Much Ado About Tips. Tips? Yes, Tips!

I’m talking specifically about these tips:

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More accurately, tip protectors. For my Black Diamond Ergo Cork trekking poles. Why so excited? Because I bought them for $5.22 ($4.95 plus the ubiquitous sales tax).

Here’s the rub: I had never seen them for sale in the wild before until I stumbled upon them at small but mighty Northwoods Outfitters (a big shout-out to the friendly staff!) in tiny Greenville, ME. I had tried to pull the trigger on ordering them online, but kept running into the same roadblock.

Shipping.

One online/brick-and-mortar mega outfitter who shall remain nameless also sells them for $4.95, but wanted $5.99 for shipping. Call me crazy, but I’m fundamentally opposed to spending more on shipping than what I’m laying out for the product itself. THE online retail giant, again nameless, sells them only as an add-on item, so I either had to bundle them with something else and pay shipping for both items, or spend at least $40 combined so they would ship for free. I’m a marketing guy, so I get the logic behind this approach from a brand management perspective. But as a garden variety consumer, my response was, “Uh uh. No.”

So Northwoods Outfitters just won a customer for life. And this customer still needs a larger backpack, a sleeping pad, a Ursack and a JetBoil. I’ve always been a rabid supporter of small local businesses, and Greenville is only 90 minutes from home. A trip in mid-April now seems likely.

Who says there’s nothing good in Greenville besides Moosehead Lake?

(Fun fact: The header photo for this blog is a shot of Moosehead taken on a different trip to Greenville. So I do get up there once or twice a year)

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