Friday, November 21, 2008
How to Avoid Shopping Hell Part 1: Quiksilver Friends and family Sale
I have a neighbor who wakes up at the ass crack of dawn on Black Friday and hauls ass down to Best Buy to snatch up whatever $40 flat screen TV they have on sale the day after Thanksgiving. Usually I am working off a world class Turkey binge via skating or as luck would have it some snow slashing that very same day. After all, the latter is more important plus this is the civilized world and lines are for suckers. Big box electronics stores can advertise all they want but until the but a teleportation machines on the auction block I'll keep doing my thing.
Now picking up the necessary skate-surf-snow items is another matter entirely. At this juncture in life I have one theory with two parts and it goes like this: Support your local shop whenever you can. I've always espoused that theory whenever possible in this blog. Local shops build the scene, are a rallying point and typically the lifeblood of your skate-surf-snow community. Part two comes down to common sense: when you see a good opportunity, take it. That brings us to brand stores. A few years back there was some hullabaloo about brands selling directly online. Vans and Burton come as the first big brands to take this on and now it seems everybody is heading in that direction. The circumstances driving the stores vary but the end game is that it's an opportunity for you, at times, to get what you want for some type of bargain. That of course depends on what your idea of bargain is...
So with Black Friday looming I figured I'd start rolling out the Online Shopping Alternatives to your local shop. As I mentioned before, support the shop but these dire financial times can make you the big winner. Previously mentioned Vans and Burton both have online shopping portals which are OK. The main thing here, and the reason I don't recommend them, they don't offer anything different from what a typical shop offers. Nothing against the brands, I like their product but go buy that from a local shop. Lets move into "opportunity and payoff for you as a consumer".
Lets talk Quik for a few minutes. I actually like Quiksilver products. Never mind the RVCA, Volcom, whatever else the crap is going on in the shrediverse, I firmly believe that Quiksilver just has their pieces from streetwear to boardshorts to snow outerwear dialed in. Most important they do the best job out there of explaining their fit system to people. This was probably the first thing that made me smile about the website.
I took Quiksilver.com for a test spin today and bought a few things. I know what you are saying: "I thought all glamorous bloggers got their gear for free!?!?!? Not so much. Plus have you seen my picture lately I've been downgraded by Moody's from glamorous to sourpuss. Granted, Quiksilver's website and store are better now than in the past iteration, however, they still have a long ways to go in order for it to be more user friendly: I kept finding deadlinks. Really, there is no excuse for that. On the plus side a nice feature is the lower page tracking of the last 10 items you viewed so you can quickly go back to something. Also their "buy this look" feature should make it easy for somebodies crazy Aunt to go online and hook it up rather than wander around Macy's looking for your gear. Factor in their fit explanation system and it came together just not in an intuitive manner.
What triggered me finally making a purchase form this site? Well, I'm glad you asked. I received an e-mail that stated the following:
Quiksilver Friends and Family Event:
3 Ways to get 40% off your purchase from Nov 20-23
1. Shop Online using promo code FFN8
2. Print this email and bring it into our stores
3. Order by phone 800-435-9917
Hmmm, looked legit. Checked it out and sure enough it worked. Plus free shipping. I classify that as a good consumer experience. Even the Misses got in on the action and checked out a few items. Why wait until December 26th for everything to be marked off 40%? Hustle now. Overall, I'll give the shopping experience a 9 out 10 based on the discounts and the ability to send along the products via social plug ins. I was also pleased to see it was valid across their entire site and all product lines. So, if you like Quik outerwear for snowboarding ... giddyup. An even larger way to compound your savings was to look at their Sale category.
OK, so that's a few too many words for one blog post. I would be curious to hear form somebody at Quiksilver if this was driven by the poor economic climate or their current cash flow issue. However, would they reach out to a sucker like me? Doubtful. But, if you dig Quik this is your opportunity to take advantage of a situation and maybe even save some cash this Holiday season Tomorrow we dive into a the opposite world: the C-3 Online store. Until then good luck and don't go broke.