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Old 05-12-2011, 12:03 AM   #12 (permalink)
LettuceHead
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Join Date: Aug 2007

It's pretty easy to go under in paintball. When I first started in the industry they were the proverbial 800 pound gorilla - Bob and Rick bought in at the right time with the right plan. They were ruling the roost and honestly were royal pricks. They made it a point to carry everything and tried to buy up as much as they could as well. My job as a purchaser was made a living hell by them.

They expanded into other markets like skate and snowboarding because like other businesses they had the space and the infrastructure to do so. However, when the paintball market started to slow down in '05-06 they started to feel the sting of a bloated inventory and declining sales. Christmas of '08 they got pimp slapped by Google for using paintball.org, which they owned the domain to, as a commercial site. Google bumped them back to page 6+ on most popular paintball searches. In online retail that is catastrophic! They put paintball on the backburner, concentrating on their other categories. However, when the economy took a dive they went into a tailspin. They 'found a new partner' (or were bought?) about two years ago but their performance was erratic. Sometimes they were kicking ***, other times it seemed monkeys were making the decisions there.

Only people interested in buying this are a few of the larger online operations. Whoever buys it will be forced to adhere to MAP pricing lest be cutoff by the vendors. Maybe there's an outside chance one of the previous owners will buy it back ala Smart Parts but I doubt it. No investment groups will touch paintball right now.

While no longer in the industry, I am smiling a bit. The upper management from AVI that I knew were royal pricks and I'm glad their empire fell apart.
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