Why West Marine pi$ me off - Page 6 - SailNet Community
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post #51 of 181 Old 02-29-2012 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
I've got a better one for you SlowButSteady.

I went to an ear nose and throat surgeon specialist to have my ears checked out as required before a certification SCUBA dive.

He said that diving in the pool wasn't the same as diving in the ocean because the ocean was so much bigger. I said I thought it was the depth the diver went down not the breadth of the body of water. He said Oh no the breadth was the most important.
I didn't argue with him as he had sharp instraments near my brain.
Don't feel too bad, I once had a physics graduate student try to tell me a very similar thing.

Never forget them. Do something to prevent it from happening again.
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post #52 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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That whole WM Price match thing calls to mind a t-shirt I once saw on a big hairy biker at an outlaw motorcycle shop. It Read:

"We Rip Off the Other Guy and Pass the Savings on To You"
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post #53 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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Expecting a WM employee to know the products is naive. You and I know about these matters because we're interested, and we're interested because we own boats.

Given what a large retailer pays their employees, what kind of boat do you think the person waiting on you has? Rowboat? Kayak?

It's nice when you run into a retired boat owner working at WM, or sailboat owner with knowledge who happens to be supplementing their income in a down economy.

For the most part, when they ask me if I need help, I tell them what I'm doing with NO expectation that they'll be able to help me. In the rare instance that they actually know something, I treat it as a bonus.

I can't imagine going to WM or any supplier without having first done my homework on the internet. WM is in it to make money, and I'm sure they figured out a loooooong time ago that their successful business model does not include cramming knowledge into the heads of low-pay employees.
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post #54 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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OK, OK. Old-guy rant over.

Now, all of you, GET OFF MY LAWN!!!!!!
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post #55 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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I'm with you SBS. This is one of many reasons I no longer go to WM! Another member said if you want competent staff, the WM prices would go even higher. I say, for the prices they charge (at least 100% mark up in most cases) they should have competent staff! I mean...knowing what tinned wire is in a marine store? We aren't exactly talking about something esoteric here! Go into any Chandlery and ask if they know what tinned wire is. Their response will speak volumes!
My other problem with WM was that more often than not, they were out of a basic item I came in for. I complained to the corporate office who said they were aware of the problem and were fixing it. It never got any better.
I'm amazed by comments in these threads that make excuses for poor service and high prices. In this thread Please....at least use some KY! I complained about 400% mark up for marine products. Some responses said it was due to "economy of scale". I proceeded to prove it was not true. Some people seem to need to justify getting screwed, rather than doing something about it! I try to patronize local businesses when they provide good service. However I'll no longer set foot in a West Marine store. I go on line, or to a chandlery, where I still pay too much. However, at least they know what tinned wire is, and a Bow from a Stearn!
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post #56 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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Not to be picky, but what is a "stearn"? Been on many a boat with a stern, but never heard of a "stearn" before.
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post #57 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
I've got a better one for you SlowButSteady.

I went to an ear nose and throat surgeon specialist to have my ears checked out as required before a certification SCUBA dive.

He said that diving in the pool wasn't the same as diving in the ocean because the ocean was so much bigger. I said I thought it was the depth the diver went down not the breadth of the body of water. He said Oh no the breadth was the most important.
I didn't argue with him as he had sharp instruments near my brain.
Wow...thats scary!
BTW, he's apparently never seen Larry Ellison's pool!
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post #58 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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Not to be picky, but what is a "stearn"? Been on many a boat with a stern, but never heard of a "stearn" before.
Thats pretty picky and rather stern (I think you know what I meant, though they wouldn't at WM!)! In any case, I stand corrected, right you are!
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post #59 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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It has been my experience that the majority of WMs have at least some competent staff. My wife worked at a WM in the Keys for a bit and they were required to take courses for the merchandise that they carry and I would say that 90% of the staff in there could tell you what tinned wire is.

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post #60 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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Hmm, when I'm working on my house I get some stuff at Depot, some stuff at the local lumber yard and specialty items at plumbing/electrical supply houses and places like Woodworkers Warehouse. Stuff I don’t need right now I order online. I have a pretty good idea what to buy where and in a pinch Depot/Lowes are usually open when the specialty guys are closed - but I’ll probably pay more for that convenience.

It’s no different when I work on my boat. It could be WM, The GPS Store, my local hardware store (who stocks a ton of marine stuff), the store at the next marina, Defender or Jamestown Distributors.

At all these stores there’s a wide range of expertise. It’s best to have some clue walking in the door so you can judge the advice you’re getting. BTW that applies to specialty retailers as well.

Why is West more expensive than online? Well they have to have a ton more warehouse space, handle the logistics of shipping to a bunch of stores, print all those catalogs, have computer systems to track it all, pay for the cost of all that retail space and pay people all the way up and down that supply chain. Do they charge too much? In some cases absolutely. But they do price match, they’re there when I need that #$@!*widget on Sunday afternoon and I get it right now.

They also send out “rewards certificates” and have some decent sales. Like Chris said you can do pretty well if you know how to play the game. How’s that different from anything else in life?

Now if I could just figure out what to do with all the damned boat odds and ends I’ve accumulated in the garage over the years…

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The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective." - Henry David Thoreau
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