Who owes whom when it comes to feathers?

Blog Forums Fly Fishing Who owes whom when it comes to feathers?

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 20 total)
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  • #6029

    I correspond occasionally with Tom Whiting of Whiting Hackle.

    #53086

    I have no problem with his business decisions.

    #53087

    Great question.  It’s one I’ve struggled with in a few different capacities.  Help himself, serve the fashion industry VS. help the fly shops, serve the fishing industry.  
    Any one of a handful of companies like Revlon could buy the entire fly fishing industry and not blink so I imagine Mr. Whiting did not belabor his decision.  I completely understand his choice.  But why not take a risk for the benefit of local tackle shops and pass some of the profits down the chain.  Where this the case Whiting would still be profiting at an increased rate through increased shop orders and shops would be profiting through increased sales.      

    #53088

     Where this the case Whiting would still be profiting at an increased rate through increased shop orders and shops would be profiting through increased sales.

    That’s true (and in a sense, this is where they are now, since the fly shops and tiers now have to replenish the stocks they sold to the hair salons).

    But in this scenario, Whiting’s profits come from increased sales, but not necessarily because of an increase on a “per feather” basis, whereas if the fly shops raised prices they’re making more profit per feather, and even more so for the tiers who sold to eBay (or wherever) for huge profits.

    Since Whiting knew this was happening, should he have continued to sell only to fly shops out of “loyalty”?

    #53089
    Scott P.
    Member

    Whiting provides a quality product and constantly works to improve it.

    #53090
    Zach Matthews
    The Itinerant Angler

    Personally I was hoping Tom would take as much profit as he could, because it was nice to see at least someone killing it in fly fishing there for a while.

    #53091
    Zach Matthews
    The Itinerant Angler

    I can’t fault Tom for taking advantage of it… look at how many salons charged their customers with absurd prices for feather hair extensions. I know of several people who made close to $1 million or more last year selling feathers online. Why shouldn’t Whiting profit as well?

    How often do we, non-commercial fly tiers by a cape or saddle? We were small potatoes compared to the feather hair fashion salon sales in 2011. Who can fault anyone for wanting a piece of that action?

    The thing you must realize too is Tom cannot up his feather production overnight and by the time he did up his production of grizzly saddles, etc. the feather hair fad was probably heading south.

    #53092
    Curtis BiasCurtis Bias
    Member

    I’m just glad that I can finally buy some hackle from my local fly shop again.

    Mr. Whiting could have really cashed in if he decided to raise his prices. He didn’t do that. I really don’t see why anyone would hold that against him or his company. It was the fly shop and hair salons that raised the prices on the hackle due to demand. It is their right to set prices as they see fit. If I don’t like it because a fly shop increased prices and gouged customers I simply choose to stop shopping there.

    #53093

    I’m just glad that I can finally buy some hackle from my local fly shop again.

    Mr. Whiting could have really cashed in if he decided to raise his prices. He didn’t do that. I really don’t see why anyone would hold that against him or his company.

    The two issues I’ve heard people take issue with are:

    1) Whiting sold feathers directly to hair feather merchants.

    #53094
    Allan DozierAllan Dozier
    Member

    The way I see it, Whiting Farms is in the business of selling feathers, not fly fishing only feathers.

    I plan on living forever, so far so good.

    #53095

    I guess the point Andrew was making is

    #53096
    Jon Conner
    Member

    I guess the point Andrew was making is  No body “needed” those extensions so if customers were gullible enough to pay those prices they got what they deserved.

    This is entirely different than the price of ply wood tripling in the near aftermath of a certain devastating hurricane which permanently  rearranged a large portion of the Gulf Coast.
    JW

    Near as I can understand, Whiting did NOT raise wholesale prices, the crazy profits were taken at the retail side, as opposed to the aforementioned plywood price increases which were implemented by the manufacturers to take advantage of the spike in demand.
    JC

    #53097
    Zach Matthews
    The Itinerant Angler

    I guess the point Andrew was making is  No body “needed” those extensions so if customers were gullible enough to pay those prices they got what they deserved.

    This is entirely different than the price of ply wood tripling in the near aftermath of a certain devastating hurricane which permanently  rearranged a large portion of the Gulf Coast.
    JW

    Agreed.

    #53098
    Bob RigginsBob Riggins
    Member

    Supply and demand.

    #53099
    anonymous
    Member

    He has an obligation to his business and his family to maximize profits in a not so profitable industry.

    #53100

    If suddenly there were synthetic feathers available which exceeded the performance of the natural ones, would anyone be wondering whether we should continue to buy his stock of outdated material out of some sense of loyalty?  I wonder.

    Yes.

    #53101
    Colin M.Colin M.
    Member

    The real question is….are the prices going to come back down and level off near where they were pre fad.

    #53102

    Enjoyed this discussion.  Business is business and Tom’s got to do what Tom’s got to do.  My original point was in a way addressed in the conversation.  The loyalty piece to the puzzle is big for me.  Zach mentioned something like, “it was good for someone in the fly fishing business to be killing it for a while”…agreed, as Whiting is decidedly in the fly fishing business. I guess I would have liked to have seen more folks in the biz like shop owners “killing it” as well.  The whole market is razor thin (with a few exceptions perhaps), a drought, a flood, a wild fire, gas prices, rock snot… could put folks under in heart beat.  In which case, the loyal, make a difference.  I guess I got a soft spot for the brick and mortar.    

    #53103
    rob page
    Member

    The real question is….are the prices going to come back down and level off near where they were pre fad.

    It doesn’t look like it, does it?

    #53104
    R Black
    Member

    Supply and demand free market works !  I have a friend that has collected hackle for years and at the height of the trend he sold $6,000 worth of his collection.  Good for him, I’ll bet he buys some new gear with that money.

    If some of the nearsighted fishermen decide to boycott Whiting’s product  it will just be that much easier for me to find.

    Give the flyshop owners a break, I don’t know any of them that are getting rich.  Most seem to be barely hanging on.

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