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post #1 of 10 Old 03-27-2010 Thread Starter
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Port Supply-The new reality

I have been a Port supply card holder for many years now and have noticed that the discounts offered on item I purchase have been slashed relative to what I got just a year or two ago. I am now getting just about the same discount as the West Advantage program offers. I am very disappointed in West Marine for doing this as they used to get almost all my business. They now use a slick system with bronze, silver and gold levels with the bronze being just a "curtesy" discount. They reason that after a customer realizes that he has lost his discount he will call and be told that he is not spending enough to waste West Marines time. I now shop at two distributors that routinely beat Port Supply card prices. Good By Port Supply!
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-27-2010
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There are lots of people out there with a port supply card. Many don't deserve it at all. I don't know you, or your indivual use of the card. I find it strange your first post is to complain. You may, or may not have a legitiment complaint, but because of the abuse on port supply you may have been put between a rock, and a hard place........i2f

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post #3 of 10 Old 03-27-2010
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I dont think West Marine is sweating it too much if you leave. Frankly, for these kind of discounts to work effectively, a supplier needs you to maintain certain amount of volume and certain amount of product mix. If you dont fulfill those tenets...well, frankly a supplier will "fire" you as a customer.

They're basically telling you spend more and spend on high margin items...or take your business elsewhere. You cant lose money on a customer and expect to stay in business very long.

Welcome to retailing...even if its a wholesale card

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post #4 of 10 Old 03-27-2010
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Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
I find it strange your first post is to complain.
I2f, they have been a member since 2006, it might be a lurker who never had anything to say until port supply irritated them enough to post.

What are you pretending not to know ?

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post #5 of 10 Old 03-27-2010
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Just received a PS order and the discount (compared with retail) looks like this:
item 1 $9.50 from $23 = 60+% discount
item 2 $6 from $14 = 40% discount
item 3 $24 from $31 = 20% discount
item 4 $23 from $28 = 15% discount
item 5 $19 from $25 = 30% discount

From that, one may conclude that you bought stuff with a small markup. Clearly, the discount is a function of what you buy and their wholesale price for it. Generalities (about their discounts) don't work yet again...

Regardless, I can't find another source from whom I can get a better deal.
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-27-2010
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Your math is off... 6/14 ≠ 60%... 6/14=.43 or a 57% discount...

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Originally Posted by k1vsk View Post
Just received a PS order and the discount (compared with retail) looks like this:
item 1 $9.50 from $23 = 60+% discount
item 2 $6 from $14 = 40% discount
item 3 $24 from $31 = 20% discount
item 4 $23 from $28 = 15% discount
item 5 $19 from $25 = 30% discount

From that, one may conclude that you bought stuff with a small markup. Clearly, the discount is a function of what you buy and their wholesale price for it. Generalities (about their discounts) don't work yet again...

Regardless, I can't find another source from whom I can get a better deal.

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post #7 of 10 Old 03-27-2010
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your port supply prices are lower than defender or Hamilton?
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-28-2010
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Originally Posted by xort View Post
your port supply prices are lower than defender or Hamilton?
I have rarely, perhaps on one or two items, seen Port Supply beat Defender Commercial or Hamilton Commercial. That being said you need to spend $1500.00 per year to maintain a PS account which is tough for me because Hamilton is right around the corner and has a better price 95+ percent of the time and Defender is next day to me at ground shipping rates. I did spend over 3k with them last year but only as a "last resort"...

According to my PS rep, who is always trying to get more of my business, the price matrix I am on is quite good for PS.

Yesterday's purchase: Category - Fuel Filtration

Defender Commercial = $269.00
Hamilton Commercial = $271.00
Port Supply = $323.00

Over $50.00 difference on a "wholesale account" with West's buying power? If they want more of my Defender or Hamilton business they need to get a LOT closer than they do..

P.S. I called a buddy of mine at a marina who buys over 50k per year with PS, mostly lake boat stuff. His price, on the same item, was identical to mine.

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 03-28-2010 at 06:31 AM.
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-28-2010
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I found a website store that has rediculously low prices on many boating items. Dogbytecomputers.com. Have used them twice with no problems. Just a customer with no affiliation!
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-01-2010
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The best items to buy via Port Supply are "staples" - like cleaners, lubricants, epoxy, etc. (anything in a can or bottle). Better yet are the West Marine brand items. There are very small discounts on boat gear, parts, etc. But as mentioned earlier - it all depends on your level of spending. They definitely beat others, including Defender, on "staples" - especially if you are a walk-in customer.
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