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fpritchett64

Shopping Around-Is it frowned upon?

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Ok,

So, I'm planning to buy my first rig soon and I have been doing some price shopping. Trying to get the best price for a complete setup. Most distributors advertise having the best price and that they'll match any price...guaranteed.

Well, apparently, one of these distributors (very well known in the skydiving industry) doesn't match, and I pissed someone off when asking if they could do any better on the price.

They were only $460.00 higher than the best price quoted.

I'm not going to name any names, as I'm not here to point fingers. I also understand that distributors are here to make money, and I don't expect anyone to sell me anything at or below cost, but $460.00 higher is quite a bit and I'm sure the person that gave me the lowest quote so far is still making money (just not trying to get rich off one person) and their level of customer service would be at least equal considering their response time was at least 24 hours sooner.

My question is: Is it frowned upon to shop around and get the best price, compare, and offer distributors the chance to match or beat others prices (I want to keep them honest) or, should I just take the best price and go with it without asking for price matches, etc. Sometime distributors don't realize how far off they really are, this doesn't only apply to the skydiving industry.

Again, I'm not trying to break anyone, but as we all know, this is expensive stuff we're talking about, my money that I'm spending, and I'd like the best price possible. At the same time, I don't want to be doing things that aren't customary and pissing people off along the way.

Give me some input, you have all been here, what have you done, or what would you do?

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Dude,

Stop crying like a little girl and take a inute to realize that it is YOUR money that you are spending. I spent six months shopping before I even decided who I was gonna buy from. I mean this stuff IS very expensive and if someone gets their butt hurt because you asked them questions then just move on to someone else. If you decide to go with the lowest bidder you are still getting the same product as if you bought it from the person who was more expensive
EXPECT THE WORST, HOPE FOR THE BEST!!!

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Ok,

So, I'm planning to buy my first rig soon and I have been doing some price shopping. Trying to get the best price for a complete setup. Most distributors advertise having the best price and that they'll match any price...guaranteed.



If a mere $460 matters to you, you might worry more about the thousands of dollars price difference between good used gear (which may mean having a new harness installed on a container) and new gear plus the thousand plus you spend on gear rentals waiting for a popular manufacturer to deliver.

Especially since those of us who suffer from testosterone poisoning can be ready for a new container+reserve in 400 jumps (2-3 years) even when downsizing no faster than Brian Germain's WNE chart, at which point it's easier to compete on the used gear market with nice ~$1500 used container + reserve sales when we're not trying to get the new price with options less $500 (Wings are nice reasonably priced containers; you could probably not take too big a beating selling one).

Wait for your next container to buy something new in your colors. You could arrive at your final container size (downsizing farther would be done with cross-braced canopies that pack up smaller) and not be replacing it until it wears out.

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My question is: Is it frowned upon to shop around and get the best price, compare, and offer distributors the chance to match or beat others prices (I want to keep them honest) or, should I just take the best price and go with it without asking for price matches, etc. Sometime distributors don't realize how far off they really are, this doesn't only apply to the skydiving industry.



It's your money. Spend it where you want.

I figure that ten minutes to use a measuring tape and fax machine aren't worth a lot and if you're calling people on the phone they aren't even doing that.

They could be "educating" you on the gear, although you'd really be better off going to a boogie like the World Freefall convention, jumping demo rigs, looking at how they work, and talking with the rig companies yourself.

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I'm not whining about this, what I'm asking is, by me shopping around to get the best price, am I going to be making a bad name for myself. We all know that skydiving is a small world. I don't want to be known as the one who shopped around, kept the distributors "honest" and got the best price, so don't do business with him, don't jump with him, don't talk to him..whatever, because he's an asshole and is cheap...or whatever.

If what I'm doing is not ethical in the eyes of fellow skydivers, then I want to know.

I've been in the sales business for several years now, and shopping around is what I'm used to, by me, and my customers, but this is a different industry, and I want to know if what I'm used to doing is right here.

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If price is your only factor, then sure, shop around. In fact, I think shopping around make perfect sense.

Now, whether the lowest price should get your business is another story. Are they local? Do they provide good service? Do you enjoy dealing with them (for whatever reason)?
Remster

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$460 to me, means something. If I can save that money and put it towards jumps (which are increasing in price as we speak), why the hell wouldn't I be frugal and a smart shopper?

I think you are perfectly inline with your approach. If distributer A says "I cannot match that price" well, ok....no harm done...take yuor business to the one who already said they would.

It's your money like someone above mentioned....

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Price is the biggest factor, but not the only factor. The level of customer service makes a difference as well, but that level should not be compromised because you're cheaper. It doesn't cost you any more money to offer superior customer service than it does to offer crappy service, the only thing it costs you is the amount of effort you put in to trying to make the sale.

So, when I hear someone say, well, we offer superior customer service, thats why we're higher, well, thats just an excuse to rip someone a new one.

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Uhhh... it didn't sounds like the OP was crying / whining / etc... he was just asking what the 'shopping around' culture is when ordering gear.:S

He also seems to understand that lower price isn't always worth worse service. It's about value for your money. I'm not sure about the skydiving culture for asking to match a price, but I'd say it's common enough among the distributors that it can't hurt to politely ask if they customarily do match prices. If not, either pay up or be polite and move on to another distributor that costs less but still provides the service you're looking for, whatever that may be. Again, this isn't really from experience, just my opinion.

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Price is the biggest factor, but not the only factor. The level of customer service makes a difference as well, but that level should not be compromised because you're cheaper. It doesn't cost you any more money to offer superior customer service than it does to offer crappy service, the only thing it costs you is the amount of effort you put in to trying to make the sale.

So, when I hear someone say, well, we offer superior customer service, thats why we're higher, well, thats just an excuse to rip someone a new one.



How many times have I heard this when people come complaining that so-and-so's prices are a hundred or so cheaper???

It DOES cost more to offer good service. You can find some dealers on the internet that will sell you gear at just over cost. What will they do for you? Forward your order to the manufacturers and take your money. What do local dealers do? They measure you, advise on options, hook you up with demos, help you pick colors, help you save a few bucks on the stuff you don't need, point you towards gear that may be better for you than what you originally wanted, help you with any issues you may have with new gear, assemble your gear, repack it, hold it for you, look out for it when you're gone, let you pay in installments, hook you up with cheaper rentals once you've ordered, help you sell it when you downsize... but that's just one or two things.

There was a time when everyone was some kind of dealer and was just hooking people up so they could be "the man". Manufacturers have worked hard to cut that kind of thing out, but they're still out there. Dealers who follow the rules abide by the manufacturers low-price limits. That lets them offer gear under MSRP, but still make a bit of money. Once people go under, or way under, those prices... your local store will not be able to compete.

All that being said, I'm glad that most of our customers here have seen the value of doing business locally. I've only had to tell a few people that they should buy their gear elsewhere when their prices were lower. They usually buy their next rigs from us... strange.

Edit: But yes, shop around. Get to know what gear costs. Usually it's not THAT much different that it worth sacrificing the extra service.
Oh, hello again!

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If the price is such a big factor, why are you not going used? You're probably gonna want to downsize in the next couple years anyway.



Price on a new setup is the biggest factor. When I downsize in a few years, I'll still be able to put that canopy into the same container with the way I'm going. I don't plan any more down sizes after that, at least for quite some time.

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If the price is such a big factor, why are you not going used? You're probably gonna want to downsize in the next couple years anyway.



Price on a new setup is the biggest factor. When I downsize in a few years, I'll still be able to put that canopy into the same container with the way I'm going. I don't plan any more down sizes after that, at least for quite some time.



Gotcha...well no matter which way you go, I guarantee that you'll fall in love with your first rig. Good luck!

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And what I'm finding is that the local dealers have the better prices, plus they can offer all of these great services that you just informed me of.



So what's the question then? ;)
"We've been looking for the enemy for some time now. We've finally found him. We're surrounded. That simplifies things." CP

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My advice, if it's your first rig: buy used.

First, it will cost you less.

Second, as your jumping develops, you'll have a clearer understanding of what you want in your next rig, and you'll be able to shop with a bit more scrutiny.

The same applies to canopies too. It's worth consideration.

If you're buying new, then, yes, I would shop around very carefully. To say that you get what you pay for doesn't always apply in this industry.
So I try and I scream and I beg and I sigh
Just to prove I'm alive, and it's alright
'Cause tonight there's a way I'll make light of my treacherous life
Make light!

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