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#699 - 06/07/01 05:35 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
kwesler Offline

Registered: 06/07/01
Posts: 55
A lot of good comments experience was a local dive shop who wanted $800 more for a 3 Scubapro mk20/s600s w/r190 octos. That is AFTER shipping from an overseas dive store. In this case, I think it was the currency exchange working in my favor. I really wanted to buy local, but I just could not see spending an extra $800. BTW-it was a reputable store and I received my equipment in 5 days with a warranty

#700 - 06/08/01 02:42 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
bvannoy Offline
just got here

Registered: 06/08/01
Posts: 1
I agree about the business changing for local Scuba retailers, if they don't react they are going to lose many customers. There are 3 main “faces” any retailer should consider: local business, catalog, and the Internet.

When buying my gear there are three factors I see as important are: price, returns/service, and the relationship with the retailer.

I think many people overlook the relationship with the retailer. There is more to gain from a dive shop then a great price… This does not mean that I’m willing to just throw my money away… Personally I will make all my major purchases at a local dive store as long as the price is competitive (This means within a 20-30% margin MAX, otherwise I will reconsider). For my lesser items I will usally buy online. Keep in mind, the list price on the gear IS **NOT** the price you have to pay!



[This message has been edited by Rebecca (edited 06-21-2001).]

#701 - 06/10/01 06:29 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
MarquisDS Offline
avid diver

Registered: 06/10/01
Posts: 13
Loc: Wilmington,DE USA
Ever try to send something back that wasn't quite what you wanted or didn't work with you rig or wasn't confortable. Most reputable dive shoppes will work with customs for the "Right Fit". I went through 3 BCD's before I found the right fit. Thank God I went to a local dive shop.Be care of the on-line fine print "ALL SALES ARE FINAL"

#702 - 06/14/01 02:19 AM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
jmsdiver Offline

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 169
Loc: USA
I'm not willing to throw money away and will shop around for the best all around price. Being that I'm part of the industry I have a good grasp on what the equipment is and how it fits, thus shopping around locally and online is easier for me. However, for someone that is new to the realm of equipment and diving, trying locally before buying is probably the better bet. It saves on return fees by having to UPS it or restocking fees. Also, sending it back three or four times to get the right fit and comfort can be frustrating. Besides I like having a relationship with stores locally too. And, it's really hard to get service work and air fills through online stores. I may order accessories online (i.e. lights, bags, and so forth), but life support equipment and anything that needs a fitting (ie fins, BCDs, etc) will probably be done locally due to that relationship thing. Besides that without local stores, where does one get training?

Soooo, in lieu of the above, I will say that I will shop around for the best price on a product, but will still buy locally at times to promote local stores. As there are many choices for stores, I shop around locally too and online to find the best price for the product I want. With good research and knowledge of products one can find what they want and the price they want.

#703 - 06/15/01 11:57 AM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
ethermonk Offline
new diver

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 2
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
Interesting thread ... but I don't understand the folks defending local dive shops so adamantly.

This is not a "scuba" issue, internet sales vs. local sales is a MARKET question that ettects multiple facets of every developed country.

Remember the mom & pop movie theater, drug store and video store. I do at age 28, but my kids won't. They will know AMC, Walgreens and Blockbuster. Local shops have to compete. And like it or not, one bad local experience drives people like me to the net. The world is changing at a more rapid pace than ever ... you'd best make peace with that.

With that said, local shops need to realize that the place to cash in is on the new driver who just signed up for a class. Here's a clue: sell them their fins, mask and snorkel @ cost! Don't try and screw them right then and there. I don't owe the local shop a relationship. They have to earn it by being competitive, intellient and helpful.

Enough said.

#704 - 06/17/01 02:54 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
scuba1066 Offline

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
The internet is changing the way people shop - like it or not, its here to stay - at least for now. I have also seen some great deals on the Internet, and it can be a great way to buy brand new grear at kick-ass prices. Some local 'dive shop monkeys' have sold me gear that wasn't right for me - playing on the fact that I was a new, inexperienced diver - some didn't. I know better now, I am a DIR diver, and don't play on all this hype BS...for example: "These fins are $189, they are the best." BS. DIR divers have been endorsing the SCUBAPRO Jet Fins for years...Bottom line is - if you can save money - go for it....on the other hand, don't forget where your 'air fills' come from, so spread some of your scuba money around town at your local shops...not local air fills!

#705 - 06/19/01 03:56 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
jshimmer Offline

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 21
Loc: Detroit, MI, USA
Just an update on my "internet vs. local dive shop" situation.

UPS just delivered my order from another internet supply company (sorry, DiversDiscount, but you didn't carry the Trend 3 mask or the Response snorkel, and you wanted $69.95 for the Genesis AquaFlex fins that I paid $46.95 for, and you wanted $64.95 for the Henderson Gold Core 7mm boots that I paid $49.95 for).

Anyhoo, I ordered two sets (two pair fins, two masks, two snorkels, two sets of boots) and paid $317.50 for the lot. Priced at my local dive shop (several of them), I would have paid double to TRIPLE that. For example, they wanted $31.95 for the exact same snorkel that I paid $11.95 for.

I wish I could "support my local dive shop", but paying 200-300% more just doesn't make good sense.
I paid

#706 - 06/19/01 07:04 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
TexasMike Offline

Registered: 05/02/01
Posts: 301
Jshimmer: A similar discussion surfaced on www.**********.com and someone made a pretty good comment there that I'd thought I would share with this crowd.

Posted by Large_Diver on **********.com:

"I look at the importance of service with the purchases I make and how involved I've been with a given shop regarding a given purchase. I bought a new Apeks TX-100 and TX-40 octo a few weeks ago. This was a purchase that (1) I had been discussing with this particular shop for several weeks and several trips to the shop, picking their brain for recommendations on regs, etc., etc. -- they had invested a lot of time in me; (2) I felt that I wanted their help in setting up hoses, etc. Bottom line, they provided me value in the form of useful knowledge and technical skills.

2 weeks before that, I bought a Suunto Vyper and Suunto compass on-line. I had made these purchase decisions without any dive shop help or input. All of my research was on-line or by discussing with other divers I know. Like buff says, should I go in and buy a 80-100% mark-up for a transaction like this? I say no.

I will pay $$$ when I receive value. When a dive shop adds no value to a transaction, I bypass them."

[This message has been edited by TexasMike (edited 06-19-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Mel (edited 12-27-2001).]

#707 - 06/22/01 08:10 AM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
kwesler Offline

Registered: 06/07/01
Posts: 55
Hey large_scuba...Simply does NOT charge VAT to American customers (or any non-European customers) They should have automatically deducted that from your invoice. If you paid it, you can file to get it back. Right now, their prices are amazing because the dollar is so strong.

#708 - 08/15/01 04:33 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
TxDiver Offline
just got here

Registered: 08/15/01
Posts: 1
Loc: kountze, TX, usa
I understand the need to save money, especially when it is a large amount, but when the local shops close, tell me where you are going to buy air? From a mail-order or on-line shop? When you need an equipment repair or adjustment for the upcoming dive this weekend, where are you going to go? I agree that dive shops have had it too easy too long. They have had a corner on the market, "buy it from us or don't buy it at all", and when the dive shop is the only one locally, they could get away with it. Now with the internet shops, Joe Diver can shop from his house and get a much better deal. The local shops are going to have to deal with it. I deal with several shops in my area and let me say, there is not a whole lot of profit in owning a scuba shop. Most do what they do because they love the sport. Some shops will close, others will cope. I buy on-line as well as in the shops. I try to split it 50-50. Yes, I pay more in the shops, but as I said, I know where my next tank of air is comming from.

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