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Jake_Gano

I don't want to pay for your climbing trip

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I've heard the same from those in the ski industry about things like AT boots. Economies of scale are a real thing, and there really aren't that many climbers/backcountry skiers out there compared to many hobbies (golf, fishing, water skiing, etc.).

 

It doesn't hurt that many weekend warriors have good jobs either. Non-dirtbag climbers tend toward white collar work, and companies often charge what the market will bear. Arc'teryx for example.

 

I would be interested to hear from a company like BD what proportion of their gross sales are through prodeals, and if they are taking a hit on any items. My understanding is that they are selling gear direct to climbers for the same price as they do to retail outlets. So I think that it is a bit of a stretch to say that their profits are being cut into by prodeals.

 

Retail outlets? Certainly. But the internet is a bitch, as Loren already pointed out with his recent purchases.

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If you want the equivalent of a pro deal don't buy ski gear till after March 1. Starting about then is when retailers want to get rid of stuff and make way for next seasons hot items.

 

If you do it that way you'll have a pro deal on last years stuff for the next season. It's highly unlikely ski gear will be 1000 times better next season ;)

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I think the premise of this thread is a bit exaggerated. Doubt pro deals and sponsorships make up much more than 2 or 3%.

 

I think the problem is more along the lines of people not being able to afford the normal prices. Because we did away with tariffs in the '80s, and many of those relatively good jobs making jackets and cams have moved to China.

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Or maybe you (not anyone particular here, but a cc.com poster) is more connected to the climbing life so you have more friends that are on the fringe with those that are wannabee "ambassador atheletes" and you even know some that are. So thus you're more sensitive and irritated by the brand hoes, because you know them personally.

 

The whole process of becoming a person who gets all their rad gear from rad gear companies is all about self promotion and whoring yourself out, for the most part. Remember when not reporting your FA as the rage? Those guys didn't get shit for free gear.

 

 

the cool part, if you can fool the gear companies into making you a part of their brand, is that you get some free or cheap gear and maybe even some travel paid for. And good on those that do it, and I actually can think of people that I don't like who have succeeded at this game...but I can't think of a lot of people who don't deserve it. They worked hard, they climbed more, they took more risks, whatever. They pimped themselves, and they got paid (however much or little).

 

Meanwhile the weekend worriers gotta foot the bill.

 

But nothing sells gear like seeing someone you know and trust using it to climb rad ass stuff. For me, if Rat and the Big Baller use it, then it will be good enough for me.

 

 

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given the ratty appearance and advanced age of all my hawt climbing gear, i doubt i'm supporting any expedition going further than the end of my street :)

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I would love to know how much money goes into advertising and pro deals for a Chinese-made Patagonia down jacket vs. a comparably- priced, premium quality, American-made Western Mountainering jacket Or an Osprey vs. CCW or Cilogear pack.

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I would love to know how much money goes into advertising and pro deals for a Chinese-made Patagonia down jacket vs. a comparably- priced, premium quality, American-made Western Mountainering jacket Or an Osprey vs. CCW or Cilogear pack.

 

I can tell you the answer to that from a local perspective: none. That is how much Feathered Friends spent on advertising during the 4 years of my employment there. The best free advertising we got was from outdoor magazines that reviewed our products. I was fortunate enough to have a hand in designing this, which won an award:

 

http://www.backpacker.com/gear/sleeping-bags/editors-choice-2012-feathered-friends-spoonbill/

 

During my tenure as manager I received a couple requests per week from individuals and teams that wanted sponsorships. Some of them got access to pro deals, but those were mostly limited to guides who had influential reach into a large potential customer base. In 4 years I can count the number of actual sponsorships I awarded on one hand. Those were:

 

- Colin Haley, who received a few sleeping bags, a prototype jacket, and the Spoonbill 1.0, which he used on some impressive climbs.

- Chad Kellogg, who received pretty much whatever he wanted, which wasn't much.

- an American team making an attempt on a new line on the west face of K2, they got a few jackets and bags.

- a guide who brought over $10,000 in business to the shop in one year.

 

I don't know who the sponsorship gatekeeper at Feathered Friends is these days, but when I was making the calls the standard to meet was extremely high. FF was highly selective about handing out pro deals, even more so with freebies. It's an investment whose payoff is hard to measure.

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Yeah, we all know that Colin is an heir to that Brown & Haley Almond Roca fortune. ;)

 

Thanks Mr. Cheese, that is some interesting info.

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I don't have a problem with people getting hooked up with gear its the folks trying to crowdsource for run of the mill trips and expeditions that I think is ridiculous.

 

For ANY trip as the matter of fact. Climbing is just a self serving waste of time. It's not like you are you are curing cancer or feeding hungry. Particularly the climbs for cause make me wanna puke. Basically they are trying to have their vacation financed by public, and pretend they are doing greater good.

 

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Yeah, we all know that Colin is an heir to that Brown & Haley Almond Roca fortune.

 

I would like an Almond Roca sponsor! Will wear Powered by Almond Roca logo on my helmet. Anyone? Anyone?

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I don't have a problem with people getting hooked up with gear its the folks trying to crowdsource for run of the mill trips and expeditions that I think is ridiculous.

 

For ANY trip as the matter of fact. Climbing is just a self serving waste of time. It's not like you are you are curing cancer or feeding hungry. Particularly the climbs for cause make me wanna puke. Basically they are trying to have their vacation financed by public, and pretend they are doing greater good.

 

That's why I am starting a "Not Climbing for a Cure" non-expedition. ALL the money I raise will go towards the cure, and none towards my non-existent expedition's expenses.

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I don't know who the sponsorship gatekeeper at Feathered Friends is these days, but when I was making the calls the standard to meet was extremely high. FF was highly selective about handing out pro deals, even more so with freebies. It's an investment whose payoff is hard to measure.

 

feathered friends is among one of my biggest supporters. I got a free ball cap about 3 years ago... didn't know I was among the elite. ;)

 

 

 

 

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You pay full retail for your gear? Who does that except rich Jerrys lol?? All my crap except maybe some technical gear comes from employee store hookups, or discount and out of season sites like backcountry, evo etc. If you are just walking into REI and handing over cash for full MSRP stuff then that's your own problem.

Edited by Hawksenberg

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I can tell you the answer to that from a local perspective: none.

 

Kind've none. We did shell out a couple of hundred bucks a year for a small ad in the back of Backpacker magazine.

 

We worked with a few other great climbers over the years. Off the top of my head Mikey, Kate, Donini, Hahn, Huey, and a couple of film projects (one is on Netflix now I think).

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My understanding is that they are selling gear direct to climbers for the same price as they do to retail outlets.

 

 

Usually you get pro deals in the 20-30% off wholesale range, so cheaper than cost for retail shops. They are still making money on it though, most of those manufacturers have at least a 50% markup from production cost to wholesale, then of course another 50% markup from wholesale to your MSRP price.

 

 

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When you say "We're doing A for B" you would hope that A and B have some relation.

 

WTF does climbing a mountain have to do with curing Zika or whatever? Pretty much fuck-all.

 

Maybe a little bit if it's a mountain in Brazil called the Babyhead or something I guess.

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My understanding is that they are selling gear direct to climbers for the same price as they do to retail outlets.

 

Usually you get pro deals in the 20-30% off wholesale range, so cheaper than cost for retail shops. They are still making money on it though, most of those manufacturers have at least a 50% markup from production cost to wholesale, then of course another 50% markup from wholesale to your MSRP price.

 

In my experience, most "pro deals" are at wholesale or even 5-10% above. Deals below wholesale are for the truly deserving - sponsored athletes (i.e., they have a contract with the manufacturer) or sponsored organizations (ditto).

 

These expenses are typically budgeted through the marketing department. To argue that you're somehow underwriting someone else's undeserved climbing trip supposes that 1) you have some right to control the marketing strategy of a company and 2) if they didn't advertise through athlete sponsorships, they would give you a discount on their product instead. I don't think it would work that way...

 

I don't mind trips that are linked to raising money for some cause, providing that the funds donated are used 100% for the cause and not for paying for the trip. I recall there was someone locally arranging "benefit climbs" in which the funds raised first went to pay for trip expenses and staffing (like his paycheck) before going to the charity. Such a scam. In comparison, the Climb for Clean Air that RMI, Timberline Mountain Guides, and the American Lung Association have been running for years requires participants to pay the guide service separately from fund raising, and must raise funds to a minimum threshold to participate.

 

Believe me, there is a whole proven marketing stregey regarding the psychology in both getting your product on athletes and "opinion makers", and in using challenging events like races, climbs, and remote expeditions for fund raising. It works. If you don't care for the athletes sponsored by a company or the causes being supported by a climb or event, then you can, of course, simply not purchase from that company or donate to that cause. That's your power as a customer and donor.

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In my experience, most "pro deals" are at wholesale or even 5-10% above. Deals below wholesale are for the truly deserving - sponsored athletes (i.e., they have a contract with the manufacturer) or sponsored organizations (ditto).

 

 

i get 20% off wholesale at all times from patagonia, 10% off wholesale from BD, twice a year BD runs a shop employee special at 20-30% off wholesale, i've even seen companies do %40 off wholesale for limited times.

 

i am not truly deserving, just work in a ski shop.

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