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Cost Breakdown of Kite Package - Online Only vs Shop

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Re: Cost Breakdown of Kite Package - Online Only vs Shop

Postby eree » Wed May 25, 2011 8:50 pm

windmaker wrote:Why is the number of kite manufacturers increasing and the number of surf shops decreasing?
Because making kites is profitable, selling them isn't!

yeah, because every kite salesman wants to get rich fast, i assume...

we have three surfshops in my region, they also sell windsurf stuff, skateboards, skies, snowboards, bikes and other sports stuff. and we have several one-brand sellers (mostly preoccupied with supplying themselves and their closest friends with kiteboarding gear by lowest possible prices).

so, two surfshops offer well known brands like north, cabrinha and airush by prices often exceeded the RRP on this product. it is usual to see the price tag on 2008 biger kite around 2000$. the third shop is much more friendly, you can buy a last year new kite for the 1000$. i bought almost all of my kiteboarding gear, wetsuits and stuff from it, beside skies, bike and snowboard gear. so far so good.

all of those shops have some teams, like windsurf teams, kiteboarding teams, bike teams, skateboard teams and even the snowboarding teams (although there are no mountains in my country!). all of these teams are participate only in local competitions.

then, although these shops have the pretty much affordable kite instructors and the test equipment, that is where "supporting their kiteboarding communities" ending. no gear repairs, no stand for beach access and questionable aftersale support.

beach access. for that we have kiteboarding union (or federation) pretty much spineless, but still an organisation, and several local clubs (much more active in cooperation with the local authorities). there are no known occasions when surfshops were involved in the beach access dispute.

instructors. thanks to the IKO money-mongering pyramid economic model there are dozens and dozens of licensed kiteboarding instructors (experienced or not so much) waiting just phone call away, so there is no problem with the kite schools.

gear repair. we have several local entrepreneurs who gladly repair both kites and boards, so it is covered too.

aftersales. and then little accident happened. my chicken-loop has broken. my kite's brand's website told bring broken cl to my local dealer and you'll get new one instead on warranty condition. i did so. and now it is almost a year gone bye while i am still waiting for my cl. of course i blame my local shop!
and i most certainly will not step in it until i get my new cl!

and for a while i was speaking to the kiters on the different spots, and i was surprised how much of them have bought their gear from the on-line! it was really a surprising discovery for me that one of my friends ordered two cabrinha kites from german on-line shop! (instead of buying them from local shop).

so why i need these local surfshops anyway?

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Re: Cost Breakdown of Kite Package - Online Only vs Shop

Postby Busdriver » Wed May 25, 2011 10:03 pm

Andy I live in California and I bought a kite from you. Why?? I did my research on the internet like everybody does, decided what I wanted and then searched for the best deal and your shop came up. Great price, free shipping and no sales tax which is a big deal because they bend you over hard in CA on high dollar items. When the kite came I had some questions about the set up. Called you guys up and you got me sorted out. All with out having to leave my house. Kitepaddlesurf is huge on the internet. Just looking on this forum I see you have a Hyperflex Amp for $149. Thats a killer deal! So I don't get where you are coming from. Charlie

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Re: Cost Breakdown of Kite Package - Online Only vs Shop

Postby Craz Z » Wed May 25, 2011 10:05 pm

I still think the manufactuerer should share the blame.

I do get what your saying about hungry for big ticket items and blow you off when it comes to the small stuff.
If it aint in stock i wouldn't even bother it usually won't happen and if it does its too late as u problably missed your entire season waiting for a stupid part that should be laying around. In your case what is the point of going thru the dealer for warranty items. sheesh you talked to the company they know there is a problem and a CL is hardly something your going to walk out and sell to someone. wierd. A delame board issue is another story.

One thing is very clear in all this we want CHEAPER GEAR we demand it everyone is going around the shop prices and msrp for a reason. Cost to shops and dealers are on the rise and the manufacturer is still holding the bag. Don't blame the shops they aren't gouging and they didn't set-up the pricing structure the manufacturer did and if they get caught advertising for less the contract is immediately NULL & VOID.

and for all the good the local shops do for the community why do they have to take the heat for visitors that don't care or bother to see what the rules are in a particular area. How can the shops be responsible for idiots that do as they please? This is our job as kiters to spot a kook and set em straight and many many have but in the end the locals still end up having to deal with select issues that arise when the kook patrol isn't out.

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Re: Cost Breakdown of Kite Package - Online Only vs Shop

Postby windmaker » Thu May 26, 2011 6:01 am

tautologies wrote:
windmaker wrote:Why is the number of kite manufacturers increasing and the number of surf shops decreasing?
I'd like to see where you get this data.

I suppose it all depends on where you live.There has been at least half a dozen new kite brands launched in the past 2/3 years.

How many kite shops have openned or shut in you area during the same period ?

How many kite brands have shut during that period ?

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Re: Cost Breakdown of Kite Package - Online Only vs Shop

Postby toyletbowl » Thu May 26, 2011 6:38 am


Crap dude...I was going to post today supporting what you were saying for the most part, but then I contact a new customer in my home town who I played phone tag with for 1 day and find out he bought a new LF set up from someone on the west coast. BKB. It's shipping to my city. Yikes. So I was really pissed for about an hour, but then thought, more power to you to be honest. I'd rather loose a sale to you than others to be honest.

Via Eclipse, I've got to know you at the first dealer meeting and some of your other guys in other dealer meetings. Good crew. I'm much more about cooperating dealers and hopefully doing what is good for the business than trashing others.

I actually know you're probably the same way, so no hard feelings on my side about loosing the sale especially if you can send someone over here to train him now. Madison, WI. LOL.

We all do the same thing though for the most part to promote our businesses. Please buy local is what we say and truly support, and you and I and others I'm sure do a great job with riders in our region, but at the same time, we are all reaching out via other means and markets via google, ebay, i-kitesurf, etc. We're going after those who have NO local dealer or BAD local dealers, but every so often, we all ship into others regions.

So we're all kind of hypocritical if we say buy local and yet we're shipping kites and boards into others regions. I try my best to "qualify" customers and sometimes won't sell to a region if I know there's a solid dealer in that area.

On your topic of this thread:

One of the things that get's lost in translation for non-newbies is the investment in DEMO's we make. I spend a LOT of money on demos each year. Even if riders don't actually demo a kite, we as dealers and other riders get to know the kites well so we can better understand what kite works best for existing riders. I use local riders input a ton when trying to figure out the good and bad of kites and boards. Demos are invaluable, but we usually loose out on them from a business standpoint.

If it's blowing stink and someone is missing a session due to no 6m or 7m, off they go with mine even though I know most will buy a used 6m or 7m later on due to the lesser usage of small kites and high price of new.

Anyway...hope business is well and I like the new location and web site. Looks like you guys are off and running.


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Re: Cost Breakdown of Kite Package - Online Only vs Shop

Postby kochease » Thu May 26, 2011 6:45 am

Where are people finding these killer deals on new 2011 gear on-line at? Every time I shop around I see everyone selling for the same price. I have never been in a shop and seen anything marked over MSRP of a kite, if a shop does that then thats just bad business and suspect their customer base will vanish quickly. All retailers are bound by contract to advertise at the same prices for the most part until near 2012 season gear comes out. I place some blame on Manufacturers, poor margins for the shops and the shipping cost is where they really rape you! Drop ship fees up the ass and giving dealerships to hook up your bro losers.... There are some major need for restructuring in this business and I dont think it will happen till more shops stop dealing with manufacturers that are not looking out for their interests and their lack of concern for retailers.

KitePaddleSurf has an awsome reputation and has built a great business from scratch. They have alot of respect in the area and from me. Very friendly helpful people even when I'm a small bit of competition for them (6 hours away). Hell I have even bought from them before on sale items.

I support the kite company that serves me best. And that is F-one. I push them the hardest and do all I can to build up there company, plus I love riding their stuff and believe in thier products, but that doesnt mean I'm forcing them down anyones throat, I always go with what the customer is looking for and what will suit their needs, if they are happy they will come back. My customers best interest comes first and that policy has really paid of. I have even helped my students shop my competition just to get what will fit them best.

I amazed at how many people think kiting should be as cheap as surfing... Their is alot more to it than shaping and glassing a board, grabbing a wetsuit and heading to the beach with a 6 pack of beer. How much did that Harley Davidson cost you, or that ATV or your boat? When it comes to extreme sports the cost isn't really that much. Hell a good BMX bike costs as much as kite.

If switch can make it selling only online then more power to them, maybe other companies seeing their success will bring about a positive change for everyone. But last I heard (correct me if i'm wrong) their are over 200 kite companies worldwide so with that many out there they have a mile high hurdle ahead of them.
2011 Epic renegade, 2011 Epic screamer, F-one Bandit 4, Airush

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Re: Cost Breakdown of Kite Package - Online Only vs Shop

Postby ktflyer381 » Thu May 26, 2011 4:53 pm

I must be the lucky, the shop I use gives me excellent service with absolutely no attitude, gives fair value for trade-ins, provides demos and outstanding advice. Best of all, they give great prices without me having to beg or be best friends with the in crowd at the shop. They give me top quality equipment at prices I can't find anywhere online. They offer lessons for newbs and contribute positively to kiting in the area.

The only downside is that it is an hour and a half away, but the way they treat me I would drive further. In fact, if they stop selling the brand I currently use, I will switch to something else they are selling. If you have equipment that you didn't get from them, they don't make you feel like an outcast, which was my situation when I moved here. This attitude inspires huge loyalty in me. I have seen small market protectionism at work in the past and it is totally counterproductive.

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Re: Cost Breakdown of Kite Package - Online Only vs Shop

Postby dakaunman » Thu May 26, 2011 7:10 pm

Local shops should demo gear for a price and then discount that price if a person buys the gear. I know if I demo gear from my local shop that I better support them for supporting me. That would be really crappy for me to go and demo someones gear and then head out and buy it online while giving them the finger. I try and patronize my local shop as much as I can afford because he offers me a service... If something breaks, I just run over and he will get me on the water one way or another. It is like an insurance policy! I completely understand the issue of cost and I too go to the Internet prices if my local guy can't come close. I almost always give him the opportunity too match and generally, as long as it is current year invetory, he can and will. If he can't, then the best deal gets the sale. I actually bought an eclipse kite a couple of years of from the toyletbowl because he was closing them out and couldn't be beat and I just bought a set of LF boots from Andy because i couldn't find them cheaper elsewhere. Common sense will prevail but supporting your local shop is a great insurance policy if you don't want to miss days on the water!

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Re: Cost Breakdown of Kite Package - Online Only vs Shop

Postby whabbits » Sat May 28, 2011 3:23 am

I am in Canada and we do not have a local shop in my area. I have often thought of opening one but then I think of how annoying I can be as a consumer and decide not to. A few of my friends have talked about it as well and usually my answer to them is that I, and others, would likely come to their shop to try on harnesses, see the new gear, maybe even demo gear, but in the end buy from the US.

It is unfortunate but CDN MSRP is really high as compared to the US and at the moment our dollar is stronger than USD.

What I try to do is visit the kite stores in any area that I am visiting in my travels. When I find a store that I like, I remember them and then at least give them a chance at earning my business when I am looking for new gear or accessories. The stores that have treated me well have earned a lot of business from me and in referrals to them.

I think that as long as we remember to give a chance to make a sale to the "good" shops, both online and local, we will be supporting the community well. Often it is a simple as calling them up and sincerely letting them know that it is coming down to dollars and cents for the same package. They can choose to match it, or take it up with their suppliers.

Best of luck to all the guys and gals trying to make it out there.

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