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Discussion Starter #1
I am shopping for my first bow with the assistance of a couple experienced bow hunters in tow. I have visited two local pro shops and two local big box sportings goods stores as well as compared prices with the other online big box stores. I am looking at the same bow at all stores and spent some time watching the various employees to judge who know at least a little about bows and who doesn't. The first pro shop was quite high $$ in my opinion although very helpful and knowledgable. By high I mean 52% higher than the big box stores that were all the same price, the manufacturers suggested retail price. The other pro shop was swamped the first time I visited and that was mid day during the middle of the week and I was not able to speak to anyone at all due to long lines. I revisited them today and was very happy with the service. Their price is 24% above retail which I feel is worth it for the time involved in setting up the bow and teaching me which end is up basically.
They also offered me 10% off on all accessories I bought that day along with the bow.
My question is how can pro shop #1 get the prices they are asking when stores like the big boxes are moving into town and stay afloat? I don't like the idea of the Wal Marts of the world moving in either but for the price difference I could buy online and pay the pro his hourly rate to tune my bow and still pocket quite a bit of change! Whats a guy to do?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was surprised with the big box stores. One just opened up here less than a month ago and I actually found an employee that was a little older like myself who was an avid hunter and quite knowledgable. The other had a younger guy that was very helpful but not as knowledgable although their service dept was swamped with work the whole time I was there which was a couple of hours so they must have a good technician.
I agree I would really rather shop at a pro shop but at least for one the prices were up there. Had I not been checking around and had a budget in mind I might have bought that day based on their friendly nature but I had already priced some items and had an idea what I wanted to spend. How much setting up and customer service can they provide for half again more money?
 

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If you can afford it, buy from a pro shop (not the really high one though).

Greg
 

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AZDesertRat said:
I am shopping for my first bow with the assistance of a couple experienced bow hunters in tow. I have visited two local pro shops and two local big box sportings goods stores as well as compared prices with the other online big box stores. I am looking at the same bow at all stores and spent some time watching the various employees to judge who know at least a little about bows and who doesn't. The first pro shop was quite high $$ in my opinion although very helpful and knowledgable. By high I mean 52% higher than the big box stores that were all the same price, the manufacturers suggested retail price. The other pro shop was swamped the first time I visited and that was mid day during the middle of the week and I was not able to speak to anyone at all due to long lines. I revisited them today and was very happy with the service. Their price is 24% above retail which I feel is worth it for the time involved in setting up the bow and teaching me which end is up basically.
They also offered me 10% off on all accessories I bought that day along with the bow.
My question is how can pro shop #1 get the prices they are asking when stores like the big boxes are moving into town and stay afloat? I don't like the idea of the Wal Marts of the world moving in either but for the price difference I could buy online and pay the pro his hourly rate to tune my bow and still pocket quite a bit of change! Whats a guy to do?

They must charge more then the big box stores due to not moving as much product. The reason they stay afloat with box stores being so much cheaper, is because hunters and archers have an unwritten code to always buy from the Pro shops, despite the higher price, that way they can stay afloat. We need our pro shops because we need those knowledgeable guys in there to help get us and the new shooters squared away.
 

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There is no comparison between the two. A good local pro shop will take care of you. You are their life-blood, not people looking for underwear or designer jeans like the big box stores. If you have a quality problem, MegaStore will not give a crap or be able to do much for you if they did. Years ago I worked in the camera department at a department store, and we had an impressive lineup of cameras...and little or no knowledge to go with them. We made pennies on them, because they were there to bring in customers who would buy underwear and other more profitable items.

Places like Cabela's or Bass Pro are a little better, but not enough for my money.

I would go with Pro Shop #2...they are packed for reason, and they impressed you. The extra money is well spent. A regular customer to them is like family coming in. You could go to the big box store every day for year, and they still don't know you or care.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
What would everyone consider a fair price over retail to pay for a new bow set up and ready to go? 10% 20% 50%, there has to be a cutoff somewhere. I'm talking a middle of the road name brand starter bow.
The big box stores I am talking about are Cabelas and Sportmans Warehouse not Wal Mart or Target.
 

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I personally would support the little guy every chance I can. I beleive the big box stores have ruined this great nation and drove just about every little mom and pop store out of buisness because they have a bigger bank roll and can buy in mass quantities. Just my opinion
 

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AZDesertRat said:
The big box stores I am talking about are Cabelas and Sportmans Warehouse not Wal Mart or Target.
Sorry, I realized that after I posted...I should read better!

My first bow came from one of those, and while it was a nice bow for me, if I had to do it over I would go with the pro shop and pay more. I'm not a rich guy, but value is a big part of price. First off, the guy who measured my draw was off by 3"...the local pro shop was within an inch. Lucky for me the draw length on that bow was widely adjustable, so I didn't need to take it back, but I had to find out the hard way how to set it up properly. Granted, there are some top notch archers working those stores who really know their stuff...but it isn't a given or in my experience a likely thing to expect. I vote pro shop.

By the way, I love shopping that big sporting goods chain...just not for my archer supplies.
 

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By all means please use your pro shop, this is thier living and they rely on true sportsman to stay in business. Just by having a shop they are dedicated to our sport. You have to place your own value on what it is worth to have someone dedicated and knowledgable as well as excited about the exact thing you are investing your money in. The big stores could care less if you spend five hundred dollars in sporting goods or ladies underwear, it is all about profit to them. Your pro shop will (should)strive to make you happy so you will come back. To me, that outweighs saving money in the short run.
 

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I prefer dealing with my proshop over the big box stores. I find them to be more helpful and they even know my name when I walk through the door. Their prices may be a little higher than the big box stores, but my proshop has one hell of an end of the season sale that the big box stores can't touch. My proshop's customer service is top notch and they are not satisfied until the customer is satisfied. Thats how they stay in business.
I was dissapointed with a big box store that I used to deal with a few years ago when they had a $400 bow on the shelf reduced to $75 as is. I looked over the bow and asked why so cheap. The bow guy told me that some dude dry fired it 3 times.
A good proshop would never sell something like that at any price.
 

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Doc Holliday said:
So you guys would be willing to spend 52% OVER msrp?
Whenever im able. I dont have a lot of money, so somtimes I am forced to the box stores for things I need, but if I can swing it I buy from my pro shop. I've spent as high as double what Gander Mountain has wanted for a Trophy Ridge drop zone.
 

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just curious what bow items were 50 pct over the box stores?that would be like selling a yellow jacket target for 90 dollars or a 6 pack of muzzys for 45.00 dollars.the only thing ive ever seen that high could be a special ordered stand because of freight cost and that would be extreme.ive never seen prices in the shops up here even close to that.
 

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PA Dave said:
There is no comparison between the two. A good local pro shop will take care of you. You are their life-blood, not people looking for underwear or designer jeans like the big box stores. If you have a quality problem, MegaStore will not give a crap or be able to do much for you if they did. Years ago I worked in the camera department at a department store, and we had an impressive lineup of cameras...and little or no knowledge to go with them. We made pennies on them, because they were there to bring in customers who would buy underwear and other more profitable items.

Places like Cabela's or Bass Pro are a little better, but not enough for my money.

I would go with Pro Shop #2...they are packed for reason, and they impressed you. The extra money is well spent. A regular customer to them is like family coming in. You could go to the big box store every day for year, and they still don't know you or care.
There is a reason that shop was so busy. He has fair prices is friendly and has good service. These guy CAN'T compete with box store prices because they simply don't do that kinda' volume. If you pay $79 for a sight at his shop that you can get on line for $65 the advice and service out weighs the extra cost IMO. Build a relationship with the owner and support the "good" shops because it’s a win win situation. What good does Cabelas and Bass pro do ya' when your serving breaks on Nov 1st?
 

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I believe he said the bow is 50% higher. If I were looking for a high end bow that was not available at Cabelas or Sportsman's Warehose then you have no choice but to go with the pro shop. If it's the same bow and the store with the older gentleman that was a hunter had the bow lower than the 2 proshops I would buy from there. I've given up on this support your local whatever after seeing how folks here are when it comes to buying American made items. I also believe that "pay more for the item to keep folks in business" goes out the door at your local Chevy dealer for most of these folks based on other posts here. Saving money is saving money. Pro shops also seem to change manufacturers alot more often than chain stores. The great bow you bought today is tomorrows junk at the proshop. There are a few posts here where folks have bought a Mathews bow and found that Mathews decided to change shops the next year and now the dealer you bought your bow from can't buy parts and refuses to work on it. I've watched 4 pro shops close in the last couple of years after supporting all 4. I spent more money on bows, arrows, and all accessories only to have them go out of business or have legal problems. The Gander Mountain, Bass Pro and Cabela's in my area are all still in business. Check the classifieds here. There is a member selling new Pearson bows with the warranty who's prices are better than you would find anywhere. I'm sure he could give you some assistance in setting it up. You can also find arrows for sale in the classified that are made better than any pro shop I've ever seen. Look under the michigander posts. Good luck wherever you buy it.
 

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Pro Shop

I kind of split things around. Example below

Bow = Always pro shop
Arrow rest = pro shop
sights = pro shop
stab/sling/release = open best price and service
arrows/broadheads = open best price and service
clothing/boots/scent control = open best price and service
 

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PA Dave said:
There is no comparison between the two. A good local pro shop will take care of you. You are their life-blood, not people looking for underwear or designer jeans like the big box stores. If you have a quality problem, MegaStore will not give a crap or be able to do much for you if they did. Years ago I worked in the camera department at a department store, and we had an impressive lineup of cameras...and little or no knowledge to go with them. We made pennies on them, because they were there to bring in customers who would buy underwear and other more profitable items.

Places like Cabela's or Bass Pro are a little better, but not enough for my money.

I would go with Pro Shop #2...they are packed for reason, and they impressed you. The extra money is well spent. A regular customer to them is like family coming in. You could go to the big box store every day for year, and they still don't know you or care.
Service and knowledge is everything! I would give out your home town on AT and hopefully you will get a response on what pro shops to use and which ones to say clear of!

The big boys might have a couple of people working that are good but think about the employee turn over that you see at the Wal-marts or Bass Pro's! The guy that was so helpful one week is gone the next!
Here Baltimore, MD you can beat Len Marsh from Macrotech! He has guys from all over the country sending him their bow to get tuned! This is the type of place you want to find in your area! I hope this helps you make the right choice!

Good Luck!
 

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Personally I feel that if a Pro Shop is 10% over cost that is fine and I will pay that because it will cost me more than that in gas to go to Cabela's or Sportsmans Warehouse. I don't think 20 or 50% is reasonable. I think that is price gouging and you won't get my business. I think that proshops forget that most hunters are not wealthy people. We are spending tons of money on licenses and equipment to hunt. We have to eat too!

However on days where I may need parts I will stop by the pro shop to get them. Also I will go there to get help with tuning and other services that I won't have done at the big stores. If a pro shop owner doesn't want to work on my bow because I didn't buy it from there then he doesn't deserve my business period.
 
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