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I am well aware of popular social media Instagram accounts getting paid/ free gear to say good things about the companies equipment.  With that being said there are Really no good social media accounts that goalies looking to get new gear can really rely on, due to the fact that these main stream accounts have to say good stuff or they won't get anything free no more, hockey reviews CA is good and so is TRAV4 but Travis job isn't to just review everything and im not expecting him to anyways he wants to focus on pro hockey which im totally ok with, hockey reviews CA I have to really take with a grain of salt like the other ones because he doesn't really move good in the crease so his reviews are kinda mush mush. Id love to see a popular account that has reliable reviews to people on gear however companies aren't gonna just blow out gear to ppl that are gona say bad things about their gear just doesn't make sense, wish stuff could change but realistically just going to the local store retailer for info is always the best for the honest truth and try everything on and fell whatever is good for you. and in pretty sure store reps get free gear as well but that's another topic to talk about 

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3 minutes ago, goaliegearfanatic31 said:

I am well aware of popular social media Instagram accounts getting paid/ free gear to say good things about the companies equipment.  With that being said there are Really no good social media accounts that goalies looking to get new gear can really rely on, due to the fact that these main stream accounts have to say good stuff or they won't get anything free no more, hockey reviews CA is good and so is TRAV4 but Travis job isn't to just review everything and im not expecting him to anyways he wants to focus on pro hockey which im totally ok with, hockey reviews CA I have to really take with a grain of salt like the other ones because he doesn't really move good in the crease so his reviews are kinda mush mush. Id love to see a popular account that has reliable reviews to people on gear however companies aren't gonna just blow out gear to ppl that are gona say bad things about their gear just doesn't make sense, wish stuff could change but realistically just going to the local store retailer for info is always the best for the honest truth and try everything on and fell whatever is good for you. and in pretty sure store reps get free gear as well but that's another topic to talk about 

That's why you come to a place like this to ask questions, your average Joe doesn't have the money to buy every gear and review it, nor the time probably. There are knowledgeable people here who have experience.  Hockey Reviews reads of a spec sheet, he doesn't test long enough and review, sometimes doesn't test at all.  Trav gets paid to talk and promote, so just ask away in this forum. 

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Man, if you think Trav4 is an unbiased and knowledgeable source for gear insight then you're gravely mistaken. He's the largest shill in the social media game but at least he's unashamed about it. His "reviews" are also very shallow.  He's a personality first and foremost.

HockeyReviews is ok. It does seem like he's mostly churning out videos for revenue lately but he does seem like he's somewhat genuine.

GGN is very careful about his "reviews" as he does get a load of free gear. Though, he's the most knowledgeable of the big names when it comes to the intricacies of most gear as well as some decent insights into what the pros use.

Honestly, sifting through what a lot of accounts post will let you gather the necessary information you're after. Sites like this are a great resource to get more open answers as people are putting their money on the line with their impressions.

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Store reps definitely do NOT get free gear.  We usually are given discounts ranging from minimal to fairly generous varying by brand and product. The discounts offered also vary by store (as an example, there is one brand that offers Canadian stores a discount on it's products but not US stores) I will say that at no point have I ever been given a discount so significant that it would make me say nice things about gear I don't like.  I also have never been pressured by any of the companies or their reps to give them a positive review or not to mention issues that I don't like with their products.  

Honestly, having had the opportunity to wear several different brands than I might have otherwise, the biggest conclusion I've come to is that damn near everything on the market today (at least the Pro level stuff) is well made and thoughtfully designed for a purpose.  The question is whether the design and purpose of the pad fit your needs and preferences.  But I do think we're past the day where a Brand X goalie would find another brand of gear so foreign that they couldn't make the transition with a reasonable amount of success to a different brand.  The one exception might be catch gloves.  Vaughn or Brian's for example don't offer a great replacement for a 580, and Bauer gloves have a somewhat unique feel that I might struggle to adapt to for a while. 

TL:DR... Don't worry about what your favorite pro wears and don't buy gear for the name.  Try it on and make sure it works for you.  If you're buying anything other than Pro level make sure you know what you're compromising on to get that lower price and make sure you're comfortable with those compromises.

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  • 1 month later...
On 9/29/2020 at 11:46 AM, Puckstopper said:

Store reps definitely do NOT get free gear.  We usually are given discounts ranging from minimal to fairly generous varying by brand and product. The discounts offered also vary by store (as an example, there is one brand that offers Canadian stores a discount on it's products but not US stores) I will say that at no point have I ever been given a discount so significant that it would make me say nice things about gear I don't like.  I also have never been pressured by any of the companies or their reps to give them a positive review or not to mention issues that I don't like with their products.  

Honestly, having had the opportunity to wear several different brands than I might have otherwise, the biggest conclusion I've come to is that damn near everything on the market today (at least the Pro level stuff) is well made and thoughtfully designed for a purpose.  The question is whether the design and purpose of the pad fit your needs and preferences.  But I do think we're past the day where a Brand X goalie would find another brand of gear so foreign that they couldn't make the transition with a reasonable amount of success to a different brand.  The one exception might be catch gloves.  Vaughn or Brian's for example don't offer a great replacement for a 580, and Bauer gloves have a somewhat unique feel that I might struggle to adapt to for a while. 

TL:DR... Don't worry about what your favorite pro wears and don't buy gear for the name.  Try it on and make sure it works for you.  If you're buying anything other than Pro level make sure you know what you're compromising on to get that lower price and make sure you're comfortable with those compromises.

Dredging this thread up to comment on this.

@Puckstopper 's experience mostly reflects my own as a general CS/Sales employee on the retail floor. 

I spent a brief time in retail during college and I worked for a major retailer named after a zoo animal. I'm also pretty friendly with some of the guys working at the place now.

Personally, I never correlated the discount with loyalty.  I was making so little back then (Maybe $10-11/hr) that I'd only have enough to buy what gear I wanted versus stuff I thought was interesting.  The flip side of this is a negative experience with the manufacturer, and I can think of a couple scenarios where an employee did not get what they wanted (service/quality or otherwise) and actually turned a customer to another brand instead.

Reps never came in to schmooze with us, they spent all of their time with the managers, decision makers, and buying personnel. 

I would guess that the division manager got some comped sets from Itech, RBK, and Vaughn - this may have changed, or it may be a matter of visibility.  The hockey retail industry has grown, and key buyers are now stratified from the general employee population. 

So quick story as I promised...

We (the shop as a group) were given one free set of gear from the Sherwood rep to pass around. 
Unfortunately, it started and stopped on the first guy that got them.  The dude was a bit of a nutcase, even for a goalie.

After his first skate, he took a razor blade to the calf wrap, knee lock, and several internal components of the gloves.
To provide some context, the same dude on a different occasion also cut out shoulder floaters on his c/a and asked me why his shoulders were bruised so bad.

image.png.be8ade5a31864304a1ce8f1ca8a4ec2a.png

image.png.adfa721ff3e7db5e17e379f274712f84.png

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image.thumb.png.8dc349d2d50c8840ca1b8c4492be9cb6.png

We ended up ordering two sets, and we could not move them for the rest of my time there.

Edit:

Bringing this back around to the original topic @goaliegearfanatic31:

HockeyReviews.CA used to post here, but elected to leave to grow his own brand.  Looks like he's doing well for himself, so mission accomplished?  IIRC he's not a full-time goalie, he works a retail job and picked the position up to review the gear.  

My opinion of Trav has changed a bit over time.  I used to think he was an immature twat, but I've watched some of his recent videos and he seems to have matured a bit.  I think working with Steve McKichan has brought his ego down to earth a bit.

Not a big fan of Goalie Gear Nerd.  His use of the "royal we" drives me nuts, as the account is run by one dude.  IMO some of his social media exchanges with people are tinged with a bit of contempt, especially when it comes to the two guys above.

It seems like you understand there is a pretty tight balancing act for the social media personalities, as they have to balance their ability to generate new content/engage readership/clicks (ie. new gear) and their relationship with manufacturer reps.  "Reviews" over social media have actually turned into "gear overviews" where these personalities will essentially extrapolate on product catalog bullet points. 

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