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Old August 10th, 2015, 06:06 PM   #9
Shaw
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 176
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What makes you so certain that the skates I plan to sell are low quality? There's no denying that China makes a lot of wal-mart grade junk, but many Chinese companies are also capable of providing quality products, comparable with foreign brands while still being relatively low in price. Look up Xiaomi Piston headphones, Fenix flashlights, or Sanrenmu knives. These brands receive glowing reviews on English enthusiast forums, and are regarded as extremely good values. I'm hoping to do the same for inline skates.

Besides, Powerslide, Seba, and Rollerblade all make their skates in China, and due to the sheer size of the Chinese market for skates they're able to sell them at considerably lower prices than you see in Europe and the US. The mid-high range skates I'm looking at retail at a comparable price to Seba's FR models in China before they jacked up the price. I'm also fairly certain that Powerslide Imperials and RB80s were made as a response to Seba entering the entry-level market in China before they decided that it was better to leave that to the Micro brand. The higher end skates I'm looking at actually retail at higher prices than the Chinese equivalent for Powerslide Imperials and Rollerblade RB80s.

Price in itself doesn't mean anything though. I have my doubts for the cheaper models as well, so I'm going to do my part to abuse them and record some videos demonstrating that they'll hold up for beginner-intermediate level slalom tricks, freestyle slides, and minor jumps. If they don't hold up, then I'll either put a disclaimer that they're only suitable for recreational/fitness skating, or I simply won't sell them if they're shoddy enough to be a safety concern.

I have no illusions about sparking a slalom revolution in the US, I know perfectly well that it's a niche market. There's still the urban skating market to take into consideration though, and increasingly people are recommending Twisters or FRs to beginners rather than soft-shelled rec skates. I often see beginners asking about FRXs instead of FR2s or FR1s, and I hear far more inquiries about RB Twisters and PS Imperials than Seba Highs and PS S4s. If I can convince people that the low-mid range skates are nearly as good as FRXs and Twisters (and I do think they are), then I believe there's a reasonably sized market for them.
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