|If you are involved in the snowboarding, surfing, and skateboarding industries; you know that the market leaders are very much against having their products sold online. People are shocked when I inform them of this fact and they quickly ask - WHY? - Well, the reason is that for years most people buy their boards from retail outlets. They have the retail sales person help them make their board selection. Some of these same medium-big companies have allowed a select few mail order catalogs to sell the current years product. The big dogs are holding tight to their retail sales base. Check out the chart at the bottom of the e-commerce article I did back in march to see what their official policies were at the time. The Internet has come a long way since then but these companies have not changed their policies as of the ASR San Diego trade show. BOARDZ.COM has an online mall where you can click through to various e-tailers. Have a look - behold you can find some of this years products that the manufacturers said they would not allow to be sold there.||
These Reef girls have nothing to do this article, but they are more fun to look at than an e-tailers logos. Plus I do not want to piss anybody off!
I asked a local sales rep about this. He said that these e-tailers are doing this illegally and that company lawyers are taking action to stop it. The current no e-tail situation is pretty silly in the light of the growth of the Internet. How did these e-tailers get the product to sell? Maybe through grey marketing, but mostly it seems they are going out to local retail outlets and buying products as the orders come in. They are losing a little money each time they do this. It seems this is a tactic to try and change the policy of the market leaders (like Burton and Oneills). They are probably tying to say to these leaders - Hey, Blank and Blank let us sell their boards. How about letting us sell your product-. Once the big dogs open up to e-tailing most all the rest of the industry will be forced too. Who knows if these e-tailers will succeed at this tactic or end up in court? Or both! To me it seems obvious that you will be able to buy the big brand names of boards, apparel, and wetsuits someday. It is just a matter of time.
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