West Marine: A Love-Hate Relationship - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 26 Old 07-03-2013
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Re: West Marine: A Love-Hate Relationship

Yeah, I had 1 fender, needed 1 more, now I have 4 :-/

It's those damn bean counters fault!
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post #12 of 26 Old 07-03-2013
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Re: West Marine: A Love-Hate Relationship

They seem to be making more of an effort in the Branford, Conn. store to improve customer service. I went in there last weekend, and they had an employee acting as a greeter, directing people to the correct aisles and/or directly helping them. And every employee there seemed to know what was on sale, and let me know it. In the past, I've run across sales people there who clearly knew next to nothing. However, those types seem to be the exception rather than the rule these days. As many here have said, their prices are all over the place and are rarely the lowest, but when you factor in the convenience and ability to see and touch the merchandise, I find them to be generally fair with respect to their internet competition.
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post #13 of 26 Old 07-03-2013
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Re: West Marine: A Love-Hate Relationship

It all started back when an evil genius came up with the idea of packaging weiners in packs of ten, and hotdog buns in 6 or 12s.
Now you've got odd packaging that has no bearing on actual real life needs-

It's brilliant. diabolical, but brilliant.

It's 5 o'clock somewhere:


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post #14 of 26 Old 07-03-2013
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West Marine: A Love-Hate Relationship

Their stores in the New Orleans and Mandeville Louisiana area are very good. The staff are mostly all experienced boaters and are friendly and helpful. Frank at the Mandeville store has the same boat as me and has been a big help on more than one occasion. It may just be the items I'm buying but lately I've noticed that WM seems price competitive with both Defender and Jamestown.
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post #15 of 26 Old 07-03-2013
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Re: West Marine: A Love-Hate Relationship

I like WM.









(and flame suit on)
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post #16 of 26 Old 07-03-2013
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Re: West Marine: A Love-Hate Relationship

I have a love-hate relationship with them for sure. The larger stores are fine, but their smaller outposts are lacking.

Mostly, I view them as the Trader Joe's of boating. Great for window shopping and picking up things that you don't really need - pre-cooked burritos at Trader Joe's compared to a fancy brass bell at West Marine. Nice things to have, but you still have to go to one more place to finish your shopping.

I hate them when orders get lost / never placed because they have so many people running through there, but love them when I need to return something. I returned a 7 month old battery tonight that has been giving me problems. No questions asked and I'm drinking a glass of wine while listening to my radio now as a result.

I'd much rather go to Fawcett's in Annapolis for real expertise, but West Marine works in a pinch if I know what I need to fix what's broken.

Nick S.
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post #17 of 26 Old 07-03-2013
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Re: West Marine: A Love-Hate Relationship

WM price matches, which is why I always liked them. I could pull up whatever on my phone right at the register, and get the best price. I can't be the only one who knows this... ?
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post #18 of 26 Old 07-04-2013
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Re: West Marine: A Love-Hate Relationship

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Originally Posted by chrisncate View Post
WM price matches, which is why I always liked them. I could pull up whatever on my phone right at the register, and get the best price. I can't be the only one who knows this... ?
Only price matches to brick and mortar stores now ans only within 50 miles. Started this year.


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post #19 of 26 Old 07-06-2013
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Re: West Marine: A Love-Hate Relationship

Here's something we have learned when dealing with West Marine - especially the smaller stores: before you go there, call and ask if the item(s) you are looking for are in stock. (Have the catalog number ready to read to them.) Then ask them to double check the shelf for the item and hold it for you. (Often, their computer inventory will show the item in stock when it is not. - Suzi and I learned that when we worked there.) It can save you a wasted trip if they don't have it or if they sell it before you get there.

This is particularly important if you are cruising and have to walk several miles, or take a bus or a cab.
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"A sailboat is a fickle mistress. You’ve got to buy her things. You’ve got to understand everything about her. What you don’t know she’ll use against you." -Captain Larry


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post #20 of 26 Old 07-06-2013
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Re: West Marine: A Love-Hate Relationship

I think by and large they are great. Some things have good deals like the good boat soap, compared to the hardware stores less than good and same priced boat soap. Some things seem rediculous and I wonder if they ever sell.

I'm just glad there are local brick and mortar stores where I can go in a look around, as long as its one of the big ones.

Some things like clothes and shoes you want to try on. I've got a couple pairs this year that I couldn't have tried on otherwise and probably would not have gotten.

They also have their own brand that I like. It's like a generic, but since it is west marine it doesn't feel like using generic mouthwash.
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