how come aussies pay so much more for wetties???. i've bought my last 3 wetties online from os. .i feel i'm a pretty patriotic person and i like buying aussie made and owned products.but,i've paid at least 1/3 less, up to 1/2 price on all of them.inc delivery. i would happily buy from my local surf shop if they were a little bit more expensive than os, but when your talking a 200$ saving on a winter wetty,nokandui. surely aussie surf shop are better of making smaller profits and selling more of them, than missing out all together. they're not made in the country i purchased them from.they seem to have a better range to.eg different thickness's etc. bit of a moral dillema. anyone got any thoughts on the matter.
I agree with Indo and not only surfing related products. Unfortunately Aussies are being royally fucked in terms or retail especially the duopoly of the supermarkets and the oligopolies of the banks and other retail. These businesses for way too long have been making profits in the BILLIONS and still crying poor.
Food is way too expensive in Australia, poor farmers and primary producers are being reamed, the consumer is being reamed. How is it a litre of milk is cheaper than a can of coke or a bottle of water?
I have a lawyer friend that worked for the ACCC once. She left in disgust at the frustration of having to go after mum and dad businesses while the supermarkets/banks/fuel companies/energy suppliers who are all guilty of price fixing/collusion and any other number of unfair trade practices were left untouched.
Diesel is a classic example- regular unleaded here about 135 a litre, diesel @ 112. Cheaper to refine as it's already a gasoline byproduct. Keeping diesel more expensive doesn't exactly lend itself to higher productivity does it?
I dunno, ranting. I just get frustrated when I come home and notice how much everything has gone through the roof. Especially surf gear. $3 for a bottle of water- you're fucking joking.
that's all true zen. the big end of town royally screws us daily, but as I said earlier, no one haggles at the woolies check out, or the BP servo.
by the same token, we are a culture that pisses a lot of money up against the wall and doesn't argue the toss.
a schooee is 4.20-5.50 these days, a slab 40-50 bucks .
plenty drive V8s, when a 4 cyl will get ya there.
so get scungy and save 2 bucks on wax, or 8 bucks on a leggie ?
nah, support your local commercial community if you can.
(disclaimer: I am not a retailer)
Aussies are not being screwed on prices, I hate all this discussion from people who dont understand true operating costs. Wetsuits are made and get shipped to Aus. Australia has high import taxes, shipping is not cheap to australia. Then the wetsuits land and someone has to distribute them and pay for warehousing of the wetsuits. Then the distributor has overheads and has to make a buck. Who then sells it onto the retail shop who has to make a buck and has overheads. It sickens me to hear people who brag about going into their local shop and try it on and use the customer service to go online and buy it off of someone online. Then people go online and say how Aussies get screwed with wetsuit prices and they have gone online and bought it off of someone who has no overheads. It is absolute crap. Then when their wetsuit breaks they will have the audacity to go into the local shop and get a warranty out of them and complain if they have to pay shipping and handling. I have done the retail and distribution side and I know what goes on. What will happen is everyone is going to buy online then your local shop wont be there to try on that wettie or get a shops opinion. Thats my rant. Done.
Sorry Dave, but I disagree. I believe Aussies are being screwed on wetsuit prices. In your second sentence, you mentioned high import taxes. That's one factor. In this age of so called FTA's etc, would you not agree that amounts to protectionism on the part of the government and gouging on the part of the retailer?
Second, are you saying that other countries don't have issues with warehouusing, distribution and logistics? If wetsuits are manufactured in Thailand, China etc, wouldn't shipping to Europe or the US be much higher due to greater distance?
Don't worry, I empathise with the local bloke trying to eke out a living selling wax, leggies, t-shirts etc and I support my local bloke here to the best of my ability. It's just the big psuedo stores like City Beach and their brethren that have driven these small blokes to the wall, jacked up their prices when the competition was eliminated and are now screaming blue murder when people are smart enough to get a better deal elsewhere.
PS I do agree that trying on a wettie in a shop then ordering online is scummy. That I would never do. Also, I agree with Sid, saving a couple of bucks on wax or a leggie that's pretty cheap. But a $300+ saving on a steamer? That's a weeks groceries to an average family.
I guess I have just seen both isdes of the story and it really eeks me. I'm not 100% against online buying, people just go off the rails with ridiculous claims without having a clue. Shipping to the states is cheap, labour is cheap, warehousing is cheap. The US is cheap why do you think they are in the situation they are in right now. All I know is in 10 years the local shops will be gone and then everyone will whinge about that when they could have done something about it. In the Us right now there is a big trend to buy "Made in the USA" but it is impossible because they screwed there local manufacturing sector by going offshore years ago. Support your local people, if you dont in 10 years you wont have anywhere to look and feel the wetsuit, see if its what you want, see if it fits, get a second opinion from someone who has sold 50 of them.
looks like Darrell Lea, the confectioner, is the latest Aussie Co. to hit the wall.
people are so clueless as to the cost of running business .
Maybe if they didn't have to pay them $20+ an hour for packing boxes they may have stood a chance?
Sad. Another great aussie business nailed to the wall.
Here is a way you can get cheap wax and support your local surf shop, walk in and ask for a box work out a bulk deal and they can get a box in specially for you and you both win. I just bought a box of Mrs Palmers, not saying what the price is but the savings are well worth it, I get a box every few years.
Zen , $20 an hour is probably a casual rate for packing, I doubt very much that the people packing boxes at darrell-lea were on that rate, I would expect they are working a 40hr week on a minimum wage which is more like $12 or $13 an hour.
We are getting screwed by the surf industry i know for a fact coffin type board covers are available to people IN the industry at half the retail price and the company in still making good money on these things, boards same deal, wetties same deal and just go to any factory outlet on clothes and its the same with all of that shit too.
Unless you are part of the CHOSEN ONES in the industry you are just one of the poor plebs who pay full blown retail to support those smug bastards who live the life getting paid to surf while you work 9-5 and get forced to surf on weekends with the rest of the poor dumb cash cows.
By the way its not just the surf industry who are doing this to us i watched an interview on the ABC with some flash world renowned economist who said multi national companies are always looking around the globe for where economies are strong and they invest in these places to maximise their profits. Makes sense doesnt it. and sure we are only a small market but if we pay 200% more for wettties and board covers that small aussie market is still a pretty good little earner.
So get online and get cheap stuff because while our great aussie surf brands sent there clothing manufacturing jobs offshore to reduce their overheads i must have missed the reduction in the price of a pair of boardies or the cheap wetties.
They did that to make more money to buy houses that overlook prime surf locations so why shouldnt we save a buck when we can.
crustt, a mate of mine's daughter fresh out of high school packing boxes for a choc company. $19.65/hour.
farrah, have you ever run a retail shop? Are you aware of the overheads in doing so?
Stu commented in another article:
"This week the Surfection store at Manly, the flagship store in the chain, went up for sale and it looks like they may be moving elsewhere.
Just got off the honker with a real estate agent who reckons the bottom floor alone will draw $500,000 in rent per annum. $800,000 for the full three floors that Surfection were using."
So, half a million dollars per year just to rent floor space. That's before you turn on the electricity, pay staff, buy stock, advertise to the public, and god forbid actually make a profit.
Remember, surf shops are not public services funded by the government - they are small businesses. And all businesses need to make a profit in order to stay alive.
Market forces too though Ben. I think consumers have a right to buy an equivalent product at a cheaper price elsewhere.
When I was growing up, my local surf shop didn't occupy 3 levels of prime beachfront real estate in one of the priciest and densely packed strips in Australia.
His prices were fair, he used to chuck in stickers and free wax, stuff that you now pay a bundle for. He's long gone now though. Couldn't compete with the likes of Surfection/City Beach et al.
I wonder how many free stickers Surfection ever gave out?
Sure - market forces are a massive player (Surfection is owned by Billabong).
And I don't disagree with the consumer's choice to buy equivalent products elsewhere if it's cheaper (I buy stuff from OS too, although admittedly not surf stuff).
However there seems to be a notion out there that consumers should be paying a "little bit more" than wholesale for their surf products. It's just not a sustainable model, at least from a local surf shop point of view.
As for farrah's mention about 'people in the surf industry getting things cheap', well it's not totally unheard of in other industries too.
By way of example, I spent a lot of time in the music industry, so as a result I usually got free entry to gigs, CDs, t-shirts, cheaper music equipment, etc etc. There's always a justification for it (ie reciprocity) however IMO it's really not the best illustration for the issue at hand with surf products.
$99 thats worth it . I have been getting wetties online for last 3 years but 99 bucks from Queenscliff, i might have to start thinking about that .
ahhhh Zen, gone are the days when you got free wetties for being a good beer drinker.
Surfection was not always owned by Billabong and used to be more like a local store. They didnt always have a "flagship" in Manly either. Started out as 1 store, then another etc.
Billabong by trying to be the biggest player in town and owning everything and squeezing out the little guys have brought this upon themselves. No sympathy (to the directors)
Its a tough market at the moment and to survive, you probably need to have savings, not be paying off some huge debt that you have acquired for expansion re: Europe.
This is capitalism and the market at work.
maybe before 2008 there were too many retail stores, maybe they should have put something away for the tough times. maybe I'm starting to sound like my grandfather
tlc if we all had listened to our grandparents a little more the world probably wouldn't be in half the trouble it finds itself now.
Yep sid, miss those days too and am still a good beer drinker (maintaining a strict training regimen).
thermalben i dont doubt that small local surf shops are being screwed in this current setup because of the running costs involved. But if you are calling surfection a small local surf shop then thats madness.
I remember the surfection store in Manly when hordes of japanese tourists/students were all over the corso loaded up with money. Everyone knew that if you drove to the store at Mona Vale you would pay less and if you waited for the car park sales you would pay even less again.
We are now the Japanese tourists/students. The AU is 1.03US. The difference is now with online retail we can go the US and buy cheap gear, from our lounge, just like they did went they went into that surfection store and got screwed and we all laughed at them when they padded out in their brand new wetties on brand new al merricks.
The Many Surfection store was a money trap for people we saw as kooks who were getting ripped off. However it was when Slater had only just arrived on the scene and surfing wasn't a mainstream "sport"
Fast forward and Slater has won more than ten world titles and surfing is a huge global industry and now all of these stores are money traps and we are the kooks getting screwed and the small mum and dad surf store are just as much victims as the rest of us.
They way i read this thread is that real surfers and by that I mean people who care about how warm they are in June not how hot they look in January are waking up to the fact that we are getting screwed and to those people who think the banks, the supermarkets, the mega hardware stores are screwing us as well... I agree.
Mega surf stores like surfection will disappear and the cute little blonde chick who has probably never riden a surfboard will have to find another chain store to work in.
But i think small surf shops that offer real discounts when they can, fix dings, has a leggie when you need one and has a real relationship with the local surfing community will survive.
Would our culture be reduced if "Flagship" surfstores and "surfshops" in every major shopping complex from the Pacific to Perth disappeared tomorrow?
I wonder how those small surf shops would fare then?
OK, Surfection was a bad example. I was just showing an extreme case of the kinds of overheads businesses have to accomodate to operate. But high rent prices are no different for any of the other retail stores along the Corso - check the real estate websites for examples.
Here's a more relevant, and recent example: Cutloose. An iconic South Oz surfboard brand and surfshop; a long standing 'core' store that sponsored many of the state's best surfers and supported all levels of surfing events for decades. Their factory/shop was based in the industrial area of Lonsdale - a far cry from the glamorous high rent retail hubs in Adelaide - and it was staffed by a team of local rippers and respected shapers.
Cutloose were definitely one of those stores who (as you put it farrah) "offered real discounts, fix dings, has a leggie when you need one and has a real relationship with the local surfing community".
Cutloose went under a few weeks ago. I'm not aware of the specific reasons why however my point here is that they were the antithesis of the Surfection model.
I think it is a bit sad the way you think. Pretty much all of retail is marked up 100% how do you think they make money, pay rent, wages, insurance, and then maybe even make a little profit. People deserve to make a good living, they take the risk, they reap the reward and when they go down no one cares. If retail makes less than 100% nothing ever goes on sale and no one feels like they are getting a deal. Support your shop and if you want good deals work at the shop and make way less money than if you were to work somewhere else. Working in shops you do get good deals and even at that you can hardly afford the stuff. Cutloose was a sad thing, everyone in there were super helpful and nice. You need the service of the shops, you need to look at the product in the flesh, try it on, ask opinions and you need somewhere to talk shit. Its just not the same on here.
Hey Dave, please don't think I'm singling you out and I respect your argument, but a couple of points.
I don't live in Oz anymore and I havn't for the better part of the last decade so when I return home, the changes seem to be magnified especially in terms of goods and services. I hardly recognise my hometown of the Goldy now but that's beside the point.
On a trip back a few years ago I thought I'd take advantage of the strong yen and stock up on a few things. Rocked up to a so called 'surf shop' at Pacific Fair to buy a double board bag. Didn't stock them. Ok, need a spring suit to surf in for a couple of weeks- didn't sell wetties. Ok, couple of blocks of wax, don't stock wax. Reminds me of the Monty Python cheese shop skit. I asked the chick- 'this is a surf shop isn't it?' 'Oh yes' she replied, biggest in Broadbeach. Anyway, hoofed it down to Nev and got what I wanted. Would I lament the closing of that place? No way. I'm not sure but I think Nev has gone now?
Second, just last September, flew into Brissie and was taken to the Outlet place there close to airport. Because my brand concious Japanese wife has a thing for surfgear that has Australia printed on it (god love those Japs 'eh) we went to BB/RC/Quik. What a fucking hoax. Their so called discount stuff was more expensive than I can get it brand new here in supposedly one of the most expensive countries on earth. Last season Rip-curl snowboarding jackets and pants, at least 20% dearer than new season Burton here.
Shocking service, I will never forget the look the kook shot us in the Quik shop. I suppose we didn't fit his mould of cool. I wonder if his surfing actually matched his bravado? Not to mention the surly bitch behind the till in the Billabong place (yes we did buy some stuff- reluctantly).
It is sad that places like Cutloose go under, that is a fact. But I shed no tears to hear that one of the places I speak of above goes to the wall. They are not mum and dad businesses, they are institution backed exploiters of our wonderful pastime and the sooner they go the better.
I couldn't talk surf with cockhead mentioned above anyway, he was too busy glancing at himself in theã€€mirror making sure his baseballl cap was just right.
I should have mentioned, that these are the places that have killed the local surf shop. Where the owner was revered by us groms, when we were very respectful and as we got older showed him our loyalty and he in turn showed it to us. I went to the one place for 15 years. He is long gone now. Pushed out by a developer screwing him on rent. I won't mention his name because it doesn't matter, he is one of many.
These places have ripped off us surfers for ages now and with new technology, surfers are better informed and are turning against these retailers. Quite simply because they've been taking the piss and people have wised up to them.
Your little mate with the baseball cap positioned just right sounds like a typical know-it-all teenager. Employ a teenager while they still know everything.
I really think Australia has shot itself in the foot in a way and we are all at fault because we want too much, we all want higher wages but all it does is fuel price rises on everything from real estate to food to electricity and we end up earning more but having to pay more so its kind of pointless, it has also caused Australia not to be a viable place to manufacture most things and its also beginning to effect it not being a viable place to sell some things.
G'day Rushy,ã€€I was one of those teenagers too.
Hows the rescuing cats up trees business? With this current economic climate, I'd imagine there's a few 'insurance jobbies' around for you fellows eh?
My point Davemchenry is that we are getting screwed by everyone.
Surfing is a way of life, a culture with its own languague, music, art, films, sacred sites, revered magical artifacts,it is for young and old, men and women.
But in the last 15- 20 years it has been commodified and our culture was sold to to globe and the globe liked it.
Why wouldn't they? We all know those magic carpet rides are truly fantastic. We get up before dawn, enter freezing, shark infested water, we search for waves which have the potential to kill us and the bigger the potential the bigger the thrill.
But once our culture became a massively popular global industry buisiness people saw an opportunity to make money and after that you dont have to have a masters degree in economics to figure it out.
Businesses follow the principle that if they are moving wetties at $200 then they see what happens if we they sell them at $300 oh surprise suprise they still sell.
OK what happens if we say weve put some flash new technology into these wetties, we put some footage together of tour surfer in the suit, move our manufacturing offshore and mark them up to $700 they still sell.
These people are buisiness men they are intersted in making money they are not concerned with overcrowding, they dont give a shit that 2/3 of the people you fight for waves with every weekend or afterwork wont be surfing regularly in 5 years or 10 they just care that they are replaced with more wankers who buy all the gear and have no idea.
I dont doubt the place in SA was what you say it was and yeah i think alot of good people will go out of buisines along with the greedy pricks who are only in it to see how much money they can sqeeze out of us.
But what I'm saying is there will always be surf shops while ever there are surfers, and will they look like they do now? I fucking hope not.
Yeah Zen, still getting cats outta trees. Never seen a cat skeleton up a tree though - they always come down sometime, even without our help.
Tax time is a busy fire time too - Jewish stocktakes, as they call them (is that racist? - sorry, didn't mean it to be).
The State Govt has declared war on the public sector here, firies included. They wanna cut $70mil off our salary budget by closing stations down. Nice. Hope my house don't burn down while the local station is closed. I'll sue the bas*#rds!
Any good firie jobs going in Nippon? I heard the surf's good there ;)
Actually Rushy, believe it or not, I do surf with a couple of local firies here. From what I can gather, the basic salary is about 250 000 yen a month, or about $3000 a month for a four day week. I'm up in the country and they seem to be out and about quite a bit. My business is just down the road from our main fire station (Shobosho). Sirens go off several times a day. I think there's a lot of cats in my area.
I think with the quake and the Tsunami here they saw some pretty awful stuff. They don't talk about it and we don't ask.
Yes there are great waves here, but it snows on the beach here in winter, hence my interest in this forum and the fact that I'm averse to dropping $700 on a 5 mil.
I totally see your point, I guess it is not cut and dry. I may be a little naive in thinking that people are out there for the general good. I am probably wrong. I have worked in shops(ski/snowboard/bike)and I guess I get my back up a bit when the whole online shopping topic comes up. I have dealt with it from the retail side and to see the way people are is shocking. I know what you mean about the fake surf shops but one would hope you could distinguish between the lifestyle surf shop and the core shops out there.
Most of the mall surf shops don't even stock surfboards and have about 6 wetties gathering dust in an inaccessible corner,they make all their money from chicks clothing,funny how the surf can be pumping and not a surfer girl to be seen,yet these shops are packed with young blonde things who think having a pink board propped against their bedroom wall makes them a cool surfie chick.You hear comments like "surfing is easy I got up first time." and " Ive only been surfing 2 months and I'm already doing cutbacks and hacks." Yeah right, in your dreams love.Lately Ive heard a few young crew say that surfing isn't cool anymore,bring it on this is the best news Ive heard in ages.When the big surf brands like BB RC and QS first came out they were superior Quality with new innovative fabrics and textures and lasted for years,now they are the same skunjy thin Chinese crap as Big W only 10 times the price.I wont wear surf brands anymore ,you just look like a try hard wannabe sheep,its like Golden Breed all over again.Surfing is so cool its uncool.(a bit like the opposite of Tom Jones or the Hoff) Sad news about Cutloose though, they were an authentic surf shop.Ive never bought a wettie on line but it sure is getting tempting.Shit i'm turning into a grumpy old bastard.Cheers.
Looks like you can teach an old dog new tricks.
Old dog old fella, the reason that we are turning to online shopping is because there are hardly any core shops around anymore that give you a range to choose from and sold at a fair price as you would know. Not in any major population centres that's for sure.
I agree, all the brand fashion is rubbish but they still make excellent suits and when you surf in seriously cold water as I do, dropping a weeks wages on a wettie is a hard pill to swallow sometimes. As I mentioned previously, a $300+ saving on a wetsuit is a weeks groceries to an average family.
I totally agree with you, as soon as surfing stops being cool, the better.
@zenagain, yeah fair enough if your living in Japland but here in little old Radelaide there is still a few grass roots shops like Mid-coast or Southport that must be struggling to stay afloat with this disturbing trend and once they're gone that's it.Having said that if its $300 cheaper online where do I sign up.It's a dog eat dog world out there.
Where i live there is still only proper surf shops, they are all stocked with boards and wetsuits and off course all the fashion stuff, but i don't think there struggling they are very established shops one has even been around since the late 60's the others 70's and 80's they all own there own shops and some have more than one shop, all the owners are getting on sitting pretty, houses a stones throw from best surf spots locally and even places like J bay and live lifestyles to envy.
Many other surf shops have come and gone over the years but they can't compete as have to pay rent and the established shops have a loyal customer base.
I buy stuff from them when needed and some of the owners and employees i consider friends, but at the end of the day when i need a new wetty and i find the same wetsuit online at half the price or less its a no brainer.
its pretty basic if you support a local indie shop,and yes ones that provide the servcies you would expect from real surf shops dings/boards/hardware your loyalty will pay off. coming from this side off the fence running a small shop and manufacturing boards we have lost so many aspects of our market from the mum and dads buying thier kids first board lost to ebay and online sales to the guys getting back into it after years absense ya cant make a product at 1st quality at cost for what their selling on line as for wetties no small retailer is going to order 10 or 20 grands worth of suits to have sit on a rack now days for shoppers to use as fitting station to go home and buy online. the old saying works you scratch my back and ill scratch yours works if small shops go by the wayside how long before the online prices start creaping sky ward if there is no real competition left and i would love to make 100% mark up but the reality is about 30% at the end of the day after everthing.had a customer once said he had been surfing to long to pay full price tried this with the local mower guy said id been mowing my lawns for twenty years asked if he could do me adeal pissed himself laughing and told me to get fucked so i guess i;ll jump in my ferrari and drive to my unit on the beach at byron.
One could take the well worn cynical populist position of Lil' Tony and blame it all on the Carbon ETS but that would invite deadshits like nick3 out from under his slimy climtae change denying rock .......
Mega surf shops. A business model doomed to fail especially when located in shopping malls with massive monthly rents. The retail / shopping centre property market is well over cooked just like the domestic housing market. Properties are over valued and their owners are demanding high rents to keep the circling banks at bay. I am reliably told a many 1000s of retailers are asking for rent relief because they are not making costs. When it goes belly up, as it will, all those super funds out there that have invested in property trusts will pass on their losses to us punters.
Real surf shops will survive if they are true to the community in which they sit and offer good products at a reasonable price. This is what retailers in strip shopping districts did to survive when these mega centres came along. Nothing beats a quality product at a reasonable price and excellent customer service. Excellent customer service doesn't mean being served by some 16 year old semi literate who only got the job because his/her dad or uncle owns the business. As for my local real surf shop, its owner routinely snakes and drops in out in the surf so fuck him and I'll continue to shop on-line when I can.
This thread has gone a bit strange....is it really such a big deal if our local surf shops close down? is a surf shop that doesn't sell boards and wettys or wax that bad?
Hell no...I have no interest in them but my local so called old school surf shops kind of suck really, sure there handy, but as mentioned there wettys are to expensive to buy and a few even have surf schools that only crowd up the line up in the long run, and all those boards and wettys end up in the water at some stage, its a selfish attitude but I've never met a surfer that wanted more crowds, but all surf shop owners want to sell as many boards and wettys as possible which equal crowds.
Id be happy to go to a bit of extra effort to buy boards, wax, legropes as for fixing dings i fix my own anyway.
As for online prices creeping up...whats the worse that can happen prices online from OS double and we end up paying the same price as retail here? at least we wouldn't feel ripped off, same product same price, makes sense...isn't that what this thread is about the fact that for some reason we are paying much more than OS prices, ironically many of these companies are so called Australian that moved production offshore to keep cost down and then we end up paying more than many places like US and Europe....so we kind of get screwed twice, lose jobs locally then pay more...Kinda weird??? yes
I have the solution!!! Maybe stop surfing?? Save yourself money on all this overpriced surf gear & save time by not having to whinge about it.
No thanks not very good solution, i enjoy surfing to much.
Ill just be smart and get the best price i can,
BTW. its not just about the money its about the whole issue that we are getting screwed, take Rip Curl, for example started in OZ once made in OZ, Aussie surfers made them successful by buying there wettys etc, they take production offshore to cut cost and increase profits at the expense of local jobs, and now they not only charge us a few hundred dollars more than both the US and UK, but they also try to stop us from buying from OS.
Dont you think that is kind of weird?
Were not asking for a better price, just a similar price, isn't that fair?
BTW. I think Dexter surf are the smart ones, there prices are the best ive seen in Australia almost as cheap as non sale wettys from OS, Im real tempted to buy from them next time just to support what there doing, which is not screwing us over as bad as the others.
I have nothing to do with them but urge others if your going to buy from Australia buy from them, like them on Facebook, make them a success and send a message to the others.
Dexter surf's prices aren't that great. Fair enough the superseded models are cheap, but the new flash bombs are not much cheaper than retail. And I'm sure if you were a loyal customer to your local surf shop they would hook you up at the same price plus it will come with legit rip curl warranty. Dexter's is on its last legs, his suppliers are drying up and prices will wettys come down in australia and prices will go up overseas so it will balance out. Hoooraahhh.
As an ex sales rep at one of the big three I can provide some insight here.
Australian retailers pay alot more to do business than their overseas counterparts. Staff wages, business taxes, bills for amenities, etc are all far higher than in the US or Europe. As a result rrps on products are generally higher. For example, US guy gets 12$ an hour in retail, Aussie guy gets 22$. Cup of coffee is $2 there, $4 here.
Retailers in all countries indent their wetsuit stock for a particular season. O'neill and Xcel deliver first into the northern hemisphere - ie. new drylock suit is in America for 6 months before Australia. Ripcurl, Quik, Billabong and smaller Aus brands deliver to southern hemi first. So south Africa, Australia, etc see the new suits first from these guys.
This wasn't always the case though! Until about 6mths ago billabong and RC delivered north first as these were the biggest markets. Generally an overseas online retailer is selling product at the end of their winter or summer season. The suits were 6mths old on their racks, but only just being delivered into Australian stores. Hence the radically cheaper pricing. Now, australian stores receive most suits first in the world. The flashbomb you had delivered to your door was a first generation suit and the last time rupcurls latest and greatest was available o/s first. Now Australian retailers have the upper hand. Further to that, o/s rrps are being increased and local rrps decreased by about $50 each suit. An example - rrp of billabong's price point foil in Aus is now $299 for 4:3 (was 329) and is now $239 (was $189) in the USA.
I would encourage those purchasing online to once again venture inspire and explore their options. Aside from supporting the industry with sales (in turn allowing for sponsored events that you watch free online, sponsored riders who you adore) you are supporting Australian jobs also!
Suits which may have had $200 price increases here now only have $100, and are dated online. Add 30-50$ freight to that and no warranty, after sales service or customer service / expert fitting and it's clear who is losing. The local industry has done the right thing to get shoppers back instore and into the best suits again. Keep in mind that almost every store in Australia will have last year's styles at 30-50% off- why buy that same product online?
Finally, as someone previously commented - it is illegal for the o/s retailers to sell their product into another country. The product you are buying is considered black\grey market by the accc. Those accounts are spinning a dream to prospective consumers about a product that in reality they ate trying to dump as its dated and no good. Now that the same product will have been available here for a year before that you are likely to be better off grabbing it from your local store.
I've since moved back to the carpentry trade I once started. It gave me some perspective- imagine if the job you worked was no longer safe because an international mob had approached your boss and offered to work for half the price. They offered no guarantee, inferior workmanship/materials and poor service. You offered to drop your rate to be more competitive and still provide new skills, materials and service. If he took those workers on and you got the flick you'd think he was an idiot for getting an inferior product, at a similar price... And call him a traitor!
The companies you are turning your back on are like local tradesmen in most cases - independent retailers who are trying to be competitive. Now you will be the suckers if you keep buying suits online. Once it was the best kept secret in the industry, now a trap for largely foolish consumers! Goodluck!
You make some interesting points but I'll just share some of what i have noticed recently.
Yes - some brands do deliver the latest version / model of their suits to the Southern Hemi first. Some definitely do not. You can view some current wetsuit collections on Brand sites, that have next seasons 4/3, 5/3 etc wetsuits (suits that have yet to be seen here) on sale in the Northern hemi right now.
Sure, some suits have been on the rack in the Northern Hemi for maybe 6 months or much longer in some cases. But people are not just saving $50, or $100 or even $150. I have seen up between $300 & $350++ savings with regularity. Makes you not worry so much about whether you have a warranty or if the suit is the latest, latest when you are saving $$ of that amount.
Paid delivery fees? Many sites don't charge them.
Not sure at all about the ACCC and it being illegal for online retailers to sell to Aus. In fact, I am aware of correspondence re this issue (wetsuits specifically)that mentions contracting of retailers to stop sending product overseas may be at issue with free trade agreements. If it is illegal to send wetsuits or other surf gear to Aus, then what about clothing in general? Books? Electronic gear? Hmmmm......
My understanding is some brands contracted retailers in such a way as to stop them sending wetsuits to Aus, rather than it being 'illegal' for them to do so.
The playing field is again changing sure. Local retailers are dropping prices, i guess as you state, due to wholesale prices decreasing giving them the option to try to retain some market share. Local sales are at prices I don't remember seeing - ever. Is it sustainable for local retailers long term? Guess we will find out.
As with anything, it's buyer beware. Plenty of good service to be found from online retailers though. Plenty of product knowledge and communication etc from the right store be they bricks and mortar or interweb.
It appears to have been one small part of a shake-up of sorts for the industry. Economically, I guess we don't play just in our own pond these days, something local reatilers and all of us will need to come to terms with.
Current exchange rates and taxation rules are adding heat to this also. Some online sites can ship less tax, dropping prices even further. Once you add the strength of the Aus dollar -it gets pretty interesting.
Yes, it's no longer an industry 'secret' as you put it, but for the discerning it's yet to become a trap.
When an Aus retailer is being provided the same product for a wholesale price more than the retail price of that product in another country, something might be amiss.
Sure rent, staff costs etc are higher here but they are hamstrung before they even get off the ground. As others have pointed out already - the suits are all made in the same factory then shipped worldwide. Taxes are applied sure, but taxes alone were not to blame for the significant disparity in wholesale prices. It's great rrp (and I guess this means the wholesale price maybe also) are reaching some parity. Give you the tip, $50 here, $100 there won't be enough to change the online habit for many.
Wow a few really good well thought out post, with lots of good points for either side of the argument.
If it is true that the price gap between OS online and Aussie is getting smaller well that is a good thing and if you have bought a wetty online from OS in the past, then you have played a part in narrowing this gap.
Although i can't say ive noticed it where i live, prices still seem the same and sales are always only ever 30% i check them out but always seem to be XL or XS and if I find my size a rare M its often not what im after.
Online, prices are always all over the place on 3/2 ive found maybe the gap is closing but then again its about seasons and sales, on a good 4/3 or 3/5 there is definitely still some big savings to be made.
Personally if its this years wetty or last years im not to phased, i think the technology has reached a point where there is little differences.
When I actually started buying online (about 8 years ago) I initially searched Australian sites as I thought the strength of the yen against the AUD would give me extra bang for my buck so to speak in addition to supporting Australian business. However, I still found that buying online from Oz was way more expensive compared to the US or the UK, and shipping costs from Oz is much more expensive than Europe/North America even though the distance is shorter.
I don't care too much about where this years logo is placed and I go through way too many wetties to be concerned with a warranty. If I do need a repair, I send it away with my local bloke here and get it back within a week. Any cost of the repair is well and truly covered in what I have saved not buying from Australia.
If the prices of suits come within a range of what our brothers around the world are paying, then I'll start buyying from Australia again. Simple as that.
Very well said sale-rep. If only cars in the US were right hand drive!! The new FJ cruiser is $27k there and $50K in asustralia!!
Funnily enough, I had an experience a couple of days after my previous post. We were down the coast and I needed new booties. Went into a shop I have no relationship with and asked for their best style. The guy showed me some options, gave great advice and dropped them 10% straight up. Saved me a 6 pack straight away on XCEL's drylock boot. Stoked.
I asked him hypothetically what sort of discounts they've been offering to deter online customers. He said "like most shops in Australia they don't advertise the cost. If a customer asks however they will match virtually any price."
He didn't become irate, nor aggressive, and mentioned that they were happy to make a small margin, rather than none at all.
He laughed as he recalled a couple of horror stories regarding online shoppers, and said if a customer is making a "$300+ saving" online, they have a few issues...
1. They are obviously not a loyal instore customer to a bricks and mortar shop in Australia.
2. They are definitely buying old styles.
3. They don't care for an industry that supports them. The surf industry is going to great lengths to provide a service for you. If you can't squeeze a $100+ saving with a bit of nous out of a shop I'd suggest you aren't much of a person. People are happy to help you out - just ask and explain the situation.
Just thought I'd pass on the feedback -
Again, I encourage consumers to go instore. I fear for a retail industry I was once a part of, and an industry that generates so much entertainment for a sport we all love.
You wanna betray that? Nice one guys.
Fair enough Sales-Rep. Interesting to note that you straight up saved a "6 pack" on a pair of O/S owned Excel boots (why didn't you buy Rip Curl instead of going for style?). So it's all relative really. A saving of $250 bucks is huge to me and when you say that you should just ask and that maybe people are happy to help you out - just explain the situation..Really?
Why bother trying to squeeze out a hundred bucks when you can do it without begging? As Zen and Indo mentioned, last seasons stock doesn't really matter. Kong once said "Rubber is Rubber and money is money".
We live in a commercial world where competition is fierce. And in that global commercial world, I reckon I've been betrayed all of my life.
As a consumer, I choose the best price for equal quality.
It's been good to read your posts regarding this topic. I'm not loaded with cash and it is probably people like me who simply just love surfing who the industry need to recapture. Somewhere along the line...they lost me and many others like me.
Some interesting discussion on this topic,
My own recent experience finds me with a new $550 rrp, only just released in Aus wetsuit, for $230 AUD shipped internationally and delivered to my door.
I donâ€™t believe, given my own experiences; online customers are just buying old seasons wetsuits and making savings. Sometimes yes, but just as many times no.
I do believe in spreading around $$ spend, some goes to local surf stores, some goes to interstate providers of surf gear goodness and some goes overseas to online retailers.
And I donâ€™t believe that the surf industry, in total, is going to lengths to provide a service for me or others. Business is, well, business after all. Itâ€™s almost a chicken and egg discussion, without surfers to start with there would not be an industryâ€¦.
I donâ€™t think its doom and gloom for the surf industry.
I do think retail as a whole is changing, due to many environmental factors. In the case of the surf industry as long as there are people who want to surf there will be a local surf industry. It may or may not look like it does now, but change seems to me to be how this globe rollsâ€¦.
Iâ€™d also disagree that inability to receive a discount on a wetsuit, surfboard or other retail item says anything about the type of person someone is or is not. Some retailers, online, locally or interstate are able to discount â€“ others do not due to policy or whatever reason, often the relationship an individual has with a retailer may influence the outcome or % discount, other times not so much.
The retail industry as a whole is experiencing solid change.
For example, look at the way music retailing has changed over the last few years and continues to change. New technology take up, a change in consumer attitudes and action and other factors appear to have had a lot to do with it.
You tend to notice that people are not in the surf discussing how much they saved on fins, booties, deck grip, leggies etc. etc. but wetsuits have been a constant discussion point for a few years now.
Wetsuits seem to be a bit of a red flag re surf retail. They appear to have been the one item, or the most obvious item, where the price disparity was so large that consumers kinda went â€˜ hang onâ€™ somethingâ€™s not quite right hereâ€¦
Itâ€™s far from betrayal,its economics,its consumer choice,its change.
Australians pay more for everything from A to Z.Anyone defending the Australian retail prices is part of the collusion as far as I'm concerned.