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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2004 11:13 am 
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looks to me that they have cut two trade levels, retail shops and international distributors, resale value is genaerally 50% and if you can get a kite for 50% of the genearl market price it wont be an issue, cause even before you sell you kite you spent half what you normally spend


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2004 12:40 pm 
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It seems as if there is some confusion out there regarding Best Kiteboarding after the little bit of promotion on this site, so I thought I’d post a little clarification. Best (Shannon Best & partners) is soon to launch and its business model is to sell the best products at the best prices. It will be selling ONLINE ONLY direct to the consumer at up to 50% off traditional retail prices. No distributors & no retailers. For example the new 2004 high performance 12m kite is expected to retail for approximately US$699 (approximately $550 EURO) and the mid aspect & low aspect kites are significantly less expensive, plus Best will ship everything for free anywhere in the world. Best has a full product line of kites, boards, bars, harnesses, fins, etc… The kites have been designed by Eric Herstens & Peter Stewie in Cabarete and rigorously tested & tweaked by Shannon, his partners, the Best team and Eric & Peter - they are all hard core riders. The boards (10 in total), designed by Shannon, are production quality with a fast, custom feel. Best hopes to make riding excellent products affordable for everyone.

BestKiteboarding.com is also giving away an all inclusive 7-day trip for two to kite in the Bahamas. The trip is to beautiful Harbour Island, a completely unspoiled & undiscovered kiter’s paradise with steady wind, warm flat water, challenging waves and miles of pristine pink sand beaches. After kiting all day, enjoy a five course gourmet meal and then fall asleep in a breathtaking four-poster king size bed while listening to the wind and waves crashing on the beach. To enter, simply go to http://www.bestkiteboarding.com/

Best Kiteboarding – http://www.bestkiteboarding.com/


Last edited by gumball on Thu Jan 15, 2004 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2004 2:39 pm 
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definetely very good marketing concept!!!!! yeah!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2004 6:36 pm 
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Kitedude wrote:
looks to me that they have cut two trade levels, retail shops and international distributors,


This approach is really only cutting the retailer out of the picture though. A 12m from a leading brand retails for $1000-$1100. Dealer cost is $600-$700. So you can get your 12m Best at around dealer cost. Makes sense since Best is doing the distribution themselves. It's a lower overhead compared to separate distributors in every major market but some of that is certainly offset by shipping individual kites and boards all over the place. Makes sense for a small(er) outfit that cannot hope to sucessfully compete with established brands for retail shelf space and dealer endorsements and a good option for consumers. This will be interesting to watch.

R!

P.S.: Steve is spot on. Loading the first page of this thread is dog slow on a modem. It would be nice to post the multi media blitz somewhere else and use the regular forum thread for the chit chat.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2004 6:44 pm 
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what's the tech on the "span length" seams or spars on these kites. are they just a heavy seam? in some of the shots it almost looks as if they distort the canopy. multiple canopy panels or one panel per segment.

not criticizing, just trying to understand from jpg.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2004 8:57 pm 
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Just curious, so does a Peter from EH kites design for three brands?
EH, liquid force and best kites? Is there much difference between them all then?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2004 10:09 pm 
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Location: Madison, Wi. Cabrinha, Slingshot, Blade, Axis, Epic, OR, Mystic.
Any other color besides blue?

What about design specifics on the kites? Spinning leash? Need more info please.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2004 11:06 pm 
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R! wrote:
Kitedude wrote:
looks to me that they have cut two trade levels, retail shops and international distributors,


This approach is really only cutting the retailer out of the picture though. A 12m from a leading brand retails for $1000-$1100. Dealer cost is $600-$700. So you can get your 12m Best at around dealer cost. Makes sense since Best is doing the distribution themselves. It's a lower overhead compared to separate distributors in every major market but some of that is certainly offset by shipping individual kites and boards all over the place. Makes sense for a small(er) outfit that cannot hope to sucessfully compete with established brands for retail shelf space and dealer endorsements and a good option for consumers. This will be interesting to watch.


I think old school retail practices for a lot of products could eventually fall victim to the streamlined direct based model. Look at Dell computers for example, they are the most successful desktop computer manufacturer because they sell direct (and the discounts they offer aren't nearly as significant as the ones that Best is offering in this case.)

I think the whole "Retail provides a value added service" mantra is a joke, especially when it comes to kites. Sure some might say:

What about safety? ... Make people call and talk to a veteran kiter who can gauge the would be customers' knowledge before you hand over a kite that could cause harm in the wrong hands. I don't particularly find the guys working in retail in any of the shops I've been in any more qualified to make this decision than someone could over the phone... and how many even care? My guess is the retailer is most interested in getting rid of the kite. Sure if they have an affiliation with a local training outfit they will push you to go that route, but I've never heard of someone refusing to sell somebody a kite. Does this ever happen in the used market? I bought all of my kites used so far, and nobody ever refused to sell me a kite even when I had no experience.

What about product support? ... Most people go back to the manufacturer for warranty stuff anyway. You won't get much help from retailers here.

How will people find these brands? ... Magazines, Internet, sponsored riders... Sure some people just show up at a store with no idea of what kite they want and after talking to the 15 year old working there get persuaded into one brand over another. But I think any experienced kiter already knows what he/she wants before they ever show up at a store.

What about all the overhead of shipping all those kites everywhere? ... Might be a big issue if this was groceries or nails or some damn thing where millions of units get shipped simultaneously (and thus there is savings.) But how many kites even get sold from a retail shop? Every time I go to the local kite shops, it seems like I see the same kites that were there weeks ago. Keep in mind that when you are paying the $500 dollars on top of what the retailer paid for the kite, part of what you are paying for was all the time that the kite sat on the shelf and made no money for the retailer. The retailer still has to pay his bills though, so the price gets set high enough that even if it sat on the shelf for weeks, or he has to clearance it out, he can still make money off of it. A kite manufacturer has one stockpile of kites, if they get a lot of orders and start to run out, they make more.

The biggest reason that the retail market for kites could fall, is that its already too damn expensive! Anyone I've talked to who doesn't know about kiteboarding, can't believe it when I tell them that these giant pieces of fabric cost $1000+. If you can cut that number in half, you've just opened up a whole new segment of customer. Majority of kiters today are either fairly well off (financially), or are spending every last nickel they have on their new quiver. With cheaper kites you open yourself up to people where cost was the prohibitive factor.

My guess is the retail market will never go away completely, but I bet we see a trend develop where more manufacturers who feel their name is good enough to stand on its own without retailer support, break away and start selling direct. Certainly those of us who are in the know (probably everyone reading these forums) can take advantage of these companies, and not rely on a retailer to tell us what to buy. It was a long time ago that a retailer was able to give me more information about kites than I already knew from my own experience and research.

:bye:


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2004 11:53 pm 
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conway wrote:
Just curious, so does a Peter from EH kites design for three brands?
EH, liquid force and best kites? Is there much difference between them all then?


Peter does design for EH, Liquid Force & Best, but they are all completely different kites. For example, the Liquid Force mid aspect kite has a completely different aspect ratio compared to the Best mid aspect kite, and therefore handles completely differently. In Best's case, the kites were all designed based on very specific feedback about what each kite should do from Shannon and the Best team. For example, the Best Mid Aspect kite de-powers better then any other mid aspect I've flown and it is far and away the most stable kite I've flown but it might turn a hair more slowly then the LF. They are both excellent kites, and that is thanks to Peter & Eric. Then there's price, Best's mid aspect starts at $499.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2004 12:15 am 
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well, i guess i'm just an old fashioned guy when it comes to sales, i've worked for two internet startups in the high tech sector and i currenty work in sales selling the very stuff you guys use, but there is no way in hell i would purchase a piece of sporting equipment at the cost of a kite or half the cost of a kite without trying it first.

people sell direct to get market share by driving cost down, but as volume goes up the logistics of this change heavily and without the ability to pre-sell stock to dealers to get a lump of cash in, you have no control over your cash flow at all and become purely reactive to sales demand. that sucks as a business model, you need to be able to drive your sales proactively to fit in with your business schedule and growth aspirations.

companies like dell area breed apart, these guys can turn 20 articulated lorries of parts into 1000's of boxed and shipped orders in under six hours, i used to sell them oem graphics hardware so i've seen it from the inside, and dell stuff is no cheaper than many other retail sold pc brands, though arguably i'd place it second only to sun or ibm in quality of product and service.

i wish the guys all the luck in the world with their business venture, but they are up against some pretty huge marketing machines......


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