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View Full Version : Local Dive Shop is getting out of hand here



danielh03
12-17-2007, 00:08
Hey guys, yes, it's yet another LDS Gripe, complaint, or moan, I will let you decide. Last week, I made an order for an OMS reg set from ST. I stopped by the LDS to get a tank filled so that when it arrives I can hit the indoor pool and play with my new toy. When I dropped the tank off, the owner, and only employee of the shop asked me why I was getting a fill when its this cold out. I told him I was going to play with my new reg. He started asking me were I got it, how much I paid, and other questions like that. Kinda put me on the defensive if you know what I mean. After he found out that I bought it on line, he started giving me this long speach about how its a worthless reg because I can't get it serviced in this area (even though he sells the SAME REG), and there is no warrenty on it ect ect ect. I know that ST backs every thing that they sell, and I have no worries. But it still chaps my butt!

Authors note: Half way through this post, I was toned out to a stranded boater on the KY lake, TN river. The air temp is 20 degrees right now, and I just got back from a nice brisk boat ride. PLEASE, for goodness sakes, make sure you have gas in your boat before you leave the dock!

PsychDiver
12-17-2007, 00:29
I don't tell my diveshop anything any more. It saves me having to deal with the normal bad mouthing of the internet. I use them when it is right for me and when it is not I don't. Like I told them one day - You are not a charity and I don't give away my money to businesses.

danielh03
12-17-2007, 00:36
I don't tell my diveshop anything any more. It saves me having to deal with the normal bad mouthing of the internet. I use them when it is right for me and when it is not I don't. Like I told them one day - You are not a charity and I don't give away my money to businesses.

It's just really getting under my skin. He is the only LDS around here, and for the most part he has decent prices. I have been wanting to buy a nice O'neil wetsuit from him for months, but you know, letting go of 350 dollars is hard to do when you get a bad reaction because his price got beat. I guess its one of the many headaches that drives us to diving lol.

JahJahwarrior
12-17-2007, 00:46
Did you ask him beforehand if he could match the price?

I went to the shop I like to patronize and showed them ST's prices, and he pulled out his catalogs and played with numbers until he almost matched their price on a BP/W setup.

But, it is rude of him to insult his customers. Start dropping hints about buying your own fill station or something...

danielh03
12-17-2007, 00:56
[quote=JahJahwarrior;107847]Did you ask him beforehand if he could match the price?

I went to the shop I like to patronize and showed them ST's prices, and he pulled out his catalogs and played with numbers until he almost matched their price on a BP/W setup.

But, it is rude of him to insult his customers. Start dropping hints about buying your own fill station or something...[/quote

Yes, I asked. Short answer was no lol. All kinds of reasons were given, but regardless, if he could/would have matched the price then yes, I would have bought from him. I would like to see his face if he thought i was going to open a fill station lol! He would have a heart attack right there!:smiley36:

adv_diver1
12-17-2007, 04:49
This is my LDS. I am sick of the crap most LDS's give out.

Zenagirl
12-17-2007, 07:30
I have to say that since the closest LDS was bought out by another shop, it's a pleasure to go into. As a matter of fact, when we used the pool recently and I found out that my gear needed servicing, I didn't hesitate to have them do it. Because I bought my regs from ST and wanted free reg parts from the LDS, I had to take in my proof of purchase, etc. They didn't even blink when they looked at where I got it. They got $100 out of me (serviced regs and BC, including inflator), and I'll definitely be returning.

The LDS that bad-mouths only shows their ignorance.

BSea
12-17-2007, 08:17
I They got $100 out of me (serviced regs and BC, including inflator), and I'll definitely be returning.

The LDS that bad-mouths only shows their ignorance.
Mine is the same way. Yes there are bad shops out there, and unfortunatly for many of you, there arn't any good choices. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. Mine will attempt to match prices, and many times comes close. He doesn't get mad when I show up with gear from outside the store (like my mach V wing from ST). He might ask where I got it, but doesn't get upset. He knows he'll get plenty of my business.

adv_diver1
12-17-2007, 08:53
I am sure there is a good one around here, but most of the shops are about 20 or so miles from my house, making it 40 miles or so round trip. The time and gas spent are worth a good deal with gas prices being $3. ST has slightly better prices to begin with and are offering free shipping and some other deals, so this is my LDS for now.

I can't wait to get my bc reg package!!

ReefHound
12-17-2007, 08:56
In the first place I've found it best to just keep your mouth shut and don't tell your LDS about anything not involving them directly. No good can come from it. Some shops can handle it well. If you told Larry you bought a reg from LP he may not be happy inside but I doubt he'd say anything to you but wish you the best with it and let it be your call. But others get indignant and upset so why even go there.

You needed to end that conversation quickly by just telling him you felt he was being a bit invasive and that you don't second guess him on his personal consumer decisions.

But on the other hand, were you planning on using *his* indoor pool to test your new reg or your own pool? It would be a bit crass to expect the shop to let you use their pool to test your new reg bought online.

BSea
12-17-2007, 09:04
But on the other hand, were you planning on using *his* indoor pool to test your new reg or your own pool? It would be a bit crass to expect the shop to let you use their pool to test your new reg bought online.
That might depend on the situation. If he has to pay a fee to use the pool, then he should get to do and use what he wants as long as it doesn't violate any other rules. My LDS lets me use any gear I want, but I pay an annual club fee that allows for the use of the pool.

Now I have a buddy who lives in another city, and his LDS has almost the same situation with the exception that any gear used in their pool has to be serviced by them. Now that's not a friendly LDS in my opinion, and they are just twisting the rules to get you to buy their gear.

ReefHound
12-17-2007, 09:55
That might depend on the situation. If he has to pay a fee to use the pool, then he should get to do and use what he wants as long as it doesn't violate any other rules. My LDS lets me use any gear I want, but I pay an annual club fee that allows for the use of the pool.

Agreed. I wasn't making any definitive statements as it wasn't clear in the post whose pool or what terms, I'm just making the point that if we want to buy our gear online we need to be fair and not "use" the LDS in a disrespectful manner. Not saying the OP was.

adv_diver1
12-17-2007, 10:04
I'm with Reefhound... better not to say... if they asked I would say I have had it for awhile or tell them my grandmother sent it to me for a gift. What they don't know won't hurt is exactly right!!

BSea
12-17-2007, 10:10
Agreed. I wasn't making any definitive statements as it wasn't clear in the post whose pool or what terms, I'm just making the point that if we want to buy our gear online we need to be fair and not "use" the LDS in a disrespectful manner.I agree. I just wanted to point out different situations. And I do agree that using a shop to try, then buy someplace else generally isn't ethical. I say generally because I've seen cases where a shop almost begs people to try gear. Well, usually people negotiate at the point of sale. If the LDS initiated the interest then won't compete price wise, then all's fair.

I've found if you are honest with people, most of the time they'll be honest with you. I've never made it a secret to any shop that I buy my gear where it makes the most sense. If it's an item that needs service, then more often than not, I'll buy local. Now, if they say that their price is their price & if I want to "RISK MY LIFE" to someone from from the internet, then I'll buy from the internet. And if they say they won't work on something even though they are a dealer for that brand, then I won't be back.

awap
12-17-2007, 11:02
That might depend on the situation. If he has to pay a fee to use the pool, then he should get to do and use what he wants as long as it doesn't violate any other rules. My LDS lets me use any gear I want, but I pay an annual club fee that allows for the use of the pool.

Agreed. I wasn't making any definitive statements as it wasn't clear in the post whose pool or what terms, I'm just making the point that if we want to buy our gear online we need to be fair and not "use" the LDS in a disrespectful manner. Not saying the OP was.

After all, an LDS would never use a customer in a disrespectful manner!!!

The problem is trying to seperate the good ones from the bad ones. But shops who claim ST is not an authorized dealer and refuse to service gear obtained online are bad ones in my book and deserve to be treated poorly and taken advantage of by their customers.

danielh03
12-17-2007, 12:09
In the first place I've found it best to just keep your mouth shut and don't tell your LDS about anything not involving them directly. No good can come from it. Some shops can handle it well. If you told Larry you bought a reg from LP he may not be happy inside but I doubt he'd say anything to you but wish you the best with it and let it be your call. But others get indignant and upset so why even go there.

You needed to end that conversation quickly by just telling him you felt he was being a bit invasive and that you don't second guess him on his personal consumer decisions.

But on the other hand, were you planning on using *his* indoor pool to test your new reg or your own pool? It would be a bit crass to expect the shop to let you use their pool to test your new reg bought online.

No, he doesn't have a pool. I think that he should be happy for the business he gets from my wife and I though. He does all our air fills, and i even take tanks to him from the local Rescue Squad I belong to for fills, VIP's and hydro. I think it irks him that I am not a "loyal" customer" more than anything.

PsychDiver
12-17-2007, 13:02
I have heard the "loyal customer" line also. Since when does being loyal mean that I stand by while you price gouge me and make rules that are not from the manufacturer about servicing equipment? Loyal goes two ways.

CompuDude
12-17-2007, 13:12
My standard answer anytime an LDS asks where I got something is "I don't know, it was a gift." If pressed, you can even say it was a present from a cousin who lives out of state.

They don't need to know. They don't have a right to know. And refusing to answer the question (or telling them truthfully that it was bought online) is often just asking for trouble.

danielh03
12-17-2007, 19:34
My standard answer anytime an LDS asks where I got something is "I don't know, it was a gift." If pressed, you can even say it was a present from a cousin who lives out of state.

They don't need to know. They don't have a right to know. And refusing to answer the question (or telling them truthfully that it was bought online) is often just asking for trouble.

Thats pretty much what i have decided to do. just sad that one has to resort to things like this just to keep peace. maybe wal mart will get into the scuba business lol.... just picture that!

Splitlip
12-17-2007, 19:56
I don't think you really mean that about Walmart! :)

You know, a lot depends on the LDS. One of my local dive shops is a Diver's Direct. Doesn't bother them where you buy your gear.
Another shop (the one closest to me) has a little store front down the road. Easy access to fills. He is the Henderson dealer I have mentioned before. His shop serves as the fitting room for people buying Henderson on line. He cannot compete with some of the big guys. His fault? Maybe for trying to get into the buisiness with less capital and buying power.
He is never rude about it, but he will tell customers if they buy their regs on line, they won't get the manufactures warranty. Is that bad to do? He is a USD-Aqualung-APEKS dealer. I don't think that is bad, I think it is marketing. "Buy from me. I can't quite match the price, but you will have a warranty."

teog
12-17-2007, 20:27
I cant stand the LDS in my area. Over priced and the owners and employees are very rude.

RoadRacer1978
12-17-2007, 22:03
My LDS have never questioned any of my gear I have shown up with. When I first started going there my tank had a vis sticker from another shop and they didn't batt an eye before filling it. When it was time for a hydro and vis they even put on a tank boot free of charge because my tank went in without one on it. They have been very good to me and I haven't even spent that much money there. I just started going there and did my AOW and night diver course with them. The only things I've purchased so far have been just a few small things like o-rings and weights. When I went in to buy a new o-ring for my pelican king flashlight the owner just gave me the o-ring. Didn't even charge me. I would have to say that even though most of their prices on the larger items are kinda on the high side (everything is marked with the MSRP) they try to make up for it with good customer service. Just thougt I'd put up a post to remind everyone that not all LDS are bad, there are still some good ones out there.

indatexas
12-17-2007, 22:42
I keep thinkng that LDS around here have the Hawaii tax...soo many shops yet high prices on equipment = me buying online or from the mainland and bringing it back in my luggage.

danielh03
12-18-2007, 00:33
My LDS have never questioned any of my gear I have shown up with. When I first started going there my tank had a vis sticker from another shop and they didn't batt an eye before filling it. When it was time for a hydro and vis they even put on a tank boot free of charge because my tank went in without one on it. They have been very good to me and I haven't even spent that much money there. I just started going there and did my AOW and night diver course with them. The only things I've purchased so far have been just a few small things like o-rings and weights. When I went in to buy a new o-ring for my pelican king flashlight the owner just gave me the o-ring. Didn't even charge me. I would have to say that even though most of their prices on the larger items are kinda on the high side (everything is marked with the MSRP) they try to make up for it with good customer service. Just thougt I'd put up a post to remind everyone that not all LDS are bad, there are still some good ones out there.

I agree with you that not all LDS's are bad. I have delt with some in larger cities (Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville) and they were very nice. I would love to do more buisness with them, but it's 2 hours to Memphis, and 1.75 hour to Nashville. I think what irked me most is he flat out told me he wouldn't service a reg set that was not purchased from him.

Lineman Larry
12-18-2007, 06:31
He is never rude about it, but he will tell customers if they buy their regs on line, they won't get the manufactures warranty. Is that bad to do? He is a USD-Aqualung-APEKS dealer. I don't think that is bad, I think it is marketing. "Buy from me. I can't quite match the price, but you will have a warranty."

To the best of my knowledge, you can not but any USD-Aqualung-APEKS equipment online from an authorized dealer. LP is not an authorized dealer but neither is ebay and you would be amazed how much more friendly a LDS can be with an ebay answer.

CaptainRon
12-18-2007, 16:16
When a LDS tells you they will not service equipment you did not buy from them, it seems to me what they are really saying is that they don't want your business unless they can have all of it. It seems to me this would not be the smartest way of doing business. They should be thankful you have chosen to give them some of your business. A few weeks back, after a weekend of diving, I took my tank (recently purchased from ST) to my local dive shop. After reading about how some LDS's react to tanks purchased elsewhere, I was dreading having to go in for that first fill. Of course they saw the ST VIP sticker on it. No problem, they seemed to be honestly thankful to have my business for the airfill. I even picked up a few weights and a replacement fin strap that I needed.

I think most LDS need to consider that even if you purchase your gear elsewhere, they still can earn your business supplying other things you need, and servicing that same gear could be profitable for them.

kancho
12-18-2007, 17:13
Many LDS, sell equipment at MSRP? My LDS will service my equipment which i bought at ST. But they charge a lot.. It might be cheaper sending my equipment in the mail..

My equipment has been pretty new so I will check next time..

divedeeper
12-18-2007, 21:28
My LDS claims that scubapro and aqualung(which are the only two brands he carries) are the best. He says that although his price is high, you are getting what you pay for. He runs decent deals (like a $500 dive comp with a $200 GC toward your reg setup. Still the whole thing costs over 700. Is that steep? I found some great closeout mares and others on ST and elsewhere for a lot cheaper by the piece. When I mention either the HUGE divers direct down the road or anything online, he jokingly says that anything he doesn't sell us will kill us. It's humorous, because DD sells the same reg he does among other items. He says that since reg is life support equipment I shouldn't buy it from the internet. He says that we trusted him with our lives at 60ft underwater for our cert class, why wouldn't we trust his advice on life support equip? He has yet to be rude and he cites warranty,frequency of replacing cheap equip, and free parts for life, all of which make sense, but I want to dive NOW and $50 apiece for my wife and I per day of rental diving gets a little steep, even though the rental price itself isn't bad. For 2 weeks diving, i could afford a decent mares reg setup and then upgrade each piece as I have money. The same story with BC's. What do you guys think? Do I support my LDS who certified us and we REALLY like? Or do we support (what he calls, again jokingly) the "Evil Empire" of large dive stores? He has never been rude about it, but I bet he'd be pretty upset if we did go somewhere else with any of our big investments. . .
Between a Rock and a Hard Place,

Dive Deeper

ReefHound
12-18-2007, 21:55
Don't be a schmuck, man. If you can't see through those phony self-serving lines, I feel sorry for you.

divedeeper
12-18-2007, 22:22
I didn't think I said I did buy into it, I was just asking your advice. I don't think being a kind person makes you a schmuck... I do see through it, but was asking where do you draw the line? We really like the guy otherwise and the shop also. Do you then say we should find a new LDS at that point?

BSea
12-18-2007, 22:35
My LDS claims that scubapro and aqualung(which are the only two brands he carries) are the best. He says that although his price is high, you are getting what you pay for. He runs decent deals (like a $500 dive comp with a $200 GC toward your reg setup. Still the whole thing costs over 700. Is that steep? I found some great closeout mares and others on ST and elsewhere for a lot cheaper by the piece. When I mention either the HUGE divers direct down the road or anything online, he jokingly says that anything he doesn't sell us will kill us. It's humorous, because DD sells the same reg he does among other items. He says that since reg is life support equipment I shouldn't buy it from the internet. He says that we trusted him with our lives at 60ft underwater for our cert class, why wouldn't we trust his advice on life support equip? He has yet to be rude and he cites warranty,frequency of replacing cheap equip, and free parts for life, all of which make sense, but I want to dive NOW and $50 apiece for my wife and I per day of rental diving gets a little steep, even though the rental price itself isn't bad. For 2 weeks diving, i could afford a decent mares reg setup and then upgrade each piece as I have money. The same story with BC's. What do you guys think? Do I support my LDS who certified us and we REALLY like? Or do we support (what he calls, again jokingly) the "Evil Empire" of large dive stores? He has never been rude about it, but I bet he'd be pretty upset if we did go somewhere else with any of our big investments. . .
Between a Rock and a Hard Place,

Dive DeeperYou're between a rock & a hard place because that's where your LDS put you. Just remember that you don't pay your mortgage by purchasing gear. He pays his mortgage by selling gear. Yes he's been friendly, but it's in his best interest to be that way. And he may genuinly be a friendly guy. But it's your money. So I'd tell him that it just makes more sense for you finacially to save XXX dollars by purchasing your regs from ST or where ever. Tell him you would really rather buy from him, but that it just makes better financial sense to buy elsewhere for this purchase. Then ask him if that would cause a problem with him having you as a customer. Because you wouldn't like to feel like an outsider because of not purchasing every piece of gear from him. You might be surprised. He might lower his price, or may throw in extra gear for free so he can record the reg at the MSRP. Because he doesn't want to lose another customer. You see it's because he's between a rock & a hard place.

Edit: I'd only do this when other customers arn't around. He's not likely to budge at all if he knows another customer is watching.

ReefHound
12-18-2007, 23:00
I didn't think I said I did buy into it, I was just asking your advice. I don't think being a kind person makes you a schmuck... I do see through it, but was asking where do you draw the line? We really like the guy otherwise and the shop also. Do you then say we should find a new LDS at that point?

I consider a schmuck someone who lets themselves be played for a fool and won't stand up for themselves. A guy can smile and joke with me all day but I would find it hard to like someone who lies to me. There are lots of other brands that are top quality and completely reliable. Many are sturdier and last longer than Scubapro. To imply that other brands are dangerous is ridiculous.

Diver Kat
12-18-2007, 23:10
My LDS claims that scubapro and aqualung(which are the only two brands he carries) are the best. He says that although his price is high, you are getting what you pay for. He runs decent deals (like a $500 dive comp with a $200 GC toward your reg setup. Still the whole thing costs over 700. Is that steep? I found some great closeout mares and others on ST and elsewhere for a lot cheaper by the piece. When I mention either the HUGE divers direct down the road or anything online, he jokingly says that anything he doesn't sell us will kill us. It's humorous, because DD sells the same reg he does among other items. He says that since reg is life support equipment I shouldn't buy it from the internet. He says that we trusted him with our lives at 60ft underwater for our cert class, why wouldn't we trust his advice on life support equip? He has yet to be rude and he cites warranty,frequency of replacing cheap equip, and free parts for life, all of which make sense, but I want to dive NOW and $50 apiece for my wife and I per day of rental diving gets a little steep, even though the rental price itself isn't bad. For 2 weeks diving, i could afford a decent mares reg setup and then upgrade each piece as I have money. The same story with BC's. What do you guys think? Do I support my LDS who certified us and we REALLY like? Or do we support (what he calls, again jokingly) the "Evil Empire" of large dive stores? He has never been rude about it, but I bet he'd be pretty upset if we did go somewhere else with any of our big investments. . .
Between a Rock and a Hard Place,

Dive Deeper

What makes him better than Divers Direct down the road? They're not a fly by night internet company but have actual store fronts just like your LDS ... they carry manufacturers warranties just like the LDS ... seems like DD does better at pricing due to volume, but thats just economics.

Honestly, his 'joking' that anything he doesn't sell you will kill you isn't too funny. I can say my main LDS (we use a few in the area for different reasons) has always honored my reg warranty - and I didn't buy it from him. He's never made remarks about where any of our equipment (that he didn't sell us) came from, and he's always happy to service it - at a very fair price. I think he knows that by treating us fairly, we do more business with him than if he insinuated we should only deal with him ... that kind of stuff just ticks me off ....

danielh03
12-19-2007, 07:50
I didn't think I said I did buy into it, I was just asking your advice. I don't think being a kind person makes you a schmuck... I do see through it, but was asking where do you draw the line? We really like the guy otherwise and the shop also. Do you then say we should find a new LDS at that point?

You know, when I started diving last year, I was given the same speaches lol. (must come in the instructors class *JUST KIDDING*) When I started the class, of course I had only basic gear, mask, hood, ect. When i showed up to one of the extra day of pool dives, I brought a BC with me that I just bought while i was in MS. I asked the instructor/shop owner before we ever started class if it was ok if i gave it a try. He was a little upset that I had bought one from someone else, but he said sure. When I used it during me OW check outs, he got mad because I wouldn't rent one from him. I calmly told him I prefered the BC I will be using for the next how ever many years to one that I will never use again. $12 bucks rental was not a big deal, and if it was the money that bothered him, then I would gladly just use one of his for the day. That seemed to calm him down, and he aggreed that I should use mine after all. Then I brought a steel 135 in a few weeks after my cert card came in to get it filled. He started in with the questions, were I got it, how much it cost, and when I told him he nearly stroked. (The tank was FREE, a very good friend had 2 of them, NEW vip and hydro, but the doc told him no more diving so i get free use of the tanks with the understanding I will return them when asked). And now, its my regulators. Just received them yesterday from ST. I went and had my tank filled so I can go play in the local pool, and the questions started. Thats when I started this thread. I could have purchased the same set of regs from my LDS for about $450, but I got them from ST at a much cheaper price instead, then I also used my $50 GC and a 10% discount. While I am all for suporting my LDS, because with out them, I would not be diving, I am all for a FREE MARKET! But at first, I was starting to believe those lines about you should buy from your instructors LDS because it is the righ thing to do. Buying from the net is bad, ect. But as a diver, I feel I have to make my own decisions about gear, and not let the DS owner/instructor tell me what I need. It helps me grow as a diver, and it also saves me loads of money.

awap
12-19-2007, 09:24
My LDS claims that scubapro and aqualung(which are the only two brands he carries) are the best. He says that although his price is high, you are getting what you pay for. He runs decent deals (like a $500 dive comp with a $200 GC toward your reg setup. Still the whole thing costs over 700. Is that steep? I found some great closeout mares and others on ST and elsewhere for a lot cheaper by the piece. When I mention either the HUGE divers direct down the road or anything online, he jokingly says that anything he doesn't sell us will kill us. It's humorous, because DD sells the same reg he does among other items. He says that since reg is life support equipment I shouldn't buy it from the internet. He says that we trusted him with our lives at 60ft underwater for our cert class, why wouldn't we trust his advice on life support equip? He has yet to be rude and he cites warranty,frequency of replacing cheap equip, and free parts for life, all of which make sense, but I want to dive NOW and $50 apiece for my wife and I per day of rental diving gets a little steep, even though the rental price itself isn't bad. For 2 weeks diving, i could afford a decent mares reg setup and then upgrade each piece as I have money. The same story with BC's. What do you guys think? Do I support my LDS who certified us and we REALLY like? Or do we support (what he calls, again jokingly) the "Evil Empire" of large dive stores? He has never been rude about it, but I bet he'd be pretty upset if we did go somewhere else with any of our big investments. . .
Between a Rock and a Hard Place,

Dive Deeper

If you have to have Scubapro or Aqualung (they are good but others are just a good) and you will have them serviced annually (this is excessive for most divers) to maintain your warranty and the parts-for-life program, then it might make sense to pay the high prices (insist on the 10% discount & other deal sweeteners) from their authorized dealers. But there are so many ways to get good gear without spending an arm and a leg.

cummings66
12-19-2007, 12:42
Sometimes it helps to look at it this way. What divedeeper said his LDS told him was he sold the best and that if you value your life you'd dive with it instead of some unknown.

He's both right and wrong, he sells what he considers best for whatever reason he has, and the brands he has are good brands by all accounts. He's right in that sometimes you get cheap gear via the Internet, I've seen a reg a guy bought that literally fell apart on the second dive, it was a no name reg.

What he's not telling you is that you can buy brand name gear on the Internet, that brands other than what he carries are also good and safe to use. He knows it.

Now, how can a shop tell an inexperienced diver what to look out for, what's a good brand and what's not as good. How can he know that you're going to be doing cold water dives and need a regulator for it, or warm water dives? The problem is a new diver will not be aware of all the little things that come into play in gear selection and he has found it easier over time to just say trust me and buy what I have.

I think he's a little over the top on how he phrases it and maybe he says what's on his mind. I've met many people that say things without thinking, they come across as mean spirited when in reality they are anything but. They just can't relate that other than by deeds.

Who knows, but I do understand the frustration and wish dive shops would understand that we're not made of money. We want to dive safely and can't spend mega bucks on gear. We want what will get the job done and not all the extra bells and whistles. Sadly, that's not what they push.

divedeeper
12-19-2007, 13:16
Thank you so much for your kind words of advice. It's a good encouragement that not everyone on here takes out their frustrations with LDS on new inexperienced divers with real questions that may seem insignificant or obvious to experienced divers. Back to the nice people...I started to ask some gear questions and realized I need to start two or three threads with more info, so I'll ask my questions about BC and Regs in the appropriate categories. Thank you again so much. I'll look forward to your comments and counsel.

Dive Deeper

Navy OnStar
12-19-2007, 13:30
I have the benefit of having 10 LDS's. 3 in Panama City, Fl, 3 In Fort Walton Beach, Fl, and 4 in Pensacola. The one closest to me would not offer a military discount but every other one would. I found ones that had the gear I wanted and double checked the MSRP prices against each other and then shopped for the biggest discount. When I went back to the LDS where I did my classes and such, they saw the new gear and asked where I got it. I told them straight up "from your competitor" who offered me a military discount off the same MSRP and they immediatly began offering me the same discount.
They asked me why I didn't come to them after I got a quote on the price of the gear to see if they could match and I said "I asked you once for a military discount and you said "no", When I asked them they said "absolutely". I was happy with that and bought 2 BCD's, 2 reg set ups, 2 wet suits, 2 computers, and 2 knives (mife wife dives too), I wasn't going to do more work just to get it from you at the same price, you have to earn MY business." They have been ever so nice to me since then.

I take online quotes from authorized dealers (for a lot of things other than diving) and call the local shops (not the big chains). If they can't beat it (shipping included) I say "a small profit off of a pece of gear is better than no profit at all, I guess I'll order online" Some shops say they can't and others will beat the prices. They are hoping people are lazy and don't want to bother with shopping around.

Cambria
12-19-2007, 13:39
You know, when I started diving last year, I was given the same speaches lol. (must come in the instructors class *JUST KIDDING*) When I started the class, of course I had only basic gear, mask, hood, ect. When i showed up to one of the extra day of pool dives, I brought a BC with me that I just bought while i was in MS. I asked the instructor/shop owner before we ever started class if it was ok if i gave it a try. He was a little upset that I had bought one from someone else, but he said sure. When I used it during me OW check outs, he got mad because I wouldn't rent one from him. I calmly told him I prefered the BC I will be using for the next how ever many years to one that I will never use again. $12 bucks rental was not a big deal, and if it was the money that bothered him, then I would gladly just use one of his for the day. That seemed to calm him down, and he aggreed that I should use mine after all. Then I brought a steel 135 in a few weeks after my cert card came in to get it filled. He started in with the questions, were I got it, how much it cost, and when I told him he nearly stroked. (The tank was FREE, a very good friend had 2 of them, NEW vip and hydro, but the doc told him no more diving so i get free use of the tanks with the understanding I will return them when asked). And now, its my regulators. Just received them yesterday from ST. I went and had my tank filled so I can go play in the local pool, and the questions started. Thats when I started this thread. I could have purchased the same set of regs from my LDS for about $450, but I got them from ST at a much cheaper price instead, then I also used my $50 GC and a 10% discount. While I am all for suporting my LDS, because with out them, I would not be diving, I am all for a FREE MARKET! But at first, I was starting to believe those lines about you should buy from your instructors LDS because it is the righ thing to do. Buying from the net is bad, ect. But as a diver, I feel I have to make my own decisions about gear, and not let the DS owner/instructor tell me what I need. It helps me grow as a diver, and it also saves me loads of money.


I remember when internet commerce was first starting up. A lot of people were saying that it would run local stores out of business. There was no way they could compete since they had so much more over head (store rent, sales staff salary, etc). A good store owner knows that he is in competition with the internet and not just the guy across town. If he can't compete on price he needs to provide superior service. Insulting you everytime you mention the internet is not the way to do it. A lot of places around here will throw in something if you ask like some air fills or a free boat dive. Doesn't cost them much at all but it's a sweet deal for the customer who is short on cash after buying gear.

kancho
12-19-2007, 14:51
My LDS says he is not a discount dive shop so he doesn't price match haha. But they don't ask me where I get my stuff so most of the stuff i have is from ST.. If I have problems I know I can send it to them for servicing. Stuff in Canada costs alot..

mitchy
12-19-2007, 15:27
My LDS says he is not a discount dive shop so he doesn't price match haha. But they don't ask me where I get my stuff so most of the stuff i have is from ST.. If I have problems I know I can send it to them for servicing. Stuff in Canada costs alot..

My LDS is willing to deal, but LDS here in Canada are facing a new problem. A year ago our dollar was worth around 65 cents American. On one of my recent ST purchases, our dollar was worth $1.10 American, with no tax on top of that. To put it another way, it is as if everything at ST is now on sale for 40% off. This coupled with the no tax and ST already low prices, it's hard to support the local guy.

divingbuddy
12-19-2007, 16:51
My LDS is willing to deal, but LDS here in Canada are facing a new problem. A year ago our dollar was worth around 65 cents American. On one of my recent ST purchases, our dollar was worth $1.10 American, with no tax on top of that. To put it another way, it is as if everything at ST is now on sale for 40% off. This coupled with the no tax and ST already low prices, it's hard to support the local guy.

My LDS (just outside of Toronto) has smartly adjusted its prices to be competitive with on-line scuba shops (like ST) and to reflect the increased purchase power our surging dollar has. They realized that divers are more internet savvy and are more aware of prices other than those at their LDS - and they responded to be roughly equal to internet scuba shops (I say roughly as I am not exactly sure what the brokerage/duty/shipping is to Canada from ST).

Some LDS' see the changing times, and adjust as how they do business. Those that don't may find themselves out of business.

Just my two cents....

Cheers!

scubajane
12-19-2007, 18:18
lds in my area are small and have a variety of temprements the closest one was unhappy with me when I found a dive rite dive reel on ebay for $15 he still rents tanks to me when he is able.(he's open part time) one about 1 hour away likes to be 'in charge of the world' but never gives out enough infol we went on a dive trip with him and he expected us to know everything without telling us anything. very frustrating. but... now that I know that's how he is and I have lowered my expectations I might go an another trip with him just to get a good price. although I am capable of setting up my own travel and dive trips. he has only 1 brand of stuff and I like a variety of things to look at and compare.
funny story...we were in the shop getting ready to go to a local dive site. I picked up 2 3LB soft weights and said 'how much are these? he took them out of my hands and said 'those are for the paying customers' and put them back on the shelf. I told him that he was a big dope and I wanted to give him money for the weights. he chuckled rather embarassed and let me make a purchase. I guess he didn't think I would buy them from him. I did by my regs there and mask and aow and nitrox specility. silly boy

danielh03
12-20-2007, 03:12
lds in my area are small and have a variety of temprements the closest one was unhappy with me when I found a dive rite dive reel on ebay for $15 he still rents tanks to me when he is able.(he's open part time) one about 1 hour away likes to be 'in charge of the world' but never gives out enough infol we went on a dive trip with him and he expected us to know everything without telling us anything. very frustrating. but... now that I know that's how he is and I have lowered my expectations I might go an another trip with him just to get a good price. although I am capable of setting up my own travel and dive trips. he has only 1 brand of stuff and I like a variety of things to look at and compare.
funny story...we were in the shop getting ready to go to a local dive site. I picked up 2 3LB soft weights and said 'how much are these? he took them out of my hands and said 'those are for the paying customers' and put them back on the shelf. I told him that he was a big dope and I wanted to give him money for the weights. he chuckled rather embarassed and let me make a purchase. I guess he didn't think I would buy them from him. I did by my regs there and mask and aow and nitrox specility. silly boy


Wow, the paying customer comment was way over the mark! I do believe that I would have had a cow on the spot!!!:smiley21:

kancho
12-20-2007, 08:28
My LDS is willing to deal, but LDS here in Canada are facing a new problem. A year ago our dollar was worth around 65 cents American. On one of my recent ST purchases, our dollar was worth $1.10 American, with no tax on top of that. To put it another way, it is as if everything at ST is now on sale for 40% off. This coupled with the no tax and ST already low prices, it's hard to support the local guy.

My LDS (just outside of Toronto) has smartly adjusted its prices to be competitive with on-line scuba shops (like ST) and to reflect the increased purchase power our surging dollar has. They realized that divers are more internet savvy and are more aware of prices other than those at their LDS - and they responded to be roughly equal to internet scuba shops (I say roughly as I am not exactly sure what the brokerage/duty/shipping is to Canada from ST).

Some LDS' see the changing times, and adjust as how they do business. Those that don't may find themselves out of business.

Just my two cents....

Cheers!

Where is your LDS? I might want to check them out for heavier items

BSea
12-20-2007, 08:28
lds in my area are small and have a variety of temprements the closest one was unhappy with me when I found a dive rite dive reel on ebay for $15 he still rents tanks to me when he is able.Everytime I hear stories like this I get really thankful for my LDS. The owner & I compare our finds from E-bay, and he doesn't get upset when I find something on e-bay that's the same brand he sells. I really don't get some of these LDSs that think that their customers are their's alone, and if you buy outside their store then your a traitor or something.

awap
12-20-2007, 08:40
Everytime I hear stories like this I get really thankful for my LDS. The owner & I compare our finds from E-bay, and he doesn't get upset when I find something on e-bay that's the same brand he sells. I really don't get some of these LDSs that think that their customers are their's alone, and if you buy outside their store then your a traitor or something.

I don't like it, but I do understand it. If they can make the customer feel guilty or agree with them, they have succeeded in indoctrinating a "loyal" customer. I just find it hard to believe it works to their benefit.

PhD4JC
12-20-2007, 12:43
I am a consumer.
It is my job to find the best deal for the best price.
Part of that "deal" may include customer service, or a warranty, or ease of interaction. But it comes down to what is best for ME.
If what is best for me, happens to also be best for the service provider, then we both benefit.
A friend is going to want what's best for you as well, even if that is not them...

just my 2 cents
I will forward an invoice
;-)

divingbuddy
12-20-2007, 16:04
Where is your LDS? I might want to check them out for heavier items

PM sent

scubajane
12-20-2007, 16:23
Ya know, I have found grouchy and happy people in all walks of life. there's nothing like being scolded by the produce boy at the grocery store for looking through the heads of lettuce. I think it's all in how we react. they really could be having a bad day and our retaliation makes them more miserable. so that's why I called my lds a big dope and silly boy. I truly said that to him. but then he knows that I'm goofy. so I buy what I want from him and don't feel any reason to purchase from just him.

awb
12-31-2007, 21:18
sounds like everyone needs to move to dallas so they can be closer to SCUBATOYS!

danielh03
01-01-2008, 19:39
sounds like everyone needs to move to dallas so they can be closer to SCUBATOYS!

Its only 700 miles one way for me..... maybe I can talk the wife into a roadtrip lol:smilie39:

kancho
01-07-2008, 10:40
I heard in Niagara, ON there are two competing shops. But I heard they won't fill tanks that have been inspected by their competitor (the 2 shops).. Their prices are pretty bad. And i heard you get nasty remarks when getting fills since you didn't buy ur gear from them..

azdiver
01-10-2008, 19:54
sounds like everyone needs to move to dallas so they can be closer to SCUBATOYS!

I'll have to remember that next time I fly AA and go through Dallas. I'll make sure I have a few hours between flights, order my stuff ahead of time and just go there to get it before I head to the caribbean. :-)

There are a LOT of dive shops in my area and fortunately most of them have great staff. The one I've dealt with for the past 20 years will match any price I show them on the internet if they carry the product.

Puffer Fish
01-10-2008, 20:33
sounds like everyone needs to move to dallas so they can be closer to SCUBATOYS!

I'll have to remember that next time I fly AA and go through Dallas. I'll make sure I have a few hours between flights, order my stuff ahead of time and just go there to get it before I head to the caribbean. :-)

There are a LOT of dive shops in my area and fortunately most of them have great staff. The one I've dealt with for the past 20 years will match any price I show them on the internet if they carry the product.
Scubatoys has been known to make special arrangements for people flying in...call and talk to Larry or Joe if you are doing that, you will be surprized how nice they are.

cummings66
01-11-2008, 11:05
I'll tell you a new one I run across. A shop I know of asked a buddy if he got his tank filled elsewhere and he said yes, the shop said I'll need to do a visual before I can put air back in your tanks then.

He didn't even know the shops that put air in it, just that it had air put in elsewhere.

awap
01-11-2008, 11:21
I'll tell you a new one I run across. A shop I know of asked a buddy if he got his tank filled elsewhere and he said yes, the shop said I'll need to do a visual before I can put air back in your tanks then.

He didn't even know the shops that put air in it, just that it had air put in elsewhere.

Did your buddy get the VIS? Did he pay for it?

kroorda
01-11-2008, 11:44
In the US, all people (and shops) have essentially the same opportunity[s]. We can all open up shop, teach scuba, sell equipment (in-house or over the internet). May the best man/shop win! I have a local dive shop that I recommend to anyone and everyone thinking about getting into scuba. They also have a great travel agency. However, when it comes to buying equipment, I recommend, and send everyone to Scubatoys. They have served me and my wife with 110% satisfaction. - at prices which have saved us a bundle over the years. Scuba equipment IS expensive, and, if you're like us, you find that there is always something a little better a year or two later. Being able to save on purchases really adds up over time. The local dive shop I deal with is doing very well. They have learned how to do well; even though they lose a lot of retail sales to internet sales. Scubatoys has also learned how to do well. More power to each of them! Unfortunately, there are some dive shops who would like you to think that unless you deal with them exclusively, you will go to scuba hell. That's too bad - for them! Could you imagine.. If you bought a new Chevy and the dealership told you that unless you: 1.Filled up with gas at their dealership, 2.Made your car travel plans through them., 3.Got your oil changed by them., 4.Bought CD's for your car stereo from them, etc., that there would be no warranty on your car! Well, unfortunately, that is what some dive shops have done. Rather than badmouthing their competition, and insulting their customers who purchased equipment somewhere else, they should be spending their time and effort looking at, and learning from their competion - and trying to figure out how they might be able to do it better! It's called Free Enterprise... May the Best Man Win! (Obviously, the Best Men are Joe & Larry!):smiley20:
Kent

kancho
01-11-2008, 13:35
Larry.. Have you though about franchising Scubatoys.. Maybe there is a new avenue for revenue generation..

azdiver
01-11-2008, 17:26
sounds like everyone needs to move to dallas so they can be closer to SCUBATOYS!
Scubatoys has been known to make special arrangements for people flying in...call and talk to Larry or Joe if you are doing that, you will be surprized how nice they are.

If I do take a flight through Dallas, I'll have to remember to make sure I schedule a few hours between connections. :-)

Are they close to the airport?

navyhmc
01-11-2008, 22:17
For Texas, Scuba Toys is very close to DFW: 16-17 miles.

North to I-635, east to I-35E north bound and exit 442 about 2 miles north and you're there!

cummings66
01-12-2008, 07:12
Did your buddy get the VIS? Did he pay for it?


He did get the vis, I don't know if he paid for it. He swore up and down that he wouldn't pay for it, I'll find out tomorrow because we're diving then and I forgot to ask when we talked.

Puffer Fish
01-12-2008, 11:05
Did your buddy get the VIS? Did he pay for it?


He did get the vis, I don't know if he paid for it. He swore up and down that he wouldn't pay for it, I'll find out tomorrow because we're diving then and I forgot to ask when we talked.


If a dive shop told me that... I would make sure to never darken their door...and I would make sure that everyone i know knew about their practice...I have people I don't buy from, regardless of the price, for reasons like that.

One could make a small argument about partial blending Nitrox tanks... and safety. And, if it was one of the old AL tanks... again for safety.... but it would be done in a nice way.

awap
01-12-2008, 11:25
Did your buddy get the VIS? Did he pay for it?


He did get the vis, I don't know if he paid for it. He swore up and down that he wouldn't pay for it, I'll find out tomorrow because we're diving then and I forgot to ask when we talked.


If a dive shop told me that... I would make sure to never darken their door...and I would make sure that everyone i know knew about their practice...I have people I don't buy from, regardless of the price, for reasons like that.

One could make a small argument about partial blending Nitrox tanks... and safety. And, if it was one of the old AL tanks... again for safety.... but it would be done in a nice way.

It is a bit of a fine line. Knowing how bad some shops can be, I understand why one shop may not trust the work of another. I use a shop that will warn folks about getting air at another particular shop because he has been know to do less than a stellar job of filter maintenance. He reports getting his rental tanks back that were refilled at the other shop with deposits inside. But he does not refuse to fill or try to charge for another VIS. It's just a warning. If I have to top off there, I drain the tank and inspect before I continue using it. But I have an equalizer hose so there is no problem with the empty tank thing.

It would seem to me thaty if the shop is interested in serving their customers rather than gouging them, they would simply pull the valve and take a peek for deposits (as that should be the only problem) at no extra charge. OTOH if they want charge for a new VIP, going elsewhere is probably an easy solution. I'd probably be pissed and have to deal with them in an underhanded way.

cummings66
01-12-2008, 18:13
He was never this way in the past and lately seems to have changed. I know I got a lecture on my tanks and filling them elsewhere. He basically told me that the only air I could trust was his and that even though the other shops have air quality inspection reports, and even though they're the ones doing the PP blending I could not trust their air. He would not put air into my tanks if I got it there. I basically told him that if it was good enough for them, and they felt safe with it that's all that matters. He didn't try to tell me I needed a visual and he did put air in my tanks, but FF a couple months and my buddy gets told that and he did get a visual done.

I don't go there as much now because I frankly don't care to deal with the hassle and if he told me I needed a visual before he put air in my tank I'd be rude. It's a shame too because this shop used to be one of the best around and he would beat any price you'd find on the Internet. I'm hoping that someday he turns around but I'm not sure it will happen.

divedeeper
01-12-2008, 20:25
Boy, between you all and Joe's lack of trashing my LDS, I feel really confident I made the right choice. I bought the TUSA reg package they are offering on ST and it was half the price of the scubapro reg my LDS wanted to sell me. Thanks for all the info in helping me see through my instructors crap. The next time I go in should be real interesting bec i want to try my new reg once it comes in and I'm going to rent a tank from him and see how the conversation goes. He was so against internet purchase of regulators. Whatever, if he's smart he'll settle down and keep my business. I still need other gear and so does my wife. Maybe the gift cert I got for christmas will settle him down some and show him some loyalty as long as his behavior is still acceptable. Does this sound more like a LDS or a second grader?? Just saying! Thanks for your advice. Wish me luck at the LDS!

Crimediver
01-13-2008, 05:33
I get my gear where I can get it the cheapest. Period. If it is my LDS, they get my money. Sometimes it is. But most of the time I buy off the internet, eBay or from buddies. I do my own visual inspections as I am a PSI inspector-Had to bite the bullet as I own over 30 tanks. I have a compressor so I don't have to hear "Are you gonna get your airfills online?"
My hydros are done at the local fire extinguisher business where it is about $15. Same place my dive shops send the tanks to but charge $30.
But all things being equal, I try to buy from my LDS when I can and refer people to them when appropriate. They are good folks but there are several more stores in my area I tell people not to deal with as they are the type that jerk folks a round. You know the kind...

Gombessa
01-14-2008, 13:34
I can understand the plight of the LDS. It's not an easy business, and unfortunately the solution isn't as simple as having good customer service or beating internet prices. The former is definitely a prerequisite to doing business in the first place, though.

azdiver
01-14-2008, 17:48
Price is important to me as well.... am glad that my LDS will match any published price I show him and that includes internet pricing. Only problem is when I'm wanting to look at a brand he doesn't carry.... then it's the net for sure!

Gombessa
01-14-2008, 18:24
If a shop ever presses me for where I got my stuff, who not just say you're borrowing or got it used? They can complain all they want about counterfeit/unserviced gear, but it's suddenly quite irrelevant once they can't say you're purchasing from their competitors.

azdiver
01-14-2008, 18:40
fortunately my LDS never asks where I boughtr anything. They're just happy that I bring it to them for servicing. :-))

danielh03
01-14-2008, 21:47
Ah regardless of how much it galls me, I still try to do my business with my LDS because behind his arrogent attitude (yea i know I mispelled), He is a great instructor, a safe diver, and has the driest air in town. I will buy what I can from him, like my computer being ST does not carry it, because he has it for a reasonable price. I just wish he would realize that with the internet, all the informatoin is at your finger tips regarding prices and other things scuba related.

WAHMof2
01-30-2008, 10:09
fortunately my LDS never asks where I boughtr anything. They're just happy that I bring it to them for servicing. :-))


Same here, they are very cool about it.

LaCroix42
01-30-2008, 11:32
(Snip!)he took them out of my hands and said 'those are for the paying customers' and put them back on the shelf. I told him that he was a big dope and I wanted to give him money for the weights.(Snip!)

My response to that would be "I'm sorry to have wasted your time, I'll take my equipment, NOW." regardless of the fill level, etc and walk out the door, never looking or going back.

I will give vendors two screw ups with me. If I'm treated in a hostile manner (once) or brow beaten about their product, I'll not return. This applies to electronics, computers, paintball or SCUBA when I buy my equipment. This is also why I do NOT shop at a large yellow and blue electronics retailer when they tried to give me a run-around on a gift. Haven't been back in 7 years, except with other people's money (gift cards from family who don't know).

I will usually have a conversation with the manager/owner of the place to try and smooth things out and use their reaction as a guide for future business. If they are receptive to me and try to make it right (i.e. tell the sales person they will complete the transaction and work with me) then I'll usually come back. I don't care or want a discount/comp usually, I want to be treated as a paying customer without getting attitude.

DZorn00
01-31-2008, 06:38
Guess I am in that lucky group. My LDS is very havppy to have me go into their store. I guess the realize that 1 happy customer leads to more customers even if the one does not spend a lot of money. But they match most prices anyways.

cummings66
01-31-2008, 09:31
Reading scubajanes stories makes me think people in PA are plain rude. In my life time I have never been scolded in a store other than by my mom, not to mention her lds.

Plain rude, no call for it.

PS, I got the rest of the story on the tank vis bit. My buddy didn't tell me he brought his tank back with only 50 psi in it. I guess my telling him how to manage air let him know I'd frown on him getting that low in the water so he left out that part.

Mtrewyn
01-31-2008, 09:57
Same here, they are very cool about it.

What is your Dive Shop? Mine is sort of upity about things some times.

WAHMof2
02-01-2008, 15:59
Scuba Sports in Branson. Great bunch of people!

cummings66
02-01-2008, 16:54
Scuba Sports is a GREAT dive shop. Louis will make deals for you if he can, sometimes if he can't do better on price he'll do better on something else such as a trip.

Heck, one year he told me I could take their pontoon boat out for free, I just had to put gas in it. I do a LOT of business with them when I can, always get my air fills, Nitrox etc from them.

CaribbeanDiver
02-02-2008, 11:33
wanna know why I buy everything possible through ScubaToys? Here is a reminder in case anyone has doubts or has forgotten how great Scuba Toys is - not only for price but also because of unsurpassed service.

yesterday, I visited my LDS. I wanted Scuba Pro regs and since Scuba Toys does not sell Scuba Pro, I had no other recourse.
I paid a premium for two 2nd stages. Yep, a big premium as in I could have bought the first and second stage for almost as much for each of them. I bought a R295 and a R395, (2nd stages only). I paid $153 and $173 respectively. Now, I have read several (nonauthorized) online dealers offering the R295 complete with first stage for around $199 and not much more for the R395 complete with first stage.
Ok, I got raped. forgive me, I am an idiot.
But it gets worse. I have a Scuba Pro BC which I occasionally use and it has an AIR 2. I wanted to swap it out for a simple inflator and remove the AIR 2. So, I also bought an Inflator which I later found I was charged $95 for plus another $22 for the hose.
Ya see, I am old and need glasses to read find print. I dont pay much attention to the ticket they stick in front of me when paying by credit card so I signed and only looked at the invoice later. Told Ya I was an idiot.
Now, I have known these people for some time and trust them. I got certified through them, spent a ton with them before and I know they are honest, wouldnt cheat me so I just signed the sales credit ticket.
The problem is, these people are outrageously charging without mercy.
I do not mind supporting my LDS and I know I will pay more when I am there but jeez, sex without the kiss is totally unnecessary.
No wonder I always think twice before I buy locally. Scuba Toys, it is all your fault, how come you do not handle Scuba Pro? I could have been treated fairly if only you did.

fireflock
02-02-2008, 13:24
Scuba Toys, it is all your fault, how come you do not handle Scuba Pro? I could have been treated fairly if only you did.

ST used to carry ScubaPro. They were a big dealer for them and did what they were supposed to in complying with all the silly rules ScubaPro insists dealers follow. ST discovered that the 'rules' were not evenly enforced, so ST did what was eventually in the best interests of their customers and told ScubaPro to take a hike.

...or something like that....the story is in the archives somewhere if you do some digging.

Rich

awap
02-02-2008, 13:45
yesterday, I visited my LDS. I wanted Scuba Pro regs and since Scuba Toys does not sell Scuba Pro, I had no other recourse.
I paid a premium for two 2nd stages. Yep, a big premium as in I could have bought the first and second stage for almost as much for each of them. I bought a R295 and a R395, (2nd stages only). I paid $153 and $173 respectively. Now, I have read several (nonauthorized) online dealers offering the R295 complete with first stage for around $199 and not much more for the R395 complete with first stage.
Ok, I got raped. forgive me, I am an idiot.
But it gets worse. I have a Scuba Pro BC which I occasionally use and it has an AIR 2. I wanted to swap it out for a simple inflator and remove the AIR 2. So, I also bought an Inflator which I later found I was charged $95 for plus another $22 for the hose.
Ya see, I am old and need glasses to read find print. I dont pay much attention to the ticket they stick in front of me when paying by credit card so I signed and only looked at the invoice later. Told Ya I was an idiot.
Now, I have known these people for some time and trust them. I got certified through them, spent a ton with them before and I know they are honest, wouldnt cheat me so I just signed the sales credit ticket.
The problem is, these people are outrageously charging without mercy.
I do not mind supporting my LDS and I know I will pay more when I am there but jeez, sex without the kiss is totally unnecessary.
No wonder I always think twice before I buy locally. Scuba Toys, it is all your fault, how come you do not handle Scuba Pro? I could have been treated fairly if only you did.

That is really too bad. You paid a lot for some nothing special scubapro regulators. You could have gotten a lot more regulator for a lot less $$$ if you did a bit more shopping around. It should not be too late to return them. If the shop tries to insist on store credit rather than a refund, you might have to deal with your CC company or maybe you know a good lawyer. :-)

whse56
02-02-2008, 16:10
I can't complain about my LDS, they're nice people. Like any other business they don't like it when I buy online. They also understand that a dollar only goes so far and we all try and stretch it as far as we can. The dealer only parts that I buy from them are a little more expensive than similar ones online but I believe that you need to support your LDS, so I consider it paying my dues.

aprilgoddess1987
02-02-2008, 19:24
I dont tell them where i get my stuff from

icandy6298
02-03-2008, 01:03
I live in The Woodlands, Texas. My local dive shop is called SeaSports Scuba. They are so rude to people, even if you have paid hundreds for their Padi cert. My husband and I took our Open Water cert. with them last year and they required that we buy 7 things on a list to take the class ($600) worth of stuff a piece plus another $250 each for the class. Then they pressured us to buy a full set of gear after the class was completed. We refused after we saw that they were way overpriced and rude at the same time. Very snobby. We decided to wait to get our gear after we had dove a few more times on vacation and tried several brands and types of products. They also gave us the same story about not buying things online. don't even go in the store anymore because they are so unhelpful.

MLenyo
02-03-2008, 01:42
I dont tell them where i get my stuff from

same, for the most part. i haven't mentioned anything about buying gear online, so i'm not sure how they'd react though. i know one or two of the staff would say "hey, whatever you can afford."

Gombessa
02-03-2008, 01:43
Business is tough for shops these days. Some handle it well, some just don't. That's just how things shake out, and we'll have to see who's standing at the end of the day.

Super-Duper Scubasteve
02-03-2008, 15:14
I like the people at my LDS, good group. Normally, I buy a lot of stuff from them ($600 dollars just the other day). they've got alright prices and a lot of sales and top notch training, though there's no beating ST prices. They still haven't seen anything I've bought from here, though I don't htink they'de be very offended or anything.

RoyN
02-03-2008, 20:45
I never say anything. However, some of the gears I really want isn't online at all except for camera parts.

mbaugh
02-03-2008, 22:09
I currently work for a local dive shop. I think there is a place for online retails like scuba toys and local dive shops. I know for instance that most of our shops income is from open water classes. Selling gear is also a part of our business and online retailers do bring competition to the table. It is just a fact that we have to recognize. One thing that we try to do to over come this is to offer a try before you buy option. If customers ask me about buying gear online I will typical tell them that they can find it about 10% cheaper depending of the gear. The key to running the local dive shop is offering the services that are above and beyond what can be done online. This includes service, training and sales staff. Sometimes it is the friendly face that takes the time to explain various aspects of diving and dive gear that will make a trip or purchase to a local dive shop worth it. I personally know and am friends with several of our customers and repeatedly have had several of them just stop by just to say hello. Diving is supposed to be fun and dive shops local and online should support that in any way possible. I have bought from scuba toys and other online retailers before and would do it again. I guess what I am trying to say is that as a dive shop staff member and a diver all I want to do is help people explore and learn about the underwater world that I have learned to love. Go with what works for you and KEEP DIVING.

cummings66
02-03-2008, 23:07
I think that shops that have fun dives planned get more business in the long run because divers are always coming by to have fun on the next great dive. Those shops who try to sell classes or gear only seem to have problems making ends meet in comparison. So it seems to an outsider.

kancho
02-03-2008, 23:14
I just got my tank bank from hydro.. I was supposed to be just hydro and disc replacement.. They told me it was ready then i got my friend to pick it up. They said there was rust in it and they had to clean it. I check the inside b4 giving them the tank and there was no rust. Also they never asked me they just did it. not knowing my friend just paid the extra 20.. It is slow season here but they shouldn't do work without authorization and they expect us to pay.. I will call them back and try to get my money back.. It is the dive shop in Newmarket ontario..

It really looks like there are fewer and fewer honest LDS around. In ontario anyway..

pyre24
02-04-2008, 19:33
Im a little nervouse about asking my dive shop if they can meet online prices. But I will give them the first shot. If they cant I will go with ST. Havent heard anything about them yet. So glad I found this forum. Wish Id fount it before certification. we have 2 lds here, one badmouths others and pressures into sales, the other one, not yet so far.

ScubaShuggs
02-06-2008, 22:38
I dont have that problem. My local dive shop is <3 Scuba Toys <3, and the people are ALL soo friendly there!!

RoyN
02-07-2008, 01:16
I usually hang around my mom's shop and thats about it. :D

Dive4Fun
02-08-2008, 16:36
I personally love my local dive shop. They'll try to match prices and order whatever I'm looking for as best as they can. Sometimes they just can't seem to match it so I order online, but for the most part things work out great. 15% discount from them for being a student and I haven't even asked about military discounts. A second shop just opened in town and they're trying hard to compete so it's going to be fun the next few months on shopping around and comparing prices seeing who can give better deals.

KGNickl
02-10-2008, 16:57
One LDS I was asking about prices said I'm the type of person who destroys local shops. I told him I think I might just buy online or used if he can't work on the price a bit cause I could buy used or online for 1/2 his asking price. All I can say is I took my money to the other local dive shop (which i really like!) and spent $300-$600 since. He got nothing except me telling everyone I know to go to other local shops. So over a $200 item that I ended up buying $100 later on, he lost the chance for $300-$600 business that month (and most likely $1000+ in the near future). I just hate how I have to fear so many local dive shops because they feel every local person should have a loyalty/charity obligation to them. I try my best to buy everything from local shops, but sometimes they have 1-2 of the items I want while some online shop has 100-500 of a previous years model (or even the same item they are offering) and they sell for 1/2 price or less w/ full warranty because they got a great deal on a large purchase that they can pass the saving on? How can I pass something like that up and the local shop usually can't compete with the price?

pyre24
02-11-2008, 11:02
i have no problem with last years model. or even the year before.

cummings66
02-11-2008, 11:38
For whatever reason it is, there does seem to be a lot of shops who don't do much value added service. Mine isn't too bad, but you kind of have to work at it on occasion.

DZorn00
02-11-2008, 12:24
Luckly My LDS is pretty good about working with me if I bring in a price from some where else. They're not to happy about it but they do it knowing that I can bring in more business by word of mouth than them thinking I should only by from them. They have even sent me to different places when they couldn't match or didn't have something.

Hollywood703
02-11-2008, 17:44
Luclkily I have 3 LDS withing 10 miles of me, I shop at all 3 (fill is cheapest at the closest one so i do all my fills there) I have all my gear serviced at another one as price/work quality is best there, and the third I buy all my accessories from. I do play them against each other now and then, if i need a larger purchase. Can usually work them down to internet pricing W/o telling them.

pyre24
02-13-2008, 01:29
must be nice. I have to, one doesnt like its customrs going anywhere else, the other wont price match. Yeah for me

Divemaster2008
02-13-2008, 08:19
There are 2 LDS for me. The closest one act like they did not care if you ever came in there shop. Very rude and if you did not buy it from them forget getting it serviced there. I bought most of my gear here when starting out. I bought a Scubapro Air II from the Scubatoys board. It was new but I wanted it checked anyway. I took it in and they asked where I got it. When he found out he told me it would be 4-5 weeks before they could service it. This was Jan. 3, 2008. I looked around a little then was leaving, I asked where the tech was. I was told he wasn't in that day because things were slow.

The other dive shop is 40 miles away. When I go in there they always have a smile, alway ready to help out, but no preasure. They took the Air II and serviced it for me with no questions. He told me it looked brand new, but he serviced anyway. When I tried to pay him, he said don't worry about it i'll catch you next time. At this shop they treat you like friends instead of just someone to make money from. If your just looking around the shop there is no preasure, if you have a question they will answer it, but you can look around without someone looking over your shoulder every moment your there.

navyhmc
02-13-2008, 10:39
I used to work for a local LD-sweet deal, get to be around all sorts of dive gear, help with classes, and get my gear at a discount AND got to work for gear. I would say that we were a very good shop. You were more than welcome to bring in what ever you had, no questions asked except for what you needed odne and when do you need it. The laughter that you got if the time frame was undo-able was free of charge. :D

It was a very friendly atmosphere and we had a very large group of faithful customers. The shop closed and the owners retired to dive the world. I really miss that job.

desertengineer
02-27-2008, 16:19
You would think many of the shop owners had figured one of the main reasons divers go to the online stores is because they act like tools. I've dealt with the scubatoys.com sticker inquiry as well. I reply we bought the stuff at the store, but they still give the quiet "huff". I hate getting hassled. I don't want to buy a full new package. I want to dive. Should be pretty simple, huh? LOL!

rfb3
02-27-2008, 16:25
If they start asking about purchases, when, where, I jsut tell them I bought it from a friend...

jmoors
02-29-2008, 14:48
I have one LDS that is about 30 miles away that I currently use. It is for the most part a very good LDS. One of the things that sold me on them is when I took my better half in to find a new mask. One of the employees took the time to go through most of the masks they had to "fit" one to her. It wasn't the cheapest but it was the best fit. He spent about 30 minutes working with her to make sure that it was the best for her. We bought it and I have also purchased a new mask from them. They go out of there way to help anyway they can. Have never asked about where my gear game from just happy to have a customer and provide a service for them. When it comes to personal items like a mask or wetsuite I always go to an LDS because fit really does matter. As far as regs and other gear I look for the best price, and again customer service. On-line I have found that ST is by far the best I have worked with. I still buy somethings from other on-line retailers but if ST has it they have my money everytime.

John

jtkkym
03-05-2008, 20:30
I bought 2 sets of Mares Abyss/Proton Oct from my LDS because I would need service from them. Well...When I did 1st Reg service from LDS, they told me $60 + parts (if they have to replace them). The regs only had about 10 dives and only one year old so I did not think I would need pay for any parts cost. They charged me $160 each! I asked them why so expensive. They changed replaced with new parts. I asked them if they needed to replace and they told me they do for safety for all reg. I was surprised and I thought I could buy cheaper reg for every year if it cost that much. I asked ST and found out that ST does reg service and change parts if they have to. So, I tried ST and it cost me less than half of I paid at LDS. Also, my LDS took about 3 weeks but ST only took less than 2 weeks (include shipping both way). ST is Great! Someone mentioned ST is my LDS. I feel same way!

LMM1967
03-06-2008, 11:36
We prefer to have a LDS be our "base" shop and do all of our non-internet business with them. We just chose to leave one shop and start using another because of the extreme lack of customer service. We have spent upwards of $4500 in the last 45 days with the shop and they will not replace one of the Oceanic Geo wrist computers we purchased from them. It has a confirmed issue, Oceanic says it needs to be replaced and that the shop "should" just replace it for us. Instead I am having to go directly to Oceanic, get RMA, ship it out etc etc. I commend Oceanic for this but it was the last straw for the shop and prompted us to take our local business elsewhere.

We use the internet extensively, make some purchases online and actually have an internet automotive parts business so we understand many of the issues being brought up by the local shops, however, if I give a shop over $4,000.00 worth of business in less than a month I don't think it's unreasonable to expect them to take care of a problem with a piece of equipment I bought from them.

ST - on the other hand - has only received about $600.00 worth of my business so far and I can't say enough good things about the service I have received from them.

Some LDS need lessons on customer service and general respect - maybe ST should start selling a seminar series to the LDS to help them understand what a customer should expect and receive in the way of service.

BusDiver
03-06-2008, 13:34
Buy your own air compressor and forget about your LDS. If you don't want to shell out the bucks for that then try to find a happy medium with your store. If they go out of business then where will you get your air fills. Shops do not make money off of fills. I always believe in giving my shop the first crack at my business. I find that they are usually willing to wheel and deal with me and in the long run my gear has cost a lot less then on the internet. (However my shop believes in customer service and promoting local diving--some shops don't). Now if your shop is that bad, contact the fire dept. to see if they will do your fills. If so then let your shop know that you will no longer be using them.

fkostyun
03-06-2008, 14:39
Thankfully I'm in the same general area as AZDIVER and we do have a lot of a lot of great LDS's also. Heck, even S*** Chalet has been nice to me. I normally by from one shop, but, there are two others that have also been really good.

jtkkym
03-07-2008, 19:13
Buy your own air compressor and forget about your LDS. If you don't want to shell out the bucks for that then try to find a happy medium with your store. If they go out of business then where will you get your air fills. Shops do not make money off of fills. I always believe in giving my shop the first crack at my business. I find that they are usually willing to wheel and deal with me and in the long run my gear has cost a lot less then on the internet. (However my shop believes in customer service and promoting local diving--some shops don't). Now if your shop is that bad, contact the fire dept. to see if they will do your fills. If so then let your shop know that you will no longer be using them.
Hi BusDiver, I've never heard a fire dept fills air. Do they really fills air for "regular" resident?

danielh03
03-08-2008, 01:24
Buy your own air compressor and forget about your LDS. If you don't want to shell out the bucks for that then try to find a happy medium with your store. If they go out of business then where will you get your air fills. Shops do not make money off of fills. I always believe in giving my shop the first crack at my business. I find that they are usually willing to wheel and deal with me and in the long run my gear has cost a lot less then on the internet. (However my shop believes in customer service and promoting local diving--some shops don't). Now if your shop is that bad, contact the fire dept. to see if they will do your fills. If so then let your shop know that you will no longer be using them.
Hi BusDiver, I've never heard a fire dept fills air. Do they really fills air for "regular" resident?

The one in my area will not do air fills even for me and I am on the local Rescue and Sheriffs Department. They get into a grey area and I respect that. Also, many fire departments cant fill past 2250 psi

granolatree
03-09-2008, 18:59
My father is a fire fighter and he has a hard time filling at the station.

CompuDude
03-11-2008, 19:29
Buy your own air compressor and forget about your LDS. If you don't want to shell out the bucks for that then try to find a happy medium with your store. If they go out of business then where will you get your air fills. Shops do not make money off of fills. I always believe in giving my shop the first crack at my business. I find that they are usually willing to wheel and deal with me and in the long run my gear has cost a lot less then on the internet. (However my shop believes in customer service and promoting local diving--some shops don't). Now if your shop is that bad, contact the fire dept. to see if they will do your fills. If so then let your shop know that you will no longer be using them.
Hi BusDiver, I've never heard a fire dept fills air. Do they really fills air for "regular" resident?

The one in my area will not do air fills even for me and I am on the local Rescue and Sheriffs Department. They get into a grey area and I respect that. Also, many fire departments cant fill past 2250 psi

That's odd... most fire depts around here (unwilling to fill due to liability, but anyway) have compressors designed to fill 4500 psi carbon fiber SCBA tanks. HP scuba tanks would be no problem whatsoever, were it not for the liability issue.

danielh03
03-11-2008, 20:36
Buy your own air compressor and forget about your LDS. If you don't want to shell out the bucks for that then try to find a happy medium with your store. If they go out of business then where will you get your air fills. Shops do not make money off of fills. I always believe in giving my shop the first crack at my business. I find that they are usually willing to wheel and deal with me and in the long run my gear has cost a lot less then on the internet. (However my shop believes in customer service and promoting local diving--some shops don't). Now if your shop is that bad, contact the fire dept. to see if they will do your fills. If so then let your shop know that you will no longer be using them.
Hi BusDiver, I've never heard a fire dept fills air. Do they really fills air for "regular" resident?

The one in my area will not do air fills even for me and I am on the local Rescue and Sheriffs Department. They get into a grey area and I respect that. Also, many fire departments cant fill past 2250 psi

That's odd... most fire depts around here (unwilling to fill due to liability, but anyway) have compressors designed to fill 4500 psi carbon fiber SCBA tanks. HP scuba tanks would be no problem whatsoever, were it not for the liability issue.

They use a cascade system here, and there bottle type is the MSA carbon fiber so everything is set up for the max pressure on them of just over 2250.

divergirl
03-14-2008, 14:11
Hey guys, yes, it's yet another LDS Gripe, complaint, or moan, I will let you decide. Last week, I made an order for an OMS reg set from ST. I stopped by the LDS to get a tank filled so that when it arrives I can hit the indoor pool and play with my new toy. When I dropped the tank off, the owner, and only employee of the shop asked me why I was getting a fill when its this cold out. I told him I was going to play with my new reg. He started asking me were I got it, how much I paid, and other questions like that. Kinda put me on the defensive if you know what I mean. After he found out that I bought it on line, he started giving me this long speach about how its a worthless reg because I can't get it serviced in this area (even though he sells the SAME REG), and there is no warrenty on it ect ect ect. I know that ST backs every thing that they sell, and I have no worries. But it still chaps my butt!

This is something I'm worried about with my LDS.... they know I've been eye-humping the mares kaila at their shop for quite some time, however I just ordered it online from the states for a significant amount cheaper than what they were willing to sell it to me for.. so It shall be interesting when I go in and buy some weights and I'm not renting a bcd from them :P

CompuDude
03-14-2008, 15:14
Hey guys, yes, it's yet another LDS Gripe, complaint, or moan, I will let you decide. Last week, I made an order for an OMS reg set from ST. I stopped by the LDS to get a tank filled so that when it arrives I can hit the indoor pool and play with my new toy. When I dropped the tank off, the owner, and only employee of the shop asked me why I was getting a fill when its this cold out. I told him I was going to play with my new reg. He started asking me were I got it, how much I paid, and other questions like that. Kinda put me on the defensive if you know what I mean. After he found out that I bought it on line, he started giving me this long speach about how its a worthless reg because I can't get it serviced in this area (even though he sells the SAME REG), and there is no warrenty on it ect ect ect. I know that ST backs every thing that they sell, and I have no worries. But it still chaps my butt!

This is something I'm worried about with my LDS.... they know I've been eye-humping the mares kaila at their shop for quite some time, however I just ordered it online from the states for a significant amount cheaper than what they were willing to sell it to me for.. so It shall be interesting when I go in and buy some weights and I'm not renting a bcd from them :P

Repeat after me: "I don't know where it came from, it was a gift from my parents!"

awap
03-14-2008, 15:19
Repeat after me: "I don't know where it came from, it was a gift from my parents!"

I'm not comfortable with lying. I think I would just tell the truth or decline to answer the question.

CompuDude
03-14-2008, 15:48
Repeat after me: "I don't know where it came from, it was a gift from my parents!"

I'm not comfortable with lying. I think I would just tell the truth or decline to answer the question.

I hope you're comfortable getting reamed by abusive LDS clerks, then.

There is such a thing as a white lie that harms no one. In this case, it's all about protecting your own rights.

For me, it's a non-issue... my LDS knows I get gear from a variety of places, and they know that I still spend a ton of money with them, so stuff like that isn't an issue with them.

divergirl
03-14-2008, 16:31
Hey guys, yes, it's yet another LDS Gripe, complaint, or moan, I will let you decide. Last week, I made an order for an OMS reg set from ST. I stopped by the LDS to get a tank filled so that when it arrives I can hit the indoor pool and play with my new toy. When I dropped the tank off, the owner, and only employee of the shop asked me why I was getting a fill when its this cold out. I told him I was going to play with my new reg. He started asking me were I got it, how much I paid, and other questions like that. Kinda put me on the defensive if you know what I mean. After he found out that I bought it on line, he started giving me this long speach about how its a worthless reg because I can't get it serviced in this area (even though he sells the SAME REG), and there is no warrenty on it ect ect ect. I know that ST backs every thing that they sell, and I have no worries. But it still chaps my butt!

This is something I'm worried about with my LDS.... they know I've been eye-humping the mares kaila at their shop for quite some time, however I just ordered it online from the states for a significant amount cheaper than what they were willing to sell it to me for.. so It shall be interesting when I go in and buy some weights and I'm not renting a bcd from them :P

Repeat after me: "I don't know where it came from, it was a gift from my parents!"


haha it's semi true... I purchased it and my parents decided it would make a nice gift for my 19th :P so they offered to pay for some of it.

Good excuse, I'll be sure to tell them that at the shop :P

awap
03-14-2008, 16:42
Repeat after me: "I don't know where it came from, it was a gift from my parents!"

I'm not comfortable with lying. I think I would just tell the truth or decline to answer the question.

I hope you're comfortable getting reamed by abusive LDS clerks, then.

There is such a thing as a white lie that harms no one. In this case, it's all about protecting your own rights.

For me, it's a non-issue... my LDS knows I get gear from a variety of places, and they know that I still spend a ton of money with them, so stuff like that isn't an issue with them.

I don't get reamed by LDS clerks. My regular LDS knows my buying habits and is OK with them. I'm always happy to discuss alternative sources of gear with an LDS. Any other customers in the store at the time seem to enjoy it also.

I really like to tell them the story of my first Mk20/S600 which I bought online for half the retail price and the story of buying 3 Scubapro metal 2nds for $15 including shipping. But I don't think they enjoy them as much as I do.

doczerothree
03-14-2008, 17:22
I don't tell my diveshop anything any more. It saves me having to deal with the normal bad mouthing of the internet. I use them when it is right for me and when it is not I don't. Like I told them one day - You are not a charity and I don't give away my money to businesses.

I agree with PsychDiver. Be selective in what you tell your LDS. It avoids hard feelings and poor customer service.

Marcus
04-01-2008, 01:30
All is fair in love, war and finances. Many or most LDS either can't or won't match the prices you can get online. They have a business to run. As customers, it is also our duty to get the best price we can on items. None of us wants to work overtime just to pay the difference in cost between the huge savings we can often get online.

As far as if your LDS doesn't or won't service your stuff, well that doesn't make sense. Whether or not you have a warranty doesn't matter. You'll just pay a few bucks for parts, and are still paying full price for their servicing regardless where you bought your reg. If they don't want to service your stuff, then send it out to one of many places like Scuba Toys or another servies I used out of NC called Airtech that was great. There are others that are also highly qualified.

Times are pretty tough for LDS', but it isn't their business where or how you acquired your gear. I bought an entire Dive Rite Transplate setup for hundreds less than I would have paid at my LDS. I often tell the LDS it was a gift as well just to avoid the hassle. If pressed, I wouldn't be apologetic about it though.

Blindref757
04-03-2008, 06:04
I have over $2000 worth of ST equipment and my LDS has only asked once. My reply: "My Father-in-Law gave it to me for Christmas." Since that initial question, I've gotten air fills and been on a couple of trips with them--and questions, service, or satisfaction has never been an issue.

As bad of a deal as some equipment purchases are, dive travel is often a super deal with your LDS. Once the owners know that you are going to be a loyal customer by taking AOW or specialty classes with them, and then if you go on a trip or two as well--you will likely never be questioned again about equipment.

My LDS owner flat out told me once that he'd rather have me as a customer for the next 20 years, than 20 customers for 1 year.

clayhabitat
04-10-2008, 15:16
I hate to pile on here but I just got jumped by my LDS for buying online because they are not authorized dealers. I told him that according to the manufacturer ST is an authorized dealer. Her responded that even if the manufacturer says ST is an authorized dealer, they really aren't. I couldn't believe it! Unfortunately, this is the only dealer/repair site close to me so I am somewhat stuck. I just hope he doesn't bring it up every time I service my equipment.

fireflock
04-10-2008, 15:32
There's no need to support that kind of shop. There are a number of reputable places where you can send your gear for service, including ScubaToys. In most cases you total bill will be smaller even after you pay for shipping.

BSea
04-10-2008, 16:17
I hate to pile on here but I just got jumped by my LDS for buying online because they are not authorized dealers. I told him that according to the manufacturer ST is an authorized dealer. Her responded that even if the manufacturer says ST is an authorized dealer, they really aren't. I couldn't believe it! Unfortunately, this is the only dealer/repair site close to me so I am somewhat stuck. I just hope he doesn't bring it up every time I service my equipment.Every time I hear stories like this, I just thank my lucky stars for my LDS. I just bought an Aeris elite T3 computer from ST because my LDS isn't an Aeris dealer. Last year I bought a computer from my LDS, but I didn't like it. He helped me sell my used computer through his shop even though he knew I was getting one from ST. His comment was that I should buy what I liked even if he couldn't get it for me. I buy anything I can through my LDS even if sometimes he's a bit higher, but if it's something he doesn't carry, then ST is my LDDS (Long Distance Dive Shop).

If I had to put up with what some of you do, I'd buy a compressor & take the tank inspection class & be done with the local shop.

Sounder
04-10-2008, 16:27
As far as LDS politics go, I give them first bid but they know I'm calling around. If they're close, I'll go with them but when I can get something for dramatically less though another outlet, I'm a consumer and I'm going to spend my money wisely.

EuphoriaII
04-10-2008, 16:43
The LDS will make you feel like a bad guy if you don't give them your business yet won't make the effort to make you WANT to give them the business. I feel like ST really wants my business, but isn't going to give me crap or have a hard time if I bought something locally or from another online vendor. Thats why most of my diving purchases are now going to ST

Ohio_diver16
04-10-2008, 22:27
My LDS isn't that bad, he's usually up front with prices and gives a little discount. But there's another one in PA (half hour from me) he gives great deals, but he comes off as a royal scheister! But for accessories (I don't know if I trust him for important equipment) his prices are great! Got myself an Akona reg bag with comp sleeve for like $12

reactive
04-13-2008, 10:25
I went into my LDS asking about prices and information about getting open water certified. I found that every place in new orlenas wanted to charge me in the neighborhood of $600 plus the cost of gear. I found MBT divers in pensacola, FL which is about a 3 hour drive had a price of 180, so I stayed at a friends beach house for a week and got certified in pensacola and wound up spending around $500 including all my gear.

To sum this up, I went into the LDS in new orleans to get an air fill and he started giving me crap about not being certified yet since i was in there asking all those questions. I flashed my card and he acted like he didn't want to do business with me at all.

*shrug* I guess you can't win em all.

bmp51
04-13-2008, 17:21
Most of our LDS's here are the same (not all but most).. "on line gear is crap (unless from their online store), black market etc..."

I guess you just donít find shops like ST anymore.. they are my LDS and my EDS (electronic Dive Shop)

johnyringo
04-13-2008, 18:35
Here's some good news, for a change, about a LDS. I recently had my reg. serviced by ST, when I hooked it up to a tank to try it out it breathed rough and had a free flow problem. Though ST offered to go through it again, time restraints (I'm off to Roatan for 2 weeks) wouldn't allow this. I took it in to my LDS and explained the problems I was having and asked if he would check out the reg. No Problem, he took it right over to the bench, asking where I'd had it serviced. After looking it over he said that ST is a very professional outfit and they had done a great job on my reg. It only needed some minor adjustment and breaths like a dream again.
So I'd just like to let everyone know, that in spite of all the negative publicity regarding LDS's, there are still some good ones out there.

joshdlay
04-14-2008, 01:31
I am in the same situation with my LDS. When ever he finds out that I bought something off the internet you can tell he hates it but to me it seems like his prices are a little steep. I like to buy my mechanical stuff from him, but I buy my wetsuits and accessories somewhere else. When he finds out he gives me the usual rundown of how my stuff will not be as good as the stuff that he sells. It is kind of aggravating.

EuphoriaII
04-14-2008, 09:51
Here's some good news, for a change, about a LDS. I recently had my reg. serviced by ST, when I hooked it up to a tank to try it out it breathed rough and had a free flow problem. Though ST offered to go through it again, time restraints (I'm off to Roatan for 2 weeks) wouldn't allow this. I took it in to my LDS and explained the problems I was having and asked if he would check out the reg. No Problem, he took it right over to the bench, asking where I'd had it serviced. After looking it over he said that ST is a very professional outfit and they had done a great job on my reg. It only needed some minor adjustment and breaths like a dream again.
So I'd just like to let everyone know, that in spite of all the negative publicity regarding LDS's, there are still some good ones out there.
Thats good to hear. Finally a dive shop that understands that customer service and reasonable prices are how you stay in business.

mentalmarine
04-14-2008, 10:15
Here's some good news, for a change, about a LDS. I recently had my reg. serviced by ST, when I hooked it up to a tank to try it out it breathed rough and had a free flow problem. Though ST offered to go through it again, time restraints (I'm off to Roatan for 2 weeks) wouldn't allow this. I took it in to my LDS and explained the problems I was having and asked if he would check out the reg. No Problem, he took it right over to the bench, asking where I'd had it serviced. After looking it over he said that ST is a very professional outfit and they had done a great job on my reg. It only needed some minor adjustment and breaths like a dream again.
So I'd just like to let everyone know, that in spite of all the negative publicity regarding LDS's, there are still some good ones out there.
Thats good to hear. Finally a dive shop that understands that customer service and reasonable prices are how you stay in business.

I wouldnt use the phrase "finally", I consider Scubatoys my LDS :) One could argue how close Texas is to Ohio though :)

EuphoriaII
04-14-2008, 10:37
Here's some good news, for a change, about a LDS. I recently had my reg. serviced by ST, when I hooked it up to a tank to try it out it breathed rough and had a free flow problem. Though ST offered to go through it again, time restraints (I'm off to Roatan for 2 weeks) wouldn't allow this. I took it in to my LDS and explained the problems I was having and asked if he would check out the reg. No Problem, he took it right over to the bench, asking where I'd had it serviced. After looking it over he said that ST is a very professional outfit and they had done a great job on my reg. It only needed some minor adjustment and breaths like a dream again.
So I'd just like to let everyone know, that in spite of all the negative publicity regarding LDS's, there are still some good ones out there.
Thats good to hear. Finally a dive shop that understands that customer service and reasonable prices are how you stay in business.

I wouldnt use the phrase "finally", I consider Scubatoys my LDS :) One could argue how close Texas is to Ohio though :)

Good point. It's just that ST is a little for for me to go for local air fills or even OW lessons for my kid. But ST IS my LDS for most purchases, especially the larger ones.

mobeeno
04-14-2008, 23:26
Did you ask him beforehand if he could match the price?

I went to the shop I like to patronize and showed them ST's prices, and he pulled out his catalogs and played with numbers until he almost matched their price on a BP/W setup.

But, it is rude of him to insult his customers. Start dropping hints about buying your own fill station or something...
It not easy being a LDS

elijahb
05-01-2008, 14:40
wow some people will do anything to get your money

Geoff_T
05-07-2008, 00:50
Yeah this attitude is a big part of the reason that I really did not dive for the two years I lived in CT. I am so glad to have landed in DFW only a few miles from ST. And their price for my wife to get her OW cert is much better than any of the shops up north

wolfen42
05-07-2008, 13:09
I have heard the "loyal customer" line also. Since when does being loyal mean that I stand by while you price gouge me and make rules that are not from the manufacturer about servicing equipment? Loyal goes two ways.

I've given my local LDS several opportunities to price match Scubatoys and they are only willing to "get within $100 of the price". I happen to think that saving $100 on a regulator so I can buy miflex hoses (for instance) is a good thing...

We are doing are training classes through them and will probably book some trips through them also so I still consider myself to be a loyal customer.
(Especially after paying almost double on my mask,fins, and snorkle for our OW class...)

Murloc
05-07-2008, 16:13
http://www.lowcountrydiving.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/DiveShopvsonline.pdf

elijahb
05-07-2008, 20:42
I like the idea of setting up your own fill station. The last thing we need are shops that give us BS. As long as you are not diving nitrox or trimix it should be easy to go buy a compressor and / or a cascade setup.

Scotttyd
05-14-2008, 13:25
Here in NC there are enought other dive shops that keeps things reasonable in my mind. Most will not over charge you, they see the value in a customer and they are used to competing, whether it be online or with a brick and mortar shop. I have used both scubatoys and my LDS, both are good at what they do, they just do it differently.

Think
05-14-2008, 13:35
I've ordered from Scubatoys in the past, and they were awesome. I'm leaving pretty soon for a trip and wanting to get something soon, I dropped by my LDS the other day to see about getting a snorkel vest for the wifey. $49.99, looked cheap, and they seemed pissed that I said I'd have to think about it. Came home and ordered from ST along with a decent mask and snorkel for her. Much cheaper, better quality, got free shipping, 10% off my order, and it shipped within hours and will be here in plenty of time before my trip. :smiley20:

ndv21
05-16-2008, 09:09
The same thing happens to me. I took one of my tanks to get filled to a LDS that i really never go to since it is way far out of my way but on this day, I was going to dive in a river that was in that general direction anyway.

It was my first time in the shop and I was checking everything out until the owner came and I told him i needed a fill. As soon as he saw my tank and saw the inspection sticker from another LDS, he went bezerck. I only tolerated it because I wanted my air but trust me, i am never going to that shop again.

longtailbda
05-27-2008, 17:17
Not all lds are the same our local shop ask that you at least let them try to meet online prices; what hurts them most times is that even if they get close they still have to charge sales tax 7%. I try to support them when I can but if I can save significant $ like I can @ ST I do.

Geoff_T
05-27-2008, 17:34
Not all lds are the same our local shop ask that you at least let them try to meet online prices; what hurts them most times is that even if they get close they still have to charge sales tax 7%. I try to support them when I can but if I can save significant $ like I can @ ST I do.

see that is reasonable. Where I found problems is when I have moved into a new region and the lds there treats me like a leper. Because I have purchaced the bulk of my equiptment somewhere else. Sorry but I am not buying a new rig just to deal with your shop.

MrMike
06-05-2008, 18:31
the lds there treats me like a leper. Because I have purchaced the bulk of my equiptment somewhere else. Sorry but I am not buying a new rig just to deal with your shop.
Way too many businesses are like this, especially ones that sell big ticket stuff. My local motorcycle dealer treats me exactly the same way. So I don't go in there for anything.

jj1987
06-05-2008, 18:55
Did you ask him beforehand if he could match the price?

I went to the shop I like to patronize and showed them ST's prices, and he pulled out his catalogs and played with numbers until he almost matched their price on a BP/W setup.

But, it is rude of him to insult his customers. Start dropping hints about buying your own fill station or something...
That's because the shop that you go to (if it's where I think it is), is a very stand up shop geared towards making you a long time customer. Hence why he gives us college kids a break too on fills (measuring hott, filling cold), I'm sure he knows with his service we'd feel bad not giving him a chance first.

pharmdaddyd
06-26-2011, 15:22
when my LDS found out i bought some things from scuba toys he threw a fit said i was screwing him out of business and this was while i was at the counter buying a pair of flippers for my son, i stopped right then and there and walked out have not been back since, and i tell everyone when i dive how i was treated at his store

Zeagle Eagle
06-26-2011, 23:32
I live in The Woodlands, Texas. My local dive shop is called SeaSports Scuba. They are so rude to people, even if you have paid hundreds for their Padi cert. My husband and I took our Open Water cert. with them last year and they required that we buy 7 things on a list to take the class ($600) worth of stuff a piece plus another $250 each for the class. Then they pressured us to buy a full set of gear after the class was completed. We refused after we saw that they were way overpriced and rude at the same time. Very snobby. We decided to wait to get our gear after we had dove a few more times on vacation and tried several brands and types of products. They also gave us the same story about not buying things online. don't even go in the store anymore because they are so unhelpful.
That's my LDS and I concur. Mostly rude. I spoke to the owner and asked him to match na LP price and he went nuts, ranted about grey market, internet putting him out of business and on and on ad naseaum. I left with a very bad taste in my mouth.
BTW, do you know of any place to get air fills near Willis? Fire station, etc. I don't even like going there for fills.

snagel
06-27-2011, 05:44
"All gear is created equal, it's your dealer that makes the difference"

I hear story's like this all the time. It's not our (the customers) responsibility to spend more on products so you (the LDS) can stay in business. Provide a competitive price and customer service and treat people with respect and see how that affects your business. I'm all for somebody making a profit on selling to me....they just don't have to make all their profit from me. If the LDS is in the ballpark on price and have provided customer service I will absolutely buy from them.

ScubaToys has a great business model and I buy a lot from them. But, they are two states away from me. I don't have a LDS. Mine closed 3 years ago and the next closest is 60 miles away and they are very rude and I have to work to be their customer. When my LDS was open I bought all my start up gear from them and many odds and ends. They didn't go out of business because of the internet, they went out of business because they were in a town of 20,000 people and the instructor got burnt out on diving. Yes, I have to be creative with getting air fills. It's not as easy as throwing the tanks in the truck and driving down to the LDS.

Snagel

scubajane
06-27-2011, 16:57
"All gear is created equal, it's your dealer that makes the difference"

I hear story's like this all the time. It's not our (the customers) responsibility to spend more on products so you (the LDS) can stay in business. Provide a competitive price and customer service and treat people with respect and see how that affects your business. I'm all for somebody making a profit on selling to me....they just don't have to make all their profit from me. If the LDS is in the ballpark on price and have provided customer service I will absolutely buy from them.

ScubaToys has a great business model and I buy a lot from them. But, they are two states away from me. I don't have a LDS. Mine closed 3 years ago and the next closest is 60 miles away and they are very rude and I have to work to be their customer. When my LDS was open I bought all my start up gear from them and many odds and ends. They didn't go out of business because of the internet, they went out of business because they were in a town of 20,000 people and the instructor got burnt out on diving. Yes, I have to be creative with getting air fills. It's not as easy as throwing the tanks in the truck and driving down to the LDS.

Snagel

is it time to get a generator

Clernix
06-27-2011, 17:03
Hmmm a compressor might work better than a generator :smiley2:

scubajane
06-27-2011, 17:06
Hmmm a compressor might work better than a generator :smiley2:
oops brain cramp sorry

TwistedSister209
06-27-2011, 17:08
That's OK, I understood what you meant.

PTAaron
06-27-2011, 21:46
I'm lucky to have a LOT of dive shops nearby - at least 6 or 7 that I can think of quickly...
The shop I did my training with has AMAZING customer service (except for the recent issues with having multiple emails ignored) and the pricing is "in the ballpark" with online prices - so I have have no issue supporting them. (Advanced Aquatics in St Clair Shores)
One of the local shops is run by complete a-holes. We went there when shopping for our first setups - told them what we planned to get, and they tried as hard as they could to talk us into something twice the price!! said the stuff we were looking at was junk - funny why did the regs win so many awards? I tell everyone I see to avoid their shop (US Scuba Center in Rochester MI).

tadawson
06-27-2011, 22:28
"All gear is created equal, it's your dealer that makes the difference"

ScubaToys has a great business model and I buy a lot from them. But, they are two states away from me. I don't have a LDS.

Snagel

For once, I feel very very lucky in my life! ScubaToys *IS* my LDS - about 10 minutes down the road! WhooHoo!!!

- Tim

snagel
06-28-2011, 05:31
For once, I feel very very lucky in my life! ScubaToys *IS* my LDS - about 10 minutes down the road! WhooHoo!!!

- Tim

Oh yea....well....since we buy on-line and have to wait 2-3 days, we don't have to pay the sales tax.

Snagel