Westmarine - the good and the bad - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 91 Old 04-20-2008
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JiffyLube-

Yes, they have some overhead costs an internet only business wouldn't have but they also have some economies of scale when it comes to purchasing...so should be able to negotiate lower purchase prices and pass those savings along to their customers... yet a lot of what I've seen in their stores is at MSRP or above. How can they justify that?

One other point... a lot of their in-register prices are far higher than their on-shelf prices and you really need to watch the prices when they ring up your purchases. For instance, I was there with a friend to buy some things for a project on her boat, and she got a BlueSea 6011 Dual Circuit Plus switch, which was marked at $39.99 on the shelf, but rang up at $49.99 and was only $46.99 in their catalog. If I hadn't been paying attention... she would have paid a good deal over list. BTW, the list price on the switch is $43.29, and their catalog price is $46.99, so you're paying a 8.5% premium over list to shop at West Marine's website and their store price, if you weren't paying attention is 15.5%. BTW, Defender.com has the exact same part for $33.99, and Sailnet has it for $33.76.

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post #22 of 91 Old 04-20-2008
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I needed a can of air for an air horn. We have Mike's Marine Supply next door to West.
The can was about $4 at Mikes and about $12 at West. I ALWAYS shop Mike's first.
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post #23 of 91 Old 04-20-2008
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I got an email from WM this last week reinforcing their price matching policy. It used to be that they would not match drop shippers but maybe that will change!
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post #24 of 91 Old 04-20-2008
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I like the original poster use West for the convenience.
This is my most recent gripe.

Here in the Midwest, we are in the height of boat work season.
I was finishing up my work on Saturday and thought I would make a quick trip to the local store to get one more thing. I was a little shocked to see that they had locked the doors at 6:00PM. I was even more shocked to see that their Sunday Hours were 11:00Am to 4:00pm. Only five hours on a Sunday in the height of boat work season and a 6:00 close on Saturday evening? I would have thought they would be keeping longer hours since this is their busy season.
Don't forget, its basically a six month season here. All winter long the stores are open, but not much happens than.

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post #25 of 91 Old 04-20-2008
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Closing stores

The West Marine in Oklahoma City is closing in a few weeks. Now I know this isn't Key West but there are several hundred sailboats within a 25 mile radius. The situation went like this, the local store was required to stop stocking most sailing hardware and power boat stuff for that matter, and started stocking fishing equipment and kayaks. I contacted a regional manager and explained that this store was located less than 10 miles from a Bass Pro Shop and less than a mile from Academy Sports. Why would someone go to WM to buy fishing gear when the plastic worm section at Bass Pro is bigger than their whole store. When told I could always order from the catalog I told him it was a matter of convenience and if I wanted to order something why not use Defender and save 25-60%. At that point I was told I could go pound sand because they were a national company and knew more about retail sales than I did. Well guess what? Their sales went down and now they can close the store which I think was the plan from the start. When they told me at the local store they were closing I simply put about $500.00 worth of purchases back on the shelves and went home and mailed my catalog back to the home office with a note I wouldn't need it any more. I hope when WM upper management finishes running themselves out of business they don't go to work for Defender!
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post #26 of 91 Old 04-20-2008
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You guys should live in europe and want a satinless bolt...to see how spoiled you are....

LONG LIVE WEST MARINE!!!! (for me at least)....

Besides..even when I come here most places like sailnet etc. don't accept VISA from outside US addresses over the net...
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post #27 of 91 Old 04-20-2008
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I don't mind paying more for convenience...Lets say the same as shipping charges would be or even a buck or two more...But that would the limit for me for my loyalty. They can beat up the supplier for the other buck or two they need.
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post #28 of 91 Old 04-21-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
JiffyLube-

Yes, they have some overhead costs an internet only business wouldn't have but they also have some economies of scale when it comes to purchasing...so should be able to negotiate lower purchase prices and pass those savings along to their customers... yet a lot of what I've seen in their stores is at MSRP or above. How can they justify that?

One other point... a lot of their in-register prices are far higher than their on-shelf prices and you really need to watch the prices when they ring up your purchases. For instance, I was there with a friend to buy some things for a project on her boat, and she got a BlueSea 6011 Dual Circuit Plus switch, which was marked at $39.99 on the shelf, but rang up at $49.99 and was only $46.99 in their catalog. If I hadn't been paying attention... she would have paid a good deal over list. BTW, the list price on the switch is $43.29, and their catalog price is $46.99, so you're paying a 8.5% premium over list to shop at West Marine's website and their store price, if you weren't paying attention is 15.5%. BTW, Defender.com has the exact same part for $33.99, and Sailnet has it for $33.76.

I don't know how they can justify your first point, maybe that is why WM has a new CEO that has worked their way up from the bottom...and I've read understands boaters. Time will tell if the new CEO can make the difference that WM needs, so I wish that person good luck.
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post #29 of 91 Old 04-21-2008
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I can understand if WM is all you have, and they do have an occasional item on sale that is cheaper than anywhere else, but thats it! I have one right by my house and I stop in every time I need something.......on my way to the local chandlery that lies beyond. And every time, I find what I need for cheaper. The local chandlery is much cheaper, has better products, better selection, the staff knows everything about boats, and if they don't have it, they can get it, or find out how to use it, or find out what the heck that strange thing on your boat is, or show you how to make a new one. I would much rather support my local chandlery than the Wall Marine.

SD same thing happened to me. My $2.99 engine zinc is now $3.99 this year, but was rung up for $6.99. I don't think so. They don't know their products at my local store and most of my questions are passed around until all help is exhausted and I go to the chandlery and its answered immediately.

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Last edited by bestfriend; 04-21-2008 at 02:21 AM.
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post #30 of 91 Old 04-21-2008
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There is a local chandler that I go to also, only blocks away from WM...and they're quite helpful too. I believe in supporting our local businesses when ever I remember...just like I try to support my favorite coffee shop over Starbucks.
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