Kick the Amazon Habit
I had a pro athlete recommend that I get a pair of specialized running shoes with a price tag about three times richer than those I normally don.
He gave me the make and model and I immediately went to Amazon to see what Jeff Bezos could do for me. As it turns out, that product, like many high-quality brand products-is price fixed everywhere. Bottom line was that Amazon wasn’t going to save me any money and at the end of the day I was still curious to learn whether not I was going to like them in the first place.
I have learned that Amazon return policies vary from seller to seller & I figured I would find a local store that would allow me to try the shoes on before I made the purchase. I found a super cute little chain of running stores called A Snail‘s Pace.
They did not have the exact make and model that I sought in my size but they were able to fit me with a five-point test to verify that my normal shoe size would work-and to demonstrate the features of the model that they would order for me. To save me time, they offered to ship the product to me for free and I left with lots of neat material including some of their planned activities. An unexpected bonus was a 5% in-store discount.
In every business sector more and more sales are going to Amazon. This means less revenue for local merchants who may have much more to offer to their customers.
My industry is scuba. We train people to dive. We take them on local trips and offer them free guided local dives, air fills, and consultation by highly trained scuba diving instructors who are experts on all brands of scuba gear.
As with my new favorite running store-our in-store prices are the same if not less than Amazon. The reason they can be a little bit less is that pricing guidelines set forth by brand holders can allow for certain discounts over the phone or in person sales. Generally, the pricing rigidity only relates to situations where you’re clicking a button to buy without talking to people. In other words-the Amazon model.
So my advice to you is to visit your local specialty shop and take advantage of the extra support that they can offer you and save a little money on your next purchase by asking for a little discount.
In this way, you make your local merchants stronger and better able to provide services that will bring extra knowledge, training or enjoyment to your endeavor.
So when it comes to your professional sports equipment-please remember to give your local merchant a chance to make you very happy. You will probably end up saving money and having support and service beyond your expectations.