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DarinMartell
12-13-2008, 16:14
Last week I found out I was going to get some $$ to go to to new fins for my Birthday. First thing I did was start checking out the web. Found two good set on clearence at leisure Pro for $70, ST had them for $100 but I knew they would price match.

I called up my LDS and asked him what split fins he had for around $70. He told me no one had them for $70. I told him what I found at LP and that ST would match it but I wanted to give him first chance, he looked it up and said his cost was $86. I was going to thank him for his time and hang up when he said "You know, these website are going to put local dive shops out of business. Pretty soon you won't be able to get training or fills anywhere. It's getting to the point that if I see someone come on my boat with a bunch of mail order stuff I ask them to leave.". I was a little confused and asked "Wait a min, are you saying that if I buy these fins that I'm not welcome at your shop or on your boat anymore?". He replied "Yeah, there are other boats out their." and hung up on me!

I was mad, my first instinct was to come on here and tell everyone. But I really liked his shop, his crew, his boat, and him. I also figured times are ruff and maybe he was having a bad day. So I sent him an e-mail highlighting the following:

1. The first day we met he told me that he would price match and to give him a shot at any purchases.
2. I did my training with him and he knows that as funds become available that I will be taking many more courses.
3. That I had 4 other shops within 3 miles of either work or home but I drive the 40 miles to his because I respect him and his crew.
4. That the reason I first came to him at first was because he charges 1/3 of what anyone else charges for oipen water training. So He is doing the same thing to other LDS's as the web is doing to him.
5. That I spent money on his charter boat.
6. That with the economy the way it is I owe it to my family to research and not spend any more then I needed to.
7. That I have been an ambassador for his shop and if you did a search for his shop on the ST forum that he would see I have reffered him on over 12 threads.
8. And that I was the first to e-mail and congratulate him on a recent writeup in Dive Training (at the time he did not even know he was in this months issue).

I said that with all of that I have earned a clarification. Was he having a bad day or am I really not welcome in his shop or on his boat anymore?

It has been a week and I have not gotten a reply so I guess I know the answer. On the other hand I called ST and Wade had no problem matching the price and I expect my new fins any day now!

So, if you find yourself in Northern IL and in Loves Park Scuba or on the Lockwood Explorer, if they ask you where you got your equipment, LIE if you don't want to get kicked out.

Zenagirl
12-13-2008, 16:55
It continously amazes me when a business owner will cut off his own nose to spite his face. In the end he didn't just lose a fin sale, he lost a paying customer for classes, his charter business, air fills, equipment repair/maintenance, equipment purchases, AND any referrals you might make. On top of all of that, now you will be warning people against him, actively advising other divers to do business elsewhere, and potentially costing him not only YOU as a customer, but many others.

And he thinks its the e-tailers putting him out of business?? Stupid.

wheelman
12-13-2008, 17:02
Time to find a new lds and boat. The best part is... he thinks that he is hurting you. lol

Bill
12-13-2008, 21:33
I LOVE the fact that I live in the Dallas area, and that ST is my LDS !!

Great service, top notch training and excellent pricing.

Bill

navyhmc
12-13-2008, 22:00
Well, since I'm not from N. Ill, if I decided to pay for a charter on his boat, it doesn't matter where I got my gear.

So, tell us about his charters.

cummings66
12-13-2008, 22:16
Some people are that way and don't get it. I've heard of his shop and in fact was considering a trip this coming year, I may rethink it though given enough time.

divinginn
12-13-2008, 22:37
Some of them just do not have a clue on how to run a business or give customer service which is the heart of any retail business.

DMWiz
12-13-2008, 22:58
This may not be a popular view and I'm not trying to offend you, but you chose to not buy a pair of fins from someone you respect and someone who sold you training for 1/3 less already? Assuming he's telling you the truth and I have no problem believing that his cost is what he said, did he offer you the fins at his cost?

The LDS/diver relationship works both ways. You're getting great training for less, enjoy his shop, etc... and won't pay a marginal difference for a pair of fins?

He could have handled it better and anyone can have a bad day.

Also, realize there are always at least two sides to every story.

I'm not saying you need to buy everything from your LDS no matter what, but the price difference seems so insignificant it was probably worth supporting you LDS IMHO.

ianr33
12-13-2008, 23:02
Those fins will probably be cheaper at the Going Out of Business Sale.

Splitlip
12-13-2008, 23:09
This may not be a popular view and I'm not trying to offend you, but you chose to not buy a pair of fins from someone you respect and someone who sold you training for 1/3 less already? Assuming he's telling you the truth and I have no problem believing that his cost is what he said, did he offer you the fins at his cost?

The LDS/diver relationship works both ways. You're getting great training for less, enjoy his shop, etc... and won't pay a marginal difference for a pair of fins?

He could have handled it better and anyone can have a bad day.

Also, realize there are always at least two sides to every story.

I'm not saying you need to buy everything from your LDS no matter what, but the price difference seems so insignificant it was probably worth supporting you LDS IMHO.
+1...

Nemrod
12-13-2008, 23:29
Before there were shops there was air and training. After there are no more rip off LDS there will still be air and training.

N

rawalker
12-14-2008, 00:08
If a LDS can't compete with a online price just saying so and offering your best price is just simply good business practice.
A customer not excepting a higher is also just business and not personal it shouldn't be taken personally.
For a LDS to turn away other business just because they can't gain the retail sale is stupid, unprofessional and simply business suicide.
So another LDS closes fine IMHO it is just making way for another LDS with better business savy. You can't tell me LDS can't survive today there are a great number of shops growing even in the poor economic climate. If you're a shop owner that isn't making a profit it is caused by 1 of 2 things:
Either there are too many shops in your area for the number of active divers or Your business model is flawed and you need to make changes. Sorry if this insults any shop owners but it is simply business fact.

chicken
12-14-2008, 05:38
I support my LDS when I can. For a small price difference I will always buy from him. However, my LDS knows I shop online and tries to be competitive with the websites I visit (ST/LP/DD). My last regulator purchase from my LDS was $30 more than ST, small enough difference to stay local.

I think the difference is my LDS is still trying to keep my business. It sounds like the other LDS is trying to demand your business. I just signed up for a charter to dive the U352, my LDS is not sponsoring the trip but took time to help prepare for the trip. I appreciate it and know some of the value in the price difference comes back to me in a good way.

Cheddarchick
12-14-2008, 06:06
I know this shop well...I have taken many trips on a great boat with a great captain. I also know all the people personally and trust their word and the workmanship. I have personally taken in a repair and they have fixed it while I stood there. And while I love ST, I also have had the LDS come close enough in price so that I can walk out of thier store with the item I had haggled over in my hand the same day. Then 3 weeks later, after deciding the mask I loved in thier pool that day I hated in the open water, they let me return it and try another at no additional cost. That was 3 times different masks until I got the one I currently use. I think sometimes we are so concerned with the last dollar of savings we overlook the facts. This LDS has a beautiful new facility with a brand new indoor pool for training, and he let's you try out gear for free... Seems like a cost difference of $16 over shipping stuff back that just doesn't quite fit right was small after all......And I would let any one have a bad day and write it off to just a bad day. And as to thier email......I'm not sure the Owner even does email, he is a phone kinda guy.....

Grin
12-14-2008, 08:00
Would your local shop, turn down a phone order, right after getting upset you didn't buy from them? The phone order obviously is robbing some other local dive shop somewhere.
What is really kind of funny is: Whenever this topic is brought up, you always get someone from a dive shop somewhere, responding all worked up, claiming you need to "support your local dive shop". But these are the same people who are working the internet for sales(if not they should be). Meaning, the same guy who just made that statment will be glad to sell you anything. In essence a internet sale.
Face it! It's not 1975 anymore and the internet is here to stay. Dive shops need to be very careful how they run their business. Some succeed very well in todays climate. Some seem to struggle from day 1. Maybe the govt should bail them out!

Zenagirl
12-14-2008, 08:14
I know this shop well...I have taken many trips on a great boat with a great captain. I also know all the people personally and trust their word and the workmanship. I have personally taken in a repair and they have fixed it while I stood there. And while I love ST, I also have had the LDS come close enough in price so that I can walk out of thier store with the item I had haggled over in my hand the same day. Then 3 weeks later, after deciding the mask I loved in thier pool that day I hated in the open water, they let me return it and try another at no additional cost. That was 3 times different masks until I got the one I currently use. I think sometimes we are so concerned with the last dollar of savings we overlook the facts. This LDS has a beautiful new facility with a brand new indoor pool for training, and he let's you try out gear for free... Seems like a cost difference of $16 over shipping stuff back that just doesn't quite fit right was small after all......And I would let any one have a bad day and write it off to just a bad day. And as to thier email......I'm not sure the Owner even does email, he is a phone kinda guy.....

I don't think this was as much about the price difference, or refusing to price match, this is about the LDS owner saying anyone who dives gear purchased on the internet isn't welcome on their charters or to do business with them.

I've spent a few extra dollars to purchase things at my LDS, and always make an effort to give them business. However, they know most of my gear has been purchased at ST and I'm still greeted by name at the door, am invited on dive trips, am welcome to use the pool, and they are always happy to service my gear. They know that I'm more likely to spend money there if I feel welcome and valued as a customer, and I plan to continue doing business there.

fire diver
12-14-2008, 09:06
This may not be a popular view and I'm not trying to offend you, but you chose to not buy a pair of fins from someone you respect and someone who sold you training for 1/3 less already? Assuming he's telling you the truth and I have no problem believing that his cost is what he said, did he offer you the fins at his cost?

The LDS/diver relationship works both ways. You're getting great training for less, enjoy his shop, etc... and won't pay a marginal difference for a pair of fins?

He could have handled it better and anyone can have a bad day.

Also, realize there are always at least two sides to every story.

I'm not saying you need to buy everything from your LDS no matter what, but the price difference seems so insignificant it was probably worth supporting you LDS IMHO.


I could care less about the LDS not being able to match a price on some items, as long as they try. But the first time a shop owner says "buy from me or don't come back" will be the last time I step foot in his/her shop.

Mtrewyn
12-14-2008, 09:29
I don't think this was as much about the price difference, or refusing to price match, this is about the LDS owner saying anyone who dives gear purchased on the internet isn't welcome on their charters or to do business with them.

I've spent a few extra dollars to purchase things at my LDS, and always make an effort to give them business. However, they know most of my gear has been purchased at ST and I'm still greeted by name at the door, am invited on dive trips, am welcome to use the pool, and they are always happy to service my gear. They know that I'm more likely to spend money there if I feel welcome and valued as a customer, and I plan to continue doing business there.

I try and do business with my shop like this, I do get some "funny" looks from time to time, but I'm still welcome...

awap
12-14-2008, 09:31
I always try to give my LDS a fair shot at my business. When he does not think he can compete with another deal, he will tell me to buy it from the other source. No BS, no hard feelings. That is the way it should be. This guy is hurting himself and other LDSs whose customer might be discouraged from offering an opportunity for a shop to compete..

imasinker
12-14-2008, 10:02
One things for sure...If he keeps that up, there will be good prices at his store...The Closing ....OUT OF BUSINESS SALE! Poor business sense in my opinion.

fireflock
12-14-2008, 10:35
This may not be a popular view and I'm not trying to offend you, but you chose to not buy a pair of fins from someone you respect and someone who sold you training for 1/3 less already? Assuming he's telling you the truth and I have no problem believing that his cost is what he said, did he offer you the fins at his cost?

The LDS/diver relationship works both ways. You're getting great training for less, enjoy his shop, etc... and won't pay a marginal difference for a pair of fins?

He could have handled it better and anyone can have a bad day.

Also, realize there are always at least two sides to every story.

I'm not saying you need to buy everything from your LDS no matter what, but the price difference seems so insignificant it was probably worth supporting you LDS IMHO.

How is a new diver supposed to know about this special goes both way relationship? How is he supposed to know that the training was sold at below cost and the LDS owner was counting on making the loss up with gear sales? Things don't work that way in the rest of retail life. The dive industry is an odd place, yet they get upset when divers don't play by the unwritten rules about supporting the shop that new divers don't know about in the first place.

The shop tried to attract new customers based on price (1/3 less for training) and then gets mad when those same customers shop for gear based on price :smiley29:

awap
12-14-2008, 10:43
This may not be a popular view and I'm not trying to offend you, but you chose to not buy a pair of fins from someone you respect and someone who sold you training for 1/3 less already? Assuming he's telling you the truth and I have no problem believing that his cost is what he said, did he offer you the fins at his cost?

The LDS/diver relationship works both ways. You're getting great training for less, enjoy his shop, etc... and won't pay a marginal difference for a pair of fins?

He could have handled it better and anyone can have a bad day.

Also, realize there are always at least two sides to every story.

I'm not saying you need to buy everything from your LDS no matter what, but the price difference seems so insignificant it was probably worth supporting you LDS IMHO.

How is a new diver supposed to know about this special goes both way relationship? How is he supposed to know that the training was sold at below cost and the LDS owner was counting on making the loss up with gear sales? Things don't work that way in the rest of retail life. The dive industry is an odd place, yet they get upset when divers don't play by the unwritten rules about supporting the shop that new divers don't know about in the first place.

The shop tried to attract new customers based on price (1/3 less for training) and then gets mad when those same customers shop for gear based on price :smiley29:

Come on now. Anyone who would take advantage of discounted training and then not pay full MSRP, or more, for their gear would probably try the free samples at the supermarket and not buy the product. Burrrrp.

Anybody ever been blackballed at HEB?

monant
12-14-2008, 10:47
The local economy will only support a certain number of dive shops. When internet sales come into the equation, customer service may be the key. If a LDS doesn't take care of their customers, other LDSs will.

chinacat46
12-14-2008, 11:12
One things for sure...If he keeps that up, there will be good prices at his store...The Closing ....OUT OF BUSINESS SALE! Poor business sense in my opinion.

Not necessarily maybe Leisure Pro will buy his stock out and resell the stuff online like they currently do.

awap
12-14-2008, 11:15
One things for sure...If he keeps that up, there will be good prices at his store...The Closing ....OUT OF BUSINESS SALE! Poor business sense in my opinion.

Not necessarily maybe Leisure Pro will buy his stock out and resell the stuff online like they currently do.

Probably not. Leisurepro seems to get gear much cheaper than this guy can afford to sell it.

chinacat46
12-14-2008, 11:17
One things for sure...If he keeps that up, there will be good prices at his store...The Closing ....OUT OF BUSINESS SALE! Poor business sense in my opinion.

Not necessarily maybe Leisure Pro will buy his stock out and resell the stuff online like they currently do.

Probably not. Leisurepro seems to get gear much cheaper than this guy can afford to sell it.

True they wait till a shop goes out of biz and offer them rock bottom for their whole stock.

bigfishK9
12-14-2008, 11:30
I'll spend a few extra dollars to buy local... With the economy the way it is, schools and other charitys have a chance of getting donations for fund raising activities if a local business is being supported locally. Being active in my kids schools and other volunteer community groups, I don't feel like a complete free loader going into a business that I spend money in and asking for a gift card.

DarinMartell
12-14-2008, 12:22
Wow, this has generated a bunch of reposees! Few clirifications:

He never offered me a price, he siad his dealer cost is $86, then went into the rant. If he offered them to me for $100 and a couple of free pool uses (normaly charges $20 if you did not buy your BCD or regulator from him) to test them out I would have bought them. He didn't even make me an offer.

I agree with the fact that he has a great boat, crew, and facility. That was the reason I e-mailed him with a very polite letter to see if he had a change of heart. I even waited for a week for a reply, nothing.

I know he checks the e-mails because just two weeks ago I sent him an e-mail congratuating him on a write up in Dive Training. The very next day he e-mailed me back asking what issue because he did not know they where being written up. Again, I gave him a week... Nothing.

It's not like I have never bought gear from him. I have bought boots, my camera, and a-lot of accessories from him.

As far as not being local so you can charter his boat. His exact words... "If someone comes onto the boat with a bunch of mail order gear I ask them to leave". So if he asks you where you bought your equipment, LIE and tell him a LDS, unless you want to run the risk of being asked to leave. I could lie to and say I bought them from a different shop. But I won't do that.

DevilDiver
12-14-2008, 13:09
Wow, this has generated a bunch of reposees! Few clirifications:

He never offered me a price, he siad his dealer cost is $86, then went into the rant. If he offered them to me for $100 and a couple of free pool uses (normaly charges $20 if you did not buy your BCD or regulator from him) to test them out I would have bought them. He didn't even make me an offer.

I agree with the fact that he has a great boat, crew, and facility. That was the reason I e-mailed him with a very polite letter to see if he had a change of heart. I even waited for a week for a reply, nothing.

I know he checks the e-mails because just two weeks ago I sent him an e-mail congratuating him on a write up in Dive Training. The very next day he e-mailed me back asking what issue because he did not know they where being written up. Again, I gave him a week... Nothing.

As far as not being local so you can charter his boat. His exact words... "If someone comes onto the boat with a bunch of mail order gear I ask them to leave". So if he asks you where you bought your equipment, LIE and tell him a LDS, unless you want to run the risk of being asked to leave. I could lie to and say I bought them from a different shop. But I won't do that.

normally charges $20 if you did not buy your BCD or regulator from him...

:anim_soapbox:

You have got to be kidding! You are saying $20 in get into a swimming pool! You have to be out of your mind....... I must be totally spoiled.

If this is a standard in certain regions I was unaware of such a unreasonable charge. If you are in the retail business it seems to me that customer service is the only thing that you have to set you apart from other retailers. You can buy gear anywhere now days and this is just a fact. It cost him nothing to let you into the pool, in fact he really benefits from this. The more time you spend at his shop and the more services he provides and opportunities he has to talk to you the more likely you are to purchase from him because you choose to, not because it is the rules.

If you do not feel there is a value (price, services, information, attitude) in where you choose to spend your money then you will never be happy with your purchases.

His exact words... "If someone comes onto the boat with a bunch of mail order gear I ask them to leave".

If your business plan is "if you do not buy from me then I will find extra charges or turn you away" I am afraid you do not understand business. Unless you have a product or service that can not be had from any other location then it is the customers choice to purchase from you. If the customer feels "it is the right thing" to give you first shot at the business that is their choice and should never be done out of guilt.

If you were thinking of starting a dive shop (or any business really) would you not consider what you needed to do different to be successful and what the competition doing was in the market. Well if do have a dive shop and have not considered the internet, you are already out of business but have not figured it out yet.....

How does an LDS compete with the internet? They provide you with outstanding service, anything else is unacceptable and people should never feel they need to support this example of a business because of some kind of misguided obligation.

DMWiz
12-14-2008, 13:43
I could care less about the LDS not being able to match a price on some items, as long as they try. But the first time a shop owner says "buy from me or don't come back" will be the last time I step foot in his/her shop.

Absolutely, positively agree with you that the owner handled it poorly, but we don't know all the facts. All we have is one side of the story!

Rileybri
12-14-2008, 13:56
Has the shop owner been email about this thread and offered an opportunity to respond directly to it???

DMWiz
12-14-2008, 14:01
Wow, this has generated a bunch of reposees! Few clirifications:

He never offered me a price, he siad his dealer cost is $86, then went into the rant. If he offered them to me for $100 and a couple of free pool uses (normaly charges $20 if you did not buy your BCD or regulator from him) to test them out I would have bought them. He didn't even make me an offer.


This doesn't jive with what you said in your OP...


I wanted to give him first chance, he looked it up and said his cost was $86. I was going to thank him for his time and hang up.

Now you're saying you would have bought them anyway.



I agree with the fact that he has a great boat, crew, and facility. That was the reason I e-mailed him with a very polite letter to see if he had a change of heart. I even waited for a week for a reply, nothing.

My advice would be to talk to him personally and clear everything out between the two of you.

Good luck.

awap
12-14-2008, 14:04
Wow, this has generated a bunch of reposees! Few clirifications:

He never offered me a price, he siad his dealer cost is $86, then went into the rant. If he offered them to me for $100 and a couple of free pool uses (normaly charges $20 if you did not buy your BCD or regulator from him) to test them out I would have bought them. He didn't even make me an offer.


This doesn't jive with what you said in your OP...



In what way does this contradict the 1st post??? Seems to me it just adds some more (fully consistent) information that was not included originally.

DMWiz
12-14-2008, 14:24
The owner told him the dealer cost was $86 and the op told us he was going to say thank you, but not thank you!

The op now says he would have bought them for $100.

DarinMartell
12-14-2008, 14:33
The points are:

1. He told me the price and said couldn't see how anyone could sell them for $70. I told him that LP had it and ST would match. Before I had a chance to tell him thanks anyway that I wanted to give him first chance. He went into the rant. He did not make me an offer. Yes I would have spent more then $70 if he made me an offer. He didn't, he just ranted.

2. I really don't feel I need to call him to clear things up. I have a bunch of shops closer to me then him and there are a-lot of boats around. I wish it didn't end that way but I think giving him another chance with the e-mail was more then a-lot of people would do.

3. if someone wants to contact him for his side they are more then welcome. I am done with the shop. The only reason I listed the name is because the owner stated he would turn people away from his boat if they came in with mail order gear. I wanted to warn anyone that might be useing his services.

ReefHound
12-14-2008, 20:01
I could care less about the LDS not being able to match a price on some items, as long as they try. But the first time a shop owner says "buy from me or don't come back" will be the last time I step foot in his/her shop.

+1

Don't ever try to bully me or threaten me as a customer.

ReefHound
12-14-2008, 20:04
I always try to give my LDS a fair shot at my business. When he does not think he can compete with another deal, he will tell me to buy it from the other source. No BS, no hard feelings. That is the way it should be. This guy is hurting himself and other LDSs whose customer might be discouraged from offering an opportunity for a shop to compete..

Yep, this is precisely why when someone tells a new diver that is eyeing the internet to give his LDS a chance to compete, I warn them to be careful and feel out the LDS first because many owners will get hostile if they think you are even looking at internet sources.

ReefHound
12-14-2008, 20:15
The owner told him the dealer cost was $86 and the op told us he was going to say thank you, but not thank you!

The op now says he would have bought them for $100.

No he didn't, he said he would have paid $100 IF they included $40 worth of pool sessions.

Black-Gorrilla
12-14-2008, 20:53
The owner told him the dealer cost was $86 and the op told us he was going to say thank you, but not thank you!

The op now says he would have bought them for $100.

No he didn't, he said he would have paid $100 IF they included $40 worth of pool sessions.

and the 40$ pool sessions don't cost the owner 40 bux... but it makes the customer feel appreciated!!!

DarinMartell
12-15-2008, 00:04
As far as the $40 pool sessions. I used it as an example. I have bought stuff from him for more then I could have gotten it on the net before. I am trying to say I would be willing to pay more for good service. Remember, I ended up buying them for $70 delivered. He never told me a price, but since ST sells them for $160 not on clearence and someone else here said they bought theirs fro $200, I am guessing $200 would have been his starting price. It costs me $12 in gas to go over there and back. So at full price it would have cost my 3X what I got them for here at ST. I probably would not pay that much no matter what but I would still have been willing to pay more then the $70 if he would have approached it differently and offered something else that I would have vauled (pool time, air fills, few bucks off the next lesson or charter). The whole point is that I was not even offered a price. He went into his rant and when I asked for clarification that I would no longer be welcome he said "yeah, there are other boats" and hung up on me.

DarinMartell
12-15-2008, 00:15
I always try to give my LDS a fair shot at my business. When he does not think he can compete with another deal, he will tell me to buy it from the other source. No BS, no hard feelings. That is the way it should be. This guy is hurting himself and other LDSs whose customer might be discouraged from offering an opportunity for a shop to compete..

Yep, this is precisely why when someone tells a new diver that is eyeing the internet to give his LDS a chance to compete, I warn them to be careful and feel out the LDS first because many owners will get hostile if they think you are even looking at internet sources.

The only problem with this is that the owner in question, on my orientation day before I even started pool sessions, handed me a piece of paper saying and told me that he would attemp to price match anything and asked me to always give him a chance before buying something.

I refuse to hide where I do my business (I like to be an ambassador for places that I like. I reffered him on many posts here, and I reffer ST whenever I can), and I refuse to lie. I hate the idea of going into a shop and having someone ask me where I got my stuff and feel like I have to lie about it. I have 4 shops within 3 miles of either work or home (one even has someone who works there on this board). I am kicking around the idea of sending them each an e-mail saying "I am looking for a dive shop, I shop around for my equipment and end up buying most of my gear on-line from authorized seller, If you have no problem with that great, you will see me in your shop and I will take your classes. If you do have a problem with internet buyers please tell me now and we can save us both a-lot of time".

awap
12-15-2008, 09:53
I always try to give my LDS a fair shot at my business. When he does not think he can compete with another deal, he will tell me to buy it from the other source. No BS, no hard feelings. That is the way it should be. This guy is hurting himself and other LDSs whose customer might be discouraged from offering an opportunity for a shop to compete..

Yep, this is precisely why when someone tells a new diver that is eyeing the internet to give his LDS a chance to compete, I warn them to be careful and feel out the LDS first because many owners will get hostile if they think you are even looking at internet sources.

The only problem with this is that the owner in question, on my orientation day before I even started pool sessions, handed me a piece of paper saying and told me that he would attemp to price match anything and asked me to always give him a chance before buying something.



The behavior of the owner of this shop is one of the reasons good internet retailer are going to continue being successful. There is just no excuse for his unprofessional behavior.

imasinker
12-15-2008, 10:09
I drive past two dive shops to go to my LDS. He is about a half hour farther. He has treated me good since day one. One great thing I like about him, I have never heard him talk bad about any other dive shop online or store. They services any product, given they can get parts if needed. If they can't they refer you to another dive shop since they all know eachother. They don't push certain brand names and will order in things they don't stock. Thats why I go back. I visit the other shops and I buy from them but my main purchases go to him for all the reasons I have listed. Thats good business sense (cents).

waytooslow
12-15-2008, 10:28
wow 40 buck pool sessions? does he at least take you out for dinner and a movie first.

I am soooooooooooooo glad that ST is my LDS.

ReefHound
12-15-2008, 11:02
The only problem with this is that the owner in question, on my orientation day before I even started pool sessions, handed me a piece of paper saying and told me that he would attemp to price match anything and asked me to always give him a chance before buying something.

All I was saying is the dive industry is a mine field and the new diver should proceed with caution. You will hear many different things about what shop owners want. Many owners will get irate if you buy online and not "give them a chance to compete" with online retailers while others will get irate that you even expect them to compete with online retailers. Not to mention that many define "chance to compete" as they win the sale regardless of price differential. Many owners will insist if you don't like a price you should make an offer while others will get insulted if you offer less than they are asking. Still many others (as appears to be in your case) will tell you wonderful things about how they price match and work with you but I guess they don't actually expect you to hold them to it because when the time goes to do it they find an excuse why they can't and sometimes even get mad about it.



I refuse to hide where I do my business

That's very noble and commendable but not necessarily in your best interests. Don't think of it as lying, think of it as playing your cards closer to your chest. Even if you have better options for shops and boats, it's never good to burn your bridges. Sometimes circumstances change. And what if you email all the other shops laying it all on the line, and they *all* tell you to take a hike? Not likely to happen but if it did then you have alienated all your local options.

hooligan
12-15-2008, 19:12
Personally, I don't think it is anyone's business who I buy my gear from. That's between me and my bank account. I've never had a dive OP ask me where I purchased my gear. The only reason I would ever tell them anything is if there was an authorized dealer warranty issue.

DMWiz
12-15-2008, 19:39
I think he was speaking in anger. Who actually ask a paying costumer where they bought their gear?

As if gear bought online looked any different than something bought at the local store.

awap
12-15-2008, 21:18
I think he was speaking in anger. Who actually ask a paying costumer where they bought their gear?

As if gear bought online looked any different than something bought at the local store.

I believe Scubapro and Aqualung provide their dealers access to a serial number tracking database so they can ID gear that was not purchased from an authorized dealer.

DarinMartell
12-15-2008, 21:26
I think he was speaking in anger. Who actually ask a paying costumer where they bought their gear?

As if gear bought online looked any different than something bought at the local store.

Ive had people ask me in more then one shop. They put it into conversation someting like: them "We have a great sale on bcd's", Me "no thanks I have one already, them "really? Where did you pick it up?". I don't blame them for it, I do something similar in my line of work. And when I call a customer that has been in to see if I can answer any questions and they tell me that they had already bought somewhere else I ask "If you don't mind me asking, where did you purchase (I like to know who I lost a deal to so I know what to stress better the next time). When they tell me I say: "Sounds like you got a good deal, next time you are looking or if what you bought does not meet your expectaions, I hope you will come see me again". I can't tell you how many times i have had people come in a year or two later wishing they bough better quality the first time. Asking about your customers buying habits is good business sense, being offeneded when they buy elsewhere is not.

DMWiz
12-15-2008, 21:46
I think he was speaking in anger. Who actually ask a paying costumer where they bought their gear?

As if gear bought online looked any different than something bought at the local store.

Ive had people ask me in more then one shop. They put it into conversation someting like: them "We have a great sale on bcd's", Me "no thanks I have one already, them "really? Where did you pick it up?".

Yes that happens all the time if a customer comes to browse the store, I meant when someone shows up to pay for a dive. At most you'll get asked is, do you need to rent anything?

Not a big deal

zoey
12-15-2008, 21:59
Just out of curiosity, and not to derail this thread, but why can E-retailers sell the same items for less than a lot/most LDS's?
Is it due to larger volume purchases from manufacturers?

I'm assuming that they both:
Have stock.
Store that stock somewhere, which costs money.
Have sales people/stock clerks...
Have insurance/work comp/health benefits.....

Secondly, I've never heard an E-retailer complain about a customer buying anything from a LDS. Why is that?

FYI~ Every single LDS around here has told me how incredibly terrible it is for me to buy from E-retailers (black-market stuff that can't be serviced, no warranties, can't return anything, that the LDS will not service anything bought on the net.......).

Lastly, Several of my LDS have online stores. Therefore, don't they have the best of both worlds (like ST)? If so, why aren't their prices better?

Example:
My LDS: Zeagle Lazer BCD: On Sale! Regular price $599.99 + 6.5% tax. NOW ONLY $495.99 + 6.5% tax (free shipping during sale).

ST: Not on sale. Normal price: $485.19. No tax. Free shipping.

I know this is only a $10 +tax difference, but I simply randomly picked an item, the first one that came to my mind, and checked the price differences.

ReefHound
12-15-2008, 22:51
I would say it's mostly a matter of higher volume. It isn't overhead, as many LDS owners would have you believe, because most of the larger online shops are also local dive shops complete with all the same overhead.

But having an online site doesn't automatically make you a high volume seller. Some owners naive about the net may think a website is a website, you pay a college kid a few hundred bucks to hook up a shopping cart, and customers will come running. Some of the actual online kings like Larry have described it much better, but a successful online site costs a lot of money and effort. And you have to advertise extensively.

fire diver
12-16-2008, 07:58
Actually, most of the LDS's I have stopped at have almost no inventory on hand. They have a show room full of displays, but if you want something, they usually have to order it. I've never had that problem with ST. They just plain rock!

bobby_hirst
12-16-2008, 09:13
Sorry to hear about your bad experience with LPS. I live in DeKalb and have actually used that store a couple of times for one thing only. My friends and I go paintballing and we usually rent our tanks from them to fill our guns. Never had any problem with them before over that kind of stuff. Hopefully you just caught him on a bad day. Once again, sorry to hear that.

Mark&Heidi
12-16-2008, 10:22
1st rule of customer service. Happy customers tell 1 or 2 people. Unhappy customers tell everybody that will listen.

bobby_hirst
12-16-2008, 10:28
1st rule of customer service. Happy customers tell 1 or 2 people. Unhappy customers tell everybody that will listen.
Absolutely true!

bobby_hirst
12-16-2008, 10:28
Absolutely true Mark&Heidi!

3rdEye
12-16-2008, 10:51
Just out of curiosity, and not to derail this thread, but why can E-retailers sell the same items for less than a lot/most LDS's?
Is it due to larger volume purchases from manufacturers?

I'm assuming that they both:
Have stock.
Store that stock somewhere, which costs money.
Have sales people/stock clerks...
Have insurance/work comp/health benefits.....

Secondly, I've never heard an E-retailer complain about a customer buying anything from a LDS. Why is that?

FYI~ Every single LDS around here has told me how incredibly terrible it is for me to buy from E-retailers (black-market stuff that can't be serviced, no warranties, can't return anything, that the LDS will not service anything bought on the net.......).

Lastly, Several of my LDS have online stores. Therefore, don't they have the best of both worlds (like ST)? If so, why aren't their prices better?

Example:
My LDS: Zeagle Lazer BCD: On Sale! Regular price $599.99 + 6.5% tax. NOW ONLY $495.99 + 6.5% tax (free shipping during sale).

ST: Not on sale. Normal price: $485.19. No tax. Free shipping.

I know this is only a $10 +tax difference, but I simply randomly picked an item, the first one that came to my mind, and checked the price differences.


it's probably a few things....volume definitely one of them. Overhead costs - such a as real estate - sure they may need the space to house all their inventory, but it's probably cheap real estate, and not the prime real estate that a dive shop will require. And because they have such volume, they can automate a lot of things, may not need sales clerks in the store to talk face to face with customers, may not need showroom space, etc. etc.

Businesses like scubatoys have the right business model, they are a local dive shop, but also a good part of their business is online. I've dealt with a few shops who have the same stupid attitiude about being undersold by other shops online (and they themselves had online shops, and even refered me to them), and basically, I refuse to deal with them....if they go out of business, someone with the right business mind will open to fill the void, and will be successful. They are shooting themselves in the foot, because they don't understand business, and how to be competitive and innovative....too bad for them...good luck with the next career.

ReefHound
12-16-2008, 11:21
it's probably a few things....volume definitely one of them. Overhead costs - such a as real estate - sure they may need the space to house all their inventory, but it's probably cheap real estate, and not the prime real estate that a dive shop will require. And because they have such volume, they can automate a lot of things, may not need sales clerks in the store to talk face to face with customers, may not need showroom space, etc. etc.

Give us a couple of examples of successful online shops who do NOT have a retail store with showroom space and employees. All the big ones I can think of have shops in prime retail locations with sales clerks.

3rdEye
12-16-2008, 12:09
it's probably a few things....volume definitely one of them. Overhead costs - such a as real estate - sure they may need the space to house all their inventory, but it's probably cheap real estate, and not the prime real estate that a dive shop will require. And because they have such volume, they can automate a lot of things, may not need sales clerks in the store to talk face to face with customers, may not need showroom space, etc. etc.

Give us a couple of examples of successful online shops who do NOT have a retail store with showroom space and employees. All the big ones I can think of have shops in prime retail locations with sales clerks.

successful online shops without a retail store? ever hear of Amazon?

if you mean dive shops specifically...well i have no idea, I haven't done a competitive analysis on dive equipment retailers lately, but there's no reason that they couldn't use that business model...doesn't matter to me if scubatoys has a showroom, i'll probably never see it in person, so as far as I'm concerned, they might as well not even have one. For all I know, their web orders might be taken and fulfilled from a totally different location that's no where near their showroom. The point was, some businesses are innovating and adapting to be competitive, some aren't.

ReefHound
12-16-2008, 12:21
Well we were talking about dive shops and dive gear and we're in a scuba forum.

The question was what is the reason online dealers can sell for so much less than their LDS, and the fact that so many online retailers have the same or greater overhead pretty much proves that "low overhead" is not the reason.

fisheater
12-16-2008, 12:25
Volume!!

The overhead is the same, generally, whether you sell one BC or 200 BCs a month. That one BC seller would have to cover full overhead with each sale. The 200 BC seller would only have to cover 1/200th of the overhead with each sale.

Of course, reality is a bit more complicated, as there is a variable as well as the fixed component to overhead. But, generally, overhead is fairly independent of the sales volume.

3rdEye
12-16-2008, 12:32
didn't prove anything....more employees, more or same amount of space to make less sales = more overhead costs per dollar of revenue....online shops overhead costs are lower per dollar of revenue...also known as overhead percentage.

ReefHound
12-16-2008, 13:14
online shops overhead costs are lower per dollar of revenue...also known as overhead percentage.

which is a function of VOLUME.

DarinMartell
12-16-2008, 14:03
I agree 100% with the comment about adapting. At the shop in question for the last two years they have had a link to an "omline store" on the website. When you click on it the screen says "Online store coming soon".

I'm really dissapointed about this whole situation becuase this is a shop that others should try to be. they have:

a shop with good selection ans stock
an indoor heated pool
charter boat
travel agent
the owner discovered a couple of 100 year old wrecks in Lake MI. back in the 80's
owns the Lockwood name and private labels drysuits, regs, tanks, etc..
even opened a museum in an adjacent spot dedicated to Charles Lockwood (early scuba pioneer)

This is a shop that does a lot for the sport, I'm just really dissapointed that he decided to sever our relationship for giving him the curtesy of trying to match a price (wich he asked me to do in the first place).

Like others have said, he was probably having a bad day. But by sending him a polite letter to give him a chance to change his mind I feel I have done more then most and it's all I am willing to do to rectify it.

MSilvia
12-16-2008, 14:29
Before there were shops there was air and training. After there are no more rip off LDS there will still be air and training.
+1
If every LDS in the country closed, I'd still be able to get fills and training. There are a lot of independant instructors out there, and a lot of homes and fire houses with fill stations.

I try to have a good relationship with my LDS, but they earned that... they try to have a good relationship with me too.

3rdEye
12-16-2008, 15:39
online shops overhead costs are lower per dollar of revenue...also known as overhead percentage.

which is a function of VOLUME.


If it were simply more volume it would be opening 50 or whatever more dive shops across the world to reach those customers...however, it probably wouldn't make much of a difference in the prices the charged consumers due to the OVERHEAD needed to operate those shops....that's volume. so, it's not really just volume is it? It's moving more product, reaching more customers, with less overhead percentage wise. It's a different, more cost efficient business model.

I would guess, scubatoys is reaching more customers with their online activities, and is turning more of a profit than the average lone dive shop relative to their costs, because they have reduced their operational cost per unit sold....not by eating deep into their profit margins. Their margins might be a bit slimmer, but their business costs are more streamlined percentage wise.

Mecha
12-16-2008, 16:49
different busniess practice models.

some are old fashioned and stuck in the 20th century before the Web and some embrassed the 21st century.

those models that adapt to the ever changing world will survive.

chicken
12-16-2008, 16:54
The good news is there are plenty of other stores to choose from. I know a local LDS who ripped, scratch that, charged much more than others in the area and didn't not follow through with superior service or promises. His store is a great place to hold church services now because it is so quiet! Vote with your wallet.

ReefHound
12-16-2008, 17:19
If it were simply more volume it would be opening 50 or whatever more dive shops across the world to reach those customers...however, it probably wouldn't make much of a difference in the prices the charged consumers due to the OVERHEAD needed to operate those shops....that's volume. so, it's not really just volume is it? It's moving more product, reaching more customers, with less overhead percentage wise. It's a different, more cost efficient business model.

I would guess, scubatoys is reaching more customers with their online activities, and is turning more of a profit than the average lone dive shop relative to their costs, because they have reduced their operational cost per unit sold....not by eating deep into their profit margins. Their margins might be a bit slimmer, but their business costs are more streamlined percentage wise.

You're talking about franchising and replication, not merely increasing volume. Opening 50 stores isn't "simply more volume", it's more everything.

With all other factors remaining the same (making it "simply more volume"), a store that can double its sales has not lowered its total "overhead". If anything it has probably increased it, but hopefully by much less than double.

Maybe we're thinking the same thing but expressing it differently? When I hear someone suggest that a store has "lower overhead", I'm thinking in terms of "absolute dollars" not percentage.

Splitlip
12-16-2008, 19:11
it's probably a few things....volume definitely one of them. Overhead costs - such a as real estate - sure they may need the space to house all their inventory, but it's probably cheap real estate, and not the prime real estate that a dive shop will require. And because they have such volume, they can automate a lot of things, may not need sales clerks in the store to talk face to face with customers, may not need showroom space, etc. etc.

Give us a couple of examples of successful online shops who do NOT have a retail store with showroom space and employees. All the big ones I can think of have shops in prime retail locations with sales clerks.

Ooh ohh. Pick me. Leisurepro.

Yes that have a tiny little storfront in Manhatan with little inventory. I have seen it. Well actually I blinked...

Their operation is is a warehouse in an industrial district in Jersey.

Splitlip
12-16-2008, 19:22
Before there were shops there was air and training. After there are no more rip off LDS there will still be air and training.
+1
If every LDS in the country closed, I'd still be able to get fills and training. There are a lot of independant instructors out there, and a lot of homes and fire houses with fill stations.



I don't get these firehouse comments.

(We call them stations now. The houses and brass poles are long gone locally. Went by the wayside with the Dalmatians. :) )

No risk manager for a municipality is going to permit fills to the public that I am aware of. I used Scott air packs back in the day, and I think most of the SCBA fill stations cannot pump 3000psi.

Our local emergency dive teams get their fills from the LDS. We have plenty of local instructors. 90% of whom hang their shingles with an LDS.

Compressors in someone's back yard? Maybe. Can they "sell" air fills legally. No. That would require industrial or commmercial zoning. We do have them though. They call them dive shops.

ReefHound
12-16-2008, 19:24
Ooh ohh. Pick me. Leisurepro.

Yes that have a tiny little storfront in Manhatan with little inventory. I have seen it. Well actually I blinked...

Their operation is is a warehouse in an industrial district in Jersey.

And how do you think the rent on that tiny little storefront in Manhattan compares with floor space in, say, Texas?

I haven't personally visited them but I'm told they have sales clerks as well.

The pic of their showroom floor looks as nice as any LDS I've seen.

BarbadosSlim93
12-16-2008, 19:33
From a business standpoint, even if you can't match a competitor's price you can try to make up for it by building the value of your business and what additional goods and services you offer included in that price. Whether or not the customer decides to take you up on that offer is another matter, but regardless, the shop owner shouldn't hold a grudge or get angry because the customer went somewhere else. Like so many other posters have said "Its business, not personal".

The challenge in operating a business and deciding how to market said business and products is building that value. It is my chief concern at my job, and I am sure that is a major concern for many businesses right now. With the internet being such a major player in commerce, brick and mortar ships need to find and showcase their value if they are going to survive. I've said it many times on this forum and I will say it again, value, value, value. ST does a good job of this with its laid back attitude, extra goodies and helpful service. Not only this, they compete with price, which makes them uber competitive.

As for how online shops do it: I don't think Joe and Larry are going to be too apt to share how they exactly do it, unless they want to see 100 online ST clones. :smilie39: I would be curious to see how it is done though...

Splitlip
12-16-2008, 19:35
Ooh ohh. Pick me. Leisurepro.

Yes that have a tiny little storfront in Manhatan with little inventory. I have seen it. Well actually I blinked...

Their operation is is a warehouse in an industrial district in Jersey.

And how do you think the rent on that tiny little storefront in Manhattan compares with floor space in, say, Texas?

I haven't personally visited them but I'm told they have sales clerks as well.

Nice! I knew somebody would come back with that. LOL.

I should have gone proactive. I assure you, the rent is not paid by their trade in the "shop". Nobody goes out of their way in Manahatan to visit the shop. They might get some business man living in suburbia who needs pick up some little dodad.
The owners of leisurepro are very wealthy in their own right. For all I know they own the real estate or sublet it to themselves.

They are by no means a brick and mortar shop. I'll be up there in a couple weeks for a show. If I have time I'll take photos of their "shop".

Crimediver
12-16-2008, 20:02
No risk manager for a municipality is going to permit fills to the public that I am aware of. I used Scott air packs back in the day, and I think most of the SCBA fill stations cannot pump 3000psi.



Splitlip, you are dating yourself. the old days of SCBA tanks that were filled at 2216 psi are long gone. The composite tanks now used by firefighters hold twice as much pressure. I often use FD compressors to get air and they are dialed in for 4500 psi. I have to turn back the fill pressure to 3000 psi when I fill tanks.

I do agree that most fire departments won't fill for the public due to the liability, expense, etc. Maybe the local volunteer station where your buddy works may hook you up but unless you live in Hooterville you should not count on Uncle Joe filling your tanks at the volunteer station.

I have my own compressor and have access to others so I am not real worried about brick and mortar shops being handy. Also I learned to overhaul my own regs so I will continue to buy my gear where I get the best deal.

ReefHound
12-16-2008, 20:35
I should have gone proactive. I assure you, the rent is not paid by their trade in the "shop". Nobody goes out of their way in Manahatan to visit the shop. They might get some business man living in suburbia who needs pick up some little dodad.
The owners of leisurepro are very wealthy in their own right. For all I know they own the real estate or sublet it to themselves.

They are by no means a brick and mortar shop. I'll be up there in a couple weeks for a show. If I have time I'll take photos of their "shop".

Even if they own it, the real estate has value in opportunity cost. And that warehouse space in NJ likely costs more than showroom space in Kansas. But let's say I give you that one. My point wasn't that there aren't any retailers operating with low overhead. My point was that low overhead (i.e. working out of a warehouse) is not a requisite for selling at low prices because there are quite a number of online retailers doing it with the same overhead as any other LDS.

But your example leads to another related issue, which is how the LDS industry often equates LeisurePro with "online buying" when these days LP is just one (albeit huge) player among many. Virtually all of the LDS "anti online" arguments pertain uniquely to LP and harken back to the days when LP was one of the few online sources. "They aren't authorized". "They sell grey market". "They don't have a warranty". Blah blah blah.

It's as if the LDS owners are oblivious to the new breed of online retailers that *are* authorized dealers, operate full service dive shops, and stand fully behind what they sell. I don't think they are really that oblivious but they know most of their arguments don't hold water anymore.

But lower volume is not the only reason the LDS charges higher prices. Another reason is manufacturer restrictions. Of course, we could go around and around on whether many owners seek out those manufacturers for that reason.

Splitlip
12-16-2008, 21:24
No risk manager for a municipality is going to permit fills to the public that I am aware of. I used Scott air packs back in the day, and I think most of the SCBA fill stations cannot pump 3000psi.



Splitlip, you are dating yourself. the old days of SCBA tanks that were filled at 2216 psi are long gone.

Oops. Talking the 70's. LOL I think I said AFAIK . I have since built a couple of fire stations. I know the SCBA stations were specified and subcontracted. Just never paid attention to operating pressure.

I will still assure you, that no station in Palm Beach County at which Joe Diver can cop a fill.

DMWiz
12-16-2008, 21:57
Ooh ohh. Pick me. Leisurepro.

Yes that have a tiny little storfront in Manhatan with little inventory. I have seen it. Well actually I blinked...

From this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjDRKM6ltl8) the store looks to be a nice size and pretty well stocked IMO.

Splitlip
12-16-2008, 22:15
Ooh ohh. Pick me. Leisurepro.

Yes that have a tiny little storfront in Manhatan with little inventory. I have seen it. Well actually I blinked...

From this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjDRKM6ltl8) the store looks to be a nice size and pretty well stocked IMO.

I've seen the video and I've seen the "shop" for real.

Splitlip
12-16-2008, 22:35
I should have gone proactive. I assure you, the rent is not paid by their trade in the "shop". Nobody goes out of their way in Manahatan to visit the shop. They might get some business man living in suburbia who needs pick up some little dodad.
The owners of leisurepro are very wealthy in their own right. For all I know they own the real estate or sublet it to themselves.

They are by no means a brick and mortar shop. I'll be up there in a couple weeks for a show. If I have time I'll take photos of their "shop".

Even if they own it, the real estate has value in opportunity cost. And that warehouse space in NJ likely costs more than showroom space in Kansas. But let's say I give you that one. My point wasn't that there aren't any retailers operating with low overhead. My point was that low overhead (i.e. working out of a warehouse) is not a requisite for selling at low prices because there are quite a number of online retailers doing it with the same overhead as any other LDS.

But your example leads to another related issue, which is how the LDS industry often equates LeisurePro with "online buying" when these days LP is just one (albeit huge) player among many. Virtually all of the LDS "anti online" arguments pertain uniquely to LP and harken back to the days when LP was one of the few online sources. "They aren't authorized". "They sell grey market". "They don't have a warranty". Blah blah blah.

It's as if the LDS owners are oblivious to the new breed of online retailers that *are* authorized dealers, operate full service dive shops, and stand fully behind what they sell. I don't think they are really that oblivious but they know most of their arguments don't hold water anymore.

But lower volume is not the only reason the LDS charges higher prices. Another reason is manufacturer restrictions. Of course, we could go around and around on whether many owners seek out those manufacturers for that reason.

If I was on the executive staff at LP, I'd make sure we had a "brick and mortar storefront".

Manfacturers' restrictions cannot be blamed on the LDS. It is because of the restrictions by Scubapro and Aqualung that you find find a SP and AL shop all over in any of these Great United States and most exotic dive locations.

I have purchased all my Scubapro and AL Gear from an authorized LDS. I have the warranties and recieved all the support which can be expected.
In every case I payed LESS than Leisurepro advertised. The trade off was in nitrox fill cards and dive trips. Once bought a pair of Jets from the LDS and they measured, provided and installed spring straps for nada.

If I have a little free flow, leaky spool, whatever, I bring it in. 1,2,3 it is done while I stand there. No wait, no shipping, no charge.

If I need a bench or tools. I have them. I have an issue with a new piece of equipment "give it to me, here's another." Yes, I could have saved 20 bucks, but WTF.

Oh and fills. If I do a shore dive and have 2000 left in a cylinder and need a top off. Sure. No charge. But now I did pay 5% more for my reg.

nrembis
12-16-2008, 22:37
Ooh ohh. Pick me. Leisurepro.

Yes that have a tiny little storfront in Manhatan with little inventory. I have seen it. Well actually I blinked...

From this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjDRKM6ltl8) the store looks to be a nice size and pretty well stocked IMO.

I've seen the video and I've seen the "shop" for real.

When I lived in Hobe Sound....I was in all the shops from stuart to west palm....wasn't too impressed.

DMWiz
12-16-2008, 23:02
Ooh ohh. Pick me. Leisurepro.

Yes that have a tiny little storfront in Manhatan with little inventory. I have seen it. Well actually I blinked...

From this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjDRKM6ltl8) the store looks to be a nice size and pretty well stocked IMO.

I've seen the video and I've seen the "shop" for real.

When I lived in Hobe Sound....I was in all the shops from stuart to west palm....wasn't too impressed.

Uh? I must be missing something here!

Splitlip
12-16-2008, 23:19
Ooh ohh. Pick me. Leisurepro.

Yes that have a tiny little storfront in Manhatan with little inventory. I have seen it. Well actually I blinked...

From this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjDRKM6ltl8) the store looks to be a nice size and pretty well stocked IMO.

I've seen the video and I've seen the "shop" for real.

When I lived in Hobe Sound....I was in all the shops from stuart to west palm....wasn't too impressed.

Uh? I must be missing something here!

Wiz.

This is one of those topics upon which Reefhound and I disagree. It is all good.
I don't know haow much experience nrembis had here. Probably missed some shops.
I will even aknowledge that you and I live in a dive Mecca, and things may be different elsewhere.

hooligan
12-16-2008, 23:26
Splitlip, just out of curiosity, what shop is your LDS?

DarinMartell
12-17-2008, 01:30
Split Lip said; [/quote] I have purchased all my Scubapro and AL Gear from an authorized LDS. I have the warranties and recieved all the support which can be expected.
In every case I payed LESS than Leisurepro advertised. The trade off was in nitrox fill cards and dive trips. Once bought a pair of Jets from the LDS and they measured, provided and installed spring straps for nada.

If I have a little free flow, leaky spool, whatever, I bring it in. 1,2,3 it is done while I stand there. No wait, no shipping, no charge.

If I need a bench or tools. I have them. I have an issue with a new piece of equipment "give it to me, here's another." Yes, I could have saved 20 bucks, but WTF.

Oh and fills. If I do a shore dive and have 2000 left in a cylinder and need a top off. Sure. No charge. But now I did pay 5% more for my reg.[/quote]


Exactly, I would have paid more if they would have added things that I could assign value (pool time, fills, $$ off the next class or dive), they didn't give me a price or an offer, just kicked me to the curb.

DMWiz
12-17-2008, 05:29
Wiz.

This is one of those topics upon which Reefhound and I disagree. It is all good.
I don't know haow much experience nrembis had here. Probably missed some shops.
I will even aknowledge that you and I live in a dive Mecca, and things may be different elsewhere.

I agree, it's not a clear cut issue. As I said earlier and I think you +1 my comment. If you get to develop a relationship with a local shop it can be quite nice, but it takes time. And we may be biased because of where we live.

re: nrembis comment... I just don't get what his point is! Like I said, I must be missing something.

ReefHound
12-17-2008, 09:13
I have purchased all my Scubapro and AL Gear from an authorized LDS. I have the warranties and recieved all the support which can be expected.
In every case I payed LESS than Leisurepro advertised. The trade off was in nitrox fill cards and dive trips. Once bought a pair of Jets from the LDS and they measured, provided and installed spring straps for nada.

If I have a little free flow, leaky spool, whatever, I bring it in. 1,2,3 it is done while I stand there. No wait, no shipping, no charge.

If I need a bench or tools. I have them. I have an issue with a new piece of equipment "give it to me, here's another." Yes, I could have saved 20 bucks, but WTF.

Oh and fills. If I do a shore dive and have 2000 left in a cylinder and need a top off. Sure. No charge. But now I did pay 5% more for my reg.

I think your presence in a dive "mecca" does give you a skewed perception of the "average dive shop". You might also view local diving a bit different as well.

If everyone was getting even close to that kind of results from their LDS there never would have been an "online" industry develop. But the free market shows the local dive shops are either not giving their customers that kind of value OR they are doing a piss poor job of getting the word out because we are seeing the LDS market shrinking and the online market expanding.

awap
12-17-2008, 09:45
I should have gone proactive. I assure you, the rent is not paid by their trade in the "shop". Nobody goes out of their way in Manahatan to visit the shop. They might get some business man living in suburbia who needs pick up some little dodad.
The owners of leisurepro are very wealthy in their own right. For all I know they own the real estate or sublet it to themselves.

They are by no means a brick and mortar shop. I'll be up there in a couple weeks for a show. If I have time I'll take photos of their "shop".

Even if they own it, the real estate has value in opportunity cost. And that warehouse space in NJ likely costs more than showroom space in Kansas. But let's say I give you that one. My point wasn't that there aren't any retailers operating with low overhead. My point was that low overhead (i.e. working out of a warehouse) is not a requisite for selling at low prices because there are quite a number of online retailers doing it with the same overhead as any other LDS.

But your example leads to another related issue, which is how the LDS industry often equates LeisurePro with "online buying" when these days LP is just one (albeit huge) player among many. Virtually all of the LDS "anti online" arguments pertain uniquely to LP and harken back to the days when LP was one of the few online sources. "They aren't authorized". "They sell grey market". "They don't have a warranty". Blah blah blah.

It's as if the LDS owners are oblivious to the new breed of online retailers that *are* authorized dealers, operate full service dive shops, and stand fully behind what they sell. I don't think they are really that oblivious but they know most of their arguments don't hold water anymore.

But lower volume is not the only reason the LDS charges higher prices. Another reason is manufacturer restrictions. Of course, we could go around and around on whether many owners seek out those manufacturers for that reason.

If I was on the executive staff at LP, I'd make sure we had a "brick and mortar storefront".

Manfacturers' restrictions cannot be blamed on the LDS. It is because of the restrictions by Scubapro and Aqualung that you find find a SP and AL shop all over in any of these Great United States and most exotic dive locations.

I have purchased all my Scubapro and AL Gear from an authorized LDS. I have the warranties and recieved all the support which can be expected.
In every case I payed LESS than Leisurepro advertised. The trade off was in nitrox fill cards and dive trips. Once bought a pair of Jets from the LDS and they measured, provided and installed spring straps for nada.

If I have a little free flow, leaky spool, whatever, I bring it in. 1,2,3 it is done while I stand there. No wait, no shipping, no charge.

If I need a bench or tools. I have them. I have an issue with a new piece of equipment "give it to me, here's another." Yes, I could have saved 20 bucks, but WTF.

Oh and fills. If I do a shore dive and have 2000 left in a cylinder and need a top off. Sure. No charge. But now I did pay 5% more for my reg.

Your shop is not at all representative of most Scubapro and Aqualung dealers. If shops like yours were available to most divers, Leisurepro would not be nearly as successful as it is.

Skred
12-17-2008, 10:33
Your shop is not at all representative of most Scubapro and Aqualung dealers.

+1...

My local Scubapro dealer is my LDS of choice and they run a great shop, but not at the level that Splitlip describes.

On the other hand, the nearest Aqualung dealer has lost my patronage forever after the owner said some rather unkind things to me not unlike what the OP experienced regarding my decision to take training at another shop owned by a friend.

bane51031
12-17-2008, 13:19
Even if he was having a bad day you gave him an out with your email, at the least he should have acknowledged it.I can see if he was offering training at one third the cost he may be expecting to make up revenue difference with equipment sales but, that being said you would think he would rather still have the future business with re: to future training and charters rather than nothing at all, too bad he was so short re: this matter.Bottom line, scuba diving does cost $$$$ and personally I will do business at both my LDS and online as I see fit to make my dollar go farther, that being said if it comes down to $5-20 I will buy it from my LDS as I do like them and they are very customer service oriented...

Splitlip
12-17-2008, 18:05
Splitlip, just out of curiosity, what shop is your LDS?

Jupiter Dive Center. Also deal with Force E on my AL.

Now, mind you, I have built a relationship with these folks. I did not buy an Uwatec on line to save $50.00 then walk in to the shop and say give me the Mk25 S600 at 90% plus 10 nitrox fills and an afternoon charter.

heydn62
12-26-2008, 14:59
I've spent a bit more on things a few times just to give the business to my local shop. I like the owner and he's gone out of his way a few times to help me out, and I give him my business when I can.

But having said that, I've got 3 kids who I hope will go to college soon, and I'm not exactly loaded with cash, so I try to save money where I can. I usually tell him what I want and the best price I've found and if he can get anywhere in the ballpark, I'll go with him. I know if I have any problems, he's there to back me up without having to ship anything back.

But, if he gave me a "buy it all here or don't come back" ultimatum, I'd be looking elsewhere next time. At some point, the market rewards good business and allows others to fail (hint, hint Mr. President, et al.).

Diver Kat
12-26-2008, 15:57
We almost always give out LDS a chance at matching any big item we're looking for ... and we'll give them the business if they make the attempt to come close, or have a valid reason they just can't go that low. Frequently we will pay them the higher price because of the service they provide, it makes it worth the extra cost. But then I've never had any of them tell me I'm 'outta here' if I buy elsewhere .... if they did, my response would be, "no you're outta here!" Luckily here in Austin, we have a number of good shops to choose from. (And our $$$'s have been well spread among most of them!) Also the shops here have the sense to show their appreciation when we do buy from them, because they know we have lots of other options besides them. Why some LDS people try to bite the hand that feeds them always amazes me!!

firenwater
12-26-2008, 16:22
Too bad for your LDS. That is no way to keep a customer. I always price compare with Scubatoys when purchasing any dive equipment. Buyer must always beware. If the price difference is not too much then I consider buying locally.

When I first got into scuba I went to a LDS with a friend and got some beginner equipment. I later priced online and realized that I could have saved about 20% at scuba toys. Won't ever make that mistake again.

Shenanigan
12-26-2008, 16:52
Thankfully ST is my LDS. Just got back from there with some new toys! Saw Larry lurking around. :hidesbehindsofa:

DevilDiver
12-26-2008, 18:46
Thankfully ST is my LDS. Just got back from there with some new toys! Saw Larry lurking around. :hidesbehindsofa:


You didn't pick up a new Zena with pink trim did you?

Shenanigan
12-26-2008, 19:50
Thankfully ST is my LDS. Just got back from there with some new toys! Saw Larry lurking around. :hidesbehindsofa:


You didn't pick up a new Zena with pink trim did you?

pink .. no way! I'm not a pink kinda gal. no offense to those that are, I just like bolder/brighter colors.

Picked up some spring fin straps, booties (whew the old pair stinks!), a new watch (trying to figure out how to size it) and some other little things. Not bad for a 30-45 min visit.

ppo2_diver
12-26-2008, 20:58
It is unfortunate that this happened. I haven't had much success with LDS's either. Especially when they know I'm an independent instructor. Many want me to bring my students in, but don't want to work with me. Most LDS's don't want to try and create relationships with customers.

If you've got other options, then find the one that will suit you. A good LDS won't care to much where you buy your gear from and will work with you on repair services, fills, training, etc.

blewgrass
12-26-2008, 22:46
"If you don't mind me asking, where did you purchase (I like to know who I lost a deal to so I know what to stress better the next time). When they tell me I say: "Sounds like you got a good deal, next time you are looking or if what you bought does not meet your expectaions, I hope you will come see me again". I can't tell you how many times i have had people come in a year or two later wishing they bough better quality the first time. Asking about your customers buying habits is good business sense, being offeneded when they buy elsewhere is not.


These are very good and solid points. This whole Local Dive Shop anger management drama has played out for me as well here in Northern California and I posted about it last year here. You did the right thing and your dive shop owner is out of line. Move on. If you are like me, you will find the pools and training facilities that other dive shops use, and they will be delighted to work with you.

I blew off several shops that were topheavy with attitude and BS. I've had their employees whisper to me on dive outings... "dude, I buy my stuff online too... don't tell the owner... "

Most of us internet forum types are very savvy and like to make our money stretch. Most shop owners respect you MORE for that, and treat you accordingly. My "local, local dive shop" in Bodega Bay is a hole in the wall outfit with very little stock near the ocean in a resort town, and they will pretty much order me anything for mail order prices, and offer fill cards, rentals, and help organize trips. They understand where we are coming from... I think they have accounts on these boards too. They get it!

Mtrewyn
12-27-2008, 14:14
I use my LDS for all that I can with in reason, but they don't carry Zeagle stuff, and I don't want to give up my ranger, I may end up buying an additional BC, but I'll still keep my Zeagle, and use it for my "fun" dives, and use the Store brand for my "professional" dives.

Scott, Just wondering what does it take to become a dealer for Zeagle, could a shop just "add" the Zeagle line, or do there other brands need to be OK with it too?

reeldive
12-27-2008, 14:27
My LDS of choice matched ST price on my new DC-800 including the ST forum discount. They did ask me not to let it out what a good deal they gave me though. They do get a lot of referal charter bussiness from me!

awap
12-27-2008, 14:37
My LDS of choice matched ST price on my new DC-800 including the ST forum discount. They did ask me not to let it out what a good deal they gave me though. They do get a lot of referal charter bussiness from me!

While that was good of them to match the price, it still sounds like they are basing the success of their business on their customers' ignorance of competitive pricing. That does not seem to me to be a good recipe for a prosperous LDS in this market. I could understand the hush hush if they actually beat Scubatoy's price to show their appreciation for your referrals or increased the value of the deal in some other way like discounted charters.

Rhino
12-27-2008, 19:42
...and I think most of the SCBA fill stations cannot pump 3000psi.


Not where I'm from.

Many departments have their own Cascade system to fill their SCBA's. These systems typically fill to 6000psi. You just use a simple adapter for SCUBA tanks. As a matter of fact, the New Braunfels Fire Department filled SCUBA tanks during the Comal River Cleanup in October.

Roblucky13
12-28-2008, 14:21
I was surpirsed when my LDS told me that he even buys some items online. He understands that people usually don't have unlimited cash. He did tell me to beware of Leisure Pro and be very careful with big ticket items. He seemed nice and focuses his business model on training and tours. He sells gear as well but doesnt rely on it.

rayaa3
12-29-2008, 21:58
Wow - now that's a thread to read. My eyes hurt.

Well since everyone else has chimed in, here is my two cents:

1) training: Choose your training shop based on the chemistry between you and the instructor. If you feel like your instructor is really teaching you - take training there (there are plenty of instructors who don't teach, they just help you fulfill certification requirements). Training, GOOD training is worth every penny you spend on it - don't fret even an extra 50-100 dollars....this is an investment that will never wear out, go out of warranty, or somehow become less useful.

2) gear/equipment/stuff: personally I buy my gear 80% online. Mostly because the markup locally is terrible. The volume at my LDS isn't enough for him to cover his costs and be competitive with most of the online retailers. However, I must admit, good service goes a long way with me - and I have been known to pay extra to someone that I felt like went out of their way to EARN my business in some fashion. My business, like my respect is EARNED, not simply given. ST certainly has proven themselves in the past, and I will continue to use them. I have a local shop that I rent tanks from, and if I need little things, I go there (new boots, mask, etc). They earned that business. However, if I'm going to make a larger purchase (for me anything more than say 100.00, so most things) I MUST consider price as a primary purchase concern.

I can't imagine someone not letting me on their boat or in their class based on my dive equipment's birth - if they did - well - umm - ok - guess I'll be taking my MONEY BACK THEN. Unless you have something really weird where only one boat hit's a site - and many divers want on the boat - supply/demand is likely on your side...(WHY DOES ONLY ONE CHARTER COMPANY DO LIVEABOARDS TO THE THE FLOWERGARDEN'S ANYWAY?!?!?)

I'm truly saddened that my LDS struggles with his business model - however, HE STRUGGLES WITH HIS BUSINESS MODEL. I live in Oklahoma city, and we have SEVERAL dive shops, considering our lack of available clear blue water in the immediate area. Perhaps it would be better for the local dive economy if we only had say 3 shops, rather than what - 6? I imagine being and LDS owner is pretty much hand to mouth in terms of a prospering business (in OKC anyway!)

fyi - I doubt air fills will ever be unavailable...as long as their is a market for something, someone will sell it, even if it's one little shop in town - it will just COST MORE. :)

ok - there said my peace. For the record - my favorite LDS's in OKC are Frank's underwater sports - in Edmond, and Blue Water Divers on the south side. Both have great service, blue water has more selection on hand (different brands), but Frank gave me GREAT service once, so I go back :)

blewgrass
01-11-2009, 13:49
Like I've said before here, some LDS employees whisper to me that they use the online deep discounters for gear.

in_cavediver
01-11-2009, 20:00
...and I think most of the SCBA fill stations cannot pump 3000psi.


Not where I'm from.

Many departments have their own Cascade system to fill their SCBA's. These systems typically fill to 6000psi. You just use a simple adapter for SCUBA tanks. As a matter of fact, the New Braunfels Fire Department filled SCUBA tanks during the Comal River Cleanup in October.

Too add - many SCBA bottles are 4500psi composites these days. Most fill stations are also better than a lot of smaller LDS's due to the homeland security grants. (compressors are a HUGE investment). My FD got a 20-30k cascade setup for SCBA and SCUBA. Air is tested to NFPA standards but the last test results met Mod Grade E standards.

lund0485
01-11-2009, 20:23
So can you just go to the fire department and ask them if they fill scubatanks. Any advice?

fire diver
01-11-2009, 20:34
As a firefighter, you can try. But dont be too hopeful. Anymore a lot of depts dont want the liability of filling for residents, especially if you live in a large city. Best bet might be to make friends with some of the local firefighters and eventually get them to fill for you.

acamato
01-11-2009, 21:54
...and I think most of the SCBA fill stations cannot pump 3000psi.


Not where I'm from.

Many departments have their own Cascade system to fill their SCBA's. These systems typically fill to 6000psi. You just use a simple adapter for SCUBA tanks. As a matter of fact, the New Braunfels Fire Department filled SCUBA tanks during the Comal River Cleanup in October.

Too add - many SCBA bottles are 4500psi composites these days. Most fill stations are also better than a lot of smaller LDS's due to the homeland security grants. (compressors are a HUGE investment). My FD got a 20-30k cascade setup for SCBA and SCUBA. Air is tested to NFPA standards but the last test results met Mod Grade E standards.

There are two pressures used for SBCA botles. 2216 and 4500. 4500 psi being the more popular. In my former vol fire dept, we ran 2216. Our compressor filled our cascade to 6000 psi. In a mutual aid situation, we needed to ability to fill bottles to 4500 psi Also, bottles are typically filled in a class 2 containment (NFPA standard) (Class 2 Containments are designed to contain the destructive force of an accidental cylinder failure or hose rupture)

in_cavediver
01-12-2009, 05:43
So can you just go to the fire department and ask them if they fill scubatanks. Any advice?

I simply joined the VFD. It can be a touchy liability situation and each dept is different. Our dept won't fill for non-members. (excepting mutual aid calls of course)

RMur
03-09-2009, 06:11
I notice that the LDS in the original post has an "on-line" store that is opening soon.

http://www.lovesparkscuba.com/store.asp

Tully Mars
03-09-2009, 06:33
So can you just go to the fire department and ask them if they fill scubatanks. Any advice?

I simply joined the VFD. It can be a touchy liability situation and each dept is different. Our dept won't fill for non-members. (excepting mutual aid calls of course)


I did a discovery in Cancun back in the earlier 90's and I was already on the Vol. Dept. Went back to Oregon, signed up for a full course and bought a bunch of gear. I used to fill my friends and my tanks all the time. I went on a trip once and went to get tank filled and the guy looked at me and said "This thing hasn't been inspected and years. You're going to have a wait a couple days for us to PSI it." Oh yeah, I remember something from class about these things needing inspected once and while.

DarinMartell
03-09-2009, 07:03
I notice that the LDS in the original post has an "on-line" store that is opening soon.

http://www.lovesparkscuba.com/store.asp


Yeah, it has been "opening soon" for over two years. How long has this forum been up and running (I gotta believe it has been a big part of ST's sucess)? Less than 2 years if i remember right. Thats whats was so frustrating. In every other respect they are everything a LDS should be. extensive shop, classes, indoor pool, charter boat, travel agent, they even opened a muesum dedicated to Jim Lockwood (local scuba pioneer that they own the name to and private label regs, BC's, dry suits & steel tanks). Everything they do is better than I have seen in other LDS's I have been in, if they had embraced online retailing when they first put it on their website who knows where they would be. The one place they fell short is the attitude of the owner (I have been told sometimes he has his days). I wish this didn't happen, and I sent an e-mail to get clarification hoping to give him an "out" but it was ignored.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
03-09-2009, 08:06
No one at any shop or any charter operation has asked me where I bought any of my gear. The only exception is my main LDS asked where I bought my drysuit. My answer: "one of your competitors made me a deal I couldn't refuse."

I usually buy new stuff locally if the price I can get is reasonable. That said, I rarely buy new anymore, opting more often for used gear.

CompuDude
03-09-2009, 14:45
No one at any shop or any charter operation has asked me where I bought any of my gear. The only exception is my main LDS asked where I bought my drysuit. My answer: "one of your competitors made me a deal I couldn't refuse."

I usually buy new stuff locally if the price I can get is reasonable. That said, I rarely buy new anymore, opting more often for used gear.

I've been asked before, but my stock answer is ALWAYS either (1) "I picked it up used from a buddy who needed the money, for a price I couldn't say no to" or (2) "That's a good question, it was a gift from my aunt in [pick some other state], so I don't know where she got it... I should ask her!".

No one has a right to know where my gear from unless I feel like volunteering the information. Both of those responses are fairly resistant to criticism from a any LDS personnel who might otherwise take exception to gear that didn't come from them. Whether they would actually object or not is irrelevant, since these responses simply sidestep the entire issue.

plot
03-09-2009, 15:10
I notice that the LDS in the original post has an "on-line" store that is opening soon.

http://www.lovesparkscuba.com/store.asp


Yeah, it has been "opening soon" for over two years. How long has this forum been up and running (I gotta believe it has been a big part of ST's sucess)? Less than 2 years if i remember right. Thats whats was so frustrating. In every other respect they are everything a LDS should be. extensive shop, classes, indoor pool, charter boat, travel agent, they even opened a muesum dedicated to Jim Lockwood (local scuba pioneer that they own the name to and private label regs, BC's, dry suits & steel tanks). Everything they do is better than I have seen in other LDS's I have been in, if they had embraced online retailing when they first put it on their website who knows where they would be. The one place they fell short is the attitude of the owner (I have been told sometimes he has his days). I wish this didn't happen, and I sent an e-mail to get clarification hoping to give him an "out" but it was ignored.

disclaimer: i'm not an expert on scubatoys history, BUT...

ST had a major online presence when these forums were created. These forums really came about when scubaboard spent a summer with their server going down and was extremely unreliable... ST took advantage of that void, started up these forums around that time, and instantly had a bunch of forum members who knew each other from another board but where looking for a temporary home until scubaboard came back up. The reason people were so willing to jump on here, is because everyone already knew scubatoys and had used them a lot in the past. These turned out to be a lot nicer forums, well moderated, and a good majority of the people became regulars here pretty much instantly.

Everyone on scubaboard knew ST and used the site for gear long before these came about though. Sure, the forums probably help them out, but I don't think you can contribute much of ST's wild success to them. :smiley2:

All that said, being active on FORUMS in general (not necessarilytheir own), really help online retailers. Shows excellent dedication and willingness to go the extra mile for the customer IMO.

Tully Mars
03-09-2009, 16:13
I would have never joined here if it weren't for the service I received at ST

CPTOZZY
03-09-2009, 17:02
First let me say I support my LDS - I actually have two LDS's now that I have relocated prior to deployment. I have bought some things on-line, but I try not to flaunt it in the face of the shop owner, who works really, really hard to make just enough, while keeping his customers happy.

That being said, some items that I have and am looking for are not carried by my LDS, and then I go to Scubatoys, but I always give my LDS first chance.

There have been some items that my LDS carried that were priced higher than I could have gotten online, or even at a Dive shop I occasionally hit when I go down to the Keys, but I am usually willing to pay a bit more to maintain that relationship. For example, there was a Watch I found for about $25-30 less at that big dive center in Florida, but I got it through my LDS 1) because I wanted to support him, and 2) because I KNOW that if I have any problems with it he will make it right - no questions asked.

Scubatoys Also will make it right - no questions asked. I think that is the foundation for building a loyal customer base


Thats why I support my LDS and continue to dive with them even though they are now a 4 hour drive for me - and thats just to get to the shop......

MConnelly2
03-09-2009, 17:06
My LDS owner has never asked, but I did volunteer that I bought some gear that I HAD been planning to buy from him, from a coworker that offered it to me at a price I couldn't refuse - which was, in fact, the case. This particular shop (Sunken Ship on Nantucket) are very square dealers, and have ALWAYS treated me very well. I can't even imagine them getting upset over gear bought elsewhere.

CompuDude
03-09-2009, 17:19
disclaimer: i'm not an expert on scubatoys history, BUT...

ST had a major online presence when these forums were created. These forums really came about when scubaboard spent a summer with their server going down and was extremely unreliable... ST took advantage of that void, started up these forums around that time, and instantly had a bunch of forum members who knew each other from another board but where looking for a temporary home until scubaboard came back up. The reason people were so willing to jump on here, is because everyone already knew scubatoys and had used them a lot in the past. These turned out to be a lot nicer forums, well moderated, and a good majority of the people became regulars here pretty much instantly.

Everyone on scubaboard knew ST and used the site for gear long before these came about though. Sure, the forums probably help them out, but I don't think you can contribute much of ST's wild success to them. :smiley2:

All that said, being active on FORUMS in general (not necessarilytheir own), really help online retailers. Shows excellent dedication and willingness to go the extra mile for the customer IMO.

To be honest, I think the reason most people jumped over here, at least initially, was not due to the SB server being down, but rather because Larry and Joe bribed us with gift certs to check it out and post. I suspect most of us stayed for the reasons you cite, though... nice vibe, etc.

plot
03-09-2009, 18:03
ooooh yea... forgot about the gift cards. that was cool too.

cummings66
03-09-2009, 21:23
I resisted a while, thought it to be an upstart. Once I got here the vibe was suitable to me and I enjoyed it. I didn't take advantage of my GC's until well after I got my postings high enough, it wasn't the main reason I was here. I just liked the atmosphere and that's the reason I came. SB's server troubles had absolutely no effect on me.

fanatique
03-28-2009, 09:30
The way many LDS are responding was exactly how the music industry responded to online services like Napster. With spite and bile. What they forget is that instead of finding a way to bring the fight to their competitor, they are making the paying customer feel like a victim.

An online retailer will never earn from air refills, servicing (unless they're located in the same state), training, etc. It continues to amaze me how LDS think that just because I take a course from them I'm supposed to get equipment from them at un-price-matched, ludicrous prices. Come on, get real.

BubblesMcCoy
03-28-2009, 13:16
I told him what I found at LP and that ST would match it but I wanted to give him first chance, he looked it up and said his cost was $86.

Well that's just dumb. Sounds like the LDS should switch suppliers. If he started ordering from ST then he could shave $16 bucks off his price.

Sounds like a tying arrangement in violation of the federal antitrust laws. IMHO.

nrembis
03-28-2009, 13:29
I told him what I found at LP and that ST would match it but I wanted to give him first chance, he looked it up and said his cost was $86.

Well that's just dumb. Sounds like the LDS should switch suppliers. If he started ordering from ST then he could shave $16 bucks off his price.

Sounds like a tying arrangement in violation of the federal antitrust laws. IMHO.

When your LDS calls up and orders 1 item from there supplier thats what you run into, its not feasable for them to do so....it would be alot better if they called them up and ordered 100 then they could pass on the savings, but not all of them can do that.

BubblesMcCoy
03-28-2009, 20:48
I told him what I found at LP and that ST would match it but I wanted to give him first chance, he looked it up and said his cost was $86.

Well that's just dumb. Sounds like the LDS should switch suppliers. If he started ordering from ST then he could shave $16 bucks off his price.

Sounds like a tying arrangement in violation of the federal antitrust laws. IMHO.

When your LDS calls up and orders 1 item from there supplier thats what you run into, its not feasable for them to do so....it would be alot better if they called them up and ordered 100 then they could pass on the savings, but not all of them can do that.

Clearly, but commerce is commerce. To be successful a business has to offer 1). a better service than its competitors, or 2). a better price on the same or similar products. I have little sympathy for the LDS that whines about the competition and does nothing to rise above the competition.

I can understand how difficult it would be for a typical LDS to undercut the prices of a high volume online dealer. But, the good LDSs that I've frequented have turned their attention to service and training. Although I buy most of my stuff from ST, my training and travel is usually through the LDS.

And really, who doesn't buy some gadget from the LDS while taking a smoke break during class? This ability to directly reach captive divers is a unique ability that a good LDS will take advantage of. Blacklisting customers is rarely a moneymaker.

I can't imagine what an average diver will spend in his/her lifetime on fills/travel/instruction and other such things that only an LDS can provide. Why alienate a source of steady income.

RikRaeder
03-29-2009, 19:01
I don't agree with his remarks, but a sixteen dollar difference is not bad at all between the cheapest of internet sites and a stone and mortar shop. I would have chiseled out the extra sixteen myself, at least if he had forgone his remarks.

DarinMartell
03-29-2009, 23:55
I don't agree with his remarks, but a sixteen dollar difference is not bad at all between the cheapest of internet sites and a stone and mortar shop. I would have chiseled out the extra sixteen myself, at least if he had forgone his remarks.


He did not offer it for the $16 more, he just said that his cost was $84 an the internet is ruining the lds, etc...

Gombessa
03-30-2009, 00:53
Sounds like a tying arrangement in violation of the federal antitrust laws. IMHO.


Huh? How do you figure this? What is the tying product? What is the tied product?

The typical MAP/MAF antitrust yarn is vertical price fixing, but Leegin shows where we currently stand on that.

mksmith713
03-30-2009, 09:24
Agreed, this is bad business.
Sounds like this dude needs to start meditating...........

Vlane
03-30-2009, 12:29
I'm new to diving and live in an area where there aren't many good dive attractions. When i started looking for gear the first place i went was online. With this much money on the line i wanted to make sure i'm getting something that has positive reviews and something that will last. After searching i found i wanted a Zeagle BCD and just went with the Oceanic reg/octo/console. My LDS is not a Zeagle dealer but is for Oceanic so he tried pushing me towards an Oceanic BCD. I went ahead and bought the Zeagle BCD and a used Oceanic reg from ST and the rest from him for just a little bit more than ST. He seemed to have no problem with me buying from someone else but this may be because customers can be hard to come by.

I believe you gave your a fair opportunity to correct his mistake, its his loss. He's lost a customer on many levels. In this economy and changing availability and access to markets it will be tougher and tougher for LDS to survive on equipment sales. ST is a unique LDS/internet retailer with a strategy that i think is amazing. While this strategy cannot be easily achieved by an LDS like mine, but other places it can be achieved with quite a bit of investment. In the end i would rather support my LDS but if it comes down to a $100 difference i'm going online.

frogman911
04-28-2009, 20:54
Most businesses are having a harder and harder time competing with the big boys. I can relate to the LDS's as they are loosing a part of their business (equipment sales) to the big internet boys. They must learn to adapt or die. Most of them started doing something they love, put their heart and sole into it and now see it vanishing before their eyes. Maybe, most of them are old school and have not changed or adapted. Making money off teaching is not usually enough to survive. It's kind of a shame since we will be loosing some tallented training centers and getting more people interested in diving. Even now, PADI has online courses and they just have to go in for water checkout and dives. I think ST has a great thing going and have nothing against them what so ever. They have also put their heart and sole into it, as it shows. Just thought I would put a point in for the smaller dive shops that don't have the volume to compete or match prices. If you are looking for a charter boat in IL on lake Michigan check out "Captain Dale" He has a nice big boat (Enterprize) and will take you to the Lady Elgin, SS Wisconsin (my favorite) or anything in between.

bennerman
04-28-2009, 21:02
http://www.lovesparkscuba.com/store.asp

So he hates online retailers, eh?

plot
04-28-2009, 21:16
Most businesses are having a harder and harder time competing with the big boys. I can relate to the LDS's as they are loosing a part of their business (equipment sales) to the big internet boys. They must learn to adapt or die. Most of them started doing something they love, put their heart and sole into it and now see it vanishing before their eyes. Maybe, most of them are old school and have not changed or adapted. Making money off teaching is not usually enough to survive. It's kind of a shame since we will be loosing some tallented training centers and getting more people interested in diving. Even now, PADI has online courses and they just have to go in for water checkout and dives. I think ST has a great thing going and have nothing against them what so ever. They have also put their heart and sole into it, as it shows. Just thought I would put a point in for the smaller dive shops that don't have the volume to compete or match prices. If you are looking for a charter boat in IL on lake Michigan check out "Captain Dale" He has a nice big boat (Enterprize) and will take you to the Lady Elgin, SS Wisconsin (my favorite) or anything in between.

my LDS just complains about it, does nothing to compete. Even when I give them first chance... "i can't sell you it for that, this is our price"... fine, if you want to lose 100% of the sale, then so be it. i'm not sure what they need to do to adapt, but the strong will survive.

...i will definitly check out captain dale. near chicago or milwaukee?

BubblesMcCoy
04-28-2009, 21:34
Sounds like a tying arrangement in violation of the federal antitrust laws. IMHO.


Huh? How do you figure this? What is the tying product? What is the tied product?

The typical MAP/MAF antitrust yarn is vertical price fixing, but Leegin shows where we currently stand on that.

I grant you that it is novel claim in that the LDS is essentially attempting to tie the training component, which depending on the available competition in the relevant geographic market the LDS may be one of the few sources thus giving LDS a significant market advantage, and the tied product is the overpriced gear (the equipment).

Moreover, there are many examples of price fixing that don't involve vertical price fixing. Take for example, the tying of a copier to paper/toner. The real question is whether there is a legitimate or rational connection/efficiency between the connection of the two products.

Again, just my humble opinion.

paperdesk
04-29-2009, 00:00
http://www.lovesparkscuba.com/store.asp

So he hates online retailers, eh?

Amazing. I suppose he only sells to people who use internet from his zipcode . . . :smilie40:

Diving Jayhawk
05-08-2009, 02:55
First I have to say that I 120% believe your LDS owner reacted very badly and I wouldn't want to do business with him anymore either. However, on the flip side (for LDS's in general) I know for a fact, from working in a shop for several years that nearly all of the major manufacturers (Aqualung (who distributes for Seaquest, Suunto, and a few others) Scuba Pro (Uwatec too), Cramer decker (Sherwood, Genesis, Akona), Atomics) to name a few absolutely DO NOT AUTHORIZE any ONLINE or PHONE sales. With that said, LDS also cannot simply try to compete, because as part of their sales agreement many of their products, basically al of the high dollar stuff like bcs, regs, pcs cannot be marked down more than 10% of their listed MSRP or it's a violation. Of course Im sure it still happens. BTW on the dealer websites for these companies you can easily enter a product serial number and see where it was originally distributed. If it was overseas or obvious internet than they will probably not honor any warranties.

As far as LDS going out of business--many of us may have a way to obtains air fills etc. But someone who wants to learn is still out of luck. And as a independent instructor in the Kansas City Metro area, I will tell you from personal experience that it can be difficult to provide the resources you'd like for a class.

Again, he definately treated you wrong, but everyone that is so quick to write off an LDS for a "bad business model" may want to think about it a little more.

Diving Jayhawk
05-08-2009, 03:00
I neglected to mention that I have shopped for some gear online myself, and I am certainly not trying to judge or tell anyone else not to.

mulefeathers
06-05-2009, 15:37
. However, on the flip side (for LDS's in general) I know for a fact, from working in a shop for several years that nearly all of the major manufacturers (Aqualung (who distributes for Seaquest, Suunto, and a few others) Scuba Pro (Uwatec too), Cramer decker (Sherwood, Genesis, Akona), Atomics) to name a few absolutely DO NOT AUTHORIZE any ONLINE or PHONE sales.


There must be some type of a loophole somewhere. I can buy every brand mentioned above online and have them delivered to my door.

Recon
06-05-2009, 15:53
ST is My LDS, and I am SOO Happy that I picked them to go with instead of the hand full of other LDSs in my area. Their professionalism is by far second to none. I have walked in there a lot of the past just about 2 months, and have delt directily with Wade / Mark / Georgia / Jorden, and they all know what they are talking about, and pretty much where everything is.. but in a 10,000 sq ft wonderland like ST brick and motar business... that can be hard. Now if I could just get Wade to stop trying to get me to buy that darn DPV lol (if you are reading this wade YOU KNOW WHO I AM LOLOLOLOL)

~Recon

plot
06-06-2009, 12:20
. However, on the flip side (for LDS's in general) I know for a fact, from working in a shop for several years that nearly all of the major manufacturers (Aqualung (who distributes for Seaquest, Suunto, and a few others) Scuba Pro (Uwatec too), Cramer decker (Sherwood, Genesis, Akona), Atomics) to name a few absolutely DO NOT AUTHORIZE any ONLINE or PHONE sales.


There must be some type of a loophole somewhere. I can buy every brand mentioned above online and have them delivered to my door.

there's plenty of loopholes. i think its aqualung that only has those rules in the US, so you can order stuff from foreign countries all day long.

they turn a blind eye to LP becuase they move alot of product and aqualung doesnt offer any warranty on their sales, however LP offers the full warranty themselves.

UofTOrange
06-07-2009, 14:06
. However, on the flip side (for LDS's in general) I know for a fact, from working in a shop for several years that nearly all of the major manufacturers (Aqualung (who distributes for Seaquest, Suunto, and a few others) Scuba Pro (Uwatec too), Cramer decker (Sherwood, Genesis, Akona), Atomics) to name a few absolutely DO NOT AUTHORIZE any ONLINE or PHONE sales.


There must be some type of a loophole somewhere. I can buy every brand mentioned above online and have them delivered to my door.

there's plenty of loopholes. i think its aqualung that only has those rules in the US, so you can order stuff from foreign countries all day long.

they turn a blind eye to LP becuase they move alot of product and aqualung doesnt offer any warranty on their sales, however LP offers the full warranty themselves.

I just recently noticed the "LP warranty" rather than the manufacturer one. Anyone know what that does for Mares/Scubapro/the like and their free parts program?

awap
06-07-2009, 14:46
Leisure pro is not an authorized dealer for Scubapro (or Aqualung) so dealer warranty and associated programs will not be honored by the Mfgr. But LP is an authorized dealer for Mares so there might not be a problem there. I say "might" because individual retailers may be under no obligation to provide warranty service for gear they did not sell so your local shop could still treat you like a carrier of the plague.

UofTOrange
06-08-2009, 10:33
Leisure pro is not an authorized dealer for Scubapro (or Aqualung) so dealer warranty and associated programs will not be honored by the Mfgr. But LP is an authorized dealer for Mares so there might not be a problem there. I say "might" because individual retailers may be under no obligation to provide warranty service for gear they did not sell so your local shop could still treat you like a carrier of the plague.

I don't see why they would care. I'd still be paying them to do the servicing. Treating me badly for buying online is one of the most insanely idiotic things an LDS could do. I still have to go there yearly for servicing. I still go there for classes, etc. Don't cut off your nose to spite your face (or whatever that saying is)

downunder
06-08-2009, 14:24
I think that different dive shops have various ways to handle this. Some are accepting that we are now in a much more competitive world with the internet, and others have blinders on.

I started a computer retail shop back in the 80's. Well before the internet and when mail order was just getting ramped up with that huge "Computer Shopper" book. As time went on, I quickly realized that I was had to focus on either doing mailorder - or become a service (Network and repair) facility instead of waiting for a slow death. There is a lot of business out there training and providing basic services. No, it doesn't support large retail locations, but owners of LDS's must change their business model!

bsktcase93
07-05-2009, 05:14
one of the problems that i have is I've been going to LDS for 11 years and they never cut you a break. You would think everyonce in a while they would give you a discount. esp. with the amount of money I have given the shop over the years

awap
07-05-2009, 10:06
one of the problems that i have is I've been going to LDS for 11 years and they never cut you a break. You would think everyonce in a while they would give you a discount. esp. with the amount of money I have given the shop over the years

Why should they if you keep going back??? If their prices are not what you expect, look elsewhere.

PTAaron
07-05-2009, 10:38
I guess I've been lucky with the dive shops I've been to (aside from one I will never go back to) - I think part of it is the fact that there are 5+ dive shops within an hour of where I live.

The shop I trained at offers a big discount to former students that brings his prices down to either at or just slightly more than online retailers - but he doesn't keep a lot of in-store stock, which is why I've checked dout other r shops.

A shop slightly closer to my house will "work with it" on pricing if you come in to look often enough... My wife just picked up a Hyperstretch 7mm full wetsuit for $300 because it was on the self too long! Their pricing has been better than online on some items (reg bags cheaper than the same model on ST) and WAY high on other items like regs and BCS. i went in asking about an Akona carryon bag that they didn't have - the owner said if she had to special order it the price was fixed, but if I could wait for it to come in with a larger order she would match online pricing for me! That was pretty cool. I also mentioned spring straps I ordered from Piranha - and she agreed that the deal was too good to pass up as she showed me her straps that were 3x the price.
I know 3 of the stores in my area will go in together on orders to get better pricing, wich helps.

Anyway - some stores "get it" and will accept a smaller margin, but others won't.

Darthwader
07-05-2009, 10:46
for me, supporting your local business is just good community spirit. the one thing, though, that eats me up is shops that don't recognize the fact that loyalty is a two-way street!
Customer service you can get anywhere, even online, look at ST for example. the entangibles are what I like, hospitality for example. If a shop shunned me for trying to get a good deal, I'd walk away and never look back. I figure that with an atitude like that it won't be around much longer anyway.

bsktcase93
07-06-2009, 08:49
one of the problems that i have is I've been going to LDS for 11 years and they never cut you a break. You would think everyonce in a while they would give you a discount. esp. with the amount of money I have given the shop over the years

Why should they if you keep going back??? If their prices are not what you expect, look elsewhere.

After going to one shop for so long you develop a friendship with them. not to mention they are also the closets shop

scubaman450
08-14-2009, 16:01
whats the 2 best things you can have in your gear?????

BOAT & Compressor!!!!!!!!!!!

Johncalloway
08-18-2009, 00:30
In a sense he is right, if you don't support your LDS you won't be able to get air. Classes, im not so worried about. But, you did give him a chance in matching prices. Everyone has to understand what the economy is like right now. I pay a little more from time to time in my LDS, but some stuff you can save a lot of money onlione with.

jugglematt
08-18-2009, 05:03
Hey scubaman
i agree i use my own boat and compressor , BUT i still try and maintain a good working relationship with my LDS.

last weekend we were outside diving (1 hours run from shore) and my buddy had forgot to bring a Allen Key to change his DIN insert on his tank , i was able to come along side of the LDS dive boat and ask if i could borrow an allen key, hey no problem they handed over the key and we went diving ,

i actively try to maintain a relationship with my LDS even though i fill my own tanks and use my own boat , and buy much of my gear online... you never know how you may be able to help each outer out when your out on the water.

i have been known to bribe the LDS boat captain with choc chip muffinfs . amazing how it helps.

Matty

Flatliner
08-18-2009, 06:14
In a sense he is right, if you don't support your LDS you won't be able to get air. Classes, im not so worried about. But, you did give him a chance in matching prices. Everyone has to understand what the economy is like right now. I pay a little more from time to time in my LDS, but some stuff you can save a lot of money onlione with.

I have to take issue with this one. If all LDSs closed (God forbid) some other option for getting air would appear. That is how the free market system works. Supply and Demand and all that. The problem is that many LDSs refuse to adjust their business model to modern times. The day of MSRP is over. There is hope though, I was talking to an owner just this last weekend and he was sharing with me the mark up on some items and he said that not only would he match an online price, he would also eat the tax and offer an extra discount since I wasn't getting the "forum" discount. He said on most items he would still be making some money and he would win a customer. Too bad his shop is several hours from me.

scubaman450
08-18-2009, 09:10
Flatliner is right-on the mark!

I live in the middle of no-where at all. 259 miles to west is a dive shop and the last time I was there with a buddy we got tanks filled just to support the LDS and the tanks came out of the back room hotter then the sreet outside.
145 miles to the east is the next LDS and I call this guy and he tells me He don't have time to chit chat on the phone about dive sites so I ask him when would a good time be to call him and he tells me If I come in to the shop he would talk to me about anything I like by the cash-box!
Oh and by the way both of these LDS get $8 for a fill. I just got back from a 6 week drive and dive all over the west coast and never payed more then $5 (I don't fill my tanks if LDS is right there) so I don't have alot of simpathy for a lot LDS out there However be that as it may there are dive shops that I send postcards to and call often. Ther's lot of good folk's out there and then there's lot's of $hit heads too.
Dale

Jack Hammer
08-18-2009, 13:35
In some areas, West coast or Florida, fills are common to find and there are many shops close to each other. They can afford inexpensive fills because they do a lot more volume. When your two closest shops are over 400 miles apart, it's likely that they are not in a high scuba traffic area and probably don't do the volume of the coastal shops, hence the higher fill prices. Fills in Chicago run ~$8, there aren't a lot of dive shops here, there are only a few charter boats and they mosty run weekends and often do not fill up. I'm very appreciative of the fact that they remain in business and do try to support them, within reason.

Jack

he3r0
08-18-2009, 17:55
i think i`ll chime in with a couple of thoughts.I`ve read whole topic and.....:
My LDS have nice dive shop, Airtech service and heated pool, I bought allmost all my gear over there, its ScubaPro, however... in my opinion, if you have no idea how to service your gear, its a good idea to buy it locally and have them service it for you (usually it comes with some perks too) but equipment like mask/snorkel/fins? cmon, my LDS had fins $100 more than i`ve got mine (i paid for mine $69 on the ST website), I know that owner of my LDS is very serious about hating online stores, but as long as im not bragging about it he`s not asking. but i paid $230 for my wetsuit in my LDS, in the watersport store that really did not had anything to do with scuba i found Drysuit for the same price. Now how buying that in different store, compares to buying online from LDS point of view?
Bussiness is bussines, and my LDS are nice and all, but this is still bussines, as a unfortunate retail worker, i can definitely say, that LDS owner, does not going to shop for office supplies in my store if other has it on sale, so why should i be chained to his store? (and at this moment im talking only about retail part - not service or pool).... that so far my thoughts, im goin to grab a brew, and maybe think about something more...

Case
08-18-2009, 22:15
Interesting to see this problem exists in the U.S as well. Here is Australia gear is very expensive, for many sports that are not popular here. I always assumed it was importing costs but the price differences talked about on this thread are almost as bad as ours.

I got all of my intial gear from ST, I simply could not afford it here, any small accessories I will buy from my LDS. Although I wonder how they would react if I drop my regs in for a service in my free ScubaToys reg bag.

navyhmc
08-18-2009, 22:17
I don't think they would approve Case..not at all. Besides, if you did, would you trust the sevice???

Case
08-18-2009, 22:20
I don't think they would approve Case..not at all. Besides, if you did, would you trust the sevice???

That is a fine point!!

he3r0
08-18-2009, 23:48
I don't think they would approve Case..not at all. Besides, if you did, would you trust the sevice???
IF i would have pay for the service i would (like with the car or anything else really - I pay, i expect quality), if I would expect free service, well thats different story :)

navyhmc
08-18-2009, 23:50
I don't think they would approve Case..not at all. Besides, if you did, would you trust the sevice???
IF i would have pay for the service i would (like with the car or anything else really - I pay, i expect quality), if I would expect free service, well thats different story :)

I was thinking more on the line of cussing out the short order cook at a greasy spoon and then ordering a hamburger-would you trust it??? :smiley36:

Jack Hammer
08-19-2009, 05:47
I don't think they would approve Case..not at all. Besides, if you did, would you trust the sevice???
IF i would have pay for the service i would (like with the car or anything else really - I pay, i expect quality), if I would expect free service, well thats different story :)

I was thinking more on the line of cussing out the short order cook at a greasy spoon and then ordering a hamburger-would you trust it??? :smiley36:
Stop...
...before anyone answers that question just think of the diner scene from Road Trip. Need I say more.

Jack

fire diver
08-19-2009, 07:38
Stop...
...before anyone answers that question just think of the diner scene from Road Trip. Need I say more.

Jack

Mmmmmmm, This french toast is really good!

he3r0
08-19-2009, 09:15
I don't think they would approve Case..not at all. Besides, if you did, would you trust the sevice???
IF i would have pay for the service i would (like with the car or anything else really - I pay, i expect quality), if I would expect free service, well thats different story :)

I was thinking more on the line of cussing out the short order cook at a greasy spoon and then ordering a hamburger-would you trust it??? :smiley36:

LOL of coz not ;)

mithrandiryod
08-19-2009, 13:27
Being a relatively new diver, and having ST as my LDS, I feel my words may not have as much weight as many of the other experienced divers out there. I do know, that were this a different purchase IE: computer equipment or electronics, I would shop for the lowest price. Case in point, being a gamer, I purchase heavily from Game Stop. However, there was a time when I had a not so local, but relatively local independent gaming store that I would frequent. I gave him as much business as I possibly could, but as he was so small in the market he could not expand or even come close to competing with Game Stop's used game markup and turnaround business. He soon closed one year later. It's sad, but it's reality. Gamestop never asks where I buy my games from, in fact they have recommended several times that I sell them online to get more for them, (as they were in great condition with original boxes and manuals, etc.) In short, the market defines where I typically initially buy, but customer service keeps me there.

As far as diving is concerned I considered several shops before I found ST. One in Denton, I considered for a bit, b/c I purchased my original mask, snorkel, and fins through them. But the feel for their shop just wasn't what I was looking for overall, and I remembered several of some old friends being jipped out of their cert's because the instructor wasn't certified to teach (several several years ago). But when I walked into ST, it just felt right, and seemed to be what I was looking for. The sales associate was awesome and answered all of my questions. I've gone in several times just to ask questions and browse. After getting my cert through them, and having an awesome experience, I just don't think anywhere else could top it. Now I just have to hope I don't have to move...

-mith

PACKRMAN
08-19-2009, 20:23
I walked into my lds today with a set of regs I bought from one of he guys on the forum. Of course there was nothing wrong with them but my 16 year old is going to dive with them and I HAD to have them checked. He charged me $5.00 and did it while I waited then asked me if that was fair. AHHH…NO I didn’t think it was fair. I think his quote was “I’m doing all right and I don’t try to get rich off of one person”. While he doesn’t have the selection that Scuba Toys does, with customer service like that, he sure won’t go out of business.

he3r0
08-19-2009, 20:41
I walked into my lds today with a set of regs I bought from one of he guys on the forum. Of course there was nothing wrong with them but my 16 year old is going to dive with them and I HAD to have them checked. He charged me $5.00 and did it while I waited then asked me if that was fair. AHHH…NO I didn’t think it was fair. I think his quote was “I’m doing all right and I don’t try to get rich off of one person”. While he doesn’t have the selection that Scuba Toys does, with customer service like that, he sure won’t go out of business.
And that is a good customer service. !!

huntnhound
08-19-2009, 21:19
I walked into my lds today with a set of regs I bought from one of he guys on the forum. Of course there was nothing wrong with them but my 16 year old is going to dive with them and I HAD to have them checked. He charged me $5.00 and did it while I waited then asked me if that was fair. AHHH…NO I didn’t think it was fair. I think his quote was “I’m doing all right and I don’t try to get rich off of one person”. While he doesn’t have the selection that Scuba Toys does, with customer service like that, he sure won’t go out of business.

My LDS charged me $250.00 to check out a set of regs that I bought off of e-bay. Thats what a lack of competetion will do. Not to mention that the owner is a first class jerk.

scubaman450
08-19-2009, 21:51
I walked into my lds today with a set of regs I bought from one of he guys on the forum. Of course there was nothing wrong with them but my 16 year old is going to dive with them and I HAD to have them checked. He charged me $5.00 and did it while I waited then asked me if that was fair. AHHH…NO I didn’t think it was fair. I think his quote was “I’m doing all right and I don’t try to get rich off of one person”. While he doesn’t have the selection that Scuba Toys does, with customer service like that, he sure won’t go out of business.

My LDS charged me $250.00 to check out a set of regs that I bought off of e-bay. Thats what a lack of competetion will do. Not to mention that the owner is a first class jerk.
I have seen this type of crap as well but then I have seen the other type that is happy for your find and just wont you to keep diving and telling other divers what good dive shop they have (and I do ) these are the shops that I put there bumper stickers on the back of my car.:smiley20:

CompuDude
08-19-2009, 22:53
I walked into my lds today with a set of regs I bought from one of he guys on the forum. Of course there was nothing wrong with them but my 16 year old is going to dive with them and I HAD to have them checked. He charged me $5.00 and did it while I waited then asked me if that was fair. AHHH…NO I didn’t think it was fair. I think his quote was “I’m doing all right and I don’t try to get rich off of one person”. While he doesn’t have the selection that Scuba Toys does, with customer service like that, he sure won’t go out of business.

Wow, kudos to your LDS! $5 is crazy good.

loadcp
08-20-2009, 15:50
I am a big fan of supporting my LDS. I tend to buy my "big ticket" items there. And it helps that I am a big fan of ScubaPro and they are the only authorized dealer in a 100 mile radius. Now, I have bought things online, mostly LP because I didnt know about ST, like a wetsuit. It was $321 in the store and $150 online. It was a no-brainer. But when it comes to BC and regs....I go to my LDS because I get the warranty and service for the ScubaPro stuff. Plus I really like just hanging out in there.

cummings66
08-20-2009, 16:14
I have 2 shops, one is but 1 mile away and the other one which is easier to access is 35 miles away. I used to consider that shop my LDS but they're always out of air when I show up and don't have what I want. I don't frequent them much anymore because while he's nice he doesn't have air, yet he has it for others that don't get free air for life.

My dive shop next door almost is great if you can catch him there, he's a busy guy and the shop is part time. I'm a PSI certified cylinder inspector and had this set come in to me that the valves were so tight they would not come loose no matter what. I caught my LDS (he has a cylinder vice and a wrench about 4' long) and we removed those valves so I can inspect the cylinders. No charge.

He's also a hydro shop and said he's never ever seen a valve that tight, even did an eddy current inspection to see if the cylinder was damaged by being too tight, we're talking on the order of over 200lbs to loosen them. Somebody sure abused them... No charge, can't beat that. I wish he was a full time shop though.

he3r0
08-20-2009, 17:06
I have 2 shops, one is but 1 mile away and the other one which is easier to access is 35 miles away. I used to consider that shop my LDS but they're always out of air when I show up and don't have what I want. I don't frequent them much anymore because while he's nice he doesn't have air, yet he has it for others that don't get free air for life.

My dive shop next door almost is great if you can catch him there, he's a busy guy and the shop is part time. I'm a PSI certified cylinder inspector and had this set come in to me that the valves were so tight they would not come loose no matter what. I caught my LDS (he has a cylinder vice and a wrench about 4' long) and we removed those valves so I can inspect the cylinders. No charge.

He's also a hydro shop and said he's never ever seen a valve that tight, even did an eddy current inspection to see if the cylinder was damaged by being too tight, we're talking on the order of over 200lbs to loosen them. Somebody sure abused them... No charge, can't beat that. I wish he was a full time shop though.
and thats a good idea if you known somebody that has a lot of time on their hands to help guy and have it full time, (free air and good deals for equipment for a few hours a week... i would do it...)