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Is it cheaper to buy skates online?

Knowing skates are often an expensive investment, some skaters are drawn to internet prices that claim their skates are $20-$30 cheaper than that same skate in a professional skate shop. But, when all’s said and done, are you really getting a better deal?

More often than not, no. Here’s why:

Skate sizes and shoe sizes ARE NOT the same size. Add to that that every skate company’s sizing runs differently and suddenly your chances of correctly identifying the right size without an expert’s help looks a lot like your chances of winning the lottery. Since you can’t try on boots, if you order the wrong size, you’ll likely have to pay a shipping or restocking fee or both to return them and then another shipping fee to order another size. Let’s run through a scenario you might run into online:

Skate X = $150 online Skate X = $170 in store
No customer service available to ensure correct size and style boot for the skater. Assessment of skater’s needs, evaluation of skater’s body alignment and posture, appropriate sizing included.
Shipping – usually between $15-25 (domestic) No charge
Punch-out is an additional charge (usually 4 punches per pair of skates) = $16 Free punch-outs for lifetime of the skate
Sharpening is an extra charge = $10 (on the inexpensive side) No charge for the first sharpening and we customize the type of sharpening according to the skater’s needs
Heat molding (usually between  $20-30) = let’s say $20 to be conservative Free heat molding with the skate fitting
Return policy is usually voided after any adjustment is made to the skates (ie. Sharpening, punch out, heat molding etc.) We stand behind our fittings. We will adjust boots until they are just right. We won’t sell you just any skates. We’ll sell you the right skates or if we don’t have them on hand, we’ll order the right pair for you.
Total Price: $203.00 Total Price: $170.00

 

Your $150 skates now cost you $211-$231 and you didn’t even get a skate fitting. The bottom line is, while it is possible to find deals online, often there are hidden fees associated with online purchases that add up to surpass an in-store purchase of the same skate by a professional. If you’re still convinced that you want to buy your skates online, then do your due diligence to avoid paying more than you need to.

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