Where to buy camping gear
Hello everyone, I'm here on a work-holiday visa and I was very glad to find this site! I'm currently on the south island in the Blenheim area and in need of new boots, sandals, and maybe a backpack. I'm looking for something that will last me for the year, doing Abel Tadman, Fiordlands, and probably more in the north island. And finally the question: where should I get hiking boots(and camping gear) in NZ? The stores in the main streets seem overpriced and undergrade,plus I don't know most of the brands. Any recommendations or tips? Thanks!
Macpac and katmandu would be your main choices there but as you have already seen they cater for real trampers and the looking like trampers market as there is more money in the look the part market than there is in the real gear. Otherwise Hunting and fishing has good hunting gear which works fine for hiking although it can be a little heavy. Not sure what other shops would be in Blenheim
I suggest Bivouac, Living Simply, Torpedo 7 and indeed also MacPac. Not sure they have that on the South Island! Given you're asking here, Kathmandu doesn't really target trampers. They have certain useful items, but they target travellers, not trampers. One thing I would not get there would be back packs. I'm guessing they have more boutique shops on the South ISland, and Christchurch will have a few of them. We have an online market place here, TradeMe, check that out, everybody sells their surplus gear there.
Hunting & fishing are in most smaller towns. They have some gear suited to tramping as well as hunting. Better gear than Kathmandu at any rate - though not as much as a tramping dedicated shop.
Buy online at rei.com, ship to a friend, then have that friend send to you via priority mail. Outrageous prices exist here in NZ for tramping equipment. If you have the time, shop stateside online and ship here through a 3rd party to avoid the audacious 15% GST. Only shop for tramping gear in NZ when there is a sale, usually around holidays, pre or post. Otherwise, be prepared to pay through the nose for mediocrity.
mail forwarding companies overseas often get good courier rates when you're shipping bought items from overseas.. long distance walkers often even bring in their replacement shoes from overseas to avoid NZ prices. there's monopolies on distribution here so the wholesalers can charge what they like. high street retail shops pay massive rents so it sends the prices right up.
Thanks for the quick replays! Update: found an awesome old style rei backpack for 40$ on FB, feels much nicer than my fancy new one. Going to check some shoes though I'm not as keen on buying these second hand... Heading to Blenheim, I'll check the MacPac there. The hunting atore also seems like a look alike store... How do I ship through a 3rd party or use mail forwarding companies? Do I buy the shoes on an independent site and then use the 3rd party address?
@turtletraveller correct, you'll get an address that has something like a unit no, that the mail company translate to your account. when it turns up at the mail company they'll notify you and tell you your shipping options, there are usually several. from slow and cheap to fast and expensive. some brands will ship direct from the online store but a lot are blocked from shipping to nz if theres an authorised distributor already here, kathmandu's clothes and footwear are ok for tramping now, they are a lot better than they used to be.. they tend to use good quality materials. the chain stores are usually only worth buying from when there are sales on, their normal prices are inflated to make the sale prices look better and the sales are frequent.
If you are looking to buy online from overseas then this email I got from Youshop will be useful, TL,DR is buy before 20 Nov to avoid the GST: From 1 December 2019, all items purchased from overseas and shipped to your YouShop address will have 15% Goods & Services Tax (GST) applied. GST will be charged on the total value of the goods and YouShop services purchased. As we come up to our busiest time of year, we will do our best to ensure all your parcels are processed in a timely manner, but check out the info below to make the most of your YouShop address. Please note that from time to time, delays may occur beyond our control and these dates are a guideline only. 20th November Pay for your YouShop services by 11.59pm (NZT) 20th November and your parcel is likely to be subject to the current GST rules at the time of customs and border clearance. 30th November If you pay for your YouShop services by the 30th November you will not be charged GST on the YouShop services, however the parcel itself may be subject to new GST rules if it reaches customs and border clearance after 00.01 1st December. 1st December onwards Any parcels with YouShop services paid for after 00.01 1st December will be subject to the new rules and attract GST on the value of the items and all associated services and shipping costs.
@waynowski that is a bullshit comment re wholesalers and I can only assume you are highly ignorant of the industry. I am an owner of a business that imports and wholesales products and I wish we could charge "what we like" to quote you. The real reasons, at least for our business, why prices in New Zealand are higher than a lot of the rest of the world is all the blatantly obvious things that any sane person knows to be true. Primarily, 1) We are a small country at the asshole of the world and it is outlandishly expensive to freight here 2) Being in a small market, many distributors here do not get the buying advantages those in larger countries do. I know for our main brand we pay a 10% higher price than our counterpart in Australia does and from USA price lists I have seen they pay a 25-30% lower price than we do. 3) NZ retail prices include GST. It makes me laugh when people quote overseas prices that are 20-25% lower but do not add GST (or international freight) to them. Unfortunately for retailers there is nothing they can do about GST and that is most certainly not a additional to the price that comes from wholesalers who get to "charge what they like". 4) Many international brands are now choosing to sell direct to large online platforms cutting out regional distributors in the process and at lower prices than their distributors receive. So if you see products cheaper on Leisure Pro, Amazon or the .inn sites that is why. 5) New Zealand distributors are also saddled with funding warranty support. We have had to fund all warranties our self for the last 2 years with no support from our major brand. Luckily we don't get a lot of faulty product but this is still a cost burden. Good luck getting warranty support from some of the above mentioned channels. 6) New Zealand is an incredibly expensive country to operate a business in general, with the current wages rises just the latest in a long line of cost increases combined with a government whose attitude, to quote from a TV1 Breakfast interview was "if a business can not handle some cost increases then maybe it is not a very good business and should not be operating". We have had to make a 40% drop in staff numbers to accommodate the previous and upcoming wage increases to ensure our pricing remains competitive. We have removed half a job unit by making our accounts/admin person redundant and another job unit from the warehouse by outsourcing non-essential work like product packaging and some product production to Asia. This has always been cheaper to do offshore, but, we previously kept a lot of this work in house just to keep a Kiwi employed. Unfortunately this has just become unfeasible. The alternative would be to pass cost increases on to retailers/consumers and raise RRPs — I am sure some wholesalers have decided to do this. 7) A decreasing NZD relative to USD (any supplier who operates out of almost anywhere but Europe operates in USD) has significantly raised unit costs. Again, nothing a wholesaler can do about this. Run some figures on a 70c USD as it was last year vs a 62c as it got down to last month and the cost differences are eye watering. There are a lot more reasons why you are likely to face a higher retail price in NZ that either have nothing to do with the wholesaler or who are beyong their control, but I am sick of ranting at the moment! Also, a monopoly has nothing to do with it. While a wholesaler may hold the distribution rights to a specific brand they faces competition from all competing brands in that market. There are very few international brands in the outdoor market that hold such market power a wholesaler can "charge what they like". True Alliance can not suddenly double their buy prices on TNF for example as retailers will just swap to one of the many competitors in the apparel/footwear/tramping equipment market.
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