Join Date: Jul 2002
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 13
Costs of Sailing merchandise
Just a couple of add''l thoughts after seeing the most recent posts...
Pricing in the Caribbean is ''apples'' if we''re talking about the ''oranges'' of U.S. pricing. Shipping is indeed more expensive to get an item down there, and then the individual island nation has their own import duty to levy. Pricing of marine hardware is far more competitive in the Eastern Caribbean these days due to competing chandelry chains opening up (e.g. Budget Marine, almost a WM knock-off in store appearance). Moreover, they tend to sell many items under their own brand but made by a 3rd party and the spitting image of the expensive, copied item. I wish I saw more of that here in the States.
While this depends on the store, the level of service I get at one of our two WM stores is extraordinary...and this is part of the business model they originally sought to introduce and be known by. It''s in part for this reason that, over the years, I''ve tended to ask less and less for price matching. To me it feels in general like asking for my cake and then eating it in front of them - I accept the services no one else offers me, in my backyard and usually instantly, but ask them to honor the other guy''s price. I don''t always feel this way - e.g. I just bought 16x the same whipping twine for $11 from Defender that WM was asking $8 for. (Yes, that''s sixteen times MORE twine from the same manufacturer). In cases like that, I just give up on WM and order from the folks who got the price right in the first place. This is not the way all us capitalists are supposed to behave, I realize, so clearly I''m in the minority.
Finding "the same thing" at Walmart or Lowes at a lower price is a good strategy if it really is ''the same thing''. As Jeff points out with hose clamps, I''ve been burned multiple times by accepting such stores'' claims - e.g. brass swivel clips with iron springs, ''stainless'' clips made of some kind of el cheapo stainless alloy that immediately froze up. If it''s got the same manufacturer''s label (e.g. Ancor), THEN is when I consider the purchase.
I loved the description of the gaggle of sailors all jumping into the same car and chandelry shopping on a Saturday. I remember those days well. Today, due to large national chains like Lowe''s, Home Depot and WM, finding that same eclectic group of well-equipped hardware stores and chandelries is now rarely possible. Anyone here enjoy the experience of shopping at Sadler''s on the waterfront in Annapolis? Or being taken by the ear by Mr. Sadler up to his 2nd or 3rd floor (where the stock was kept and where he had workbenches), so he could flare some tubing for you? Those days are mostly long gone, which is why I especially treasure my old hardware store around the corner with one of everything!