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  #31  
Old 03-10-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
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?
They ship when you order. They are really prompt to. It will go out tat day if you order early. They have really suprised me a few times how quickly it comes.

Dave
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  #32  
Old 03-10-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
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?
If you aren't getting a sale on the grill hold off a little as you aren't going out yet and it may go on sale sometime soon. Lots of them haves sales before June.

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  #33  
Old 03-10-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

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Originally Posted by kellysails View Post
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.
Wow, that hasn't been my experience at all. The staff at Fisheries are very helpful and knowledgeable, especially in the sailing department. I can think of one or two exceptions. The people who work at the checkout generally know my account and are very friendly too.

The WM folks at the big store in Seattle are sort of helpful, but the stock there is a fraction of what Fisheries offers at higher prices. It is half clothing with a tiny little section of sailing hardware. The West Marine next to Shilshole Marina is even smaller, but the staff are more helpful. I go there more often because it is a 20 minute walk or 3 minute bike ride from my boat.

Most sailing clubs in Seattle get you a discount at Fisheries Supply that can get even larger savings. The Center for Wooden Boats is a great non-profit to support for instance, and membership there will pay for itself with cheaper Fisheries Supply pricing many times over.

I occasionally get stuff from Defender, but it is rarely worth it for me. The one exception is electronics, they have better prices on Raymarine than WM or Fisheries.
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  #34  
Old 03-10-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

Another + for West Marine is their liberal return policy. They actually took back an expensive anchor that I was not happy with after I tried it out.

I walked in to West Marine in Old Saybrook, CT with the anchor, the stickers had come off and I had no receipt.
The sales clerk turned me over to the store manager.
The store manager looked up my purchase in Annapolis, MD using my rewards number.
I returned the anchor and purchased a new one.

I also use the price comparison option. It is a service that they offer so I don't see why not.
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  #35  
Old 03-10-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

TakeFive knows me... and I've spent a decent amount of money on "parts" this winter season. I've put more than half of it into Defender. However, I think West Marine has done a much better job at being competitive lately. I did order about 1/4 from them... However the rest was spread around to other places across the web.

NOTHING is near me as a store. The closest store to me is WM near Philly. I had no idea that Defender had any stores.

For me though ordering from the web, even with ground shipping I get stuff 1 to 2 days tops from Defender... That works nicely for me. I like having "choices" to go to for parts.

Actually for specific parts for my boat, I do favor catalinadirect... but I've been known to try mauipro, and aps as well. Bottompaint (since it's special ground shipping) is one of those things that I get from wherever will get it to me cheapest.

It's been 1 year since I was in Philly, and when I can I stop by the WM store. I purchased about $200 worth of stuff while there, and admittably spent more than I would if I had purchased it online. Because the gentleman working the store, was bright, knew his boats, and was restoring a Bayfield. To me, that's living it, not just working it! I personally FOUND stuff I needed because of the help/support he gave. For that reason I also buy from our local marina when I need something and sooner is better than later. I know there's a major markup on it, but if it's minor to me... its the convenience, and I don't mind paying for it.
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  #36  
Old 03-10-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

Few random thoughts.

Unless I'm mistaken, Defender only has the warehouse store in CT.

There should be a law against certain types of packing material. Styrofoam peanuts and shredded paper should be outlawed by penalty of death. Those little inflatable balloons, bubble wrap or bunched paper are all acceptable. The first internet supplier than guarantees to ban peanuts and shreds gets all my business!!!!!!!!

One other serious advantage of our WM superstore is I just love killing time in there. I'm the kind of guy that likes browsing in a hardware store too. At least a couple of times per season, we're nearby and I have to wait for someone to do something. I just wander the isles and always find something I can't live without. No possible way to do that on the internet.
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  #37  
Old 03-10-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
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.
It's about time someone mentioned this. A brick and Mortar location with inventory should not be expected to match the web on any item unless they also match the service (ie: no sale help, ship to your driveway, return by mail only after chasing them down, etc...)

I do the same thing, if I shop for an item in your store and you help me I buy from you. Conversely, if your staff is inattentive or apathetic I will use your display to comparison shop and purchase later online.

It is all about service in my opinion.
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  #38  
Old 03-10-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

When we lived in NYC area if you ordered from Defender before 4 pm (once it was 3:58), it would arrive at the marina office the next morning by 10 am via USPS. Not a fluke, it happened every time. Most impressive performance by the store and post office. West Marine stores vary enormously. They opened one of their superstores an hour or so from us in NJ and it was incredible. You visited the one in downtown Manhattan and you thought why bother having the store. It was tiny (rent of course), but your chance of finding anything you wanted there was tiny. Guess you could order for pickup but there was no parking.
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  #39  
Old 03-10-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

Don't know about other WM stores, but the one in Sandusky, Ohio has been really supportive of our Club's Jr. Race Team as well as our community sailing program (getting disabled & low income & minority folks out on the water) - so for sure, I shop at WM when I can. Of course, I also try for the best prices !!
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  #40  
Old 03-11-2013
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Re: West Marine no longer matching prices...

So I happened to be out by the WM Lake Union store on Sunday and I thought I should try them out again and spread my boating funds around a bit more. We have a new kayak for the boat and we needed non-inflatable PFD's for it. The sales person was incredibly helpful and directed us to the cheaper WM branded models. And he pointed out the differences between standard lifevests and ones designed for kayaks, I hadn't realized that before. And at $45, not bad really, and a nice quality.

As we were about ready to leave he asked if we needed anything else, well I thought I would give him a tough one that no one else has found a solution for. Our fuel caps have a winch type socket interface and we lost the neat little wrench handle that was designed for it. The WM sales person found a great cheap solution that never crossed my mind. As a comparison, at fisheries a couple weeks back, the fisheries salesperson barely raised his eyes before replying in the negative. Typical of my experience at fisheries.

Regardless, the pricing still can't be beat at fisheries. Buying off their internet site and having it sent to their "will call" works well. The folks in "will call" seem to be newbies so they have not had enough time on board to be corrupted by the poor fisheries work culture.

I do get why people like WM, generally just a bit too pricey for my likes. But when I'm out of my knowledge area, not a bad place to go.
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