Trade is the engine of progress
Creating a full-fledged drop zone with all the infrastructure is just one of the ways to earn money from hobbying people in parachuting. It is much easier to organize a business selling skydivers of various parachute equipment and accessories. Opening a store will cost significantly less than building an airfield. But the cost of complete equipment of a professional skydiver can reach $ 10 thousand. The minimum set of equipment for a jump consists of a parachute system (backpack, main and reserve parachutes), a safety device, a height alarms signal (in the parachutists jargon – “beeper”), a visual altimeter, a helmet and special clothes. High prices are due to both the complexity of the equipment and the fact that most of the equipment is imported.
Independently buying equipment abroad is not profitable for skydivers. Overhead costs for the delivery of goods to Ukraine (including the payment of fees) increase the cost of the purchase by 10-15%.
Therefore, the majority of domestic parachutists prefer to order parachute systems through authorized dealers, such as the online store ParaMag. There are companies that present products of several foreign brands at once, for example, SkyWideSystems. It happens that a trading company is not tied to the brand, but to the flying club. The circle of their clients is limited to parachutists jumping to the DZ of this club.
Shop for selling equipment for jumping works as a table of orders. At best, this is a small room in the administrative building of the aeroclub with samples of the most popular goods and product catalogs. Goods are ordered from the manufacturer only after receiving 100% prepayment. Thus, the dealer does not invest his own funds in the purchase of goods.
Moreover, many manufacturers are ready to release the goods with 80% prepayment, which leaves room for maneuver. It is easier for the store to get a discount on the goods (from 20% to 30%), therefore, the ordered equipment is sometimes sold even cheaper than the manufacturer offers to the retail buyer. But, as Mikhail Alekseenko, director of CGL Сenter Blade, explained, in order to qualify for a discount, the store has to collect several orders in order to send a general application to the manufacturer. As a result, the client has to wait for the goods for at least 2-3 weeks (and sometimes several months).
Obtaining the status of an official dealer of a brand western parachute company, for example, Performance Designs, is also not easy. Alexey Sharadkin says that a personal acquaintance helped him to establish contacts with Western manufacturers. For several months Alexey lived in the USA and made jumps on American remote sensing sites, at the same time establishing contacts with manufacturers of parachute equipment.