Alpkit

Please be fair and thoughtful in your opinions. No rants please.
mercalia
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Alpkit

Postby mercalia » 25 May 2017, 9:15pm

I am really puzzled by this company. I like their products and have their elephants foot and Hunka bivvy bag, but what sort of company has a "Sold Out" for most of its bag stock, esp nearing summer time. I am suprised they remain in business :!: :?: :!: :?: :!: :?:

What would you do if you went to your local Sainsbuys and just found empty shelves? Not bother going back? and go else where

sold out.JPG
sold out
Last edited by mercalia on 25 May 2017, 10:24pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Alpkit

Postby Tangled Metal » 25 May 2017, 9:27pm

The bag I wanted is out of stock until the last week of my holiday. Time for plan B I reckon.

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RickH
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Re: Alpkit

Postby RickH » 25 May 2017, 10:31pm

mercalia wrote:I am really puzzled by this company. I like their products and have their elephants foot and Hunka bivvy bag, but what sort of company has a "Sold Out" for most of its bag stock, esp nearing summer time. I am suprised they remain in business :!: :?: :!: :?: :!: :?:

What would you do if you went to your local Sainsbuys and just found empty shelves? Not bother going back?and go else where

I think a lot of their kit was made in China, which can cause supply delays for a small company (I've encountered that in the past with another company in a non-cycling field). They seem to be gradually moving more production back to the UK which should improve things.

To their credit, stuff they do have in stock is despatched promptly & seems to be well made.

Side note: there seems to be a bit of a no-man's-land when small companies grow where they can suffer supply problems unless they have someone with deep pockets to fund a leap in stock levels.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Alpkit

Postby Tangled Metal » 25 May 2017, 10:45pm

They've always had this issue. Batches of bags sell out quickly then a couple of months wait for new batch. It's actually supposed to be a lot better these days though.

rualexander
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Re: Alpkit

Postby rualexander » 26 May 2017, 12:21am

There's a high demand for their stuff, I've seen several used items on ebay sold for more than the new price direct from Alpkit.

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pjclinch
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Re: Alpkit

Postby pjclinch » 26 May 2017, 8:50am

mercalia wrote:I am really puzzled by this company. I like their products and have their elephants foot and Hunka bivvy bag, but what sort of company has a "Sold Out" for most of its bag stock, esp nearing summer time. I am suprised they remain in business :!: :?: :!: :?: :!: :?:


Selling all your stock is a much nicer problem for a business to have than not selling any of it...

mercalia wrote:What would you do if you went to your local Sainsbuys and just found empty shelves? Not bother going back? and go else where


Sainsbury's is a rather different business though. If they've nothing for me to buy I go hungry on the order of hours to days, which isn't quite the same proposition as a bag I'd expect to be using for a good 10 years. So if it's something I can do without for now, unlike food, I might be tempted to wait and keep an eye on stock (and I do that via a web browser, which is a bit easier than going to the physical shop) and if it's around I've another option, and if it isn't I go elsewhere.

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honesty
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Re: Alpkit

Postby honesty » 26 May 2017, 12:11pm

Buying too much stock and then having to flog it cheap can kill a small business (it's one of the reasons being attributed to the death of Vulpine). Alpkit seems to be doing the far more sensible option of only ordering what they know they can sell.

PH
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Re: Alpkit

Postby PH » 26 May 2017, 2:09pm

honesty wrote:Buying too much stock and then having to flog it cheap can kill a small business

Likewise holding stock is expensive in itself, particularly if the money tied up in it isn't your own. Cash flow is probably the most common feature of business failure, even those with good product and marketing. The Alpkit model of batch purchasing on estimated demand pretty much ensures a faster turnover even if it increases the likelihood of items being out of stock. They're also very keen on people pre-ordering, it's a good indicator of demand. The reputation for stuff going out of stock might sometimes work in their favour, buying something sooner than you might if you were sure it would remain in stock. Of course it only works if the product is seen as better in some way than alternatives, they seem to have that sorted, though I wonder if the same business model will work in the new shop.

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Re: Alpkit

Postby PH » 26 May 2017, 2:21pm

RickH wrote:I think a lot of their kit was made in China, which can cause supply delays for a small company (I've encountered that in the past with another company in a non-cycling field). They seem to be gradually moving more production back to the UK which should improve things.

My limited knowledge of China manufacturing is that factory time booked well in advance and that's the only time they can make that product. This is/was something new when China industrialised. It was covered in a materials costing course I did some years ago, the economies of scale are huge, which partly accounts for China’s dominance even amongst other low cost economies.