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Core kites and kiteboarding industry sales this year

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Matteo V
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Re: Core kites and kiteboarding industry sales this year

Postby Matteo V » Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:20 pm

CaptainCore wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:35 pm
....Back in the Slingshot days for example, when we were not quite as focussed on it as our principle income stream we used to order multiple sizes in multiple quantities and shipped direct from China in containers, and there were large factory minimums to get the prices we wanted.......


Times have changed now, since the financial crash we no longer have lots of dealers who will carry stock or indeed would be capable of buying closeout in the sort of volume that would encourage us to risk that business model. Order cycles for kites were never 12 months, they were bi monthly, up to 6 shipments per annum with the option of airfreight which put a tenner on the cost of each kite and so reflected in the pricing, should we have to top up sizes or colours. That has also changed I imagine other than a few big european brands most folk are air freighting as close to just in time as they can, ever since the crash it's become a just in time world.
So from this I get:

1. There are brands big enough to possibly do an annual build cycle, or at least a initial order than a mid year order before switching to next years model builds.

"Back in the day" when every single kite of a large brand make and model had the same defect (like delaming valves), those were part of a single production run. Now you can get the same make and model with no defects on one kite, then the same kite with different defects because the production lot/time was different. So......
CaptainCore wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:35 pm
The close out brands have already triggered, they do it in season, this year there were Norths for the first time in volume just as Duotone was also being pushed into the system there were Cabrinha as usual, nobody buys Cabrinha at RRP customers know to wait until May/June, it's a bit like Golden day in Japan. Slingshot are rumoured to be sitting on 150 twintips they are closing out and there are probably 30 off deals on their and F1's 2018 stock I'm not sure I haven't bothered to look. There's a big UK internet discount operation they're all on there, if you don't know them, I'm not going to advertise them, but that's where UK customers go for close out products.
If the cycle and rumor you speak of is true, Slingshot would have ordered 150 TT's 2 months before the close of the season? A longer "order to sale" cycle seems to fit here. However, COREporate kiteboarding lack of availability makes more sense to be related to a shorter cycle.

CaptainCore wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:35 pm
I often wonder why this business with probably the tightest margins there are already, faces such a hostile consumer base, not wanting anyone to profit from their custom, I don't think there's anything quite like it in any other sport, windsurfing was exactly the same and seems to have passed down the same disease even though it eventually killed that sport.
The answer to your question is simple. $5 worth of labor + $195 materials for a total build price of $200 to make a kite in Srilanka. $1800 to buy that kite in the US. That makes for some pretty pissed off customers wondering where their $1600 went and why they should pay an 800% markup. They would be a bit more "ok" with giving $400 for the kite for a 100% markup.

I know CappyCore's particular point of view. His livelihood depends on being in the chain for just a portion of that markup. At the beginning of the chain you have the producer, then the kite brand, then the distributor(s), then the store. Things get marked up and consumers know that. And the customers want support for their brand as dealing direct with China is likely to not produce results.

But how many times can you buy a kite direct from China for $400 without customer service, vs how many times can you buy a kite at the end of a long supply chain for $1800 ALSO WITHOUT CUSTOMER SERVICE???

Still, there seems to be a barrier to China direct marketing as Pansh kites are still an extremely small portion of the market. If they had their act together and had just a bit of customer service, I think they could take a much larger portion of the market away from long supply chain/just in time brands.

Matteo V
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Re: Core kites and kiteboarding industry sales this year

Postby Matteo V » Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:32 pm

Toby wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:36 am
did you ever run a kite brand?

Go ahead, you will become a millionaire over night!

I had a board brand in 2002-2005. Never got paid the work we put into it.
Prototypes, teamriders, warranties, production, marketing etc money goes away very quick.

The problem people have is not that they think they "are making someone a millionaire". The problem is that the supply chain has too many blatant inefficiencies in it yielding 800% markup. Why would you need a regional and local distributor if you are operating on a 2 month production cycle?

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Re: Core kites and kiteboarding industry sales this year

Postby Toby » Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:41 pm

run such a business successfully and tell me !

Theory is easy. Doing makes the difference.

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Re: Core kites and kiteboarding industry sales this year

Postby Toby » Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:43 pm

a question would be: do we want kites to be cheap?

Just imagine...

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Re: Core kites and kiteboarding industry sales this year

Postby Faxie » Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:44 pm

So why are there 50+ kitesurfing brands exactly? Charity?

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Re: Core kites and kiteboarding industry sales this year

Postby Toby » Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:08 pm

Faxie wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:44 pm
So why are there 50+ kitesurfing brands exactly? Charity?
Trying to live from a passion.

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Re: Core kites and kiteboarding industry sales this year

Postby Faxie » Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:38 pm

Toby wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:08 pm
Faxie wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:44 pm
So why are there 50+ kitesurfing brands exactly? Charity?
Trying to live from a passion.
No, it means there are more than enough pieces of the cake for everyone to enjoy. Some come, some go. There are brands selling same quality current year kites for half the price of some other brands, and they're doing just fine and offer really good service. Makes you wonder what you're really paying for... I'm sure you're not paying for passion...

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Re: Core kites and kiteboarding industry sales this year

Postby james » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:08 pm

$5 for labour,$195 for materials?


Seriously stop just inventing numbers it’s embarasing and undermining what ever pointbit is you are trying to make.

I have worked for both Naish and Slingshot when it was under Graeme’s distribution

We could order as many times a year as we needed but you always tried to fircast around product launch and seasonality, if something was especially hot you could air freight in extra at the cost of margin, generally you went with sea freight on pre arranged schedule.


If brands have “extra” it will be because someone got the numbers wrong and either over ordered or demand switched off due to a competitor product, seasonality or something stupid like a shipping delay.

That then has to be cleared hence close out.

The distributors take that in the ass, they are 100% not making bank on that.

Now the difference comes at the start of the year when a brand approaches a factory or their own factory and is told

We know you only need 1000 but if you increase to say 1300 we can reduce the unit cost by X amount.

For the brand this is potentially a risk worth taking, they reduce the overheads make some extra on their side and have plenty of stock should the season go well.

If as one large brand was prone to do they pre agreed a close out buyer before the end of season ( the German market was rife for this) then even better.

Sell to your distributors in season happily knowing that at the end some stupid web shop would buy up any left over and happy days.

Gradually customers get sick of seeing their new kite 40%off mid way through the Season and the in season sales take off handing more power to the clearance guys. The brand still needs volume so it’s a cycle that repeats.

You might slate Core, but at least the two year shelf life and essentially not overproducing maintains some sort of value for the customer. Does it mean that you can’t buy their gear on all the big web shop close out specialists? Yes. Do I as a customer like the fact my kite isn’t appearing marked down 4 months after buying it? Yes i do.

The disregard shown to distributors and shop owners is frankly why I fell out of love with the sport and stopped,

It’s easy to sit behind a screen and slate the work that some of them do. If it was easy everyone would be doing it and making a success of it, the fact they put them selves in a position to be shot at for helping the public have access and support should be appreciated.

But public displays of gratitude and appreciation aren’t really what pass as currency nowadays.

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Re: Core kites and kiteboarding industry sales this year

Postby Faxie » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:13 pm

There's a thread about production costs...

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Re: Core kites and kiteboarding industry sales this year

Postby CaptainCore » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:53 pm

Faxie wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:13 pm
There's a thread about production costs...
Obviously not a very accurate thread then.

If I could source kites at the prices the booted one quoted I'd be doing a double back flip all the way there.

I love forums and the bollox that gets spouted, keyboard warriors whining get me this get me that on the one hand, demanding customer service barely a couple of keystrokes from howling and demanding cheaper prices on the other.

The boards I quoted are not from 'Slingshot' they are from their new distributor in the UK who has screwed up, pardon me for smiling, they've got someone working for them who doesn't know the supply side of the business and he's over guessed the market.

Customer service really is the province of the dealer in a structured retail market, fantasy land folk who think the internet is everything and it can deliver customer service of the sort you get hands on in store on the ground in my view are deluded.

We as a sport all need a structure, you all need shops and stores for touchy feely, face to face advice, it's clear the booted one hasn't been near a store with style advice, if he rode round here we'd have to do something about him and help him clean his act up before we were all damned by association :lol: . But seriously tonight as the sun was going down over camber sands there were half a dozen instructors going through their paces on an instructor course, as I dropped a GTS5 off for someone, these are the unsung heroes, they'll be going off to teach more newcomers without whom the whole edifice falls down.

Nobody is screwing anyone, you all need to cherish the fact you have fifty odd brands left and that the damned banks didn't wipe them all out like they wiped out over 700 small action sports accounts since 2008 that I know of. We're in a rebuild phase, setting up new shop schools to replace what we lost, without them, without the volume those prices will go on rising, until we can lay down volume orders again we can't demand better pricing, not us distributors, not dealers, not closeout artists, not brand holders. That's the only game in town right now, rebuilding lost access points. Now none of this may be the case in your area, I'm just speaking for the UK. But I know this, without those guys tonight and more like them everything collapses, even the parasite direct brands need them.


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