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Topic: I want to support local small business but sheesh< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 12:40 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's no wonder stores are losing business to online retailers. They never stock anything! At least near me. All my outfitters are glorified clothing stores. For decent gear you might as well shop Amazon or CampMor. I just went to 3 local mom and pops outfitters and then Dick's Sporting Goods, and a BassPro and not one stocked Smartwool expedition heavy socks or any type of non-plastic collapsible/folding spork. I expected the big box stores to stock Coleman products and other garbage, but to find it in the small business store is a joke. The gear selection is just awful. Sure, they offer to special order it, but I can "special order" it myself online. I want to support small business, but they need to stock proper items and stop focusing on clothing. Hell,  once you know your size, you can still order clothing online too! Maybe it has to do with my location (VA Beach). Hiking and backpacking isn't too big locally, but we are only 3 hours from the Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains.

Is it the same for you?


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 12:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am fortunate enough to live near 5 REIs, and a Mom & Pop smaller store that carries some things REI doesn't.  I mentioned to the owners that some of the items seem like specialty items, but they said they wanted a store where people could put their hands on the gear.  This little store hasn't been open long, so i will see if there is the demand. They carry clothes, but also climbing gear and better sleeping bags etc...  

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 12:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've only had such issues near the end-of-season, and by end-of-season, I mean mid-season. Better get those expedition-weight socks by the end of December, 'cos by February they've only got spring wear.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 12:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Not for me here in Maine.  We have ems, which are why too expensive.  We have the kittery trading post which is very  nice but doesn't have everything, oc course.  I order on line too.  Now when I lived s.florida, well we had nothing.  

The first rule of retail is ~ out of stocks will kill ya !


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 1:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have Bill Jackson’s in St. Petersburg which has a good selection of backpacking, paddling, hunting and skiing equipment.  In the winter they have skiing equipment and clothing including a ramp to tryout your skies.  There are also three other locally owned paddling shops that have a good selection of kayaks, canoes and paddle boards.  As I frequently go to Atlanta I have an REI available if I plan ahead.   When possible I try to buy local.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 1:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You're a Mac user, aren't you?

Bass Pro and Dicks are hardly "small businesses"
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 1:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ocean82 @ Jan. 07 2013, 12:40 pm)
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For decent gear you might as well shop Amazon or CampMor.

Campmor is a brick and mortar store, too, you know.  There are some other pretty good ones in NJ as well.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 1:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have this problem with bicycle stores. Go in for a cassette or chain or other routine maintenance items and they have to order them. They offer but then I'd just have to drive back and pick it up. I might as well just order it myself and have it delivered to me.

As for mom and pop camping gear stores their are none very close to me. We have REI and EMS which I don't classify as mom and pop.

So I order most things online. Their are many mom and pop type online retailers that have a nitch product that I'll use often. McHale, Tarptent, RBH Design and so on to name a few.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 1:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I can support mom 'n' pops if I want to fish. But other outdoors stuff it Walmart for stuff that I can do cheap. 2 REI's if I want to spend more.

Our Bass Pro\Outdoor World is pathetic for hiking or backpacking, decent for car-camping, but Walmart has a better selection.

Cabella's is a little better.

Dick's closed down.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 1:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A friend of mine made a very good living with a small-town store. And he kept it well-stocked. But is was in a resort town located fairly central to a mountain range. The mountains and the town got a lot of seasonal traffic.

He said that small-town stores had become like convenience stores. If you wanted something basic right now, he had it. But you had to expect a higher price for the "convenience."

He stocked things you might not buy. But if you simply never bought those things, he quit selling them. He was a convenience store — sporting goods, hardware, etc. But in the long run, he could only stock what he had hopes of selling.

Maybe in your case, clothing is simply the safest investment.

Nearest REI to me is over 300 miles away. There is a Cabela's a little less than 100 miles, but it's far more oriented toward hunting. I shop the Internet at REI.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 1:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm thinking Travis is right. If they don't focus on clothes, the market (for real BP gear) is just too small.

Heck, even REI does that. Tons of clothes you'd never wear on the trail, especially for women.  Of course, they are big, so can also stock sporks and sleeping bags.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 1:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Makes me feel pretty lucky here, at least in that regard.  More gear stores than I can throw a stick at, both chain (REI, Dick's, etc) and local (Neptune Mountaineering, climbing shops, army surplus, kayaking stores, etc).  There's very little outdoor gear (minus very-specialty items like packrafts) I can't personally find within one to two stops in this town.

Living here has it's drawbacks for sure, but good gear availability isn't one of them.

- Mike


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 2:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It is commendable, maybe a little expensive and sometimes frustrating to support small local businesses.  Some items like non-plastic collapsible/folding sporks probably don't fly off the shelves, and I suspect they don't generate a lot of profit either.  It's amazing they exist at all.

"Is it the same for me?" you ask.  Yes, I know of three places to buy llamapacking gear.  Two of those may be going out of business soon if they can't find new owners. Fortunately I live within 30 miles of the third.

The internet allows me to support cottage industries wherever they are.  As much as I would prefer to inspect all items before I buy, I'm grateful that some things I want (quilt, Bearikade, panniers...) are available anywhere.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 2:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a friend who runs a very good local mountain shop which has pretty much whatever you'd need.  Over the years, I noticed that soft goods, that is primarily clothing, was taking over the store.  Now it's about 3/4s soft goods and 1/4 gear. I asked him about it and he simply said, soft goods is where the money is.  However, he still carries plenty of backpacking and hiking gear.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 2:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GoBlueHiker @ Jan. 07 2013, 11:54 am)
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Living here has it's drawbacks for sure, but good gear availability isn't one of them.

- Mike

"Drawbacks"? I haven't experienced any drawbacks, except that of living too far away from family.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 3:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

hikerjer has it right.  The profit margin on soft goods (clothes) is much higher than on the rest of the gear sold in outdoor stores.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 3:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Lamebeaver @ Jan. 07 2013, 10:04 am)
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You're a Mac user, aren't you?

Bass Pro and Dicks are hardly "small businesses"

LB:

To be fair, OP wrote:" I just went to 3 local mom and pops outfitters and then Dick's Sporting Goods, and a BassPro".  (The underline is mine for emphasis).   :;):


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 3:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ataylor @ Jan. 07 2013, 12:00 pm)
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hikerjer has it right.  The profit margin on soft goods (clothes) is much higher than on the rest of the gear sold in outdoor stores.

Not only that, but even those of us who buy gear and actually use  them tend to buy more clothing than gear.

But back to topic... to me, local businesses can (and should) include the online option.  I too like to support local businesses -- and I'm even willing to pay a bit more -- but buying from them shouldn't be more hassle than buying from the big guys.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 4:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(MsDoolittle @ Jan. 07 2013, 12:55 pm)
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"Drawbacks"? I haven't experienced any drawbacks, except that of living too far away from family.

For some of us, that's not necessarily a drawback.....
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 4:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ben2World @ Jan. 07 2013, 1:04 pm)
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(Lamebeaver @ Jan. 07 2013, 10:04 am)
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You're a Mac user, aren't you?

Bass Pro and Dicks are hardly "small businesses"

LB:

To be fair, OP wrote:" I just went to 3 local mom and pops outfitters and then Dick's Sporting Goods, and a BassPro".  (The underline is mine for emphasis).   :;):

Sorry, It just seemed like deja vu all over again.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 4:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(MsDoolittle @ Jan. 07 2013, 12:55 pm)
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(GoBlueHiker @ Jan. 07 2013, 11:54 am)
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Living here has it's drawbacks for sure, but good gear availability isn't one of them.

- Mike

"Drawbacks"? I haven't experienced any drawbacks, except that of living too far away from family.

Sorry I didn't clarify.  I was referring specifically to living in Boulder itself.  I'm sure you could come up with one or two. :p

- Mike


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 4:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GoBlueHiker @ Jan. 07 2013, 4:54 pm)
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(MsDoolittle @ Jan. 07 2013, 12:55 pm)
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(GoBlueHiker @ Jan. 07 2013, 11:54 am)
QUOTE
Living here has it's drawbacks for sure, but good gear availability isn't one of them.

- Mike

"Drawbacks"? I haven't experienced any drawbacks, except that of living too far away from family.

Sorry I didn't clarify.  I was referring specifically to living in Boulder itself.  I'm sure you could come up with one or two. :p

She's pretty far from the nearest In-n-Out Burger.  Not as far as I am, though.  :(
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 5:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm pretty lucky here in Ann Arbor, considering it's not exactly backpacking central.  We have a Moosejaw and a good local store, Bivouac, and a couple of REI's nearby.  Moosejaw and Bivouac price-match, so if they have it, I'm happy to buy it there.

I'm actually grateful for the shoppers who are willing to pay the $$ to look like backpackers... they make it possible for the gear shops to maintain their brick-and-mortar stores, imo.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 5:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TigerFan @ Jan. 07 2013, 5:11 pm)
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We have a Moosejaw and a good local store, Bivouac, and a couple of REI's nearby.

I fondly remember the original Bivouac in Iowa City.  That's where I bought my first backpack and first down coat, both around 1971.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 6:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We have a bunch of small shops here on the Wasatch Front some (Kirkhams) are large stores, they just only have one unit, though the majority of their sales come from selling Springbar heavy camping tents.
Then there is "Recreation Outlet", where you will actually see a 9.95 sterno camping stove next to a JetBoil. They really cater to the Boy Scout market, and even will advertise a pack, bag, tent, and pad for 99.95. It's junk, but if it's destroyed in two years, the kid will either get quality stuff or be interested in other activities anyway.
My favorite is a true hole in the wall called OutnBack. Their assortment is also eclectic-Black Diamond next to Swedish Army surplus. But they seem to have just about anything I need, and while they have a decent clothing and footwear area, hard goods are still over half the store.
Of course, not every large metro area has the advantage of outdoor recreation literally 15 minutes from home or office, that probably has a lot to do with it.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 6:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ya, the clothes market is big. Around here we have a local outfitter store, Active Endeavors. Which has tons of clothes but not much gear. But what gets me is that they carry a lot of the same stuff as Dick's (about a 1/2 mi away) and Gander Mtn ( right next to them). Pretty much all North Face stuff. I mean carry some other brands in quanity other than NF.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 9:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm about 2 hours south of you in NC and the town I live in doesn't even have a stop light so it's pretty much online for me for anything outdoors unless I want to drive 45 minutes to Greenville.



(was that a run on sentence?) ???


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 9:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We have the escape hatch which is mostly bikes a nd kayaks with a wall of shoes and life is good tshirts. Then we have a couple bait and tackle stores where you can also hire a river guide. The coast hardware has a few camping supplies like hatchets and enamelware or propane lanterns. And there is a walmart but anything else you drive 100 miles or get online.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 10:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sometimes online but, when I travel, mostly brick stores as sizes can vary, some of the smaller retailers carry interesting doodads, etc .....

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(ataylor @ Jan. 07 2013, 3:00 pm)
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hikerjer has it right.  The profit margin on soft goods (clothes) is much higher than on the rest of the gear sold in outdoor stores.

Not to mention it's easier to stock  because the turnover is good.  It's just not feasible for a 'small local business' to have 20 different tent models in stock.  The demand simply isn't there unless you're in a gateway location.

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