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  #1  
Old 01-16-2007
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Question West Marine prices

I was told a few weeks ago by my local West Marine manager that local stores would no longer match their catalog prices. I didn't ask if this was permanent or just until a new catalog is introduced. As it is, catalog orders are still subject to State sales tax in addition to shipping and receiving if ordered directly from the catalog. Defender prices are not subject to sales tax as there is no local (Texas) nexis but are of course subject to shipping costs. Has anyone encountered this in their location?
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Old 01-16-2007
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yes its there new policy that they won't match there own catalog prices or any online retailer. They will really only match another public store where you can buy off the shelf product.
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Old 01-16-2007
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Yep, I think that is everywhere. I will tell you that I buy most of what I can off of the internet now and it saves me a lot of money... just in tax alone but it is also cheaper. However, I maintain a very good relationship with a West Marine manger too because there are always times you need something right there and then.

Personally, I think they are cutting their own throats. Am I wrong in assuming there is TREMENDOUS markup in marine items? If so, tell me how they can run a 50% off sale and still make money??

- CD
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I just bought 100' 4 awg Ancor marine wire off ebay from http://stores.channeladvisor.com/genuinedealz for $1.68/ft ($177 with shipping) and if I had went to West marine it was $5.45/ft ($545 but no shipping) thats a $368 savings, but I do have to wait 2 days tell it will get here. Not saying West Marine is a bad store cause when you need something they there for you, but there prices have tons of markup.
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Old 01-16-2007
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What happens if you do a special order in the store and they bring in a catalog item? What price are they going to put on that?
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It is like a Asset Management Account: Keep most of your money in Charles Schwab but maintain that local relationship with your banker!! Otherwise when you need something immediately you will get screwed! Besides, on many items, you need to SEE what you are buying. Knowledgeable people that you deal with face-face help too. You cannot get that over the internet, ever.
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Old 01-16-2007
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Ok, according to the 2006 catalog, they state that prices are subject to change. It also says that store prices may vary. So that covers them on not giving the catalog price in store. What they also say though, is they will meet any national or local competitors price on identical items. It doesn't say, only from local stores, or any other qualifier. So it would seem they are not holding to their word on that, as I was told they would only meet prices from local businesses.

I do know, from personal experience, that their markups on many things would make a pawnbroker blush. That said though, they are a national chain, with stores all over, and if you need it, right now, sometimes that's the only way to go.

In redoing my electrical system, I bought my AC panel through Sailnet, at considerable savings, as well as my new Wheel Pilot. I'm getting my new DC panel through Jack Rabbit, as they have the best price on it.

If you can wait on it, it certainly pays to shop around. But when you need it now, there's (usually) West Marine.
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Old 01-16-2007
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I have extensive experience with the pompous a@@es at the local evil empire.

I have even gone as far as the wally-world up the street, purchased something, then sauntered into west and asked them if they needed a new supplier for that particular item, cuz wally-world was less than 1/2 of the cost.

I refuse to pay the exorbatant prices there and will do my level best to either find what I need on the net, or do without.
example
plastimo contest 101,
evil empire, 214.99
go2marine, 196.00
sailnet, 181.00
defender, 179.00
marisafe, 99.00 (blue)
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Old 01-16-2007
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WM markups:
here are some examples which might surprise you- obviously, the markup varies with item:
inflatable PFD WM retail $150 WM cost $64
WM Raiatea binoculars WM retail $170 WM cost $39
FSR retail $10 cost $2
Teak cleaner retail $15 cost $3.20
5200 lg tube retail $14 cost $6
Racor fuel filter retail $31 cost $15
Cetol retail $34 cost $16
bottom paint WM brand (US Paint) retail $99 cost $33
shaft zinc (1 1/4) retail $30 cost $5
maxprop zinc $47 cost $6
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Old 01-16-2007
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A thread on Sailing Anarchy has been on WM's case lately, too. Can't get around the fact that they have high prices and, with a few exceptions, sales people who know next to nothing. The first couple of years I had my P-33 I bought a ton of stuff, mostly from internet outfits -- Defender, Sailnet, Consumer's Marine Electronics, and a few smaller outfits who seem to find a niche and hang on. I bought fancy new Blue Seas DC and AC panels with extra breakers from an online outfit that carried very little on their shelves but the guy would order anything I wanted at a good price. (I can't even remember their name right now!) I also have bought some stuff from WM on ebay for a good price. And I recommended genuinedealz.com to someone else on here who was looking at wire for a windlass.

WM needs to look at their business model, which I assume they have. Sometimes it's hard to tell?
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