Originally Posted by night0wl
Not to get political...but I guess we're starting to see inflation. I've seen prices up *EVERYWHERE* I look. West Marine has raised prices like crazy too. Mainly by cutting "pack sizes". What used to be a pack of 3 fenders for $100 is now 2 fenders for $89. I guess we have to pay the Chinese piper sometime for our extravagance of the late 2000s...all I know is my salary isnt rising at the cost of boating!
Prices on nearly EVERYTHING have gone up 5-30% in the last year. As one who has wholesale accounts with most vendors what we've seen is an erosion of distributor margins more so than retail.. Many manufacturers have raised the wholesale cost but not the MSRP or MAP pricing. This is putting the hurt on retailers and as such they are making less and less and it is getting tougher and tougher to keep the doors open to be competitive with non brick & mortar re-sellers.
One item I buy a lot of has gone up twice in the last year from $207.00 to $249.00 to my new wholesale price of $268.00 (I buy direct from the manufacturer and can also buy from other vendors and have confirmed this pricing/levels with all of them). The MSPR/MAP only went up 5%, once....
This is an item I used just buy and re-sell / install for the customer but one that required a RTFM of the end user. They rarely did and I would gladly walk them through it. I have all but stopped purchasing these for "price conscious" customer and am now telling those customers to supply it if they can find a good price, I will install it, but they are on their own for support.. Making 4% on a product like that does not even begin to defray the cost of even one phone conversation with a customer or a trip back to the boat..
The race to the bottom in pricing is hurting the end users. Many manufacturers have simply turned off tech support via phone in order to make ends meet and others simply close the doors.
There is NOT a lot left on the table for Stephen Lance to give but at least he TRIES and treats customers fairly!!!!!