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GPS sales Vs. Geocaching.com


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I was thinking about this earlier. What impact do you think geocaching has had on the sales of gpsr?


I mean geocaching started in 2000 right? Well being the tech head I am I also remember thats when gps handhelds finally started becomeing easily obtained by the general public. I bet geocaching made a noteable dent in the reason for personal gps units.


I surprised that one of the major makes I.E. Garmin/Magellen have not teamed up with geocaching.com to make some "geocache focused" units. I know that some of them have geocaching modes but I mean a more direct software change toward caching.


What do you think?

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Both, Garmin and Magellan's high end hand held GPSs all cater to geocaching. They are still general enough to serve well for the other duties that GPSs are bought for.


While geocachers may want a GPS that just imports a GPX file for true paperless caching with ONE device I can't say if the market is ready for that. A more versitile GPX file that works for Geocaching, The Police, Ski Patrols and the like that lets each of them provide data in one format that the GPS than just "intreprets" in a useful way for the user may be the next evolution.

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It seems to me that the manufacturers add features incrementally to their units to be safe (sales-wise). You don't see a lot of bold, new designs. As such, geocaching features creep slowly, cautiously into new units.


If one of the big manufacturers were to design a GPS unit from scratch with lots of innovative geocaching features specifically for that market, I'm sure a large percentage of geocachers would buy it.


Whether that's a big enough market to warrant the expense, I don't know. So far, I guess not.

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I would say on the high end line, probably quite a bit of influence. But there isn't enough profit margin in handheld GPS units these days to warrant a major focus by Garmin, Magellan, or Lowrance these days. Tom Tom doesn't even bother making them.


A relative of mine works at Circuit City and sales of car-based GPS units are up 10 fold this season while sales of handheld GPS units are dropping.


All the profit in GPS units are in the car units these days. That is the business model for every manufacturer and 90 percent of their profits and nearly 90 percent of their sales these days.

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I was thinking about this earlier. What impact do you think geocaching has had on the sales of gpsr?


Anecdotally, two people in my office saw me come back (scratched arms and torn clothes) from lunchtime caches and peppered me with questions. One got a Legend and one got a (uhhhh...... google google google) Magellan Explorist of some kind. Looked like a 200 but I think it was blue and white. Been a while since I've seen it.

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I have worked at a large national chain that is an outdoor retailer (Sportsmans Warehouse) for nearly 8 years now, selling GPS and teaching GPS clinics (5 different classes). I have been on the page for 5 or 6 of those years.

Geocaching has had an impact, but not a large one in our store. The numbers of customers coming in looking for a unit for geocaching is relatively small. However, our "clientele" may be skewed too. We are primarily a "Cabela's" type of store, catering to camping, hunting, and fishing. I think a store like REI or Best Buy, or the online retailers might have more geocaching customers than we do.

Edited by Alphawolf
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