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Why Our Skis and Snowboards Cost What They Do

Why Our Skis and Snowboards Cost What They Do

What. A. Week! We had no idea what to expect when we launched the Community Care Sale, and here we are, a week later, overwhelmed and overjoyed. We have received so many offers that we’re having a hard time keeping up with them. That’s not the worst problem to have, and we thank you for your patience with us as we sort through them.

Today we want to talk about the offers and why we can accept some immediately and others require more time. In the Community Care Sale, we talk about the threshold: the minimum amount that we can accept that covers all of the costs of getting that new pair of skis or a snowboard to you. For every offer that meets that threshold, we are unlocking one offer that doesn’t. 

So let’s talk about our super sexy and smart pricing. There is a price that we, as a very small business, need to hit for us to be financially viable, by which we mean keep the doors open. 

That price is comprised of the actual cost of the product, plus all of the other things that are necessary to deliver a pair of skis or a snowboard to you. Here’s a rough breakdown of what each cost looks like, start to finish:

  • Manufacturing the product
  • Shipping the goods to our warehouse
  • The labor in receiving the goods
  • The warehouse to hold our goods
  • The insurance to protect them
  • The labor and creativity that goes into sharing all of this with you–think social media and sending these emails and designing the website (good job Char and Jen!)
  • The labor that goes into our customer care–answering all of your questions and chatting about sizing and models (way to crush Sarah!)
  • The labor to pack the box (thanks Madre Fay!)
  • The box to ship them in
  • Shipping them to you
  • The labor of accounting for your order in our books

Again, this is a relatively high-level list of what it costs for that pair of skis or snowboard to arrive at your door. The price that we sell our gear at covers these costs. There’s not a whole lot left over, which is normal for small businesses. We aren’t hoarding mass amounts of cash or paying people six figures. We’re getting by, just like you. 

Our financial projections include an average discount of 20% when we factor in the discount codes for things like signing up for our emails, loyalty points, giveaways, BFCM sales, and pro-deals. So you can imagine with a sale like the Community Care Sale, when most of the offers are for over 20% off, we are taking a pretty big hit. There is a point where an offer is so low that it doesn’t even cover the cost of manufacturing, let alone everything else on that list. 

Price transparency for skis and snowboards -- what skis and snowboards actually cost

As you decide what offer you want to make, this might help inform your decision:

  • Offers that are between 0 and 20% off help our business and the people who work at Coalition thrive, not in an extractive and toxic capitalistic way, but in a small business pay our rent/mortgage, afford healthcare, eat nutritious food, have some extra cash to do the things we love, save a bit for the future. You know, the things we all want. We don’t think we should apologize for that and neither should you. 
  • Offers between 21% and 40% won’t put us out of business, but we won’t have a team that works year-round. That’s obviously very difficult for us as a business and also as individuals. We won’t have the capacity to do a lot of extra things all the time, like events, creating content that keeps you coming back for more, or donating as much gear as we currently do to non-profits and causes we believe in. 
  • Once we enter the 50% to 60% off zone, that ski or snowboard is barely paying for the manufacturing and cost of shipping.
  • All discounts over 60% off don’t cover the basic costs.

Keep in mind that you have to think of this at scale–it’s not that one offer at 60% is going to tank us; it’s that we can’t accept all of them because that will. 

We’re not sharing this to make you feel bad about your offer or shame you into reconsidering it. We’re sharing this because we want you to know the truth. This sale is rooted in the honesty and trust that we’ve been building together over the past 10 years. We will absolutely approve offers that are below the threshold because that’s also what this sale is about: reducing the financial barriers to participating in skiing and snowboarding.

We hope this has been helpful. If you have any questions about the sale, your offer, our gear, please reach out! We’re happy to help. 


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