Props to Ouachita Outdoor Outfitters for being the first LL demo center outside of NC. Awesome people and an awesome shop, just the kind of place that will keep standing behind a great product even if they don't make any money off of it.
Agreed. The only way that I could see their new model working was if the boats were significantly cheaper to the consumer after including shipping. LL states that their new model is better because they get to cut out the middle man. They cut out the middle man, but the prices to the consumer are still the same...so all of that savings goes straight to LL. If they would have shared some of that savings with the consumer then it might have been a fair tradeoff.
As of now, it looks like the boats aren't going to be any cheaper to the consumer after you include shipping...and there aren't really any retailers or demo centers to try one out (I understand they have 2 demo centers...but only 2 for the whole country). In my opinion, in order to offset the inconvenience of not having many places to demo a boat they should have made the boats cheaper. We will see how it goes.
I expected (hoped for) a lower price too, but I imagine they are planning to sell less boats this way and might need to adjust the price up to compensate.
I think the model could work, but LL will definitely have some growing pains while they figure out the details. I hope it works for them. I have this fear that at some point in the future Jackson is going to be the only company making new boats - and that is not appealing to me.
It's $250 shipping to Idaho. I assume there are no taxes but still. It's too bad they are cutting out the middle man and the consumer doesn't see much of a break. At least when they had dealers you would wait for a end of season 20%-30% off and get a decent deal. I doubt we will see much of that anymore.
Shipping is interesting to say the least - I would have expected a much better price when shipping to a terminal vs. to residential. I'm 60+ miles from Denver - for the extra $50 I'll ship it to my door vs. picking it up at a terminal. Terminal shipping used to be a LOT cheaper than door to door. There is some savings when shipping multiple kayaks.
$175 to a Terminal in Denver, CO (zone 3)
$225 to my door in Fort Collins, CO (zone 3)
$250 to a Terminal in Cheyenne, WY (zone 4)
$250 to a Terminal in SLC, UT (zone 4)
$375 to a terminal in Denver, CO ($50 savings per kayak)
$425 to a my door in Fort Collins, CO ($50 savings per kayak)
$550 to a terminal in Cheyenne, WY ($67 savings per kayak)
$550 to a terminal in SLC, UT
The cost of shipping definitely sucks, but in a lot of ways the new business model makes sense. We are talking about liquid logic kayaks here, they definitely sell some boats, but not like Jackson kayaks. Their strongest offerings are oriented more towards advanced paddlers, who are loyal to the brand and will just order a new boat instead of shopping around.
Factor in the high rate of boat breakage, the fact that their money man died and that sale increase when a new boat is introduced. This is probably the perfect time for such a move.
So where is the savings? If you live in the south east(Their biggest market) you can visit the factory and buy a boat for $899 which is a solid deal with warranty. If you went to Gauley Fest or are going to Moose Fest you can pre order or buy a new boat on the spot. Next season, I am sure they will deliver a boat to you at paddlefest, fib ark or Bailey Fest for that price. There will be probably be occasional sales on the website.
For $899 I would buy a boat.
Demo centers? After a month of this business model there are two. By the time run off start their will be more.
Full disclosure the last boat I bought at a kayak store was a Kingpin Icon 6.3. That was at least ten boats ago, 9 paddles ago, three drysuits ago, 11 years ago.
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