West Marine no longer matching prices... - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 108 Old 03-09-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

I looked at some of their 10K's over the past few years. They look like they are doing fine, growing, interesting. Not what I expected. Their margins are even improving, again, interesting. Well, it seems many folks see their value and I don't get it. Good point about clothing though.
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post #22 of 108 Old 03-09-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

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WM needs to either make it incredibly obvious what value they add to justify their higher prices or drop their prices to be competitive...
Now you are hitting a hot button of mine. Like all brick and mortar stores, the value they provide is that you can go in and look at the item.

Personally, I believe that the practice of "showrooming" (looking at an item in a store and then purchasing it somewhere else online) is unethical, and I refuse to do it. If I look at an item in the store, I buy it from the store, at the store's asking price. And I have done that at WM many times - and did NOT ask for a price match. The reason I think showrooming is unethical is that I would be using the store's services for free, and then buying elsewhere. Do that enough, and there will no longer be any stores around to look at those items that you need to touch to make an informed decision.

However, certain commodity items, like boat paint, do not require a store visit. You can get all the info you need online and by calling the paint manufacturer. For items like paint, I used to ask WM to match their competitors's prices. With WM's new policy, this year I will buy my paint online from the cheapest supplier.

I will continue to do business with West Marine when I need to see the item. But for commodity stuff that I can decide on without visiting the store, I'll buy online.


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post #23 of 108 Old 03-09-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

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Originally Posted by killarney_sailor View Post
Dumb question- are West stores company owned or franchises?
All the stores are company owned. BUT, if you go to some of the smaller stores, local for my anyhow Shilshoal, Gig Harbor, blaine, Port townsend to name a few vs Seattle-westlake, Tacoma or Anacortes, those smaller stores really only have the mgr and maybe one or two other full time people, so at that point, you are pretty much working with an owner type person. As they get raises, bonus's etc based on how that store does in overall sales and profits.

When there was one local, edmonds for me, I did buy a lot of stuff from Doug who is now the mgr at Shilshoal, very knowledgeable person. Granted teh store was small, but he could price equal or would see what he could do when you bought $500-1000 of stuff for a refit or equal. He did what he could, still does at shilshoal to get the sale. Westlake it is possible to do so, but the smaller ones will be easier persay.

As mentioned, if you have a company or any sort, you can get a port supply account, and get more off the normal depending upon how much you buy. I've seen discounts as much as 30-40% depending upon how much you buy per year, and what the item is. Electronics frankly, no matter where you got, profit margins are pretty skinny. Clothing is another story, as are some other items.

Also as mentioned, locally Fisheries is pretty good, but the last 3-5 yrs there have been some lower quantity supply issues etc......where as the local WM's are overall doing a better job. Both local bigger suppliers ea have plus and minus's to there operations. Fisheries if you belong to some of the local YC's that have cash accounts setup, you can get % discounts depending upon what the overall membership buys, more $$, more % off. Clubs can do the same with port supply too. But you will not always get the 5% rebate as WM offers members either.

While personally, buying online can be cheaper, overall, if I can get something local for with in 5-10%....I'll do it, as shipping makes up the difference a lot, along with a wait depending upon what I need and want.

At the end, no place is best for everything.

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post #24 of 108 Old 03-09-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

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......Do that enough, and there will no longer be any stores around to look at those items that you need to touch to make an informed decision.....
This is a point lost on many that dump on WM.


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post #25 of 108 Old 03-09-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

Yes, due to the number of WM stores, convience is a key factor as to customers using the store especially if time is an issue. But in general WM prices can be considerably more, as much as 20% more on some items that I have found and I believe WM uses this, the convience, for keeping their prices high. Before, whenever possible, I compare prices and use it to my advantage at WM when time was an issue. I believe it simply boils down to WM's profit margins. As long as the consumer is willing to dish out more money due to convience WM will continue to keep their prices high. I will continue to shop around to find the best price and give myself enough time to order and receive before starting the project.
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post #26 of 108 Old 03-09-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

Im a retailer and let me tell the other side of the price matching story, their locations cost big bucks. A shop in Ohio is paying .25 sq/ft for rent, WM store is paying 3.00 sq/ft for this location near the water and has to charge more to pay the rent. It was a nice thing to do to keep the business, but like others have said what happens when there are no more brick stores to go see/inspect the item?

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post #27 of 108 Old 03-09-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

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Defender's prices seem to be right in line with everyone else now. With exorbitant shipping costs, prices are not all that great. snip.
Define exhorbitant.

I just ordered water heater not exactly a feather weight item from Defender and was still over $85 less than West Marines advertised price.

Shipping was $15.

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post #28 of 108 Old 03-09-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

A couple of years ago, my fresh water pump crapped out in New Bedford. I was darned glad that a West Marine was within walking distance. Having stores like this around ports is definitely a plus for boaters. As posted on an earlier thread, I found a new Salsa main sheet (end-roll) at considerably <1/2 regular price. I bought a new SOLAS flare last year that shipped to a local West store for 0. Not only does no one else seem to even have offshore stuff but items like flares can't be shipped at a reasonable cost directly to you. West may be expensive on a lot of stuff but they do have some good deals and it's worth browsing around. It is certainly unethical to use a West showroom to look at an item and then buy it somewhere else.

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post #29 of 108 Old 03-10-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

A bit off topic, but Defender's annual Warehouse Sale is coming up March 21-24. Everything they sell is on sale. I've been buying from Defender for over 30 years since they were a little local store in New Rochelle. They just keep getting better with great customer service and quick shipping. It is not uncommon for my order to arrive the next day.
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

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Originally Posted by JimsCAL View Post
A bit off topic, but Defender's annual Warehouse Sale is coming up March 21-24. Everything they sell is on sale. I've been buying from Defender for over 30 years since they were a little local store in New Rochelle. They just keep getting better with great customer service and quick shipping. It is not uncommon for my order to arrive the next day.
I've been putting together a list of all the things I want to order during the sale (including the bottom paint that I mentioned above). How is their shipping during the sale? Do they ship the day your order (or the day after), or do they have to wait until the sale is completely over before they start shipping?


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1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (at Anchorage Marina, Essington, on the Delaware River)
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