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Re: And here is why I don't buy from the little guy........

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2006/9/11 11:41
From bucks cty
Posts: 997
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Heritage-Angler wrote:

Charlie has really impressed me so far. He's a good guy, and really wants to take care of his customers.

That moose head is HUGE! How the heck did this guy knock it down? Its a whole lot easier to just get a package of moose body hair off the shelf......

Their tying section is looking better by the day. If there is something you don't see, just ask and they'll happily get it for you. This guy has such a good attitude, it'd be nice if the shop was a success. According to Charlie, he's booked a friend of mine to do a class on April 4th. It's going to be done by Heather Seitz, who was a member of the 2007 Youth Team USA/PA. Heather is one heck of a fly fisher - this class should be very enlightening for the folks in the Valley.


I was up fishing the LL early in January and decided to stop by and check it out. Only one other person in the store over in the clothing section. Initially no one came to help me out. Kind of got the cold shoulder when I asked a question looking for some hooks. I was dressed in old boots and coveralls. I certainly got the feeling that they were more interested in selling the fancy Orvis clothing than fly fishing gear. Be a long time before I'm back.

Posted on: 2009/2/3 7:15


Re: And here is why I don't buy from the little guy........
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2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
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JayL wrote: “If you want a burger, you can pay $10 at Monk's, or $2 at McDonald's. If I want the experience of it, I pay more. If I just want to eat, I'll go to McD's.”


Ya but Jay, you can’t get this at Mickie D’s:

http://www.monkscafe.com/body.cfm?nav=beers&data=beers

FFP and many independent shops are like Lindemans Framboise, while Cabelas and Bass Pro are Bud and Miller. You can learn a lot from just a short conversation with Steve at FFP. Try getting info or advise on equipment or fishing from Cabelas or BP. Need a special dubbing to match the hatch an X Creek, or a killer pattern for Y stream, how about the place and time to fish the Z hatch….try to get that with the big boxers.

I too buy some things from Cabelas, mostly clothing, and I buy some bargain or hard-to-find items from some of the on-line shops, but I do value the services from the smaller local shops. The smaller FF shops, for the most part, sell many of the same rods, reels, etc., for the same price as the big box stores. If you’re looking for a Sage, Winston, Loomis, Scott, etc. rods, which aren’t discounted, why not buy it from the independent shops for the same price? You are able to cast the rod at the shop, and they are sure to give you advise on the best rod for your casting ability and the type of fishing you do. They also will help you set it up with the right reel, line etc. The less experience you have as a FF, the more you need help at these shops. Ironically it seems many experienced FFers buy from the shops, while many guys starting out buy from the big boxers. You CAN get an inexpensive FF outfit at many of the small shops, and it will actually work well for you. You can get flies that actually catch fish from them too. Even if you’re a beginning FFer, chances are better than not you know more than the guy behind the counter of the big box strore.

Mkern made a good point, try negotiating with Cabelas or Bass Pro on free shipping with your order when they are not running a sale. And as Trowpa relayed his experience, ask the big boxers for a free whip finisher when you forgot yours at their free fly tying seminar – oops, they don’t run free seminars, and you’re out of luck with the tool you need.

If the price is close, which it often is, I chose to buy from the independent FF shops. We’ll all be sorry when they disappear, and the big boxers have no competition.

Posted on: 2009/2/3 7:58


Re: And here is why I don't buy from the little guy........

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2006/9/10 16:07
From Pine Grove
Posts: 2417
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Not to start an argument afish, as you've made some good points, but Cabelas does, in fact give advice on many streams in my area and on Thursday nights Bob Clouser jr. gives free tying classes at the BP in H-burg. I happen to live in an area where fly shops are few and far between, so whenever I go to a fly shop I'm and "outsider" and often treated as such. I've never gone to BP or Cabelas without someone immediately coming over to ask me what they can help me with, and I definitely am not rocking the Orvis look. This is only my experience and actual mileage may vary.

Boyer

Posted on: 2009/2/3 8:26


Re: And here is why I don't buy from the little guy........
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From Chester County
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Matt,

No argument. Admittedly, I don't get to Cabelas very often, but when I have, many times the person behind the counter was not very knowledgeable. That has never happened to me at FFP or most other shops. But even so, my purchase at Cabelas does little, very little, to help the bottom line of Cabelas, while a purchase at FFP or any other small shop is a big deal for them. And, like I pointed out earlier, on items that are not discounted and are sold for the same price, why not buy from the small shop to help them out AND get good service and advice on the purchase.

I do understand, that given where you live, I too wouldn't drive 100 miles to buy a pack of hooks and some split shot.

Posted on: 2009/2/3 8:38


Re: And here is why I don't buy from the little guy........

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2006/9/10 16:07
From Pine Grove
Posts: 2417
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Agreed. All things being equal I'll usually try a smaller shop, but I have had very few good experiences at them and rarely have a bad service experience at the BB's. This spring if we get to hit the Wiconisco we can stop by the poor little gun and tackle shop that is across the street from a relatively new Walmart. I always stop by there when I'm up in the valley and try to give them some business, although my hooks and tippet are probably a drop in the bucket compared to the AR15 and L1A1 behind the counter.

Boyer

Posted on: 2009/2/3 8:47


Re: And here is why I don't buy from the little guy........

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2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
Posts: 19932
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Afish,

You caught me. I do go for the beer, but the burgers are still incredible.

Posted on: 2009/2/3 9:40


Re: And here is why I don't buy from the little guy........

Joined:
2008/1/21 19:15
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 2707
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There will be different business paradigms for each situation based on location, volume, core customers, personnel, location, profit margin, overhead, overall customer base, owner, etc., etc. (and location). Each business model (and subsequent execution of business model) has different pros and cons. If they have a sound model, execute it consistently, and change based on the demands of the consumer, they will at least make a living. If they are not able to pay their bills, they will disappear. So shop based on your preferences (customer service, price, product knowledge, convenience, etc.) and the rest shoud take care of itself.

Posted on: 2009/2/3 10:03


Re: And here is why I don't buy from the little guy........

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2007/4/25 10:02
Posts: 5818
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I like to be able to wear my waders in the stores. Most shops have dogs- don't they?

Posted on: 2009/2/3 10:04
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Re: And here is why I don't buy from the little guy........

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2008/1/21 19:15
From Pittsburgh
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Quote:

acristickid wrote:
Most shops have dogs- don't they?


Yes, but only as part of their business model!

Posted on: 2009/2/3 10:21


Re: And here is why I don't buy from the little guy........
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2006/9/9 9:29
From Monessen, PA
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This may be simplistic, but it seems if having the small shop around in the future is important to you, you should try to patronize them as much as possible. On the other hand, if having them around isn't that important, you shouldn't feel the need to do so. I am always bewildered that people who find the small shops important seem to want others who don't to help subsidize them. I have had both good and bad experiences with small and large shops and my few dollars a year go to those who have treated me well, whether large or small. I never miss a chance to give Jonas a few dollars at the Jamboree, even though I could get flies much cheaper elsewhere. He takes time out of his schedule to come up and speak to us at the campfire and also will provide helpful advice on current conditions. I hope he stays in business for years to come.

Posted on: 2009/2/3 11:00
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I don't like scrambled eggs, and I'm glad I don't, because if I liked them, I'd eat them, and I just hate them. --Hank


Re: And here is why I don't buy from the little guy........

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2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
Posts: 3614
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I thought of another thing...

If a shop breaks down and gives you free shipping on 10% of your order, how is he supposed to please you the next time you call in an order 10% off and free shipping. Where's the end.

However, if you are talking about purchasing a new rod, reel, line, backing, leader, and you ask about free shipping he should jump at the chance.

At the shop I frequent, I drop usually between $20- $40 every month or so. this keeps me in touch with them. they listen to my suggestion, make special orders for me, dye thing special for me, and when materials aren't in or done when they told me I ALWAYS get them at discount or free. Not to mention when I'm looking for something particular and they can't get it I get something similar free. And because I frequent the shop so often, even though I live 90 minutes away, I often get odds and ends of things that didn't meet weight, or there was extra of free of charge.
Symbiotic.

Posted on: 2009/2/3 11:28
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Re: And here is why I don't buy from the little guy........

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2008/1/21 19:15
From Pittsburgh
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Quote:

MKern wrote:
I thought of another thing...

If a shop breaks down and gives you free shipping on 10% of your order, how is he supposed to please you the next time you call in an order 10% off and free shipping. Where's the end.

However, if you are talking about purchasing a new rod, reel, line, backing, leader, and you ask about free shipping he should jump at the chance.

At the shop I frequent, I drop usually between $20- $40 every month or so. this keeps me in touch with them. they listen to my suggestion, make special orders for me, dye thing special for me, and when materials aren't in or done when they told me I ALWAYS get them at discount or free. Not to mention when I'm looking for something particular and they can't get it I get something similar free. And because I frequent the shop so often, even though I live 90 minutes away, I often get odds and ends of things that didn't meet weight, or there was extra of free of charge.
Symbiotic.


ROI...Return on Investment.

Posted on: 2009/2/3 11:39


Re: And here is why I don't buy from the little guy........

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2008/1/21 13:28
From South Central PA
Posts: 829
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I would echo what David says in post # 22. That they stuck to their standard shipping rates for an order seems reasonable to me given the specific factors that each shop has to consider.

As regards FFP specifically, however, I consider it part and parcel of a tradition in central PA flyfishing and if it were to go away, I would regret it.

I don't know those guys personally, but I do recognize all the experience and work that goes in to such things as specialized dyeing of materials, development of local patterns, and the unmatched quantity of free instructional material on the website.

That can also be said of other shops but this thread just happens to single out FFP.

Posted on: 2009/2/3 13:18


Re: And here is why I don't buy from the little guy........

Joined:
2009/1/24 15:19
From Butler
Posts: 761
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I think a good option for your dilemma would be too: Find the "Little guy" store that doesnt charge shipping and price compare that way. I think you will find that upon looking around, you can probably get what you are looking for at a cheaper price than you have already found and with just a slight cost in shipping.

Posted on: 2009/2/3 17:01


Re: And here is why I don't buy from the little guy........

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2006/9/11 13:33
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 3317
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Here is why I buy from Flyfisher's Paradise.......

1. Friendship: Those guys are my friends of many years. I can't even imagine going in there on a "strafing run" to just grab something and go. A quick stop always turns into at least an hour. Catching up on things with these guys is truly a pleasure I look forward to every time I set foot in the store.

2. Selection: Even Cabela's can't compare to the huge variety of tying supplies that FFP has. I'm not talking about stuff to tie saltwater patterns - I'm talking about things for fishing here in PA. For this, FFP has no equal of any one place you can walk into here in this state, IMO. Need a certain color thread in a particular size? FFP almost always has the color I need, and usually in several brands. Try that at Cabela's.

3. Quality: How many times have we all "sifted through" peg hooks of merchandise looking for a decent quality item? I rarely have to do this at FFP. They pre-screen all the items they put out, and the lesser quality items I often find on the hooks of other fly shops just don't seem to make it to the shelves at FFP. They have bargain bins in the back of the store for the stuff that isn't up to par for the front part of the store.

4. Unique items: For example leaders. The FFP hand tied leaders are a work of art! Where else can you find a George Harvey hand tied leader? I don't know who ties those leaders, but the blood knots are always flawless.

5. Advice and Service: I've brought friends into the shop and if they are out of a particular "hot fly", many times I've seen them break out a vise and tie up whatever was needed, teaching the pattern as they tie.
There are a lot of tying supplies that I prefer to see in person, rather than just ordering off the internet. I can call Steve, tell him what I'm looking for, and he selects exactly what I need. FFP is the ONLY place I trust enough to do this over the phone.
FFP also gives the best advice as far as fishing conditions. They know it is a 2 1/2 hour drive up for me, and if the fishing conditions aren't worth the drive, they'll tell me to stay home. Lots of shops give good advice - I really appreciate an honest opinion, even if it costs them a sale.

Some folks don't think twice about jumping in their car and driving to a fly shop to pick up some items. If you figure in the cost of gas, the $7.50 for shipping starts to look pretty reasonable.


This is just my opinion on my favorite fly shop. Lots of other folks probably feel the same about their favorite shop. YMMV.....

Posted on: 2009/2/3 17:23



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