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  #11  
Old 06-03-2013
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Re: West Marine makes enemies

I like West Marine. Here in Hawaii the sales people are knowledgeable and freindly. Thursday I return a 3 year old leaking Taylor $90 fender and they exchange with no problem. They have a lot of merchandise in stock. I can order as much material from West Marine on line and pay a flat $20 dollars for shipping- no other on-line retailer can match that (all items go air frieght to my location).

Yea, I hope West Marine stays in business or I am in big trouble. There prices do not really seem out of line with other (even on-line) marine stores. And there catalog is best by far with quite a bit of useful information in the technical sections.
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Old 06-03-2013
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Re: West Marine makes enemies

Here's the West Marine management team and BOD. I'm sure they'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on how they're running the business.

West Marine: Management Team
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Old 06-03-2013
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Re: West Marine makes enemies

I cant say else were BUT on Long Island the independent marine store is alive and appears to be quite healthy in both mom/pop and not west marine size BUT big enough to have a large catalogue

Between Lighthouse Marine out east and Freeport Marine supply there has to 10 good size places along with a bunch of west marine

I can walk into many of those places and they will still be staffed with people how have at least some if not a large knowable of boats
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  #14  
Old 06-03-2013
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Re: West Marine makes enemies

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommays View Post
I cant say else were BUT on Long Island the independent marine store is alive and appears to be quite healthy in both mom/pop and not west marine size BUT big enough to have a large catalogue

Between Lighthouse Marine out east and Freeport Marine supply there has to 10 good size places along with a bunch of west marine

I can walk into many of those places and they will still be staffed with people how have at least some if not a large knowable of boats
Must be nice. Here in hawaii we only have west marine for sailboat gear. The cost of shipping an item from a mainland source is generally the cost of whatever you are buying. So West Marine fills a huge void for local and transient sailors. If WM leaves, boating maintenance expenses will double in cost.
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Old 06-03-2013
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Re: West Marine makes enemies

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Originally Posted by blowinstink View Post
West Marine ain't no Walmart!

They appear entirely rudderless . . ...
I was not really comparing Walmart and West Marine, but feel it is a worthy comparison in some regards. I did not think my comments online would affect someones iterpretation of what they felt when shopping there. If you have a boat for more than a month you probably already have an opinion about WM.

I dont care about the corporate plan or marketing, I am more concerned about the retail experience. My experience at West Marine has been mixed. With some effort i have found a caring knowledgable staff member able to help, educate and sell me something wherever I frequented a WM store. Often it might take a few visits to find this employee. Until then I find myself getting bad advice from employees who "don't know nothing about sailing" nor care to learn.

Walmart you can staff its stores with people who don't know or care about the products but at a specialty retail store you need educated and motivated employees. No one is expecting to get rich in retail but they should all get great deals on all the equipment so they can say, this is the one I use and like these features, but if i had the money i would buy this unit, rather than "the GPS guy is not here today."

You may not be able to affor your own boat working there but you should be able to afford some good foulies and a nice handheld VHF to bring aboard your buddies boat or even better a costumer's boat who appreciates all your help.
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Re: West Marine makes enemies

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Originally Posted by Harborless View Post
It gets worse than that. They do not even care about their OWN employees opinions.
Case and point: I went into West Marine in Ortega to buy some specialty bolt or something other and I got to speaking with an older sales associate who told me he had upgraded his bilge pump or some pump (im sorry it was awhile ago)
however the new pump from west marine was garbage. When he called his own company for help and parts they basically told him to kick rocks it was his faulty installation or his improper this or that. Not the product.

Anyway, this guy works in there store and he told me he always tells customers not to buy that item.

Now thats good advertising.
I'll tell you my story with west marine.

I had a taylor boat fender (they come with taylor lifetime warranty) I had bought from WM online. After 3 years of use the fender developed a splot hole and leaked. I called up WM online store. They told me they would mail out a fender no charge. 10 minutes later WM called and said they made a mistake, I would need to go through Taylor for warranty. I knew if I needed to mail the fender to Taylor it would cost me the price of a new fender ($90), so I took the fender to my local WM and they exchange no problem.

Sometimes one needs to keep "working" a retailer to receive good service. Unfortunately, most retailers are like this.
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Re: West Marine makes enemies

I don't believe that its fairly handled on SN to bash a retailer on here since certain retailers have a protection bubble around them because they are SN sponsors and as soon as you start bashing them the posse rides up and stops you. There is no fair play.

If you don't like WM don't shop there simple as that.

WM maintain a good business model and have managed to stay solvent and expand despite the crush in the economy. Many areas in Canada as well as areas in the US WISH they had a WM store close to them. Comparing them as a stand alone store of mortor to a catalogue internet business is not a fair comparison from a price point. I have found a mixed bag of informed employees from many on line vendors including WM and the vaunted Defender.

WM catalogue and its how to videos are a great service to many do it yourselfers. They had advanced technological items, or models of equipment you can lay your hands on and look at for quality that many local chandleries cannot afford to stock.

Ill bet many of you WM bashers have their catalogue stashed in your bathrooms to look at.

If you don't like them just don't shop there. Wait for the postman/ UPS driver to bring you your hose clamp or marine wax.
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Re: West Marine makes enemies

WM is great for items you need NOW - or items you absolutely might need to return.

Otherwise I go for the internet stores, saves an automatic 6% sales tax, and many do free shipping specials.
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Old 06-03-2013
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Re: West Marine makes enemies

Its funny how things change with time. In many areas of the consumer market people oppose Big Box retailers citing concerns that they will crush the small independent retailers. Most of the time the big corporate retailers succeed in moving into an area, and many times they do indeed destroy the mom and pop businesses in the area.

Westmarine is the Bg Box "Walmart" of the marine industry, and what i am hearing some of you say is "don't badmouth Westmarine, if they go under where would you get your marine supplies?"! I guess some have forgotten about all of the independant chandlers that served their local boating communities long before Westmarine came along. Now that they have been driven under and Westmarine dominates the market, they want you to forget all about what real service is.

I guess we are all to blame for demanding the absolute lowest prices no matter what the cost. Often that cost is quality and service.

I admit, I do go to Westmarine for some things, but I will always go to one of the independant stores first, and i always give them a chance to match the WM price. I don't even mind paying a couple of dollars more for something to support my local businesses. As a result i can walk in to the stores and they are genuinely happy to see me and go the extra mile to help me get what I need.

Maybe I am just old fashioned, but I prefer shopping in a rustic old marine store rather than a glitzy big box store.
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Old 06-03-2013
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Re: West Marine makes enemies

Quote:
Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post
I'll tell you my story with west marine.

I had a taylor boat fender (they come with taylor lifetime warranty) I had bought from WM online. After 3 years of use the fender developed a splot hole and leaked. I called up WM online store. They told me they would mail out a fender no charge. 10 minutes later WM called and said they made a mistake, I would need to go through Taylor for warranty. I knew if I needed to mail the fender to Taylor it would cost me the price of a new fender ($90), so I took the fender to my local WM and they exchange no problem.

Sometimes one needs to keep "working" a retailer to receive good service. Unfortunately, most retailers are like this.
You sure your not affiliated with WM? you sure are defending them pretty hard.
My experience has always been friendly but un knowledgeable and overpriced.
Thats the truth.
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