Jump to content
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
MSH Pro Shop closing from 12/2 until 12/9 Read more... ×
Reviews wanted! Read more... ×
PH_Hockey2

The Things Customers Do

Recommended Posts

Had one of the stupidest questions directed at me today. There was a guy looking to buy a clearance S17 helmet for $50 and was all ready to pay and head out when I noticed that the shell was cracked on both temples where the double screws are. Naturally, being a defective helmet, I couldn't sell it to him and told him so. No worries, I would check the computer to see if any other nearby stores had them and unfortunately, none did. Exasperated, he asked once more if he could buy it and I refused, citing that I would be risking my job, my manager's job, and a lawsuit should I sell him that helmet.

Seemingly undeterred and unconvinced, he then asks if he could pay cash instead and return the helmet to another store for a refund.

No. I'm not risking any of that for your stupid $50 helmet. This was the same guy that I helped, last week, with a pair of pants. I should have known that this would happen...last week he settled for a pair of women's pants because they were on clearance for $15...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just pretend it's y instead of j!

I refuse too and told you this at Winterfest!

We have one Muslim who plays at our rink. One of my good buddies now. Just a shame the kids from public skate give him awkward looks and rude remarks. Just wish I could punch those idiots.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Could you tell me if these skates fit my son?"

"Where did you buy them?"

"I bought them from HockeyMonkey."

"Well then why don't you ask HM if they fit?"

"I bought them online."

"Oh."

I took the footbed out and the skates were 2 sizes too big. I wasn't surprised.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I work at a local rink handing out skates. I get this scenario far too often when I hand out these pair skates to customers when they ask for a certain size in figure skates:

RiedellFigureSkate.jpg

Customer: Hello! I-don't-want-hockey-skates, I want figure skates.

Me: These are figure skates.

Customer: Well, they look like hockey skates, I don't want them. I want the girly skates. Give me the brown ones instead:

IceSkates_Main.jpg

Edited by mc88

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems as though there's a fine line in the art of running and working in a local hockey shop whilst providing a six star quality service when there are so many consumer habits and variables involved.

I say lower prices, bring on more trained staff to monitor store activity and guide the consumer in the right direction before they start getting on your nerves, suffer but endure a 3-6 month revenue black hole due to increased expenses and then reap the rewards as repeat and referral business turns your LHS into (The LHS) that everyone shops as because your the best.

Of course this has to be a viable and sustainable strategy ..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems as though there's a fine line in the art of running and working in a local hockey shop whilst providing a six star quality service when there are so many consumer habits and variables involved.

I say lower prices, bring on more trained staff to monitor store activity and guide the consumer in the right direction before they start getting on your nerves, suffer but endure a 3-6 month revenue black hole due to increased expenses and then reap the rewards as repeat and referral business turns your LHS into (The LHS) that everyone shops as because your the best.

Of course this has to be a viable and sustainable strategy ..

Lowering prices makes it hard, if not impossible, to pay quality staff. Unless you are in a huge market and can turn over a lot of inventory, then you just end up spending a lot of money to make a very small return. Most smart business people would just invest that money somewhere else where it can generate a better return.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not a retail guy. My forte is operations and research but I have always believed the lean mfg methodology can be applied to retail. Before lowering prices but all operations under a microscope. There is always waste.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What has happened with lower prices is that people who care will not work for you. In the case of laundry detergent, lower prices work; but the uninformed parent doesn't make well-informed purchase decisions in a place where the lowest-paid employee works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A shop with good customer service and experienced staff has that as an intangible and very few people are willing to pay for an intangible. So the consumer shops on the lowest common denominator: price. I have fixed and adjusted helmets for hockey moms who then send their kid out to Learn to Play saying to him, "I'll order you a new one online while you are out on the ice." :facepalm:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was this employee at a local hockey shop. He was respected as a great skate fitter and goal equipment fiter. He was lured away from the mom and pop store to a big mega online store that was opening a retail location nearby. After a while he was pulled into the office and chewed out for spending so much time with customers and basically told not to spend more than 5 mins on each, put em in a pair of skates fast and move on to the next. Margins are not that high on hockey equipment, so it's these type of services that are being cut. As said above, people are not willing to pay for this intangable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not a retail guy. My forte is operations and research but I have always believed the lean mfg methodology can be applied to retail. Before lowering prices but all operations under a microscope. There is always waste.

Unfortunately, we take things like that to an extreme in this country. Not everything can be quantified on a spreadsheet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This weekend one of my employees had a customer come in and ask us to fit his kid because his new skates were killing his feet. They were bought at a local outlet for one of the big retailers (we had two of them go in within a few miles of us in the last year).

Kid had a wide fat foot and they had "fitted him" and sold them Vapors.

My employee spent quite a long time with him trying on different skates and they finally found one that worked for him really well.

The father asked what model and size they were and turned to his kid and said they'd go back to the other store and get this model for him instead, right in front of my employee that had just spent more than an hour with them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ ^ ^

Fitting fee, FITTING fee, FITTING FEE!!!

I would be so *7%0#* off if that happened in my shop. Since I put up a sign for a fitting fee for a measly $20(how threatening, $20!!), it never happens anymore. Now they just buy online and ask me if they fit! I moved on from that guy yesterday and sold pants, suspenders, and gloves to the kid waiting to go out for Learn to Play. His mother was really happy with the service and attention to detail of making sure everything fit well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The father asked what model and size they were and turned to his kid and said they'd go back to the other store and get this model for him instead, right in front of my employee that had just spent more than an hour with them.

This is where the words, "Are you F&*^ing kidding me?!?" would actually come out of my mouth, and actually be directed at the customer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I said that outloud but not loud enough, nor do I think they heard me.

There is a dad who's kid is a goalie. He has not bought anything from us in the last 5 years. I think he's gotten a dangler and maybe a jock, but thats it.

He came in about 2 months ago with new Bauer Pro skates - I thought to myself, wtf. Why didn't he even ask us to get them? But the Dad wasn't with the kid and I didn't want to berate him so I let it go.

Well his kid had been in Reeboks last couple of skates, and bought the step taller steel. So the Dad came in again a week or so ago with Step Bauer steel, first time I've seen him in months.

Finally I asked him letting him know we could have gotten anything his kid has, like this steel, and that we are starting to stock some of the high-end goal stuff he is buying.

Turns out he is buying everything from TotalHockey because of their rewards program. Its $10 gift card for every $300 spent. Really? That's when the are you effing kidding me part came out.

Not trying to bash on them but, if we have steel for $80, and TH has steel for $80, and even with free shipping, I charge you $10 to sharpen new steel, what's cheaper? The steel that cost $86 after tax, or the steel that cost $90 but got you $2.67 towards a gift card (So lets say it cost $87.33). Still think the $86 option is still cheaper, and you're supporting the local guy who will stay a half hour late to sharpen your kids skates before a game the half dozen times you've asked during his HS career.

And with those skates? When he got them they still were $600, so with the program he'll get a $20 gift card. We sold that skate for $500, just didn't have his size. And its been this way forever. He knows were going to give him more than a 3.33% discount (essentially what the rewards program is) and for some reason he never even bothered asking us for a quote. Boggles my mind.

Oh and this last week I had someone get upset that I didn't have the TotalONE Pant instock. Then I explained I have what replaced it, the Nexus 1000. He asked if I would match the Nexus 1000 with the TotalONE Pant. Obviously say no I can't do that, direct him towards the Nexus 800 pant. He says thats not what he wants and he leaves and says I lost a sale. Uhh..what? People are weird.

Positive story though and the reason I stay in it!

Kid, maybe 5 comes in, eyes as large as golf balls. He's just super excited, I spend about an hour sizing him up with everything head to toe and the family left incredibly happy and thanked me, but most of all, this little boy is living his dream. That's what makes all of the bad balance out and be worth it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Nexus 1000 did replace the TotalOne pant. The 800 replaced the One80 pant. In the pant category, Supreme became a new line with the girdle shell combo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I said that outloud but not loud enough, nor do I think they heard me.

There is a dad who's kid is a goalie. He has not bought anything from us in the last 5 years. I think he's gotten a dangler and maybe a jock, but thats it.

He came in about 2 months ago with new Bauer Pro skates - I thought to myself, wtf. Why didn't he even ask us to get them? But the Dad wasn't with the kid and I didn't want to berate him so I let it go.

Well his kid had been in Reeboks last couple of skates, and bought the step taller steel. So the Dad came in again a week or so ago with Step Bauer steel, first time I've seen him in months.

Finally I asked him letting him know we could have gotten anything his kid has, like this steel, and that we are starting to stock some of the high-end goal stuff he is buying.

Turns out he is buying everything from TotalHockey because of their rewards program. Its $10 gift card for every $300 spent. Really? That's when the are you effing kidding me part came out.

Not trying to bash on them but, if we have steel for $80, and TH has steel for $80, and even with free shipping, I charge you $10 to sharpen new steel, what's cheaper? The steel that cost $86 after tax, or the steel that cost $90 but got you $2.67 towards a gift card (So lets say it cost $87.33). Still think the $86 option is still cheaper, and you're supporting the local guy who will stay a half hour late to sharpen your kids skates before a game the half dozen times you've asked during his HS career.

And with those skates? When he got them they still were $600, so with the program he'll get a $20 gift card. We sold that skate for $500, just didn't have his size. And its been this way forever. He knows were going to give him more than a 3.33% discount (essentially what the rewards program is) and for some reason he never even bothered asking us for a quote. Boggles my mind.

Oh and this last week I had someone get upset that I didn't have the TotalONE Pant instock. Then I explained I have what replaced it, the Nexus 1000. He asked if I would match the Nexus 1000 with the TotalONE Pant. Obviously say no I can't do that, direct him towards the Nexus 800 pant. He says thats not what he wants and he leaves and says I lost a sale. Uhh..what? People are weird.

Positive story though and the reason I stay in it!

Kid, maybe 5 comes in, eyes as large as golf balls. He's just super excited, I spend about an hour sizing him up with everything head to toe and the family left incredibly happy and thanked me, but most of all, this little boy is living his dream. That's what makes all of the bad balance out and be worth it!

Gotta squeeze every dime you can get. Our Total Hockey has done a great job fitting my kid and myself for equipment over the years. They also don't charge for sharpening or baking on new skates regardless of where you buy them, I'm shocked and felt bad about not compensating them for their time but those reasons are enough for me to go to them over any local shop we have here, well and most of our local stores lack in the customer service arena. When I was upgrading the steel in my skates I tried working with a local store, they were $10 more on the steel and wanted another $10 to sharpen, they weren't even willing to meet in the middle. I get you pay for service, but at some point when the big box store is offering quality service at less money it's hard to support the ma and pop shop. Maybe I'm fortunate that the store I go to has little to no turn around in the last 5 years. Hockey is an expensive sport and if I can save a few dollars for myself and my son on gear then that money can go towards our seasons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been a year since I could contribute to this thread as I thought I was done with working in a shop. Of course, the need for a part-time job comes around so guess where I am :P

Said to a co-worker by the father of a new travel player:

"I'm not so much worried about the helmet - the head is the hardest part of the body."

Of all the reasons I've heard to NOT spend money on a decent helmet...just awesome.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been a year since I could contribute to this thread as I thought I was done with working in a shop. Of course, the need for a part-time job comes around so guess where I am :P

Said to a co-worker by the father of a new travel player:

"I'm not so much worried about the helmet - the head is the hardest part of the body."

Of all the reasons I've heard to NOT spend money on a decent helmet...just awesome.

Sounds like he's done his own experiments to prove it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been a year since I could contribute to this thread as I thought I was done with working in a shop. Of course, the need for a part-time job comes around so guess where I am :P

Said to a co-worker by the father of a new travel player:

"I'm not so much worried about the helmet - the head is the hardest part of the body."

Of all the reasons I've heard to NOT spend money on a decent helmet...just awesome.

"Do you think it's harder than the ice it might be hitting?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had a customer come in looking for skates for his son, mostly just playing pick up and men's league now and he says "I got him the ccm ovi skates for an absolute steal on eBay, "lhs in town" was selling them for 450 and I got them for 200. They just don't fit his foot properly." I couldn't help but ask if maybe next time having his son try on skates instead of blindly assuming any skate will fit him might be better and he just said that it's tough cause he can get everything for so cheap online. :facepalm:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been a year since I could contribute to this thread as I thought I was done with working in a shop. Of course, the need for a part-time job comes around so guess where I am :P

Said to a co-worker by the father of a new travel player:

"I'm not so much worried about the helmet - the head is the hardest part of the body."

Of all the reasons I've heard to NOT spend money on a decent helmet...just awesome.

If he's right, I'd suspect that in his kid's case, it's genetic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hoping to revive this thread as it's one of my favorites.  It's quite entertaining to hear there are the same types of customers everywhere regardless of where your shop is located.  We deal with pro customers who train here in the summers and they are less maintenance than the majority of our retail clients.

Similar things can be said for ice rinks.  I'm experienced in driving both Zamboni and Olympia machines.  I understand how much to cut and how much water to lay but I still get guys hopping on early just to complain about the water not setting.

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha, oh man...a classic thread!

Perhaps since I'm unbound by the shackles of hockey retail, I could share more anecdotes that I normally would've kept to myself.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×