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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > West Marine makes enemies
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-04-2013 11:43 PM
blt2ski
Re: West Marine makes enemies

Quote:
Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post
Are West Marine stores independently owned or does the "company" own them all? For a while here in Hawaii the local WM store had in store prices higher than the catalog. The higer price was to cover added shipping costs. A few weeks ago the store annouced their prices would be same as catalog. This is good. I was ordering on-line just to get a better price. Was wondering if WM did the price increase or the local francise- if there is one.

Also wonder on returns, does the local store care if you buy on-line from WM and return to a local WM store? I have done this without a problem, but does it cut into the local stores profit margin?
Casey,

As I understand it, ALL stores are corporate owned. You can find WM products in local chandlery's, that get supplied by WM and will match or in some cases, be a bit lower than WM.

Local store does not care if you order online, pickup at the store, as you will probably pay at that store upon pickup, so that $$ goes towards that mgrs sale volume.

Then as northoceanbeach says, sometimes WM is in smaller towns. Granted small stores. but PT is a largish town vs say Blaine wa, probably less than 3-5K people, Gig Harbor to name a couple of local smaller towns with WM's in them. The smaller stores frankly, probably finding a mgr or employee that knows something more is higher than larger stores. BUT, like ALL business's, there are smart people floating around, one needs to find them.

The quote if you are a hobby'est, one needs to know a lot! that is probably true. In my landscape biz, I have run into a few folks that have special interests in some plants, Rhody's, roses, iris's.....among some, to be frank, If I had to know ALL 5000 someodd varieties of rhodys, colors, shapes etc......along with ALL the varieties of Iris's, roses etc I'd be in school and forgetting more than I learned in school getting my two horticulture degree's!

In some cases, yes, we as buyers may know more than the person helping us, no matter the store we are in. BUT if that person is willing to learn, help you get the part, be happy!

Marty
06-04-2013 11:00 PM
mstern
Re: West Marine makes enemies

Quote:
Originally Posted by TropicCat View Post
I'm not sure about that. The thing about brick and mortar is you have to pay for it. Some of the Ebay stores are people working out of a garage.
For those that buy on price alone, I agree that just taking the taxes out of the equation won't make an enormous difference. As you point out, it costs real cash money to have a store, whereas internet vendors only need to a wi-fi hot spot; they don't even need to ever touch the merchandise. They can almost always sell the thing for less because of their low overhead. If you know what you want and/or want to shop based on price alone, then you are going to almost always go with the internet. But I know there is at least one guy out there (me) who is always floating between buying on price alone and wanting to touch, feel and talk to someone about the merchandise. For me, no longer saving the 6.25% sales tax is going to make it more likely that I am going to make the trip to West Marine.
06-04-2013 09:31 PM
algee
Re: West Marine makes enemies

When we lived in Northern Michigan,we looked forward to the 70 mile monthly trip to visit West Marine in Traverse City, in the middle of a Michigan winter. WM, combined with a couple hours at the book store, a nice lunch or dinner,and sometimes an overnighter, was enough to keep our dreams alive, and spirits up, for the long wait for Spring. Those were the days!

Now we live in sunny Florida with 2 WM within 10 minutes and I guess we don't appreciate it like we did back then, or maybe we just became old farts!

Be careful what you wish for.
06-04-2013 06:48 PM
northoceanbeach
Re: West Marine makes enemies

I like west marine alot. I'm glad to have a boat store in town. I know some places have good local stores but I haven't been into one yet. I think they are in cities but west marine has locations in places like port townsend; population 9000. Sure some stuff is overpriced, or at least priced where you could get it cheaper online, but what store front doesn't?
06-04-2013 05:49 PM
Ulladh
Re: West Marine makes enemies

Just updated my flares at West Marine using a $15 coupon. The old ones were 3 years out of date and previous owners flares still on the boat are 10 years out of date.

West Marine is like any other retail store, they stock to match the needs of their local market. If I want something not in stock they can order it or I can order on line and pick-up at the store without shipping charges.

Could they be better? Probably, but not my problem.
06-04-2013 02:22 PM
kwaltersmi
Re: West Marine makes enemies

I pop in to WM now and then to pick up cheap items that I want that particular day (ss screws, cleaner, etc.) but definatey do NOT rely on the in-store staff for expertise. In my local area, most seem to know very little about sailing and the associated gear.

For anything more expensive or on a long-term to-do list, I shop online.
06-04-2013 02:00 PM
casey1999
Re: West Marine makes enemies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I went out for errands and stopped in our Newport (Middletown) West Marine on my way to lunch. Browsed the entire store and left with basket full of odds and ends that I had no list to get. Best hour spent of my entire Monday.
Probably a lot of stuff you do not really need. I do the same thing- just don't tell the wife. But I guess it is better money spent than going to a strip bar.
06-04-2013 01:56 PM
casey1999
Re: West Marine makes enemies

Are West Marine stores independently owned or does the "company" own them all? For a while here in Hawaii the local WM store had in store prices higher than the catalog. The higer price was to cover added shipping costs. A few weeks ago the store annouced their prices would be same as catalog. This is good. I was ordering on-line just to get a better price. Was wondering if WM did the price increase or the local francise- if there is one.

Also wonder on returns, does the local store care if you buy on-line from WM and return to a local WM store? I have done this without a problem, but does it cut into the local stores profit margin?
06-04-2013 01:02 PM
sailak
Re: West Marine makes enemies

Here in Alaska mail/internet ordering is a way of life. The local WM store was poorly stocked (especially for sailboat items) and pretty much not worth stopping at. A few weeks ago they opened their new store in Anchorage and wow, what a change. The store is much, much larger and very well stocked. There is an entire aisle of sailboat hardware!! There is also a good selection of clothing and foul-weather gear. (I really hate buying clothing online, I want to be able to try things on first). They have also repriced and dropped prices to match Lower 48 prices --- about $4 on a $35 item.

Last week returning from the boat (150 miles from home) I stopped at WM to order some sound deading material. WM and Defender were priced close to each other, was going to have it shipped to WM store for no shipping. When I asked the salesperson about ordering he replied "I think we have some in stock." The down side is now I had a project to do right away!!

As for staff knowledge I don't know that WM staff is any worse than Lowe's or Walmart or Sears or any other business. Some are very good, some are O2 wasters...fact of life.

I've been comparing prices and so far WM is competitive especially when I figure in shipping. A few weeks ago when setting up the running backs on the boat we had line and blocks overnighted up shipping cost over $200 on those items so it's something you have to figure in.
06-04-2013 11:37 AM
i_amcdn
Re: West Marine makes enemies

I use our downtown Toronto WM because:
1. it was convenient to where my boat was stored.
2) It has an older employee who is a wealth of information and has a willingness to share it. He will also suggest non-WM products if I push back on pricing.

While my boat is in the water I use a local chandlery, The Rigging Shoppe, that is closer to my marina than WM. The Rigging Shoppe actually has better pricing on certain products and rather than push WM to match those prices I give some business to The Rigging Shoppe to support them. For example a quart of Brightside is $5 less.

I also use TheBinnacle.com and have gotten the best deal from them on Mustang PFD's. Shipping is usually free if >$100.

I also use a non-chandlerly store for other items. Lee Valley Tools - Woodworking Tools, Gardening Tools, Hardware had the best price on a West Systems kit of resin, hardener and pumps. Lee Valley is a fantastic place to browse for specialty tools and although most are premium priced they do have some specials.
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