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 Post subject: Not so happy customer.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:08 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:53 am
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Location: Sollentuna, Sweden, Europe
My Adventure Island is ordered in beginning of April by me and also by the Swedish dealer.
Normal time between order and delivery is 5-6 weeks.
Due to some delays (for reasons I don’t know) in US, my AI will not be delivered before 6 July 2012.

In Sweden the season for using kayaks is short, mainly May to end of August. We also have a vacation period, when 95% of the Swedish population take their holiday, from last week in June to first week in August. We move out to country houses, go travelling abroad and go to holiday resorts. We are not at home this period.

Consequence 1:
I miss at least one month of the short paddling season and because I was noted about the new delivery time as late as 14 June (when I already thought the delivery was late), I have to cancel this summers planned big trip. I can’t make any new plans before I see the new AI before my eyes.

Consequence 2:
I can’t sell my used 2010 Adventure before the new AI arrives, I need both to see what equipment to keep and what to follow the old one. After end of June there is no market for used (or new) kayaks, possible buyers having holidays. “Elvis has left the building” you can say. The market in August is poor and prices are low, not much left of the paddling season. Try to sell ice cream on the beach in winter and snow. I will loose some money here, plan was to sell in end of May or June.

Consequence 3:
I love my Hobie dealer, she have helped me a lot. I want her to have good business and a stable profitability. As a Hobie customer, I want her shop to stay on the market. Local support is better than distant. In the same delivery she now gets kayaks with the same problem to sell. She have offered me to use her own AI fore free. She asked Hobie Europe (Holland) if they have any yellow AI left, but they were sold out. She also got noted very late about the new delivery date. This is not ok. I don’t want to fight with her, I don’t think this is her fault but there is no one else to deal with for me. If I ask for some refund, I think it will be an expense for the local dealer.

Conclusion:
I wonder how Hobie Europe benefits me, the Swedish end customer. Every time US dollar goes up, Hobie prices go up in Sweden. When US dollar goes down, nothing will happen in Sweden.

Every middleman must earn some money. That effects the end price in Sweden.

I am not sure about any details in this case but the risk for bad communication exceeds when there are more participants information must pass. If there is defect hulls delivered to Sweden there is always the problems with high transportation costs to correct this.
Who shall pay these? Hobie US, Hobie Europe or Local dealer?

Hobies outstanding support, will it benefit from having 3 levels of Hobie responsibility in Sweden?
Local dealer, Hobie Europe and Hobie US.

I vote for the simpler alternative, just Hobie US direct to Swedish dealer. I think there will be better handling of complicated matters and better communication. Maybe even possible to see price effects when US dollar is going down. And no middleman costs.

This can of course be an adequate matter in other countries than Sweden.

Enough complaining. I love my Adventure and will probably love the AI when it comes.

BR
thomas


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:45 pm 
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Location: New Zealand
Hi Thomas, sounds like Hobie NZ. All kayaks and parts have to come via Australia, I have been waiting for deep hatch buckets for months now. As the NZ dollar strengthened against the US dollar the prices of Hobies went up not down!

The local dealer told me kayaks would be cheaper if they could be imported direct from the states but no they have to be sent to Australia then to NZ. Australia is further from the US than NZ so we pay extra freight!

As a member of the local kayak fishing club and the Kayak Fishing NZ Forum I know lots of guys are interested in Hobies its just the price that puts them off. I am not sure how the pricing works but I am sure direct delivery and taking into account the exchange rate could make for a more competitive product!

All that being said we love our Hobies and aren't about to change brands, it does make you a little creative though. I have had fin masts made by an engineer at less than half the cost of the Hobie product and when we bought my wife's Sport second hand we found the pedal shafts were corroded. Rather than face the cost of replacing the pedals with Hobie parts and wait months for them to arrive the same engineer simply replaced the pedals with pedals from and exercise bike, again at the fraction of the cost of the genuine parts.

So Hobie please spare a thought for those of us on the edge of your empire :D


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:13 am 
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Location: High Point, NC
As someone that does some shipping overseas, there are considerations you may not be aware of. I don't know for sure as I don't specifically ship kayaks, but here are a few things I've run into with at least similar items.

Shipping individual kayaks all over the world would likely raise the shipping fee per boat to astronomical levels. It can turn out to be less expensive to ship a single container filled with several kayaks to one localized dealer and have them reship individual boats to other nearby locations from their facility.

Most anything that gets shipped from the US to other countries will be taxed or have a tariff imposed (no such thing as free trade for the US) at the point of entry. These taxes, fees, duties, and tariffs vary and sometimes are imposed per shipment and sometimes per item. See above.

It could well be that Hobie is already doing all it can to make sure that it's worldwide customers get the quickest shipping and best price possible.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:44 am 
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Location: Sollentuna, Sweden, Europe
Tom Kirkman wrote:
Shipping individual kayaks all over the world would likely raise the shipping fee per boat to astronomical levels. It can turn out to be less expensive to ship a single container filled with several kayaks to one localized dealer and have them reship individual boats to other nearby locations from their facility.


I am aware of that. Of course a filled container will be most cost effective. But if (this is just an example) there is some production delays in US and the shipping is delayed due to the intention of filling the container, that delay maybe is ok with Hobie Europe. But for Sweden, that lies in the northen of Europe, that shipment will miss the selling market. These kayaks will most probably either be sold at non profitable prices or keeping the shelfes warm to next spring.

As a customer I want to buy a 2012 AI for use 2012.
The deal with Hobie Sweden is a certain price and an expected delivery point.
As I said before, I don't know all details in this case.
But I suspect that everything to Sweden must go through Hobie Europe, is not something that benefits me.

See also what charlief responded:
"The local dealer told me kayaks would be cheaper if they could be imported direct from the states but no they have to be sent to Australia then to NZ. Australia is further from the US than NZ so we pay extra freight!"

May I point out that this is not all about shipping costs. I think that a middelman not necessarily have the same interests that the smaller local dealer have. Europe is a big market with many countries and also different currencys. Climate in Sweden is not the same as in Canary Islands.

Br
thomas


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:13 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 5:17 pm
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Location: Auckland NZ
I echo CharlieF's comments about buying Hobier kayaks in NZ - we are at the furthest extremity of the supply chain and very much at the mercy of the combined effects of remoteness and currency conversions. And, believe me, I have had to do my fair share of waiting for products and parts to be delivered.

Unfortunately there is not an easy way round this problem - it is called Supply Chain and armies of professionals are employed all over the world to analyse and optimise it.

If local prices were to be standardised then we wouldn't get to benefit from favourable exchange rate changes.

And if all the possible products and parts that people might want were to be manufactured and/or stocked so as to be available at the drop of a hat in every location round the world where Hobie products are in use/demand then the costs to Hobie would be enormous and would be passed on to us in the form of even higher prices for the products that we buy.

To my mind the high prices of Hobie products and lead times for ordering some products and parts are just a simple fact of life and we each have a choice as to whether we wish to tolerate them or not.

For those who decide that they don't want to pay the price for a highly-differentiated premium product there are many perfectly reasonably priced but more commoditised alternative products available from other manufacturers.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:34 pm 
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Location: New Zealand
Quote:
For those who decide that they don't want to pay the price for a highly-differentiated premium product there are many perfectly reasonably priced but more commoditised alternative products available from other manufacturers.

Gee Stobbo thats a mouthful :lol:
I follow your drift - the whole economy of scale thing in relation to the local dealer carrying parts is understandable. There is also the Catch 22 situation of the price working against them building up a critical mass of customers that would enable them to carry a range of parts. In the meantime I despair of ever seeing the deep gear buckets I ordered 3 months ago. I particularly want one to use in the rear hatch to set up for my fish finder battery :(
But damn they are great kayaks!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:56 am 
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Location: Sollentuna, Sweden, Europe
stobbo wrote:
For those who decide that they don't want to pay the price for a highly-differentiated premium product there are many perfectly reasonably priced but more commoditised alternative products available from other manufacturers.


ohh! I felt that! :o

I had no intention to annoy anyone. I was not critical about Hobie products. I was not complaining over prices on Hobie products.

I was questioning the Supply Chain, yes.
And Supply Chain costs, yes.
And if Hobies Outstanding Support was suffering from the amount of links in the Supply Chain, yes.
And if communication was good enough when there was many links in the Supply Chain, yes.
And if a small market, like Sweden (we have just 1 local dealer) was overlooked by Hobie Europe due to their interests of the much bigger market in other european countries.

And I still do.

But "questioning" is one stage before "critisism". And I didn't go that far. I just raised the question.
Hopefully things can be done to ensure that the Supply Chain do not effect end customer in a negative way.
In my case I belive it has.

br
thomas


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:09 pm 
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Location: Auckland NZ
Thomas, no offence meant - all I really meant was that it is just a fact of life that we have to put up with living in countries which represent a smaller or more distant (or both) marketplace for the manufacturer.

I am surprised that there's only one dealer in Sweden. There's only one here in NZ as well which I can understand, but I am surprised about Sweden.

I guess that while we have a lot of coastline and almost ideal weather conditions year-round there are still only relatively few potential customers in NZ.

Whereas in Sweden I guess that there may be fewer people willing to pay a lot of money for the privilege of dipping their backsides into water that is freezing cold for half the year !?

Incidentally it is one of my goals to go back to Sweden to kayak and fish the route that I took in a motor boat some years ago along the lakes and canals around Arjang - it was IDEAL country for exploring by kayak (as many people were doing, typically in folding canvas kayaks like Pouches and Kleppers) and it would be even more so on board a Hobie Mirage Drive boat.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:50 pm 
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Location: Sollentuna, Sweden, Europe
Hello Stobbo

Just as an example, stock tramps for an AI is $759 (USD) in Sweden, just checked it up. In US stock tramps is $360 according to

viewtopic.php?f=69&t=37645&start=390

posted by Capt Boozer, Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:07 am.
I can't say for sure if that is correct, or if it is for an AI.
Well, if it is correct, isn't the price diff mindblowing? :shock: :shock:

How much do you have to pay for a pair of stock tramps in NZ?

stobbo wrote:
I am surprised that there's only one dealer in Sweden.
Thats not entirely correct, I think you can buy Hobie Kayaks at one or two other places but I think they just distribute for the local dealer and all spare parts and all stuff to the catamarans is coming from just one Swedish Hobie agent, my local dealer. Local as in Sweden.

stobbo wrote:
Incidentally it is one of my goals to go back to Sweden to kayak and fish the route that I took in a motor boat some years ago along the lakes and canals around Arjang - it was IDEAL country for exploring by kayak

I have paddled in these lakes (Dalslands Kanal). It's more of system of lakes, very beautyful and perfect waters for kayaking. But we also have thousands of islands around the swedish coastline. Kayaking in Sweden is very popular but the normal season is short. Some experienced people is paddling year around.

BR
thomas


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:11 am 
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Ach! quit yer moaning :lol: :wink: Yer getting a NEW KAYAK. You Live in Sweden. Things could be a lot worse. You could be Greek and living off food parcels from the red cross.

A big container is on its way and a few people are earning their living from your purchase. Its a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of things.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:59 pm 
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Location: Auckland NZ
Quote:
Ach! quit yer moaning


That is truly hilarious and right in so many ways!

Spoken like a true Jock :P


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:14 pm 
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Location: Sollentuna, Sweden, Europe
cosybike wrote:
Ach! quit yer moaning :lol: :wink: Yer getting a NEW KAYAK. You Live in Sweden. Things could be a lot worse. You could be Greek and living off food parcels from the red cross.

A big container is on its way and a few people are earning their living from your purchase. Its a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of things.


I am not moaning, I am QUESTIONING.

But your are right. In the grand scheme, there would not even be a Hobie Forum. Because if you own a Hobie you are a lucky person who probably have nice life.

And if you are Greek, you don't even pay taxes. :lol:

br
thomas


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