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The Ski Industry's Gear Pricing Model Is Just Messed Up

Philpug

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This thread is for the general discussion of the Article The Ski Industry's Gear Pricing Model is just Messed Up.. Please add to the discussion here.
 

rossm

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No great mystery here. Because they can!

I'm sure marketing looks very carefully at sales volume vs price for each SKU, and the calculus will be to extract maximum revenue.

Then there is also the perception in many buyers minds that higher price equates to a better product, and marketing exploits that.

Company priorities are to maximise returns to shareholders. Don't expect rationality in pricing models if this conflicts with that priority.
 

ctsnowplow

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Until retailers actually call the manufacturers out on this BS nothing will change. Retailers can repair their business if they actually use their purchasing power to change it.
 

DanoT

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A ski that costs $700 in the USA, in Canada it would cost $700Cdn or about $500USD. This type of pricing also applies to boots and bindings but not to soft goods.

The Costco $1.50 hot dog in the USA costs $1.50CDN at Costco in Canada (making it an even better bargain), but the $4.99 BBQ chicken costs $7.99CDN at Costco in Canada.

Marketing is weird.
 

Truberski

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Well stated and remains one of life’s mysteries! I’m too lazy (and tired) to puzzle on other industries with this phenomenon but none are jumping into my head.
 

aveski

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Another question: Why are most shops in the US selling the Volkl Deacon 80 for $899.99 and I just purchased a new 2024 pair for $663 shipped from the Netherlands? Is the wholesale price less in Europe? Shipping costs are probably less to ship within Europe, but not that much less.
 
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pais alto

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Nice article. I’ve often wondered the same thing, but it’s cool you wrote it up.

OTOH, I don’t expect your article to bring on any changes. :huh:
 

Brian Finch

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The paradox is that manufacturers have messed up so greatly that no one really knows what’s what. I often purchase gear that is NGT at 1/3 the current price & most ppl don’t know anymore what the current color is…..

It’s not like 1988 when we were all on teal bc the Rossi 4s was teal….
 

JWMN

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Rossignol must have been listening, here are a couple of new skis that have significantly lower prices than the ones they replace.
 

JShort

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At least for alpine boots you can pop out spine screws if you need all the features of a 130 boot but less flex. But also works the other way, why should a 250+lb beginner intermediate have to shell out extra for boots stiff enough for them to enjoy?
 

Lvovsky /Pasha/Pavel

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I'm sure marketing looks very carefully at sales volume vs price for each SKU, and the calculus will be to extract maximum revenue.

Do they? Or do they sell to the dealers and then it’s dealers problem to offload the inventory?

I don’t work retail so I really don’t know.
 

crgildart

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It’s not like 1988 when we were all on teal bc the Rossi 4s was teal….
It had to say "Kevlar"... Then it had to say "Carbon".. Liquidmetal".. Add in 15 other gimmicky lingo words/schemes that weren't as hot.

I do think there is a Geffen Goods effect to ski gear. Look at Bogner for example.. Making it a WOW price point is attractive to the high income folks who spend the most $$$$s on ski gear. Wearing a $1500 jacket is definitely a status symbol..
 
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Philpug

Philpug

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Look at Bogner for example.. Making it a WOW price point is attractive to the high income folks who spend the most $$$$s on ski gear. Wearing a $1500 jacket is definitely a status symbol..
Hmmm ... People look at Bogner just as a status symbol name and they don't lose focus on the quality and tecnical features that are designed in.
 

fatbob

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The size/flex premium is only one dimension in the game of smoke and mirrors that is ski industry pricing. "Premium" hardgoods and softgoods are not priced proportionally on a linear scale either nor does price hold at a retail level for any material length of time. Essentially everyone plays the overproduction game as well as the overcomplexity game with constant churn of NGT and marginal innovation/iteration.
 
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Philpug

Philpug

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"Premium" hardgoods and softgoods are not priced proportionally on a linear scale
Actually Kastle is linear with the MX collection, be it a 75, 83 or 88, they are all the same price.
Essentially everyone plays the overproduction game as well as the overcomplexity game with constant churn of NGT and marginal innovation/iteration.
This has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion.
 

fatbob

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This has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion.

I disagree. You are picking on one single dimension of the ski industry marketing mix and suggesting it's out of whack while ignoring the other aspects which lead to it

And what I meant is that a premium priced ski doesn't have proportionally that much more in materials or design time etc. It's priced at a premium because the brand owners think they can command it though the deep discounting we often see is the flipside.
 

ARL67

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^^^ to the point is brand-identity protection -> let's look at Stockli and Kastle -> 2 premium brands.

Stockli rarely ever go deep sales at end of season -> nothing of the likes of what say Atomic, Rossi, Volkl, etc get marked down to ( 40% off ) to clear inventory.

Kastle on the other hand ends up at liquidators and can be bought at half price or better. This surely hurts the brand's cache.
 

David Koblas

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I would expect it to be oriented around simple product line economics.

For a given product you have a Cost Of Goods ( development, manufacturing, and marketing )
Then you have the number of units you can sell

Insert some math with a profit margin and you have a sales price.

A 96mm underfoot ski will sell a different number of units over an 84mm ski -- same with bindings.

Why do you not apply the same to 167 vs 181 in length? From my perspective that makes the retailers job harder when they're trying to match a skier to a ski. If the person said, "cheaper one please" and that was an in-appropriate length for them you end up with a marketing problem which is people say your skis suck, because they bought the wrong length.
 
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scott43

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Another question: Why are most shops in the US selling the Volkl Deacon 80 for $899.99 and I just purchased a new 2024 pair for $663 shipped from the Netherlands? Is the wholesale price less in Europe? Shipping costs are probably less to ship within Europe, but not that much less.
There's a whole dealer distributor thing going on there. I think it's partly based on ability to pay. Partly on distribution rights and ability to gouge. We bought a ton too much of something one year and when we discounted to unload the distributor told us if you don't raise the price we won't sell to you anymore. In the old days nobody really noticed overseas pricing but now transport is ubiquitous and deals can be had. Unless you're buying Shimano...
 

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