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Old 01-19-2006   #21
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San Diego was not named after a whale's vagina?

Marko you do have a great point! My statement was a comment on the actions of some consumers throughout the nation. CKS is a great store and I was not calling you all out. Going online is a necessity for survival, that is certain if you are a shop and want to sell a lot of product. That is a fact of life these days. You will see CKS is not the type of store I am talking about in my below clarification.

I speak with small shop owners daily and try to help them sauce out their marketing strategies. Many speak to me personally about a certain type of customer that will come in the shop and use the knowledgable staff for advice. They use the small store to get the right information on what they may need, like a novice kayaker for example.

If they went to one of the large stores (like REI, EMS, Gallyans is the prime example in CO) they might have the cheapest prices, but a real problem with product and overall paddlesports knowledge. The can offer great deals and sell products cheap cause their parent corporations buy in bulk. Their sales staff rarely will sell the right thing to a person who is unsure what they are really looking for. Client has a bad experience and is not interested in paddlesports or whitewater.

Some customers will get the info on what they need from a store (taking valuable time away) and then go directly to the web and purchase it for a cheaper price. That is there right as a consumer in a capitalist economy but is it right as a boater in the community?

I am not saying don't buy online. I am saying that maybe you should check out your local shops price (and even maybe their online site) before going to another large outlet style retailer. Especially if you want that resource around for your immediate needs in the future.

I guess I started ranting in my first post but I think it is worth pondering. Being in the lucky position of testing most products I use and not really purchasing much over the past 2 years, it is hot air from me. But I hear of stores having trouble and going out of biz every week. Many local boaters are bummed by this type of trend in their area.

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Old 01-19-2006   #22
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 855
Thanks for your clarification, and I agree with it as well.

And, just for my clarification, I am currently not working for CKS anymore. I was just posting from my own perspective.

See ya around,

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Old 01-19-2006   #23
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Eagle County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 928
Below is an interesting article from today's Vail Daily. Locally here in the Vail area, we live in a relatively small fish bowl of shopping choices. One of the people interviewed in the article says something like "we either have wal-mart for clothes or the tourist cashmere and fur store, there is nothing in between, so we go to Denver or shop online". Anyways, some of this applies to what you guys are talking about, and the rest is unique to some of us in the mountains.

From the Vail Daily:

Locals hit the road, or go online

Valley shoppers try to support small stores but sometimes discouraged by lack of variety


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Sarah Heilig of Minnesota looks thriough a t-shirt rack in Vail Village. Some locals think the area's stores cater mostly to tourists.
Preston Utley/Daily file photo

Nikki Katz
January 18, 2006

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EAGLE COUNTY - Kandi Smith of Edwards is an avid Internet shopper. She buys clothes online because she likes the variety and the low prices - things, she said, that Vail doesn't offer.

"You go to and see a shirt you like for 40 bucks. At the small boutiques, they're charging $280. That's a big difference if you work for a living," Smith said.

And because Wal-Mart doesn't carry what her daughter wants for her birthday, she'll probably look for it online, Smith said.

"If I can't find it, I'll look online, and I would consider going to Wishes - I like to support my community - but it's the only toy store around here," Smith said.


Chris Mullineux, right of Ironwood, Michigan does some shopping in Vail Village with freinds Caryn Reib, left, and Lauri Neibauer both from Mellen, Wisconsin. Some locals say they shop on the Internet because cater more to tourists.
Preston Utley/Daily file photo

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She would love to see more stores in the area, particularly a Target, Smith said.

"It'd be nice to have more stores up here, but there are not enough people in this valley to employ, especially with the expensive housing," Smith said.

Mark Windels of West Vail rarely visits Vail's small stores. Windels said they are too expensive.

"Even if the Vail Valley had more stores, everything would still be too expensive because of the high property taxes," Windels said. "Shopping in Vail Valley is expensive. That's why people go to Denver - they take shopping trips on the weekends."

Small, specialty stores play a "risky role," competing with bigger stores and thriving on tourists, Windels said.

"Multimillion dollar homes are being built, and specialty stores cater to their owners," Windels said. "You see all this upscale furniture in stores - they've got the market cornered."

Jon Peterson, from Minneapolis, Minn., is outfitting his vacation home in East Vail. He said he's starting with the basics like pots and sheets.

"I wouldn't envision commodity goods being priced better than at Wal-Mart," Peterson said. "When I want more unique things, I'll go to the smaller stores."

Many locals said they would prefer to shop at smaller stores if the prices weren't unrealistic for their budgets.

"If I had the money I would shop at the expensive tourist stores, but I also think there's big value (in stores like Wal-Mart) where people get everything in one stop," said Tammy Brown of Vail.

Customer service is one of the biggest differences between shopping at small stores and shopping at big stores or online, said Tommy Lauhoff of Edwards.


Local shoppers say they struggle to support local businesses and when faced with low prices at stores like Wal-Mart and a bigger election on the Internet.
Shane Macomber/Vail Daily

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"I like small stores, little 'mom and pop' places. At smaller specialty stores, there's usually customer service. They take better care of their customers," Lauhoff said.

Barbara Eichler of Gypsum turned to the Internet to buy presents during the Christmas rush. She doesn't usually go online to buy things, but she didn't want to have to travel to Silverthorne, Glenwood Springs or Denver to shop, she said.

"I don't like sitting in front of a computer, but I do go online if I can't find what I'm looking for in stores," Eichler said.

Many locals said they like to feel a product with their hands, read the back and compare it to other products before they buy something. When Matt Rigsby of Avon set out to buy a digital camera, he went to a store to check out a couple cameras before he bought one of them online.

"I wanted to touch it, feel it, see all its features, but it was cheaper online," Rigsby said.

Brown does almost all of her clothes shopping online. "Purses, shoes, jewelry --you can get cheaper name brands on eBay," Brown said. "There's not enough variety in Vail."

Rigsby said he would also like to see more variety in Vail.

"I would prefer more stores to go to, a Target, a mall or anywhere else to get better clothes," Rigsby said. "We've got small stores, which are expensive, and we've got Wal-Mart. We've got the low end and the high end but no medium."

Vail, Colorado
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Old 01-19-2006   #24
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Eagle County, Colorado
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Source was

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Old 01-20-2006   #25
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 335
Walmart already sells boats,the Sevylor Caravelle for like 30 bucks.I'll buy it for you if you let me watch you run upr.NSV in it.
will miss the miser
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Old 01-22-2006   #26
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Lakewood, Colorado
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I've been into Galyans and other stores like it, and the boats aren't any cheaper really. $25-50 bucks perhaps. The gear can be cheaper but its usually not the best and most desirable stuff. REI definetly isn't any cheaper and is often more expensive for boating gear then most of the local shops. So I'm not too worried about internet sales from that standpoint.

What does get me pretty hard core is what Nick was talking about in his last post. From someone who has worked in the industry on several levels (worked for Wildwasser on the manufacturer side and several different boating shops on the retail), its really annoying and disheartening to give someone alot of information, help them make a decision about what they want, and put alot of work into a sale, only to have them turn around and buy something online because it was $25 bucks cheaper. The worst part is, when the item they buy doesn't fit or it breaks, they never deal with the random internet sales company, they bring it to you.

Even if the shop they bought it from was some other mom and pop shop that happens to do online sales, its still really crappy to deal with. So I guess what I am saying is that, if you try something on, ask a bunch of questions, and take up a bunch of someones time, then at least be decent enough to give them the business. I've finally escaped the retail life and am very glad for it, mostly because I don't have to deal with stuff like that.
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Old 01-23-2006   #27
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 316
I love shpping on the Internet! Typically I will do all of my research on the internet and then I will purchase from a local shop. Often the savings are lost in shipping unless you want to get the Item like 2 weeks later. By then I could have driven to the shop and have my shiny new thing. Yay for immediate gratification.

I will miss the miser. Bought a boat there and some other gear.

Is Confluence hurting? Good guys there too.

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Old 01-24-2006   #28
Superior, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
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It sucks to see a good shop go. I dropped a lot of change there in the last few years and made some too at their swaps. Any info on when the public will be able to pick over the remaining gear?
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Old 01-24-2006   #29
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 35
Confluence is a good shop, I have always gotten good customer service there. Don and Jon are great. They take the time to actually sell you the right product or just BS about misadventures. The same can be said for Golden river sports and Alpenglow. All, have in my experience have been a pleasure to visit. So Thanks. It might not hurt to spread the word and get a few new folks into the sport.

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Old 01-25-2006   #30
Short Bus Driver, Arizona
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I sold my Kayak at Mtn Miser's last swap and still have a gift card with several hundred dollars left on it, does anyone know if there is anyway to recoup that money? I guess I may have just given my boat away! Thanks for any info.

The cynic knows the price of everything, but the value of nothing!
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