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How To Buy From Sierra Trading Post

by

Eugene Macri

Sierra Trading Post:  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

 

Fly Fishing and Spin fishing outfit on How to Buy From Sierra Trading Post at www.flyfisher.com 

I've been buying from Sierra trading post for years. In most instances I have been satisfied. However, their pricing policies, bait and switch tactics and other things have left many fly fishermen to ask, “Did I really get the best deal.” Well that depends upon how the game is played. You can get unbelievable buys on certain items but you can also be hustled by their deal fliers and on how they derive their so called discounts.

Why they do this I really don't know! However, I believe that they are bordering on the grounds of illegality and it will only take one state attorney to put an end to this type of pricing and marketing sleight of hand.

Sierra Trading Post is a huge distribution center originating from Wyoming. They carry just about anything in the sports and outdoor arenas. However, in most instances they have limited quantities. On their websites they list the discount prices. However, if you sign up for their for their fliers or purchase from them then you will receive the best deals …..sort of. Many of the products are closeouts, seconds (especially with things like sweat shirts etc.). However, they also have first line and first run products especially in the fishing and fly fishing areas. They often buy overstock from manufacturers and other distributors. Here are a couple of examples of recent purchases I've made:

  •   
    I purchased dozens of flies from Thailand. These are the top flies tied and imported into America and are sold by the Orvis and other fly fishing companies. These flies retail from $16 to $25 per dozen.  I paid $4.83 to $6.05 per dozen which is quite a buy.
     

  • I have purchased numerous top quality fly rods (because I instruct and guide) like Ross, Reddington and others for over 75% off their retail.  I actually searched the net including Ebay to find the same rod for price comparisons and no one could match their prices.
     

  • I purchased breathable rain jackets with prices that no one could touch from manufacturers like Frogg Toggs and Columbia.

So what's the problem. The problem lies in their tactics in marketing and a few other things. The deal fliers that they send you often don't necessary give you the best deals. They say get this at 35% off and when you get there you can't figure if it applies to the total or is already subtracted. They will send you numerous fliers with various discounts including free or cheap shipping. Shipping can be enormous and they also charge tax no matter what state you are from. They basically play what we call a marketing game by doing an A, B, and C split for the same merchandise. But they send them to the same customer which makes no sense. So if you have the time you can figure them out on how to get the best price. They often have what is called “Flash” sale which is a sale that has a very limited time period. Here's an example of what I mean. I recently priced a Reddington rod. Retail was near $400.00. I got 5 flyers in 3 days. The price on the same rod was $234 to $153 for the same rod. I waited because I knew their tactics and got the rod for $153. The strange thing is the price of $190 didn't include free shipping and would have cost over $200!

So if you have time to play their game and don't mind comparing prices you can get some great deals. But there are other problems with Sierra Trading too. Sometimes it appears they repackage returns as new. Also, their packaging of product resembles third world idiots and the everything comes apart in the box. Also, they will also fail to include warranty cards etc. which can be big deal. Sometimes they don't describe things accurately including whether the rod comes with a rod tube etc. I recently reviewed a website where people file complaints against companies and they rate only around 5 out of 10. Therefore, they must pulling this stuff with all the merchandise they sale. They ship fairly quickly and I will say that when I had a return or two they did handle it professionally.

If you wish to buy from them remember what I have said to get the best price. Here's my list of what they have the best deals on in my estimation:

  • Waders and wading shoes.  Very good prices better than most places but often time limited sizes 
  • Fly Rods and sometimes outfits.  They really do have good prices on rods if you go through all the fliers and deals.  Everything from low end to really high end rods. 
  • Fly leaders and tippets. Name brand stuff and cheaper than you can import some of the stuff from China on Ebay
  • Fly fishing accessories from zingers to clippers. Not a large selection but name brands at good prices. I recently bought good Dr. Slick zingers for around $3.00 a piece
  • Fly lines good deals sometimes with the right coupon flyer
  • Spinning rods for ultra light to saltwater....really good prices.
  • Fly reels: if you look carefully you can get good deals. They also carry extra spools which are sometimes hard to find.
  • Good buys on shoes, hiking boots but be wary of size and make sure they match the photo and description.
  • Good deals on polarized sunglasses


You can also get some good prices on vests and jackets as well as clothing if you don't mind doing your homework. Why don't they just give the best price to the best customers all of the time? I don' know but probably some dickhead bean counter with an MBA from some fancy university who never ran anything told them they would make more money this way but I don't think so. Also, be wary of size descriptions. Read the reviews which sometimes will give you the true size of vest, waders, jackets etc and how they will fit. This should give a heads up if you wish to buy from them. Learn how to get the best deal and you'll get some really good buys if you have some patience.

 

 

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