FREE FREIGHT AUSTRALIA WIDE RETAILERS ARE THE MAIN CULPRITS OF THE CURRENT STATE OF THE INDUSTRY
We can't entirely blame consumers for getting the cheapest price delivered to their door. Unfortunately human nature prevails and saving money outweighs buying from the local retailer that may have even helped you with the dimensions for your undisclosed future internet purchase.
We can't blame forums that advertise 'Free freight Australia Wide' retail stores and 'Free freight Australia wide distributors' that are now absolutely torching the wholesale to retail agreement and underselling all the retail stores.
The business model of making some money from what remains of a profit margin from a discounted board with free freight Australia wide has created a business model with no future for all retailers that sell the involved brands of the 'Free Freighters'
So here we are.
Thanks 'Free Freighters'
I think you have to realize that many of us don't have a "local shop"the closest retail shop is an hour to an hour and a half away from where we live.You might ring up find they have the board you want in stock,so you drive up only to find it's just been sold ( yes experience).We have to rely on reading reviews or seeing someone with the board and beg for a ride.So the choice is an hour plus drive with the risks involved,fuel and wear and tear or free freight, I know my choice.
How many times have you bought something online either from a retailer ( yes smart retailers sell online ) or online only with FREE freight (postage) only to realise the freight is built into the overall cost.
but yes you're right you can't blame the consumer.
The truth is consumers don't owe you a living, you have to work out a way to improve supply/ diversify etc
I agree with fitzup, I live almost an hour from my nearest local manufacturer who sells high quality boards for more experienced suppers who know what they want. Trying to work something out for a newbie to the SUP game meant having to go online. It's a tough business, but my next board (now that I know what I want) will probably be a custom, local build.