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.