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Poopdeck

Retail stores

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Yes this comes up a lot. Recently retail came up in another thread and I did not want to hijack another thread so I figure I'd start a different one. This is based on what happened to me today.

First, I've been in retail my entire life, as a consumer. This makes me exceptionally qualified to speak about retail. While I enjoy a kind word and stimulating conversation, when I go shopping it is to get the most for my hard earned dollar as I can. An offshoot of that is the shop owner gets as much as he can from me. It's very dynamic but neither is doing the other a favor. Stimulating conversation is welcome but optional. My local shop is about 50 miles round trip. My truck gets about 15 MPG. There goes any savings over shipping costs since I can buy something right now and have it shipped free to my door by the close of business tomorrow. 

On to my question, point, rant. Exactly one week again I purchased a St. Croix Mojo medium action rod at my local fly shop which is actually a full line angling slice of paradise. Did I pay more? Yes. Did I care? no. Because I enjoy the looking, the holding, the feeling and the shaking of things over internet babble over the best this, best that, product shootouts, and the marketing drivel of fishing pros. I also like the family who run the shop. today I took the rod out for its first voyage. I caught one fish then hooked a rock and the rod snapped right in half before the drag pulled and before anything else happened. I have never broken a rod in my life so this was a first

Tomorrow, I am taking the rod back to the local shop I purchased it one week ago.  The same shop I am in every week, not to gab, but to give them my money. We do talk but I don't hang out and swill coffee with them but they know me and welcome me. not because of my stunning personality but because I give them weekly business. My expectations is for them to replace the rod. If they tell me I have to go through St. Croix warranty I won't be angry, I won't argue with them, I will do just that and I will never give them another nickel.  I could give a crap about giving someone my money because they enjoy what they do. For me loyalty demands loyalty. This is why I like to shop, not exclusively, at the one and only local shop I have left but I don't require a mom and pop shop. Cabelas and BPS are fine by me as well. 

So you retail shop owners out there. How would you handle this? Would you replace the rod and deal with St. Croix yourself or are you telling me I'm on my own? Keep in mind I will be cordial and jerk free during and after our conversation.

to my fellow consumers, what would your expectations be? 

For the record, I have complete faith in the shop and I am confident they will take care of it but you never know. 

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I would do, and have done what you are expecting (as a shop owner). I have also expected and have sometimes gotten what you are expecting (as a consumer). On some instances, I have not gotten what you are expecting and will never shadow their doorsteps again.

Most recently, I bought two well known, name brand ice augers. I was still guiding at the time (three years ago) I bought one from a local, home grown, long time, family sporting goods shop, less than 5 minutes from my home. The other I bought from my local Sportsman's Warehouse.

The lake we fished was 80 miles away, (still is) it took two hours to get there. One of the augers was an Eskimo, the other was a Jiffy. Both of them broke (the pull starts) before either one had drilled 12 holes. When the first one broke I took it back to Sportsman's Warehouse, the fishing manager there told me he wasn't supposed to, but he was going to give me my money back so that I could go buy the top brand (in his opinion) at the local Mom and Pop store (his store did not carry that brand). I did that and it was the second auger to brake. I brought it back to the local shop and he told me there was nothing he could do for me. I had to bring it to our area warranty repair shop.

I explained to him that I did not want a warranty repair because the problem would not have been fixed. The auger had a plastic housing and that's what broke, to put another one on would have been to invite the same problem to happen again. I wanted my money back so I could buy a machine that didn't have a plastic housing. He could do nothing for me, he will never see me again.

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There’s a little mom and pop fishing shop I always try to frequent, small hole in the wall place. They are always good for information, suggestions, and they are really nice folks.  They are a little more expensive than the big box stores, but as a small business owner, I like to support other small business owners.  So a couple of years ago, I bought a nice surf rod from them, used it on a vacation trip a couple of months later and the last day of vacation I heard a crack and part of the rod had split.    Took it back to the shop and explained what happened, and they immediately replaced it on the spot.  As long as they own the place I will always shop there.

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I guess I'm just not interested in other people enough to consider stories a good reason to visit a shop.  I've been in fly shops all over the country.  I look at Google Earth when I am travelling to new areas, and look up fly or fishing stores.  I go, I look around, I've even tried to strike up a conversation.  Then I leave, either with a purchase or more often, without.  I've never had an experience that made me eager to go back.  I've never felt any "personal" touch that makes Mom&Pop places special in people's minds.

I spend as little money as possible.  I visit those shops, and the only one near me in Orlando, but I just can't bring myself to spend the 20% or so more than what I'd pay online.  My apologies to anyone on here who is a shop owner, but I'm going for the place that leaves money in MY pocket.  You'll have to take care of your own pockets without me.

To your question, Poopdeck.  You're writing a rant before you even know if you have a reason.  That's rather funny, in my opinion.  You could've waited, and given a glowing appraisal of that little store, but it seems, even with your final statement, that you're expecting the worst.  

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8 minutes ago, mikechell said:

I guess I'm just not interested in other people enough to consider stories a good reason to visit a shop.  I've been in fly shops all over the country.  I look at Google Earth when I am travelling to new areas, and look up fly or fishing stores.  I go, I look around, I've even tried to strike up a conversation.  Then I leave, either with a purchase or more often, without.  I've never had an experience that made me eager to go back.  I've never felt any "personal" touch that makes Mom&Pop places special in people's minds.

I spend as little money as possible.  I visit those shops, and the only one near me in Orlando, but I just can't bring myself to spend the 20% or so more than what I'd pay online.  My apologies to anyone on here who is a shop owner, but I'm going for the place that leaves money in MY pocket.  You'll have to take care of your own pockets without me.

To your question, Poopdeck.  You're writing a rant before you even know if you have a reason.  That's rather funny, in my opinion.  You could've waited, and given a glowing appraisal of that little store, but it seems, even with your final statement, that you're expecting the worst.  

In my case, I pay 20 percent extra for shipping if I order on line, so it costs me more to shop on line than off, in many cases. Do the words "Free shipping in the CONUS only" ring a bell. Also we often see no shipping at all to Alaska and Hawaii.

Generally, I think most people have gotten better customer service and expect better customer service in person at a brick and mortar store than they can get on line. Of course there are exceptions.

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3 hours ago, mikechell said:

I spend as little money as possible.  I visit those shops, and the only one near me in Orlando, but I just can't bring myself to spend the 20% or so more than what I'd pay online. 

In business classes, in particular in "marketing", they talk alot about "the product".  Everyone who has taken such a class is familiar with the 4 "P"s of marketing (there's actually a little joke to that I'll ignore), but the first P is the Product, and the second P is the Price.   They argue that the item hanging on a hook in your local fly shoppe is not the same product as the one your see on a web site, even if it looks the same. Sort of like the can of beer you might buy at a sporting event is not the same as the can of beer you might order at a party store---it's a "different product" even if it looks the same.

After reading all of the discussion here, I think it could be argued that the presence of the shoppe in the first place is part of the product. If no one buys there, then it will necessarily disappear, and something else is likely to take it's physical location (maybe  a pawn shop?). That could in turn cause the value of your house to drop by a few $K.  In short, it's all connected. You get to vote with your dollars, one way or the other. Not so much different than charity where people give without the expectation of getting something back in exchange. Some people get some joy out of supporting causes they think are important. For instance, my folks thought supporting PBS (public television) was important enough to support with regular contributions, even though it was  broadcast for "free". 

I hope this makes sense. I'm not trying to persuade anyone to change their behavior; I just wanted to illustrate an alternative point of view for the sake of conversation.  

Bill

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9 hours ago, mikechell said:

I guess I'm just not interested in other people enough to consider stories a good reason to visit a shop.  I've been in fly shops all over the country.  I look at Google Earth when I am travelling to new areas, and look up fly or fishing stores.  I go, I look around, I've even tried to strike up a conversation.  Then I leave, either with a purchase or more often, without.  I've never had an experience that made me eager to go back.  I've never felt any "personal" touch that makes Mom&Pop places special in people's minds.

I spend as little money as possible.  I visit those shops, and the only one near me in Orlando, but I just can't bring myself to spend the 20% or so more than what I'd pay online.  My apologies to anyone on here who is a shop owner, but I'm going for the place that leaves money in MY pocket.  You'll have to take care of your own pockets without me.

To your question, Poopdeck.  You're writing a rant before you even know if you have a reason.  That's rather funny, in my opinion.  You could've waited, and given a glowing appraisal of that little store, but it seems, even with your final statement, that you're expecting the worst.  

Actually I started this because of the other thread and the timeliness of my predicament not because I am expecting the worst. I'm actually expecting the best. The rant is because i feel like mom and pop shop owners could learn something. I feel it's just way to easy and convienant for retail store owners to lay the claim that since I've never owned a store I don't know what I'm talking about.  I pretty much agree with your position on retail except I really do generally like people. Like you, I'm not going into a fly shop to talk. I'm not going in because I want to give someone money so they can continue to do what they love to do. I'm not going in because they are the only shop open locally and may be struggling. I struggled at times in life as well.  Yes, I want to see the shop stay open and yes I go to the shop to buy big and small ticket items to help ease their pain, but these are only the niceities that are extended through loyalty and not the principle reason I shop mom and pop. The rod breaking is actually a good thing since it's my one and only incident where I can see if they my loyalty will be reciprocated That's the retail lesson right there. 

by the way anybody ever notice that the guys in the shop gabbing never have their wallets out. They seem to be gathering intel to go buy on line later. Worse is when you can't get any customer service because the sales staff is  more concerned with BSing about and not doing his principle job of selling. 

I am looking forward to reporting back on the happy ending I am expecting. This place hasn't survived this long and isn't the last store because they don't get it. I hope. 

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I preferer to do business with a local small shop, that used to mean within 100 or so miles, however the list keeps getting smaller due to big box stores but mostly the internet. I do not run out for a hook or bag of dubbing but compile a list to use then hit the road this usually happens twice a year or so. I have used the internet for items but also have been disappointed with product and at a cheap price point it sits in my room taking up space (the cost of returning is often more than it is worth) also have been thrilled with product a cheap prices shipped direct from China. I always buy critical items in person or from a very trusted source this would be capes, hackles, and even bucktails and other furs as I am selective and grade them myself. I used to buy wholesale in larger lots then sell off excess product at shows and to a few people at reasonable prices kind of like a co-op, but those days are behind me now with steep minimum orders and frankly most wholesalers want you to have a brick and mortar business.

The main advantage to buying from a local small shop is having the product now or the next few days as long as the distributer has it in stock this only relieves you from shipping damage or theft along the way. But today the river of the internet (Amazon) gets it to you the next day also but not always the cheapest some manufactures have msrp protection to help save the small guys. I expect the shop to make good as long as they have the rod in stock or the distributor has it that is why they are still in business. The other advantages are information sharing about the fishing in the area if local guides work out of the shop you get current first hand information. Watching your community business grow and your camber of commerce having more influence in your local politics, hopefully spreading the tax burden with the rest of the community. So you may get the cheaper price and free shipping and save a dollar but you will pay more in local and state taxes eventually as you become the only local source of their income. 

Now I will start my venting about losing the small shops. Remember main street USA? then the malls killed the main street businesses, now the internet is killing the malls and what is left of main street. Now you will "chat" online to someone who never casted a fly rod or tied a fly to "help" you. Go to the shows attendance and vendors is not what it used to be (less fisherpeople ? more internet sales? I don't know). A few small shops will make it but their profit margin due to the cost of doing business (building rent, electric, insurance, maintenance, employee's, is just the start) not including theft, yes believe it or not some of us do not like to pay a few dollars for a bag of dubbing or whatever. A good friend of mine had a local hardware store and was interviewed by the state labor department after he fired a part time employee for theft (that filed a complaint), he said they wanted to talk to one of his employee's he said he had 2 full time and 2 part time people and 1 lunatic that worked 60 to 80 hours a week for less than minimum wage and no overtime. They said they wanted to talk to that employee he said you already are. 

You can spend local and keep your money in the local community or save a few dollars and pay later.

 

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The nearest shop that carries any fly fishing stuff is 90 miles from me. The last time I went in I was ignored for 15 minutes and left.

Cabela's in Kansas City is over 2 hours away.   Also have to admit that I now don't order much as I have 3 lifetimes of stuff. 

my 2 cents worth.

 

Rick 

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It's hard to say what the shop will do. A defective rod (issue in the graphite) will break 99% of the time the very first time pressure is applied to it. That's why I always take each rod I build out back and string it up with a reel/line and test cast it before I ship it. The problem with a shop is obviously they cant test cast every rod they bring in to sell. If you only caught one fish and then snagged on a rock and it broke, there's a chance it could have had a slight stress fracture in the rod. Maybe someone came in the shop and flexed it around to feel it and it hit something and caused a fracture at the shop, it's hard to really say.

Me personally. I have had maybe 3-4 rods out of the 1600+ I have built break on the first outing with a customer (it's bound to happen a few times when you build that many) and normally I will not charge labor, only the cost of a replacement section (usually $25 range) and that's it.

Let us know what they end up doing for you.

 

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33 minutes ago, RickZieger said:

The nearest shop that carries any fly fishing stuff is 90 miles from me. The last time I went in I was ignored for 15 minutes and left.

Cabela's in Kansas City is over 2 hours away.   Also have to admit that I now don't order much as I have 3 lifetimes of stuff. 

my 2 cents worth.

 

Rick 

Rick, I agree with you some shops are not worthy of my business by the way they treat people by being the only game in a large area. Competition is good for all of us, and of course I have purchased from big box stores and the internet also. I just try to keep my small shops in business I have had to tell one that I don't mind helping you pay for your kids education I'm just not willing to pay for a semester myself.

Chris

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12 hours ago, Bill_729 said:

In business classes, in particular in "marketing", they talk alot about "the product".  Everyone who has taken such a class is familiar with the 4 "P"s of marketing (there's actually a little joke to that I'll ignore), but the first P is the Product, and the second P is the Price.   They argue that the item hanging on a hook in your local fly shoppe is not the same product as the one your see on a web site, even if it looks the same. Sort of like the can of beer you might buy at a sporting event is not the same as the can of beer you might order at a party store---it's a "different product" even if it looks the same.

After reading all of the discussion here, I think it could be argued that the presence of the shoppe in the first place is part of the product. If no one buys there, then it will necessarily disappear, and something else is likely to take it's physical location (maybe  a pawn shop?). That could in turn cause the value of your house to drop by a few $K.  In short, it's all connected. You get to vote with your dollars, one way or the other. Not so much different than charity where people give without the expectation of getting something back in exchange. Some people get some joy out of supporting causes they think are important. For instance, my folks thought supporting PBS (public television) was important enough to support with regular contributions, even though it was  broadcast for "free". 

I hope this makes sense. I'm not trying to persuade anyone to change their behavior; I just wanted to illustrate an alternative point of view for the sake of conversation.  

Bill

Interesting observation regarding marketing. I sold to manufacturers for many years. Here is the sequence for a common item as a fastener- What is my price? I would like a sample to evaluate. If those are OK, the last question is the lead time for delivery so purchasing can plan accordingly. If you weren't in the ballpark for the first question, you were SOL.

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We all have the right to buy where we want. It just rankles me when someone gets on and makes a blanket statement about how local stores charge so much more for no apparent reason.

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When you go to the local shops, you get to see stuff like this.

107823766_310316596668274_70918447268931

Now where else are you going to see that? This is my store, the mammoth is a year long resident, the duck is just visiting for the day. They are selling Rubber Duckie Race tickets here.

The other thing you may not have considered is, when you come to my store, you might be able to get your picture taken with a real live TV star. I only charge $10.00 each for the dudes and the pretty girls are free.😁

A

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15 minutes ago, Mark Knapp said:

I only charge $10.00 each for the dudes and the pretty girls are free

How much for ugly girls? 😁

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