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chilliman64

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Jedd Johnson

I've messaged with Ryan recently and he's told me he's literally been working through the night with the holiday season here.

Some of you may have seen I partnered with Ryan on a product recently. He has been timely with shipping these to customers.

These days, I go through Facebook to get with Ryan. If I don't hear back, I follow up with him again and generally get a message back that time.

I know one thing that happens to me is I'll read a message while I'm driving. I don't type back then, so I plan to do it when I get home, and I forget. So I appreciate it when people follow up with me and I apologize to the person. Because otherwise I might not remember, unfortunately.

So, I encourage you to follow up with anyone, myself included, if you've tried contacting them. Sorry about any bad experiences some of you have had.

Jedd

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That makes sense Ben but in his defense if everything was smooth he shouldn't have to contact him aside from the order being placed. Even if he wasnt getting his emails asking about it, an Order place

I have a simple solution for Ryan. It appears he is a builder/creator/innovator/engineer. IMO, based on what I have read/seen he's not a guy who should be even handling the orders. He should delegat

Ryan is a heck of a guy and has been very good to me over the past few years. Trust him completely in business dealings and would trust him to babysit my child. And that is about the biggest complim

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Jared Goguen

From what I can tell Ryan makes good products and I would be happy to own something he has made but the guy is a flake, and having to track someone down all over email, phones, and social media that you have given money to get the item sold to you is beyond ridiculous and no way to run a business.

Jedd I know you have partnered with him and you say he's shipping in a timely manner but after my last interaction with or lack there of I personally would have very little faith in getting my product. You on the other hand are on top of it, you ship things fast, your nice and easy to deal with, the turn around time on your rating of peoples grippers is amazing and that is the type of work ethic and customer service you need to have if you want to do well running a small business.

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I ordered one thing from him and it came pretty quick. Was going to do custom hammer had it laid out and changed the idea and havent heard from him since. In his defense though, he's dealt with my BS like a champ. I agree with most of the negatives though. But he is a one man operation and seems pretty popular between WAL gear, Jedds new device, LBEB hammer and all that shit.

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HandsMcHanderson

I ordered one thing from him and it came pretty quick. Was going to do custom hammer had it laid out and changed the idea and havent heard from him since. In his defense though, he's dealt with my BS like a champ. I agree with most of the negatives though. But he is a one man operation and seems pretty popular between WAL gear, Jedds new device, LBEB hammer and all that shit.

As a business owner my 2 cents is this: if you are so busy that you can't keep up, stop taking orders, contact your customers and resolve the issues. If order volume stays that high hire someone to help. If hiring someone is not possible due to cost of labor then you have priced too low and need to change pricing strategy. One man band means the buck stops at the 1 man and it should be easier to manage customer expectations and communication as you know that it is your job and can be done in the manner which best suits the business. It takes time and effort but it's a time vs. money equation. Either you do it or you pay someone else to, not doing it is not an option.

I've not ordered from him but it seems like he failed to communicate with some after payment and took way too long to get out orders while holding the cash, it's bad business practice, being 1 man doesn't excuse poor business...if anything it gives more of a reason for the owner to be on top of things. Again I'm operating on hearsay (but hearsay from a couple trustworthy guys) so I don't know one way or the other but you can be both a great person and a poor or mediocre businessman they aren't mutually exclusive.

In a small community like strength sports it's important to be on top of things. Guys like Jedd or Matt are on the ball and the loyalty they get because of it is huge. Customer acquisition cost in business is hard enough without potential customers reading bad experiences so it's always smart to do everything you can to prevent that. 10 months wait time for a repeat customer without proper communication? 1 man shop or not that's insanity. I'm glad he's got orders out to some people but I'll be avoiding him. If you have someone's money it's a slap in the face to leave them waiting for such lengths of time.

Not meaning to come off like a dick but dang!

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Alawadhi

Back quite awhile back I reached out to him to see if he was interested in sponsoring the board.

Here was the response:

Dang lol what the hell!!! There was surely nicer ways

I've messaged with Ryan recently and he's told me he's literally been working through the night with the holiday season here.

Some of you may have seen I partnered with Ryan on a product recently. He has been timely with shipping these to customers.

These days, I go through Facebook to get with Ryan. If I don't hear back, I follow up with him again and generally get a message back that time.

I know one thing that happens to me is I'll read a message while I'm driving. I don't type back then, so I plan to do it when I get home, and I forget. So I appreciate it when people follow up with me and I apologize to the person. Because otherwise I might not remember, unfortunately.

So, I encourage you to follow up with anyone, myself included, if you've tried contacting them. Sorry about any bad experiences some of you have had.

Jedd

True Jedd. I also do that and then forget to reply. Who wanna chat while driving it's dangerous. But the average of 8 to 12 month? Naaah that's not a businessman style. You certainly don't do that.

I ordered one thing from him and it came pretty quick. Was going to do custom hammer had it laid out and changed the idea and havent heard from him since. In his defense though, he's dealt with my BS like a champ. I agree with most of the negatives though. But he is a one man operation and seems pretty popular between WAL gear, Jedds new device, LBEB hammer and all that shit.

As a business owner my 2 cents is this: if you are so busy that you can't keep up, stop taking orders, contact your customers and resolve the issues. If order volume stays that high hire someone to help. If hiring someone is not possible due to cost of labor then you have priced too low and need to change pricing strategy. One man band means the buck stops at the 1 man and it should be easier to manage customer expectations and communication as you know that it is your job and can be done in the manner which best suits the business. It takes time and effort but it's a time vs. money equation. Either you do it or you pay someone else to, not doing it is not an option.

I've not ordered from him but it seems like he failed to communicate with some after payment and took way too long to get out orders while holding the cash, it's bad business practice, being 1 man doesn't excuse poor business...if anything it gives more of a reason for the owner to be on top of things. Again I'm operating on hearsay (but hearsay from a couple trustworthy guys) so I don't know one way or the other but you can be both a great person and a poor or mediocre businessman they aren't mutually exclusive.

In a small community like strength sports it's important to be on top of things. Guys like Jedd or Matt are on the ball and the loyalty they get because of it is huge. Customer acquisition cost in business is hard enough without potential customers reading bad experiences so it's always smart to do everything you can to prevent that. 10 months wait time for a repeat customer without proper communication? 1 man shop or not that's insanity. I'm glad he's got orders out to some people but I'll be avoiding him. If you have someone's money it's a slap in the face to leave them waiting for such lengths of time.

Not meaning to come off like a dick but dang!

Agree 100%

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Devil's advocate for a second here: raise the prices and everyone complains, keep them low so you get more orders than you can handle, only *some* of the customers complain.

There's nothing wrong with this feedback, it will scare off some customers and let others know what to expect, both those things make it less of a hassle. I wouldn't operate that way, but it's an option. Not the best, but also not the worst.

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Jedd Johnson

Have you announced the product yet Jedd? What is it?

Napalm's Nightmare. It's in my Sponsor Section, and I promoted it through my newsletter.

From what I can tell Ryan makes good products and I would be happy to own something he has made but the guy is a flake, and having to track someone down all over email, phones, and social media that you have given money to get the item sold to you is beyond ridiculous and no way to run a business.

Jedd I know you have partnered with him and you say he's shipping in a timely manner but after my last interaction with or lack there of I personally would have very little faith in getting my product. You on the other hand are on top of it, you ship things fast, your nice and easy to deal with, the turn around time on your rating of peoples grippers is amazing and that is the type of work ethic and customer service you need to have if you want to do well running a small business.

Thank you, Jared. I try my best. I'm not perfect either, though. I'll be the first to admit I make mistakes and miss stuff. But, I'm always trying to do better. Thanks again.

True Jedd. I also do that and then forget to reply. Who wanna chat while driving it's dangerous. But the average of 8 to 12 month? Naaah that's not a businessman style. You certainly don't do that.

I Certainly try not to, Alawadhi

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richcottrell

I have held off posting this because I have mixed feelings…

I tried doing this review a few times before, but I did not want to post my dirty laundry…

but this thread has me back at it…

So because I love the gripboard here goes:

I have had mixed results with Stronger Grip.

The first thing I ordered from Ryan was a GripMo with a standard loading pin [instead of the Olympic plate size] . This was in late 2014.

Ryan said he would make me a custom adapter to use with that standard loading pin so if I wanted I could eventually use Olympic weights down the road. That way the actual GripMo would be the stock item.

He offered make me that adapter sleeve for zero additional cost.

I thought that sounded great so I pulled the trigger after kicking tires for about a year.

I had placed the order via his website and we did all the product discussion via facebook.

Shipping prices were reasonable [unlike some other companies].

I got the GripMo and loading pin shortly after that.

From placing the order to getting the package it took about a month.

Ryan did send me a message via facebook when the order shipped.

At that time, he told me that he would be sending the adapter sleeve in a separate package because he forgot to put it in the box.

All seemed to be going well, but that custom sleeve became a real problem…

Before I get into that, I just thought about something I should mention.

Ryan is a real idea man. I say that in a good way. He takes customer input and is willing to try out ideas…

At one point, and before buying the GripMo, I had asked Ryan if he had ever tried loading it with weight and doing atlas stone type lifting with it.

So Ryan tried it and posted the video on facebook for anyone to see.

It is still on his facebook, Dec. 2, 2013.

That was the same day I asked him that question and I was not even a customer yet.

Now back to my first order, and my mixed feedback:

While that Gripmo and loading pin were obviously high quality stuff, the sleeve just never showed up.

My wife and I get packages constantly-- and we live right next to the high school-- so while it has never happened, I figure we are an easy target for theft.

After a few weeks I contacted Ryan via facebook to make sure it was not lost in the mail or worse.

At first I did not get a reply, but then I finally did [but almost a week later].

Ryan told me he recently had a bunch of packages sent back to him because his printer was low on ink and they did not register. He said he would resend it.

So I waited about another month, but still no sleeve. So I hit Ryan up on facebook again.

This time he got back to me within 24hours, saying

Rich, I apologize. I came up with a much better sleeve idea and am getting some lasered parts this week to finish up. The other was functional just not as snug or good as I wanted.”

After getting the first items, and seeing their quality, I believed Ryan was being truthful.

That said, I was feeling very annoyed at this point.

The Gripmo and loading pin were obviously high quality, but I told Ryan, “I wish you kept me in the loop.”

I would have felt much better waiting had Ryan contacted me. That said, he did reply to my questioning via facebook…

I did finally get that custom sleeve, but it took a long time.

In all, the first half of the order took about a month, but for the sleeve I waited about 4 months total.

Note:

When that sleeve did ship, Ryan did send me a message with the tracking number.

Something obviously slipped between the cracks with my order, and Ryan could have done much better to try to keep me in the loop.

That said, it was a custom item, so I feel a little extra time was reasonable. On the other hand, at no point was I given a timeline, so I always felt like my order should be right around the corner. That was disappointing every day I went to the mailbox…

And I did not think it would take 4 months.

Placing the order was an easy experience, and as I said before, Ryan offered the custom part at no charge. The item is excellent but the wait for it was not fun.

Not at all.

I do not know what more to say about my first order, but here is my personal opinion:

Ryan is a super creative guy who is able to make some great equipment. He is very open to custom ideas, and I found him easy to talk to about those ideas.

He takes pride in the stuff he makes and it shows.

All that positive said,

Ryan is not currently what I think they call a “business track candidate”, as logistics sometimes get his way of an otherwise great customer experience.

Like I said, I did not appreciate being left out of the loop, but his quality is there and his prices are reasonable.

Even with my first order not being what we call a seamless transaction, I took the leap of good faith about a month ago and ordered two “stock” items from StrongerGrip.

I had them in my hands without any drama in three weeks. The paint smelled fresh, I believe they were just made that week. Again they are built solid.

So I can only say very positive things about my second order.

Now you ask:

Would I be willing to order something custom from StrongerGrip again?

My answer is yes

But…

While I would be willing to order it from StrongerGrip, I also now know not to expect it fast.

If I do order anything custom down the road, I will be sure to ask Ryan for a realistic timeline...

And while timelines can change due to many variables, I would be sure to get updated timelines so my expectations are accurate.

While StrongerGrip might not be a sponsor of the gripboard, I do consider StrongerGrip to be both a resource for equipment and ideas.

Ryan Pitts seems like an authentic person and I give him a thumbs up.

I do not think Ryan is out there exploiting our community, and I hope everyone’s negative experiences are eventually resolved.

I would like to see StrongerGrip succeed, but not at any of our expense.

There you have it, my good, bad, and ugly.

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HandsMcHanderson

Devil's advocate for a second here: raise the prices and everyone complains, keep them low so you get more orders than you can handle, only *some* of the customers complain.

There's nothing wrong with this feedback, it will scare off some customers and let others know what to expect, both those things make it less of a hassle. I wouldn't operate that way, but it's an option. Not the best, but also not the worst.

The other option is what every other business does, sell only what you have in stock, keep customers in the loop with custom order times and use opt-in for preorders if you need to outsource a purchase order to keep up with demand. It's not simply a matter of keep prices low and treat customers like they don't matter or raise prices and do proper business, the issue is really taking people's money when you are already backordered and not communicating. Your version of devil's advocate doesn't actually account for the most logical business practices.

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Anthony C.

It is now December 4, 10 months have passed.

It took this guy longer to get a shipment for an order out than it does for a woman to go through a 9 month pregnancy.

Even if he's the nicest guy in the world, it doesn't justify that level of terrible service.

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Wannagrip

I have a simple solution for Ryan. It appears he is a builder/creator/innovator/engineer. IMO, based on what I have read/seen he's not a guy who should be even handling the orders. He should delegate that to a high energy people person who can plan and has great attention to detail. :)

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Alawadhi

It is now December 4, 10 months have passed.

It took this guy longer to get a shipment for an order out than it does for a woman to go through a 9 month pregnancy.

Even if he's the nicest guy in the world, it doesn't justify that level of terrible service.

Very true!

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