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Threat to Gorge gear consignment business

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Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18790

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 6:40 pm    Post subject: Threat to Gorge gear consignment business Reply with quote

Message relayed from Windance:
Hood River Ordinance #1892, if approved, will likely stop 2nd Wind Sports, Windance Sailboards, and Barts Better Boards/Bargains from continuing to be able to sell used sporting equipment (Big Winds, Dougs Sport and any other shops that sell any quantity of 2nd hand gear would also be effected). The ordinance does not prevent the continued reselling of used sports equipment, but due to the dramatically increased security, paperwork and time delay requirements that businesses would be required to abide by, as enforced by the Hood River City Police, some of these businesses couldnt continue to operate in the used/consignment business.

The city of Hood River has chosen a very inconvienient time to have a meeting about this issue: sandwiched between Christmas, and the New Year (Tuesday, December 27th, at 7:00PM).

In the twenty+ years that Windance has been selling/consigning windsurfing equipment, we have had virtually no problem with selling hot gear. First of all:

1.We have great customers (thanks goes to you).
2.When people consign gear, they have to write down easily trackable information.
3.We dont buy gear outright.

Periodically we get an obvious (to us) non-windsurfer who is trying to unload some board that they found somewhere. We usually notify the police. As we dont buy gear outright, they never consign the equipment.

Windance would stop doing consignment if we had to submit to the citys regulations and fees. This would have the effect of more individuals selling gear from their cars.

If you would like to see the proposed ordinance, I have it posted on our website at

Letters regarding ordinance #1892 can be emailed to:

Jean Hadley, Hood River city recorder

Please keep in mind that the city police seem to be spearheading this, and not the city council. The councilors may or may not be for the ordinance. Ann Frodel, a city councilor, was the one who originally alerted Windance and Second Wind to this issue. Thanks Ann!

End of message. Heres my letter to Jean Hadley: Can any of you:
1. Add to it?
2. Shoot it down?
3. Make your own comments, pro or con, to Jean before Dec 27?

Jean ...

This consignment gear ordnance sounds at first blush like a good thing.
HOWEVER ... I suspect this well-intentioned ordnance will do more harm than
good in many ways. It will increase consignment shop and police
administrative burdens, shut down some shops, stifle the used gear markets
which enable SO many sportsmen to remain active in these expensive sports,
eliminate an important stolen gear trap, HELP the dispersal and sale of
stolen gear, and further impair Gorge windsurfing tourism.

1. Hood River is known throughout at least North America as the best place
to buy new and used windsurfing gear. I have personally recommended to many
windsurfers on six continents that if they are in or are coming to the U.S.
anyway, a trip to Hood River can easily pay for itself just due its the huge
selection of modern used gear. This ordnance will shut down that market.,
impacting sellers, buyers, and tourism.

2. The windsurfing community is sufficiently tightly knit that stolen gear
is very quickly known across the nation. I have lists of descriptions,
serial numbers, and original owners of windsurfing gear stolen or lost from
Novia Scotia to San Diego, compliments of Internet forums such as
rec.windsurfing. The word gets out within hours; a thief would have a hard
time sneaking his loot past a consignment shops personnel and customers,
and the well-known consignment shops would be the first places a theft
victim would phone, e-mail, or visit to look for his gear. I suspect that
path is pretty resistant to thieves.

3. Ive lived in and around Hood River and the Gorge for 6-12 months each
year since 1985. I worked in the windsurfing industry there for a few years,
and have hung out at Gorge launch sites from Clatskenie to Roosevelt
windsurfing or waiting for wind for 15-20,000 thousand hours (I retired in
1988 at 45 to windsurf full time). It has probably happened, but I have yet
to hear of any stolen gear successfully passing through a Gorge consignment

4. When the consignment shops are forced by 1892s compliance burden to drop
their consignment service -- or in the case of 2nd Wind to shut down
altogether -- that drives both legitimate and stolen used gear underground
and disperses it across the continent. This HELPS thieves hide and fence
their gear, leaves most used-gear sellers no convenient way to reach a large
market, deprives thousands of buyers of the planets best year-round source
of used gear (which saves them 30-70%), and eliminates one of our best
stolen-gear traps.

A windsurfing magazine related this story a few years ago. A windsurfers
van was cleaned out by thieves. He alerted a local consignment shop, who
called him within days to say, Someone just called and offered us a pile
of gear at a price too good to be true. Theyll be here after work today.
The victim showed up, waited for the suspicious seller, and quietly
identified his gear when it arrived. The shop had the police there before
the thief had even gotten all the gear unloaded.

But then what the heck do I know? Im just an obsessed windsurfer who spends
a thousand hours a year talking with other obsessed windsurfers, has sold
$20,000 in used windsurfing gear from his well-known van, and personally
confronted suspected thieves in the act at a strangers car on a Hood River
street late one night. As a retired military officer I take theft seriously,
but I consider this ordnance a lose/lose/lose solution.

Isnt there a less cumbersome way to watch consignment gear flow without
suffocating it?

Mike \m/
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Joined: 19 May 1998
Posts: 3320
Location: Leo

PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 3:46 pm    Post subject: RE: Threat to Gorge gear consignment business Reply with quote

I have purchased lots of gear from Windance without problems so I sent Jean a note telling her so.
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