SailNet- A good place to do business - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-31-2004 Thread Starter
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SailNet- A good place to do business

I have been lurking around this board for a few years now and been posting to it for at least a couple of those years. Until the other day, I had not had the occasion to purchase anything through the SailNet store.

I was looking for some instruments for our cutter and I decided that since I have used and enjoyed this message board for a time, I would look through SailNet''s online store.

I was pleasantly surprised with the quality and variety of their products. I was especially pleased with their prices.

I checked around for the merchandise at other stores but I placed my order (which was sizeable) with SailNet because of the quality and lower prices for the things I wanted to purchase.

Shortly after I placed the order I received a call from SailNet. They were making sure that the order was legitimate, and that there was no un-authorized use of our credit card. Further, they wanted me to know that they appreciated our business.

Through the years, I''ve done business over the internet with the other, better known, "boat stores" with never a word from them. I like the difference in the business practices of SailNet.

I recommend them highly and assure you, that in the future I will certainly be doing business with them again.
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-31-2004
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SailNet- A good place to do business

simply said they rock !


p.s. the sail loft is great too

Oh nothin to do with the folks except being a satisfied customer
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-01-2004
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SailNet- A good place to do business

Ct, right on! I agree. Sailnet provides such a valuable and useful service to us with regard to maintaining these boards that we should all go out of our way to support them. I review these boards every day and have learned an immense amount because of them. Larry Venezia
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-02-2004
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SailNet- A good place to do business

My only experience with ordering from Sailnet was miserable. Middle of Sept. I ordered some safety gear in anticipation of some end of the season heavy weather Lake Erie cruising. I NEVER RECEIVED IT. I was billed immediately for it but never got what I paid for. When calling Sailnet''s customer service number I received a voice mail-not a live person. After trying several times I spoke with someone who assured me my paid for product would arrive the next day. Never happened. Called back again-several times in order to speak to someone live-and they said that it was not their problem and that I should call FEDEX. Keep in mind one month had elapsed by now. FEDEX said the package was undeliverable because the address label did not contain my name-just the letters US. By now my boat was on the hard.I called sailnet and reached a live person who said they would email me a confirmation of the credit being issued the same day.Never happened. After six weeks I finally received a credit on my credit card. Keep in mind everything I ordered is available at BOAT US in my home town and the prices are equal if not slightly less thru Sailnet.

As far as the concept that the owners of this website provide this free forum out of their desire to help the boating community I tend to disagree. My humble opinion is that this free forum is actually quite a brilliant marketing idea. What better way to encourage like minded people to purchase product from you? Although I am certain there is a cost involved, it must pale in comparison to the rent, personnel, advertising,insurance costs of a traditional retail establishment.

This is just one boaters experience with this operation. I am sure they are a very honest and respecatble group of intelligent business people. I mean no disrespect. The content of the site is outstanding and the selection of the products are fantastic.

A thousand good deeds are minimized by one bad experience.
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post #5 of 8 Old 11-02-2004
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SailNet- A good place to do business

Oh well,
I am running a website and sell over the web as well. Sometimes, very rare, the sh.. hit the fan, and than it seems that EVERYTHING goes wrong with that one customer. And sometimes you can try as hard as you will and still something is wrong.

I have been a couple times to a West store and had MISERABLE EXPERIENCE

A. Prices with sales tax are much higher
B.they tell you they have the product in stock and if you arrive there they are "just out"
C.they are 3 hours driving away from me
D. they didnt want to take back a product, because the box was open ( the store clerk opened the package and looked if everything was in there, which wasnt the case ! )
E. after i collected 600 bucks of stuff and was just looking for one more item the manager tols me that they should be closing now ( 10 ninutes before time ) I took his advice and left everything on the counter and walked away
F. He is a powerboater/ fishing dude and hates stickboats

This might be ONE manager of a local store, but 3 letters and emails to customer service at west were ignored !

Back to the case in hand. Nobody in the business likes addresses, so we all make sure once or twice that the friggin address is correct... lol... otherwise you make ups rich, and it usually takes forever to get a wrong delivered item back.
As for credit card, depending on the date and your invoice interval it take 6 weeks after the vendor makes the credit, before you see it. That drives me crazy ... but cant do nuttin about.

Anyhow . as I said, once in a while all kinds of crazy things happen and the customer is rightfully angry.....

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post #6 of 8 Old 11-02-2004
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BG, Thor & the group:

Here''s my take on this tread. I used to buy retail goods from JSI in St. Pete, which was purchased by Sailnet when they dabbled with the idea of having both a virtual and bricks + mortar biz. Little changed at the physical retail site while Sailnet came and then went as, no surprise, it''s the people that make such a business work...or not.

In 2002 we decided to prep the boat to cross and cruise Europe; despite 2 successful years in the Caribbean, there was just lots more work to be done. Early on I placed 6 orders with Sailnet''s virtual biz, had problems with 3 of them (that''s a 50% error rate) and looked elsewhere. I discovered that Defender had been pushed into a corner, mauled badly, ''got the message'', and had turned their business around re: customer service, biz systems and Web retail sales. So...Sailnet lost out and Defender benefitted while my cruising kitty waned. WRT Sailnet, I never dealt with an unfriendly employee and I found them very prompt and assuring re: resolving the problems. In the end I concluded that despite Sailnet being a web-based business, it apparently lacked the biz systems (and probably, some level of necessary training as employees come & go) at that time to reliably fill orders. I don''t consider Sailnet a ''bad actor'' any more than I view the local WM stores that way, when I find their pricing unreasonable or sales staff less than knowledgeable. This just seems to be the nature of volume retail businesses & low wage personnel these days. It may be that Sailnet has improved their systems and employee retention rates, and now provide more successful service than they were able to then.

I think BG''s point about this web forum being a ''sailing community service'' - he doubted it - is quite correct. We can all remember back to the mid/late 90''s as web-based retail businesses were being established - you had to reach out and touch your audience. Why would a person become a customer of one ''virtual'' business over another, if not by some form of web-based service? This forum is here because it serves a business need and is part of a business plan. That doesn''t make it bad, good or ''other''; it''s no different than Brion Toss operating a Q&A forum on rigging, or the SSCA, CW, Searoom and a host of other web-based businesses operating general forums (fora?) to attract visitors, anchor a registration to enable marketing, and in general keep you aware of their ''presence''. I must admit I get a little queasy in the stomach when I see the occasional post that lauds Sailnet for this ''service'', as tho'' it''s a humanitarian gesture. Do I appreciate it? Yes. How do I give something back? By trying to post useful info, since I''m still a happy Defender customer, even from over on the other side of the Pond.

To bolster BG''s point, remove all the ''services'' provided at this website. Assume it''s a catalog + ordering site like JC Whitney, Sears, JC Penney''s etc. Many of you hang out at the Penney''s website, do you? Nope. If you like Lands'' End clothes, do you use the JC Penney''s website (they now own and feature LE products)? Nope, you''ll go to the Lands'' End website because it''s superior, engaging, and your web-based satisfaction is integral to them having you as a customer. To the extent we are pleased to be here, sharing info and learning, then Sailnet''s accomplished that piece of its business plan. Good for them. Good for us, too. But hardly altruistic...

WHOOSH, lying St. Katharine''s Haven, London
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-02-2004
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SailNet- A good place to do business

Personally I don''t really care one way or ther other about this on-line store. The message board is a phenomenal place to gather information and advice from very knowledgable people (and from the rest of us).

Who really cares if it is a marketing tool. It is what it is. It is a message bord and one of the best ones available for the sailing community.

If the store is a good place to buy product then that''s a bonus. If it''s not ... well it doesn''t really matter from my POV as the message board is unaffected .....

My $0.02

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post #8 of 8 Old 11-02-2004
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SailNet- A good place to do business

Mike....and I suppose that you also believe that there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq!

Without profits generated from the products sold on this website, Sailnet would most likely not offer this forum, get real. I''ve bought products from Sailnet and agree with previous posts that the transaction was trouble-free, delivery was as promised and goods were exactly as advertised, come on throw them a well deserved bone, suck up to them, a little humility.
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