How To Buy From Sierra Trading Post
Sierra Trading Post: The Good, the Bad, and the
I've been buying from Sierra trading post for years. In most instances I have been
satisfied. However, their pricing policies, bait and switch tactics and other things have left many fly fishermen
to ask, “Did I really get the best deal.” Well that depends upon how the game is played. You can get unbelievable
buys on certain items but you can also be hustled by their deal fliers and on how they derive their so called
Why they do this I really don't know! However, I believe that they are bordering
on the grounds of illegality and it will only take one state attorney to put an end to this type of pricing and
marketing sleight of hand.
Sierra Trading Post is a huge distribution center originating from Wyoming. They
carry just about anything in the sports and outdoor arenas. However, in most instances they have limited
quantities. On their websites they list the discount prices. However, if you sign up for their for their fliers or
purchase from them then you will receive the best deals …..sort of. Many of the products are closeouts, seconds
(especially with things like sweat shirts etc.). However, they also have first line and first run products
especially in the fishing and fly fishing areas. They often buy overstock from manufacturers and other
distributors. Here are a couple of examples of recent purchases I've made:
I purchased dozens of flies from Thailand. These are the top flies tied and imported into America and are sold
by the Orvis and other fly fishing companies. These flies retail from $16 to $25 per dozen. I paid $4.83
to $6.05 per dozen which is quite a buy.
I have purchased numerous top quality fly rods (because I instruct and guide) like Ross, Reddington and others
for over 75% off their retail. I actually searched the net including Ebay to find the same rod for price
comparisons and no one could match their prices.
I purchased breathable rain jackets with prices that no one could touch from
manufacturers like Frogg Toggs and Columbia.
So what's the problem. The problem lies in their tactics in marketing and a few
other things. The deal fliers that they send you often don't necessary give you the best deals. They say get this
at 35% off and when you get there you can't figure if it applies to the total or is already subtracted. They will
send you numerous fliers with various discounts including free or cheap shipping. Shipping can be enormous and they
also charge tax no matter what state you are from. They basically play what we call a marketing game by doing an A,
B, and C split for the same merchandise. But they send them to the same customer which makes no sense. So if you
have the time you can figure them out on how to get the best price. They often have what is called “Flash” sale
which is a sale that has a very limited time period. Here's an example of what I mean. I recently priced a
Reddington rod. Retail was near $400.00. I got 5 flyers in 3 days. The price on the same rod was $234 to $153 for
the same rod. I waited because I knew their tactics and got the rod for $153. The strange thing is the price of
$190 didn't include free shipping and would have cost over $200!
So if you have time to play their game and don't mind comparing prices you can get
some great deals. But there are other problems with Sierra Trading too. Sometimes it appears they repackage returns
as new. Also, their packaging of product resembles third world idiots and the everything comes apart in the box.
Also, they will also fail to include warranty cards etc. which can be big deal. Sometimes they don't describe
things accurately including whether the rod comes with a rod tube etc. I recently reviewed a website where people
file complaints against companies and they rate only around 5 out of 10. Therefore, they must pulling this stuff
with all the merchandise they sale. They ship fairly quickly and I will say that when I had a return or two they
did handle it professionally.
If you wish to buy from them remember what I have said to get the best price.
Here's my list of what they have the best deals on in my estimation:
- Waders and wading shoes. Very good prices better than most places but
often time limited sizes
- Fly Rods and sometimes outfits. They really do have good prices on rods
if you go through all the fliers and deals. Everything from low end to really high end
- Fly leaders and tippets. Name brand stuff and cheaper than you can import
some of the stuff from China on Ebay
- Fly fishing accessories from zingers to clippers. Not a large selection but
name brands at good prices. I recently bought good Dr. Slick zingers for around $3.00 a piece
- Fly lines good deals sometimes with the right coupon flyer
- Spinning rods for ultra light to saltwater....really good prices.
- Fly reels: if you look carefully you can get good deals. They also carry
extra spools which are sometimes hard to find.
- Good buys on shoes, hiking boots but be wary of size and make sure they match
the photo and description.
- Good deals on polarized sunglasses
You can also get some good prices on vests and jackets as well as clothing if you don't mind doing your homework.
Why don't they just give the best price to the best customers all of the time? I don' know but probably some
dickhead bean counter with an MBA from some fancy university who never ran anything told them they would make more
money this way but I don't think so. Also, be wary of size descriptions. Read the reviews which sometimes will give
you the true size of vest, waders, jackets etc and how they will fit. This should give a heads up if you wish to
buy from them. Learn how to get the best deal and you'll get some really good buys if you have some