FWIW - Because the admiral can't swim, I had decided to buy the Mustang MD3184 (Hammar Hydrostatic Inflator with Integral Safety Harness) about 3 months ago.
I shopped around the net, and placed an order with a vendor that I had read some good things about elsewhere. Soon after, I noticed that my credit card was been charged right away. Two weeks go by - no PFD. I called (no one ever there) / left voicemail / emailed / submitted customer service inquiries several
times to check on the status. Eventually I learned through email that they were on "Back Order." After a month, still no PFD, and I have a whoppin' charge to my credit card.
So I cancelled the order, shopped around some more, and placed with another dealer that promised on their web page; "In stock, usually ships within 1-2 business days." Another month went by, still no PFD. So, I called / emailed several times to check on the status, and eventually learned that they were on "Back Order till July
". (De-ja-vu) So I cancelled this order too.
I was getting anxious, and sailing season is passing me by, so I call the local WM to see if they have the model (or WM's equivalent) in stock, and how much. Out of stock, and 50% higher than the original order
, plus tax. Would they match the WM catalog price? ($30 less) "No - 'cause you would have to pay for shipping." Whatever... I think that there is an entire thread dedicated to the "New WM"...
Sheesh, I was about to give up when I remembered Marine.com. You know, this site's sponsor. (Doh!) Because I was leery of another back order situation, I called and spoke with a person
who assured me that they had 17 in stock, and were a lot
less than WM. This same person also assured me that I "should have it within two days."
I was so happy that I ordered TWO.
Lesson 1 - The cheapest route is usually not the best, neither is the most expensive.
Lesson 2 - Try not to overlook the obvious!
Lesson 3 - We all enjoy this forum. I beleive that it is a great way to show some appreciation, by sending some business the way of our host.
(Now, if two weeks go by and I have to get on the phone again....