I been doing a lot of thinking this week. Basically it’s involved what to write about this issue. I finally decided that telling you a bit more about American Legacy Fishing was probably a good idea. I hope you will agree after reading this story. In the next issue we’ll be back to some “tall tales”!
I started ALFC about 8 years ago. It’s genesis began in my garage. Safe to say I was a very frustrated fisherman and that frustration was severely manifested by the hit or miss availability of G. Loomis. Yes, many e-commerce sites listed their products, but basically they all had the same 150 to 200 models. This at the time when G. Loomis, just as today, made almost 800 different rods.
Out of this frustration I developed a business plan that included offering every G. Loomis product made at the time. Rods, rod blanks (since discontinued), fly reels (also discontinued), and all accessory items such as apparel, bags, and assorted kit. Once this plan was developed I contacted the G. Loomis factory and introduced myself and asked if I could come out to Woodland, Washington for a face-to-face meeting. They agreed.
G. Loomis management found my idea unique to put it mildly. Here’s this guy who wants to buy (and stock) every G. Loomis rod. And he’s willing to write a check to prepay his first (substantial) order. What’s he been smoking??? But, they reluctantly agreed and we were off to the races.
Long story short this was the beginning of American Legacy Fishing. We rented a storefront, remodeled and outfitted the showroom, and soon had our order from G. Loomis in hand. Our mission was always to offer the very best fishing gear available. And by offering the entire G. Loomis line we were well on our way to meeting that goal.
By midway through our first year we realized that “the best fishing gear” meant different things to different people. Those differences were driven by individual tastes, disposable income, and the type of fishing each person pursued. Soon we were offering other brands and a wider selection of fishing gear for a much wider base of customers.
But, we have never compromised our absolute dedication to only stocking what we consider “the best” for each segment of the fishing market, whether fishing saltwater, fresh, fly, or other segments. If we didn’t think what we are considering offering was “the best” for those segments then we simply would not carry that product. We are also constantly reevaluating whether a product we previously decided to stock is continuing to meet our criteria of “the best”. Amazingly, there have been some products that we put in and later had to take out as quality or performance deteriorated.
Another “absolute” we included in our initial business plan, and one we have never compromised, has been our insistence that any staff we employ be an avid fisherman (or fisherwoman) and have a very sophisticated and technical knowledge of fishing techniques, rod design, reel design, and overall fishing dynamics. This may sound a bit complex, but by insisting on this we assure every customer that he or she receives the very best advice and recommendations. In today’s world this is fairly rare. All too often we encounter order takers who have a limited working knowledge of the products they sell. You simply will not find that situation here. If you ever do I want to hear about it. Immediately.
I suppose we are still somewhat of a “boutique” shop, but we think we are doing it right and hope you feel we add a substantial amount of value to your ALFC experiences. How often have you made an inquiry when looking at fishing gear or asked about something only to be told “NO”? That’s something our staff just doesn’t do if there’s any way to avoid it. Our goal is to make sure you get what you need at a price that is fair and competitive and meets your needs.
And, as my Dad said many years ago, “the real selling starts after the customer says ‘yes”.
We take pride in our after-the-sale service and will do anything in our power to make sure any equipment bought from ALFC delivers years of reliable service. That may sound simple, but I can assure you it’s a daily challenge that we do our best to meet – every day of the year.
When I started ALFC my goal was to bring my experience of world class customer service to the sport fishing industry. Service, in this sense, is not only offering products that we can ship off-the-shelf the same day worldwide, but helping any customer choose the right gear in the first place. And, over the past 8 years you, our very loyal friends and customers, have confirmed that this what you want. We also added the nation’s best rod and reel trade in program where you can trade in any unused rod or reel for new gear. And best of all, you can use your trade-in credit for anything we carry. No strings and amazingly simple.
Yes, we know the “big box” retailers are hundreds of times larger than we are and certainly carry a much wider offering of products. But I hope that every one of you know that when you need “the best” regardless of what you’re willing to spend, you will think of ALFC and our dedication to making your fishing experiences the best you’ve ever had. If we meet that challenge then we have indeed completed the mission we set out on 8 years ago.
Lastly, I do have a request for all of you. As you know, we offer free shipping on ANY USA or Canadian order. This was a real leap we took about 6 months ago and customers have been telling us just how much they like this. What we would like to ask you to do is please let just one of your friends or fellow fisherman know about us. We believe that your creditability and recommendation is the best advertising we can have and hope you’ll all help us “get the word out”. Not only about our selection, trade-in program, and after-the-sale service, but just how dedicated we are to all fishermen. If you’ll do this we will continue to grow and add great products to meet you and fellow fishermen’s needs.
This week we have some great information and some really great products we’re sure you will want to consider, including some Shimano Saltwater Lure Kits that we have put together. These kits are going to be a hot item and really make the process of getting into jig fishing much less intimidating. We also have fully stocked shelves of Megabass lures and the new Megabass Orochi XX rods that we just know you are going to love.
Thank you for your friendship and loyalty. We are here because of you and hope you will always be willing to let us know what we can do better. Giving you the best fishing experience is what we’re all about. If you have suggestion how we can do this better please let me know. I promise to be “all ears”!