Tent sales and doughnuts

I only live about 10 minutes from a Dover. This would be a lot cooler if I actually liked Dover. I pretty much only step foot in there if I need something essential and last minute – typically fly spray – since it’s on my way to the barn. Their Tent Sale in particular drives me nuts… taking $1-2 off about 5% of your inventory isn’t really worth putting up a tent and sending out a crapton of flyers, IMO. But I had a $20 gift certificate and figured, if nothing else, I could stock up on fly spray. But my fly spray wasn’t one of the things on sale, so instead I got this:

Yep, a real “big girl” grooming tote. It was actually one of the few items on legit sale – $13 instead of the $24 on the price tag. I figured it was time to buy my beloved Leistner brushes a residence upgrade from the little bucket they were living in before. So I got that, and a few of those annoying $1-2 off items like liniment and bucket hooks that I needed to re-stock anyway. And I paid for the majority of it with my gift certificate, plus I got to make fun of Bobby the whole time, so I suppose it’s okay. Mostly I just found myself irritated with their version of a Tent Sale all over again. Why, Dover? Why? What a boring “sale haul”.

But I did totally jump all over the 20% off Back on Track sale at Riding Warehouse on Friday too, so that made me way happier. Riding Warehouse for the win.

You’re welcome Henry

The most exciting part of the “tent sale” is what happened after:

Yes that’s a doughnut with mashed potatoes, fried chicken, and cream corn on top. Duh. I met friend/fellow blogger Karen and our friend Stacy for happy hour at this place where everything involves a doughnut. Therefore everything is awesome.

Like that ^. That’s a doughnut covered with chocolate glaze, topped with a bunch of brownies, chocolate sauce, and chocolate chips.

My digestive system is still recovering and I’m pretty sure I’m diabetic now, but it was totally worth it.

62 thoughts on “Tent sales and doughnuts

  1. i have that exact tote in purple 🙂 i love it it is so roomy with some many pockets. it washes well too!
    UGH Those doughnuts give me a stomach ache just looking at them. LOL

    I too live 10 minutes from Dover. It is pretty much the only game nearby unless i want to go to Ricks up in WC or Bit of Britain in Oxford. I agree their tent sale is not great though i picked up my boots (Both the tuff rider and the nice ones) in the sale for under a hundred bucks each (Not the same year) 🙂 plus i have a friend who works there so she can keep an eye out for me on stuff…
    and picking on Bobby was worth it even if you DIDNT have a gift certificate 🙂 hee.

    Like

    1. The tote is a little too giant, my stuff doesn’t even take up a 3rd of it. Fun fact though – in the tent the tote was $13, but inside the store the tote was $21. Regular price of both was $24, so two different sale prices. Okaaaaay….?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yes i often walk around that store (both in the tent sale and the actual store) to compare prices cause quite often i find different prices on the same item. LOL

        Yes it is a big tote but it folds up a bit so it fits in my tiny tack trunk at the barn so that works. and i spilled diet coke on it one time and tried it out in the washer. Came out looking like new 🙂

        Like

  2. Those donuts look amazing! Oh, and Riding Warehouse for the win. Always 🙂

    I have the same theory about Dover’s “tent sale” too…their stuff is always priced so outrageously high, taking $2 off a few random things does not a tent sale make. While I know a lot of people are Dover fans (probably because they live close to an actual Dover store), I’m definitely not in the same boat when they charge $13 to ship ONE show shirt using regular-speed snail mail. Nope.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So not a fan either. I do like being able to go in and see something in person if I’m curious about an item, but for the most part their selection is not the kind of stuff I like or want, and they’re priced high. If not for the gift certificate I wouldn’t have gone, but thanks Dover for the almost free stuff!

      Like

  3. I have such a red-hot burning hate for Dover’s ‘sales’. It’s not a sale if I can purchase the thing at that price regularly. I have a Dover close by as well, and I pretty much only shop there when I have a gift card or need something like fly spray, shampoo, etc. and I happen to be closer to the Dover than to other local stores. Don’t even get me started on their shipping policies!

    Like

  4. The Dover Tent sales are crap. It is usually a bunch of stuff I don’t even want. I don’t go anymore, even though there are 3 Dover stores within driving distance. I think the last time I went I bought a fly bonnet. That’s it. One fly bonnet. Not even worth the price of gas to drive there.

    Like

    1. If you wanted a bunch of really ugly cheap breeches that you can typically buy on Horseloverz for $15, you would have been thrilled. Otherwise… yeah, not so much.

      Like

  5. i hate dover, sale or no sale. I paid $20 shipping once. I think i’ve paid less for shit from overseas.

    i have the same grooming tote tho! in purple. and uh… mine is completely full.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have that tote and I love it. I have no problem filling it up, but I keep lots of non-essential things in the side pockets like a set of boots and my braiding stuff. In the summer, I empty the whole thing out and wash it inside out and let it dry in the sun and it comes up perfect! I have scored some pretty awesome finds at my local Dover tent sale — but I agree that a lot of it is strange garbage… like weird Tailored Sportsmans that nobody wants. I got a pair of buttery soft tall boots for an absolute steal one year and a quarter sheet that was clearly a return but never used. Oh, and that food looks absolutely insane! Is it in Austin? The BF is headed down there for work in a few weeks, I’d love to let him know where!

    Like

  7. Those doughnuts look amazing!

    I have never really liked Dover either. Their sales never seem like sales, and their shipping is super high. I don’t think I have ever bought anything from them considering there are so many places that offer free shipping.

    Like

  8. Working at Dover I can understand people’s frustration. Heck to be honest before they opened up a Dover in my area I NEVER shopped from them. Their catalog shipping prices are still stuck in the Stone Age, and they typically aren’t the cheapest when it comes to other online retailers. But having a Dover in my area has been awesome. Mainly because the only other tack stores in the area mark everything up almost 40%, no joke. So it’s purples sure on the local stores to stop price gouging.
    The tent sales are only good if you get a lot of good Dover basement items, essentially items people have returned. Then you can find HS bits for $25 or a pair of tall boots barely used for $100.

    Like

    1. There’s another shop by my house that I like more, although their prices are on par with Dover and they never seem to have anything I want either. It’s cheaper and easier for me to shop online!

      Like

    2. I came in here to say just that: Dover is ok; the only times their tent sales are great are when the stores have access to the “Dover Basement.” That’s when you score the really nice deals. These are damaged packaging items, or customer returns, etc. Scored a herm-springer hole punch for only $10, nicer brand breeches like Tredstep, Ariat and Tailored Sportsman for $40-60, nicer show shirts for $15, etc.

      Also if your Dover scores connections with good leather repair or blanket cleaners in the area, that’s really nice. I love Kevin at the Raleigh store… has fixed a few of my favorite leather pieces at no cost.

      Like

  9. Every time I eat at Gourdough’s (super rare) I legitimately feel like I’m going to die after. Glad to hear I didn’t miss much at the tent sale though.

    Like

  10. I may have to add that to my if I ever visit my sister in Austin bucket list. Add me to the list of people who won’t order from Dover. I don’t have a local Dover, so that’s not even an issue for me.

    I had a Back on Track saddle pad a few years ago and I wasn’t that impressed. Mainly because it was too hard to clean. Horsehair galore on the underside.

    Like

  11. I’m not super into Dover either. Why, no matter how much money I drop, can I not get free shipping? I would totally understand if they had every day low prices, but they do not. Almost every tack store online with competitive and often BETTER pricing, offers free shipping at a certain price point. Usually $75.00. Come on Dover. Do better.

    Ok, done with my rant. That doughnut meal looks amazing. #getinmybelly

    Like

  12. I don’t know about Dover’s tent sales–never been to one. But my chart-topper was a tent sale at Saddler’s Row in Palatine, IL. I got a super Pikeur $400+ dressage coat for $100. Last one they had, just happened to be my size. Friend of mine got a pair of $600-something Sergio Grasso tall boots for $200 at the same tent sale.

    Like

  13. I agree, Dover is expensive. However, they’re totally the Nordstrom of horse gear! Because of their 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can return anything, at any time, for any reason. I bought a $400 pair of Ariat boots like ten years ago that no longer fit, and got a full refund to buy Parlantis this past year. Best thing ever: if/when my Parlantis get damaged, I can just return them, get a refund, and get either new ones or the next best thing. I know a lot of people at our barn buy blankets and stuff there so that when they get destroyed they can just return them for new ones, nbd. Basically if it wasn’t for their return policy, I’d probably never shop there, but it’s a rough sport, and I hate having stained breeches 🙂

    Also OMG doughnuts ❤

    Like

    1. That seems kind of awful. :/ I’d feel bad taking advantage of a business like that. If there’s a legitimate reason for return, that’s one thing (and why I love Riding Warehouse’s one year return policy) but asking for a refund because you outgrew something a decade later, wore an item out, or stained it… that seems really shady to me. Like the kind of thing that would eventually make a store stop offering a return policy at all, and for good reason.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They still profit, it’s that return policy that keeps them in business in the first place. It’s the same thing that Nordstrom does, which we studied extensively in business school. They’re like the “golden egg” of a business that focuses on customer service and has great marketing. Have you ever heard the story about the guy who returned car tires to Nordstrom? It’s really funny but interesting!

        Like

        1. They aren’t profiting off of you in particular if you buy stuff and then return it years later for a refund. That’s blatant abuse of the system, IMO. I know some people say they do that, but I personally would feel like a major asshole of a human being. And when that return policy eventually goes away, situations like this will be exactly why. It’s too bad, really. It’s a really nice and generous return policy, it’s a shame that some people abuse it. Kind of a “this is why we can’t have nice things” scenario. I can’t do that and feel ok with myself at the end of the day (especially since I have friends that own tack shops and am very familiar with the struggle) but I guess that’s just me.

          Like

          1. Ditto this… It seems seriously wrong to abuse a return policy this way. It’s one thing to return something that breaks for no reason or after normal use… But to return something bc you used it until it died seems sketch.

            Like

          2. Considering I only shop there, it would be impossible for me to return everything, especially empty bottles of fly spray, so they are profiting off of me. I also love to encourage people to shop there because they stand so strongly by their vendors and products with these policies. When their sales associates encourage it too (bc that’s why they get most people’s business and they know it), I wouldn’t call it “abuse.” But to each their own…

            Like

            1. You don’t think that using something for 10 years, outgrowing it, and then returning it for a refund is abusing a return policy? Or staining your breeches and then returning them to get new ones? You’re right, to each their own. But you must buy a TON of fly spray and the like for them to still make a profit off of you when they’re losing lots of money from the return of high dollar items like boots and breeches.

              Like

              1. Considering their mark up and how much I buy there? Nope, I’ll gladly pay full price with the guarantee that they’ll stand behind it if all hell breaks loose on a Tuesday morning. It’s like a lifetime insurance policy on your gear, and when I’m returning a $400 boot for a $1000 boot (plus all the other disposables I buy there), I think they’ll be okay.

                Like

              2. Except that it keeps perpetuating, on and on down the line. You didn’t really buy those $1000 boots if you’re gonna return them later, and then return the next ones, and then the next ones, so on and so forth. Any profit they make on those items is only temporary and they lose money in the end when they end up being returned.

                Like

        2. Someone seriously doesn’t understand the markup on products. Seriously that is so messed up. That is like racking up thousands of dollars in credit card debt and then declaring bankruptcy because you can. Honestly wtf

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Wow there are not enough business majors in the world. Noted. Also their stockholders still seem pretty happy with Dover’s growth and expansion, considering shares jumped 67% last year when they got bought by Webster, but hey I’m sure you knew that. It’s not like Nordstrom has stayed in business and had higher revenue and profits than their competitors with the exact same business model as Dover or anything. Just don’t shop at Dover then if you dislike them so much, you do you, but they’ve forever bought my loyalty and in return I’m happy to only shop there.

            Like

            1. Do you have the numbers on that assertion? Evidence that Dover would stay in business and turn a profit if all of their clientele treated the return policy as you do? Perhaps from the happy stockholders you mention? Or are you relying on the honesty of others to take advantage of a company’s generous return policy without giving a shit that other loyal customers who don’t return stuff that they’ve used for ten years are paying more because you think what you’re doing is okay? I don’t really care either way about Dover, I’ve shopped there, too. But so far you’re justifying your behavior without actually showing that Dover could still make money if everyone did what you do.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Here you go: http://amigobulls.com/stocks/DOVR/income-statement/annual Also, if you’ve ever read Good Profit, it explains how businesses with high customer service and seemingly counterintuitive return policies stay in business and even profit at higher rates than their competitors. The Science of Success is the abbreviated version of that, but it’s a bit too dense and dry. I thought Good Profit did a better job explaining it. The Nordstrom Way is pretty good too, but it focuses purely on Nordstrom whereas Good Profit is the bigger picture, explains the philosophy behind it a bit more.

                Like

            2. Thanks for the link. I have no doubt they are profiting and their investors are happy. I also understand that good customer service keeps customers coming back and generates loyalty. However, I did not ask whether Dover is turning a profit, I asked whether they *would* if every person who shopped there took advantage of their generous return policy as you do. I guess perhaps that is too complicated on which to speculate?

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Ditto Karen.

                I think you are missing the point. You can’t justify your bad behavior and poor ethics by spewing random facts. Sure Dover is doing okay now – but they won’t continue to do so if every customer blatantly abuses their return policy…

                Like

              2. I guess I should clarify: I don’t need to return most things I buy there. It’s typically good, quality workmanship, and I’m a big fan of “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.” However, if I buy a pair of breeches that after 6 months the knee patches are falling off, then that’s simply bad workmanship, and I’m happy to shop at a store that will stand behind their brands and the quality, not the amount of days that have passed since my purchase. Also, it should be noted I probably wouldn’t buy those pants again but a nicer pair in order to hopefully avoid the same circumstance, adding to the black sotospeak, and stores like Dover sometimes resell those used pants via other sales channels. I’m not sure if Dover does do that for all of their products, but I wouldn’t be surprised considering they themselves sell used saddles anyways. It should also be noted that Dover does mark many items up above retail price. For example I recently bought the Ariat Regal Reversible Belt there, which is $59. It says on the belt itself that Ariat’s suggested retail for the belt is $49, and there are other stores online selling it for $30, yet I’m willing to pay $10 above suggested retail for it because I love Dover, and I’m sure that also helps cover their loss should the belt be faulty and end up being returned, especially since clothing markup is on average between 100-350%. At the end of the day, I don’t imagine people just up and return all of their “horsey” belongings every six months (exaggerating there but you get the idea), but if things don’t work out, and you have to return something, then yes I speculate Dover would still profit because of the various other reselling channels they use and their higher markup, combined with the best customer service in the industry.

                Like

                  1. I don’t see a logic issue here, but that’s Dover’s return policy, and I abide by their policy. Back when I went to buy new boots, they of course offered to take my old ones back because they value customer intent more than a dollar. I wouldn’t say the boots had 10 years of use either since I barely used them only at shows, and I didn’t show that often in the past; they just didn’t fit me correctly at that point. But either way, they provide this service to everyone because that’s their values; I see tons of people returning ripped blankets, busted helmets, etc. to them too and they’re always more than happy to take them back. Anyways, why wouldn’t I say yes? I’m not breaking any rules or laws, they’re not unhappy about it, and I am loyal to them because they are loyal to me. It’s a win win. They get to sell me new (probably more expensive and overpriced) boots, resell the used boots (or breeches or blankets or helmets or whatever people bring in), and I get ones that actually work for me. If they’re not mad about it, I’m not mad about it.

                    Like

                    1. You’re way in the minority (as in, alone) given the 72 comments to yesterday’s post, but it’s true that technically that IS their policy so the employees will keep taking those kinds of returns with a smile, even if they’re hating it on the inside. It’s the ethics part of the deal that gets sticky and uncomfortable to me, although I know that doesn’t bother some people.

                      Like

  14. I know I’m late to the punch but You NEED to go to the second tent sale at dover, not the spring one. I’m talking serious deals. Anything that anyone returns (in good shape) is shipped around from Dover to Dover around the U.S. and is at the second tent sale only. The first one is crap. Last year I got a Kensington blanket (new but probably returned because it didn’t fit) for $100 and in store it was close to $300! This year (last weekend) I got a beautiful bridle with reins for $100 while in the store they are $200-300! And a pair of Andis for $60 while in store they were $160. I’m telling you, go to the summer tent sale! You will not be disappointed

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s