West Marine no longer matching prices... - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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  #11  
Old 03-09-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

Defender's prices seem to be right in line with everyone else now. With exorbitant shipping costs, prices are not all that great. West spends a LOT of money on their great catalog. It's almost a reference book. I appreciate their efforts to compile and send it every year. I have often found some good bargains at West brick and mortar stores that do not appear online. Jamestown also has a very complete catalog they send if you spend X # of dollars. There are some other internet sellers like Redden and LFS that have some prices way below Defender or West.
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  #12  
Old 03-09-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

They mail me the catalog from West Marine, Defender and Jamestown Distributors. I must spend too much.

I fully agree that prices really need to be compared after shipping. I forgot to mention that I've also started shopping for some things on Amazon, where free ground shipping is easy to earn. Spend $25 or more on qualified stuff and no shipping cost. There is sales tax. I just bought a bunch of varnishing things that way.

In the end, I like Amazon more because of its one stop shopping across many disciplines and that they store my address and payment info, so one click and I'm done.
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  #13  
Old 03-09-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
You are all a bunch of whingers, Oh what we would do for a West Marine, brick and mortar stores with your US prices. I could refit my boat for half the cost. I guess I will just have to keep paying the postage for both WM and Defender.
Simon, I completely agree. When we had the boat at Scarborough Marina for several months I was astonished at the prices of almost everything. There were decent prices on many, not all, things made in Oz but that was it. One exception Ronstan gear was was expensive than at my local store in Canada.

Big Defender fan. We ordered a bunch of stuff (the joys of cheap USPS delivery) and they even knew the shipping address and waived a policy about maximum dollar value for foreign shipping. Their customer service reps are exceptionally good.
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Last edited by killarney_sailor; 03-09-2013 at 10:38 AM.
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  #14  
Old 03-09-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

I take the same approach as Minnewaska, I check amazon first. I can usually find 50-60% of my stuff at Amazon.

For the rest, I generally avoid WM, wow expensive when compared to Defender and other Internet boating sites. I am actually quite lucky to be in Seattle with access to Fisheries Supply. Prices are slightly less than Defender but no shipping costs for me.

The Fisheries Supply store (gigantic store) is a mess though with the occasional extremely grumpy employee. Some will actually avert their eyes if they see you coming and act very busy, really! Where as the Seattle flagship WM store in Lake Union is simply awesome. Very well organized and incredibly helpful staff. Sometimes the prices in Fisheries are half the price of WM.

I have found the best thing to do is to use the Fisheries website, order, then place in "will call". That works great. The Fisheries "will call" folks are very helpful and it is very easy to change your order once you go to the pick up desk.

The Fisheries Supply website is kinda crappy though. They are working on it. If you are shopping at Defender check out the Fisheries Supply website to compare.

Last edited by kellysails; 03-09-2013 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 03-09-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

I think they made the change because the store managers complained every chance they had. They all are judged by metrics, like average $$$ per sale, average profit % per sale, etc, and this policy reduced their numbers.

Almost without exception, I was met with distain when I asked for a price match. This was the worst when dealing with the store managers themselves. The local manager here would complain loudly IN THE STORE about price matching, while I, and others shopped. I had another manger tell me they would gladly price match for some electronics purchases, but when I asked for the match, and told him of the website, he tried to get me to used a different, higher priced site for the price match. He actually took about 20 minutes of surfing the web for the items, looking at different prices, wasting my time, before he finally used the site I gave him. And it was not a fly by night organization's website.

If I was WM management, I would insist that the staff gleefully uphold whatever the company policies were, regardless of personal thoughts. This behavior was grounds for disciplinary action, in my opinion.

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Old 03-09-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

WM needs to either make it incredibly obvious what value they add to justify their higher prices or drop their prices to be competitive. This is the modern economy. Generally I am impressed with the service levels of WM but overall I can't personally justify the higher prices.

A good stock to short if you are into that sort of thing. I think WM is living a bit in the past.

And yes, this is an over simplification, but feel free to flame away.
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Old 03-09-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

West Marine's stock has been on a fairly steady rise since 2009. They're doing something right, although, their return on investment is not outrageous. The expense of maintaining their model is much higher than an internet provider.

There model is the convenience of their stores and the ability to see the stuff at a few hundred stores around the country, before you buy. That has some value, IMO. Hard to try on a foulie at Defender, for example.

Of course, they also have the Port Supply model for commercial vendors.
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Old 03-09-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
You are all a bunch of whingers, .....
What's a "whinger"?
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Old 03-09-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...


whinge (hwnj, wnj)
intr.v. whinged, whing·ing, whing·es Chiefly British
To complain or protest, especially in an annoying or persistent manner.
[Dialectal alteration of Middle English whinsen, from Old English hwinsian.]
whinger n.
whinging·ly adv.
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Old 03-09-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

Dumb question- are West stores company owned or franchises?
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