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Steeldrifter

SAGE intrests?

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Sage is a big company & normal workers don't usually put the same love into something as a one man operation! And when one mans operation is also his passion! If i had to pick between a sage rod or one from Steve? I would take Steves, instead of one possibly built buy someone with a hangover on a monday or only dreaming about the weekend on a friday!

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Steve, I have an account with Sage and I have built quite a few rods on their blanks, mostly One's. I sell them out of my shop along with several other rods in different price ranges. Since they are next to factory Sage Ones, I put my price up to $999.95, and they still sell (not as often as the others though). People are paying for the name at that point. Mine look a heck of a lot nicer than a factory Sage One. I usually do thread weaves, custom cork work, and I always use Recoil guides to reduce weight. One of my favorite things to do is have a customer hold my rod next to a factory Sage One, and they instantly notice it's lighter in hand.

 

I do remember getting an email a while back from Farbank (Sage, Redington, Rio) about them sometime this year putting a cap on how low you can offer custom built rods on their blanks. I think it was like 15% or something below the MSRP of a factory rod? I'll forward you the email if I can find it. Might be something to think about as well. I know there is at least one guy on Ebay selling Sage Ones for your price of $575, so either the price cap didn't go through yet, or they just aren't enforcing it.

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I'm sure the cap that Farbanks wants didn't go though. I'm a member at Farbanks as well (have been for years now) and the only thing they can control is the price that they sell their products to the people that have an account with them, as well as how many you can buy per year which currently I believe is two through Farbanks if I'm not mistaken last I checked. They have no control over the price point of a Sage rod when the blank is bought from another supplier because they can't regulate who the end buyer may be once a different supplier sells to them. There's been a few places in the past that have tried to price control their products so that they could continue to keep the high price that they charge people and it just didn't pan out for them.

 

I've built on most the Sage blanks before over the years, building a Sage One for a customer right now actually which is a bit higher than the price I was talking about here because he wanted the best cork I could find plus a Lemke reel seat etc etc, but still will work out to be less than what a factory Sage One sells for. Mainly just because I like to be fair with my prices and not fleece someone just because of a name brand like so many companies tend to do these days. When I set prices on my rods I set them based on a fair wage for my time for a great product no matter what the name on the blank or reel seat may read. Just the way I was raised and how I carry that over to my business.

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I'm sure the cap that Farbanks wants didn't go though. I'm a member at Farbanks as well (have been for years now) and the only thing they can control is the price that they sell their products to the people that have an account with them, as well as how many you can buy per year which currently I believe is two through Farbanks if I'm not mistaken last I checked. They have no control over the price point of a Sage rod when the blank is bought from another supplier because they can't regulate who the end buyer may be once a different supplier sells to them. There's been a few places in the past that have tried to price control their products so that they could continue to keep the high price that they charge people and it just didn't pan out for them.

 

I've built on most the Sage blanks before over the years, building a Sage One for a customer right now actually which is a bit higher than the price I was talking about here because he wanted the best cork I could find plus a Lemke reel seat etc etc, but still will work out to be less than what a factory Sage One sells for. Mainly just because I like to be fair with my prices and not fleece someone just because of a name brand like so many companies tend to do these days. When I set prices on my rods I set them based on a fair wage for my time for a great product no matter what the name on the blank or reel seat may read. Just the way I was raised and how I carry that over to my business.

Huh, I don't know which program you're on where you can only get 2/year... Sounds like their pro-form policy.

 

I did find that email from Sage, and I'll forward it to you. As a dealer you cannot discount the price of the completed rod below 15% of the factory rod. So that's one of the main reason's my pricing is where it's at. In my opinion, it is also a bit unethical from a business standpoint to undercut the MSRP set by a company, which is why these MAP policies need to exist in the first place. In my case it would also take money out of the pocket of the owner of the shop since he takes 25% from one of my rods, but 50-60% on a factory rod. I know your situation is different, and I wish I could offer pricing like you do.

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I'm on the pro form/guide/lodge etc part of Farbanks, mainly because I don't use them at all, never had a need to buy from them but I just like to keep an eye on their prices they offer on special discounted items. I get my Sage blanks at full wholesale from other suppliers I use as my main sources.

 

There is absolutely nothing at all unethical for anyone to sell lower than MSRP. In this day and age MSRP is a 100% completely useless figure to be honest, and pretty much always has been hence why no person has probably ever paid sticker price on a car. If MSRP was the price that every fly rod blank dealer had to completely stick too then there would be zero need for more than one source for said product, companies would not be able to adjust price based on inventory nor have sales/special, and the manufacture would have a complete monopoly in the market. No to mention, there is no way Sage or any company can regulate a price on a custom rod. If a builder pays what they sell the blank wholesale for then the rest of the rod is built with custom parts so the price is set by the builder not Sage. That would be like GM trying to tell someone they have to sell a custom 69 Camaro at 2015 Camaro sticker price just because they bought a crate motor from GM to use in the build.

 

No need to get into all that here though, but I disagree with you about MSRP/MAP pricing.

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Sorry Steve, I should have been more clear. As a dealer we sign a MAP contract with these companies promising that we won't sell their products below MSRP. They will drop us if we do since it is devaluing their products, and putting the smaller shops out of business since they often can't afford to offer such deep discounts as the big guy's can. Some companies won't even let us include a free fly line with purchase of a high dollar item! Go figure!

 

If no MAP contract was signed, it's completely ethical. For a dealer though who signed a contract, not so much.

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Got ya now.... At first it sounded like you were talking about builders selling custom Sage rods under MSRP being wrong, which is why I was scratching my head wondering what you were thinking lol.

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