In a recent post I wrote that I'd be buying snowshoes and that I'd most likely buy them at Coast Mountain Sports with a hefty gift card I'd received . Well, I did buy snowshoes, but not at CMS. Here's why.
My three snowshoeing compadres, Biscotti and L&G, went to Mountain Equipment Co-op to browse and talk to a staff member about the different types of snowshoes. I tagged along. After half an hour or so, the three of them purchased the exact same type of snowshoe, as well as snowshoe bags for convenient transport and storage purposes.
Later that day, Biscotti and I found the exact same type of snowshoes at CMS, but at a significantly higher price. On the way to the store, we had agreed to ask them to price match if they were more expensive. So that's what we did, telling a staff member that MEC was selling the exact same snowshoes for a lot less. The staff member's response: we do 5-15% off, with proof that it was cheaper at a competitor's store. We had proof with Biscotti's MEC receipt, but 15% off still didn't come close to what MEC's price was.
Also, MEC has a far superior return policy and guarantee than CMS, which we pointed out and might as well not have for the response it got. Even with a hefty gift card, why would I spend more money on the same product while receiving an inferior return policy and guarantee? As you already know, from reading the first paragraph, I wouldn't.
I still had the gift card though, so I set off in search of snow pants and found a really good pair. I used them for the first time yesterday when Biscotti and I went snowshoeing at Hollyburn (Maui no, don't jump up on that snowshoer, down boy) and they were excellent.
The next day we were back at MEC and I finally bought snowshoes and a bag. I recommend buying a $5 lifetime membership (if you haven't already) and doing all your relevant shopping at MEC.