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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Why do proforms suck now?

    I know I risk sounding entitled, but I have to ask, why do shop proforms suck so bad now? Once upon a time, it was used to gain brand loyalty, to ensure staff knew the ins and outs of gear and to be able to pass on personally gained experience, and to be a perk of employment in a field that doesn't pay as much as others. Now? It's worse than your average sale that anyone can access. Even worse, any random guide, buddy of a rep, or ski instructor can get a better deal.

    30% off retail? Come on. Hell, last year Amer did 15%. And most of these skis now cost $1000. Thanks, but I am going to just buy used skis off FB for $100.

    I am grateful to the handful of companies that still value shop employees and give decent discounts. I'm less angry than confused. Why has this program all but disappeared?

    *In Canada. Apparently its still good in the USofA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    2,336
    One thing that is a big influencer of lower discounts is that more people than ever have access to the discounts. There's so many non industry folks receiving discounts and brands know this so they know that people are just happy to get any deal they can get, even if it's just say 20%.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    I don’t know
    But my youngest is working the pro form deals. Some better than others.
    But I explained it to him that they can give you 50 off because that’s the same deal they give retailers.


    30 or 15 off? Wtf. That’s not building any brand loyalty.
    . . .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    12,465
    Probably because the whole outdoor industry is hurting from investing big to expand to meet covid demand and now as demand is returning to normal, and interest rates on the loans taken out to fund that expansion are high, they need to scale back discounts in an attempt to ratchet up profits.

    Just a guess though, no insider info or anything here.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenBC View Post
    I know I risk sounding entitled, but I have to ask, why do shop proforms suck so bad now? Once upon a time, it was used to gain brand loyalty, to ensure staff knew the ins and outs of gear and to be able to pass on personally gained experience, and to be a perk of employment in a field that doesn't pay as much as others. Now? It's worse than your average sale that anyone can access. Even worse, any random guide, buddy of a rep, or ski instructor can get a better deal.

    30% off retail? Come on. Hell, last year Amer did 15%. And most of these skis now cost $1000. Thanks, but I am going to just buy used skis off FB for $100.

    I am grateful to the handful of companies that still value shop employees and give decent discounts. I'm less angry than confused. Why has this program all but disappeared?

    *In Canada. Apparently its still good in the USofA
    Cost cutting. Shop deal is still the best, but even in the US the percentages are going up. My question is why they (almost) all use ENDVR, which sucks. Tecnica SGGG program is still a winner, and they went back to their own website this season.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    8,520
    A. Abuse - it because impossible to enforce and turned reps into cops

    B. The socials - industry members ain't the marketing force they were

    C. Online shopping - why give discount to office drones in the call center?

    Expert Voice, Outdoor Prolink, and EPIC/IKON, H1B visa programs basically devalued ski industry employment.

    Sent from my Turbo 850 Flatbrimed Highhorse

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    SW, CO
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    1,550
    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenBC View Post
    I know I risk sounding entitled, but I have to ask, why do shop proforms suck so bad now? Once upon a time, it was used to gain brand loyalty, to ensure staff knew the ins and outs of gear and to be able to pass on personally gained experience, and to be a perk of employment in a field that doesn't pay as much as others. Now? It's worse than your average sale that anyone can access. Even worse, any random guide, buddy of a rep, or ski instructor can get a better deal.

    30% off retail? Come on. Hell, last year Amer did 15%. And most of these skis now cost $1000. Thanks, but I am going to just buy used skis off FB for $100.

    I am grateful to the handful of companies that still value shop employees and give decent discounts. I'm less angry than confused. Why has this program all but disappeared?

    *In Canada. Apparently its still good in the USofA
    I think it is a symptom of the conglomerate website pro-deal thing. The amount of my friends who have access to "pro-deals" is a lot more than people who I would consider to be professionals in the sports industry. When every instructor, guide, liftie or non-profit employee adjacent to the outdoor industry gets the same deal we do as shop employees, you know something is off. Do not get me wrong, I am not saying that these folks do not deserve some sort of a deal on gear, but the days of 50% off for shop employees is mostly over. Shop employees are just lumped in with everyone else now, it is easier that way.

    I have not been in the industry as long as some of you here, but weren't a lot of these deals tied to rep clinics and "once a year" kind of things in the past? Now it's all in an app or on a website, quickly go over some slides about the new gear and get your 30% off code kind of thing.

    There are still some really good shop deals out there, but it's not every brand anymore and it is not very frequent. It seems to be mostly on stuff that is languishing in warehouses that companies want to dump to make room for next years stuff.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2018
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    Lake Wallenpaupack, PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregL View Post
    Cost cutting. Shop deal is still the best, but even in the US the percentages are going up. My question is why they (almost) all use ENDVR, which sucks. Tecnica SGGG program is still a winner, and they went back to their own website this season.
    As a shop rat…I have used Tecnica/Blizzard pro form the past 10 years….was always the best/customer service, fast shipping, etc.

    Anyone know what happened? TecBlizz Academy?…then they switched to Endvr app/ which sucks….Now I can’t find them anywhere? My shop owner can’t even find them?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC. View Post
    As a shop rat…I have used Tecnica/Blizzard pro form the past 10 years….was always the best/customer service, fast shipping, etc.

    Anyone know what happened? TecBlizz Academy?…then they switched to Endvr app/ which sucks….Now I can’t find them anywhere? My shop owner can’t even find them?
    Is it not at tecblizzshop.com? You need a code from a clinic or a rep to get in. If this isn't true, PM me and I will find out.

  10. #10
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    Dec 2010
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    The other factor is the pivot to online retail - companies realize the bro on the shop floor is less influential than a social media star, or someone reviewing a product at Blister, or someone giving the product a nudge at a major online retailer. When those people call, product usually materializes.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Golden
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    973
    Lots of great insight here. Although I have found that the shop discount is lower than a lot of others.

    These group aps do blow. Convoluted, spammy, hard to access. Hell, the Atomic sales comp ended a week after we received their product. I'm not a fan of sales comps anyways, but still. I liked when you had to fill out paperwork and hand it to the rep.
    Don't get me started on the schedule and sign in aps too. Asking me to share my year review on facebook? WTF. I'm going to go shake my fist at some clouds.

    I guess we still have the ability to order through the shop at wholesale, which is often better than the proform.

    From the fischer tech manual:

    "As a salesperson you are extremely important to the
    future of Alpine skiing. You convey your knowledge and
    enjoyment of the sport directly to the customer. Only if you
    are able to provide proper advice will the customer be able
    to experience enthusiasm for the sport in the way you do.
    At FISCHER we value your passion for skiing and want to
    help you convey this enthusiasm to your customers with
    the best products and the latest information."

    LOL thanks

  12. #12
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    Dec 2010
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    Can't argue with that. In many cases, our best deal now is to use our employee discount on last year's merchandise in our warehouse!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Gaperville, CO
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    5,827
    Unless it’s very personal gear—eg boots—I mostly buy last years models on sale rather than pro form as it’s usually cheaper and easier. Paying more for this years graphics direct from brand is rarely worth it.

    Who should qualify is a sticky thing. I certainly count it as a nice perk for working in the industry if not outside on gear most days.

    Just replaced my lightweight setup. The piece I bought at biggest discount wasn’t proform. To buy the updated version would’ve been $200 more for minor changes vs 2 year old model.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Fairhaven
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    245
    I watched the discounts shrivel at the peak of the COVID demand as companies didn't have enough inventory to keep up with their full-price demand and it's been slow to come back to what was expected previously.

    I think what is really happening is that manufacturers are switching to a direct-to-consumer model but very lightly screening their online customers while maintaining their outside retail accounts in parallel. The only real advantage to a 30% discount "shop" deal is that you get to have the freshest kit for the same price that someone else pays 6 months later.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Whistler, BC
    Posts
    1,495
    Deals for Patrollers, in Canada at least, have gone downhill as well.

    I'm a Volkl guy, I've had a shit tonne of them over the years and they don't even offer a pro form for Canadian patrollers anymore, such a shame.

    Sent from my Pixel 6a using Tapatalk
    Quote Originally Posted by Angry Whelk View Post
    a more stupid motherfuck does not exist.
    Big Balls is worst asshat kind.
    kind that wear bukkake from above.
    with warm drown he gurgles final death, for one time not worried about his misplaced import known of african american social standing and prominent community members. for he is only drown, as is the way.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Hell Track
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    It seems like it's the inevitable consequence of low barriers to entry. There was a time when the only people really getting deals directly from the brands were people actually working at the shops. But it seems like that got a lot looser in the last 15 years or so. These days, tons of people that have (at best) a tangential relationship to the industry are able to pull off some sort of pro form deals. I have plenty of friends that haven't worked in the industry in at least 10 years, but still get deals from some brands. Not to mention there's assorted websites that give some sort of access to pro forms (although most of those seem to have dried up since covid). When the number of people getting pro form access is large, the deals are gonna be worse.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Fair point.
    But the manufacturers work on 50% retail. In most goods.
    So if they sell on pro form and you pay shipping, isn’t that the same?
    Other than siphoning retail.

    Influencers?
    Game changer. But they shouldn’t pay anything. They should get paid.
    . . .

  18. #18
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    Jul 2006
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    voting in seattle
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    I'm just going to guess its because a bunch of brands and reps were tired of flipped pro deals/free gear being used to subsidize the shitty wages shops paid.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Posts
    66
    Any regular joe can join the American Alpine Club and get 20-40% off a lot of brands.

    Go thru an online retailer and that discount instead goes toward free shipping/returns/support costs. Buy in-person and it goes to benefits for the guy giving gear recs and “free” adjustments at a shop in a ski town.

    Pay the least if you know what you want. If you’re more hesitant it’ll cost you more overall. Full msrp for the people who want the best retail experience. Brands and shops need to know who they cater to and when/where

    All this to say that pros may need to be more influential in repping brands for the brands to feel they're making a good ROI

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    cow hampshire
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    The answer is greed. Plain and simple.

  21. #21
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    Mar 2018
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    Lake Wallenpaupack, PA
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    Why do proforms suck now?

    FWIW….since we all like Pivots. I have found/ that Corbetts US price on Pivots is cheaper than Rossi ProForm.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    Lake Wallenpaupack, PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregL View Post
    Is it not at tecblizzshop.com? You need a code from a clinic or a rep to get in. If this isn't true, PM me and I will find out.
    Pm incoming..

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    The Bull City
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    Pro Form was da bomb in 1982.. and we got paid like 2-3X min wage to start as PSIA registered instructors.. 50% of the total for a requested private. L1-L3 made GOOD money.

    Now it all sucks. ProForm is just a symptom of the disease..
    Go that way really REALLY fast. If something gets in your way, TURN!

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Hell Track
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackstraw View Post
    The answer is greed. Plain and simple.
    Greed by the companies? Or greed by every random schmuck that thinks they deserve deep discounts off of retail?

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Seattle
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    Greed by the companies? Or greed by every random schmuck that thinks they deserve deep discounts off of retail?
    All of the above

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