Mike Hickey, store manager and snowboard buyer for the Ski Barn in Paramus, New Jersey, says Ride and Burton were the store’s two leaders in terms of vendor service. Hickey’s very pleased with Burton’s faxback system: “It works great.”
Burton’s reps are doing a great job and are very available, he adds. While reps from some of the other companies are accommodating, they are harder to get in touch with.
Hickey had only one complaint–the weather. “We need to get some snow,” he says. “If it snows in the mountains, but not in New Jersey, it doesn’t do us any good.”
At Rotary Ski and Snowboard in Stratford, Connecticut, vendor services are very good, according to Owner Kevin Quiriconi. Shop Manager Jerry Brandino says all the manufacturers’ reps were doing a good job except for one: “He’s coming in this week, so I can’t say who he is.”
All the shop’s brands were a little late with preseason shipping. Brandino adds, “But everyone has come through so far. Burton always runs out of everything early, but they’re very good with customer service this year.”
Doug Letendre, manager of The Darkside at Killington, Vermont was also pleased with the service he’s received: “Number one (in vendor service) right now is Sims. Burton is up there as well.”
He adds that all the shop’s shipments came in on time from all companies. One trick he uses to get product in is to schedule everything to come in earlier than the shop actually needs it. When he asked for delivery by August 1, those products arrived by September 1.
The shop carries ten lines of hardgoods and six clothing lines. Although one clothing line was a bit slow in arriving, “Now we’ve got everything complete,” Letendre says.
Sims also earned high marks from Steve Green, co-owner of High Mountain Sports in McHenry, Maryland. “Sims is doing pretty well for us–they’re the best company we’re working with right now,” Green says.
But he’s less happy with other companies: “We’re getting screwed in some areas. Some companies are still sending product the shop ordered last March.” He adds that one company sent step-in boots, but not the bindings to go with them. “Most companies aren’t even close to being on the ball,” Green says.
Todd Atkinson, manager of Snowboard Jones in Manchester, New Hampshire, says the shop has had the same problem with step-ins. “Companies shipped the boots, but didn’t ship the bindings,” he says. The other big problem was kids’ boards, which didn’t get shipped until November. Snowboard Jones carries eleven board lines, and “most of the ski companies are pretty dialed,” Atkinson notes. Salomon, K2, Rossignol, and Original Sin shipped complete and on time. Burton was “sporadic” in shipping, he says, but its customer service is fine. Sometimes getting product from West Coast companies takes a bit longer, he adds, attributing it to geography.
“Overall, I don’t have too many complaints,” Atkinson says. “The ones brands we have problems with we don’t do business with anymore.”