An Update from the Avalanche Center
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This is a brief but important update ! Another will follow next week to keep promoting the auction before it closes.
This is years fundraising auction is our Eighth!
This brief and important update is strictly to promote the annual fundraising auction which is underway as well as promoting a new store policy of matching all competing prices. Updates and changes to the website are not described, you'll have to surf through the site and have a look around to really appreciate recent changes and work.
Annual Fundraising Auction
It's that time of year again, and we are currently running our eighth annual fundraising auction. I got off to a late start seeking goods due to other demands on my time, and there were no offers to help out. Jeff did directly and personally email many of our past donors, and a few items came in as a result of this. While this year has the lowest number of industry contributors ever we still have a pretty good variety of products to bid on. Partly because we had some items left from last year.
The auction page is: http://www.avalanche-center.org/auction/
Your participation is important. It only becomes harder to get donations when too many of our website users don't bother to bid on things. And when industry and user support diminish so does my interest in donating what is essentially a full time effort to provide free resources. The site has been moving more towards serving contributors, with a growing number of resources available only to them and not to the general public for free. The support of those companies who donate items and the support of those who use our resources (by bidding and by contributing) determine how fast and how much we need to move away from doing everything for everyone for free.
In addition to bidding you can also support the auction by helping us to promote it. Mention it on forums you are active on and email lists you are part of. Tell your friends. And print out the flyer/press release using the link on the main auction page and post it locally.
As of tonight (Monday, Dec 5) I have posted most items for bidding, although not quite all of them. By the end of the day Tuesday everything should be posted. Many of our regular contributors have provided items once again, including Crazy Creek who has donated at least one chair every single year. We also have a couple Igloo Construction Tools from Grand Shelters again. Ed has offered since the last time we had some, but we've been poor at communicating with him in advance. This year he's been added to our fax/mailing list for better advance notice in future years.
Due to a late start seeking items and the lack of help with it some companies were unable to donate because the notice they received was too short. Prana took the time to send us an email and let us know that was the reason they aren't included this year. They have provided items in many past years and its too bad we couldn't get our requests out sooner. Maybe next year.
Check out the auction page to see what we have and to bid: http://www.avalanche-center.org/auction/
Another update will follow next week, maybe including a partial or full list of items.
Avalanche Store Matching Discount Policy
Another way to support our efforts and resources is to purchase your avalanche safety gear through our Avalanche Store (http://www.avalanche-center.org/store/)
We now have a page of discount prices (http://www.avalanche-center.org/store/discount.html/) matching the best deals known to us. There is a link to the discounts page on the main store page. Right now we have sale prices on the Barryvox and the PIEPS DSP. At one point we sold a couple Barryvox for $199 to match REI. We were glad to see them end that deal since we really don't benefit at that price. However, benefit or not we will match any web-posted price. We'd rather have you buy it from us than somebody like REI.
If you see a price better than what we have posted email us and let us know. If it qualifies as a price to be posted on our discount page we will give you a free t-shirt with your order at the discount price you inform us of. Even if it doesn't qualify to be posted we may be willing to make a deal with you to get your sale. Right now we have no official posted prices to match the "buy a beacon get a free shovel" deals, but we will bargain with you to match them. Email us if you want to make a deal. For beacons with current posted discount prices (currently Barryvox and PIEPS) the free shovel deal won't be the biggest discount. But for items like the Tracker for which there are no current discount prices you can get your best deal by bargaining against the "free shovel" discounting.
We do not provide free shipping. However, for all orders over $100 (in final cart value, regardless of whether there are sale items or discounts or whatever) the customer receives contributor status for one year on the site, and all the extra material that can be accessed with that. Remember that purchasing from us supports these materials and resources. All proceeds go into this, the store makes no profits for any individuals and pays only a student worker hourly for handling orders.
And by the way, our shirts are all on a close-out sale right now. We want to move them and buy a new batch. See the Store Sale page.
Final Note and a Couple Tips
For those of you who have read this far here are two tips for the auction and the store:
1: During the auction we have often put up items from our store, especially beacons, for bidding. We often auction off "your choice of beacon" starting at $200 and only run it for a day or two, so these go for very low prices. Keep watching the auction for these deals. (That's the purpose - to get people to watch the auction. We hope you'll bid on other things while you're there, but it isn't required.)
2- Contributors who shop while they are logged in get a blanket across-the-board discount on their shopping cart total, excluding sale items. This varies, it will say on the login welcome page and the cart. It can be anywhere from 10-30%. You can also join an email list which we sometimes use to announce changes in this discount (if I remember to). Right now the discount is still quite high, but that could change at any time. Don't email and ask about it - you need to be a contributor. If you are then log in and check. And subscribe to the store-notices list.
Thanks a lot for bidding in the Auction and purchasing you gear from the Avalanche Store !