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TheProf
12-16-2007, 15:23
I got taken to the cleaners by our LDS a couple years ago. I tried to "phone first" to make sure they had fins that would do the job for me before driving to the store. This is one instance where not doing my homework cost me big bucks, as I now realize that the owner jacked up his prices since he knew I was headed out on a trip. Now I've learned my lesson and will do my comparison shopping online first. The prices here at ST seem really competitive, and I like the shipping prices and policies. Do you find that the prices at your LDS are also marked up?

adv_diver1
12-16-2007, 15:28
The LDS's around here can not even come CLOSE to ST.com prices. In fact, most websites I have looked through can't touch these prices.

FishFood
12-16-2007, 15:30
Thats horrible. What fins/price were they?

Thankfully my LDS is usually only a tad higher than ST's, and often times the same price after shipping (well, except for right now with the free shipping promo)

mitchy
12-16-2007, 15:36
I find my dive shop comparable to all others in the area, and comparable to ST for many products, which is pretty good as diving up here is seasonal. I equiped myself with Sherwood gear, and they undercut all the other diveshops by hundreds of dollars, so I was impressed. When I bought my 7mm wetsuit, hood and gloves this summer, they gave me a great package deal, and then decided to upgrade me on the gloves as well.

TheProf
12-16-2007, 15:36
Thanks for the input on ST. That makes me feel good that I've come across a good site. I'm wary of new (to me) online vendors, especially when I want the merchandise in a certain time frame (e.g., Christmas or a trip!).

As for the fins, I don't remember the brand, but they were 65$, and it appears I could have gotten something decent for much less than that. I don't have to buy the cheapest thing out there, but if I pay top dollar, I want to get my money's worth.

cheebaweebie
12-16-2007, 15:53
I see my LDS alot higher than ST and other on line retailers. I usually check out the stuff that I want at the dive shops, size/fit/look then find it on line cheaper and buy. The first time I equipted myself (like 5 years ago) I spend way to much. If I look back on it, I could have gotten much better quality and quantity used and new for cheaper by doing my home work on line vs. buying from an LDS.

Goober
12-16-2007, 15:55
My LDS runs about 15-20 bucks more on "High dollar" items. But for the most part by the time I pay for shipping if I purchase online they are pretty much even. I usually only buy online, when there is something that catches my eye that my LDS does not carry.

I do try and support them with my purchases the majority of the time. But take for instance...I'm in the market for a wetsuit. ST has what I want. My LDS does not. The closest thing they have is 40.00 more than what I've spotted here. Times like this....ST gets my cash:smiley20:.

FishFood
12-16-2007, 15:58
I see my LDS alot higher than ST and other on line retailers. I usually check out the stuff that I want at the dive shops, size/fit/look then find it on line cheaper and buy. The first time I equipted myself (like 5 years ago) I spend way to much. If I look back on it, I could have gotten much better quality and quantity used and new for cheaper by doing my home work on line vs. buying from an LDS.

IMO that's not right :smiley21:

If I owned a dive shop youd be getting your air fills (and trying on items) elsewhere.

wheelman
12-16-2007, 16:15
I believe in supporting my LDS and for the most part they are competative. I have a good relationship with the people and they treat me right and have done some services and equip. checks for nothing because of customer loyalty. I never have felt that I have been taken on any deal. Oh and the most important.... if they close no close air fills.

cheebaweebie
12-16-2007, 16:34
I see my LDS alot higher than ST and other on line retailers. I usually check out the stuff that I want at the dive shops, size/fit/look then find it on line cheaper and buy. The first time I equipted myself (like 5 years ago) I spend way to much. If I look back on it, I could have gotten much better quality and quantity used and new for cheaper by doing my home work on line vs. buying from an LDS.

IMO that's not right :smiley21:

If I owned a dive shop youd be getting your air fills (and trying on items) elsewhere.

Believe me bro... my LDS gets a fair share of my cash. Trips, spare shafts / bands etc for my gun, nitrox fills... I just bought a pair of 3MM neoprene socks yesterday and a stringer when I lost mine a few months ago. They service my gear and do viz inspections on my tanks but tell me that if you had the chance to save 150 bones on a speargun or 75 to 100 on a wetsuit by getting it online vs. buying it from you LDS you wouldn't take advantage... Diving is an expensive sport and even though I know my LDS is there to service divers first and make money second I sure am not all about throwing hundreds of dollars away so my LDS can make a sale. Hey more cash for our buddies at ST... :anim_soapbox:

mitsuguy
12-16-2007, 19:29
I see my LDS alot higher than ST and other on line retailers. I usually check out the stuff that I want at the dive shops, size/fit/look then find it on line cheaper and buy. The first time I equipted myself (like 5 years ago) I spend way to much. If I look back on it, I could have gotten much better quality and quantity used and new for cheaper by doing my home work on line vs. buying from an LDS.

IMO that's not right :smiley21:

If I owned a dive shop youd be getting your air fills (and trying on items) elsewhere.

then that would be your bad business decision... compete in price or die...

mitsuguy
12-16-2007, 20:04
I don't think FishFood is talking about price, but the ethics of abusing the LDS's time & resources for fitting purposes with the intention of then buying cheap on the internet.

If "our buddies at ST" sanction/suggest such practices they've lost my respect.

I can't say whether they do or don't, but again, if you can't price competitively, then I don't feel bad that they lost that business... I can say that many people shop locally, then buy on the internet... In my business, they do it too... Ya know how I compete? I get them when they are in the store shopping, looking, then sell them what they are looking for... Tire sales are one important aspect of my business, and many people shop locally before buying either locally or online... I stop that as soon as they walk in the store. A couple key questions - where else have you been shopping, and how does our price compare? Tire Rack is a big online competitor, and Discount Tire (I used to work there too) is a big local competitor. If someone says they are contemplating buying online, I'll go check Tire Racks prices and match them or beat them if we don't already do... Same goes for other competitors that offer prices online.

To the person that posted this, I'm sure if the LDS would have simply asked a question about their pricing, and been willing to compete with price, then they would have made that sale instead of letting him get as far as trying it on and getting out of the store. My sales philosophy is to do whatever it takes to make the sale - don't let price be a deciding factor...

Splitlip
12-16-2007, 20:47
I think I know where Petard was going...

We have a little dive shop in my area. He is the only Henderson dealer I know of in the area. He cannot compete with places like LP.
People come in the shop, try on suits and go through all the motions then say they will be back. They don't come back. They order form LP or another power internet dealer.
I buy from ST, but I favor my local shops if they have the product.

I don't think, purchasing, mounting, balancing and disposing of tires is a fair comparison.

And, before we all get too crazy, let's remember the OP was talking about $65.00 ?? fins and does not recall the manufacturer nor has he shared the specifics of his trip "to the cleaners"

Splitlip
12-16-2007, 20:52
I don't think FishFood is talking about price, but the ethics of abusing the LDS's time & resources for fitting purposes with the intention of then buying cheap on the internet.

If "our buddies at ST" sanction/suggest such practices they've lost my respect.

I can't say whether they do or don't, but again, if you can't price competitively, then I don't feel bad that they lost that business... I can say that many people shop locally, then buy on the internet... In my business, they do it too... Ya know how I compete? I get them when they are in the store shopping, looking, then sell them what they are looking for... Tire sales are one important aspect of my business, and many people shop locally before buying either locally or online... I stop that as soon as they walk in the store. A couple key questions - where else have you been shopping, and how does our price compare? Tire Rack is a big online competitor, and Discount Tire (I used to work there too) is a big local competitor. If someone says they are contemplating buying online, I'll go check Tire Racks prices and match them or beat them if we don't already do... Same goes for other competitors that offer prices online.

To the person that posted this, I'm sure if the LDS would have simply asked a question about their pricing, and been willing to compete with price, then they would have made that sale instead of letting him get as far as trying it on and getting out of the store. My sales philosophy is to do whatever it takes to make the sale - don't let price be a deciding factor...


cheebaweebie said "I usually check out the stuff that I want at the dive shops, size/fit/look then find it on line cheaper and buy." If he goes into the store & says up front can you meet this price point, if not I just want to use your resources to find the best fit & then go buy it cheaper elsewhere & they're amenable to that, all is well. If however he does exactly what he has stated, (& this after all is all I have to go on), if you do it on the sly you don't give anyone a chance to compete, well as I'v already said, I think that stinks.

I agree. It's bull ****.

mitsuguy
12-16-2007, 21:53
I don't think FishFood is talking about price, but the ethics of abusing the LDS's time & resources for fitting purposes with the intention of then buying cheap on the internet.

If "our buddies at ST" sanction/suggest such practices they've lost my respect.

I can't say whether they do or don't, but again, if you can't price competitively, then I don't feel bad that they lost that business... I can say that many people shop locally, then buy on the internet... In my business, they do it too... Ya know how I compete? I get them when they are in the store shopping, looking, then sell them what they are looking for... Tire sales are one important aspect of my business, and many people shop locally before buying either locally or online... I stop that as soon as they walk in the store. A couple key questions - where else have you been shopping, and how does our price compare? Tire Rack is a big online competitor, and Discount Tire (I used to work there too) is a big local competitor. If someone says they are contemplating buying online, I'll go check Tire Racks prices and match them or beat them if we don't already do... Same goes for other competitors that offer prices online.

To the person that posted this, I'm sure if the LDS would have simply asked a question about their pricing, and been willing to compete with price, then they would have made that sale instead of letting him get as far as trying it on and getting out of the store. My sales philosophy is to do whatever it takes to make the sale - don't let price be a deciding factor...


cheebaweebie said "I usually check out the stuff that I want at the dive shops, size/fit/look then find it on line cheaper and buy." If he goes into the store & says up front can you meet this price point, if not I just want to use your resources to find the best fit & then go buy it cheaper elsewhere & they're amenable to that, all is well. If however he does exactly what he has stated, (& this after all is all I have to go on), if you do it on the sly you don't give anyone a chance to compete, well as I'v already said, I think that stinks.

I agree. It's bull ****.

You guys have obviously not been in the sales business, ever...

We offer sales and service, so do LDS's... If a tire customer comes in to look at options (this happens quite often), and they walk out without buying something, I can tell you that myself, or any of our sales people have guaranteed to take care of that customer both in service and in price.

If someone has gone to the extent of trying something on, if they really are intent on purchasing, I guarantee they would have bought it from me, not online. Unfortunately, being a salesperson is part of working at a dive shop. I do not agree with high pressure sales, and what we do is not high pressure, instead it's all about informing the customer of our price competitiveness and our way to back up our services.

I don't leave it up to the customer to tell me he/she is shopping - every customer is potentially shopping, and obviously someone is helping him if he is trying stuff on. If that person never asked how their price was, then they DESERVE to lose the sale. That is part of their job. My LDS has asked many times how their price was. They are very aware of their competition online and obviously can't know everyones price.

It's kinda like if you call up Scubatoys and say "hey, competitor X has this price" and they say, sure, we'll match it no problem...

I walk out of stores all the time just because their sales staff was not motivated to make a sale. Not that I ask for a better deal, or a discount, just because I have much higher expectations of salespeople...

We'll even sell for cost or below cost to win a customer if needed... Return business is key, and if all the LDS's would understand this, ST wouldn't be quite the internet presence they are. For that, I am grateful, but businesses all over are failing because of it and for every one that fails, its one that can't provide classes and air fills for local divers...

RonFrank
12-16-2007, 23:35
As for the fins, I don't remember the brand, but they were 65$, and it appears I could have gotten something decent for much less than that. I don't have to buy the cheapest thing out there, but if I pay top dollar, I want to get my money's worth.

$65 for open heel fins is cheap. Top dollar for fins would be in the $200 range, but you can spend $600 if you try! :smiley2:

You'd have to provide the manufacture and model to determine if you were ripped off.

How did you determine that the LDS owner jacked up his prices based on your phone call?

mitsuguy
12-16-2007, 23:39
Actually I'v owned a couple of businesses over the years.
As you seem quite intent on missing the point I'll just agree to disagree & leave you to it.

I understand your point... And you are intent on missing mine - that if the person helping him would have asked some simple questions, it could have prevented him from doing so...

For instance, a coworker saw a deal on a laptop online recently. Knowing that I used to own a computer store, he asked my opinion. I did some research and found that Circuit City carried the same model. I'm not much of a person to go by specs alone, I like to touch, I dragged him with me to Circuit City to see it in person. My co worker was intent on buying it online due to the fact that it was $100 cheaper, and he'd save that plus tax (A total of about $180). When we were in Circuit City, a salesman asked if we needed help - we were already looking at the specific model and I had told him it would meet all his relatively simple needs. I told him sure, that we were looking at that specific laptop. He asked us if we had been shopping around, and we answered yes - he asked what kind of other deals we'd seen - I politely responded that an online vendor had the same laptop on sale for $100 and no tax less. The salesman checked that online price, and offered to meet the deal. My coworker mentioned that online would still be cheaper due to the tax, to which the salesman said they couldnt really do anything about, but he would throw in a laptop bag and a couple other goodies.

Needless to say, although we were intent on buying online, when we went to "try it on" in the store, we ended up walking out with it. Salesperson won over the internet pricing, as should be expected by any brick and mortar store that wants to compete...

RonFrank
12-16-2007, 23:42
I see my LDS alot higher than ST and other on line retailers. I usually check out the stuff that I want at the dive shops, size/fit/look then find it on line cheaper and buy.

Living in FL, you should not have to pay top dollar for gear at a LDS, because your LDS includes places like Divers Direct, and many Diving outlets. I make minor purchases in FL annually because it's just about the cheapest dive destination in the USA to do so. I've seen some incredible deals on Tanks, and wetsuits.

If you are using your LDS for sizing, fit, and feel, and they making online purchases, that's just wrong.

RonFrank
12-16-2007, 23:49
My sales philosophy is to do whatever it takes to make the sale - don't let price be a deciding factor...

That's a nice way of doing business, as long as you can afford to do so.

I'm not sure that some LDS's can, even if I agree that most won't even if they could.

Our LDS likes their markup. I've discussed their approach with the Retail Manager, and they would rather loose some business to online sales vs. competing. These guys are one of the top PADI certification LDS's in the world, and they are making good $$$ selling personal gear, and full packages here and there. That is the way they do business, and that is perfectly legitimate.

They do provide very nice hands on service, and the sales staff is knowledgeable about most things they sell.

PsychDiver
12-17-2007, 00:45
Same with my LDS. I always tell them what I can get it for on line and ask them to match it. They don't so I order it online. I do not believe in going to the lds and trying everything on and then going online. If you are going to use the dive shops resources and personnel than buy from the shop. If you do the research yourself than buy from the cheapest.

Foo2
12-17-2007, 09:44
Thanks for the input on ST. That makes me feel good that I've come across a good site. I'm wary of new (to me) online vendors, especially when I want the merchandise in a certain time frame (e.g., Christmas or a trip!)

I just wanted to make sure that you realize that ST isn't just an online dealer. They are a full blown dive shop and were way before they started selling online. There is no reason not to trust them. Also, you will probably find that their shipping is much faster than you expect. I can't speak from experience on the shipping due to the fact that I am local. (ST is my LDS) But I have heard very few complaints from customers that are shipping and if they do have a complaint, ST is always there to make things right. You can't beat their customer service.

navyhmc
12-17-2007, 10:25
Thanks for the input on ST. That makes me feel good that I've come across a good site. I'm wary of new (to me) online vendors, especially when I want the merchandise in a certain time frame (e.g., Christmas or a trip!)

I just wanted to make sure that you realize that ST isn't just an online dealer. They are a full blown dive shop and were way before they started selling online. There is no reason not to trust them. Also, you will probably find that their shipping is much faster than you expect. I can't speak from experience on the shipping due to the fact that I am local. (ST is my LDS) But I have heard very few complaints from customers that are shipping and if they do have a complaint, ST is always there to make things right. You can't beat their customer service.

I knew that you folks were a full service shop. Even come in once while on a raod trip through Dalls and just had to stop in at a place called "Scuba Toys" But I'm glad you are online too. I's stop in more, except for the 6 hour drive. :D

RonFrank
12-17-2007, 10:37
I just wanted to make sure that you realize that ST isn't just an online dealer. They are a full blown dive shop and were way before they started selling online.

This statement can be extended to most Online Scuba Vendors.

DiveTank, Scuba.com, Leisurepro, Divers Direct, they all have a brick and mortar retail presence in their local markets.

Foo2
12-17-2007, 10:45
I just wanted to make sure that you realize that ST isn't just an online dealer. They are a full blown dive shop and were way before they started selling online.

This statement can be extended to most Online Scuba Vendors.

DiveTank, Scuba.com, Leisurepro, Divers Direct, they all have a brick and mortar retail presence in their local markets.

True, but ST does many things other than retail. They offer classes and service equipment. ST is the same as your everyday LDS, just with 10000 sq ft, $5 million in inventory, an indoor pool onsite, and amazing customer service. Just an FYI.

Foo2
12-17-2007, 10:47
I knew that you folks were a full service shop. Even come in once while on a raod trip through Dalls and just had to stop in at a place called "Scuba Toys" But I'm glad you are online too. I's stop in more, except for the 6 hour drive. :D

Just so there isn't any confusion, I do not have the pleasure of working at ST. Just a loyal customer.

awap
12-17-2007, 10:55
Actually I'v owned a couple of businesses over the years.
As you seem quite intent on missing the point I'll just agree to disagree & leave you to it.

I understand your point... And you are intent on missing mine - that if the person helping him would have asked some simple questions, it could have prevented him from doing so...

For instance, a coworker saw a deal on a laptop online recently. Knowing that I used to own a computer store, he asked my opinion. I did some research and found that Circuit City carried the same model. I'm not much of a person to go by specs alone, I like to touch, I dragged him with me to Circuit City to see it in person. My co worker was intent on buying it online due to the fact that it was $100 cheaper, and he'd save that plus tax (A total of about $180). When we were in Circuit City, a salesman asked if we needed help - we were already looking at the specific model and I had told him it would meet all his relatively simple needs. I told him sure, that we were looking at that specific laptop. He asked us if we had been shopping around, and we answered yes - he asked what kind of other deals we'd seen - I politely responded that an online vendor had the same laptop on sale for $100 and no tax less. The salesman checked that online price, and offered to meet the deal. My coworker mentioned that online would still be cheaper due to the tax, to which the salesman said they couldnt really do anything about, but he would throw in a laptop bag and a couple other goodies.

Needless to say, although we were intent on buying online, when we went to "try it on" in the store, we ended up walking out with it. Salesperson won over the internet pricing, as should be expected by any brick and mortar store that wants to compete...

If you can find an LDS that will do the same kind of dealing, that will be one that has made the adjustment and should be around for quite a while. Generally, I believe that if myou are going to shop the LDFS, you should give him a shot at making the sale. However, the crap that some of them come out with could easily cause me to make an exception.

I put the shopper who doesn't give the LDS a chance in the same category as the LDS who takes advantage of the customer's ignorance of online savings opportunities. If a shop's survival is dependent on decieving customer, it needs to go away. Compete with honest value, not necessarily just price, and stop with the BS.

BSea
12-17-2007, 11:03
I put the shopper who doesn't give the LDS a chance in the same category as the LDS who takes advantage of the customer's ignorance of online savings opportunities. If a shop's survival is dependent on decieving customer, it needs to go away. Compete with honest value, not necessarily just price, and stop with the BS.
I couldn't agree more.

And on another note. Trying to compare a tire store to a dive shop is like comparing McDonalds to a Dive shop. McDonalds isn't going to let you take a bite before buying, and a tire shop isn't going to mount & balance your tires & let you take a spin around the block. But many dive shops will let you try gear out before buying, especially if they have a pool.

PsychDiver
12-17-2007, 13:09
I put the shopper who doesn't give the LDS a chance in the same category as the LDS who takes advantage of the customer's ignorance of online savings opportunities. If a shop's survival is dependent on decieving customer, it needs to go away. Compete with honest value, not necessarily just price, and stop with the BS.

I agree - honesty and politeness never go out of fashion.

DZorn00
12-17-2007, 13:57
I usually check out the stuff that I want at the dive shops, size/fit/look then find it on line cheaper and buy.

IMO that's not right :smiley21:

If I owned a dive shop youd be getting your air fills (and trying on items) elsewhere.

Spot on. I'm all for buying gear online if I'm going to save a bunch of money, but I think that sort of behaviour stinks.

you guys are saying that you have never "window shopped" before. It's the same principle. Do you go to a car dealership and buy from them because you walked in the building. We all test drive before buying, it's the same concept. :smiley29:

FishFood
12-17-2007, 14:50
I usually check out the stuff that I want at the dive shops, size/fit/look then find it on line cheaper and buy.

IMO that's not right :smiley21:

If I owned a dive shop youd be getting your air fills (and trying on items) elsewhere.

Spot on. I'm all for buying gear online if I'm going to save a bunch of money, but I think that sort of behaviour stinks.

you guys are saying that you have never "window shopped" before. It's the same principle. Do you go to a car dealership and buy from them because you walked in the building. We all test drive before buying, it's the same concept. :smiley29:

No, Ive never window shopped the intent to purchase elsewhere. I have NEVER test drove a vehicle with the intent to purchase elsewhere. It's hardley the same thing.

moosicman
12-17-2007, 17:16
Yeah, I think window shopping is when you are out browsing to see things that you may or may not buy. But going to a store to try things out knowing full well you will buy it but have no intention of buying it from them is, to me, an ethical question. I couldn't say it was "wrong". I could say that you don't have much respect for the store, and your personal ethics and character may be flawed, even if they DON'T offer good prices. If you know they are expensive, don't "pretend" to shop there.

But in the end you are the one that has to look at yourself in the mirror. So its no skin off my back:)

awap
12-17-2007, 17:49
Yeah, I think window shopping is when you are out browsing to see things that you may or may not buy. But going to a store to try things out knowing full well you will buy it but have no intention of buying it from them is, to me, an ethical question. I couldn't say it was "wrong". I could say that you don't have much respect for the store, and your personal ethics and character may be flawed, even if they DON'T offer good prices. If you know they are expensive, don't "pretend" to shop there.

But in the end you are the one that has to look at yourself in the mirror. So its no skin off my back:)

On the one hand, you have a retailer who is just trying to make a living. On the other hand, you have a customer who is just trying to find a good value. Too bad they can't get together. Which one do you think should change.

The customer who goes into an LDS with the intention of sizing his online purchase still gives the shop a chance to make a sale that it would not otherwise have had. The shops need to stop whining and figure out who to turn such opportunities into profit. The LDS will not be any better off if that potential customer avoids his shop.

Firefyter
12-17-2007, 18:38
I just wanted to make sure that you realize that ST isn't just an online dealer. They are a full blown dive shop and were way before they started selling online.

I like ST, but this isn't quite the case. Taken from Cisco Systems website:

"ScubaToys opened its doors for business in 1998 as a retail dive shop in Dallas, Texas. Within a year, President Larry Dague installed a network and established a Web site designed to display and sell products, provide diving news and information, and bring together members of the diving community."

They've only been around for ~10 years, and they almost immediately created their web presence.

fisheater
12-17-2007, 23:24
I usually check out the stuff that I want at the dive shops, size/fit/look then find it on line cheaper and buy.

IMO that's not right :smiley21:

If I owned a dive shop youd be getting your air fills (and trying on items) elsewhere.

Spot on. I'm all for buying gear online if I'm going to save a bunch of money, but I think that sort of behaviour stinks.

you guys are saying that you have never "window shopped" before. It's the same principle. Do you go to a car dealership and buy from them because you walked in the building. We all test drive before buying, it's the same concept. :smiley29:

Window shopping, by which you're looking in the window and not taking the local business' time, and then buying online if perfectly fine, IMHO.

As for test driving a car and buying on line, I did once, but I acted honorably (the dealer, not so much). My wife and I test drove a van that we liked and then searched for a great on-line price. We found one and I called the salesman who gave us the test drive and gave him the chance to meet the price. After all, we'd taken up his time and effort and it was only fair. He claimed that he would meet the price.

We set up an appointment, obtained our financing and showed up at the appointed time with a check and pen, ready to conclude the transaction. Then, the dealer said that he'd have to charge us $520 dollars more than the already-agreed-upon price.

While I would have paid that extra if he'd said it when I called to see if he could price match (considering that he's way closer than the other dealer), I was furious that he was reneging.

While he was off talking to the mysterious sales manager for the third time, my wife and I just left.

Ended up buying the same van for a neighboring dealer for even less!

PsychDiver
12-18-2007, 07:36
If you offer the LDS the chance to sell you the equipment you just tried on at the online price and they refuse than I think you have fulfilled your moral obligation to the LDS even after using them to size the gear. Heck, I would even pay a little more to buy it locally if they were reasonable. I do want to support my LDS but there are limits. But if your intention is to use them to find the gear you want and then go online, never giving them the chance, than that is unethical to me.

The car comparison doesn't fly with me. I have never gone to a dealer or store to use them to research a buy I was going to make somewhere else. I go to the dealer to see what he has and if he has what I want at a price I will pay he gets my business. Same with any store I go to.

Foo2
12-18-2007, 09:40
I just wanted to make sure that you realize that ST isn't just an online dealer. They are a full blown dive shop and were way before they started selling online.

I like ST, but this isn't quite the case. Taken from Cisco Systems website:

"ScubaToys opened its doors for business in 1998 as a retail dive shop in Dallas, Texas. Within a year, President Larry Dague installed a network and established a Web site designed to display and sell products, provide diving news and information, and bring together members of the diving community."

They've only been around for ~10 years, and they almost immediately created their web presence.

I stand corrected on the "way before" statement. But, they ARE a "full blown dive shop" which was the main point of my statement.

BobArnold8265
12-18-2007, 11:23
It's amazing to me that most LDS's stay in business. Even when they run a "sale" they don't touch the ST price !!!!

cheebaweebie
12-18-2007, 12:02
I usually check out the stuff that I want at the dive shops, size/fit/look then find it on line cheaper and buy.

IMO that's not right :smiley21:

If I owned a dive shop youd be getting your air fills (and trying on items) elsewhere.

Spot on. I'm all for buying gear online if I'm going to save a bunch of money, but I think that sort of behaviour stinks.

you guys are saying that you have never "window shopped" before. It's the same principle. Do you go to a car dealership and buy from them because you walked in the building. We all test drive before buying, it's the same concept. :smiley29:

Window shopping, by which you're looking in the window and not taking the local business' time, and then buying online if perfectly fine, IMHO.

As for test driving a car and buying on line, I did once, but I acted honorably (the dealer, not so much). My wife and I test drove a van that we liked and then searched for a great on-line price. We found one and I called the salesman who gave us the test drive and gave him the chance to meet the price. After all, we'd taken up his time and effort and it was only fair. He claimed that he would meet the price.

We set up an appointment, obtained our financing and showed up at the appointed time with a check and pen, ready to conclude the transaction. Then, the dealer said that he'd have to charge us $520 dollars more than the already-agreed-upon price.

While I would have paid that extra if he'd said it when I called to see if he could price match (considering that he's way closer than the other dealer), I was furious that he was reneging.

While he was off talking to the mysterious sales manager for the third time, my wife and I just left.

Ended up buying the same van for a neighboring dealer for even less!

WOW my comment has stirred up some dirt.
Let me stand corrected with one point. I do not soley go into a dive shop intent on trying and buying somewhere else but, I do my homework. I am what you called an informed shopper. I can be instant gratification at times buying on the spur of the moment if I really like something but if I am buying a 300 or 500 dollar piece of gear, I will do my research. My specific LDS sees me 3 times a month filling tanks (so they get my $). I am always checking out gear they have on their shelves - browsing or window shopping. If I see a computer on their shelves that I want, I talk to the LDS Owner or employee about the item determine if is something I really like and will fit my needs, Research it on line to see what everone else says about it(most dive shops offer gear reviews and the great bunch of people here at ST Forum as well as other forums) and if I really want it and can afford it, buy the computer where I can get it for the best price. My LDS has offered to order me things I have asked about that they did not stock and I am sure that if they stocked an item that I really liked and mentioned I could get cheeper somewhere else, they would come down a little to accomodate. But as we all know in the world of business, if the owner of an LDS who has overhead costs, rent, electricity, employee salaries, cash in inventory etc. started marking down all of their gear to make sales to compete with the cost of internet sales then they would most likely go out of business. ST does have a website and I am fully aware that they are a full service brick and morter dive shop. I have ordered from ST on several occasions and yes if you tell them you found the item cheeper on another site they will match the price. But on the flip side, if Jim-Bob walks in off the street I sure a ST employee doesn't run up to Jim-Bob telling him that leisurepro has this item for 450 online and we have it here in the store for 500 but thats OK we will sell it to for 450, that just doesn't make sense. They have room to deal but the customer is responsible for inquiring. It all points back to being an informed shopper.
Mitsuguy made good points in his post about sales before he was bashed about the tire anology...
Also the person who posted that dive gear is dirt cheap in Florida must be on crack. Every dive shop marks gear up for retail sale. Then they have sales to bring in customers. I go to the keys every year and pay the same for a dive light up there that I would pay at home at my LDS.

In a nutshell, I am not about screwing over my LDS... It's called making informed decisions, and saving money getting the gear that is going to allow me to do something I absolutely love to do.
75% of the geat I currently own I have bought on line.. probably ST or Leisurepro and I will continue to buy gear online no shipping (in most cases) and no tax. If I go into an LDS and they have a sale or the LDS owner can match a ST price or Leisurepro price and get me the gear I want then perfect, I will buy from an LDS and pay tax and all that jazz.

Thanks for the opportunity to express my views :anim_soapbox:

CaptainRon
12-18-2007, 15:33
Recently I was diving in Balmorhea State Park in west Texas. Across from the park, there is a little dive shop where you can get tanks filled. When I was in there getting my tanks filled after a dive, I looked around at the gear that was for sale. I ended up buying a mask I had been considering because of the excellent price on it. It was about half the price I had found anywhere else, including online. I also noticed most of the other items for sale were priced cheaper than anywhere else I had seen. While waiting for my tanks to be filled, I mentioned to the owner how much cheaper his prices were compared to other shops and even online. Remember, this is a small dive shop in the middle of the west Texas desert. He could probably charge much more because he has no local competition. He told me he used his prices to compete with the online retailers and LDS's back in his customers' home towns. People tend to buy items from him that they have been considering, rather than back at their LDS or online. He says by pricing his products reasonably, he is able to sell enough volume to run a profitable business and did not believe in inflating his prices just because he is the "only game in town". I thinks if most LDS took the same approach, there wouldn't be a reason for most people to buy online when they could get the same gear locally at a comparable price. I always prefer to buy locally if they have what I am looking for at a competitive price, but for me and my LDS's, that usually isn't the case. I think many of the LDS's have hurt their business because they have not adapted. IMO, with the ability to go online and shop the world wide, the days of a LDS being able to price items with 300-400 percent markups because there was no other competition are over. Personally, I would love to see my local dive shops operate their businesses as some online retailers such as ST. Good service and good prices equals customer loyalty.

Malbec
01-05-2008, 21:00
My two cents...

My LDS is really a great shop considering where I live (Kentucky- not the biggest diving center). The guys are friendly, they know who I am when I call, and they were willing to teach me the AOW classes at my personal convenience scheduling wise, one on one. I like to go in there, "everybody knows your name", and I hardly even spend much money in there because I don't have much gear.

That being said, they mostly carry only Henderson products (nice stuff but I like a variety) and their prices are not exactly comparable to online sites. BUT, they do have to pay the cost of keeping an inventory (I realize many online dealers do, but some don't) and they don't exactly sell stuff like hotcakes considering where they are located. They give me a 10% "student discount" since they know DH and I are just poor students... and unless something is DRASTICALLY cheaper online, I'm going to be buying it from them because they're such nice guys.