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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pricing, Crossbows and Costs of Different Things

How does pricing work and what is the value of a purchase?
This past weekend, we spent a few minutes thinking about "cost." It began with travel to Penn State University to attend a graduation ceremony. After checking the internet, we found a nice room for $99.00. We called the same hotel directly to ask a few questions and they mentioned they had a "Special Graduation Room Rate" for this weekend. Well that sounded even better until the young lady said the special rate was $132.00 -- same room. Yes - a bit deceptive. That is 33% higher for the same product. We could only laugh and the young lady did as well. The internet is a great tool for information sharing and we felt good about our $99 purchase.
A graduation ceremony can be a long affair as a few hundred students are called to the stage one after the other -- and really, most family attendees have travelled a long way only to hear one name called and see that student walk, get a handshake and rightfully smile. There was plenty of free time to think about the economics of education. College is an expensive proposition. Again, the wheels began to turn and we noted the student we came to support graduated in 3.5 years vs. a national average of 4.7 years to receive a Bachelors Degree. The cost of moving slower vs graduating earlier cost 34 % more. (That difference could buy a lot of Kodabows.) We felt good a second time. What does this have to do with crossbows? When we make and sell crossbows at Kodabow, we look at value in an unconventional manner. We dig deep. In the past week, we spoke with a consumer who had purchased a competitive crossbow only to give up on that product and buy a Kodabow. It was an extreme case. After the 5th time his crossbow failed and after numerous replacements, he just totally gave up on his initial choice and bought a Kodabow. Initially, he placed a lot of value on this first bow and the warranty that came with it but he became flat "worn out" shipping his bow back and forth and dealing with customer service and it all became worthless. It was a 100% loss. Same for the man who bought a crossbow that came with a cheap scope that required replacement before he could confidently head to the woods. Another gent stopped by and described how he had just spent $100.00 to replace his cables and strings on another relatively newly purchased brand and that math calculation showed about a 15% cost penalty if he could have avoided that event. In today's economy, value is very important. There is also a lot of misinformation and a consumer needs to be smart. At Kodabow, we think we measure up and we will always give you straight answers and not be deceptive. Many of our customers are serious hunters and hardworking people who do not toss their discretionary income around casually. Buying a Kodabow is a big decision. We appreciate that viewpoint because we look at value the same way and believe the long term cost of Kodabow ownership is low. We know crossbows are complex products and things can go awry from time to time ...... but we will also tell you that we make a maximum effort to deliver honest to goodness value without cutting any corners and we hope that if you handle a Kodabow, own a Kodabow, shoot a Kodabow or ever visit with us, you can clearly see the value in our product. We feel good about that - third time in a weekend.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hunting, Crossbows and the Funny Stuff

Success --- you have taken a nice animal and it's picture time. Some of the best memories are the funny things and the funny people you meet along the way before the photos are taken. When in Africa and being introduced to my PH (professional hunter) by the Head PH, he said you will enjoy hunting with Frans - we call him the "human bush." That was a strange name. It was a few days later before I realized the significance of the nickname. When Frans was leading the way, he was such a big man that no one could see past him - hence, the "human bush" moniker. Missing a shot always involves mysterious forces that magically appear to disrupt perfect execution. "Tetonka" as he is affectionately known at Kodabow still hunts Indian style with a pull back bow and arrows with feathers. He stalks quietly through the woods and when he sees deer, he can get very close. It doesn't mean that the shot will go as intended. Just as the arrow is released, a strange force can surface that pulls a sleeve into the string path and the arrow is pulled far left. The story may begin with the phrase, "You are not going to believe this" and can end with something as unusual as "if you see a big 8 point with a broadhead stuck in his antler, let me know." The most common supernatural force is the dramatic appearance of a small sapling between the archer and the intended target that sucks an arrow directly into its wooden trap. Many a deer walks today saved by a tree. The two most important words in the crossbow hunting world are PAY ATTENTION. When a hunter pays attention, he/she has the best chance of circumventing a disaster in the field, earning a nickname, and avoiding mental anguish. Yes -- last Saturday, a hunter we all know quite well sat for two hours without realizing that there was no arrow on his crossbow rail.Thankfully, Mr. Big did not show up. And then later, our good friend who stopped by Kodabow in full camo describing the excitement of his morning hunt with his Kodabow until we advised him that deer season closed two days earlier. He narrowly escaped a major problem. Opening day of Deer Season one year was very memorable for an old friend named Jim who had high anticipation for sunrise the next morning. The cabin decided to turn in at midnight to get a good nights sleep. As Jim dozed off, the alarm clocks were set back to ring at 12:45 AM instead of 5:30 AM. As the bells rang, the rest of the cabin quickly jumped out of bed with high Opening Day spirit and began getting dressed acting as if 6:00 AM had just arrived. Yes ...it was 5 hours early but Jim didn't know. Every hunter had eyes on Jim. For some reason, his quiet remark loosely quoted as "Gee, I feel like I just went to sleep" brought boisterous laughter across the mountainside. Then we all went to bed. (I guess you had to be there!) The nice pictures are great but all the stuff that happens before the camera goes off are equally memorable and often the reason we enjoy being in the field so much.
Wishing you a good, safe and funny winter hunting season!
Your Friends at Kodabow