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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys and Gals,
We are conducting a quick poll about where folks are purchasing their kayaking gear these days, online or local. The poll only takes a quick second to complete, and requires no other info aside from the answer to the question.

The idea is to get an accurate assessment of where the majority of goods are being purchased these days, as there has not been an "official" tally to date. Much thanks from the folks at IR!

Click here to take the poll: Do you purchase kayaking gear online or in-store?

- Jesse- IR
 

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Took the poll, but the choices don't really accurately represent how my kayak spending is distributed between online / local shops.

I try and support my local shop (Confluence!) as much as I can. If the local shop doesn't have what I need either due to selection, timing, etc, then I get it online.

For me, what ends up driving a lot of my kayak purchases is timing. I usually make major new purchases (boats, paddles, helmets, skirts) after gear fails on me. Its also usually right in the middle of the season when I need to get it replaced ASAP to get back on the water fast. If the local shop has exactly what I need (size, gear type etc) I will get it at the local shop. If the local shop doesn't have it, they I will likely go online to get it.

If I am buying something when timing is not an issue (ie offseason, or have to special order for both online/local), then I would typically buy at the local shop.

I like to try on clothing layers, so I typically would buy this local.

I wish I could buy shoes local, but many shops don't carry 5.10 shoes, so I buy shoes online.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for taking the poll DeepSouth-
We will take these things into consideration. The poll will give us a general idea of the mindset of the consumer. Please complete the answer to where the majority of your purchases lie when the sale is completed.
Cheers!
 

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I'd also like to take this opportunity to bitch and complain about the poll. Why are there 2 verbs "buy" and "purchase" being used to apparently mean the same thing? I think it might go against the spirit of the poll, but since there was an option to make multiple selections I checked the first 4 since I buy both kayaks and accessories locally and online. However, the way it's formulated, you could easily contradict yourself with selections. Most kayakers are frequently under the influence of controlled substances so keeping it clear and simple helps a lot.
 

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I didn't see the option for:

wait to find it used for 1/2 price cuz everything is way too spendy option.
 

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Is Craigslist Online or local?

I shop Craigslist online, but the people I buy from are locals. When I do buy new, I go wherever the gear is cheapest. My local retailer had some gear on clearance 40% off, you bet I bought it. For my wife, the best deal we found was online, so that is where we went. I am more loyal to my checkbook than any one store or website. Too many constraints on my budget not to be.
 

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I didn't take the poll because there was not an answer that accurately depicted my buying patterns. So I'll give you some feedback here and you can add it into the category you want.

I buy some of my gear online from a shop in a town where I used to be a local and a shop that I used to frequent in person.

I also buy things in person at my new local shop.

I use "local online" resources to buy used gear. Sites like MountainBuzz and Craigslist.

I only use random online shops if all of my other go-to shops are out of the item and I need it fast, or if they do not carry what I like.

But for soft good items like drytops, drysuits, base layers I always buy in person from a shop. I feel those items need to be tried on and If I am able to try something on at a shop and I plan on buying it, I will buy it from that shop and not go online to find it as cheap as possible.

This may be off topic but if river folk want to be able to walk into your local shop and buy the items that you need right away I believe we need to support those shops as often as possible, even if that means ordering an item and waiting a couple days. The same goes for manufacturers. If a company wants me to buy their gear they need to support the local shops too. This might be in the form of quickly filling orders or assisting the shop in excellent customer service. I am sure the retail experts out there have much better ideas on how to support local retailers.
 

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I'll echo the complaints about the poll. I know that polling is the simplest way of collecting data, but it's the least accurate.

For me it is mostly a matter of timing and convenience. Like most, I try to support the local shops when I can. But it also comes down to a price point.

I buy most of my boats used, when good deals come along on boats that are in great shape. I have bought one boat from a local retailer, but it was a demo that was at a cut price, so that's a rarity.

I typically buy my paddles and other gear from the local retailer, because they'll match online prices as close as they can, or they'll order something special if they don't have it and it won't cost me shipping. For instance, I just bought a new Werner and my Sweet Strutter from the local guys. I think in the past year or so I have also purchased a new PFD, booties, fleece and pogies from the local guys.

When I bought my dry suit, though, I went online for that. Also went online for my last spray skirts.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi Guys,
Again, thanks for taking the time to provide some feedback on this. The poll is to reflect purchase of new items only. The ability to check more than one option is given to provide multiple answers for the reasons that your concern expresses.
As far as IR not being on the "list of MB supporters" Mut....we sponsor and support every single whitewater event that we are approached about- in the majority of the country- that adds up to a couple hundred events per year. We also support your local dealers the best that we can by directing sales their way when we receive inquiries. We also donate a large amount of money to AW each and every year, as well as require that prodeal recipients donate $5 to AW for every order that is placed thru IR. We feel that our limited marketing budget gets put to the best use possible by doing this, as most of our resources get put back into helping our dealers, or R & D. The idea is to help where help is needed in regards to keeping our rivers open and available for all of us to enjoy- and help keep the interest in our sport alive!
 

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I personally don't think IR needs to justify itself or its contribution to the WW community. Most everyone I know thinks of IR as a very solid member of the community who makes extremely good products.
 

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Jesse,
You absolutley do not need to justify IR. I appologize for the quick reponse. I wasn't really paying attention to my reply like I did the my first post.


I have all sorts of IR dry and warm gear and love it.

I also see your company's presence at every event I attend. I really like your policy of donating $5 for every item that is bought through IR.
 

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Ian,
please note post #13

just saying the floatie boat race at bailey could use a runner up prize.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
No worries Mut, it was bound to come up at some point. Lets try stay on topic here...this is valuable feedback that virtually every dealer, and every manufacturer has questions about. Until this point, no one has actually taken this type of public poll that we know of about how the majority of purchases are being made these days- in todays economy, and with the expansion of online dealers. Thanks to those of you who chose to contribute.
 

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Well, I voted 'accessories online, kayak from Local store, although my 'local' store is CKS.5 hours away in Buena Vista. its all about the boat swap at CKS....:mrgreen: I also use CL and MB if anythings available locally.

The accessories I buy online because of the Pro-form through the rafting company. Its hard to beat the deal NRS gives 'rafting industry' folks. what IS hard though is wanting to Raft after thirteen years. so who knows. been lucky enough to have that for a long time. just need a raft and those goodies and I can quit! (so yeah,at least like 5 more years....so much crap to do multi-days...lol)
that pro form is why i dont have any IR gear, unfortunately. I know its the goods.

Keep up the good work with AW, thank you guys for that !!!!
 

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I usually buy direct from the company, because I qualify for pro purchase. That said, IR told me that if I wanted a pro purchase I could just go to their local retailer, which is a direct competitor of my employer, for an in-store discount. They knew nothing about it and weren't about to give me 30+% off. I was told that y'all don't give a pro deal direct. This is weak. I've been in the business for over ten years and any company that gives a shit about its name hooks up a direct discount for the dirtbags on the front lines because we tell a ton of people what gear to buy.

So, Jesse, to make this long story short, I buy my gear from NRS, Kokatat, Stohlquist, Bomber Gear, Astral, Patagonia, Shred Ready, WRSI, Aire, Hyside, Smith Optics and all the other AWESOME companies that hook up outdoor professionals with pro pricing. I'll also be referring my rookie raft guides and all of my kayak clients to these companies this season.

Maybe IR should rethink its pro-deal policy.
 
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