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First Lite Inventory
I have been interested in First Lite's clothing for some time and finally started to buy a few things. In the past, I have noticed that the majority of the year they will have very little in stock. And when they went consumer direct I thought that would help them get a handle on restocking. I wanted to start buying things slowly during the off season and I find it frustrating you have to buy everything you want once or twice a year when they finally get it in.
I would consider them one of the big 3 camo companies that guys use in the west - Sitka, First Lite and Kuiu. I'm leaning towards buying Sitka instead of First Lite because of their availability. Does anyone else find it frustrating?
Not sure how this thread originally went to the Community Forum so sorry for the double thread.
I hate their website. Everything looks in stock then you click on a color and realize nothing is in stock.
Two things to keep in mind...
First Lite revamped their product line....so several of the items on the website are there simply to clear out remaining inventory. Once gone, there will be no more....
Also, First Lite ran a big sale over Thanksgiving...which may well have depleted considerable inventory all around.
Not advocating for First Lite. I own more Sitka than First Lite or KUIU.
I have experienced the same thing, I was going to buy some pants and a rain suit... Not In Stock! I checked several times over a couple months and no change. I will look elsewhere! They must not want to sell many items since they are never in stock.
I'm negotiating with them right now on a Sanctuary jacket exchange. I bought it during the Thanksgiving sale, and I selected size Medium because my medium Uncompahgre jacket fits perfectly. Unforunately, the Sanctuary doesn't fit the same (definitely tighter across the back/shoulders), and they don't have any Large jackets in stock.
I saw this thread pop up and decided to air my frustration. I was looking forward to hunting late season with a new jacket. Seems like a high quality item, much like the other FL products I've used.
My wife tried to order a couple items for my son for Christmas. Both were out of stock.
They just had a huge sale two weeks ago, I bet they are low on everything...
I understand they had a huge sale and I bought a few things. But to not restock anything until Summer. I was going to buy a pair of gloves at the end of October and those were out of stock. They wont have them in until June!? So that is 8 months without having a lot of items in.
Sitka has 0 inventory right now, I guess ill wait for another sale to buy
It's not like their inventory is perishable - you sell clothing, have the clothing in stock or lose a customer. Drives me nuts too.
Why would a company keep making clothing they are phasing out of their product line or are updating? So they can sell it at cost down the road when no one else wants it because they want the newer improved model? I don't think some of you guys know how the clothing business works.
It's always out of stock so they can keep the whole meateater crew clothed to the gills in first lite.
Janis and Steve need clothes too.
All for YOU! OUCH!!!
All for YOU! OUCH!!!
There is only so many merino sheep to fleece.
It's really not much different than KUIU. If you want their clothes at the better prices, you either have to wait or adjust to buying stuff when you don't have an imminent need.
I have a fair amount of KUIU and FL and I love their stuff. I buy when I see sales, mostly in the off-season and when season roles around, I use what I have. It's hard to adjust to buying stuff when you don't need it. Things I really like, like FL Merino and KUIU Merino gloves, I buy 2 of them when they go on sale, then I'm set for a while.
"I don't think some of you guys know how the clothing business works". By having very little sales until Q3 is good business? My point is its frustrating when you want to buy clothing throughout the course of the year and it's never in stock. And you better get the sizing right because if you want to exchange it your gonna have to wait almost a year until its in stock.
Someone on archerytalk said the Kuiu DCS guide jacket wasnt wind proof at all. Can someone here confirm this? I was ready to pull he trigger on Kuiu until I read that,
Sorry but I would never patronize any company that business this way. If this is the case why don`t they just take your order and then give you a "guaranteed by date". At least you know that going in.
I wanted to get the bibs first lite offered but once they discontinued ASAT camo for their own I passed. Anyone have any thoughts on their own fusion camo? I was out today and had six does ten yards and looking at me and not one blinked they never kniew I was there, hard to beat ASAT. First lite , bring back ASAT and you'll sell more product.
"Sorry but I would never patronize any company that business this way."
Kind of a silly thing to say, but if you want good clothing maybe it's worth waiting for? This thread seems to come up every year, either right before hunting season starts or between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Like Ike said, if you guys want something in a popular size then you're just going to have to learn to shop smarter and buy it at off-peak times. These are not giant companies with the ability to float millions of dollars to produce and store endless inventory, if you want that you'll have to go get your stuff from somewhere like Bass Pro or Patagonia...
Brotsky X2. Wallmart is fairly well stocked right now I hear. Stuff is crap....but they have lots of it...... Maybe Bass Pro, the shadow/skeleton of a former Cabelas.......
These are small companies that likely order stock for an item once or twice a year. How many what model... size.... new models phasing out old..... It's a guessing game and if you guess wrong you get to eat inventory for dinner...... you can't just get on the phone and call a warehouse/supplier and order inventory. Orders to factories take months and MONTHS.
Some here have never run a business. Clearly. FL... KUIU..... they are essentially "boutique" almost custom made business. Plan your shopping accordingly. Or go hit The Store Formally Known as Cabelas......
Look at other dealers Black Ovis for example has first lite items in stock and on sale.
The Thanksgiving sale wasn’t all that major, I doubt they sold enough to severely clear the shelves.
Over the last few years I’ve bought stuff from all three companies, Sitka is a lot more expensive; but when you compare fit, finish and availability, Sitka slaughters Kuiu and Firstlite. Not to mention Sitka makes a real 3x in its upper body selections, a size the other two have never heard off.
Just bite the bullet and buy Sitka.
My understanding is First Lite is now exclusively on amazon. Check there. They may have all their inventory.
"Some here have never run a business. Clearly. FL... KUIU..... they are essentially "boutique" almost custom made business."
Gonna disagree there, Tom. IF they were essentially a "boutique/custom" business, they would take your measurements, make your "stuff" and ship. You wouldn't have to worry about waiting six months to order, then upon receipt finding out it's too big/small and the appropriate size is no longer available, then having to wait another six months. I think most here understand the issues small companies have with maintaining stock. As an employee of several small start ups, I also understand how to push suppliers, because I cannot survive on a small but dedicated customer base.
I am planning my first elk hunt for Sept 2019. As such I would like to put together a base layer/mid layer system more suited for early Sept elk hunting than my usual mid October-mid November whitetail system I use for stand hunting. As much as I would like to consider FL, I'm not going to chance ordering in April or May, getting it and finding out it doesn't fit and then being SOL. At least Sikta I can get, albeit at a higher cost.
Luckily we are free to choose and have choices. I prefer FL over kuiu and Sitka. I don’t think camo patterns are that critical. I have never paid full price for any of it. Shop wisely.
I know they aren't tailors, but their lines are custom built to a very narrow spec. and serve a tiny market. All honesty, nearly all my gear is from these "boutique" companies on line as my needs (ok, wants...) have become very specialized.
There is essentially no clothing manufacturing to speak of in the US.... all made in factories overseas. Hard, if not near impossible to hit an order perfect. If it's great gear and popular...... Great! Awesome! Then you quickly sell out of stock and that's not so great...... no product, angry customers, you get drug over the coals on internet forums.... Not so popular and you wind up eating it and selling it off for less than you paid for it. Tough business, but is what it is..... an educated gamble.
I've honestly never had ANY issues buying from FL or KUIU...... ever. But I don't wake up in the morning and decide to order something for a hunt in two weeks. I know my sizes, I know who/what they make this stuff for. They don't make 34 jeans in vanity sizes that are really 35-36. I've studied what I'm looking for over a good amount of time and plan accordingly.
I love the options. Personally I love to do business with small business. If I have any reasonable options that's who I will spend my money with, not capitol C Corporations and their soulless suits. Sitka makes good stuff. Sitka is owned by Gore-Tex. I have some Sitka stuff..... but it's all from years ago when they were started and owned by Jason et.al (KUIU) .... Not Gore-Tex. Sitka wouldn't exist but for people who took the personal risks and started up a company many in the industry said would never make it.... too small a market and this crazy off the wall marketing/distribution plan....
And if i were to buy anything Sitka it won't be from the Company Formally Known as Cabelas..... I know a couple small business guys that are distributors..... =D
Lots of options. I love small business. It has it's warts and problems, but I'm willing to work around them, they are small stuff....... geez, it's all small stuff, you're buying clothes for cryin' out loud. Small business, it's on a far more personal level. Most have passion for what they do. I like that. YMMV.
So saying.... "I personally would never patronize a company that does business this way" is silly".....that`s a pretty stupid think to say. How about you spend YOUR $$$$ on overpriced clothing and get jerked around by them and I will spend MY $$$$$ where I choose....moron.
First Lite is a train wreak
Most of the specialized gear u have to just keep at it until it’s at your doorstep. But it’s worth it. The first lite garments are top end and crazy comfortable and functional
I wish I could find out... I tried for months to order. It wasn't a snap decision, but even if it was, I should be able to get a large pair of pants and an XL rain suit without having to plan 4 months in advance. And even if they over order, I am sure they are still making $$$ on the product if they "put it on sale or clearance" at the end of the year.
I love asat as well but fl says the sales of asat were so far behind fusion and cipher there was no need to keep producing it. Big mistake
^^^^ I agree. I love my new Sanctuary stuff, but the lack of options in camo is a bummer.
FL said the same thing to me and I called bs. The guy on the phone sort of agreed with me verbally gave me the wink-wink on that. They didn't want to pay ASAT for the royalty, and want to sell their own camo. No way is their fusion or cipher anywhere near as good as ASAT, but they are pushing it. I would love to see their sales before and after they stopped the ASAT camo, I bet the numbers are down after cancelling ASAT. I would be buying FL if they had ASAT, will not waste my money on their own camo.
If a clothing company regardless of product does not have enough inventory to exchange a medium for a large.....which is the most common men`s size IN THE WORLD....then maybe they are in the wrong business.
My guess is these companies are operating on a slim margin and have cash flow problems and are just waiting to be scooped up by a bigger company. That`s the Holy Grail of owning a small company.
^Ha, yeah, they're in the wrong business. FL has some of the best guys in the industry on staff, and some of the best products out there, but they should just quit now!
Folks, they have clothes until they sell out then we all wait for more. Been that way for years.
I wish they still had ASAT as well, glad I have a healthy stock of it!