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We all love bitching about bad experiencies with vendors. This is a good example https://www.sailnet.com/forums/general-discussion-sailing-related/325490-west-marine-rip-off.html
As a counterpoint, let me tell you about my experience yesterday at the local West Marine (Golden Ring Mall, close to B'more).

I was in need of a small bilge pump. Old one was an Attwood Tsunami 500GPH which had been OK so I looked for that one online. West Marine has it for $36.99 but I found it at Amazon for $16.99. I printed out the Amazon page and dropped by at WM on my way to the boat. Noticed they have a 20% off sale, so it is only $29.59 but I don't care, I grab the pump and walk right up to the cashier. He looks at the sheet of paper, pulls out his cell phone (I think it was his private phone, did not look like a corporate tool but I could be wrong) and after opening a page or two he says '"It's $14.95, I found a cheaper price." WOW!

Another experience was when during their spring sale Defender sold the Mantus Boss anchor for an obscenely low price: $110.-, a small fraction of the list price. I called West Marine (IIRC their 'reduced' price was just short of $500.-), they looked it up on the Defender site and sold it for me for their price. Free pick-up at my local store.

I think this is great service. And I feel that I support a 'local' store which is highly useful for those times when I can NOT wait for online shipping.
 

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According to the manager of a near by WM, the price match policy is essentially a "cashier level" market research effort. Supposedly, once an item has been "price matched" four times, the company will be adjusting its list price for the item to something slightly less than the average of the price matches. The effort has reportedly vastly increased same store sales with the collateral benefit, to WM, that many folks continue to "impulse buy" items while in the stores at the relatively high WM list prices. All I can say about that expense is "control you impulses".

FWIW....
 
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