Will I Pay More for Sports Equipment and Apparel When Shopping Locally?

There is simply no substitute for the feeling of community that is fostered by your local independent sporting goods store.

If you buy a pair of running shoes from one of the big online retailers, will you be able to get advice on the best local running trails or find out about the local mid-morning running club that is just for moms with kids in school? Will that big online outlet have advice about the best local tennis coaches or know all of the required gear (down to shoelaces) for the local high school’s varsity football team? When you shop local, you get the first-hand knowledge of sports enthusiasts who truly care. It goes without saying that your business is important to the local economy, and a family owned operation appreciates every dollar you spend with them.

Love Your Local Store

Now more than ever, buying local matters. People are realizing that there is no substitute for the customer service and sense of community that can only be found in a local store. However, with the numerous options for buying sports gear and apparel online, it can be tempting to try to find a deal.

local vs online retail

In reality, you are unlikely to save much money online if you want to buy this season’s merchandise and the latest and greatest equipment models. That’s because both brick-and-mortar and online stores are required to adhere to MAP and MSRP pricing, which are legally established by the big brands. Buying online means that you get none of the customer service or other benefits that come from buying locally, but all of the potential drawbacks, such as paying for shipping and returns or the chance of receiving counterfeit goods.

When you do find lower priced sporting goods online, these products will generally be of an inferior quality or are likely to be a previous year’s model—and there may be a very good reason that they’re still hanging around in a dusty warehouse somewhere! Once you’ve ordered multiple pairs of shoes that don’t fit or had to send back a bunch of heavy equipment that doesn’t work for you once you’ve held it in your hands, it can become obvious why it’s often worth getting in the car for a 10- or 20-minute drive to get the job done right the first time at a local store.

MSRP & MAP—Levelling the Playing Field

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) and the minimum advertised price (MAP) are policies that are designed to protect manufacturers, retailers, and consumers alike. The MSRP sets the consumers’ expectations for what they will pay and allows them to compare prices across different retailers. It also establishes the wholesale price, making it attractive for retailers to adhere to the MSRP and thus maintain a reasonable profit margin.

local vs online retail

The MAP price is the minimum price that a given item is allowed to be advertised for, and it applies across online and local retail environments. All of the major sporting goods manufacturers will insist on a legally imposed minimum advertised price on each of their products, ensuring that their brands and products are not devalued. What this means for the consumer is that you will find prices in-store that are very similar or identical to those found online for the current season’s apparel and gear.

When Shopping Online Won’t Cut It

Buying sporting equipment and apparel online can be a minefield. Ordering the wrong thing online can waste your time with multiple trips to the post office to return unwanted items. Some of us will actually opt to keep an ill-fitting or inferior piece of apparel or equipment because returning it and trying something else is too time consuming, which in the end makes our experience of playing our sport or working out less enjoyable. online vs brick and mortar prices Have you ever tried to buy a baseball glove online? We don’t recommend it! Most people need to try at least 10 or 15 different gloves on their hand to see how they feel before they can possibly begin to choose the one that will work. Same with a lacrosse stick or a baseball bat. An online store simply cannot give you the hands-on experience that you need to choose the right equipment for you.

Maybe you’re becoming more adept at a sport such as lacrosse, and you’d like to move on to using a stick that is customized for your preferences. You need the guidance of experts who are familiar with all of the lacrosse stick manufacturers and know the ins and outs of making every choice and tweak based on your position, skill level, age, height, and more. Same goes when you’re choosing a running or other workout shoe. In order to avoid injuries and choose the shoe with the ideal support, you need the expertise of pros who know how to analyze your gait and running style. How many people buy the first athletic shoe that they try on? It’s important to be able to test out as many as you need to until you find the right one.

local vs online retail

Did you know that soccer, lacrosse, football, and baseball all have different types of cleats? Do you know which one your child needs? Do you know which one can be used across more than one of these sports, and which one will get you kicked off the soccer field? Buying in person from a local company that cares means you will learn things about apparel and equipment that you never even knew to ask.

Wayne Sporting Goods—A Tradition of Excellence

Wayne Sporting Goods has been serving the Main Line for over 60 years and has been owned by the same family for three generations (to meet us, check out our video here!). We care about our customers and the community, and most of all, we love being a part of helping you run faster, jump higher, hit harder, and get the most out of playing sports and working out. We will fit you with the right shoe, equip you with the perfect racquet or bat, and answer all of your questions about the ideal gear for your chosen sport. Take advantage of our convenient services, such as tennis racquet stringing, custom embroidery, and online team stores and discounts. Our customer service and knowledge of sports cannot be beat. Try us once over the online giants and you’ll see why our customers always recommend us to their friends. Stop into Wayne Sporting Goods today!

Our History

The future of Wayne Sporting Goods looks very bright because the principles that the business was founded on over 60 years ago are still alive today. We look forward to the next 60 years!


The WSG Experience

Check out our video to take a virtual stroll through WSG!