There are a number of avenues you can choose to buy a paddleboard. There are big box stores, chain stores, online stores, and local sup shops. The price for the same thing can be different at every one of them. And everyone wants to feel like they got a deal.
There are very few people in the paddleboard business (especially the retail side) who are getting rich. Most of us are in it for the love of it. Paddleboarding is what we love, and we are very excited to share that love with everyone that we meet! But most people that come in ask us for a discount on their purchase, and we cannot always give one. There can be a fine line between asking for a discount and badgering for the lowest price possible.
These are some of the reasons you can find varying prices on the same item…
1)Buying power. Big box stores, chains, and online venues can buy more volume and get better pricing, terms and shipping rates. Small shops can pay as much as $150 to ship a single board…often that expense is not passed on to the customer because the customer can find the same item somewhere else without that extra expense. Often times more buying power equates to less knowledge about the product and less service. And stores with a lot of buying power might make buying decisions based on profit rather than what is best for its customers.
2) Overhead…some places have more overhead expenses than others so they cannot afford to discount as much.
3) Product assortment. If there are enough high margin products selling in a store, it may not be as important to make a “good” margin on hard goods, which have pretty low margins in most cases.
4) Service. Some companies are simply selling you a product. They do not offer any extras along with that, so perhaps they can afford to discount a product.
It is ironic that people seldom ask big stores for discounts, but they don’t hesitate at all asking the specialty paddleboard shop that can afford it the least.
Here are some of the ways we try to compensate for the fact that we have to make rent so we can’t take another 10% off of that item that is already discounted 30% that only came with an original profit margin of 32%
1)Service-we ride most of the paddleboards that we sell. That’s how we select what to carry. So instead of talking to someone in a big box store who thinks paddleboarding looks cool, but hasn’t actually tried it himself, we can tell you about the different boards that we carry. And if we haven’t tried something specifically, like a high performance surfboard because we’re not high performance surfers, we have talked about it extensively with our rep who has probably tried it, and can be a resource for you if we don’t have the answers that you need. We will discuss your paddling goals and help to match you up with the best equipment to help you meet those goals within your budget.
2) Demos. We have demos of many of our boards so you don’t have to take our word for it, you can try them yourself. That way you can take what we know, add it to how you feel on a given board, and make your own decision. And we don’t charge for this.
3) Credit for previous lessons or rentals. We will credit you up to $75 of paddleboard rental or lesson fees toward the purchase of a regular priced board and paddle. So if you rent from us and then decide you want to buy, your rental dollars are not “wasted”
4) If you decide to buy before you try, you are welcome to come back for a lesson at a later time. We will paddle with you and give you a full out lesson, provide pointers, help you tweak your stroke, or help you with something like pivot turns or cross-stepping if it’s are getting the best of you…whatever you need.
5) We also host a “meetup” group (which is admittedly a work in progress) so that like-minded people can meet and check out new paddle spots together.
6) We are trying to create a paddleboarding community. We value the relationships we build with our customers and have made some great friends through this endeavor. We love to keep in touch with you and hear about your paddling adventures, dogs, kids, etc…
7) We are here as a resource for you. We are happy to answer your questions, give recommendations for paddle spots, and we’re happy to paddle with you if you are looking for company.
8) We keep up certifications to give you a better experience, and attend trade shows to provide a better selection.
If price is your only concern, we might not be the best choice for you- though our prices are, for the most part, at or below Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Pricing. We try to provide extra services to compensate for the fact that we have rent to pay and cannot afford to give you our products for our cost. We don’t choose brands to carry based on what will give us the best margins, we choose based on what we think would be a good fit for our clientele. That’s our choice, but it’s one more reason that we can’t always afford to give you an extra discount. You probably have a job, and probably get paid for the work that you do. That’s all that we want, to eventually get a paycheck for all of the work we do. Until then, we’ll be happy if we can pay our bills and continue to get you out on the water enjoying the sport we love so much!
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