was 30000 dollars a year. Thats SAVINGS not cost so you can just imagine the yearly cost of our powerbill. Milosport has at most 2 dozen employees where backcountry runs two shifts of about 100 employees each plus a weekend shift. Starts to add up huh. The forklifts have to either have a certified maintenance tech work on them .. maint guys make about 25 per hour here in Salt Lake. If you dont have a certified staff you make a monthly payment to the forklift company for their guy to come around. Twenty five and hour would employ two people at Milosport. Theres tons of other things involved like business insurance etc etc. Thats why Radar who also works in the warehousing field ( like I do ) agreed with me. So in closing on that point yes online warehouses have more overhead than a regular brick and mortar store. Bigger place bigger costs its simple.

    Id love to get some more inside scoop on this whole situation .. like what prompted Burton to finally say something. Was it alot of the other local places threatening to drop burton product next season .. interesting. Plus I still feel that in the end itll all get resolved and youll see plenty of burton family product at sierra next season. Sierra firing the first public salvo just lets them declare victory when it all gets ironed out.

  23. dc says:

    Everyone keeps repeating that Sierra broke a contract. Again, that isn’t the case. According to Mike, he blacked out portions of the contract he didn’t agree with in front of the VP of Sales before signing it. Burton could have redrafted / negotiated, but they didn’t. They just accepted Mike’s revised contract. This whole thing erupted probably because Burton decided that they couldn’t give Sierra the upperhand once again this season so they won’t be signing any agreement with them at all.

    Now the whole local shop versus faceless internet store. Sierra IS a local store to many people. Have you ever been there? It’s HUGE! They aren’t like Backcountry, where it’s pretty much a giant warehouse and they devoted 1/10th of the warehouse for servicing walk-in customers. Do you know how Backcountry’s brick & mortar store works? You go in there, sit in front of a computer, write down the item numbers you want to check out then hand the slip to someone through a window that leads to the warehouse.

    Sierra’s brick & mortar devotes tons of space for the walk-in ‘locals’ and you don’t have to sit in front of a computer to try stuff out. You just walk around and grab stuff like ANY other independent shop. What is the definition of an independent ‘local’ shop? If they suddenly throw up an e-commerce site does that make them a faceless internet store? And what if I don’t like the local shops? In NYC, there’s Paragon, Blades, Homage and a few new ones that popped up but I haven’t been to in Brooklyn.

    Angry, if you or some of these other ‘support local shops’ heads walked into Paragon you’d be furious. The staff doesn’t know half as much as what the blogs and snowboard forums tell you, they are always too busy helping other customers and it’s a revolving door when it comes to their employees. Every season I see different faces on the floor. Homage and Blades have a better feel to them. I’ve spoken with the guys at Homage in depth but their selection is small. Blades is the same way.

    Some of you guys quote about having tremendous service from your local shop, well I get that service from Sierra. I know many of their employees by name and have ridden with them even though I’m in NYC. I felt way at home the first time I visited their store after years on the forum. I told them what my handle was and it was like getting reacquainted with old friends. If I have issues with my order, they get it fixed. They know exactly what I currently ride, and what I like to ride. Some of you say your local shops give you free stuff and discounts, but isn’t that what people lambaste Sierra for?

    Anyway, what is stopping your local mom & pop shop from succeeding like Mike did with Sierra? He started his shop in 2004, way after most of our local shops started doing business. Was it a lack of vision on our local shops part, was it their unwillingness to expand into e-commerce? They all had the same opportunities to execute and survive in this tough business but they didn’t. Now that some of them are closing up shop and others are on the verge of extinction, they go around and blame the big faceless internet warehouse stores?

  24. terryterryhibbert says:

    What’s interesting with the Sierra/Burton thing is Burton we’re so in bed with them – I mean, check out how many Burton/Sierra Collab boards there are (like 4 or something). That’s hardly the sign of a manufacturer with a long-standing grudge against one of it’s retailers.

    They did seem to get some kinda response from the Head US Sales guy which is where the ‘Porsche’ brand comments seem to have started. Be interesting to know what Jake thinks about all this.

  25. rader023 says:

    burritosandsnow,

    Forgot about power. Wow! In some the warehouses I oversaw (granted many were cold storage) power was by far the biggest cost. I would say several million dollars a year depending on size, usage, etc. I didn’t mean to infer that their overhead isnt high. Obviously these costs dwarf a mom and pop. I am just saying an efficient warehouse may have low OH as a percentage of total revenue. The bigger the volume, the lower the Overhead as a percentage.

    I think there is a divide here. Running a profitable, money making business is not the issue here. Its a question of if you are doing something that is good for snowboarding, and good in the long run, or just out to make a profit at the expense of everyone else.

  26. Lindsay says:

    I don’t know if anyone knew this…
    Moosejaw lost their contract with Burton last season (I think) for the same reason.

    I am glad Burton is doing this. It’s not fair for tiny shops, like the one I work at, who follow the contract and then don’t get business because people can buy it cheaper online.

    The worst is when a customer comes into the store and I spend a bunch of time talking about snowboard products and then they buy it online instead.

  27. e says:

    This is an extreme situation, partly do to the size of the companies involved.40-50% discount in early march,well some have been discounted in january to 40%,this is not good business practice, it’s a short term fix with possible long time impacts for sierra. Why would I buy a board in the fall when I can wait till just after Christmas to get a board super cheap. Being that Sierra is a very large retailer, they do have an impact on the industry. Could be other companies are possibly thinking the same thing. I don’t see many Ride or K2 boards there, maybe they’ll step in for 2011 or just stay away. I think Sierra does offer a lot, people do seem happy with them, they have good tech pages….but living off of high qty and massive discounts is a risky thing in the snowboard world and we all pay the price.

    I am in agreement with Burton on this one, they don’t want another problem like when Costco was selling Customs. A brand has a right to protect itself. I would be upset if I had a company and saw somebody selling it half off, the other shops would be mad as well. As far as a contract goes, not sure about this, did Burton sign it. Typically, you want to revise the contract and have it signed or make a note and sign that. Anyways, Burton has more lawyers, so they’ll probably when by lawyer fees alone.

  28. e says:

    i spel good, meant win by llawyer fees alone

  29. e says:

    shit i give up, i can’t type or spell

  30. JP says:

    R.I.P New York Pipe Dreams. Sucks to lose a small shop in NYC when there are so few.

  31. justme says:

    Anyone realize that half the points made by SS are mostly propaganda? As Angry said, it’s just one side right now.

    Also – Burton is overpriced? Last I checked they have decks/boots/bindings/jackets/pants/gloves/helmets/goggles at EXACTLY the same prices as every other snowboard company out there. Yes they have the ultra high-end (because they can afford to make it as well as have the technology to produce it – it’s called evolution and progression) but they still have decks at $300-$600 just like everyone else.

    Ride what you like, buy what you want…..just stay away from the propaganda. Go Demo something and see if you like it and buy it if you do.

    The lawyers will figure it out and with Burton being a private company I’m willing to guess we won’t see too much info unfold from them other than a press release or interview w/ someone they deem safe (shop-eat-surf?). Pretty sure Burton is larger and like it or not can outlast most…

  32. terryterryhibbert says:

    Lindsay I feel ya on the time spent with a customer only for them to go online and buy the product you recommended that sucks a$$ badly. Obviously what I’m writing isn’t any comment on you/your store as I’ve never been there, well I assume I haven’t ;)

    I know the majority of online buyers care about price most, but personally I’m just sick of crap service in ‘local’ shops I don’t want to wait until the staff has finished their 10 minute conversation with their group of buddys before their can be bothered to grunt at me to see what I dare to ask advice/question on.

    Ok that’s an extreme example but I’ve seen more of that type of behaviour than the great, genuine shop assistant who wants to make sure you understand what you’re buying and that it’s right for you. If smaller shops can’t provide great personal service then I really couldn’t care less if they go to the wall.

    Business evolves and the one thing a bricks and mortar shop will always have over an online business is personal contact and the opportunity to connect to customers that way – if they fail to utilise that properly they’re always gonna lose business.

    Again I think NYPD offers a chilling warning for smaller shops – whilst Sierra might be bad for your business, Burton as a retailer might not be any better for you. It’d be said to see little stores go to the wall, they offer something online stores can never offer – that personal connection

    Good point eSaid, I know a lot of people hate on Sierra cos of the whole discount thing and understand why but they do seem to offer good quality info stuff to their community – their trick tip videos are excellent and way better than the standard ‘pro rider’ ones where the pro goes “well you take off, spin your 9, spot the landing, then stomp it” – yeah thanks buddy I got that one dialled :)

  33. Abra says:

    I hope NYPD is not saying that NYPD in NY has gone out of buisness ? Such a dope shop, one of the best i have ever been too

  34. terryterryhibbert says:

    Abra – I believe that’s what NYPD said – appears Burton entering retail is affecting everyone from the smallest to the biggest retailers

  35. JP says:

    yup, NYPD is out of business. The only shops left are huge (Burton, Blades, Paragon) or super small with limited product (Homage is my local). I actually just bought a board from blades. All of their stuff was discounted 40% which to me seems fair. It is a very significant discount and these stores don’t have unlimited space to hold on to these items.

  36. Larsen says:

    I’ve seen first hand the problem with Sierra. The brand I am with, which I cannot name at this time, is pulling out, and our orders from our retailers that know have more than made up for the loss of sales to Sierra. Contrary to what Sierra says, they have been warned SEVERAL times. Nearly all online companies have had big complaints about them for years. The owner, Mike, seems to be being portrayed as a modern day Robin Hood, however he comes from a wealthy background and has even stated in conversations I have been present for that he is trying to put his competition out of business. He just wants to be king of the snow world, all alone, and has put many businesses out of business. Sierra is very bad for the snow industry’s health.

    Burton will more than make up those dollars with increased orders all around the country from small shops to the several onine dealers that are bigger than Sierra. You don’t think all the shops that have to deal with this guy are adding on to their orders, now?

    For some reason, Sierra is trying to get the masses mad at Burton, but he knows more brands have and are pulling out.

  37. terryterryhibbert says:

    Shredpunk, just read your post – be interested in hearing your view on how Burton (and many other manufacturers) build their boards in Europe yet despite the shipping costs and import duties they’re significantly more expensive in Europe – in theory a board built in Burton’s Austrian factory is more expensive 10 miles down the road from the factory than it is in another continent? Seems crazy to me.

    Since you mentioned you’re pretty tight with your local store, how does this affect retailers in UK/Europe? Check on ebay and you’ll see hundreds of Burton snowboards being sold by Americans available to ship to Europe at less price than European MRSP – this ‘grey market’ or whatever it’s called has gotta be hurting retailers in Europe.

  38. NYPD says:

    Yep, sad to say that NYPD closed its doors over the summer. Abra glad to hear you liked the shop, we took snowboarding seriously (not too serious tho), and it’s a shame it’s no longer around. And while I should clarify that there were MANY factors (not the least of which being the shitty economy, and location) that contributed to the shop’s demise, you can review the numbers and clearly see a steady decline in snow sales starting the second Burton opened its doors. How can a small shop compete with its suppliers? It can’t.
    And the online thing isn’t just snowboarding. The internet is changing the game wherever you look. Newspapers, Magazines, Music. When was the last time anybody actually went to the store and bought a CD? So the reality is that all this shit is here to stay. The snowboard industry is going to have to figure out a new business model, because sad as I am to say it, shops or at least shops as we know them are a dying breed. The small guys, the core guys, won’t have the money to compete with the big chain shops and the internet warehouses and their deep discounts, not to mention the company-turned-retailers. And that means that everything will get stale really fast, because the warehouse stores won’t bother to take a chance on startup brands when they can just churn out Burton all day long. God I miss the 90’s.
    All this reminds me I just met these dudes at Creek last weekend who are starting up their own snowboard company (Blaksheep Snowboards). Now I haven’t ridden, or even seen the boards but I’m just psyched to see them trying. And I wouldn’t be doing my part in keeping things core if I didn’t throw them a little linkage love http://blaksheepsnowboards.com/ Best of luck to them. Snowboards from Jersey… Love it!

  39. terryterryhibbert says:

    Burton will more than make up those dollars with increased orders all around the country from small shops to the several onine dealers that are bigger than Sierra.

    Possibly – I’m sure there may be an upturn but unfortunately I think Burton are gonna make up the missing $ by pushing their online retail themselves – I mean why not, cut out the middle man and double your profits, makes perfect business sense.

    I know I sound as though I’m doom-mongering but I’m just looking at how Burton has moved into retail so quickly over the last couple of years and can’t see them stopping just to save all those ‘mom and pop’ stores – as NYPD said how can you compete with your supplier? You can’t.

    I know this whole discussion has started with a Sierra vs Burton battle but it raises a lotta wider questions. Gotta say it’s been a pretty intellegent debate on here, mist the other sites are just full of people slating either Sierra or Burton or both!

  40. Sactown says:

    I agree with terryterry, intelligent debate indeed. What I hear is a lot of fear and sadness for the Mom and Pop stores from everyone, me included. One thing I can say is Sierra and the mom and Pops will have over Burton selling there own product direct is face to face interaction. Customer service is huge when it comes to hyper competitive businesses. If Sierra keeps treating there customers the same they’ll be ok. There some of the coolest guys and girls I’ve dealt with over the years and love shopping there when I need something.
    I personally don’t like shopping on-line only unless I’ve seen it or touched it first. The question here is next season when Burton and the local shops that sell direct – are the timing of discounts going to be the same? I hope so because then you’ll see some creative ways to attract customers to buy from you. Secondly, Boots! I cant just buy online when it comes to boots. I know I wouldn’t be very excited if my bread and butter was boots, but everyone knows that you have to try as many boots on as possible to get the right fit. Same thing gos for apparel and helmets. There’s so many different sizes and fits that buying online just wont work. Boards are the only thing that I could buy blindly. I don’t have the time to demo all the models and rely solely on reviews from other riders. If Sierra wants to stay thriving they’ll need to step up the customer service (which they already do well) a notch or two, but I’m sure they’ll be good.

  41. terryterryhibbert says:

    Good point sactown – given the disparency between different manufacturers and models within manufacturers lines between boots of the ‘same’ size buying boots online without trying them before is a lottery.

    And I agree with the person who mentioned about helping a customer for an hour before the customer took their advice and bought online – that aint right.

    If you get your info from an online store/source then cool – if you get great service and advice from a bricks and mortar store then I feel you have a moral obligation to shop there.

    Again – did Burton want Sierra off selling Burton because of other (smaller) dealers benefit or for their own retail benefit? I assume, until Burton started retailing, then it has no real financial effect on Burton’s profits – now they are a retailer it most certainly does.

  42. Dazma says:

    Angry
    Can you confirm the state of other manufacturers relationship with Sierra?
    There has been noise about it on their forums but no hard evidence from any major players.
    What do you know and how do you know it?

    I think Sierra’s business model will be shifting here pretty quick once other manufacturers get wind of this. They will jump on this and serve notice on Sierra too.

    Perhaps the days of 50% off this season boards are over ….. im off to Sierra to get a new Fish while they last !!

  43. johnny big balls says:

    Larsen is 100% right. Mike from Sierra tries to come across like he is here to help out the customer, but he is only here to line his pocket. He DID NOT start out like any one else as someone above mentioned. His dad owned Tri City a Giant Discount dealer that totally ruined the snow retail market in the Bay Area in the 90’s and early 2000’s. He was given a shit ton of money to start his own store in Sacramento and proceeded to try to ruin that market as well as any other he could get into online. He told many people that his goal was to put as many shops out of business as he could- some Robin Hood!

    Don’t even think that Burton will be in Sierra this August or ever again for that matter. As soon as they were told they could not sell Burton any more Sierra put everything and 50% off and opened there site to international buyers, both huge no-nos. The thing is, as big as Sierra is, they are not the biggest or most powerful site out there- those sites are backcountry.com, thehouse, dogfunk, etc. Those guys play by the rules. It is one thing for Sierra to be pissing off all the small local guys with their discounts, but it is a whole nother ball game once the real big guys start to feel the loss off money due to them. One of these guys either threatened or brought a lawsuit to Burton telling them that they either need to uphold their dealership agreement with Sierra, and pull the account, or they were going to get sued, which would start a landside of other suits brought on by every other dealer in the nation who is also effected by Sierra’s discounting.

    Burton will lose no money over this. $0. Sierra selling 50% off causes Burton to lose money on their own site, since they will not discount that big. Burton has become a discount brand. Read Sierra’s forum. Everyone is pissed at Burton because they all want to buy $500 boards for $250. Snowboarding is not a poor man’s sport. People now wait intil January to buy Burton product at a discount, less and less people are paying full price for it, thus quickly making it a discount brand. Any brand that sticks with Sierra for this next season will become a disocunt brand.

    Do not think for one second that Burton is the only brand pulling out. The are the first and the biggest, but they will be far from the last. There are plenty of other online dealers out there who are much easier to work with and who play by the rules. Mike will not play by the rules so he will end up only carrying desparate brands who are willing to sell him discount product and ruin the integrity of their brand. If bigger brands do stay in Sierra, they will have a lock down on the discounting. Do not expect to get huge discounts on snow gear next year from any of the top quality brands early in the season.

  44. The Intern says:

    The demise of Sierra is upon us. When the two biggest vendors pull their accounts from Sierra they are pretty screwed really. Burton accounted for around 50% of their sales alone, that it is a big number that can not be made up by bringing in smaller companies. Add to the fact the childish acts that they are pulling now, i can not see why other companies would want to support a company like that. Enjoy being “just another store”

  45. Sactown says:

    To Intern,
    Besides Burton, who was the other big vendor?

  46. terryterryhibbert says:

    Mike from Sierra tries to come across like he is here to help out the customer, but he is only here to line his pocket.

    Name me one company that isn’t? It’s willful niavety to think that Sierra are this nasty evil company only out for the $ and nothing else – but everyone else is in the industry for the ‘love of snowboarding’.

    Especially when this arguement is Sierra vs Burton – Burton do a lot for the sport but the primery objective (as with every other manufacturer) is profit – they’re describing their brand in terms of Porsche and Loius Vuitton!

    If that statement isn’t correct, why are Burton moving into retail? Does their move into retail help the little store and/or snowboarding in general or does it boost their profit margin? See NYPD’s story for what might happen.

    I agree Burton won’t lose a single $ over not working with Sierra – quite the opposite. They’ll make a helluva lot more as they expand the retail side of their business – not saying they aren’t within their rights to do so, but please spare me the ‘Burton just cares about snowboarding’ guff – if that was the case they would have a CEO with a snowboard background, not attempt to become a luxury goods brand.

    Interesting as to whether other vendors have pulled out as well as Burton – it is only unsubstantiated rumors so, as always time will tell all. Most the rumors suggest K2. If that’s the case will that really affect them?

    Are K2 really still considered a major player in the snowboard industry? Most people I know treat them with the contempt of a ski company who jumped on the bandwagon when it suited them and seem to provide little or no innovation – so in a certain way if they do it’ll just be standard K2 tactics, see what everyone else does then follow the pack :)

    I suppose all we can do is watch this space…

  47. Simon Cowell says:

    k2 = weak product, graphics, tech. etc…Simply a ski company that jumped on the bandwagon..
    Binding are complete garbage/mush/ with bad tech/recalls etc.
    Complete rubbish and a loss to NOBODY

  48. Is k2 still a major player? Are you forgetting they own K2, Ride, Morrow, 5150, Nitro, L1, and Volkl? People amaze me with there level of stupidity and incompetence. Like the dude posting under the Simon Cowell name, dude I know it’s you BFBF go back to the patio forum where you belong.

  49. Shralp says:

    Since when has Nitro & L1 been owned by K2/Jarden corporation? I think they are still owned by the Tecnica Group.

  50. timmy says:

    A list of who owns who would be nice. Blog post that’d be a good referance point

    The behind the scene shit needs to be known. Who owns who. Which are fall under the family corp. That be a pretty fucking cool post man. Enlighten people too, cause unless your a shop kid(ordering) or really into the behind the scenes of the sport its not as easy to find out who are under the same fam.

    Share the knowledge man, please. We need enlightening to quit our stupidity and incompetence.

  51. rader023 says:

    Simon Cowell,

    Are you serious? They jumped on the bandwagon, what? 15 years ago? Your talk about bindings is crazy, I have this years autos and they are awesome. Probably the best bindings I’ve had, and I’ve tried all the major players. Next thing you are going to tell me is Atomic is the same thing, even though my 2007 alibi is the best board i’ve had to date.

  52. johnny big balls says:

    Burton is in the right for pulling out. Sierra knew the rules and did not abide by them. But neither Sierra nor Burton are the good guys here. They are both doing what they are doing only to help out themselves- which is really what most businesses do anyways. However, Burton pulling out will help out all the smaller stores like NYPD and make all the stores you love be able to be more profittable and stay in business to sell you product in the future.

    As far as K2 goes- try out a Parkstar- Awesome!

  53. terryterryhibbert says:

    Looks as though the stupidity and incompetence is spreading :) According to http://www.k2sports.com (btw took me a lot of research to that one, apparantly there’s this new thing called google!) the K2 coporation owns

    K2 Snowboarding
    5150
    Morrow
    Ride
    Line
    K2 Skis
    Tubbs
    Atlas
    Little Bear
    Panet Earth
    K2 Skate
    Poweridge
    Madshus

    No mention of Nitro, Volkl, Line 1 -seems strange not to mention them on your homepage if you own them, no? Perhaps this is an exclusive piece of news were getting here :)

    So, to me, they own 2 brands (K2 and Ride) that anyone would consider to be in the top tier of snowboarding brands. I rarely see K2 in many boardshops I’ve visited recently.

    Since their heyday of Travis Parker, Willie Yuoma (SP?), Josh Dirksen in the Robot Food films era they really seem to have lost their way as a brand – product seems ok but nothing really to convince me to buy it as opposed to any other brand. Been checking the resorts I’ve been riding this weekend (Squaw and Northstar) and very little presence from K2 at all boards wise. OK that was 2 resorts so doesn’t prove anything definitive but is an indicator.

    Interesting thing, at those 2 resorts anyway, was the amount of Sessions outerwear being worn – just a brand I’ve always like, gad to see them doing so well.

    Johnny big balls – good comment regarding ‘business’ that’s what they do, try and make profit, as does every manufacturer and every shop

  54. ummmm yeah says:

    I think there is some communication error between what Mike is saying in the forum on Sierrasnowboard’s site, and what is being stated here. People keep saying “Sierra broke the contract” “They owned up to breaching a contract” “Sierra knew the rules and did not abide by them.”
    Please correct me if I am wrong, and please point to the page where Sierra said they broke the rules, but from what I have read, Mike edited the contract BEFORE it was accepted by each party. If that is the case, then how are they not playing by the rules? Because he had enough guts and leverage to challenge the standard Burton contract before it was signed, that is him not playing by the rules? This is why Burton is allowed to get away with the $**t they do, because no one will stand up to them and keep them grounded. Burton accepted the contract Mike edited, and it is their fault for realizing too late that it will have a ripple effect on their brand. If Burton didn’t like what happened this year at Sierra, they should have made sure their contract was more conducive to their needs for next year, not backpedaled and pulled their line. Burton made some really bad decisions (over producing, accepting the edited contract..), and yes, Sierra took full advantage of this. However, it is unfair to point the finger at a company with the smarts to make good business decisions when another company slips.
    I am not sure that Sierra hurt the snowboarding world as much as people have claimed. Along with other internet companies, I have purchased items (mostly Burton softgoods actually) just because of their price. I didn’t need them, and if they weren’t on sale for as low as they were, I wouldn’t have purchased them. Furthermore, almost everything I bought this year was last years models. No store should be carrying as much leftover product that was available at the beginning of this season. Burton flooded the marketplace, and relied on stores like Sierra to get rid of the excess.
    @RicheWheeler – you commented that “I don’t see online retailers traveling around the country, hosting community building events,” apparently you haven’t been to one of Sierra’s events. I think this year they are doing four tour stops, bringing gear to demo, goodies to give away, and an providing an overall enjoyable snowboarding experience to every level of rider. It is more than I’ve seen my local shops do…
    I’m not here as a Sierra rep, if Burton wants to pull their product, then that is their prerogative. I just want to straighten out some of the biased propaganda that is being thrown out in this thread.

  55. The Intern says:

    Regardless, the two main brands under K2 are K2 and Ride, both of which are very popular and well bought brands. Throw in Line and Planet earth and that is a pretty big umbrella that is closing off to Sierra.

  56. It’s not really news Jarden owns K2 which owns Volkl/Technica/Marker which owns Nitro. Volkl has always been more Euro centric and run as a different division but it’s there. They’re all part of the same family.

    For you guys that want a rundown of who owns who check this link here.

    Business is just that business, everyone that does it should be in it to make a profit whether its Sierra or Burton. But protecting brand integrity is perfectly fine. Which potentially is what Burton is doing.

    The “mom and pop” issue is another one entirely that doesn’t fall in the realm of being put on the consumer or competing shops it goes back to the manufacturer. It’s about them and the manufacturers and how the industry hasn’t protected them. But I’ll be covering a lot of this in a post in the next week or so.

    As far as Sierra goes it’s still rumors buzzing around. I’ve had a few phone calls/emails from people saying K2 has pulled out or is pulling out. Also heard other things about other companies. But like I said still RUMORS till I get some cold hard facts presented to me. Shit Burton hasn’t responded yet, so as mentioned in the initial post we’re just getting the Sierra side of this which is mainly propaganda.

  57. terryterryhibbert says:

    ^^^ Interesting post.

    I totally understand Burton doing what they feel is right for their brand, but I don’t think they’re doing it for any ‘nice’ reasons, they’re doing it to make profit – like you said “business is just business… etc”

    Agreed – it’s strange we’re speculating on rumors on something that might or might not be true :)

    It did seem that someone at Sierra got Clark Grunwald to comment and he started spouting off about “Burton being Porsche” – maybe Jake told everyone there to STFU in case they sad anything more embarrassing :)

    One thing is true the debate on the Sierra forum seems to be split between Sierra’s customers, who seem to love Sierra – which is fine. And Other store owners, who seem to hate Sierra – again I understand why.

    Looking forward to your post on the mom and pop stores, be really interesting if you take a global perspective. Personally I see the amount of ebay users offering to sell mainly Burton new snowboards to customers in Aus/NZ, Europe and Japan because of the artificially inflated prices in those territories (appreciate Burton aint the only company to do this) – how does that affect the ‘mom and pop’ shops in those territories? It’s a global industry and doesn’t just affect the US.

    That’s one thing I like about this discussion here – it started out as Sierra vs Burton and has evolved into something that understands the wider impact on snowboarding that the S vs B fallout has.

  58. terryterryhibbert says:

    Intern – we’ll have to agree to disagree about K2 snowboards. Totally personal opinion, but I feel K2 is going the way of Palmer and Morrow – once right up there at the top of the tree but every season they seem to be less and less relevant.

    Ride – I personally hate their products, not saying they’re not good quality just not for me. But agreed they have traction in the industry and people who really love them – they’re a brand that inspires passion, in a way I just don’t see with K2.

    Line – excellent products but they seem quite a niché market from what I understand from my skier friends (I may be wrong, just the impression I get). I agree the situation would be very different if it was Völkl.

    Planet Earth – personally really like their stuff, but never really thought of them as a current major player. Certainly nothing like 686/Sessions/Special Blend. Again might be wrong just my opinion.

    Not sure how much % of Sierra’s sales the take up but the only 1 I’d be worried about would be Ride if I was in their shoes. I think the other 3 brands could quite easily be replaced – assuming alternative brands wished to work with Sierra.

    Just my $0.02 tho :)

  59. K2 corp is actually number 2 in terms of snowboard companies and number one in skis. That umbrella of companies really solidifies their presence. Plus their tech is pretty unsurpassed.

    Will agree Planet Earth isn’t a heavy hitter, but it was never intended to be that’s why the plug was pulled and then it was retooled and brought back. I like what it is, but it’s not for everyone. It’s like L1 just not for everyone while 686 and others definitely make something for everyone and have a broad spectrum.

    The thing about rumors in this industry is that they tend to have a lot more truth behind them than with most other industries. Plus hearing it from multiple sources makes me question validity. But like I said waiting on some responses from people about things. Too many rumors flying right now and the shits getting deep so you better put your boots on to wade through it.

  60. terryterryhibbert says:

    K2 corp is actually number 2 in terms of snowboard companies and number one in skis.

    Interesting, I can believe that as a group as they own so much. Do you know the split of the brands and market share? Mainly interested in snowboard brands – heard from a few ‘industry’ people that it’s their lower quality brands (ie. not K2 and Ride) that make their money – no one mentioned figures and not sure whether people I spoke to had vendettas/grudge against K2 – be interesting if anyone has any links to data to either prove/disprove that.

    Not saying you’re wrong – but what specific tech do you think K2 has that is unsurpassed? Are you talking K2 group or K2 snowboards there?

    Agree totally about rumors in the industry being more accurate than other industries – it’s a very small, incestious industry to say the least :) Unfortunately it makes for a lot of grudges and people trying to even the score – which is why I take most rumors with a pinch of salt.

    Got my Salomon F series laced up and ready to wade :)

  61. That’s another thing about this industry it’s like high school people need to grow the fuck up. You’ll never really see any sales figures from any company. But the smaller brands on the lower pricepoints definitely do make up a sizeable chunk because that’s what the box stores sell.

    As far as tech goes just from K2 snowboards. The three rocker shapes, zero camber, hybritaper, harshmellow, auto technology, boa conda, the hinge on the heel straps, wide mouths for all ratchets, cinch tech, full tip to tail wood cores, inlays, materials used, side cut radius’s. List is pretty extensive actually.

  62. terryterryhibbert says:

    That’s another thing about this industry it’s like high school people need to grow the fuck up.

    Amen :)

  63. A. Nony Mouse says:

    perceived value is the biggest fucking line of bullshit i have ever heard

  64. e says:

    Jarden group also owns part of rossignol, believe it’s 40%. There are different forms of tech, some you can see like reverse camber and really modified sidecuts, but there are other things like materials which are not as obivious to see, but you can feel it.

    Contracts are tricky, lots of fine print stuff. pretty hard to comment on something none of us have seen. Seems if they modified and both parties signed then it could be in sierra’s favor. However, I still personally feel retailers (all) need to watch the discounts or when they are implementing them and brands need to do their part as well. A board now days has to look and have the tech of a $500+ board for $399, a $400 board for under $299 and then the shops still have to or chose to offer large discounts. This is not a good recipe for the brands or the shops. Which is why more and more are going direct with sales and retailers are relying more on online. The main question was who is wrong? Sierra or Burton? I don’t know, but I do know the current way our whole business is needs to change. Brands are hurting, factories are hurting, suppliers are hurting and brick/mortar shops are hurting.

  65. terryterryhibbert says:

    E – spot on, who knows about the contract but, if Sierra claim (I think), that both parties signed a contract with certain parts crossed out then assume that would be legally binding.

    Was chatting to a buddy last night who made a very valid point – if you manufactured a snowboard for say $100 and sold it to retailers for say $250, wouldn’t it be better for you to sell it direct to consumers at $550?

    Who is wrong Sierra or Burton? Probably both or neither :) To be fair to Sierra, I’m sure I read a post from the guy who runs it saying he understands what he did and understands Burton’s actions towards Sierra.

    Understand your point about a $300 boards needing look like a $400 board etc, but this industry revels in confusing customers deliberately with regards to tech names – if it’s a sintered base call it a sintered base and grade it by numbers so people can actually understand what they buying.

    But marketing departments hold sway and then the customer is just feed so much BS they don’t know left from right. This aint picking on one company, they pretty much all do it.

    I think one of the main reasons for heavy discounts is oversaturation of the market – again you gotta look at the amount of product Burton produces.

    You rarely see any Lib Tech go to crazy discounts – whether that’s a good understanding of supply/demand or they just can’t make anymore I’m not sure but I can guarantee Burton wasn’t complaining when it saw the numbers on the check from Sierra – they could have always refused to sell to them but that would have meant Burton having a tonne of product and having to deal with selling it.

    Just been reading some of my posts and it sounds as though I hate Burton, I don’t I think they make excellent products (although Anon goggles are appalling) have contributed a vast amount to the industry but their business plan and brand strategy at present leaves a bad taste and blaming the likes of Sierra whilst you aggresively move into retail smacks of hypocrisy

  66. rader023 says:

    I think this argument of whether or not the contract was violated is pointless at this point. We aren’t talking about Burton suing Sierra (who knows though). We are talking about no contract for next year. Did Sierra really think they could keep doing this stuff and Burton would be happy? Apparently it was a one year contract. So they are telling Burton we are gonna do this and do that. And they thought there would be no negative consequences for this during the next contract.

    I can see it going like this?

    Sierra: Burton we lined out parts of that contract, so we are gonna to do 50% on this date.

    Burton: I wouldn’t do that if I were you.

    Sierra: What you gonna do?

    Burton: Not sell to you next year. Easy fix. Have fun with that.

  67. […] damage control I'm not being paid shit to point out what's going on. Go weigh in on our debate over here if you want. __________________ Angry Snowboarder Because someone has to call it how they see […]

  68. terryterryhibbert says:

    http://www.rutlandherald.com/article/20100316/THISJUSTIN/100319966

    Burton closing Vermont factory 43 jobs to go – yes, that’s right kids, Burton is helping the local guys out again, well the Austrian local guys anyway :)

    Profit rules as always, screw the locals!

  69. ozzie says:

    the balance between brand and retailer is pretty slimey, but from a consumers point of view i would rather cut the retailer out, i dont believe in paying the middle man 100% markup for sticking it in his shop, id rather see that money go to the brand.

    Remember that the retailer is simply interested in revenue, and while the brand wants to make money as well, they are the ones who put the effort in designing and developing, researching product, pumping big money into riders pockets and generally building and progressing the industry you all enjoy.

    Burton is NOT trying to keep big profits by forcing retailers to adhere to the MSRP – that makes no sense at all. burton sells to all shops for a wholesale cost, so when sierra cuts the price they only hurt themselves and other retailers. Burton is trying to protect its other retailers who continue to sell at the MSRP. Its the other retailers who are complaining to burton about sierras tactics. This discussion show alot of people dont understand how the system works at all

    So before you all go bagging out burton or similar brands, keep in mind of all those lovely retailers who are the reason for the high MSRP in the first place.

  70. Joe says:

    Another Brit I’m afraid, Its an age old problem, The large mass online merchant vs to local indy reseller dotted around the country. The mass merchant buy’s large qty’s inevitably receiving better pricing, bigger marketing funds and of course the need to move their large inventory holding through as fast as possible. Compare this to the local independent reseller who enables the masses to touch and feel the products they desire before parting with their very hard earned cash. Its these local stores who could end up being merely a show room for the end user who decides what product they want by seeing it locally then buying it discounted online. Manufacturers are great at designing and building product but need resellers big and small to get their products out in front of the paying public I can’t remember a time I have ever bought a product on line without seeing it in the flesh somewhere.Burton have the ability to manage thier pricing model better, If a mass merchant is renowned for heavy discounting make them pay more for the product reducing their tendency to discount early. Burton could then support them to clear excess stock by given them additional funds but again would be at Burtons discretion in timing. For those crying out “unfair” Burton could offer them additional incentives to keep the overall profitability worth while. In the UK it is common practice to provide better sales margins to those resellers who sell more over the counter than those who specialize in online trading. The Independent reseller is the life blood of this type of industry and should be protected. On a final note Burton also have a responsibility not to oversupply its customer. Early discounting is a sign of poor sales against forecast and has little to do with offering customers better value for money

  71. balls says:

    i own a shop in new zealand, and have just received 6 pallets of Burton stock for our winter. because most of the product has already been out in the states for 6 months, discounting from stores like sierra hurt us really bad at the best of times, but when they break their contract (or not) and sell internationally it kills the snowboard industry down here.

    we sell burton with a small mark-up over what a customer pays in the U.S (which percievably goes on freight/distributor margins etc) when the product isn’t discounted, but when sierra rape their prices and take 50% off AND sell internationally – it impacts us heavily. now, pretty much everyone talks about how retailers are lining their pockets – if they are, I am not seeing it. we run a million dollar + company, and I earn HALF of what I did when I worked for someone else and before someone says this is my fault – we have grown from a <$100,000 business in 5 years, and are currently fitting out a new store because our current store isn't big enough.

    we have continually invested in our local community – taking schools to competitions, supporting magazines and events which help to grow snowboarding… we are in this because we love snowboarding, but we need the money to pay bills.

    hopefully we won't see too much sierra product in NZ, because if we do, our shop might not be here in 6 months… in fact, the whole industry in new zealand could suffer for many seasons to come.

    bye bye snowboarding culture in nz if that happens.

  72. terryterryhibbert says:

    Totally understand your comment balls and selling gear that’s essentially 6 months old has gotta be tough, but there is another side to it…

    Burton have artificially raised the price in your territory (like in Europe) so people are looking online. If they don’t buy at Sierra they buy on ebay (I know I did). Check out ebay and see how many new Burton boards are being sold by people in the US for sale to anywhere in the world. Any customer with a modicum of nouse and a credit card can pick up a new Burton board for a lot less than you can retail it for from ebay.

    Burton have created this market by their artificially inflated prices in certain territories – not Sierra or any other online retailer. `Ask Burton why a board made in China that needs to be shipped to the US and Oz has such a price difference – I can guarantee you won’t get a decent answer.

    As far as I know the only reason Sierra are selling Burton internationally now is because there dealer agreement is over. They certainly never used to – again, I know I tried to get stuff sent to the UK and was always refused. I know there’s a lot of Americans annoyed at their price cutting but Sierra have never shipped international Burton as far as I know – but I agree there are some well know stores in the US that do.

  73. e says:

    One reason prices can be higher in europe is that many companies need a distributor….and they want 30% to 40% margin as well, which is a huge reason why some euro companies don’t even try to make it in the US. Prices are getting closer inline with US pricing or even spot on for some companies, Ride/K2 were(last year) cheaper in the lowend then higher in the highend…not looking at exchange rates. Now most are just going with agents instead of distributors. New Zealand, why are u 6 months behind, most every major brand does boards 6 months ahead for NZ/Aus, sure some models are 6months behind.

    Brand/Shop relationship is huge, only way to have success is good communication and good service. If you have a good shop, they can help you pick out the best board for you, you get to see/feel everything, the shop can set you up, tune your board and help you with a warranty. That’s why you go to a shop and not an online dealer, but too many shops don’t do these things or they do a shit job at it. Brands support the shop, give their riders boards(which some just sell and is why some shops suck) have reps do clinics, do demos, etc, ship on time and don’t overproduce(which is very easy to do). Online has it’s place, so do brick/mortar/indy/mom&pop shops and these shops can do online as well. The problem with some of these shops is what people have said above, the service can blow dog…so why pay full price when you can find it cheaper online. And brands have found it to be a lot easier to do thousands of boards(discounted) with a few online dealers instead of having to deal with hundreds of shops with smaller orders, re-orders, then trying to collect money and my favorite, having the shop return what boards they didn’t sell. If you did 1000 boards,bindings or whatever and some online shop said we’ll give you the order now for 2000 pieces with a discount…what would you do? Some shops are great shops and it sucks when they supported brands only to see the same product for way cheaper online or in some megachain.

    Basically, everybody, every company and shop has a responsiblity, not just being so called core…but actually just trying to do a good job instead of taking the easy way out.

    If you are a shop, then join or organize a buying group…way easier than trying to go alone. They do this in the US and in europe with intersport(which is a bit different thing)

  74. Fair Tax says:

    THERE ARE 2 PROBLEMS HERE:

    1. Sierra Snowboards has been playing a pricing game with all brands for many years. They have a unique buying strategy that most mfg’s have stupidly agreed to. They buy closeouts in huge volume at a pre-negotiated price which effectively gives them a larger gross margin on the entire buy for a brand. So SS has more room to discount and still keep a margin spread at a sale price. Trust me, SS is in advertised pricing violations with every brand every year at all times during the MSRP selling season. Now, let me explain what Burton’s position is on taking a stand this year. The violation is based on a pricing change that happens in February every year. MSRP turns into M.A.P (minimum advertised price). Burton allows authorized online retailers to discount 20% off on a specific date, then 30% on another date. Not 50% like SS chose to do once again this year. I’m sure SS feels like with the volume of business they generate for many brands they can do what ever they please. Well…it finally caught up with them. SS may be a great company in the eye of some consumers, but they have proven to be a significant problem to the ethical retailers that hold price and conform to the Mfg policies. Burton has FINALLY done the right thing! Mervin (LibTech and GNU) were the first to pull the plug on SS and I would not be shocked if K2/Ride were the next to close them.

    FYI – Last year Burton picked up a massive amount of product and terminated MooseJaw.com for essentially than same issue. As much as I disagree with many of Burton’s business practices. I do respect that they will walk away from huge dealers if it’s the right thing to do. They were only a few years late on finally closing Sierra.

    2. While Burton is not afraid to take a short term hit on closing large accounts, I’m sure they realize the lost business from one account will find its way to other dealers and thus the termination of an account ends up being seamless as there is no shortage of places to buy Burton.

    And one of those places is BURTON.COM. Here’s the problem for shops and online partners. Several years ago the Big B covertly e commerced their website. This was done after they booked ALL prebook orders. In that infamous Fall season, burton.com had a shiny new shopping cart for all new Burton products with the exception of boards, boots and bindings. So the B effectively became a direct competitor to every shop that help build their brand into the largest and most powerful brand in snowboarding. Fast forward three seasons and now the B Empire sell EVERY item they make consumer direct. OUCH… There definitely is a do as I say, not as I do attitude in Vermont. At least Burton.com adheres to it’s own pricing policies :) not sure if they accept/fulfill international orders? If they do, that would be the ultimate Fyou to the ethical US online shops.

  75. Larsen says:

    Ride & K2 officially pulled out last week. They both sent legal papers to Sierra. To those who think Burton’s move has something to do with Burton selling direct online or through Burton stores, the K2/Ride move should suggest that there is a much different motive.

  76. balls says:

    terryterryhibbert – i actually think the problem is reversed – companies have lowered their prices so much in the US that it is hard to get the prices lower internationally. this as far as i can make out is because the US is/was the largest market so ALL the companies have priced to meet that market. the other component is the distributor margins as pointed out.

    we will continue to offer a full service shop and customers definitely support that, but if stores like sierra dump stock there is not much we can do to compete. let’s hope we can keep growing and putting back into the community in the future…

  77. Ryan says:

    “If there’s one thing the newest generation of people that are getting interested in snowboarding doesn’t know it’s MSRP. Yeah, yeah, say what you want about price gouging and all that fun stuff. But the truth is, the newest generation have grown up with online mega warehouses severely discounting products.”

    What?? That’s a load of bullshit. Price is important, and furthermore, what’s Burton’s excuse for marking up a snowboard that costs them $70 to manufacture in Chinese sweatshops to fucking $500 +?
    I will say what I want about price gouging, because it’s big and it’s important!

    The very fact that BOTH Burton and Sierra are able to STILL PROFIT after 50% discounts kind of tells you something about the amount of price gouging really going on.

    Secondly, Burton doesn’t give a shit about the “little guys” which is why they’ve massively expanded into online retail themselves (WITH DISCOUNTS) and opening up their own physical retail stores, BOTH OF WHICH SELL CHEAPER THAN THE MOM-AND-POP STORES! So don’t think for one second that Burton is doing this to protect the core shops.

    Thirdly, which hurts the little shops more? The fact that online sops discount their boards, or the fact that Burton forces the small shops to buy more than they can realistically sell, and then ban them from giving the kind of discounts they need to clear it out on stuff even after it’s 2 seasons old?

    If Burton cared about the little guys, they’d give them a better price, or at least allow them to discount more, and give them a percentage of profits instead of forcing them to buy large inventories at a set price. Or perhaps, Burton could let the shops buy fewer Burton boards, or not force them to carry the entire Burton line, which prevents the shops from having a more diverse selection of brands. (Which is the only reason for Burton’s ridiculous rules- they wanna be the only option there)

    Burton is merely trying to cut out the middleman, whether it be online stores or local shops and replace them with burton.com and their own burton-only retail stores. Their vision is to replace snowboarding with Burton-ing (but only if you’re rich, because you know once they become the one and only, Burton can charge whatever prices they damn well please.)

  78. Well someone doesn’t grasp MSRP and why things have a mark up. Say what you want but to me it sounds like from your post you believe 1. That MSRP is price gouging because mark ups are bad when a company has to recoup it’s costs and make a revenue so they remain in business 2. Making profit on volume with lower sales is not what needs to be done and if you would read through others responses you might grasp this concept but I doubt it 3. As I’ve stated to numerous other people Burton has the potential to do something to protect the little guys, but will they? that’s still up in the air. 4. Yeah minimum buy-ins are insane and greed has hurt people on all sides things need to change.

  79. balls says:

    the fact is, K2, Ride, Rome lib, and pretty much every other company we deal with have similar, if not higher MSRP/RRPs than Burton for similar product. it is a free market (unlike petrol and banking) and those prices are therefore set by competition.

    there is a lesson to be learn here, and burton needs to do right by it’s customers (and by snowboarders) and react to the sierra situation (as do all the major companies) both in the domestic US as well as internationally – otherwise this could take years to recover from. we had another two customers come in yesterday talking about buying from sierra, making it 5 in the last week. normally we are pumping out sales based on the excitement of getting it in store.

    could be a tough season.

  80. terryterryhibbert says:

    Good point Angry – people don’t usually factor in stuff like R&D, prototypes, testing, graphics when they look at ‘what a board costs’ – it aint like someone just grabs some raw materials and builds a board right there for $80.

    But I agree the penny has dropped at Burton and (quite rightly from a pure financial point of view) see that they can make a couple hundred % by selling direct.

    Balls – from a long term perspective I don’t think the current issue with Sierra is going to affect you – they’re clearing stock as Burton have no control over them. But the wider point is that people buy on a global scale and may well turn to ebay rather than your store once Sierra no longer stocks Burton to get around the massive price differential.

    When you mention distributors that’s a good point – a lot of companies use them, but I’m pretty sure Burton do not (in Europe at any rate). I’ve a feeling that Burton Europe is a company in itself – might be wrong please feel free to correct me if anyone has proof showing otherwise, be interesting to know.

    Not sure I agree with ‘it’s a free market’ – if that was the case then MSRPs/RRPs wouldn’t be enforced as strictly – hence the whole Sierra situation. It isn’t a free market, Sierra can’t price as they like that’s why we’re seeing what we’re seeing. However I don’t think that’s exclusive to snowboarding, I feel every sector in retail is ‘price fixed’ to a certain degree.

    E – you made an excellent point – if bricks and mortar shops offer shit service then there’s no use complaining about Sierra etc. it’s avoiding the real problem of having a badly run business and not understanding/caring about customers. I can guarantee a lot of these ‘little shops’ complaining about Sierra will be complaining about someone else in 12 months time.

  81. balls says:

    TTH – you are right, people can buy from ebay, or from any other online source that isn’t regulated which is why k2, ride, burton and most other large snowboard companies regulate customers in the US and Europe now. you may not know, but every burton dealer worldwide has to sign an agreement not to ship outside their territory. i know that most other companies are starting to enforce this. that means that if a burton store sells on ebay they risk losing their contract with burton/ride/k2/etc.

    burton do use distributors outside most major markets (europe, us and japan excepted). they use a distributor in new zealand and have done in australia (not sure about this year)…

    coming back to the free market – we sell products at whatever we see reasonable. for some brands we are cheaper than others and for other brands we are more expensive – we respond to market demand. burton does restrict pricing to an extent, but this is mainly enforced online to prevent companies like sierra, that are larger and have better margins, impacting on smaller stores in remote locations. it stops retailers competing directly on price and to a large extent i agree with this….

    burton led the charge here, but most companies sell us year ahead product – we are selling mostly 2011 boards which negates the effect of US stores dumping product. we still get price conscious consumers wanting sale boards, but we can compete with older product as well…. we just haven’t seen it on a scale like this before. i guess this is what happens when one customer becomes so strong.

    hopefully you are right – hopefully we don’t get affected, but we are seeing trickles coming through and this is our prime selling time….

    anyway, we are expecting our coldest winter in 70 years so here’s to a good season!

  82. terryterryhibbert says:

    Balls – I wasn’t suggesting authorized dealers are selling via ebay (although I’ve seen some – but that’s more to clear old stock.

    It’s more shop kids getting discount and ordinary people seeing a gap in the market. I understand Burton (and others) territorial agreement and I know there’s certain stores that break those guidelines in the US. Again, Burton et al could stop this instantly by leveling off the prices but it’s not in their interests/profit margin to do so – hence you have this ‘grey market’

    Yeah I was pretty sure they didn’t use distributors in Europe (don’t have an experience of the industry in the Southern Hemisphere) which still gets back to the question why is a Burton board made in Austria more expensive in Austria with no transport costs/import duties and, as we’ve now established, no distributor fees?

    We’ll have to agree to disagree over the free market – to me free means free. No restrictions at all eg if you wanna sell a Vapor for $200 you can do. Every shop I’ve been in over the last couple of seasons in the US has sold Burton boards for exactly the same price – or within $5 of each other on a $500+ board :) that aint free market – that’s being told what you’re pricing at. Same in the UK and the same in France, Austria, Switzerland, Canada over the years.

    I hear you about remote locations but, like it or not, retail is a global environment now and that’s how people shop – I can’t see that changing as long as there are those huge price fluctuations.Again not just a snowboarding issues, it’s relevant in all areas of retail.

    Companies like Sierra were quick to see the fact the a customer wasn’t just someone who lived within a small geographical radius to a physical location, love them or loathe them – it worked for them and people like Backcountry.com. In Europe there’s a company called Blue Tomato have created a ‘Pan-European’ online offering (not sure if they have a physical store as well).

    Hope you do have a good season in NZ good chance I’ll be down there for a week or 2 depending on getting hooked up with cheap Quantas flights :)

  83. noneedforaname says:

    The talk about ‘little guys’ and ‘mom and pop shops’ is… amusing.

    Bottom line is – Sierra got to where they are because they realized what retailers in countless other market segments have realized. People like shopping online and getting a deal. The protectionism in question is just a matter of trying to deny what’s been happening for well over a decade throughout retail.

    Retail trends are changing. Period. This isn’t unique to snowboarding, or even sports in general. People shop online. People want better prices online because there’s lower overhead associated with running a ‘warehouse store’. That’s the trend in retail.

    There’s no reason why the ‘mom and pop’ shops can’t adapt to that trend. If instead of letting their stoner shop kid workers take half a day off to ride pow, they thought about how they could improve their business and use technology to their advantage – there’s no reason why they could not compete. Afterall – sierra didn’t start out as a warehouse store, it was a good few years before they even had a website – and it’s really only been in the last year or two that they’ve really moved serious volume. They got where they are today because they figured out how to tap into retail trends to offer customers a better perceived value.

    Bottom line is – you can’t put the genie back in the bottle. All this talk of “killing the industry” is nonsense. That argument has been thrown out by dinosaurs in every market segment for over 10 years now, and it’s never once been the truth. Internet sales – and the discounts that come with – are how people expect to be able to shop these days.

  84. tooscoops says:

    wow… this has people quite upset…. still not really sure why. those of you who love sierra will find another place to buy burton, or just buy something else… those of you who love burton, will have no issues other than having to pay a 10% increase to get what you want…

    ohhhh… not that big a deal guys. this is two companies playing hardball with neither one willing to back down.. they are both big enough that they’ll be fine.

    the only thing i really want to disagree with is the guy who said the boards are like 70 bucks to make.

    learn some business. though the raw materials used might only amount to that, the price of the boards has to pick up all fixed and variable overhead as well as all advertising and selling costs. so each board will have a per unit cost that covers power in the plant, the janitors salary, plowing the parking lot, paying the receptionist, that billboard you saw yesterday, the lamborgini sitting in white’s garage…. all those things get added to overall costs.

  85. Larsen says:

    It seems many have ignored that other brands have pulled out. Ride and K2 have officially done so and the brand I represent is doing so, as well. Ride and K2 don’t sell direct or have stores. All these brands have done this to protect the profitability of their numerous other dealers which in turn protects their own. The motives that many suggest for Burton’s decision don’t exist for these other brands.

    @noneed – Sierra has tremendous financial backing that mom and pops can’t touch. Just to build a site like Sierra is well beyond their financial means. Mom and pops cannot do what Sierra has. Also, ya, they HAVE had a site since day one, which was in 2004.

    Some seem to be attacking core shops. I tour shops all over the country that my brand is in and one of the things I am paid to notice is the service. Most mom and pops give excellent service in comparison to Big Box. I’ve been in Sierra on tour three times and no one said a word to me any time until I introduced myself and core shops in that area have proven to be excellent in service, friendliness, and knowledge, but continue to get hurt by the even deeper discounting Sierra does locally. Really it comes down to that price supersedes service for many consumers.

    Be careful what you think about small retailers. Snowboarding is an image sport that continues to be pushed at the core level. If core shops didn’t exist, Sierra Snowboard or snowboarding as we know it wouldn’t either. Much of what you have in snowboard tech and style was entered into the market at the core level to build it up then released to big box or on-line. Burton’s ICS and Cap-Strap were both started up in the core marketplace in Burton’s now defunct Un-Inc line that only core retailers could prebook. Support your local retailer and you support the soul and progression of snowboarding.

  86. balls says:

    amen larsen. we are not a “mom & pop” store but would call ourselves core. my two business partners started the store as 19 year olds… in 5 years we have gone from <$70,000 per annum to +$1m with AT LEAST 30% growth in each of the past two years despite the mall we are being 15% down. we are a core store, and will always be a core store. we don't sell skis or toys. we do have an online store and this is growing year on year.

    our biggest risk is the inability to borrow money in the current economic climate. it's hard to grow when banks won't lend…. unlike a company like sierra, we don't have (seemingly) endless pockets.

    we started our shop in an area that had now snowboard/skateboard stores and have put time and effort into riding with our friends (who started out as customers) and support local schools snowboarding initiatives, taking them down to the mountain each year. we love the sport and want to see it grow – not end up as a soul-less industry like every other corporate sport….

    good to hear snowboard companies are still backing the smaller shops. thanks for your support larsen!

  87. One thing I hate about all this is the anonymity people are posting under. Larsen just spit out what brand you’re working for and where you heard K2/Ride pulled out from cause I’ve gotten 4 different perspectives on what’s going on there.

  88. […] to more strongly, which seems to be one of the things some of the bigger companies are finally stepping up and doing. Level the playing field and you won’t see products being marked down during peak […]

  89. Carl says:

    http://www.sierrasnowboardsucks.com…internetsting, found this on stumbleupon

    Burton Snowboards
    K2 Snowboards
    Ride Snowboards
    DC Snowboards
    32 Boots
    686 Clothing
    Anon
    Armada
    Capita
    Dakine
    Forum
    Foursquare
    Line
    Full Tilt
    Orage
    Plant Earth
    Salomon
    Helly Hansen
    Analog
    Spyder

  90. Carl says:

    Edit: that was under “Vendors that have been Affected”

  91. Ryan says:

    I dont have anything against small mom and pop stores, I wish them the best but lets face it, retail has been evolving from brick and mortar to online shopping for years now. People expect great savings online and they should because the cost of doing business is much lower for online stores. To punish online stores because they can offer lower prices does not make much sense to me.

  92. The punishment is because they didn’t adhere to their buying agreement. You go off price that much you deserve what you get.

  93. shralp says:

    Can anyone repost the sierrasnowboardsucks.com content. The site was taken down. How are the other companies listed effected? Has it been confirmed that K2/Ride have pulled out of Skierra?

  94. This has been an interesting read. I am opening up a shop In SE Michigan May 1st. I worked as a manager/buyer for a store that was around almost 20 years called TWC surf and sport. The owner decided to call it quits and that left me looking for my next move. for me it was obvious that people are still going to be destroying boards and I personally won’t shop at REI or summit sports or whatever online store is cheapest. So, I am doing my own thing, but enough about that.
    I don’t think the current environment is really all that bad for a “core” retail store. There is no question that placing a good prebook order for snowboards can be challenging. you can’t just order everything like an online store, but you can order what you believe in and sell that, be realistic. your going to have to tell some people you don’t have the board they want, next time buy earlier or show them something similar that you do have.
    All retailers have the opportunity to buy closeouts. if you blow your wad early and don’t have the ability to take advantage of this, then that can be corrected by putting together a tighter buy next year, staggering shipping dates, etc. there are techniques that you learn if you’re on a tight budget.
    I keep hearing that Online is the future, but I don’t think that is represented in the numbers. still the VAST majority of industry sales come from Brick and Mortar stores. While Online is a growing segment. It is growing a percent here and there over the years, it is by no means engulfing the whole sport.
    I do think Burton made the right call here, I also know they were one of the first companies (this is some what about local reps), to say Hell yeah!, we support what your doing. here are all these exclusive products that we want to get in your store to help you out and give you some sort of advantage over your local big box competitors. Now there is no question, getting in bed with this brand has caused a lot of folks to close their doors. they are a business and if you don’t uphold your end of the contract, they will come down on you and the people in their credit department are NOT nice.
    However, everyone wants to cry poor me! What about accepting some responsibility and putting together some more realistic buys. It is the buyers fault if they select the wrong stuff, too much stuff, etc. Often times, the companies are willing to help you if your proactive early (you can swap slow moving product out for something that does work). A huge reason “core” shops are dying is this is really not easy, it takes a lot of organisation, and hard work. from the outside it seems easy enough, but let me tell you I screwed up a fair amount in the last six years at TWC and I will continue to make some mistakes. Its easy to pick out what you want each season, but when you try to do it for others you’d be surprised how people you think you know, don’t want exactly what you think they do.
    I belive in local shops. I have ran and organised a ton of events in the past few years and that is real. We are in the midwest. I don’t know the last event a manufacture actually put money into around here. We make it happen on shoe string budgets and local reps promo budgets and everyone has a great time.
    Bad retail is bad retail, it can come from a “core” shop or from a big box store. don’t assume all “core” shops are the same.
    at a minimum I want everyone walking through My door to be greeted in an open and friendly manner and leave learning something. I don’t care if it is about something they heard on the Ipod, product technology, new brands, etc.
    I think if “core” retailers would just drop the “cool guy” approach and be real with customers walking through the door. they wouldn’t be disappearing so quickly.
    Then again, I am just starting my journey (even if I have ran a “big” single door shop the last 6 years). I am sure I will develop some bitterness along the way.
    just to finally comment on motives, I think everyone in this debate is concerned with money, it is the ultimate driving force behind all these decisions.
    Burton does not want to cheapen their brand. I know that seems like a load of crap, but stores have been dropping their orders like crazy over the last few years because no one wants to pay $550 for a custom or $250 for some cartels. The consumer does not value these products at this price and are waiting for it to be discounted at the end of the season. In turn, retailers have shrank their orders year after year and if burton still wants to be viable in the premium market, they need to be proactive.
    Its about them loosing footing in a market segment that gives their brand legitimacy. otherwise. it will be just entry level stuff and they don’t want to be a marrow or 5150. they like making high performance products. If they don’t slow down the discounting, they will not be able to justify making those products. You might say this is a load of crap, but it is simple supply and demand.
    I think brands do need to be more price conscious. We have seen price points shift. I would like to see a decent package (boards boots and bindings) for under $400 that is not utter crap. I don’t want to see that acheived through discounting higher value products and making everyone go out of business.

  95. Shralp there is a post on their site where they say, “K2/Ride has pulled out but we were going to phase them out anyways”. If their site didn’t suck balls I could probably actually find that exact post.

    I’ll dig around and see if I can get the content from that sierrasnowboardsucks.com site.

  96. […] reading at The Angry Snowboarder and Deserts Don’t Snow, and an “open letter to Jake Burton Carpenter” posted at […]

  97. ipps says:

    Id be intrigued on some of your feelings regarding the latest international policy from sierra. As an international customer i love it naturally, but i have a feeling this may be a way bigger issue in the long run than discounts. Basically its uncertain on how long the policy is in effect for, but right now, spend $500 and you get free international shipping. Buy a board at full retail next year (and maybe some stickers) and likely you break that mark. Buy a board and bindings and its all but guaranteed. This is a pretty ballsy move. Theyre really pushing the idea of being a global brand and i really am happy to see it. Price gouging really does bother me what with being british and growing up when ‘rip off britain’ was an anti gouging public movement :) Still, i recognise this is literally a direct screw you to a lot of retailers out there. So long term, hows about it? How do you deal with that?

  98. doug says:

    If you want price gouging, in 1988 when I was first shopping for boards, MSRP for the top brands (burton, sims, kemper, etc) was anywhere from 360 to 550+ for a board with bindings.

    Take these prices, and add your avg. 3 percent inflation rate to them for each year and you’re talking 689 to 993, so roughly 700 to 1000 dollars for complete boards.

    So, if you get a deck for 500 or less, you’re getting a deal, no price gouging going on, boards cost less these days, MSRP has already dropped

    If you want deals, if you think you need to pay 189 for your deck, then keep riding Lamars, otherwise, pay the shop’s price, shut up, and support your sport :)

  99. MichaelG says:

    Nice discussion.

    I feel that if the MSRP is more uniformly enforced, Burton will be forced to lower the MSRP in the long run due to deminishing market share.
    If people cannot buy the products for the discounts they demand, the products will not move. There are simply too many competing brands.
    Personally, I feel Burton has the best gear, and I’m willing to pay a premium for premium product; however, snowboarding is not a necessity, so I’m only willing to spend so much.
    I desperately wanted a Custum V-Rocker this year, but if the price had been closer to 400 instead of 570, I would have sprung for it. Burton countered this by not making enough of them to be left over to be bought discounted at the end of the year. The stage has been set for next year: If you want to hop on one of the newest and hottest boards, you’d better act quick. I’m already planning on getting a Custom Flying V in August when the gear drops, just so I don’t miss out and I have the board I want.

    As far as Sierra goes: I’ve never bought from them, and I don’t know anyone who has. I’m sure they sell a lot of gear, but I doubt it’s going to hurt Burton. As I said above, Burton is making their product scarce (IMO) to drive up prices, so they can easily shift their inventory from Sierra to another retailer that wants to play by the rules but couldn’t otherwise get enough product.

  100. TTBoy says:

    Well I see your point but I honestly believe that the snowboard industry has been heavily overpriced to start with. My latest Burton jacket retailed at $250US, sure the tech going into these products cost money but looking at the material and overall product, no way worth $250US. If this isn’t enough, how about it being made in Vietnam (I know lah lah everything made in Asia these Days, I’ve heard it before) Have you seen how these people live? They get paid peanuts to supply me products for a leisure activity??

    Long live online stores such as Sierra I say. Burton and similar companies have cut their own throat on International sales. Get this, I live in Australia and snow gear is close to or just under double the price in Australia compaired to US but right now the dollar difference is 10%. I’ve bought plenty of snow gear from the states and don’t at all feel sorry for Burton etc loosing money.

  101. terryterryhibbert says:

    The point over over saturating the market is an important one.

    No one complains of Sierra et al slashing prices on Lib Tech – that’s because there’s roughly the right amount of Lib Tech product produced for the marketplace.

    Burton constantly overproduce – and then get annoyed that their ‘brand’ is being cheapened by high sales – what do they want – the stock unsold but with MSRP price tag on it?

    They’re obviously still making money on close-outs otherwise they wouldn’t continue to overproduce – they’re well aware of how much money there is to be made even on close-outs.

    It’s more than a little hypocritical – let’s see if anything changes now Jake’s back.

  102. TTBoy says:

    To terryterryhibberts comment your exactly right. I have bought a great deal of gear from Sierra and still do. Basically if you want GNU or Lib Tech you pay full price because it will be sold out before Sierra’s first sale, black friday. Also GNU/Lib Tech are hand made, not in a sweatshop.

    You can’t have it both ways Burton! Either smaller elite production and sell beofre end of season. Or over produce and still make a profit after Sierra drops 70%off, after all your products come from a sweatshop in Vietnam, can’t imagine you pay award or penalty rates. Shame on you.

  103. doug says:

    Hand made: EVERY snowboard is hand made. Elan may be closest to full automation but still requires hand work for at least half of it. There are some non jake burton cusroms out there that say hand crafted in china on them. But yea your point is heard. Mervyn no more hand made than china, but rather built by shredders who have vested interest in what they do. Ask the lady who invented sewn on sidewalls like on omatics, “what is the purpose of this product?” Id love to hear that answer. Some seriously high quality shit comin from asia mexico wherever, and some like k2 do in fact treat the workers well, but it should be in the hands of shredders. Shame on them for going where the work is cheap. For putting people out of work and screwing your own country and giving yet more dollars to communism. Unless they gave every former usa factory worker some other position like marketing or sales but they totally didn’t. Made in usa used to be something people were proud of. Now its just a memory. But what to do? Its nearly impossible to maintain operations here on any scale

  104. e says:

    There is room for everything, whether made in Asia, US or Europe. If you want US made, then pay for it, if you rather not drop the coin then there are a lot of great boards that are produced in China and of course Europe. Most shops have to look at the bottom line and not where the board is produced, since most customers are swayed by graphics/price and not where it is made. Have you guys ever seen a factory, they are not always the nicest places, actually the cleanest one i’ve ever seen was in china. Everybody wears gloves, everything is recycled, filters, clean rooms, temperature control, QC at every level, etc. Anyways, Mervin/NS have done a great job and if you want US made then don’t forget Unity, Signal, Smokin, Donek or Canadian like Prior & Clyde. To be fair, about the only way to make it with a US/Canadian factory is if the brand/factory are the same company. Even then it’s extremely difficult, since shops are trying to buy boards for what you make them for.

    Sewn on sidewalls, actually they sew on the tip/tail pieces as well, is to keep everything together. A chick can do the whle process in about 30 seconds, this is what quite a few factories do in china, but not all of them. Why do they do this, allows them to weld the tip/tail pieces with the sidewall for a stronger board….and the molds don’t have to be as complex. Europe(mostly) the molds are designed to hold the sidewalls into place during the layup.

  105. doug says:

    sorry, what i meant is if you ask the chinese lady who invented sewn on sidewalls what the purpose of them or doing the process was for, she would say “i dont know what is this, i just know it easier to tsew?” or something to that extent — they don’t snowboard, have no concept of the sport, i dont care where they’re made, if a bunch of chinese shredders came up with a brand and figured out a way to build them and get them out there, i’d buy 10 of them personally. I’ll stop here because nobody cares

  106. e says:

    I understand, you (other’s as well, even I do) want a board built by riders. Nothing wrong with that at all, especially if shops and customers support this. Which many don’t, so most companies rely on big factories. However, people do ride at these factories, but these are not always the people building the boards, they work in sales, QC, R&D, logistics, etc. The actual building of boards..well it can sort of suck. Would you want to sit there all day doing nothing but drilling out inserts, but hey you are a snowboarder so you drill out inserts better. Or how about bandsawing the flashing/excess materials off a board, you have 30 seconds to do this, does it help if you are a snowboarder? A lot of stuff is assembly line stuff, way way more so in china. I think it’s great that there are factory/brands that build,design their own stuff. But, it’s also important that a worker, no matter what country puts pride in their work. Some of the most talented people building snowboards can be found in china.

  107. doug says:

    I do all that stuff. And yea its tedious work but the end result is very rewarding. So now you see my bias. ;) yes there are still many snowboarders in control of the bigger guns, trying to keep a grip on a machine and a big business model that is destined to continually seek out less expensive methods as its rate of return declines and sometimes goes negative, its inevitable, next will be mexican and african production as china further developes. Austria goes further toward full automation to keep ahead. But its ok, half of a percent market share would provide me and my business partner a living and probably pay 2 other people enough to be stoked. But back to burton, jake’s back, we’ll see what the future holds, my guess is more of the same but I wish him well

  108. e says:

    .5% market share would be 45,000 to 50,000 boards. I hope you could survive off that…lol. But your scenario is different, you aren’t doing high qty, bandsawing 500 boards a day is a lot of work, doing 10-50 in a week is pretty easy. Small companies that produce their own boards can survive off a few hundred. Takes awhile to get to that magic number where you have the best margin and life is good. Most people think if they sell 10,000 boards then they are rolling in cash. Not really, that’s when you have to have a big marketing budget, early season discounts, distributors, kick ass website, CS….blah blah the list goes on. It’s funny, well not funny, but most brands are hurting big time, these are brands that have been around for years and our held in high regard, even highly liked by Angry. I don’t have an answer, but right now the current system sucks. Too many hands in the pie and in the end there is little too nothing left for the brands or the factories. But Sierra seems the answer for some companies, they sell more Burton boards from that one location than Capita produces. Pretty sure the discount is huge for them, so that’s why you go to china. Hey, not my cup of tea, but that’s the thought process.

  109. doug says:

    Makes lots of sense. And yea 500-1000 boards and we’d be doin just fine with enough to drop in a couple shops and let them sell for whatever they please

  110. e says:

    500-1000 boards is not easy, I know companies that do this now that have been around 10 years & ths is where they are at. But here is the dilema.

    Say Sierra wants to buy 500 boards from you, which would be basically the same as your inline & currently you are doing 500 boards. You don’t make much per board but it’s a huge help. They get a big discount to order this qty. Now say Sierra discounts your boards 50% early season. Now your customers are goint wtf, give me money back. You played with fire and got burned even though they said they could do this, this is what happened with Burton. Who’s right? Think both parties knew all the stakes. Anyways, Burton just offloads their stuff onto another customer, neither of these parties suffered.

    However, people forget many shops get boards at discounts as well, especially this year with people going out of business, lot of cancelled orders. So a lot shops can buy at a huge discount, then they complain about Sierra.

  111. doug says:

    I wouldn’t devote such an effort to get someone 500 boards, we’re not at that level and would never put ourselves in a positiom where we have just one or two huge customers, because what would happen next yr or the yr after when they demand I drop prices? I would have no choice. But yea you’re right its a huge tough situation. Sierra is just trying to sell boards in a tough economy and burton is trying to protect their msrp. I doubt this is the only scenario like this

  112. […] been a few months since the hell fires of Sierra Snowboard Vs Burton made waves across the internet fueling the much heated debate about who was in the right and who […]

  113. $500 for a board is price gouging. It always has been. Your rant is just as childish as you purport Sierra to be.

  114. Care to explain how 500 bucks is price gouging? Snowboard prices have stayed relatively the same for years. When you look at raw material costs, plus shipping, labor, shipping again, r and d, paying the powers that be, and then the mark up shops get on them so they can turn a profit it’s all legit. Shops do not make a lot of money per board. But hey you’re the uninformed snowboard consumer.

  115. 2 Buck says:

    Reminds me of when Burton pulled out of Active shortly before they nearly went out of business. They are playing the good guy finally, but fed this system for way too long. It’s a little like repenting on your deathbed… in my mind, that might be too late to feel bad about what you did.

  116. Southern stash says:

    The thing that gets me is how many people blindly buy Burton because of the name (plenty of other examples like that I know). They are a ridiculously dominant player who is now waking up to the clout they have. Supplying indy stores will not be their long term strategy I am sure. If boarders held off buying Burton, I bet their no discounting rule would go out the window in a hurry.

  117. ipps says:

    seems stuck for me at 116 even though it keeps saying more posts added so dont know if people are talking about latest developments. Anyway, was idling on chat and a few guys were talking about exchanging emails ‘just in case’ and very prominent member of staff said the following at 12.29:

    Rumours, rumours, don’t believe them.

  118. Staff like they’re actually paid or an expert member? And if it’s Mike H. I wouldn’t believe anything he said.

  119. ipps says:

    It may have been the boss man. As your mate scorer said though ‘they never confirm or denied anything about the burton thing or the possible bankruptcy’ so its quite surprising to see the first semi official refutation of the things that are happening. It certainly indicates nothing either way of course, but its pretty much the first word i’ve seen from sierra on the surrounding discussion so thought i’d share.

  120. I know one thing about Bankruptcy cause I’ve worked for 2 shops that have done this. Everything is all fine and dandy day in and day out even if you ask then poof you show up one Sunday after being on vacation for 5 days and the next thing you know you’re on government sponsored snowboarding.

  121. […] industry, its business practices, and how this was all going to pan out. Initially it started with Burton Snowboards along with a few others pulling out from them, then it lead to rumors of imminent chapter 11 status […]

  122. Punkrock boyscout says:

    One thing that never ceases to piss me off with all you so called “core” snowboarders is that you constantly make Burton out to be the big bad corporation. Something that should not be overlooked is that Burton is one of the very few companies that is still rider owned. Many of the companies everyone consider “core” are often backed by huge corporations that may also make dixie cups or cricket bats. Jake is still the sole owner of Burton. Also part of the reason you pay a premium for Burton’s boards is they are high quality and they are innovators and it’s not like they don’t have very good entry level boards in the $250.00 price point. What happened is the owner of Sierra got plain out greedy and screwed himself, nobody else that had contracts with them were worried about them taking over.Blame the greedy prick not Burton.

  123. Burton hasn’t done shit to help snowboarding in the last decade. Go cry about it some more you won’t find anyone that actually cares about snowboarding taking your side.

  124. Punkrock boyscout says:

    So you’re telling me things like the channel, egd, n2o wfo bases and infinite ride are just junk? Sorry but for a guy who has a quiver of over 11 boards and rides almost everything over a season I see a honest difference in their products. I agree with you on many fronts like mervins mtx and some of the gimmicky crap around but you’re dreaming if Burton hasn’t made a true and substantial difference in the industry. I could do without their boutique B.S. but you’re going to have to come to terms with the fact that imaging and product placement has not been what makes them a leader in the industry and given them the staying power to keep them around for many years to come.

  125. Burton isn’t an innovator anymore and hasn’t done shit for the industry.

  126. e says:

    Infinite ride is technology? Burton boards are notorious for breaking down super quick, so they do that for you. They should focus on giving board some pop instead of just making a dead board. WFO is not their innovation, it’s Crown Plastics innovation & anybody can get this base. EGD, is from them using light wood that compresses, so it helps to turn it at a 90 degree, does it help the ride….not really, it is super expensive, yeah. Their fiberglass is pretty much shit, still don’t know why they use that garbage. They did Frostbite edge, forgot what it used to be called, they were first with that. The Channel they did finally get that going well so it seem. Burton can make a nce board for sure, but when you have 300 models, kind of hard not to make a decent board.

  127. tooscoops says:

    so angry… i thought at the start of this, you were backing burton for doing what needed to be done to “clean up” the industry? as a former employee in the automotive field, i could understnad your thoughts there for sure… it seemed they were attempting to right some past wrongs from overmanufacturing and such that was bringing about these big discounts and fucking up the suply and demand…

    just wondering if you are now totally against burton or what? i have no real opinion on the matter, just wondering your current stance.

  128. There’s things Burtons doing that are bullshit like their buy local campaign if they were supporting local shops we wouldn’t see them in zappos.com. Contrary to popular belief I don’t hate Burton I hate their actions.

  129. Once a corpo’ gets that big it turns into an uncontrolable beast that can’t effectively manage all the campaigns it takes on. Too many people and to much money involved. F’ it, I’m going to Home Depot and making my own board. Gonna start a new trend, like tight snowboard pants…

  130. No Whiners says:

    I have seen this kind of whining for years in the industry. Quit fucking whining–buy from a shop if they give you a good deal. Service? WTF is that? Go to http://www.buoloco.com and watch Bob Klein–an industry legend–he says service? WTF is that–it doesnt exist.
    I have been riding many many years. Why do I need to listen to some 19 yr old puke who knows shit and shineola sell me a bill of goods on the new tech brah?
    No thanks, I will buy from backcountry, I can ride cheap and get the goods.
    Your little shop isnt worth the time, if you cant compete, you are the new horse and buggy–its called schumpeters creative destruction–go look it up son.

  131. So you’re about no whiners yet you came here and whined?

  132. JoeR says:

    Two comments:

    1. Decades of experience across many different industries has taught us that attempts to protect selected retailers from market forces favoring consolidation tend to hurt consumers, and are generally ineffective as well. There’s a reason antitrust law traditionally has viewed price competition as crucial to consumer welfare (unfortunately, this principle sustained a major dent in 2007, but it’s still possible that may be rectified legislatively). In general, believing that paying more in the short term will protect your favorite little shop in the long term is quixotic.

    2. If online retailers have unbundled products and service in order to sell the products separately, why don’t brick-and-mortar retailers try to sell the service separately? Be creative, don’t just complain about customers who try, then buy elsewhere. Bought your bindings online? Fine — bring them to us for expert adjustment and mounting. $15. Found cheap boots on the Web? Great — we’ll handle the heat-molding, shim insertions, and everything needed to get them to fit perfectly. $25. Want to talk with a sales rep for an hour and try out everything in the store? Sure — $20 for his time, applied to the purchase price if you buy any of the items from us within the next two weeks. In short, if you claim to be selling service, then try really selling it. Reinvent your business, a least a little.

  133. I'm the guy they call stupid says:

    Hey Angry dude, hang in there. You become a target when you say controversial things. You may step on your own toes occasionally, you may not be right all the time, but it’s great to see someone spending a lot of time and effort for a passion they have. You can be angry, but be smart too.

  134. LA Randy says:

    I thought no one had ever taken a basic economics class until I read (and agreed with) JoeR and NoWhiners. The basis of the argument seems to be that snowboard manufactures need to get better at price fixing so that that there can be more local snowboard shops for kids to hang out at.

    Because I travel a lot, I easily go into 15-20 snowboard shops a year (Summit County CO, LA area, Salt Lake, and Whistler) In the last 10 years I have also bought from EVO, DogFunk, The House, and Backcountry. Last Feb., I cracked my board at Powder Mountain, and then had 3 days to find a new board in LA (for Mammoth). I spent half a day driving around in traffic LA trying to find a good wide board. That night, I found it on EVO and they Fed-xed it no problem. (5 minutes on line) I have already spent about $150 this year at Salty Peaks (Burton Hoody, awesome store) and will probably buy another board at Milo when they have there demo day in Dec. The moral of the story, I spend my money where I get the best overall value for my dollar. I think local stores need more demo days, and they should clearly have the inside advantage on soft goods. (I have never bought a jacket, hoody, snowboard pants, etc. online)

    Finally, I’M GOING TO SNOWBIRD THIS SUNDAY SUCKERS!!!!!!!!!!! Can’t wait.

  135. YoTonic says:

    This thread should be closed, it runs against the very spirit of snowboarding. There are far too many intelligent comments and no mention of nude, drunk, chicks.

  136. Dox says:

    I’m still pissed about this…. Burton and the industry’s price-fixing is BAD for the industry. I don’t care what Angry Snowboarder thinks about that. FREE THE SNOWBOARD MARKET!!!!

    I’ve been riding for about 20 years and I quit buying boards every year cuz they’re too damn expensive! It costs me $100 a day to ride out east, with transpo, plus $1000 a year for clothes & accessories, plus bindings, plus boots!, THEN A BOARD ON TOP!!!!! Not gonna happen.

    What happened to the days when local shops were there to support snowboarders, not rape their pockets. If they can’t stay alive, maybe they SHOULD die. If Burton can’t sell their product at their price-fixed rate, MAYBE THEY SHOULD SELL IT AT A MARKET RATE!

    Also, I grew up in Utah. And Sierra was more of a local shop to me than Salty’s, Milo or BC because Sierra looked out for me. They were always there to answer questions or just chat. They SUPPORTED my love for snowboarding which INCLUDES REASONABLE pricing. Local shops are pissed because now they have to drop the snobby attitudes and compete. People are force to go there anymore.

    This year I wanted to get the Ride Society UL and/or the LIB Jamie Lynn Phoenix cuz finally there are short boards with an aggressive sidecut. But they’re $500-600!!! What if I get them and they can’t ride as hard as I like to ride! And it happens! A lot!

    So I was gonna wait until I could afford to try both, by buying them at a discount. Now…. I’m not buying either. That’s 2 sales the industry missed out on by trying to overprice and get 1. Instead I’m going to ride the Palmer Burn I got for $280 last year, at Sierra. And I’m not sure I’m ever going to buy another board. At least not any year soon. And if I do, it’ll come from Capita, cuz they’re not dicks about their pricing.

    Go to hell, Burton. Long live Sierra!

  137. So what you’re saying is you’d rather buy a board without demoing it than go to your LOCAL shop and actually demo it. FYI Sierra is dead.

  138. Jenise says:

    Dox, just wondering:
    why do you spend $1000 a year on gear? If you’re spending $100 a day on tickets you obviously don’t ride that often and don’t need new product every year. Snowboarding will be as expensive as you make it. You can repair pants with a $3 roll of duct tape, or buy a new $150 pair of pants. You can buy a $12 hamburger/drink combo in the lodge, or pick up some saltines and mustard from the condiment section and have a free lunch.
    Just sayin.

  139. yeah right says:

    joer,
    your right about molding, and mounting. But your telling me before we talk to people we start billing them like a lawyer, or before we grab boots to try on we charge them? That is unrealistic. Its a human moral problem. Losers come into store and try boots on get info, then possibly shop somewhere else, and the worst part of it is they don’t usually get it cheaper. If you want better deals dox at your local store then you need to get to know them, and support the store

  140. […] agreements. While if we look back to just last season Burton had no problem pointing fingers at Sierra Snowboards when they broke these same agreements. In the late 90′s this was still an issue and fingers […]

  141. Don't know shit says:

    I read an article in transworld business at the start of the season about sole tech and their approach to the “economy” and just the general feeling around the industry. They, along with mervin and others scaled back production for the 2010/11 season to focus on reducing overstock. I’ve talked to both companies throughout the season, 32 only made enough to fulfill their orders and supply the team, and mervin, at least on the Lib Tech end, did the same. Hopefully this becomes a trend to follow. Granted, that means less handouts and such but that’s what drove the big companies to overproduce and sell in box chains and discount warehouses. This has always been an expensive sport, and most that are attracted to it don’t have the money to re-up on gear every year. That’s when they start working harder at getting sponsored or in many cases, scam a few pro forms or become a reps bitch to get your fix. Nothing wrong with either really, that’s what prevents us from being a “sport”. Personally, I’m no industry insider or am in the know on this whole Burton/Sierra deal, but I agree with Angry the whole way. Burton has done nothing in the past decade for us as a community. They don’t support the am demographic with smaller comps, they have ridiculous prices, and their team is diminishing year after year as their riders wise up to what else is out there. Sure the checks nice, but it’s an empty shell of a company. And as for Sierra, they fucked up and have to deal with the consequences. I say good riddance to another “über discounted online warehouse”.

  142. yeah right says:

    its true, you don’t know shit, but I agree on the sierra part

  143. InOz says:

    hi,

    just wanted to add comment..the US dollar has been greater than 90 cents for the last 6 months ( at least) but burton (and pretty much everything else from the US for surf or snow) is at LEAST 100% dearer in Australia than it in in america. A burton t-shirt does not retail for less than $50 AU. In USA today I saw one for $US5.

    Australians buy from internet because they are over being completely ripped off. Not from Burton, but from the Burton (and other brand) importers who try to distort the market (by charging far too much to begin with) and then whine to the US company’s when consumers begin to change their purchasing habits online.

    Burton, sell online to Australia at conversion rate plus shipping. Basically, main question would be, why not??? Competition is good surely? This is capitalism right?

  144. yeah right says:

    you are forgetting about the duties that the aus government charges for incoming goods. Its like 20 percent

  145. […] Sierra Snowboards Vs – The Angry SnowboarderMar 10, 2010 … As of today Burton has pulled the plug with its agreement with Sierra Snowboards. Sierra broke the contract and Burton finally realized they … […]

  146. ripped off says:

    i am from aus and you people keep saying “support your local shop”. well, if they do something to reduce the prices of snowboards wether its to reduce import tax or match exchange rate, i will support them. However, i will not spend an extra $349 (no exaggeration) for my snowboard so i can get 30min of the guy’s time.

    i’ll support my local shop with that kind of money when i am shaun white or a snowboarding bill gates. until then i need my money to feed my family.

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