Our third Goanna News Online was going to be information about all the hard work we implemented during the summer to expand our online shopping presence. We launched an ebay store last year which has been great for the convenience of our customers & a great platform for selling parts & accessories. With massive online traffic Ebay has provided us with exposure that no magazine ad has ever been able to achieve & it has been great for moving parts & small items. Over the summer we have built on that momentum & we finally have a perfect cloud based website. Gone are the days of back end IT calamities that bring the website down for half a year whilst web-builders glacially correct mistakes they made at the inception……but enough of that! This was supposed to be a bright & joyous article about a positive & new direction for Goanna Gold Detectors. We had recognised the gradual shift towards online shopping & we were keeping abreast of that change so we were ready for the future. Well something HAS changed that we did not expect & it deserves explanation & it deserves the truth.
Just before Easter Minelab issued the new dealer contracts for 2017. The contract sent to us was for an “Online Dealership”. A phone call later with confusion running rife we discovered that Minelab considered this the best option for us even though we operate & open a bricks & mortar store 6 days per week. There was also an amended price list for this new status with wholesale costs 10% higher than our competitors. The next phone conference to discuss the terms of the contract were met with a “sign it or we part ways” response from Minelab. A 2 hour discussion with our accountant & some research into the viability of an online only store with higher wholesale prices & less retail margin brought us to the conclusion that we would not be able to compete on price & our new online only status would effectively sever the face to face relationships with our customers necessary for selling & after-market supporting the top end detectors. Opening a bricks & mortar store in a commercial building costs money; money we cannot afford. To continue under Minelab’s new terms we would go broke slowly. Move to a commercial premises with high rents; we go broke quickly [& there is nothing to stop Minelab from moving the goal posts again next year]. So I guess our only option is to reject the corporate manipulation being applied to our business & walk away. A forced choice!
2 days ago I opened the Gold Gem & Treasure & found an ad from a new dealer with the words “NEW MINELAB SUPER STORE”. For some time now I have been aware that this term was being talked about [ie: Minelab only retail outlets]. There have been a number of these in existence for some time. We are a multi-brand store [including Minelab]. Our approach has always been customer focused & our role was to bring the best products & brands to our customers & provide them with choice of product, features, price & models to suit the purpose that the customer has in mind. Branding was less our focus over the needs, wants & desires of our customers & matching them with the right detector for the purpose. Having said that, there were many brands we rejected because they did not stand out in some way with innovation, or other desirable features. Our great concern is that as Minelab part ways with us our viability will be diminished & that as we try to reinvent ourselves the industry will be left with another failed business, domination of a single brand & less customer choice with the death of outlets selling alternate brands. We will continue to support our other brands with an online presence but our doors will close as the cost of manning a full time shop 6 days per week will outweigh any profits we expect from selling online. However, we may be able to help people by appointment & future programs, events, outings etc are yet to be decided based on whether we survive or not.
We wish to thank our customers for their support & loyalty over the past decade. You will still find us online at www.goannagolddetectors.com.au & you can email us on bob@goannagolddetectors.com.au or through our ebay store & on facebook.

As many of you are Minelab owners I want extend now my apologies for any inconvenience this might cause you.
Once we are unendorsed we will have no access to Minelab parts, service department, logos, products, branding,
help or assistance. We know that means you will have to look elsewhere for support from endorsed Minelab
Dealers. My hope is that they treat you [our customers & friends] well.
The Goanna News will continue & we will continue to sell Garrett & XP Deus products to the detecting community.
Good luck with the 2017 detecting season to one & all.

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