Thank you all for the feedback. Sorry I have not had a chance to reply back earlier. We have been scrambling all week to get 1 of our sites ready for reconsideration.
@trakkerguy. Yep, we did receive the -50 penalty just as you describe.
We have decided to start with our inline skates site and here is what we have done:
1. Canonicaled our outlet section (sale.#*$!.net) back to our www pages.
2. Removed all duplicate products from our other properties, including the general site.
3. 301'd a complete site as it was a subset of this site's product
4. Changed up our product data and our templates on each site a bit to stop them from being so cookie cutter (to a comparison tool anyway).
5. Removed all references to our general sporting goods store including all resource\image calls to that domain.
We continue to consider canonicalizing all pages to the appropriate page on the strongest domain, however we feel that would be abandoning our natural search strategy for those domains which in essence means abandoning a successful business strategy. This will also take some time to develop and we are running out of that since we do 50% of our annual business in the next 3 months.
Previous to this penalty, this inline skate site ranked #1 or #2 for most of the appropriate keyword phrases for over 2 years (and rightfully so relative to our competition). Several of our other properties had even better SERP's in their respective categories so we are trying to take any chances on this reconsideration.
We will be submitting this site for reconsideration today and I will post back here on any news. Thank you all again for the excellent feedback and support.