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View Full Version : Buy On-Line or from LDS - Undercurrents Article



Vercingetorix
06-11-2008, 09:22
This hot topic has been a running debate on several scuba forums. This article provides in-depth discussion based upon surveying its readership. ST is mentioned.

I'm not posting this to degenerate into yet another heated debate; rather, this article provides an informed source. Please read the article before posting and comment on its contents.

Undercurrent article (http://www.undercurrent.org/UCnow/IndustryInternet.pdf)

Navy OnStar
06-11-2008, 13:02
Good read! It looks like some LDS's are realizing that they have to provide customer service to get people in. The internet is not going away!

Martin2
06-11-2008, 14:27
Undercurrent seems to try to be pretty fair and balanced in this particular article. And I agree for the most part. I've had some serious issues with my LDS here. None of them revolve around the internet or gear purchases in any way. It has otten to the point that I would rather drive 2 1/2 hours to Myrtle Beach for service and other things than drive the 10 mins to the local shop. For purchases, that pretty much leaves ST. It isn't really even a price thing (though I certainly appreciate the cost savings). Mostly it is an integrity thing.

Geoff_T
06-11-2008, 16:21
Undercurrent seems to try to be pretty fair and balanced in this particular article. And I agree for the most part. I've had some serious issues with my LDS here. None of them revolve around the internet or gear purchases in any way. It has otten to the point that I would rather drive 2 1/2 hours to Myrtle Beach for service and other things than drive the 10 mins to the local shop. For purchases, that pretty much leaves ST. It isn't really even a price thing (though I certainly appreciate the cost savings). Mostly it is an integrity thing.

You know this is an interisting point that I don't hear often enough on the dive forums. Because when it comes to things like training and service people will pay more for integrity. The problem with price is one of mark up on goods and a different deal. This applies to most industries not just scuba. As a TV freelancer the going rate for a camera man with out a sound man is $900 a day some guys get more like $1500 or 2k but that is because they are well known and offer a high level of service. What you see more often is people who undercut the going rate and badmouth the competion, start rumors or nickle and dime their customer. With them they are frequently not around in a short time because nobody wants to deal with somebody like that. Does the situation sound framiluar?

IndyDiver
06-11-2008, 17:07
Reading the article, I was struck by the parallels between the dive industry at the present time and what happened to the hi-fidelity stereo industry in the 1970's. In the early 70's, the only place to buy high end audio equipment was at specialty stores that charged MSRP for their goods. Then along came the big box discount retailers like Stereo Discounters (the precursor to Best Buy, Circuit City, etc.)

The argument by the small specialty stores was that the discount places only sold you the equipment - they did not provide technical support, installation services, or in some cases even have listening rooms to check out speakers. So you should pay more and support the small full service store so it would be there when you needed it. Some manufacturers like JBL, Bose, and Harmon Kardon refused to allow the discount stores to be authorized dealers because they undercut the dealer pricing agreements. (Sound familiar so far?)

Next the small specialty stores cried that people were going to them for advice and to try products out, and then actually buying them from the warehouse style discount store. They spent a lot of time talking about getting warranty service and the possibility that the discounters were actually selling factory seconds. (I'm feeling the deja vu!)

We all know what happened in the end. The small specialty audio store has gone the way of the dodo, and everyone now buys their stereo equipment at big box dicount retailers or over the internet. The point is that there is really nothing new about the phenomenon we are seeing, and you can't stand in the way of progress.

BTW, the manufacturers that refused to support the idea of discount audio outlets all lost massive amounts of market share in the late 70's to the Japanese manufacturers, who embraced the high volume discount model wholeheartedly.

The discount stores prospered anyway.

Bigg_Budd
06-11-2008, 17:13
great article

crgjpg
06-11-2008, 17:52
LDS need to follow suit of many other industries and branch out with other opportunities. We had a LDS that went out of business I think becasue it was only a dive shop selling equipment and training. We have a new "dive shop" that open. The difference is that it is part of a business that also deals with boats. Time will tell if the "dive shop" parts succeds.

LCF
06-14-2008, 06:41
Eerie to read the article quoting Denton Byers. He died two years ago today in a diving accident.

Geoff_T
06-15-2008, 01:40
LDS need to follow suit of many other industries and branch out with other opportunities. We had a LDS that went out of business I think becasue it was only a dive shop selling equipment and training. We have a new "dive shop" that open. The difference is that it is part of a business that also deals with boats. Time will tell if the "dive shop" parts succeds.

yeah it realy is a busness model thing, you can be sucessful as a dive opperation but you probially cant just be selling equiptment. You need to either be makeing your money training, ie college and HS students. Or you need to branch out into some related industry.

Vercingetorix
06-15-2008, 06:30
yeah it realy is a busness model thing, you can be sucessful as a dive opperation but you probially cant just be selling equiptment. You need to either be makeing your money training, ie college and HS students. Or you need to branch out into some related industry.True. I'm guessing Larry started GattSplat for that reason. Paintball is the hot sport du jour. I was at ST yesterday and talking to one of the guys there. Profit margins on things like tanks are razor-thin, just a couple bucks. Selling scuba stuff is no get-rich quick scheme.