Does eBay hurt our friendly neighborhood flyshops? - Fly Fishing Forum
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  #1  
Old 01-22-2005, 09:52 AM
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juro juro is offline
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Does eBay hurt our friendly neighborhood flyshops?

I am concerned about the number of 'newbie' questions we hear on this and other boards lately, although in one sense it's good to hear more folks are getting into flyfishing. It also means people are getting into it without the critical relationship with others who have dedicated much of their life to the sport and can offer great advice and assistance - the fly shop pro.

It's great to find something cheap from another angler, a swap meet or garage sale mentality, but when it becomes a replacement for supporting those who have really given us a lot of wisdom through our angling pursuits I start to wonder if we are doing a great disservice. The guys at shops I've known have been the difference between success and aimless pursuit. Over time, I have been able to give advice and pass the torch.

eBay and even the big catalog corporations undermine the whole concept of the precious resource we have called the 'flyshop'.

When I pull into a town, finding a flyshop is like finding a goldmine. Even when I am not there to fish, I find a lot of joy in stopping in and talking about the fishing. But when I am in town to fish, the shop is a crucial part of the experience and also important to my success. A spool of tippet, a locally time-tested fly, or a hint to an outsider on where the big fish live.

I for one would forfeit any percentage of savings for online purchase to uphold the great institution of the fly shop. I hope eBay doesn't force my favorite flyshops around the world to struggle, and I will make purchases at the fly show this weekend, next weekend and through the season to support the shops.
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  #2  
Old 01-22-2005, 01:13 PM
Eddie Eddie is offline
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ebay hurts and helps flyshops

it helps shops unload gear they can't sell by anonimously selling gear below msrp. it helps by expanding their markets and unloading the cheap stuff insomeone elses region.
I think that it hurts by encouraging people (especially new folks) to overlook value in the search for the lowest price. I think it hurts because, ultimately, the bigger shops can survive selling below msrp on ebay, but the little shops will die off (low volume and little proffit). I predict that we are in the golden years right now in flyfishing gear. When the proffits are good (enough), small companies thrive and make great stuff. Big companies can make good stuff at great prices, and everyone wants to "grow the sport" and provide good service. Most people don't have to drive more than forty minutes to have acsess to two good shops.
This won't last forever. The lock on msrp will eventually crack, and offshore knock off rods made imported for 17 dollars will take away all incentives. I suspect that it won't be long untill only cities and destinations will have shops, and everyone else will have to shop Cabelas (Beans, Orvis etc.) and ebay. Tackle shops will have a few rods and reels, but will take little intrest in fly gear. That will be a sad day. doooom and glooom.
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Old 01-22-2005, 08:42 PM
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Good points guys

I buy on E Bay when I find a collectible, an item that is no longer available (out of production) or, for instance, bulk old lines I intend to chop up anyways. There is no doubt the flyshops are of greater value to the flyfisher, but E Bay is a good source for hard to find stuff.
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Old 01-25-2005, 05:34 PM
bluegillbob bluegillbob is offline
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I live in eastern NC, and flyshops are rare. I buy my leaders, poppers, flies and streamers at Wal-Mart for one simple reason: no flyshops within 100 miles!

Yes, I have flyfishing stuff from BPS. My BPS outfits will catch all the LM bass, bluegills, and crappies I care to flyrod for!

I have no gripes against people buying their gear from Cabelas, BPS, or even online places. The important thing is that people are flyfishing.

As for the "big box" stores selling $50/$100/$150 flyrods...they are doing it. Not everyone can afford to drop $400 on one flyrod from a flyshop.

Flyshops will continue to thrive as long as they sell quality products at a reasonable price.
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Old 01-25-2005, 06:02 PM
Eddie Eddie is offline
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"Flyshops will continue to thrive as long as they sell quality products at a reasonable price."
I can think of more than a few that are hardly thriving and bend over backwards for their customers. The fact that there isn't a flyshop within 100 miles of you speaks to the challenges that face flyshops.
For anglers that don't have a local flyshop, of course they will have to make due with mail order and the internet. I hope that folks that read and participate on the Forum will give our sponsors a try. Their prices are no more than BPS, and they help keep the FlyFishing Forum going. Tell 'em you saw them on the Forum.
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Old 01-25-2005, 06:17 PM
brooklynangler brooklynangler is offline
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Markup

With markups as they are in fly fishing retail, people are reacting to this and using ebay. I REFUSE to pay $50-60+ for a fly line. Won't do it, ever. Everybody has lines in the sand that they won't cross. When you still want to fish, you use ebay or get really familiar with the "bargain bins" at various online fly shops (and your local shop).

Most importantly, many (me included) use ebay to get the things that the local fly shop does not sell--- and that can be a lot of things as well as collectibles.

I might also add that with the advent of the awesome info sharing medium that is the internet, one can find a great deal about fishing by using a forum such as this as opposed to getting the "ya gonna buy sumthin" smirk from the guys at the flyshop (I have a list of a half dozen that I've visited in my years who do this and double that who make you feel great just for walking in their door.)
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Old 01-25-2005, 07:42 PM
Eddie Eddie is offline
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Collectables asside, there is little that a local shop can't get for a customer.
As for the "mark up"... anyone who thinks that flyshops would be able to survive with any less are mistaken.
People who don't value what a good shop has to offer, or don't have one close by, will shop on ebay. I see this trend growing. It is a shame.
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Old 01-25-2005, 08:05 PM
nickcsus nickcsus is offline
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This a terrific thread...and frankly one that has generated more than a little guilt on my part. I only recently started fly fishing but have used ebay to get a sense of the market for older material. I am blessed with three outstanding fly shops in a 10 mile area here in Sacramento--Kiene's, American Flyfishing, and Fly Fishing Specialities. I frequent them all, making purchases on items big and small and welcoming their advice. It seems to me that ebay helps to feed that addiction we all have for one more rod or just another reel. I intend to buy a new rod this spring and I will do it thru one of my local shops because it won't be available on ebay for some time to come. Given the prices on rods, I get the sense that the shops are doing far better margins on leaders, flies, and lines. The other thing that has made ebay viable is the practice of lifetime and unconditional warranties on items. This makes used equipment far less of a risk. Interesting discussion!

Nick in Sacramento
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Old 01-25-2005, 09:35 PM
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Nick, you are lucky to have so many excellent shops around you (and so close to great fishing....sigh).
As for the warrenties: used or marked down gear is not officially covered by any mfg. They are mostly pretty cool and let it slide, but don't expect it.
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Old 01-28-2005, 09:00 AM
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I buy a good amount of stuff on eBay. My latest round of purchases:
float tube
waders
wading boots
casting rod

My local shop doesn't sell float tubes, and the second two things they don't carry, , especially due to my size (6'4, 260 pds, 15 sz foot). So eBay was my way to special order them, but at a discount. But would I honestly have purchased these things there if they were available? Probably not! I had a limit on what I could spend for everything, and buying at full retail would have prevented me from doing this. I'm already over my limit!

I visit the shop often (Bear's Den) and buy a decent amount of stuff from them. Last spring I spent $1000 there in one day on a new rod, reel, and a bunch of other stuff. So I think I do my part to support them.

The fly fishing things I bought last year off eBay:
a bunch of bonefish flies
a few striped bass flies
an WF-8-I fly line

Bear's den didn't have the bonefish flies, or the striped bass flies in that pattern. As for the line, I wanted to try it out but didn't want to spend the $60 retail on it. So it cost me $25 ($30?) with shipping for a $60 line. Also, I simply didn't have $60 to spend on the line at the time!

I'll continue to support my local fly shop as best I can, but it comes down to simple economics sometimes. If there's something I want, and I have $XX to spend on it, and the fly shop wants $XXX for it, then I'll try and get it somewhere else for $XX. eBay is the best place out there for this.
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  #11  
Old 01-29-2005, 03:03 AM
Steve_sullivan Steve_sullivan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynangler
With markups as they are in fly fishing retail, people are reacting to this and using ebay. I REFUSE to pay $50-60+ for a fly line. Won't do it, ever. Everybody has lines in the sand that they won't cross. When you still want to fish, you use ebay or get really familiar with the "bargain bins" at various online fly shops (and your local shop).

Most importantly, many (me included) use ebay to get the things that the local fly shop does not sell--- and that can be a lot of things as well as collectibles.

I might also add that with the advent of the awesome info sharing medium that is the internet, one can find a great deal about fishing by using a forum such as this as opposed to getting the "ya gonna buy sumthin" smirk from the guys at the flyshop (I have a list of a half dozen that I've visited in my years who do this and double that who make you feel great just for walking in their door.)

I have a line in the sand as well. Saw <???> gremlin split shot at walmart for a buck, the local fly shop wanted over $2.50. If walmart sells it for $1 I expect to pay $1.50 to $2.00 for it at a fly shop, but over $2.50 is just too much.

PS: kiene's fly shop in sac has orvis clearwater waders on clearance for $50. Preety good deal for a back up pair of waders.
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Old 01-29-2005, 10:07 AM
Eddie Eddie is offline
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I find WalMart to be the most depressing place. It really is a distilation of everything that is wrong with this country. I guesse my line in the sand is that I am willing to pay and extra $1.50 here and there to never have to go into WalMart.
Like most Americans, I unfortunately find my self shopping there
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Old 01-29-2005, 10:55 AM
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My observations, having once worked in a fly shop. First, it is, by far, the place for folks just starting out....new to fly fishing. Most starters need to be "questioned"
as to what type of fishing do the like ? Steelhead ? Trout ? Saltwater ? and so on.
At that point, the salesperson can narrow down what they need....and then determine the budget of the buyer. Some new folks have no problem droping say,
$ 1,000 or more on a bonefish rig.....good stuff.....others ....go the lower end of the spectrum....which is fine....there are some great rods out there these days that dont require a second mortgage....The second group comprises experienced anglers.....know what they want (usually) and because they have some knowledge of what they are in the market for, come prepared with a bucket full
of $$$. Group 3 sees the reel they want in a catalog....with postage paid and no sales tax.....they come to "handle" the product...say thanks, go home and order via internet or telephone...Rod and reel (high end) makers do not allow "discounting" of "outfits"....most shops will throw in a free line and backing to sweeten the deal...but then again, I have witnessed out and out discounting...
I say .....let the shops discount the big name gear...thus staying competitive with the postage paid/no sales tax catalog sources...hope this made sense.
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Old 01-29-2005, 11:08 AM
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In Conclusion......

Perhaps it is not E-Bay or catalog sources that is contributing to the demise of the local fly shops....perhaps its the manf's....I suspect the volume of sales of a major catalog/internet gear provider far outstrips the sales volume of some poor guy trying to make a living running a shop....I say the "Big Boys"....we know who they are, should allow out and out discounting of the high and low end gear....just a thought........
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  #15  
Old 01-29-2005, 01:04 PM
bluegillbob bluegillbob is offline
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Flyshops vs. Walmart, Cabelas, BPS, Orvis, E-Bay, Online shopping, etc...

I'm not putting anyone down, but people will shop where they want to, due to selection, prices, and convienence.

Speaking of online shopping, blueflycafe.com sells flies far cheaper than Wal-Mart. If I get more flies, I'll probably take this route. Why spend more than you have to? Besides, the selection is far greater.

I imagine that many flyshops will have "starter outfits" for $250-$300. My starter outfit ran $110...and I am still using it.

Do flyshop owners shop at specialty stores?

Here's a thought...price a baby stroller at Wal-Mart, than price one at a baby "specialty store." Compare both items. Both will work fine, but you will pay much more for the stroller in the "specialty" store.

My sis lived in Germany when she was in the USAF. She went to a specialty store to get a stroller. Years ago, she bought a stroller. How much? $400. You can't buy a single stroller for $400 at Wal-Mart...not even the best one they sell.

My other sis bought a car seat in a specialty store. $300 for a car seat. Just as safe as the Wal-Mart car seats.

Fly shops will thrive if the owners will continue to sell products at comparable prices. Increase prices, and the consumer will shop elsewhere.

Last edited by bluegillbob; 01-29-2005 at 01:07 PM.
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