Why West Marine pi$ me off - Page 8 - SailNet Community
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post #71 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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Originally Posted by CalebD View Post
You guys are obviously over dressed for this store.
If you wore ripped, torn clothing with paint and grease stains on them, if you hadn't shaved or showered in a few days they would ignore you.
Trust me on this.
Oh no, not at the old Milford West Marine. This is one of my "favorite experiences" there.

I think it was summer of '10 and I was doing something on Argyle (always doing 'something'). It was a hot day and my wife was with me so it was somewhat of a big project where needed a second hand available. At some point, in the middle of the project, it turned out that I needed something that I absolutely didn't have on board. By the time I get to this point I'm already in a pretty foul mood. First, I didn't plan well enough so I'm mad at myself. Second, I'm forced to look for things in the boat, again calling up my planning as well as my organizational skills. My boat is on a floating dock (like a mooring) in the middle of a river, so I have to row to shore, drive the 5 or so miles to the West Marine.

At this point I'm steaming, mostly at myself, admittedly, but I'm also hot, sweaty, probably covered in fiberglass dust, grease, maybe some sealant in my hair like I'm 'Something About Mary'. Definitely not the high-class yachtsman walking in to buy a new set of top-siders. I'm walking in with a scowl on my face and with a purpose. To buy this damned part and get back to the damned boat and get this job done so we can have some fun dammit!!

Well this was the day that I got three people enthusiastically welcoming me to West Marine within the first 10 seconds of my walking in.

First person; "HEY THERE, WELCOME TO WEST MARINE, WE HAVE SOME GREAT SALES TODAY ON ...."

Me; OK thanks.

Second Person; "WELCOME TO WEST MARINE, CAN I HELP YOU FIND ANYTHING?"

Me; No thanks, I'm good.

Third person; "WELCOME TO WEST MARINE, WHAT CAN I HELP YOU FIND TODAY"

Me; Jesus no! Just let me by my ******* bolt!!! (or whatever it was)

They left me alone after that, for that day anyway. Bought my part and on the way out my wife was kind of giving me a smirk. "You know you just became 'that guy' don't you."

"Yeah, I know"

S/V Argyle
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post #72 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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Who knew John played the bass? And what is up with the BLJ nickname for you of "Sammich"?
What kind(s) of music did/do you play?
CalebD - he's under the mistaken impression that PB is for peanut butter.

Basically we played danceable rock.

John
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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 #73 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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Originally Posted by PBzeer View Post
CalebD - he's under the mistaken impression that PB is for peanut butter.

Basically we played danceable rock.
Oh come now John, you know that he is under no such impression. He's just trying to get your goat.
That you handle it so well is proof enough to me that you have a healthy sense of humor and an admirable patience.
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post #74 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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I've had plenty of bad experiences with people at WM that don't know d*ck about sailboat hardware or running rigging. Believe it or not I actually bought a new outboard motor from there. It ran for sh!t, had a horrible experience with the warranty, and the manager told me we would split the diagnosis charge. I said fine (I needed a motor to get back to my home port). When I got home, wrote a letter to the higher ups and they reimbursed me for the charges and then some along with a written apology. Ok, fine, the manager was still unprofessional and rude. They said I had stored the motor improperly. When the "sales Assc" loaded it into the car, they placed it upside down. I had to show them the manual on how to store it. Which is exactly the reason why the motor didn't run right in the first place.

The prices shouldn't go up for educated staff. Heaven forbid they should just cut into their profits a little. And why should customers have to haggle to get a fair price? I always research parts before I buy, and don't mind spending a little more for convenience, but 3x the cost on some items is ridiculous.

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post #75 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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And they do have profits. From Latitude 38:
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1.jpg  

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post #76 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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but 3x the cost on some items is ridiculous.

In the free enterprise system when something continually cost more and the service is substandard, it usually affects the bottom line

To compare WM to Defender and any other online stores is like comparing apples and oranges. Mmost have one store and warehouse in a place in the counrty/ state where land is much cheaper. In addition you do not have to pay the infrastructure of keeping a nationwide network of stores. With WM you pay for the conviernnce of them havoing the part there I beleive. I agree with the posters about the genral lack of knowledge about products, but the store I frequent in baltimore or annapolis is willing to find out. Very often I go to the WM to look at a product so I can "touch" it and see if the quality of the part I am buying is what I expect and then go home and try and finds the price which is the lowest. They certainly are not the answer for many items which a home chandlery has much greater expertise in.

If WM does not meet your needs....do not shop there. Vote with your pocketbook. Thats is the message they understand the most.

Dave
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post #77 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post

If WM does not meet your needs....do not shop there. Vote with your pocketbook. Thats is the message they understand the most.

Dave
That the beauty of our free market system. We have the power. It's our money that drives it. Without us, West Marine wouldn't be able to survive. The fact that it does means that it is fulfilling the needs of enough people. Real simple.

I just wish we remembered more often who really has the power in this world and were able to unite in order to bring about changes..., perhaps a little more significant than forcing West Marine to institute a four year training program for their cashiers.
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post #78 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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I agree it seams west marine wants twice as much as anyone if you don't need it right now shop around
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post #79 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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And they do have profits. From Latitude 38:
Stock just fell 10% today. mebe some hedgefund hot shots read this forum?

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post #80 of 181 Old 02-29-2012
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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...
Pacer was a distributor to Ancor/Marinco but I am not sure if they are any longer. Ancor also used Berkshire Wire (which really IS the best) but they only used them for certain wire types.. Today Marinco uses another manufacturer for the bulk of their wire (it is a US company). I am not a huge fan of this manufacturers product and as such avoid Anchor wire, and some other brands also extruded by this company.....

Ancor is NOT a manufacturer of wire, lugs crimps or tools. They are a re-packager only. As one who works with wire, crimps and lugs on a daily basis I can assure you Ancor is NOT the best as Xymotic claims but it is the most expensive. I will actually drive 25 minutes across town to NOT buy Ancor products, especially their crimp terminals...

Unfortunately Berkshire was recently sold and the fate of their marine wire is up in the air. Many wire vendors are scrambling to find a replacement that is equal to Berkshire but this is no easy task as it was by a massive margin the most flexible and easy to work with marine wire I've ever used.. I have been through four different brands of battery cable in six months and NONE of it is as good as Berkshire. Morris Yachts used Berkshire too as did Lyman Morse and many other high end builders.

My most recent spool of 2/0 is made by the company making Ancor's battery cable.. Yuk!!

As for WM my store is excellent and I have no complaints but then again I always know exactly what I want when I walk in. If they don't have it Port Supply drops it off at my house the next day..

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