Looks like one retailer's finally had enough of being undercut by Costco...

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Alosa, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. Leland is a scab on the ass of every good, high quality fly shop and this is exactly why. Now, in Oregon, I'm getting calls to price match Lelands price on Sage rods that they were going to buy from me at some point. These are people I have spent some serious time with on helping them narrow down the rod choice that best suits their needs. All that time and service that my boss pays me for out of his pocket, out the window.... Just to be under-cutted by a mass e-mail blast from a sniveling San Fran fly shop that has the same marketing skills as a middle school pre-teen who just got their ball taken away by a 7th grader.

    Way to go champs, your not hurting Sage. You are hurting every good Sage dealer in the nation with your little temper tantrum.

    Yes..Sage in Costco is an issue, but every Sage dealer has had to deal with it.

    I would tell anyone who is/was in the market for a new sage...buy it, but buy it from the people who have taken the time with you, and buy it for retail. Labor, lights, rent, and product all cost money for fly shops and selling rods at discount and price matching don't keep fly shops open. If we all support the discounting crap, next time you need true expert advise on casting, tying, knots, lining your rod, fly selection, directions, quality materials, fitting waders right, fitting boots right, etc...etc...etc...list goes on and on... hopefully you can find it online, because that's the only place you'll find it.

    .....rant over...thank you
  2. Wow, what an interesting thread! It makes me reflect on what a very happy man I am because Anil and his awesome team at Puget Sound Fly Co. consistently exceed my expectations regarding fly fishing products (quality, variety, prices, etc.), and good old fashioned customer service! I'll echo the savvy fly flingers who already said it: find yourself a local shop (who prove to you that they know their stuff, willingly share their wisdom, want and value your business, and personally care about your success on the water or on the vise) and support them. It's like spoiling yourself . . . my fly shop is much better than yours. Absolutely no disrespect to our brother who shared a sale tip, but Leland has not earned any loyalty from me and can stuff their 30% discount!
    Rob Hardman and Greg Price like this.
  3. Just to clarify: I've made the mistake of buying from a big box store before, and learned the value of purchasing from small/local fly shops. I provided this link b/c 1) Leland is not a big box store, and 2) Leland is local (for me anyways). I wasn't aware of all the politics surrounding the dispute between Sage and Leland. If I had been aware, I probably never would have posted this thread. If nothing else this thread has exposed some interesting politics between companies and their retailers. Good on Sage for dropping Leland.
  4. Seems to me that a warranty program that specifically denied service without proof that the rod came from a certified dealer would pretty much stop any serious buyer from considering buying from Costco.

  5. It would only stop a serious buyer if the price wasn't a "discount" at Costco. The difference in the price is the cost of the warranty. That difference in price plus the probability of using the warranty + replacement cost is what a serious buyer should be considering when buying "grey market" from Costco(if only considering the economics).
  6. Good point Kent, I think we got into that in the last sage/Costco thread. A component of what makes this possible is the massive margin built into the brand (and sorry, but it's not equal to the price of the warranty). But it's a premium positioned brand, and there's obviously a market for it. Far bank has the price points covered for folks like me with Redington, et al and I don't begrudge them the right to go after the upper crust with one of their brands. Still, everything which makes this breakdown possible points back to sage. They are getting victimized on some level by their distributor, but that's preventable and it's on them to do the preventing.
  7. Sage needs to protect their MAP dealers. When those rods hit Costco shelves, Sage should have bought them all up before dark...or...authorized their dealers to make the same deals, on the same rods.

    After doing one or the other, then you can slap around your misbehaving dealers as you see fit - with a clear conscience...that is...if a clear conscience is even important to them. :)
  8. Slap that bitch....
  9. So I'm trying to follow,
    Sage occasionally accidentally lets costco get their hands on high end fly rods and sell them at an outrageous discount.
    Instead of buying them out it's more of a not our fault, not our problem sort of deal,
    Leland's gets their dealership revoked by Sage for saying screw it, if Costco can sell discounted sage rods then we can too.
    Sour grapes all around and dirty laundry gets aired out in the open, and here we are now?
    Kaari White likes this.
  10. Ain't it great!
  11. One of us mentioned getting a Burkheimer or some other custom rod for about the same as (what I consider) an outrageous price for a piece of graphite, as being a "deal". I can't fathom that! The most expensive rod I own is a Headwaters bamboo for about $250 when I bought it. $800 for a Sage?? I'll spend that for a custom longbow, but not for a Sage when my little Echo Solo coupled with an Orvis Hydros 3D casts every bit as well. Then, if I want, with the money I saved, I could rent a guide's expertise (or put it toward the next Montana elk hunt!!),
    constructeur likes this.
  12. AMEN
  13. Ultra premium rods just aren't for you, which is fine. And while an Echo SOLO is a very good rod, it doesn't cast every bit as good as a Sage. If both rods cost the same, which would you choose?
  14. Alex - just a matter of priorities. If you wanted a high performing american made rod, then you could grab a sage. If it's not that important, grab an echo.

    I bought a couple of echos for rods to teach my friends on after the second sage was broken. They're great rods, but when you hold a sage (entry level vantage) in one hand and an echo (carbon) in another, it's startling how much heavier the echo's are and how much more refined the Sage feels while casting.

    If you don't notice those subtleties, more power to you!

    porterHause and Kent Lufkin like this.
  15. If I owned a fly shop, I wouldn't go wacko as has Leland and drop my Sage rods. I'd still offer them but I'd probably push Winstons and other high end rods instead.

    It's up to Sage to protect its dealers from this sort of thing. Sage sold the rods to someone shady and that is on their head, not Costco.

    However, if someone feels they will die without a Sage rod, as a fly shop owner, I'd still offer them.

    What Leland is doing is not good business. One shop is not going to bring down Sage no matter how mad he is at the company so he's just shooting himself in the foot.
  16. This is exactly what Sage did!
  17. Bingo

  18. Just to keep this thread going, and not to disparage Sage too much since I own a few of their rods and reels, I'm curious how Sage's business model is legal. I mean, how is it different from price fixing? Sage sets the retail price, and no dealer may sell for any different price.

    I thought all good American businessmen are capitalists. And one of the leading attributes of capitalism is competition, and may the better man, or company, win. Price fixing is anti-capitalist, or at least it seems that way to me.

    And, not saying that they do, but if Sage, Loomis, Winston, T & T conspired to fix prices on high end rods, that sort of price fixing would violate the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Not that it matters since the government appears to allow that all the time any more.

    And to Kent's earlier point about a $1,300 Sage rod, really, that's gotta' be all about product placement, image, or whatever, with next to nothing to do with the costs of manufacture, distribution, and sales. I recall what one industry insider told me when I bought my first Sage rod at a healthy discount that was legitimate at the time. The rod retailed for $315. I paid a total of $129 for the rod, sales tax, and shipping to my door, . . . and was told that both Sage and the shop made money on the transaction. If true, and I have no reason to think it isn't, then I'm left to believe that the value of a fly rod, plastic ones at least, is in perception, the eye of the beholder.

    So if anyone wants to complain about something, maybe the appropriate target is price fixing by Sage?

    Builder, Kent Lufkin and Danielocean like this.
  19. They cant legally tell them what to sell the rod for, but they can tell them what the MSRP is and that is the only price they can Advertise. Otherwise I believe it is just saying if you sell at below my MSRP then we will drop you, you still have a choice.
  20. MAP pricing isn't fixing. Logical on some levels to see it that way, but in my view it's more about leveling the competitive landscape amongst the dealers than protecting margin for Sage. It isn't sage and another manufacturer colluding to make sure that no consumer can get any premium rod for less than what they want. It's Sage making sure that a big-box like Cabela's can't destroy a boutique shop via the advantage of low-margin/high volume, and undercut the price to the point that other dealers can't compete. Thus the fuss with Costco, which does just that.

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