Being a group ex instructor is definitely a negative NPV proposition, but the psychic rewards make it all worthwhile. The pay doesn't even come close to covering the cost of certification, so I appreciate what few perks I do get, for example, free membership in various instructor alliance programs at selected fitness apparel retailers such as Reebok, RYKÄ, Adidas (catalog only) and New Balance -- basically everybody except for the Evil Sweatshop Overlord aka Nike. Nike discontinued their alliance program this year. A pox on their marketing campaigns!
As members of these alliance programs, fitness professionals may purchase merchandise at a significant discount. There are some limitations, however: (1) you may only make discounted purchases for yourself, (2) product selection is limited, (3) sales can only be made through the alliance catalog &/or website, and not at retail stores.
I recently received an email from Reebok Alliance, touting their Fall 2003 catalog and on-line store. I 'm not usually a Reebok fan, but I took a peek anyway. Right on the main page was a sassy tank top with an intriguing crossback design. I clicked on the picture, assuming it would take me to the product page/description, but no dice. I then laboriously looked through all the individual tank top product pages, but they only had pictures of the frontal design, and I needed to see the back. After scouring the website, I eventually found a feature called
Alternate View - See the product from a different angle. Looked promising, but the website provided no instruction on how to actually use this feature. I finally sent Reebok an email asking them whether (1) the product was available for sale and (2) how I could use the aforementioned
Alternate View feature. Here's their reply:
Thank you for contacting Reebok Alliance! We apologize for not being able to offer the style shown on the internet to you. Some of the items you see pictured are from other markets around the world and not available in the United States. We apologize for the confusion and inconvenience this situation may have caused you.
As far as being able to see products from the back, in the Alliance catalog you will be shown pictures of the view of the back of certain items. We apologize that the feature online is only to show a larger picture of what is shown, if you have any further questions please reply to this email or contact our Customer Service Representatives...
Folks, this is a prime example of how NOT to build a retail website. It is counterproductive advertising unavailable products and listing site features that don't work! So much for trying to be a Reebok customer. Back to trusty Sports Basement...