By Steve Schweitzer
From the press release dated November 15, 2011: “The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) today announced a new partnership with TightLinz, (TLZ) LLC to promote private early access to select sales events for boaters and anglers involved with the organization’s programs. TLZ is also supporting the partnership by donating a percentage of all sales to RBFF to help advance its mission to increase participation in the sport.”
Tightlinz.com will begin to offer one-time spot buy opportunities of fishing and fishing-related gear to its private community of members next week. Its business model and platform is one and a half years in the making, according to Tightlinz managing partner Tuck Fauntleroy. Becoming a member is free by signing up at tightlinz.com. Current members can earn $10 by referring new members to join. Fauntleroy states, “tightlinz.com offers products and services that appeal to all types of anglers. Our members are into salt, fresh and fly fishing as well as general outdoors and boating.”
The Tightlinz business model is hybrid of an online liquidator and general online retailing. Similar online models have proven successful over the past few years, including woot.com and dealsonthefly.com, among hundreds of others. AT got a sneak peak of what products will be offered over the coming weeks – expect polarized sunglasses, Penn reels and various clothing items out of the gate. The spot-buys last only 72 hours, so members must make haste to grab the deals before inventory runs out.
Tightlinz also incorporates a nifty social responsibility twist. “We want to expand our relationships with non-profits that support conservation” says Fauntleroy, “We feel that everyone wins with this type of arrangement. Manufacturers can use our service to reach new customers, build brand recognition and manage the sale old or stale inventory with 100% control. Non-profits benefit through each sale we do and the consumer benefits by selection and price.”
While the online sales channel of “one-day-deal” retailers is not new, Tightlinz offers a new twist in the close-out & liquidation model by bringing non-profit benefit in the mix. How impactful the Tightlinz model will be on the fly fishing industry, retailers and manufacturers has yet to be seen. Expect AT to do a follow-up next year.
Outstanding! What a great way to kneecap small business owners in the industry. It’s worked out so well hasn’t it? The industry’s getting dumber and people are less polite and informed on the river. No worries — after all, we’ve got expos, mass-produced off-shore fishing product shows and an endless heap of cheap crap to peddle to posers. A fantastic solution indeed. Let’s just cheapen the experience and ensure everyone who wants to ‘look like a fly fisherman’ has the means to do so.
Here here Greg! I am so tired of this BS! Not to mention that Angling Trade actually backs this kind of stuff, or at least gives these organizations press. So what that they give to non-profits! I give or at least get asked for donations everyday! I try to keep my donations in the local community however. I know I can’t sell my products discounted legally and I sure don’t have the buying power to buy massive amounts of discounted products and discount them and sell enough of them to make a profit. What gives in this supposedly small business directed and protected industry. No wonder small business owners and staff can be unfriendly when customers come into the shop! They are getting squeezed every way and then of course customers expect a discount!!!
Nowhere in the piece above does it say that Angling Trade “backs this kind of stuff”. We are behind fly shops 100%. We are simply bringing you unfiltered, unbiased news on the subject and want you to be informed on what’s coming down the pike. If you would rather be uniformed on the matter and bury your head in the sand, that’s your prerogative. We’d rather you have all the facts. Just trying to be helpful Zeke. I’m sorry you feel otherwise.
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Both of you provide good insight and echo the majority sentiment of the industry for sure. I find the tightlinz model 1) not new, 2) not terribly innovative, 3) late to the game, and 4) too new to evaluate the potential impact. The fact of the matter is they have yet to have a sale, so critical prose is just that…it is not based on any fact whatsoever. Hence why I offer to do a potential follow-up in the future.
The key here is NOT to accost the retailer business model just yet since we have no history to go from, the key in my opinion, is how the manufacturing community partners with this retail model. The jury is out in my opinion. It’s just too soon to tell.
So what happens if manufacturers don’t partner with Tightlinz? well, we won’t have much to write or worry about in the future. What happens if the model takes off? What would the likely impact be to the fly fishing industry? Well, let’s look at the statistical likihood based upon what we know now. Tightlinz business model is non-descriminate to all anglers, boaters and outdoors-people. Fly fishers are just a fraction of a percentage of that entire population…and I suspect the fly fishing product that Tightlinz may move will be commensurate.
As I said earlier, the key is how fly fishing manufacturers partner with this model…it will be very interesting to see how this unfolds in the future. Until then, I’ll reserve my energy for more impactful issues in the industry, with a temporary eye kept on new issues like this. If I do my job right, you’ll have the accurate facts to resolve these issues in your own mind more quickly. And of course, Angling Trade can then form fact-based analysis with obvious allegence toward the fly fishing retailer.
No head buried in the sand, I am living right in the middle of this. Just would love to see the industry actually do what it says it supports and not do otherwise. I appreciate the news, otherwise I would not comment!
Agreed Zeke…the industry is akin to a giant head pulling its lower lip over the top of its head and swallowing.
Box stores, internet auction sites and bargain bin retailers blow out gear at prices local fly shops can’t touch (on any purchasing level). Manufactures and reps look the other way and do NOTHING to deter volume retailers from violating retailer agreements…just as long as the ‘players’ keep ordering, cash is rolling in, and inventory is blowing out the door.
How about that for an ‘industry’ story? While the ignorant and greedy fiddle, the teachers, riverkeepers, guides, and fly shop staffers get kicked in the teeth. And all the while, the fishing public at large remains uneducated (due to the dwindling accessibility of local resources)…not to mention the growing population of less informed anglers (but better dressed I suppose), and those far less informed about etiquette and courtesy in general.
At the end of the day, who cares? The ‘gear’ aspect of the fly fishing industry is a dried up corpse. The ‘Worlds Foremost Tax Evader’, ‘Crappie Pro Shop’ Ebay, and the aforementioned, half-baked bargain dealers will be the last parasites sucking off the host. Hope everyone gets paid.