Why West Marine pi$ me off - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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Originally Posted by SlowButSteady View Post
No. But I would expect someone on the sales floor of a music store to know that a guitar has six strings, ...
Some guitars have twelve strings.

There are certainly more important things in your life to get this upset about and if you don't have any, I'd like to know your secret. Choose your battles.

Donna


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post #32 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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Big box stores are pretty much self-service. You gotta do your research before you arrive there. I have found the West Marine employees to be better than employees at many other big box stores. Some of them actually share our interest in boating and are friendly.

I sometimes order directly from the store to avoid the high shipping and handling charges online, especially on hazardous items like paint. The items will be shipped there at no charge to the customer for pick up.
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post #33 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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If the sales person had been knowledgeable and said; "Sir, you don't know? only tinned cable is right for marine applications. Would you have been Pi$$ed for that?
jus sayin...
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post #34 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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Quote:
Some guitars have twelve strings.
And bass guitars can have 4,5,6 or 8 (maybe more, that's just the one's I've played)

John
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post #35 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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Originally Posted by xymotic View Post
...

As is the comment above about 'marine wire' being cheaper at whatever.com.

West Marine sells Anchor Brand Wire. It is the best of the best. There is a reason it costs more than some generic wire you find online.
Ah... Well.. Actually not.

Ancor is West Marine's "captive" wire distributor. The cable is actually made by Pacer Group of Sarasota Florida which imports copper and other wire from various sources, commonly China, and sheaths it in proprietary plastic type insulation. In the course of doing the sheathing, various distributor names are impressed on the cable including Ancor. Once an order for cable has been run out, the name impressions are changed for the next distributor with an order and that is run out, etc. etc. etc. The cable sold by Genuine Dealz is the same cable that West Marine and other outlets sell under various other names. Because of my research into the matter I was able to obtain 100+ feet of 2/0 Battery cable together with necessary connectors and the like for a windlass installation in late 2006 for less than 1/3rd the cost of the same materials from West Marine. The hook was, of course, that I had to go directly to the manufacturer's plant in Sarasota and deal direct as they do not have a retail operation per se, nor will they package and ship small orders as they will not compete with their own customers.

Beyond the foregoing, I do not think one is asking too much to expect West Marine Store Employees to be knowledgeable about the products they are selling. Older, more long term employees generally are and the best are commonly older sailors with years of experience under their belts. They, however, do not seem to last too long as they either finish their own refits and restocking of their cruising kitties and go on their way; or, get tired of the petty BS at West Marine and find other employment. That is an unfortunate loss for the Company.

FWIW...

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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post #36 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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In '06, at the Kemah, TX Home Depot, they had a marine wire section selling ancor products. I remember it because you could get the 18' mini-roll of #14 tinned wire for $3.99 instead of almost $20 at West.

John
Ontario 32 - Aria

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Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
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post #37 of 181 Old 02-29-2012 Thread Starter
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If the West Marine rah-rah section would bother to actually read my posts, you might see that my point is NOT that a particular Almost Clueless Clerk couldn't say off the top of her head whether the wire was tinned. The question, after-all, was something of an afterthought. The issue is that none of the employees in that store, a store specializing in marine merchandise, had any clue that tinned marine electrical wire even exists.

Obviously, WM caters to the lowest common denominator..... their loyal customers.

Never forget them. Do something to prevent it from happening again.
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post #38 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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While the surveyor was looking at my boat, I mentioned a certain sized through hull fitting which I could not find at WM. He said "West Marine is a clothing store".
This point has been beaten to death- there are a wide variety of products, so adjust your expectations accordingly for the average sales associate. I think this is all a generalization. I have had similar experience (which then led me to do the research and learn for myself, which has made ME more knowledgeable, thank you WM), and I have also experienced the opposite, where the guy at WM knew so much that his questions overwhelmed me. There is a competing Ship Store in MDR which is a mom and pop place and I want to support them, but I get the same glassy eyed stare when I ask things like "what kind of mahogany are your bungs?".
This lack of expertise is not exclusive to WM. I agree with what DRFerron said above.

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post #39 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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My experience FWIW has varied quite a bit. We have 4 West locations within driving distance, 3 in/around Annapolis, 1 in the yard where the boat is stored (Herrington). Each has a very different feel and level of expertise in the stores. Between them, they have folks who are trying to figure out what the pointy end is, and folks who live aboard, cruise extensively and are very knowledgable. Just like any other retail chain.

Overall, their price match policy is great. Convenience (the location at Herrington is just across the lot from the boat) is hard to beat when in the middle of a project and needing a part.
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post #40 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
Big box stores are pretty much self-service. You gotta do your research before you arrive there. I have found the West Marine employees to be better than employees at many other big box stores. Some of them actually share our interest in boating and are friendly.

I sometimes order directly from the store to avoid the high shipping and handling charges online, especially on hazardous items like paint. The items will be shipped there at no charge to the customer for pick up.

Plus 1

We love em and we hate em, but when you need an obscure piece of boat junk that you are unlikely to find at Home Depot. WM almost always comes through.......SO it's either order online, and wait a week or two, or go buy an overpriced part from a clue less clerk, that at least can find it on the shelf, and sell it to you on a friday evening so you can spend the weekend boating, instead of looking at a empty mailbox. I live in a major city, and have driven all over town looking for boating parts, but West Marine is were I usually end up.

PS clueless clerks are the norm when corperate giants pay so low no one can afford to work there more than a few months.

In life you need to pick your battles,...I'll just go sailing instead.

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