The Community of Disc Golfers and About All Things Disc Golf
Todd Mitchell said:Right on, brotha.Hey Guys! Before this get's too large a thread I wanna throw this out there...
LSDiscs is AWESOME!!! Those guys are stand up and I will never hesitate to purchase from them. Marshall Street = same thing. Sun King = Same. Iron Lion = ditto. All online vendors are pretty cool (that I have dealt with).
The tangible disc golf shop, found on courses, in business parks, etc., where you can go and touch, flex, throw plastic, try on shirts, etc., are at a SEVERE disadvantage. Such shops have a customer base that is confined to those players and visitors to their shop. They typically do not carry, or sell anywhere near the quantity that the online shops do. As such, there's a HUGE advantage that online shops share - the ability to REALLY mark down their products due to the fact that they move so much more product. It's the bulk rate discount.
If saving money is what's important to you, please order online - of if your shop doesn't have it in stock. However, those of you who have shops - PLEASE SUPPORT THEM!!!!!!! Even if Champ plastic is $2-$3 more per disc, if these shops fail, then the community ability to support the support will really decay. Most shops are centers for disc golf community activity - they run weeklies, monthlies, sell, have pros offering lessons, etc. All that WILL DISAPPEAR if those business cannot make a profit. If we all stop patronizing these shops, the profits will disappear as will the shop itself.
All I'm really saying is don't abandon your shops!!!! We need them and I will always look forward to spending money at my local shop - moreso than ordering online - regardless of the swag I get for free. All that being said, I will say again LSDiscs does ROCK as do ALL disc golf retailers online and on terra firma!
Okay, off my soapbox...have a great weekend!!
**Disclaimer** I own a small shop that sells plastic so you know what my bias will be.
Read Todd Mitchell's post--that one says it all. And here is my 2 cents worth anyway. As a small shop owner it is very hard to service the hardcore player. You have to have the exact model in the exact plastic in the exact weight in the exact color and maybe with a certain stamp on it. It is not possible for my shop to do that. Every once in a while I will have the exact disc you are looking for but more often then not I will not have your first choice or if I do it will be a few dollars more. So you can support your local shop by paying a little extra or by accepting less than your first choice. Go ahead and do this once in a while--we shop owners do support the scene and we offer some intangible benefits.
But there is another way you can support your local shop. . . .send new players there. New players don't have the preferences you do. And they can usually use some advice. New players can get a lot of value added benefits by going to a local store as opposed to an online dealer. So while you appreciate your local shop and the work they do on your scene but you can't get the discs you want from them. Refer new customers to that shop. Alot of my friends buy their plastic from other places when I don't have what they want and I'm cool with that. But I encourage them to send new people into my store. My bros get discounts for every sale I make that they sent in. This allows me to keep my friends happy, build relationships with new players and reward the long time golfers while keeping my doors open.
Having said all that I would like to add that I too use online retailers for my inventory needs from time to time. If I don't have exactly what you want I will get it. I don't have to make a profit on every sale--and if you have supported my business in the past I will be happy to support you--even if it means I order it for you from discsunlimited, Disc Player Sports, Sun King, Gotta Go, etc.. I have dealt with all those companies and I have always been pleased with the service and the product. Online shops do a lot to promote our sport just like the local shops do. We need all of us working together to make this the best it can be.
I won't get into why local shops charge more or why people shouldn't be so picky or why people get hung up over a dollar when they own thousands of dollars worth of frisbees (that is a topic in itself)!! But I do think there is a place in this sport for the local shops. So support your local shop when you can. And support the big online dogs when you can.