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raganblink last won the day on June 30 2014

raganblink had the most liked content!

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  1. 2017-2018 Gear Sightings

    They have a point though - It isn't designed for the consumer, its designed for a retailer. And I'm not sure the consumer needs to know their marketing direction or every option for every item they make - and your big etailers don't even stock every option, so why mention that your store could have orderd the P15 105 flex LH in the SuperTacks 2.0 if they so chose back in November? It just sets it up for a great way to lose a sale IMHO. There are enough images and product information out there on the internet, and so long as that information remains fair and truthful, you don't need to put up another source. Also CCM is definitely making leaps. Usually its 1 step forward and 2 steps back - but with their current skate offering, pro-stock stick sales, the Tacks helmets and their goalie line, now they may be making 2 steps forward and 1 step back. Next season is going to be pivotal in their long-term success - first full year under new ownership, 3rd iteration of the Tacks skate, scaled back stick launches, less popular goalie line coming out and arguably their less popular protective line getting a face lift - it'll be interesting to see how they handle it. They still have a ways to go to catch Bauer overall, and I think they're still #2 in skates, sticks, helmets, gloves, protective, masks...pretty much everything except goalie equipment...but the gap isn't as large as its perceived. Historically we could have 100% Bauer gear in here and be just fine... this is probably the first year where our sales would hurt if we were just 100% Bauer. Saying that, a store full of Bauer VS a store full of CCM...Bauer store will do better still, hands down.
  2. SMU Skates?

    JR is spot on.... there are a bunch of different models out there now that are SMU depending on what buying group your LHS is apart of. Generally the SMU is a better skate than the original model, definitely worth it if they are the same price as the original skate. The $500-600 SMU skates are IMHO by far the best bang for your buck in regards to quality out there.
  3. ccm resistance and concept 3 bubble?

    You can also use the clips from the Reebok helmets, that look like a sideways L. They are metal. Either that or grind away like mentioned in that search post.
  4. No Icing Remount Quality

    Yeah Jimmy is right DS, that definitely wasn't a chirp... Pretty shitty chirp if that was supposed to be one. Simply surprised someone turned away the sale and potential other sales. Good for him for being busy til new years and suggesting someone else to go to, I'd rather have that then be told by someone it will take less than a couple days and whatever service I requested still isn't done 2 weeks later..
  5. No Icing Remount Quality

    Cost of holder and steel? I charge $40 for a holder, but that comes with installation. $40 X 2 = $80 I charge $70 for LS2/RSB, but that comes with it sharpened/profiled for the first time. $70 + $80 = $150 I can't imagine places are too much more expensive or less expensive then that. Maybe + or - $20? And yes, I would appreciate his honesty as well if I was the customer, but, for less than an hours worth of it work I would always accept a conversion or putting new holders on a skate where I have to remount from scratch. Hell I'd do the work Friday half hour before close or Christmas Eve - its not that hard and relatively fast to complete, plus you have someone looking at the rest of your store looking at anything and everything wanting to burn a hole in their pocket. Each their own though, its his store so he can take on what he pleases. I guess I just have a different view on things like that.
  6. No Icing Remount Quality

    Did you really just turn down $150 worth of business?
  7. Pro Style/Quality Bag? JRZ vs Flite?

    Laurin bags if you want to customize it. Warrior pro player bag. Been using the Warrior for 8 years, I abuse the hell out of it, no problems. Laurin bags I see going around after multiple HS players rotating the bag over a decade, or see plenty still in use after 20 years. Great quality.
  8. Warrior Refused Legit Stick Warranty

    Good on you Warrior for taking care of this for OP. Brings up an interesting discussion that I am sure gets tossed around too much, but, what if we got rid of stick warranties all together? Or make an exemption where it can be returned to the store on the same day if it breaks? The stick warranty system is such a joke IMHO. Buy a stick, use it for 30 days, if it breaks, not because of manufacture defect, but plenty, plenty of times because of user error, slashes, zam door, stepping on, or that good ole cross bar, send it in and get a new one. Oh, I broke it in 33 days, might as well call in and see if they do it...oh wait, I get to warranty this? Awesome! IMHO a genuine warranty issue is going to come up like OP here, and be pretty much immediate. Or the consumer had a lot of bad luck. I've heard stories of customers coming in here saying they warrantied a stick as long as 50 days since purchased because they complained enough. And forget about if it was a christmas gift and you bought it at Black Friday. I've had multiple customers tell me in late January or early February, they purposefully break the stick, calling CS, saying they got it as a Xmas gift (purchased on black friday) and didn't start using it until the first week in January, give me a new stick! where they've truthfully been using it for 2 months. And there are the customers who buy the same exact stick, wait 2 weeks and warranty the one they broke after 3 months of use. And don't get me started on the people that fake receipts, I've seen some good ones that definitely would pass if a retailer is small enough and doesn't get a lot of sales with that particular manufacture. How about we just kill the warranty, sell top-end for $150ish, have a $100 stick and a $70 stick and call it a day? If the consumer breaks their stick, sorry but tough shit. You got a higher quality product for a better price than before. Maybe, maybe give stores the option to give a 24 hour warranty for those unlucky few that truly do have a legitimate manufacture defect or some fat guy fall on their stick or those pesky zam doors that eat sticks. Men's leaguers generally don't need warranties. Youth players do not need warranties. How many 10 year olds using a junior stick break it? Practically zero, correct? Most warranties I would venture to say are from middle to high end players aged 13 to 20. That's your key demographic to sell a warranty to, however for the rest of us, we don't need it. And those kids in that 13-20 age range are probably sick of buying so many sticks all the time, especially sticks that cost $200+. A lot are doing team stick packs now, with no warranty, so why not just offer it to everyone? Whichever of the big 3 implements a no-warrantable line of sticks first I think is just going to crush the market that year, it'll cause huge ripples. Why the hell would you buy a top end Bauer or CCM for $270 or $300 or whatever it is now when you can buy a QRL for $150? You wouldn't, you'd buy that Warrior. Parents and players are sick of the huge prices. Allow the retailers to make a decent profit (not same $ value as a top-end, but maybe a slightly higher %) so they're happy, consumer is happy, you don't have to deal with warranty stuff, win-win-win.
  9. Bauer Pro 15 Carry Hockey Bags opinions?

    That's funny, I had the opposite experience. Half of the Easton bags we sold ended up ripping out. The reason they sold so well I don't think had to do anything with how good they were, but rather that they offered good sized and cheap youth bags. Plus when I am at my max with Bauer, CCM doesn't have great offerings for bags and neither did Warrior, AND I had to get my dollars up with Easton, it made sense why a lot of dealers went with Easton bags to stock. I remember the last booking we had with them was literally for 70 youth bags, a dozen stick bags and some regular bags simply so I could add 4 more pairs of Bauer skates into my order. They're definitely an improvement on what they had before the buyout, however, I don't think you'll see similar numbers in terms of sales due to people still wanting to put their Bauer dollars into other products (skates, helmets, sticks, protective, etc etc).
  10. Graf Canada out of business

    But how many players are there that are 30 years old or older, and how many need new skates every season? The market is changing a little bit right now, with more and more players giving CCM a chance, especially since they have a money back guarantee right now on their new Tacks line, but, skates are still dominated by Bauer. For us its still 70% Bauer, 30% CCM. A little better from a couple years ago when it was 80-85% Bauer, 2-3% Graf and 10-15% CCM. I say give it another 2 or 3 years and we'll start seeing some 50-50 sales for the average skater, but until then Bauer is still king with skates. As for the Graf skate stuff - its delaying the inevitable I think. They're going to die. With lower and lower margins, and retailers not wanting to dive into large stocks of skates due to so much turnover and clearance product out there, its not the most incentive business. Vaughn if the move is to improve their goalie skate sales, I don't know how much this will help. It will I think but is the investment worth it? Goalie skates are a niche market since how many goalies are there to skaters? And a lot of goalies also have a pair of ice skates, so the sales are probably 1 goalie skate to 15-20 player skates. There currently isn't a company out there I think that can compete with Bauer and CCM in the overall department, especially skates. Warrior, STX, True, Vaughn, Eagle, Sher-wood, Graf, Brian's, Winnwell, Montreal, Tackla, etc etc etc etc all have their niche. Bauer and CCM are so great overall. Warrior, Sher-wood, True, STX are probably best known for their sticks. Eagle gloves, Tackla pants, Graf skates (although not popular skates), Vaughn and Brian's goalie, Winnwell and Montreal ???, There are so many companies out there and some definitely have the capital to get a start in the skate department to try to become an overall brand in the hockey game, however none of them have the shelf appeal to become an actual important factor in skates. I know a lot of retailers would just prefer if they all died and it left CCM and Bauer standing. I try to give options to customers, for instance I have True, STX, Sher-wood, and Warrior composites in this year in addition to CCM and Bauer, however unless the margins are there for us and are better than what Bauer is offering, I'd rather sink that money into Bauer product since I know its going to sell and its going to sell quickly. And for the companies who aren't going to make it worth the while for us, I'll still get some but the quantity isn't going to be much. The only way I can see Graf (or whatever becomes out of this stuff) to succeed on the market is ditching the name and do a Vaughn powered by Graf (for goalie - maybe get True/STX/Warrior on board for player skates?) but make it the most valuable skate on the market at the price. Example - for $70 PP have it comparable to Bauer's $100 PP. have the $150 PP be the market's standard for a $200 PP (with removable steel, etc), have the $200 like the $300, $300 like $400, then maybe have a $500 skate worth a $600-700 skate, and have a skate retailing at $850 that's just as nice if not nicer than the top-end on the market. THEN, to make it worthwhile for the retailers, give them amazing margins. Better than anything out there on the market. That is the only way I can see a new skate company being successful - higher quality products and lower than industry standard wholesale prices.
  11. 2016 CCM Super Tacks

    The Vector series of skates are SMUs for SFS and another buying group dealers. CCM offered some amazing products at great price points for the consumers, so if a store is apart of this I would be surprised if they didn't purchase them. We've been overjoyed with these SMU skates. The Vector Plus & Pro are insane quality for the price.
  12. I think I fully understand the complex hockey market and don't realize the enormity of hidden costs that occur in the retail world. Things such as the retailer needs to make their profit to pay all of their bills, the manufacture needs to make a profit and since they all come with warranties, build in a safety net for that. Further they don't understand that the following things need to be paid to people in order to make the 1N skate for instance: Product designers Product managers Product testers Manufacturing plants Manufacturing workers R&D Materials Cost of transport (of materials, product from Asia & distribution to retailers through the world) Sales representatives Customer service representatives HR Executives Credit analysts Accountants Etc Etc Etc Etc Etc And I find it hilarious how he says productive gear is okay to innovate because that makes sense, you need higher quality protective pieces because it protects you. Well with skates and sticks, the gain here is competitive edge, not protection. A better stick and one that is tuned into your playing style will increase velocity on shots and generally provides a better feel of the puck to help stick handling. If you take Weber a fiber glass $60 stick, if they can make one stiff enough, his shot will decreased noticeably. Give him a wood stick and he'd be down probably 8-10 MPH. For many of us that difference would mean a goal or not a goal. Sticks also keep becoming more and more durable - I can't remember how many I broke in the 2000s but lately I don't break them with same regularity. Before composites it wasn't uncommon for a high school player, yes, high school, regardless of talent level either (Minnesota, Michigan, New England HS or house league player) to go through 12, 24, 36, 48 + sticks in a season. I still have old times come in and talk about sticks, keep buying the same woodies 3X a year for men's league. Those who I can convince to go composite use the same one for years. With skates, every stride counts so that's why you see more responsive and responsive skates with innovations to increase performance. Lighter skates mean less tired legs in the 3rd period. More supportive skates mean every turn you take you can go 100% without fear if repercussions. Taller holders (innovation) allow players to get lower in their turns. With LS4 for example it holds an edge better than LS3, so for us average people it means we should get more value out of our steel due to decreased sharpenings. They've also become more durable - I still see Bauer One95s from 2008 on the ice in men's league, and this is after they played two years of juniors in them. The only time I see old high end skates is those who put them away for a couple of years, or, those who bought them after playing competitively. So while material cost of the 1N may be $40 (blowing out of my ass, I have no idea how much they cost materials wise), there are hundreds of other expenses that need to be taken care of, first, and that's just with the manufacture. The retailer who you purchase them from has their costs as well that need to be taken care of.
  13. G3035 is the widest heel and instep IMO of the G series from Graf. The padding in the G5035 - 9035 is a lot more substantial and therefore takes up a little more volume. From experience selling these skates, they are very similar in nexus instep depth, however a little wider in the heel and narrower in the forefoot.
  14. Total Hockey Files Bankruptcy

    Possibly though the LHS needs to adapt to survive, rather than maintain the business model that worked great vefore the big box e-tailer? For instance, Jonesy9020 mentioned his LHS was now charging to bake and sharpen skates IMMEDIATELY AFTER you just purchased them from their store? That's fucking ridiculous. I would never charge to bake someone's skates if they just bought them from me. The $.10 in electrical and ~$.20 in depreciation it costs to bake a pair of skates is not worth making a profit of $19.70 to bake the skates of someone who took their time to drive to my store and let me sell them skates. Now if someone brings in skates from the internet that needs a bake, hell yes I am charging them that and $15 for the first sharpening. Would never think of charging them for that first sharpening either, that's ridiculous. I usually charge for rivets and eyelits if they're older skates, but not on a pair that was bought from me within the last year. Never charge for buckles or clips or screws, those things cost pennies. The amount of money people have put in the scholarship fund we have on the counter when I refuse to charge them for a buckle more than makes up for the $50 I've lost over the last 5 years in giving away screws and buckles. As for pricing and stocking and all of that fun stuff, I am envious of stores that move that kind of product at full price. I WISH we could, but we can't. If we sold at full price we'd have to cut top-end stick sales down by 50% and top-end skates sales by probably 75%. Due to Minnesota competition, we don't charge full retail on top end skates or sticks anymore. There is just no way we could move our inventory if we did. Take 10% off and you'd be surprised how much you can move comparatively to full retail. Simple economics, better to sell 50 of something at a lower profit in a quicker time than sell 10 of them in a longer time at a higher profit. Further since we do a lot in sales in that department, we're able to have stock of those sizes. If I only sold 10 pairs of top-end skates a year I'd only stock 8 through 9 and order in the rest of the skates for customers who are loyal enough to wait. People look for the deal and loyalty is not as popular as it used to be back in the day. And as for the retailers who charge even above MAP on top end sticks or high-end skates... that's insane. Your repeat sales will be practically zero and your reputation will become the store with overpriced shit, its a miracle you're still in business if you still are. I was in a store a couple years ago when the RS had just came out and they were still trying to sell the S19 for $299.99.... USD...MAP was $250 originally, and then Easton marked it down to $230 MAP. They still had over a dozen of them in-stock, the year before I was there and they had about 16. So they sold 4 sticks maybe over a year? The RS was MAP'd at $250, which they also had for $300. I guess if you really want to sucker someone and they're that desperate, go for it. It was obvious they were moving their inventory though. It wasn't a surprise to me that last year they closed down, I think the bigger surprise was that they were still in business. And as for seeing lost sales or the like, I rarely - rarely see lost current stock sales. We lose maybe 20 a year for our local market, half of which are Dick's/SA specials and the other half are random skates. However, we lose probably 100 pairs a year of old stock skate sales, and every year this number increases and increases. Its getting to the point where we are considering upping the new non-store bought bake and sharpen purchase due to how many more we're seeing. 5 years ago we barely saw clearance skates come in, now I see them a lot during the summer. Point I am getting at though is you can't screw over the customer anymore. That may have worked back in the day when you were the only option for someone, THEE only option unless they wanted to drive hours away. Today's market is all price driven, and yes there is a lot of loyalty still out there, but you can't expect the customer to pay 10-20+% higher for a product when you aren't the only one selling them. Nickle and dimeing customers works for short term gains, but long term it leads to failure.
  15. Total Hockey Files Bankruptcy

    I haven't seen them ever break MAP, granted I don't live in the TC though. There is a difference between having a lower price in-store and advertising that you have a lower price in-store. Plenty of stores do the former, the problem is when you do the latter. My biggest gripe with MAP violations has always been going to Monkey's, and occasionally TH or PH's website and entering their coupon code on say a pair of 1S skates in a 9D - it somehow works. Definitely shouldn't but somehow it does. If you try it for every other size that they have and it doesn't work, but for that particular SKU it does. You can't tell me that it is a coincidence. A customer will come in and ask for me to match it...and well its either come close to 20-25% off or lose the sale. I call Bauer on it, they say it shouldn't be happening but they'll look into it. By the time they tell Monkey or TH or whoever to fix the problem, they've already sold the dozen excess pairs in that particular SKU that they wanted to get rid of anyways, so its no big deal "fixing" the issue. Its happened a couple of times on brand new product, and that's just for the customers who bring it to my attention, I'm sure there have been a lot others who never bothered to ask if I'd match or come close. Hats off to them though, if I was sitting on 30 pairs of 1S in a 9D and I had booked another 15 to come in next week, you bet your ass I'd take a $200 loss to sell 15 pairs in a couple of days. Clears up inventory space and gets that capital into their bank account asap.