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View Full Version : How does your LDS react to online purchases?



frankc420
07-13-2007, 08:18
With Scubatoys beating the mess out of most places, price and customer service wise, I tend to buy from them on a regular basis.

I'm curious to know your experiences with ANY dive shop you've been in to where you mentioned something about online purchases, mentioned that you 'saw this online', or 'online it's cheaper', type of deal. I especially want to hear from those who have actually bought something off the net and wanted to get it serviced, how did your LDS respond?

For the products that come with the lifetime free parts plan, how many people have had their LDS tell them they will not honor this because they were purchased off the net? Are the LDS owners that ignorant that they don't realize most internet scuba shops also have a brick and mortar?

---

So far, I haven't had to get anything serviced that I have bought from ST, but when the time comes I doubt I'll even consider letting my LDS service my gear. I'll most likely ship it to ST! For one, if I want to go purchase a small item locally because I'm in a crunch, I don't want to get glared at because of a purchase I made online. If I take a reg setup in, I'm sure he'd get pissed!

Back when ST offered Scubapro and before I even bought my first scuba item, I mentioned to my LDS owner that ST had the BC I wanted for $100 less than what he was selling it for... Oh lord, the bashing began!

He even threatened to turn ST in to Scubapro for selling below retail.

awap
07-13-2007, 09:01
On bigger purchases, I always give my LDS a shot. When he can't get close, he'll tell me to take advantage of the online price. But we have talked aboujt this and found we both buyour cars at the same place - the one with the bestdeal.

MEL-DC Diver
07-13-2007, 09:36
You want see some propaganda, check this out - a one size fits all online retailers approach (I guess they were talking about leisure pro).

http://www.scubava.com/equipment/start/real_cost.html

lucidblue
07-13-2007, 09:49
I tried to give one LDS a chance. They couldn't come close. I also got the whole "ST is violating pricing guidelines and your warranty could be in jeopardy" talking to. This LDS also has an online store, but they just didn't want put together a discounted package. Said they had to call the mfr and get permission to seel at a lower price due to ST's actions, blah blah blah. Not sure what I'll do when it comes time to service. There are many LDS(s) in my area, but might just send the stuff back to ST for service. Honestly, the whole bashing ST thing just left me with a bad feeling about the LDS. I would've respected them if they had done what awap's did and said I just can't match it, you should go with ST.

I'm also a fan of the shop just giving their best price right up front, which is what ST did. There wasn't any "well what other prices have you been given and we'll see if we can match." They just made their best offer, which tells me a lot about the business.

frankc420
07-13-2007, 09:54
I tried to give one LDS a chance. They couldn't come close. I also got the whole "ST is violating pricing guidelines and your warranty could be in jeopardy" talking to. This LDS also has an online store, but they just didn't want put together a discounted package. Said they had to call the mfr and get permission to seel at a lower price due to ST's actions, blah blah blah. Not sure what I'll do when it comes time to service. There are many LDS(s) in my area, but might just send the stuff back to ST for service. Honestly, the whole bashing ST thing just left me with a bad feeling about the LDS. I would've respected them if they had done what awap's did and said I just can't match it, you should go with ST.

I'm also a fan of the shop just giving their best price right up front, which is what ST did. There wasn't any "well what other prices have you been given and we'll see if we can match." They just made their best offer, which tells me a lot about the business.



That's exactly what happened to me and I'm sure if I were to mention ST to my LDS again, I would get the same exact reaction. It seems their whole staff is anti-online and surely anti-ST.

I believe ST and my LDS got into a bidding war one time for some government equipment, LDS lost. :)

cyclical
07-13-2007, 09:56
ahh the good ol MAPP...

I used to be a warehouse/distributor for Nitrous Express (yes I know it has nothing to do with diving, but it does with the conversation). I got items at a given price, and I was prevented from pricing things below MAPP (minimum advertised pricing plan/policy). I could have my distributorship "canceled" if I did.

So what did I do?

I provided an automated work around online, "price too low to list, click here to request a quote". They can't keep you from selling it for X amount, just couldn't advertise it at that amount.

It's retarded... I had people online get mad at me because they didn't turn 50% profit on items because I was selling it for a lower profit.

My response was, well, streamline your sales so that your operating expenses are decreased and you can afford to sell to people at lower prices. You will get more business.

frankc420
07-13-2007, 09:58
You want see some propaganda, check this out - a one size fits all online retailers approach (I guess they were talking about leisure pro).

http://www.scubava.com/equipment/start/real_cost.html




Another example of an anti-online LDS. Sad. The bad thing is they make it sound like all online purchases are bad.

Diver Dennis
07-13-2007, 10:09
My LDS is fine with it. They know I buy from ST but I always give them a chance to match or get close to the ST price. They understand that I'm a good customer and they do get close sometimes in price. No threats about not servicing something I bought from ST or giving me grief. If they did I would not be in there any more.

I've only bought online from ST so I don't know what kind of service the other guys have. I'll have to try ordering from the Philippines which is where I live most of the time. I'm in Canada right now and the service to here has been less than 24 hours in some cases. How can you beat that?

cyclical
07-13-2007, 10:16
You want see some propaganda, check this out - a one size fits all online retailers approach (I guess they were talking about leisure pro).http://www.scubava.com/equipment/start/real_cost.html
Another example of an anti-online LDS. Sad. The bad thing is they make it sound like all online purchases are bad.

That is a very funny reasoning of "why we charge you more".

medic001918
07-13-2007, 10:53
I always get a laugh when a dealer will refuse to service a piece of equipment because it wasn't bought from them. I wonder how manufacturers would feel if they knew a dealer for their gear was refusing service because it wasn't bought in their store? It doesn't matter if I bought it online or at another shop. For all they know, I've recently moved to the area and my "LDS" might be on the other side of the country now. I'm not asking for a warranty repair. I'm asking to pay to have my gear serviced. Car dealerships don't care where you bought your car, they'll be happy to provide any service matter that's needed. Most will even handle warranty work as well without question.
<DIV></DIV>LDS's need to stop trying to intimdate people into buying gear in their store. Put less effort into intimidation and more effort into customer service and you'd see many more store's thriving and increasing their sales numbers.
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV></DIV>We have a local store here that I went into when I was shopping for a drysuit. I asked what they had and was told that they only sell the "DUI TLS350 Signature (custom) suit." They said it was the best suit on the market and the "only way to go." They followed it up with "it'll probably run you around $3000 total." Well, I'm in the middle of planning and paying for my wedding, so I didn't have that much to spend on my suit. They didn't want to hear about my wants, needs or budget. Only what they prequalified EVERY drysuit shopping customer to need. I went home and called divetank.com. A couple of phone calls and $1050 later and I had a Bare XCD2 Pro drysuit with hood, gloves and underwear delivered to my house...complete with having the boots changed to the proper size for me. They were willing to take the time to talk to me to see what my diving needs were, what I was willing to spend and to guarantee that my suit would fit me. All told, it was far less painful then going to the shop. I went to another shop and signed up for a drysuit class and they were quite pleased to sell me the drysuit course. They never even asked where I got my suit. They only cared that I was willing to take the course through them. Now, I only go to that original LDS for Argon fills since the next closest shop for that is about 30-35 minutes away (and I do get my argon from them when going that way). Otherwise, I'd never step foot in their shop again.
<DIV>
Shane</DIV>

DougNR
07-13-2007, 11:37
As others have mentioned, I'll give the LDS a shot when the mood strikes me. That mood comes less frequently lately as the shop loves to tell me tales of how EVERYTHING purchased on-line is grey market, unsupported merchandise that will cost more in the long run than his "fair" pricing.
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DallasNewbie
07-13-2007, 12:58
Since Scuba Toys is my LDS, they don't really have an issue with online purchases. smileys/smiley2.gif

FishFood
07-13-2007, 13:03
Since Scuba Toys is my LDS, they don't really have an issue with online purchases. smileys/smiley2.gif
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<DIV>@$$ hole http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley2.gif</DIV>
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<DIV>My LSD isn't really in it for the profit, so they get close enough to online prices, and give good package discounts to. Only bad part is the sales tax I suppose. </DIV>

CompuDude
07-13-2007, 13:15
I am in and out of several LDS's often enough to know what they carry, and at what price. When I need gear, I usually give them first crack at it. If their price is reasonably close to an online price, I'll always buy local. Gotta keep those compressors going!

If their price is substantially different from an online price, I'll let them try to match it, or at least come close. Only if they fail will I buy online, generally. And when I buy online, I try to buy from respectable online sources (ScubaToys being at the top of the list, along with DiveSports and TechDivingLimited... all good stores backed by a real shop). I only buy from LP as a last resort, if no one else carries the item I'm looking for.

I purchased my regs from my LDS, and was happy to pay a little more for the service I receive. That said, I don't take my regs to my LDS for service... I take them to the guy most area shops send their regs to, directly. :) He's an expert reg tech (authorized by all major brands) who only works with regs for a living, so he has far more experience than the average shop tech (in addition to nearly 20 years of experience). So where I bought my regs is irrelevant except for determining warranty status.

Wolfie2012
07-13-2007, 14:14
So, one time I noticed my dive flag got torn up the day before I left for a dive trip. There's really only one shop in town that keeps any kind of inventory so I went to their website to check out their prices before I drove all the way over there figuring it'd be easier to get the flag here and not worry about having to do it when I got to my destination.
<DIV>The online price at their own website listed a flag at $19.95. It wasn't even a sale price. OK, I said, might as well drive down there. I walk in the door and found the flag I saw on their site. The sticker price said $29.99 so I say, "Can I get this for the price you have listed on your website? It's 19.99 there." His response?- "Too bad, that's online."</DIV>
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<DIV>Needless to say, I never went back to that shop again.</DIV>
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<DIV>The rest of the shops in town hate online dealers, pretty much because they don't want to adjust their margins to compete.I usually tell them that every other business in the country needed to adjust their business model to accomodate the internet, so eventually you'll see that you do too.</DIV>

ertechsg
07-13-2007, 14:27
ST is my LDS, itmakes for a good trade for putting up with Dallastraffic, plus we have the STARS.

awap
07-13-2007, 14:39
That said, I don't take my regs to my LDS for service... I take them to the guy most area shops send their regs to, directly. :) He's an expert reg tech (authorized by all major brands) who only works with regs for a living, so he has far more experience than the average shop tech (in addition to nearly 20 years of experience).
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>How does that work. I don't know of any regulator manufacturer that supports independent techs. Doe he work thru and obtain parts thru authorized dealers (LDSs)?</DIV>

frankc420
07-13-2007, 14:40
We only have 1 dive shop here in Jackson, MS, and they charge the full MSRP. Generally, they will give a small discount, but even with that discount it's not cheaper than ST. Add the 10% off and you know where I'm getting my stuff from.

You guys that keep bragging that ST is your LDS, go play with a shark. smileys/smiley35.gif

CompuDude
07-13-2007, 14:42
That said, I don't take my regs to my LDS for service... I take them to the guy most area shops send their regs to, directly. :) He's an expert reg tech (authorized by all major brands) who only works with regs for a living, so he has far more experience than the average shop tech (in addition to nearly 20 years of experience).
<div></div>
<div>How does that work. I don't know of any regulator manufacturer that supports independent techs. Doe he work thru and obtain parts thru authorized dealers (LDSs)?</div>
Not sure. He actually does have a shop, but works out of his house, which is where many of us locals bring our regs for service. All the paperwork is in order, and he's been doing this for a loooong time. Good enough for me.

lucidblue
07-13-2007, 14:50
I want ST to be my LDS too.

creggur
07-13-2007, 15:17
I am a fixed operations manager at an Audi dealership, and this would be like me not wanting to service your car because you bought it somewhere else. Why would I pass up your service and parts $$$$$ ,and pass up the opportunity to build a relationship with you, so that I might sell you your next car....
<DIV>These LDS's business models are completely antiquated. That's pretty sad coming from somebody in the car business..</DIV>
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<DIV>I've said it before, they may be great divers and instructors, but they don't have a clue how to run a retail/service business..</DIV>
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jacewindu
07-13-2007, 16:31
ST IS my local dive shop (from 1,000 miles away) ;)

Joew
07-14-2007, 03:36
I think you guys are a little rough on the LDS's. If you want to vent, let it out on the manufacturers. Their the ones that make the rules that your LDS has to follow.

CompuDude
07-14-2007, 05:08
I think you guys are a little rough on the LDS's. If you want to vent, let it out on the manufacturers. Their the ones that make the rules that your LDS has to follow.
Manufacturers do not dictate what an (otherwise authorized) local shop can service. A local shop that refuses to service regs purchased elsewhere has no excuse of "the manufacturer made me".

That said, I have not experienced this behavior at any local shop. They would irrevocably lose my business in an instant if they did, of course, but it hasn't been an issue that I've seen locally.

I've read enough reports of it nationwide, however, to know that it definitely happens. Perhaps just not in L.A., where there are a lot of stores to compete with, and any given shop could never know where you may have purchased your regs (locally).

Wolfie2012
07-14-2007, 05:18
I think you guys are a little rough on the LDS's. If you want to vent, let it out on the manufacturers. Their the ones that make the rules that your LDS has to follow.
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<DIV>It isn't the manufacturers. Scubatoys follows their manufacturer agreements and obviously does perfectly well. "Blaming the manufacturer" is many times justa way for an LDS to transfer blame off of themselves. Sure, there are manufacturers that limit or even prohibit online sales (Aqualung comes to mind), but that is an area that an LDS should look at when coming up with a competitive business plan - nobody is forcing an LDS to be an authorized dealer with any specificmanufacturer and there are plenty others out there who are coming to terms with the realities of the internet.</DIV>

frankc420
07-14-2007, 09:06
IMO, any manufacturer limiting how their products are sold is just limiting their product flow. That's just dumb business.

awap
07-14-2007, 09:12
I think you guys are a little rough on the LDS's. If you want to vent, let it out on the manufacturers. Their the ones that make the rules that your LDS has to follow.
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<DIV>I believe that many shops who push Scubapro or Aqualung (Apeks) as their main line do so because they want the mfgr price restrictions so they can avoid price competition. And then they are pi$$ed when the mfgr can't or won't protect them from grey market competition. </DIV>
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<DIV>I say "many" because there are shops that carry those lines and still compete directly with grey market and other discounted sellers by providing add-on value that the online seller has a hard time providing such as free or discounted service and gas.</DIV>

Queen
07-14-2007, 09:14
ST IS my local dive shop (from 1,000 miles away) ;)

Yup. smileys/smiley20.gif

The local store is run by the grumpiest curmudgeon around, people get really tired of being yelled at when they're trying to buy gear...and he wonders why people shop elsewhere.

downunder
07-14-2007, 11:25
Afew years ago, I bought a complete setup from my LDS because of all the fears that were driven in me during the class and the importance of knowing exactly where your equipment comes from and service, blah blah... Less than a year later, they went out of the scuba business (still did paintball) but would no longer service, support, etc anything. I then had a warranty problem on my Dacor Flyt pak BC (Zipper broke). The other Dacor LDSs gave me the complete run around because I didn't buy it from them... wanted money to ship it out etc.
<DIV>I have since learned. Yes, do your research onANY dive shop you buy from (heck - this goes for any big $product). Then buy where the VALUE is best. I have bought several things from ST the past month. They are 10X more helpful than my LDS ever was. No, I have not had to warranty anything, but I bet I can expect very good service based upon everything that I have experienced so far...</DIV>
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Dabaras
07-14-2007, 13:16
I'm another one who has ST as my LDS. There are others in the area I'll use if I need something small. I've gotten the lecture from them even without bringing it up. I usually smile and nod, buy what I came for and run like hell. The main reason I've used other dive shops in the area is that used to be the only way to book Flower Gardens trips. Now that can be done online as well, so I'm set.

the gooch
07-14-2007, 14:21
ST IS my local dive shop (from 1,000 miles away) ;)
+1. I have been treated very poorly from shops in the area that now I will only use them for air fills/tanks.

gunnarman
07-14-2007, 22:16
i search online with st to find what im looking for then drive over and buy it. it leaves more time for b.s.ing and looking at other cool stuff i wish i had.http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley36.gif

ertechsg
07-14-2007, 22:26
We only have 1 dive shop here in Jackson, MS, and they charge the full MSRP. Generally, they will give a small discount, but even with that discount it's not cheaper than ST. Add the 10% off and you know where I'm getting my stuff from.

You guys that keep bragging that ST is your LDS, go play with a shark. smileys/smiley35.gif
Look at my avatar I did.

frankc420
07-14-2007, 23:41
We only have 1 dive shop here in Jackson, MS, and they charge the full MSRP. Generally, they will give a small discount, but even with that discount it's not cheaper than ST. Add the 10% off and you know where I'm getting my stuff from.

You guys that keep bragging that ST is your LDS, go play with a shark. smileys/smiley35.gif
Look at my avatar I did.

Yeah, I see that now... smileys/smiley7.gif

Joew
07-15-2007, 01:12
I think you guys are a little rough on the LDS's. If you want to vent, let it out on the manufacturers. Their the ones that make the rules that your LDS has to follow. Manufacturers do not dictate what an (otherwise authorized) local shop can service. A local shop that refuses to service regs purchased elsewhere has no excuse of "the manufacturer made me".That said, I have not experienced this behavior at any local shop. They would irrevocably lose my business in an instant if they did, of course, but it hasn't been an issue that I've seen locally.I've read enough reports of it nationwide, however, to know that it definitely happens. Perhaps just not in L.A., where there are a lot of stores to compete with, and any given shop could never know where you may have purchased your regs (locally).

I was refering to manufacturers fixing prices. A good LDS should repair any reg, regardless of where it was purchased (assuming the repair tech is capable of repairing the brand of reg and they have any necessary parts). This is how my LDS does business. If the reg is not under warranty, then the customer will have to pay to fix any problems.

Lucky(AR)
07-15-2007, 01:18
I have been to the local dive shops here and when they ask me about where i got most of my gear i said online they just kind of laugh and say i will have no warranty on my products not sure where they are coming from because i have felt out warr info like on my regs and things but with the deals scuba toys has they can sniker all they want i have saved a ton with these guys.

CompuDude
07-15-2007, 02:51
I was refering to manufacturers fixing prices. A good LDS should repair any reg, regardless of where it was purchased (assuming the repair tech is capable of repairing the brand of reg and they have any necessary parts). This is how my LDS does business. If the reg is not under warranty, then the customer will have to pay to fix any problems.
That's how your LDS does business (and mine), but that's exactly what people were complaining about, when LDS do NOT conduct business that way: They refuse to service your regs just because you bought them elsewhere.

Joew
07-15-2007, 03:12
That's how your LDS does business (and mine), but that's exactly what people were complaining about, when LDS do NOT conduct business that way: They refuse to service your regs just because you bought them elsewhere.

I agree, that's just bad business. I don't know why they would turn down money for a reg service. There was a post on this thread that said a shop refused to service a reg purchased at another LDS. I've heard of shops refusing to service gear bought online, but from another authorized dealer in the same area? That makes absolutely no sense.

cummings66
07-15-2007, 09:45
Yup, I know of LDS's like that. It's buy it here or else we'll not work on it for you. If they do work on it the prices are so high you might as well buy another new one from the Internet.
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>Personally, my goal someday is to get the proper training to service 100% of my gear, do the O2 cleanings and VIP's as well. I'd like to be 100% self reliant, but for now that's a pipe dream and I need my dive shops to do some of my service.</DIV>
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<DIV>Some day though...</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>That said, my LDS isn't like that and they're pretty good about dealing with me. Usually if I say I can get it for x they'll match or beat the price to get my business. Can't beat that.</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>When they can't get a product I want I get it from ST's for the most part assuming they have it.</DIV>

przeor
07-15-2007, 13:53
For us, it's availability of product. Our LDS will beat any price (internet included) by 5%. And their prices are really good to begin with. It's just a matter of availability and brands. No one around here carries Oxycheq for example, so I'll hit up ST for that. Or if there is a specific reg- our shop carries mostly sherwood/genesis regs, so if I need to track down some Zeagles, again ST is the place! Plus our shop offers free air fills, so that plus a price match/beat policy makes us pretty lucky!

fire diver
07-15-2007, 13:58
I've never had a dive shop get defensive about online sales. But to be safe, I usually don't mention it when visiting other shops. Besides, ScubaToys has become my "local" dive shop.
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<DIV>FD</DIV>

94GTStang
07-16-2007, 00:21
My girlfriend got chewed out at our LDS for getting her BC online. Of course they had the SAME BC for $400 more than what we paid. Some guy told her that she will have second thoughts about her purchase when her BC fails her at 40ft and drowns. Either way... I make every scuba purchase at ScubaToys and haven't looked back.

przeor
07-16-2007, 00:50
My girlfriend got chewed out at our LDS for getting her BC online. Of course they had the SAME BC for $400 more than what we paid. Some guy told her that she will have second thoughts about her purchase when her BC fails her at 40ft and drowns. Either way... I make every scuba purchase at ScubaToys and haven't looked back.
<DIV></DIV>
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<DIV>I don't blame you for leaving them- $400 more is nuts! What kind of BC was it??? My BP/W cost roughly that total!</DIV>

94GTStang
07-16-2007, 08:06
My girlfriend got chewed out at our LDS for getting her BC online. Of course they had the SAME BC for $400 more than what we paid. Some guy told her that she will have second thoughts about her purchase when her BC fails her at 40ft and drowns. Either way... I make every scuba purchase at ScubaToys and haven't looked back.
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<div>I don't blame you for leaving them- $400 more is nuts! What kind of BC was it??? My BP/W cost roughly that total!</div>
She is really skinny and it was hard for her to find a BC that fit her well, so I found her a SeaQuest Eva. I don't think they make it anymore, but it suits her fine and it does the job. Maybe in the future we will drive down to ST and get her another BC. She loves the Tusa Selene...

WaterRat
07-16-2007, 16:44
ST is local to me as well. I used other local shops and found they either bashed on-linesalesor were just not helpful.
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<DIV>Many timesI would walk into the LDS and they just weren't knowledgable about the equipment they sold. </DIV>
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<DIV>Also there is always the arrogant "I'm a dive god, ownthis shop, blah blah blah".</DIV>
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<DIV>I hate bad cutomer service and retailers that talk down on their customers more than anything. The first time I walked into ST, I was asked no less than 5 times if I needed help. Talking to Joe and Larry, you wouldn't even know they were the owers. They're easy to talk to and make you feel like you have something to teach them instead of the other way around.</DIV>
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<DIV>I spoke to the owers of the other LDS's about their marketing plans and visions of capturing the on-line market. Being a heavy on-line shopper, I wanted to see if I could help give a customer prospective. All one guy said was, "I was on a boat this past week where I had to fix a regulator somebody bought on-line". I just thought to myself, you sell the same regulator but somehow yours would never fail. Hum...http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley24.gif</DIV>
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<DIV>I'll get off my soap box. I could go on for hours.</DIV>
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<DIV>Ron</DIV>

frankc420
07-16-2007, 16:50
... I'll get off my soap box. I could go on for hours.
<div></div>
<div>Ron</div>

That's the point of this thread! Post away!

techgnostic
07-16-2007, 19:36
Wolfie2012 (http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/member_profile.asp?PF=19&FID=31)
<DIV>Your sig rocks!</DIV>

techgnostic
07-16-2007, 19:44
My girlfriend got chewed out at our LDS for getting her BC online. Of course they had the SAME BC for $400 more than what we paid. Some guy told her that she will have second thoughts about her purchase when her BC fails her at 40ft and drowns. Either way... I make every scuba purchase at ScubaToys and haven't looked back.
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>Manufacturers and B/M retailers are just as liable for defective equipment as "loose cannon" online sellers might be. Whether it is shipped to a LDS or from a B/M,a product is subject to the same life cycle. </DIV>
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<DIV>This is just the LDS way of knocking the competition where they don't have any fear of reprisal, like the might if they slandered a shop across town.</DIV>

frankc420
07-16-2007, 21:09
My girlfriend got chewed out at our LDS for getting her BC online. Of course they had the SAME BC for $400 more than what we paid. Some guy told her that she will have second thoughts about her purchase when her BC fails her at 40ft and drowns. Either way... I make every scuba purchase at ScubaToys and haven't looked back.


Hmm, let anyone at a dive shop talk to me like that and there will be a few choice words. Let anyone at a dive shop talk to my wife like that and we may have bigger issues to deal with.

I'm not talking physical, but I'd make the moron feel like he was 2" tall. I think it's the Italian blood flowing through my veins! Normally I'm a mellow guy, but tell someone they're going to drown for buying something off the internet... that's way beyond crossing the line!

94GTStang
07-16-2007, 21:27
Tech- Yea... I hear you on that. They know that they can't compete with the internet, but at least give it a shot. Every once in a blue moon does the dive shop I got certified at send out any special price deals. Heck, when we were getting certified, they must have mentioned that their dive computers were $300-400 dollars a piece. Sorry, but I don't think that a Aeris Atmos I is worth that much. Which is why I went to the internet.

Frank- haha... I felt the same way when she called me and told me what was said. I'm Polish, but I felt like I could be Italian at that moment. I wanted to go up there and give them a piece of my mind, but I don't think those words were from the owner of the shop. All I know is that I will continue to tell my friends and others about ST to help save them money and not get driven to buy something just because that is what the LDS sells.
Heck, just today I ordered a new pair of short dive boots from ST because I tore my others floating a local river Saturday. I could have EASILY went to my LDS and got them today, but I decided to just give ST a quick call!

plot
07-16-2007, 22:30
Until scubatoys offers online classes and can e-mail me airfills, I'll always need my LDS, so I try to throw some business there way.
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>I buy all my gear that has to be serviced (regs) or fitted (wetsuits) from my LDS. Anything else I normally bring up online prices and see what they'll do for me. Alot of times, they'll compete. Alot of other times, they simply don't have what I want... scubatoys saves me tons of money even if I do end up still buying from my own LDS. http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley4.gif</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>I'm straightfoward with them about it all though, I don't go around making lame excuses about how my step sister dives and I got a bunch of gear from her... http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley9.gifhttp://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley2.gif... so they're fine with it from what I can tell.</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>My LDS is also an aqualung dealer... so on alot of stuff, they're pretty much being held by the balls.</DIV>

awap
07-16-2007, 22:38
<DIV>My LDS is also an aqualung dealer... so on alot of stuff, they're pretty much being held by the balls.</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>That's where your LDS chose to put their balls. They think it keeps them warm and safe.</DIV>

techgnostic
07-16-2007, 23:13
<DIV>I buy all my gear that has to be serviced (regs) or fitted (wetsuits) from my LDS. </DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>I'm straightfoward with them about it all though, I don't go around making lame excuses about how my step sister dives and I got a bunch of gear from her... http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley9.gifhttp://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley2.gif... so they're fine with it from what I can tell. </DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>What would they say if you had moved from another part of the country with pre-existing gear...sorry, can't service your gear, you aren't local enough?</DIV>

frankc420
07-16-2007, 23:30
... I'm straightfoward with them about it all though, I don't go around making lame excuses about how my step sister dives and I got a bunch of gear from her... http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley9.gifhttp://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley2.gif... so they're fine with it from what I can tell.
<div></div>
<div>My LDS is also an aqualung dealer... so on alot of stuff, they're pretty much being held by the balls.</div>

They do you like we do here, talk about you behind your back and sigh when you come in smileys/smiley36.gif

J/K, I'm actually glad you have a good relationship with your LDS. I think that a dive shop should work with anyone regardless of where they found their lower prices! A lot of people won't bother looking for lower prices, so they should pay what they are asked to pay, but for those with a budget in mind, they should be accommodated for the extra effort, IMO.

TAH 73
07-17-2007, 08:22
With my Fiancee doing a university Engeneering course with a Co-op component we end up moving every 4 months so consequently we don't have a "local" dive shop so lately it has been Scubatoys. But really a good shop wiull build loyalty, not expect it. The other day wewerre looking at a few items and LeisurePro was a bit cheaper, but Scubatoys gottheorder, and I didn't even worry about the difference.The other issueI have is my next setup will be Zeagle, and we don't have a local dealership so it will be a mute point anyways.

frankc420
07-17-2007, 16:00
With my Fiancee doing a university Engeneering course with a Co-op component we end up moving every 4 months so consequently we don't have a "local" dive shop so lately it has been Scubatoys. But really a good shop wiull build loyalty, not expect it. The other day wewerre looking at a few items and LeisurePro was a bit cheaper, but Scubatoys gottheorder, and I didn't even worry about the difference.The other issueI have is my next setup will be Zeagle, and we don't have a local dealership so it will be a mute point anyways.




Do you realize Scubatoys will match prices? Not sure if you knew, so I figured I would try and help for your next purchase!

Moving every 4 months would be rough, I guess you get to meet a lot of new people!

plot
07-17-2007, 18:21
<DIV>I buy all my gear that has to be serviced (regs) or fitted (wetsuits) from my LDS. </DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>I'm straightfoward with them about it all though, I don't go around making lame excuses about how my step sister dives and I got a bunch of gear from her... http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley9.gifhttp://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley2.gif... so they're fine with it from what I can tell. </DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>What would they say if you had moved from another part of the country with pre-existing gear...sorry, can't service your gear, you aren't local enough?</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>They'd service it, but it'd cost more. As an incentive to buy gear in their outfit, rebuilds and annual checks are quite a bit cheaper for storebought regs.</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>And if something that important fails on me after a rebuild, I'd like to have someone in person to yell at. http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley36.gif</DIV>

plot
07-17-2007, 18:31
... I'm straightfoward with them about it all though, I don't go around making lame excuses about how my step sister dives and I got a bunch of gear from her... http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley9.gifhttp://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley2.gif... so they're fine with it from what I can tell.
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>My LDS is also an aqualung dealer... so on alot of stuff, they're pretty much being held by the balls.</DIV>

They do you like we do here, talk about you behind your back and sigh when you come in smileys/smiley36.gif

J/K, I'm actually glad you have a good relationship with your LDS. I think that a dive shop should work with anyone regardless of where they found their lower prices! A lot of people won't bother looking for lower prices, so they should pay what they are asked to pay, but for those with a budget in mind, they should be accommodated for the extra effort, IMO.

<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>If a customer walks out of your store after buying something and feels ripped off, they won't be returning. Most shops (no matter what they sell), realize this and will try to compete one way or another. Or simply tell you straight up they can't come close to that price and have you get it from whereever else... the ones that try to keep the sell by badmouthing the other place, are the ones I'll never return too.</DIV>

awap
07-17-2007, 19:19
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>They'd service it, but it'd cost more. As an incentive to buy gear in their outfit, rebuilds and annual checks are quite a bit cheaper for storebought regs.</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>And if something that important fails on me after a rebuild, I'd like to have someone in person to yell at. http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley36.gif</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>Discounted service for shop bought gear is very reasonable and one of the way the LDS can compete, on a value basis, with online retailers. Punative prices for gear bought elsewhere are not and should not be tolerated. </DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>I like the idea of being able to have a heart-to-heart discussion with my reg tech. But I have to use a mirror. My tech even goes on trips with me just to make sure everything performs correctly.</DIV>

downunder
07-17-2007, 20:09
Do you realize Scubatoys will match prices? Not sure if you knew, so I figured I would try and help for your next purchase!

Moving every 4 months would be rough, I guess you get to meet a lot of new people!

<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>I don't like asking people to match prices. I figure (with all other things equal like service and support), I'd rather give the business to who advertises the best price. I can't stand car dealers that say "Shop everywhere else and then bring your best price to us...." Why not just give us your best price to begin with! ST does a pretty good job...</DIV>

FishFood
07-17-2007, 21:28
Another reason I hate asking is I find it hard to believe it makes them happy
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>Ill second that statement. We're not tlaking about buying cars or tools here, my relationship with my LDS means a bit more.</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>My dive shop says they'll price match, but I dont find it fair to ask them to compete with an E-Diveshop, which has less overhead.</DIV>

ScubaToys Larry
07-17-2007, 21:30
Well, here's the story guys... on a lot of items, since we are an authorized dealer, we play by all the rules. It's why our customers get a full manufacturers warranty on all the products we sell. But it also puts us in the position that we can't show prices below what we have listed. But honest - no problem matching a lower price - do it all day - and since you call - it's no longer under the MAP rules we have to follow so it gives you the full warranty.
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>Hope that helps to explain it!</DIV>

downunder
07-17-2007, 21:37
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>Hope that helps to explain it!</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>That does! but one other thing... I have to admit that ST is seems kinda crazy - ya know - in a way. Here is what I don't understand. A company pays good money to make a forum for us to use and then PAYS us to use it. Hmmmmm, that's like going to Wallmart and entering the door with the greeter giving you a shopping cart to do your shopping AND then saying "Oh, if you use the cart for all that stuff, I'll pay you $10.00". What the heck? http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley36.gif</DIV>

ScubaToys Larry
07-17-2007, 21:39
Well... I'm new to this forum thing... after I posted that... I couldn't figure out how to remove it... so I'm stuck with the idea. http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley19.gif http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley2.gif

ScubaToys Larry
07-17-2007, 21:46
<DIV>My dive shop says they'll price match, but I dont find it fair to ask them to compete with an E-Diveshop, which has less overhead.</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>I will guarantee, my overhead is at least 10 times any normal shop... I have an indoor heated pool, 2 compressors, 10,000 sq ft show room, 2 fully stocked service stations, dressing rooms, racks, displays, class rooms, bathrooms, and on.. and on...</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>Don't think there is no overhead just because someone is also on the net. And even the net costs... I spent a little over 10 grand this week on new servers alone.</DIV>

94GTStang
07-17-2007, 21:51
I must admit that I still feel bad asking for the SB 10% discount knowing that you have the cheapest price and the friendliest staff. I should ask for 10% markup instead



just kidding on that last part ;)

medic001918
07-17-2007, 21:53
<DIV>I will guarantee, my overhead is at least 10 times any normal shop... I have an indoor heated pool, 2 compressors, 10,000 sq ft show room, 2 fully stocked service stations, dressing rooms, racks, displays, class rooms, bathrooms, and on.. and on...</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>Don't think there is no overhead just because someone is also on the net. And even the net costs... I spent a little over 10 grand this week on new servers alone.</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>Massive overhead, and you guys still give the best deals. What's it going to get you to open a store in Connecticut? Keep up the great work.</DIV>
<DIV>
Shane</DIV>

FishFood
07-17-2007, 21:53
<DIV>My dive shop says they'll price match, but I dont find it fair to ask them to compete with an E-Diveshop, which has less overhead.</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>I will guarantee, my overhead is at least 10 times any normal shop... I have an indoor heated pool, 2 compressors, 10,000 sq ft show room, 2 fully stocked service stations, dressing rooms, racks, displays, class rooms, bathrooms, and on.. and on...</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>Don't think there is no overhead just because someone is also on the net. And even the net costs... I spent a little over 10 grand this week on new servers alone.</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>Dorry Worry Larry, wasn't aiming that at yall **cough** Ebay, Leisure Pro **cough**</DIV>

techgnostic
07-17-2007, 21:58
Well... I'm new to this forum thing... after I posted that... I couldn't figure out how to remove it... so I'm stuck with the idea. http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley19.gif http://www.scubatoys.com/forum/smileys/smiley2.gif
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>The $10 coupon just becomes an excuse to spent $200...seeing as you don't want that coupon to feel unwanted. </DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>(Or in my case $50 becomes $850,when I have enough cash to rebuild my setup next week.)</DIV>
<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>It's sound business practice actually. The good will you guys generate by hosting this will return ten-fold in happy, more well equiped divers!</DIV>

94GTStang
07-17-2007, 21:59
I ordered booties Monday and didn't ask for my $10 off... just couldn't bring myself to use it lol

awap
07-17-2007, 22:10
Another reason I hate asking is I find it hard to believe it makes them happy, after all they are not getting the price they obviously wanted to get when they filled out the price tag.


<DIV></DIV>
<DIV>I suspect that when a customer asks for a price, they are shopping. But when they ask for a price match, they are buying. That's cash register music.</DIV>

lucidblue
07-17-2007, 23:04
Well, here's the story guys... on a lot of items, since we are an authorized dealer, we play by all the rules. It's why our customers get a full manufacturers warranty on all the products we sell. But it also puts us in the position that we can't show prices below what we have listed. But honest - no problem matching a lower price - do it all day - and since you call - it's no longer under the MAP rules we have to follow so it gives you the full warranty.
<div></div>
<div>Hope that helps to explain it!</div>

Fascinating how my LDS (also an online retailer) tried to say you were violating MAP rules. That they had to call the mfr and try to get "permission" to offer us a similar, yet still not matching, price so that they could compete with your "actions". They went on and on about how our warranties were in jeopardy, etc. etc. It just left me with a bad feeling about them. I was really annoyed when I found out they were lying and just trying to scare us (and they knew they were lying). I have zero interest in doing business with people like that.

frankc420
07-23-2007, 21:40
I went into my LDS the other day and was harassed the whole time I was there. I don't think he likes the fact that I read so much on the internet.

JahJahwarrior
07-23-2007, 22:01
The shop I got certified through....the owner is the instructor (one of several)....during class, one girl had a leak onher BC, which is Scubapro, you need a tool to tighten or loosen the dump valves. She took it and fixed it at the shop the next morning before our second day of dives. Well, I bought a used BC from them, big rental sale you know? I notice it has a small leak, same place. So I go in and the guy at te counter is someone new, I asked him if I could use their tool to tighten the dump valve. He "has to go ask the owner." 5 minutes later, "Sorry, she says the repair guy is only in one Tuesdays (it was a Monday) and he was just in yesterday for some reason, so he's probably not going to be here tomorrow, so try back in a weekor two. And, he locks his toolboxes and the tool is in there."

Eh, not buying that. A few months back, the owner had gotten into the locked toolboxes on a Sunday morning, 6am, preparing for dives.....anyways, I'm not going back there. I can live with the leak.

Another shop is a huge Oceanic dealer andsuppsedly, gets stuff very very cheaply and could offer huge deals, but the owner makes enough money to get by, so he doesn't. He's the most expensive place in town for everything, $9.50 for AIR!!! Other shops are $4-$6. So I drive 25 miles (50 round trip) to one LDS that has never given me bull about any of my gear or my choice of purchasing place, gives me cheap air, and will cut me a deal on anything. The manager is usually the one working there and he'll be selling something used on TDS for,s ay, $350, and he'll offer it for $315 to you standing there. I love that kind of shop! Small place, but they offer ANY kind of gas you could want. Air, nitrox, trimix, argon, o2, they have it all! They have several EAN mixes banked even!

Still, a Scubatoys in north central florida would be awesome. Orlando guys, orlando!! Come on down!!!

TommyB
07-23-2007, 23:06
My girlfriend got chewed out at our LDS for getting her BC online. Of course they had the SAME BC for $400 more than what we paid. Some guy told her that she will have second thoughts about her purchase when her BC fails her at 40ft and drowns.


I'm not sure how I would have handled that situation.
I'm pretty even keeled, but if some counter-dude was to ever talk to my wife that way, my little 158'lbs 5'9 butt would prolly be setting in the jailhouse.

tywenglar
08-08-2007, 14:12
I got so sick of the anti-online BS I just tell my LDS that my gear was a gift. It's just not worth dealing with.

mike_s
08-08-2007, 14:28
Well my LDS has the opposite approach to this situation.

They don't blame the online dive shop (LP, ST, etc), They meet their price and get the sale instead of leaving a pissed off customer.

If they didn't, then I'd prob be buying a lot more online.


Now... how do they react when I buy something online? They don't give me any crap at all.

I've actually gone in before with stuff I bought at other shops and say "you should consider selling this". In some cases, they've actually starting carrying the item after I told them about it or showed it to them.

I even took something in that I bought at ScubaToys. They actually looked at it to see if it was a good item instead of criticising me for where I bought it.

So there are still some decent shops out there that will be competitive and price match, but not many.

mike_s
08-08-2007, 14:38
You want see some propaganda, check this out - a one size fits all online retailers approach (I guess they were talking about leisure pro).

http://www.scubava.com/equipment/start/real_cost.html


wow.... how stupid are they.

on this website, Scuba Adventures says:

Reputable manufacturers do not allow their products to be sold over the Internet. When you see a name-brand item advertised at a suspiciously low price, it's either: a gray-market item brought in from overseas (can you read an owner's manual in a foreign language?); a used item in what appears to be new packaging; or, stolen merchandise. The serial numbers will be missing and some of the parts may have been replaced with used or cheaper components.
Regardless of where the mail-order item came from, it will not qualify for warranty coverage. This means you will pay up to $100 or more in additional charges every time you need service -- and, if the item is ever subject to a manufacturer's recall, you won't find out about it. (Do you really want to dive with a BC, dive computer or regulator that's been recalled for a safety-related problem?)
I guess they are clueless to the fact that they sell Atomic, Dive Rite, Tusa, Akona, Sea Pearls & Henderson, which allows dealers to sell over the internet.


I guess those above listed companies aren't reputable according to them?

CompuDude
08-08-2007, 14:38
I got so sick of the anti-online BS I just tell my LDS that my gear was a gift. It's just not worth dealing with.
That's an excellent suggestion. Totally ducks the issue... hard to argue with that one!

I use something similar at the office everytime someone calls or comes by trying to sell services or products. I just tell them we use the services provided by the boss' sister's company, so we're not changing any time soon. Even the most aggressive salespeople generally give up when they hear that one.

ParrotHead
08-08-2007, 17:06
Until scubatoys offers online classes and can e-mail me airfills, I'll always need my LDS, so I try to throw some business there way.


This leads me to think that if todays LDS can't evolve to compete effectively with internet shops, then a franchise model may work. Lets say Joe and Larry buy out all of our hometown LDS's. Then they could benefit from the buying (and selling-) power of a large customer base *AND* perform the required personal attention for classes, fittings and fills. Quality Control would be an issue - since we're all expecting the top notch service we get today, and lets face it, those "bad" shop owners will need jobs.

So, taking this to the next level, who has the power (read: "deep pockets") to pull off something like this? Lets all pray against big box shops. But, who has yet to offer a chain of sporting good shops that focuses on scuba? I'm thinking that you would need to branch out and cover a variety of seasons - maybe "Ski, Scuba & Paint Ball".

Just some food for thought.

Larry? Joe? Wanna branch out? (Please?)

DivingsInMyBlood
08-08-2007, 21:07
I dont even want to bring it up with the LDS

Advokat
08-08-2007, 21:36
When my LDS found out that I've purchased most of my gear online, they said only they sell original gear and most of gear from online stores is not of high quality...

medic001918
08-08-2007, 22:58
When my LDS found out that I've purchased most of my gear online, they said only they sell original gear and most of gear from online stores is not of high quality...

You didn't know that the mechandise sold online is from a different pile of stock then what your LDS gets? I can't believe that shop's get people to believe this stuff...

Shane

Advokat
08-08-2007, 23:06
When my LDS found out that I've purchased most of my gear online, they said only they sell original gear and most of gear from online stores is not of high quality...

You didn't know that the mechandise sold online is from a different pile of stock then what your LDS gets? I can't believe that shop's get people to believe this stuff...

Shane

I guess they could get some older people to believe that, as some may be afraid to buy things online.

brandon
08-08-2007, 23:35
http://www.scubava.com/equipment/start/real_cost.html

I love how some dive shops are willing to outright lie to their consumers. This one actually really makes me angry.

There's about a dozen of us regularly diving (50-75 dives a year) out here in Dutch Harbor. No local dive shop for 800 miles, and it's a $1200 plane ticket to get to a marginal one.

Trust me when I say that you don't need a local dive shop. Don't buy into their hype that you must support them or local diving will cease to exist. This is nothing but a blatant scare tactic used to cover up crappy service and ridiculous pricing policies enforced by manufacturers.

I guess to answer the question - I don't have a local dive shop now, but when I did, I didn't care what they thought of my online purchases. I'm the consumer - it's my decision where I spend my money.

I am, however, absolutely opposed to using a local dive shop as a "fitting room", only to turn around and buy online. This seems unethical to me.

Support good dive shops (both local and online), let the bad ones go under.

/rant off.

-B.

JugglingMonkeys
08-09-2007, 00:02
a problem for me is that the LDS provides good opportunities for diving together. if i don't buy anything from them, i feel bad about taking advantage of these sorts of services.

CompuDude
08-09-2007, 00:27
http://www.scubava.com/equipment/start/real_cost.html

I love how some dive shops are willing to outright lie to their consumers. This one actually really makes me angry.

There's about a dozen of us regularly diving (50-75 dives a year) out here in Dutch Harbor. No local dive shop for 800 miles, and it's a $1200 plane ticket to get to a marginal one.

Trust me when I say that you don't need a local dive shop. Don't buy into their hype that you must support them or local diving will cease to exist. This is nothing but a blatant scare tactic used to cover up crappy service and ridiculous pricing policies enforced by manufacturers.

I guess to answer the question - I don't have a local dive shop now, but when I did, I didn't care what they thought of my online purchases. I'm the consumer - it's my decision where I spend my money.

I am, however, absolutely opposed to using a local dive shop as a "fitting room", only to turn around and buy online. This seems unethical to me.

Support good dive shops (both local and online), let the bad ones go under.

/rant off.

-B.
No offense, and I realize your situation in Dutch Harbor Alaska is not the same as in Los Angeles, but...

A whole dozen local divers? And do you consider this a thriving diving community? Where do you send people for instruction if they want to take up the sport as well? And where do you get your fills... a group buy of a compressor, or a friendly fire department? How about Nitrox? What do you do if a piece of gear is lost and you have a dive planned... scrub the dive?

There are consequences to having no LDS. I'm not saying some of them don't deserve to go under for unethical practices such as outright lying to gullible customers, but they're not all like that.

I, for one, am MUCH happier in a world with a variety of LDSs than without.

brandon
08-09-2007, 01:57
No offense, and I realize your situation in Dutch Harbor Alaska is not the same as in Los Angeles, but...

A whole dozen local divers? And do you consider this a thriving diving community? Where do you send people for instruction if they want to take up the sport as well? And where do you get your fills... a group buy of a compressor, or a friendly fire department? How about Nitrox? What do you do if a piece of gear is lost and you have a dive planned... scrub the dive?

There are consequences to having no LDS. I'm not saying some of them don't deserve to go under for unethical practices such as outright lying to gullible customers, but they're not all like that.

I, for one, am MUCH happier in a world with a variety of LDSs than without.

This is a community of 4,000 people - a dozen divers is actually quite a good percentage. There's more than that if you include commercial divers, and I know there's 6 people in a recent cert class that haven't started diving with us regularly yet.

We have a local instructor and he teaches PADI OW through DM. Runs an OW class about once every three months with half a dozen students or so.

Air fills aren't an issue. Right now we're using one of our club member's compressor, but when that goes down we have several other options. There are two other privately owned compressors on the island that are available for fills, and three commercial operators that will do fills on the side. The FD also has two compressors, but there's a political snafu right now that's made those compressors unavailable for even the department members. That's a lot of options. Even in larger cities, if you start looking around you'll find the same thing.

Nitrox... not bothering with it as of yet. Temperature comfort is usually the limiting factor on our dives, not air NDLs. When we find something deep enough that air is no longer sufficient, we'll get with one of the local welding companies and order some aviation o2. So far not necessary though - we have some 20+ dive sites all above 80 feet.

As for gear, when I went diving today I discovered that my regulator was in fact damaged from the previous dive (I dropped my rig, checked it and thought it was okay... but not working today.) No biggie, I called one of my dive buddies and used her reg for the dive. She's pulling her spare and leaving it on the equipment rack for me, so no big deal until I get mine back from service.

Same goes when we send gear out - between the regular divers we have enough extra gear to outfit 4-6 divers (we do it every OW class), so it's easy to borrow whatever you need until yours comes back.


I realize that the whole LDS vs Online argument doesn't really apply to us, as we have no local shop to support. But using our situation as an example does do an excellent job of illustrating what's possible without a local dive shop.

Like I said, support a good shop if you have one. But if not, don't be bullied into accepting poor customer service and high prices because of the "without the LDS there's no diving" scare tactic. That's BS and we're proving it an average of twice a week =)

-B.

Advokat
08-09-2007, 03:22
a problem for me is that the LDS provides good opportunities for diving together. if i don't buy anything from them, i feel bad about taking advantage of these sorts of services.

If you pay membership fee, I see no reason you should feel guilty. They should at least attend to be competitive! It is better to sell 50 regulators for $300, than selling 10 regulators for $600

skdvr
08-09-2007, 03:51
One of the shops that I go to will flat out tell you that if you buy something on line you are just asking for trouble.... You get no one on one customer service, you do not know if things are going to fit you right. You get NO warranty. Good luck trying to send the stuff back if it does not fit you, or work like you thought.

Now I guess that could be the case with a few of the online dealers, but the ones that I have dealt with are great. I have no fear in buying things on line. Espically from a place like ST where I can call the shop (and it is an actual shop) and get advice on things. If I get something and do not like it for what ever reason they take it back. And, we all know that you can buy stuff online and still get the warranty

This LDS that I am talking about is so bad that I had bought two AL tanks from them about a year ago. I usually take my tanks into them to get air fills because they are on my way home from work. Well about 3 months ago I bought a tank from another LDS and of course it has their VIP sticker on it. When I took the new tank into the normal LDS for an air fill the guy looked at the VIP and then asked if this was a buddy's tank. I told him "No, I just bought it". If looks could kill I would be 6ft under right now.

I think that some shops have the attitude that ODS are evil and no good, which just turns me off to buying much at all from the LDS. I just do not like the attitude of "If you do not buy from me you will be sorry!"

Phil

nferra2
08-09-2007, 11:19
I don't want to imagine how they will react to an online purchase, after they flipped on me for scheduling my OW class on my vacation.

JugglingMonkeys
08-09-2007, 11:19
a problem for me is that the LDS provides good opportunities for diving together. if i don't buy anything from them, i feel bad about taking advantage of these sorts of services.

If you pay membership fee, I see no reason you should feel guilty. They should at least attend to be competitive! It is better to sell 50 regulators for $300, than selling 10 regulators for $600


no, there's no membership fee.

the owner is a real nice guy, passionate for diving.
just very high priced stuff.
and not always a great selection.

tbush
08-09-2007, 11:38
I always supported my LDS just for the customer service. however that great service is not so great anymore. now I splt my time & money between local & Scuba Toys,the drive into Dallas is worth it on important purchases, when I want a DS that stands behind there produsts.

Doghouse
08-09-2007, 11:45
If you purchase servicable gear from the LDS, they give you a break sometimes when little things go wrong. If you buy it elseware, they charge you for everything.

That is the view as expressed by the owner of one shop I go to.

That way they get their money one way or another...

dallasdivergirl
08-09-2007, 12:34
I am lucky that ST is my local dive shop.

I do have to drive by two other LDS to get there.

Maybe 3 or 4 once I move next week.

Matt
08-09-2007, 12:41
The dive store I got certified, they had a huge, huge markup on stuff.

I paid over $300 just for mask, fins, and booties when I got certified (my gf did the same thing, same time). I wanted to buy dive gear and he gave me a quote. I compared with scubatoys - nearly a thousand dollars cheaper online for each of us!! He copped an attitude about online purchasing.

Needless to say... A few weeks later, we saw the shop owner (who was also my instructor). He asked me where the hell we got all of my gear with an attitude. I said "online". I did not specify where exactly.

A month later, I drove by the dive shop and noticed that it went out of business. I sometimes wonder if we were the ones who "burst his bubble" causing him to quit the business. I do not have any regrets. It's a cut-throat business, like anything else.

JugglingMonkeys
08-09-2007, 18:40
I always supported my LDS just for the customer service. however that great service is not so great anymore. now I splt my time & money between local & Scuba Toys,the drive into Dallas is worth it on important purchases, when I want a DS that stands behind there produsts.


i'm making some major pruchases now and trying to split them in the same way.
hard to find a balance point when so much money is involved.
it would be easier if the difference was not so great!!

TxScubaBear
08-09-2007, 18:48
Rule my dad always taught me (and y'all know it already): Take care of those that take care of you. Same scenario, paid well over $300 for gear, right after OW cert they went out of business.....



The dive store I got certified, they had a huge, huge markup on stuff.

I paid over $300 just for mask, fins, and booties when I got certified (my gf did the same thing, same time). I wanted to buy dive gear and he gave me a quote. I compared with scubatoys - nearly a thousand dollars cheaper online for each of us!! He copped an attitude about online purchasing.

Needless to say... A few weeks later, we saw the shop owner (who was also my instructor). He asked me where the hell we got all of my gear with an attitude. I said "online". I did not specify where exactly.

A month later, I drove by the dive shop and noticed that it went out of business. I sometimes wonder if we were the ones who "burst his bubble" causing him to quit the business. I do not have any regrets. It's a cut-throat business, like anything else.

nferra2
08-09-2007, 19:27
The place I am getting my OW cert from told me they could match or probably beat ST prices for Fins/mask/boots/snorkel. I am waiting on a quote for the gear I was looking at, if the prices are in line I will buy there. That will allow me to have my $60 worth of Gift Certificates towards a BCD or Reg.

JugglingMonkeys
08-09-2007, 20:00
my LDS says he's "not allowed" to discount.

is this correct?
perhaps for some manufacturers but not others?

ScubaToys Larry
08-09-2007, 20:04
my LDS says he's "not allowed" to discount.

is this correct?
perhaps for some manufacturers but not others?

After you are in a shop, a LDS can work any deal they want. There are minimum price advertising rules, but other than scubapro who has what some term an illegal price fixing model, a LDS can do anything they want once you are in the door (or in our case - on the phone).

And even when we did carry scubapro with their rules, nothing stopped me from selling you a reg at their fixed price, and then to make up for it, sell you a dive bag for a dollar.

So "not allowed" is probably not accurate, unless he is an employee and his boss is telling him he is "not allowed" to discount.

Spinner
08-09-2007, 20:16
I use 2 dive shop locally. One will meet or beat any advertised price, the other will work with you and pretty much meet it as well. With that said neither really carry the brands I want so it is sort of a moot point.

nferra2
08-09-2007, 20:26
He may not be able to advertise below a certain price on certain brands, but he can sell for whatever he wants to. It is more like, he won't discount. There are also ways to get around MAP (Minium Advertised price) by having a 10% off everything in the store sale or $50 off any $250 purchase.

JugglingMonkeys
08-09-2007, 20:35
but other than scubapro who has what some term an illegal price fixing model, a LDS can do anything they want once you are in the door (or in our case - on the phone).

And even when we did carry scubapro with their rules, nothing stopped me from selling you a reg at their fixed price, and then to make up for it, sell you a dive bag for a dollar.


Thanks Larry. Very helpful!
yes, this is the case.
it's scubapro and he is willing to make up at least some of the difference with other "free" stuff.

i have wondered about scubapro's position - i'm not a lawyer, but from the little i know, i believe this is not legal for them to do this.

Spinner
08-10-2007, 04:05
i have wondered about scubapro's position - i'm not a lawyer, but from the little i know, i believe this is not legal for them to do this.


Price fixing is illegal, as is collusion, not sure why someone has not gone after them. There must be some sort of loophole in there that is protecting them.

mike_s
08-10-2007, 09:10
my LDS says he's "not allowed" to discount.

is this correct?
perhaps for some manufacturers but not others?



Well he's lying to you.


But pricing models all depend on the manufacturer and the dealer agreement.

There is also something called MAP. Minimum Advertised Price, and it's in the Dealer agreement.

Like I said, each brand is different.
For example:

Aqualung wants you to sell everything at MSRP, but you're allowed to sell and advertise for 10% less. Of course some dealers openly sell for more than 10% less.

DiveRite wants you to advertise at MSRP, but will allow the dealer to sell at about any price without much in hassles

Scubapro wants you to sell at MSRP, but they have some discounting allowed.

Then you've got other brands like XSSCuba, Oceanic, Aeris, Tusa, etc that all have MSRP and a lower MAP price that you can't advertise below, but they really don't care for how much lower you're selling it at, as long as their brand is being sold.


So any dealer that says he's not allowed to discount is just a snake trying to get more money out of your pockets.

mike_s
08-10-2007, 09:20
i have wondered about scubapro's position - i'm not a lawyer, but from the little i know, i believe this is not legal for them to do this.


Price fixing is illegal, as is collusion, not sure why someone has not gone after them. There must be some sort of loophole in there that is protecting them.



The loophole that is protecting them is the US Supreme Court.



The Supreme Court case of Miles v. Park made that illegal (1911).

However, more recently they overturned that with Leegan v. PSKS, Inc (2007)

see http://www.twice.com/article/CA6456240.html

ScubaToys Larry
08-10-2007, 09:37
Yes, the courts being a republican - pro business, da' heck with the consumer supreme court will not step in and stop it - it's up to the stores to not carry their product, or consumers to not buy it if you want to see the policy changed. It's one of the reasons we no longer carry Scubapro.

Spinner
08-10-2007, 10:06
The above is one of the reasons I generally won't buy ScubaPro.

Another question. I have heard that this particular manufacturer may either refuse to do business with a retailer or manipulates their (that being the retailer's) discount structure if they also offer competing product lines. However I do not know if this is fact or just rumor.

creggur
08-10-2007, 10:36
Yes, the courts being a republican - pro business, da' heck with the consumer supreme court will not step in and stop it - it's up to the stores to not carry their product, or consumers to not buy it if you want to see the policy changed. It's one of the reasons we no longer carry Scubapro.


Not to get into too much politics here, but I think the courts ruling will do what a free market is supposed to do...Weed out the bad companies, reward the good ones.. If a company refuses to change with the times and continue to do business as they have always done, they won't survive..Especially if they are cheating and pouring their own goods into the gray market...

I would not buy SP because of this, and I respect your decision not to carry them.. It says a lot to me that you won't carry a very popular brand because of their business practices, I really have to question that company as a whole.. So Kudos to you for standing up to them.. In the end you, and all of us win!!!!

CompuDude
08-10-2007, 12:26
The above is one of the reasons I generally won't buy ScubaPro.

Another question. I have heard that this particular manufacturer may either refuse to do business with a retailer or manipulates their (that being the retailer's) discount structure if they also offer competing product lines. However I do not know if this is fact or just rumor.
Aqualung is just as bad if not worse.

On the other hand, if you're running a computer with a Microsoft operating system, I don't think you really have a lot of moral ground to stand on there.

Shame those two companies make the best regs (IMO). So I'm not going to let it stop me.

Spinner
08-10-2007, 14:16
The above is one of the reasons I generally won't buy ScubaPro.

Another question. I have heard that this particular manufacturer may either refuse to do business with a retailer or manipulates their (that being the retailer's) discount structure if they also offer competing product lines. However I do not know if this is fact or just rumor.
Aqualung is just as bad if not worse.

On the other hand, if you're running a computer with a Microsoft operating system, I don't think you really have a lot of moral ground to stand on there.

Shame those two companies make the best regs (IMO). So I'm not going to let it stop me.

I never said you shouldn't buy thier product just that I wouldn't. My current reg is not Aqua Lung either. I am not one to pass judgement or praise anyone else's purchase choices, it is a matter of prefernce and a personal decision.

However the question here was about how your dive shop feels about Internet sales, so maybe we should get back on topic.

CompuDude
08-10-2007, 16:43
I never said you shouldn't buy thier product just that I wouldn't. My current reg is not Aqua Lung either. I am not one to pass judgement or praise anyone else's purchase choices, it is a matter of prefernce and a personal decision.

However the question here was about how your dive shop feels about Internet sales, so maybe we should get back on topic.
Troo, dat.

Welcome to the internet. ;)

cummings66
08-10-2007, 17:47
Depending on the product my LDS is ok with it, or disappointed. They'll usually try to get me something I want even if they're not authorized to sell it. For example I want another DS4 and they're checking with another dive shop to get me one. They work out trades and such, I'll know more about it later.

quarrydiver
08-11-2007, 11:31
My LDS is run out of a garage and frequently doesn't answer email or phone calls but is angry when you don't shell out extra cash for gear at their shop? Smaller dive shops need to focus on making money through dive instruction, service, repairs, and fills.

frenchy07
08-19-2007, 00:01
My LDS is 6 hours south of me in Carrolton, TX.

subsur
08-19-2007, 07:29
none, i've never had any problems with my LDS. They could bit online prices a few times, and i bought from them stuff that i had to try on myself. most of my gear (smth that i did not try on) was purchased online. i don't advertize my gear at LDS and how cheaply I bought it - it's not going to serve any good. I actually, sent my reg to a far away place for service, i did not use my LDS for it. So, in reality, i even never had to use my LDS for any services other than tank fills.

Buoyant1
08-19-2007, 19:03
Honestly, I have a great LDS. They are very competetive and progressive a far as what they carry. In terms of whether I buy from them or online is mostly regarding something that may need service, they remind me that If it needs service, they won't be able to honor the warranty (if it's from a grey market outlet) or if its something they DON'T service, they legally can't. But as far as pricing, they are pretty close to what I can get online, and in some cases have a better deal. (also since they usually throw in fills, and opportunities to try out the gear in a pool during their classes)

I consider myself lucky even compared to the shop that is across town!

cgvmer
08-19-2007, 21:04
I have rarely found the lds's in my area very inviting. They need to realize it is a retail establishment

NitroWill
08-19-2007, 21:08
My LDS is Divers Direct - they are overall decent. The staff isnt the best - but I 99% know what I want before going in there. They will price match any online retailer so whenever I need something quick or something tried on its off to them. Everything else I get from ST.

Krakenn
08-19-2007, 23:58
Isnt that called price fixing? -If they say they cant sell at certain prices?

In Austalia we have a consumer protection authority that controls that sought of thing.

Kraks

brandon
08-20-2007, 00:41
Yeah, in theory we have that in our country too.

We're real keen on how exactly things are worded though... they are walking the edge of what's legal and not, but haven't crossed it badly enough yet.

It's crap, but our government is run by corporations, and the laws were altered to protect certain trade interests.

/shrug.

-B.

Xspect
08-20-2007, 17:27
When I first saw this I thought this was a good warning. But I brought a BC online for 1/2 price !!! it dives well and fits like a glove. I knew it was all BS !!



You want see some propaganda, check this out - a one size fits all online retailers approach (I guess they were talking about leisure pro).

http://www.scubava.com/equipment/start/real_cost.html

greyzen
08-20-2007, 21:22
You want see some propaganda, check this out - a one size fits all online retailers approach (I guess they were talking about leisure pro).

http://www.scubava.com/equipment/start/real_cost.html

:jawdropblue:

I think I would be reporting that link to some of the distro companies out there who might have legal comments to make to those guys.

Resellers have guidelines they are supposed to follow to prevent misleading customers...

3rdEye
08-20-2007, 21:49
a problem for me is that the LDS provides good opportunities for diving together. if i don't buy anything from them, i feel bad about taking advantage of these sorts of services.


i feel kind of the same way....but you know, I will continue to give them my patronage in other ways.....classes, trips, rentals, fills etc. I'm only going to spend my money there where I feel it makes sense for me to. Adapt or die....that's the reality. And if I get attitude about it, well someone else out there will want my business.

The real problem is, a lot of these shop owners aren't bright enough to understand why their business may be dying...and when they do, someone will step up and take their place.

somewhereinla
08-20-2007, 22:48
My LDS is actually very competitive. There are certain things such as my reg., tanks, mask... that I will get at my LDS, other things such as SPG, I'll get online. Most of the time I get stuff online because my LDS doesn't have them... I also dive Apeks regs, so I can't get them online. I think that most people are afraid to ask for a better deal from their lds. Some of them will match internet deals, just ask.

gtjason2000
08-21-2007, 15:56
I am lucky I am close enough to ST that it is almost my lds. But there is one much closer where I go for all my training, rentals, and stuff. I feel the need to support them especially as I am moving into the professional ranks. I am totally in the internet age as you can probably tell from my age, I grew up with computers, so I tend to judge businesses by their websites and how much they are into the internets. I don't like having to call up to see when classes or trips are or what equipment is in stock.

3rdEye
08-21-2007, 21:35
I am lucky I am close enough to ST that it is almost my lds. But there is one much closer where I go for all my training, rentals, and stuff. I feel the need to support them especially as I am moving into the professional ranks. I am totally in the internet age as you can probably tell from my age, I grew up with computers, so I tend to judge businesses by their websites and how much they are into the internets. I don't like having to call up to see when classes or trips are or what equipment is in stock.

true that....if involves more than clicking, it's a bit of a hassle :smiley36:

in fact, I wish that even ST would get more of their inventory online, because I know that they have stuff available that isn't up there.