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Old 04-04-2013, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: Is it really worth it ?

Originally Posted by silvertip8k View Post

I will say after working in fly shop's for over 30 years, I learned an awful lot about this topic...not opinion...fact...the dirty little secret in the fly fishing industry...even with internet sales...

Retail is generally almost double of 150 retail unit generally sells to a dealer for 75-85$...allowing the shop to "keystone" the cost...the term used for doubling the cost...

retail on a 700-800 $ sage , dealer cost is about 480$...mark up( or profit) from the sage is basically double the TFO...and has all the high end appeal...sages does a great job marketing their product...and is a status item on the stream...and to some this is extremely important...

the point here is that one sale genrates more income for a shop...and if they are geared to a "high end" clientele, it only makes sense to try andsell the best unit they can...offering quality, name brand recognition, and any prestige that goes along with it.

so is the 700 dollar rod worth depends on your own personal prefernce and available disposable the Sage Rod nicer to fish...maybe...but 5-600 dollars worth?? only you can answer that...

that really nice fly shop you visit with the stone fireplace, located by the best waters, incredible fly selection...beautiful rods and reels...great advice form seasoned anglers and guides,and all the cool T'shirts...didnt get that way from selling low end gear. The luxury has its price...and is only fair...all that stuff required some serious capital investment...and a lot of work no doubt...
I worked in retail, and was co-owner of a bicycle shop. I can't do apples to apples when talking about bikes shops and fly shops, however. We were able to keystone items like locks, pumps, racks, most clothing, shoes, helmets, and most bike components. Bikes were a different story, and most of the bikes we sold were between $325 and $600. Markup on bikes was around 55%, but we had to pay the salary for one full-time and two part-time mechanics who spent considerable time assembling them. We also gave one free tune-up on new bikes, and had to pay the mechanics to do that. Of course we sold $2,000-$4,000 bikes as well, and made much more on each of these bikes per unit. However, service accounted for at least half of our shop's profits, and items like tubes, water bottles, cables, bottle cages, chains, etc, were marked up as much as 700%...but keep in mind that 700% on a $1 wholesale unit is $6 over cost. When a shop employee has to stand there and listen to a customer ask about the virtues of one tube over another, and then try to remember which size tube their bike needed (you didn't think they all brought in their old tubes, did you? ), that $6 is quickly disappearing into payroll.

Then there's the rent, electricity, various insurance, taxes, an accountant that did our books, and all the other costs of doing business. I never sold anyone anything they didn't need, and my own bike is rather modest. I will tell you that we always enjoyed fondling fine bikes, and fought over working on them. The cheap bikes were usually a hassle to assemble new, and got worse with time. Our repair rates were for the same for all bikes (except new Sears bikes that were brought in for re-assembling the day after they were bought: TWICE the usual charge). A quality bike that was maintained could be repaired/tuned up in a fraction of the time we spent on a rusty Huffy. We had mailorder to compete with, and many customers were using our shop to determine shoe size for the mailorder catalogs (early to mid 1990's, so actual catalogs were used). We would spend time fitting shoes for a customer, and then find out that they bought them mailorder to save a few bucks the following week. More payroll going out the window.

So yeah, if you like the local shop, be good to them. That doesn't mean you have to spend your retirement fund there, but don't waste their time testing rods and then buying them from online dealers. I suppose if you spend money buying other products from the shop, it's not too bad, but they're paying for your test ride.
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