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Disneymom
07-31-2007, 09:57
So as not to hijack dmdoss' thread about events, just a word about LDS vs Internet.

I'm stuck in a town that has 2 (that I know of) shops, and another one in a lake town about an hour from me. The 2 locals are OK - one has an OK selection but he's not very friendly or helpful and is down on the other one, and the other one is very friendly and helpful but the prices are very high. The third has a limited selection - only carries a couple lines. It's tough for a beginner such as myself to go into an LDS to seek help and education on equipment and be met with an attitude of non-chalance. It's equally tough to get help but not be able to purchase because of prices being so outrageous. Thirdly, the 'we carry this line, so therefore this line is the best' mentality isn't for me either.
I'm four hours away from ST, but the few questions I've had for them via email have been answered honestly and with a sincere desire to help.

So - what's a person (especially a beginner) to do when there's no really good LDS at which to try on a large selection of equipment and wetsuits? Anybody else have this problem? If so, what is your solution?

Vercingetorix
07-31-2007, 10:05
For something like a wetsuit and/or BC where fit is everything, you may wish to take a Saturday and make the drive to ScubaToys. I understand it is an eight hour round trip. Call ahead of time to ensure ST has what you might be looking for in several sizes (if necessary). Spend a couple hours, then return.

If you stay in town over Saturday night in an inexpensive hotel, wouldn't it be great to try that new gear at CSSP, which is less than an hour from ST? Tell us ahead of time, and you'll have several dive buddies from this forum meet you there for a few dives. Then, return home. we local folks can recommend an inexpensive hotel near ST or CSSP. In fact, there's a nice hotel in Terrel a few inutes from CSSP that we overnight at for classes there.

WaterRat
07-31-2007, 10:11
It would be worth the drive. It's a real treat to see so much variety and have people asking you every 5 min. if you need help. It's like the ultimate candy store for divers.

Ron

loudgonzo
07-31-2007, 10:13
Do online research on the equipment you are looking to buy. Look for ratings, reviews, prices...This will give you great information before heading to ANY dive shop. Once at the shop, you will know if they are bs'ing when you ask questions. If they are, leave, doesn't matter how close they are to you, or how nice they are.

BTW-This is not the case at ST...

loudgonzo
07-31-2007, 10:17
It's tough for a beginner such as myself to go into an LDS to seek help and education on equipment and be met with an attitude of non-chalance.

So - what's a person (especially a beginner) to do when there's no really good LDS at which to try on a large selection of equipment and wetsuits? Anybody else have this problem? If so, what is your solution?

Whatever LDS this happened at, I would avoid returning there. Whether beginner or seasoned, there should be no difference in the way you are treated.

No Misses
07-31-2007, 10:19
This is a dilemma that we all face. If the LDS offers on site repair/maintenance, it would make sense to purchase a reg that they are equipped and/or authorized to service. If on the other hand, they are just a middle man that ships regs out to the manufacturer to service, there is no benefit with going with their “supported” brands. I personally have purchased from both ST and the LDS. I want both of them to stay in businessJ.

awap
07-31-2007, 10:24
I'd do my homework on the internet to learn aboujt prices. I always check prices at Leisurepro, as you will seldom find cheaper; and then Scubatoys as they are often same or close and have the advantage of being an authnorized dealer for everything they sell. Armed with knowledge about prices for everything you are interested in, go to your LDSs and find what you like best based on fit and features. Then give them the chance to come up with a deal you can both be satisfied with. Be prepared for rude and unprofessional responses if/when the LDS realizes you are asking them to compete with online sources. Those are the kind of shops you really don't want to do business with anyway. It is convienient to have local shops for a number of reasons so if you can settle on a satisfactory deal, I'd suggest you buy local. If you can't find a satisfactory local deal, then go back to the internet and get what you want. If sizing is still an unknown, many internet sources are happy to send you a couple sizes and you can return those that don't fit right. It may cost a bit more in shipping so consider that in evaluating the various deals.

Disneymom
07-31-2007, 10:32
For something like a wetsuit and/or BC where fit is everything, you may wish to take a Saturday and make the drive to ScubaToys. I understand it is an eight hour round trip. Call ahead of time to ensure ST has what you might be looking for in several sizes (if necessary). Spend a couple hours, then return.

If you stay in town over Saturday night in an inexpensive hotel, wouldn't it be great to try that new gear at CSSP, which is less than an hour from ST? Tell us ahead of time, and you'll have several dive buddies from this forum meet you there for a few dives. Then, return home. we local folks can recommend an inexpensive hotel near ST or CSSP. In fact, there's a nice hotel in Terrel a few inutes from CSSP that we overnight at for classes there.Oooh! That's a great idea. I can see a weekend roadtrip in the works now... Is CSSP north or south of Dallas? Do they offer rental there (for any gear I still don't have) or would I need to rent elsewhere?


It's like the ultimate candy store for divers.
That's what I'm afraid of..... :)



Whatever LDS this happened at, I would avoid returning there. Whether beginner or seasoned, there should be no difference in the way you are treated. I won't use them unless I absolutely have to (which I will from time to time). Even my husband said something about it - he went in there to get me a bag and a log book for successfully completing my cert and he wasn't impressed with the lack of customer service.
I did wind up doing most of my research online before I purchased my basic stuff - learned a lot that way!

Does anybody know if a LDS will service a reg that hasn't been purchased there?

Vercingetorix
07-31-2007, 10:40
Oooh! That's a great idea. I can see a weekend roadtrip in the works now... Is CSSP north or south of Dallas? Do they offer rental there (for any gear I still don't have) or would I need to rent elsewhere?

Terrell is southeast o Dallas on Hwy 80 about 25 miles.Mapquest (http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?searchtype=address&country=US&addtohistory=&searchtab=home&formtype=address&popflag=0&latitude=&longitude=&name=&phone=&level=&cat=&address=&city=terrell&state=tx&zipcode=) They have some rental gear, but you can get what you need at ST (very reasonable rates); however, you'd have to ensure your dive buddies could return gear on Monday before 7 PM (closing time). ST is 15 minutes from my house; so, if I'm diving that weekend, I can get the gear back. CSSP has tanks for rent; $8 gas-fill. Come on down, girl. What town you in?



Does anybody know if a LDS will service a reg that hasn't been purchased there?If they're authorized, they'll do it. Policies may vary.

TAH 73
07-31-2007, 11:10
Issue I have is well there's one LDS, they are smaller and in the case of Wetsuits they carrry only one brand. Makes comparison shopping difficult.

Disneymom
07-31-2007, 11:19
Oooh! That's a great idea. I can see a weekend roadtrip in the works now... Is CSSP north or south of Dallas? Do they offer rental there (for any gear I still don't have) or would I need to rent elsewhere?

Terrell is southeast o Dallas on Hwy 80 about 25 miles.Mapquest (http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?searchtype=address&country=US&addtohistory=&searchtab=home&formtype=address&popflag=0&latitude=&longitude=&name=&phone=&level=&cat=&address=&city=terrell&state=tx&zipcode=) They have some rental gear, but you can get what you need at ST (very reasonable rates); however, you'd have to ensure your dive buddies could return gear on Monday before 7 PM (closing time). ST is 15 minutes from my house; so, if I'm diving that weekend, I can get the gear back. CSSP has tanks for rent; $8 gas-fill. Come on down, girl. What town you in?
Tulsa. I'm going to have to do this!

Vercingetorix
07-31-2007, 11:41
Tulsa. I'm going to have to do this!
An Okie??? Oh my...might be a problem at the Texas border. Avoid the main highway (I-35) and stick to back roads. Even better if you can swim the Red River and hitchhike from there. Because you're a diver, you'll be welcome here, but we gotta keep your Okie-ness a secret.:smiley36:

And if your car has an OU pennant...well...

Come before CSSP turns cold. I've been in CSSP in January...mid 40's water temperature. Not pleasant.

Disneymom
07-31-2007, 16:04
An Okie??? Oh my...might be a problem at the Texas border. Avoid the main highway (I-35) and stick to back roads. Even better if you can swim the Red River and hitchhike from there. Because you're a diver, you'll be welcome here, but we gotta keep your Okie-ness a secret.:smiley36:

And if your car has an OU pennant...well...

Come before CSSP turns cold. I've been in CSSP in January...mid 40's water temperature. Not pleasant.
:shh: I won't say a thing...
No OU pennant, but the car is red. Is that a problem? I really don't like burnt orange...

Vercingetorix
07-31-2007, 16:06
We look forward to your visit.

loudgonzo
08-01-2007, 10:15
[quote=Vercingetorix;13117]
An Okie??? Oh my...might be a problem at the Texas border..
No OU pennant, but the car is red. Is that a problem? I really don't like burnt orange...

Not a problem, we'll set it on fire, and after 6 minutes ablaze, we'll put it out, hopefully leaving it a burnt orange.

Disneymom
08-01-2007, 11:47
[quote=Vercingetorix;13117]
An Okie??? Oh my...might be a problem at the Texas border..
No OU pennant, but the car is red. Is that a problem? I really don't like burnt orange...

Not a problem, we'll set it on fire, and after 6 minutes ablaze, we'll put it out, hopefully leaving it a burnt orange.
:smilie39:

I promise - I have no OU pennants, stickers or chrome adhesive accents, nor any upside-down longhorn heads...
What if I painted a diagonal white stripe down the side of my car???

Foo2
08-01-2007, 12:11
[quote=Vercingetorix;13117]
An Okie??? Oh my...might be a problem at the Texas border..
No OU pennant, but the car is red. Is that a problem? I really don't like burnt orange...

Not a problem, we'll set it on fire, and after 6 minutes ablaze, we'll put it out, hopefully leaving it a burnt orange.
:smilie39:

I promise - I have no OU pennants, stickers or chrome adhesive accents, nor any upside-down longhorn heads...
What if I painted a diagonal white stripe down the side of my car???

I would LOVE to see a dive mobile.:smiley20:

medic001918
08-01-2007, 12:24
Another suggestion is that many larger retailers (such as ST) have experience and are capable of making a good recommendation to you over the phone after chatting with you. The key to this is that you have to be honest with them about your needs, abilities, budget and sizes. They won't always be 100% right on, but when they aren't they'll generally work with you to get you what you need.

I wasn't happy with my LDS when I was shopping for a drysuit. They didn't want to see what I wanted to spend, and instead offered up a suit in excess of $3,000. I called an online retailer that I know moves a lot of drysuits and they made a recommendation for the suit, and got the correct size the first time around. They sell so many, they've got it down pretty well. You'll find the same to be true of merchandise at other shops.

When we've ordered from ST, they've been great and always spot on with their recommendations.

Shane

Wolfie2012
08-01-2007, 12:31
Another suggestion is that many larger retailers (such as ST) have experience and are capable of making a good recommendation to you over the phone after chatting with you. The key to this is that you have to be honest with them about your needs, abilities, budget and sizes. They won't always be 100% right on, but when they aren't they'll generally work with you to get you what you need.

I wasn't happy with my LDS when I was shopping for a drysuit. They didn't want to see what I wanted to spend, and instead offered up a suit in excess of $3,000. I called an online retailer that I know moves a lot of drysuits and they made a recommendation for the suit, and got the correct size the first time around. They sell so many, they've got it down pretty well. You'll find the same to be true of merchandise at other shops.

When we've ordered from ST, they've been great and always spot on with their recommendations.

Shane

The other key is that retailers need to be honest with customers about their abilities, knowledge, and the willingness to give options rather than telling their customers something like "you don't really want that because it's stupid, but I carry this which is SO much better...". I respect and return to the business that can admit when they don't offer what I ask for without ridiculing me for my choices.

medic001918
08-01-2007, 13:05
The other key is that retailers need to be honest with customers about their abilities, knowledge, and the willingness to give options rather than telling their customers something like "you don't really want that because it's stupid, but I carry this which is SO much better...". I respect and return to the business that can admit when they don't offer what I ask for without ridiculing me for my choices.


Definatly true. Honesty has to go both ways. The customer has to be honest with the retailer, and the retailer has to be honest with the customer. I'm always hesitant to buy from anyone who bashes another piece of gear. A good shop, can tell you why what they have is superior without putting down another product. This works well to get far more repeat customer's. And if the product being offered by the shop is truely a better product, they should be able to tell you why.

Shane