Done Over

Done Over

Post by bi.. » Sat, 21 Nov 1992 11:35:54


        I'm after peoples comments, either good or bad, on the following
topic.

        I've been retailing kites from two Australian manufactures mainly
at local markets and by flying in parks (I do not have a shop).  Because
I do not have overheads such as rent, electricity, etc. I can afford to
sell kites below RRP.  

For example:

        Kite x (3m)     -     RRP = $A 269  ~$US 384
                         My Price = $A 230  ~$US 329

        150lb Spectra & Handles -  RRP = $A 80  ~$US 115
                              My price = $A 60  ~$US 85

        Even at these prices I do not turn over a lot of stock as I
effectively work only one day a week.  My local competition has
complained to one manufacturer who will no longer supply to me.  I have
not spoken to the other manufacturer but I'm under the impression that
the story is the same.  This effectively cuts me out of the industry.

Questions:
        1)  How do the above prices compare with the US and UK.  The above
kite has been used to win a number of Australian competitions.  
Construction = 3/4 oz ripstop, K-75 spars, & glass form pro sports carbon
composite spine.
        2)  In general Australia works on 100% markup on wholesale plus
20% (of wholesale) sales tax.  Is this the same in other countries.
        3)  If I cannot puruade the manufactures to change their minds,
(I'm prepared to sell at RRP), my only option is to import if I'm to
stay in the industry.  Can anyone help.

        Your comments and options, either positive or negative, will be
greatly appriciated.

BRUCE DONALDSON                                 COAD'S CANDLES & KITES

_

 
 
 

Done Over

Post by Steve Thom » Sun, 22 Nov 1992 02:21:44

Quote:

>    I'm after peoples comments, either good or bad, on the following
>topic.

>    I've been retailing kites from two Australian manufactures mainly
>at local markets and by flying in parks (I do not have a shop).  Because
>I do not have overheads such as rent, electricity, etc. I can afford to
>sell kites below RRP.  
>[stuff deleted]
>    Even at these prices I do not turn over a lot of stock as I
>effectively work only one day a week.  My local competition has
>complained to one manufacturer who will no longer supply to me.  I have
>not spoken to the other manufacturer but I'm under the impression that
>the story is the same.  This effectively cuts me out of the industry.

This issue of "Van Dealers" (i.e. "people who resell kites that have no
established stationary shop") keeps haunting the kiting industry.  I've heard
arguments for and against:

For:

Van Dealers can sell kites at a much cheaper price than shops because they
don't have the overhead.  Cheaper prices for consumers helps promote the
sport by making it more accessible to more people.  It also helps manufacturers
because their products are sold at a lower price, and therefore they sell
more of their product.  There are now many very reputible Van Dealers, an
example of whom would be the Bay Area's Tom McAllister, who has hosted the
very successful West Coast Nationals and will be hosting next year's World Cup.
Without Van Dealers, many people would have never gotten into the sport.
Since the sport is so new, dealers need to be as close as possible to where
there is flying going on--stores often have difficult times selling the
concept of sport-kite flying, whereas a van dealer is usually right next to
a field where they can demonstrate their products.  Overall, the Van Dealer
concept is a more advanced concept of selling products, since it is cheaper
and more effective.

Against:

Van Dealers are harmful to the industry because they take away business from
established stores that have invested time and overhead, and often have
employees at stake.  This is eventually harmful to consumers and manufacturers
because Van Dealers do not represent a steady entity to do business with.
Given their temporary nature, there is a lot of room for abuse of consumers
and suppliers.  Since they do in fact sell kites at much lower prices,
they tend to hurt local stores severely--and eventually drive them out of
business.  It is very bad for industry to not have established stores, since
it leaves no staying power to the retail presence.  Manufactures must deal
with a very precarious kind of channel since they are not dealing with
somebody that has anything to lose, and can simply "drive away" if they need
to skip town.  The established stores are what drive the industry and are
what will be responsible for its future growth.

+++++++++++++

I hope other people here can add to either of these two paragraphs...

Right now, the manufacturers are in control.  There are several manufacturers,
ToTL, SkyBurner, and others, that have a "sell to anybody with a resell permit"
policy.  Others, usually smaller manufacturers, generally have Exclusive-type
of arrangements with shops, and try to stay away from Van Dealer--they don't
generally do the volume that a well-located shop can generate.  Also, the
Exclusive is leverage for a smaller manufacturer against people like ToTL--
if you're a shop, you'll have a better mark-up for kites that only YOU sell.

Personally, I think there's room for both.  Most stores that are located in
high-traffic areas do just fine selling to people that are ready to buy.  Van
Dealers usually don't get in the way of stores.  The "usually" here is real
important, though.  As the "Against" paragraph points out, there's lots
of room for abuse in the realm of Van Dealers.

Here in the San Francisco Area, we have an example of a well-balance microcosm.
At Pier-39 ("tourist trap from hell"), there's Kite Flite, a store that has
very high overhead, and along with it a very high mark up (slightly higher
that Sug. Ret).  They have Exclusives with two Bay Area kite makers, and do
quite well with their products.  Since they are in a location where they
get tons of foot traffic from all over the world, they get their high prices
from their kite without any problem.  Also, local flyers will pay the extra
mark-up for the kites that have the Exclusive.  A short ride across the Bay
Bridge brings you to Tom McAllister at Highline Kite of Berkely.  Tom sells
kites at prices that are generally at least %20 less than Kite Flite.
Tom Locates his "Store" right next to the flying field at Berkely, and sells
kites to people interested/amazed at all the activity going on at the field.
He also has a yellow-pages add that brings people to the field.  Tom does
a reasonible amount of business, but no where near the volume of Kite Flite.
Tom pays no rent--what Kite Flite pays can be dicussed in alt.larceny.  Kite
Flite has a very large selection, and it is all very brilliantly displayed.
Tom has a smaller selection, and you need to ask him to pull out the kite
you want to see.  Etc.  Both have their advantages, and both peacefully
coexist.

The San Diego scene, on the other hand, is anarchy.  There are so many
dealers down there (Van and Store), and competition is wild.  Along with the
retailers, there's also several manufacturers there (ToTL, Rev, Hyperkites,
etc.).  If you want a ToTL kite, or a Rev, you can get it at almost wholesale
if you look around.  I don't see how the stores down there survive.  I don't
see how anybody selling kites down there survive.  From the manufacture's
and the flyer's standpoint, it's a much more difficult game, since there are
so many people to deal with down there, and there's so much competition.  As
a flyer, you often don't know who you're buying from, as a manufacturer, you'll
have trouble picking out who to sell to--who will both move a lot of your
kites, and will be a lasting presence.

I think everybody has their place here.  Again, some of the smaller
manufacturers I know have good ties with various shops due to exclusive
arrangment--and the shops start to hate the big manufactures because of their
"sell to anybody" ways.  On the other hand, the van dealers sell of a market
that probably wouldn't be sold to otherwise.

My advice to stores, van dealers, and anybody else in business for that matter
is to not compete on price alone, but compete on service and availibility.
This way, everybody wins.

_________
Steve Thomas


 
 
 

Done Over

Post by Clive Dennett-Thor » Thu, 26 Nov 1992 02:46:59

Yes! the latest creation from the dining room table (the wife's
glad she can eat off the table again) is a Parakite!!

I found an old copy of a magazine called Amateur Airsport
with a one-page description and diagram and couldn't resist the challenge!.

It's 2m in diameter, has 8 gores ,is vented and bridled with 8 off
2m shroud lines plus an inner central shroud of 1.84 metres attached to
the framing tapes inside the crown of the kite.The circular vent at the top
is 10cms in diameter.

The suggested configuration says that the 3 front  bridles should be attached to
one ring and the rear 5 plus the inner to a second ring. The kiteline is attached 10cms
up from the 3-shroud ring and there is a 10cm line connecting the two rings. Lastly
a small counterweight/payload(I used 500g) is attached to the 5-shroud ring.

I tried flying it on an day with a lightwind 6mph perhaps? but with only mild
success. It has a *** habit of spinning hence reducing the opportunity for
the canopy to inflate but the annoying thing was that the front of the kite
seemed to want to be furthest away from me! Is it bridled backwards??

Any help gratefully received I would particularly like to know what angle
the kite should fly at and whether you think the bridling arrangement I
describe is plausible. Should I rig it for dual line control??

Have you made a parakite?? Speak to me!!!!!!!

Lastly I give a public pat-on-the-back to Ron Moulton's new book  which
is packed with ideas inspiration and those oh so useful dimensioned drawings and
thoroughly recommend it.

Look forward hearing your replies !!!

Regards

Clive

"They all fly in the end...!!!"

 
 
 

Done Over

Post by Clive Dennett-Thor » Fri, 27 Nov 1992 02:13:57

Further news!!

A longer test flight in a decent breeze (10mph+) resulted in some
interesting thoughts/observations/ideas etc.

  I've rebridled the kite so there are no longer any crossed-shrouds
  at the joining ring and now use a fruit-juice container filled with
  water as an adjustable counter-weight(nifty eh!).

   The greatest thought that occurred to me during the flight/pull
   was that parachutes are used as drogues to arrest aircraft/dragster
   speed on limited landing runs...

   It then dawned on me that it was the counterweight that gives the
   'chute a chance to be a kite by pulling it down from the non-lifting
   'parallel to the ground' attitude and angling it against the wind.

   With some more water(should have used beer!)  and a reasonable gust
   it actually rose to 30/40 feet at 45 degrees. I noted the colour
   of the innermost vertical***sector and by watching its fate saw
   that the kite seemed to favour the fore for take-off but was laterally unstable
   and twirled round until it was arse-about-face at which point it sank
   to the ground.

   I looked at one of my references today and noted that an adapted USAF
   parachute had had 6 of its shrouds tied-off to a 15lb counterweight and
   judging by the picture it only flew at 45 degrees anyway.

    Next steps:

    I'm adding four side-stabiliser panels to prevent the twirling

    and then a larger juice bottle for more counterweight and then see what
    happens!!

    Watch this space!!

    Regards,

     Clive

    P.S. If all else fails it'll make a great teddybear parachute!

    "They always fly in the end..."

 
 
 

Done Over

Post by mus.. » Sat, 28 Nov 1992 15:18:47

Quote:

> Yes! the latest creation from the dining room table (the wife's
> glad she can eat off the table again) is a Parakite!!

> I found an old copy of a magazine called Amateur Airsport
> with a one-page description and diagram and couldn't resist the challenge!.

> It's 2m in diameter, has 8 gores ,is vented and bridled with 8 off
> 2m shroud lines plus an inner central shroud of 1.84 metres attached to
> the framing tapes inside the crown of the kite.The circular vent at the top
> is 10cms in diameter.

> Regards
> Clive

I seem to recall that a plan for the same kite appeared ino.  issue of
KiteLines a couple of years ago. In the next issue there was a
correction printed to the plan, as apparently one small error in the
plan produced a majo disaster in the resulting kit. I'll have a poke
through my pile of kite mags and see if I can come up with it.

Good Winds
Jason Hellwege                          La Trobe Uni, Melbourne, Oz.

 
 
 

Done Over

Post by mus.. » Sun, 29 Nov 1992 21:18:59

Quote:


>> Yes! the latest creation from the dining room table (the wife's
>> glad she can eat off the table again) is a Parakite!!

> I seem to recall that a plan for the same kite appeared ino.  issue of
> KiteLines a couple of years ago. In the next issue there was a
> correction printed to the plan, as apparently one small error in the
> plan produced a majo disaster in the resulting kit. I'll have a poke
> through my pile of kite mags and see if I can come up with it.

The issue of KiteLines in question is Summer 1990 (Vol.8 No.1) which has
a detailed plan for a "Gale Master" by Joel Scholz. I haven't found the
correction yet, but I'll keep looking....

 Good Winds
 Jason Hellwege                         La Trobe Uni, Melbourne, Oz.