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  1. #1
    Mizu Kuma
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    Default Charging For Boot Fitting?

    The Better Half was in SYD today and paid a visit to a couple of reputable snow stores in the CBD.

    Question,
    Is it, and if so, for how long, has it been the practice to charge a, deductible deposit (on purchase), for sizing and "fitting" of a snowboard boot?

    I wasn't charged this, only last season, at a store in Jindy (note that I was trying boots on for 40-60mins). Is this now becoming common practice to charge for service, or just in the "big smoke"?

    (I must note that she didn't end up buying from these stores, due to being turned off by the Fee deal)

  2. #2

    Default Re: Charging For Boot Fitting?

    I guess I can understand why
    Mizu. Unfortunately in the city I'm sure lots of people swing by in there lunch breaks, try on stuff then go buy online so I can see the logic in doing so as they are trying to provide a good service and it's a time consuming process.

    I guess it would be frustrating if you wanted to try different ranges of boots in a few different stores as I'm sure the fee would sting after a few places. I hope she is able to find what she's looking for. Always exciting to get new gear :-)

  3. #3
    Mizu Kuma
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    Default Re: Charging For Boot Fitting?

    We'll probably wait till we hit Jindy, before headin up to the mountain!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Charging For Boot Fitting?

    Btw how did your daughter go? Hope she's one step closer to livin the snowy dream for the season. It's my biggest regret not doing a season down the snow.

  5. #5
    Mizu Kuma
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    Default Re: Charging For Boot Fitting?

    Yeah good Coops,

    she had a training day and then she hits Jindy on the 28th june (snow permitting)

    I wish I had done a similar thing at her age also, but no regrets for the life that I have lived so far, after all, some people never get to see the white stuff in their entire lives, and for that alone consider myself as being one of the luckier ones on the planet!

  6. #6
    Ski Shop Owner & Equipment Specialist - Voted Best Boot fitter in Australia (SIA Australia Awards 2013) Paul Oberin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charging For Boot Fitting?

    It has been done in Sydney for Ski boots for a few years, I am hearing it is now common practice at most Melbourne shops, I know why it is being done and partly I agree with it, to avoid it, seek out a shop that carries a decent range of boots and also has a good boot fitter, then only go there when you are ready to buy boots, they won't charge a fee if you are seriously looking to buy a set of boots, but in fairness if you are only using them to get your size amd boot model so you can shop around, then they should be paid for their knowledge and service.
    It is quite well know in the industry that people who are serious about buying boots make an appontment with the boot fitter, those who don't generally are only wanting to get their size to shop for the best price, if she just walked in without an appointment she is sure to get hit with a fee, maybe you made an appointment when you bought your boots.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Charging For Boot Fitting?

    I find this a strange practice because people are crazy to not shop around (locally) and get the best price. What if someone comes in and just trys on some boots but doesn't ask for any assistance and just wants to try them on in peace? I can't see how this is a drain on staff.

    I just find it funny its like going to a car yard and saying you have to put a deposit down before you can test drive or talk to us about the cars we have in stock. I would have just thought that would be part and parcel of retail business.

    Just my two cents

  8. #8
    Ski Shop Owner & Equipment Specialist - Voted Best Boot fitter in Australia (SIA Australia Awards 2013) Paul Oberin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charging For Boot Fitting?

    Just wandering in and trying on boots without any help would see 99% of the people buying the wrong boots, and I am not exaggerating that figure, I have to talk people into getting the correct size when I sell a new boot, almost every set I sell the customer wants to get a bigger size initially, if it wasn't for my knowledge and years of experience through very expensive training they would get the wrong size, which is why I don't discount boots.
    I agree about buying a car, for most people you don't need much input from a salesman, and is there a habit of people in Australia test driving a car only to then go and buy it online from overseas, but would you shop around for legal advice, or a podiatrist.

    Good to see a calm debate about this important topic.

    I will add I have never charged for a boot fit sizing / assessment yet, but I do have a sign up in my shop saying that I might, of course no shop charges a fee if you buy a set of boots from them.

    At the most recent Masterfit clinic in Melbourne the subject of people coming in and spending time with the boot fitter only to write down the model and size of the boot and walk off has increased dramatically, the fitters were asking Masterfit what they should do, I suggested they all start charging for anyone trying on boots, and as most of the Melbourne shops fitters were there it appears they have done just that.
    In Canada almost 20 years ago they were already charging this fee at the better fitting shops.
    10 years ago before Masterfit came to Australia for the very first time, there was only a handful of shops even shell sizing boots for customers, many people who bought boots back then had to buy a new set almost every year as they became loose too quickly, anyone who had pain in their boots had to put up with it as we didn't know how to fix most problems that arose, foot beds were being made wrong if at all, now that most shops have spent many thousands of dollars getting their fitters trained all that has changed, but to see a fitter now has to be paid for unless you buy a set of boots.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Charging For Boot Fitting?

    Paul I guess I am only looking at it from snowboard boots perspective, I wasn't even really thinking about ski boots. I just think that as a consumer you have the right to try something on and then choose the best deal for your needs regardless what store it is. Take someone with not much experience I think it is mad of them to go into 1 shop (assuming he has no real idea on if it is a good shop or not) try some boots on and then basically be forced into buying from that shop because there was a fee. I know you might say he should shop around first however how many shops when you tell them you want to buy new boots are just going to talk to you about them and not start pulling them off the shelf and getting you to try them on.

    Now after this person has bought the boots finds out that there are much better shops out there and he could have got a much better price.

    I don’t know just doesn’t seem right, Paul not trying to offend you at all I am just putting my 2 cents in.

  10. #10
    Intermediate Snowatcher
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    Default Re: Charging For Boot Fitting?

    For ski boot I would never shop on price I would only shop on fit and would happily be charge for the fitting if I didn't buy the boots. If you aren't happy to pay the fitting fee are you really a buyer or just using the boot fitter time and knowledge before finding someone to undercut him. where that be local or OS.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Charging For Boot Fitting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Looney View Post
    For ski boot I would never shop on price I would only shop on fit and would happily be charge for the fitting if I didn't buy the boots. If you aren't happy to pay the fitting fee are you really a buyer or just using the boot fitter time and knowledge before finding someone to undercut him. where that be local or OS.
    i personally wouldn't be happy to pay the charge but I guess I have never felt like i needed much help

  12. #12
    Ski Shop Owner & Equipment Specialist - Voted Best Boot fitter in Australia (SIA Australia Awards 2013) Paul Oberin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charging For Boot Fitting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hammo View Post



    I donít know just doesnít seem right, Paul not trying to offend you at all I am just putting my 2 cents in.
    No offense taken and it is good that we can talk about this calmly and both have a say, I know in my case I don't have a big range of Snowboard boots so I would never even dream about a fitting charge for snowboard boots, as for ski boots I keep one of the largest selections you will find in any shop in Australia, I have too, to be able to fit any foot shape that comes my way.

  13. #13
    Ski Shop Owner & Equipment Specialist - Voted Best Boot fitter in Australia (SIA Australia Awards 2013) Paul Oberin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charging For Boot Fitting?

    Hammo I think the key to it is to make sure you go to a shop that has a large selection of boots, and only go when you are ready to buy some, you will also find the shop owner / manager will waive the fee if he is told you would have bought from them if they had a boot that suited your needs (not price).

  14. #14

    Default Re: Charging For Boot Fitting?

    Fair call Paul! Always a tough topic hay

  15. #15
    Intermediate Snowatcher
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    Default Re: Charging For Boot Fitting?

    How much is the fitting fee? I've never been charged at my local shop.

  16. #16
    Ski Shop Owner & Equipment Specialist - Voted Best Boot fitter in Australia (SIA Australia Awards 2013) Paul Oberin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charging For Boot Fitting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dippo View Post
    How much is the fitting fee? I've never been charged at my local shop.
    I hear at some some shops it is over $100, my sign says I may charge $50 per hour which I think is fair, but also way too cheap, but as I have never charged it to date it doesn't matter.

    On a similar topic, ski binding fitting is quite an issue at a lot of shops, I am hearing reports that some shops are charging up to $200 to fit bindings even if they are a rail system, it is not the labour that is the worry but the risk, a shop that fits bindings can get sued if the customer gets hurt, sure the shop may win the court case but how much will it cost him to defend himself.

  17. #17
    Snowatch Owner & Snow Forecastor
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    Default Re: Charging For Boot Fitting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hammo View Post
    I just find it funny its like going to a car yard and saying you have to put a deposit down before you can test drive or talk to us about the cars we have in stock. I would have just thought that would be part and parcel of retail business.
    Think how much a car costs and how much time they spend with you to get the sale. Then compare the price of a pair of boots and how much time the seller spends with the customer to get the sale. Car salesman can afford to only get 1 sale per ten that walk in, bootfitters cannot.
    Follow the Snow! snowatch.com.au

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Charging For Boot Fitting?

    I've never paid a fitting fee for ski boots as I've always booked a boot fitting appointment to let the shop know I was serious about fitting and buying a new pair of ski boots. If you let them know your fair dinkum for new kit they seem to be pretty accomodating. I would have thought the same sort thing would also apply to buying snowboard boots.
    Winter is here!

  19. #19
    Extreme Snowatcher
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    Default Re: Charging For Boot Fitting?

    Hammo, just remember a new car is a generic fit. If you like it you can do all the adjustments (seat, steering, mirrors) yourself. Boots always seem to need a tweak or two (well ski boots do!) and I havent seen too many people adjust their own. Just a thought.
    Winter is here!

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Charging For Boot Fitting?

    Paul, roughly how much time and expertise is involved in fitting a snowboard boot in comparison to a ski boot?
    Skier: one who pays an arm and a leg for the opportunity to break them

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