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#679 - 05/12/01 03:30 PM Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
nobends Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/08/01
Posts: 76
Loc: NY,NY, USA
I started this topic because of lot of other posts have strayed from the original question and led into a debate about buying online vs. buying from you local retailer. So let the debate begin!

Here is my opinion first..... There is nothing really different about the scuba retailer from any other specialized retailer out there. The internet has shifted the shopping/information paradigm and all business are going to have shift with it or perish. Visiting local retailers for scuba equipment is an invaluable source of information and opinions. Furthermore, the ability to get you hands on the equipment is probably the best advantage that these stores have. Obviously, the internet retailers have an advantage (in some cases) of pricing.

Does it make sense to buy gear from a local retailer when I can get it for less money on the internet?? The answer is - it depends! The local retailer has to offer some service or benefit to make up for the difference in price. In some cases, this will simply be the expert advice, in others, it may be future maintenance, discounted training, cheaper air fills, ect... However, the local retailer has to recognize that business is changing, and they must recognize the change and embrace it, rather than complaining that the internet is hurting their business. It works both ways! If I were a local retailer, I would fight back and use the internet to generate more walk throughs and revenue. So far, internet only stores (in all business verticals) have largely failed. This will be the case with on-line scuba stores too. I offer the prediction that brick and mortar only retailers will eventually fail too. Combine the two and you will succeed!

Other opinions?

[This message has been edited by nobends (edited 05-14-2001).]


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#680 - 05/14/01 01:24 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
nobends Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/08/01
Posts: 76
Loc: NY,NY, USA
Bringing this back to the top....

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#681 - 05/16/01 01:53 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
Hyperjoe Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/28/01
Posts: 29
Loc: Mayfield Hts
If this is a "true" concern, then let them win with a fight. The high cost of Equipment from local dealers are taking advantage of the unknowledgeable customers.
This goes at least from where im at in Cleveland. Just one of several examples. A Tulsa mask at Diversdiscount.com went for a cool $40 (where I bought it), where the same mask went for $73(where I tryed it on) at my local dive shop. Now THATS A RIP!! In fact they even tried to sell me the TOP OF THE LINE MAres Fins(VOLO) for a cool $189, YES $189!
I agree with you fully!
I will not pay almost 100% more to have a young(19yrs) 'lad' say "This is the best we have, and you need them."

-Hyper

[This message has been edited by Hyperjoe (edited 05-16-2001).]


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#682 - 05/16/01 03:03 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
SGHOWE Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/04/01
Posts: 81
Loc: Ashton, Maryland, USA
hyperjoe,
Just how much experience do you have??? I know of 19 year old guys who work in diveshops that from the sound of your posts know more about diving and have done more diving at their age than you will ever do. And on a slightly related note, just what is a tulsa mask??? I heard of TUSA but never tulsa. I will give you points though for not buying the Mares Volo fins. However I think they are undesirable at any price.
Take Care,
Sean

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#683 - 05/20/01 04:28 AM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
Hi,
Just make sure that the gear you DO buy has full manufacturers warranties if purchased thru the mail. Many times you can get good deals on the Internet, other times (aka - Tanks) you can buy them for about the same price locally as when you add the cost of S&H to the Internet order. Selection-wise, many times the Internet shops offer betterand more varied selections.

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#684 - 05/20/01 08:22 AM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
monsieur_Net Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/20/01
Posts: 26
Loc: Montreal/Québec/Canada
I haven't buy a lot of stuff online because it will cost me about the same price :-)

I'm from canada and if I combine the shiping plus the conversion can/us$, I save less than 3%!


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#685 - 05/21/01 10:35 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
SpawnFE Offline
avid diver

Registered: 05/21/01
Posts: 10
Loc: Crestview, Florida, USA
My wife and I have been diving for about a year now and I just ordered all my equipment from an on line vendor. Dollar for dollar we saved over $1000.00 by buying it online! Over one thousand! That is a strong statement no matter what your view is about online buying. Yes I have to wait for it to get here and if its not right I have to return it but I will still come out ahead with some patience. There are some items I would definately buy local, namely wetsuits.

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#686 - 05/23/01 12:52 AM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
Hyperjoe Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/28/01
Posts: 29
Loc: Mayfield Hts
"Just how much experience do you have???"

I’m not understanding what you mean by, experience? How one gets from my post that I dont know anything about diving is beyond me, considering I just gave an opinion. Your statement doesn’t follow in any order or sense to what I had written. Please keep on the topic, and try not to attack a person, but rather his argument. This method is fallacious in nature. Also, provide evidence to WHY I’m not as you stated, “experience”, or HOW can he know "more about diving and have done more diving at their age than you will ever do." When you dont even know me?

-hyper

BTW, I have been diving for over 8 yrs if that helps.


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#687 - 05/22/01 01:18 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
SGHOWE Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/04/01
Posts: 81
Loc: Ashton, Maryland, USA
Hyper,
My point was that your post implied that no 19 year old could possibly have any useful knowledge about diving to pass on to you, when in fact that is not the case.

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#688 - 05/22/01 01:59 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
Hybrid8 Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/21/01
Posts: 23
Loc: Toronto, Canada
quote:
Originally posted by SGHOWE:
My point was that your post implied that no 19 year old could possibly have any useful knowledge about diving to pass on to you, when in fact that is not the case.

IMO, he was just pointing out that he feels he's within his right to buy what he wants, where he wants, and not get something pushed on him by some floor-jockey at the local shop (which may very well be a crummy shop to begin with - you'll have to ask about the specific shop he mentioned).

I just think you're letting comments from other threads get mixed in here, trying to make a point of showing-up Hyperjoe for whatever reason. More than likely because you are 19 or even 18 or 20 and simply take offence at him using "19" - purely as an example.

Concentrate on what's important in the message being presented. Not the fact that he wrote TULSA instead of TUSA - or Tabata USA if you want to be super-cool.

Anyway, be careful on line as well. I've seen places selling Mares Abyss for over $500 when I can buy them here, in Canada, at local shops for just over $600 CANADIAN.

If you want to do a price reality-check, always look at EBAY for new items. People selling on a regular basis are certainly not finding these items, they're buying them wholesale. The markup on SCUBA, like many other things, can be fairly high.


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#689 - 05/22/01 02:28 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
SGHOWE Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/04/01
Posts: 81
Loc: Ashton, Maryland, USA
I agree with the point that he is intitled to buy whatever and from wherever that he wants. It is just that being judgemental of someone simply becuase they areyoung is not only not right but can possibly prevent him from gaining some very valuable knowledge.

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#690 - 05/24/01 02:37 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
Rebecca Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/06/00
Posts: 561
I think his point was the "kid" behind the counter when he tried on his equipment was not very helpful. Dont think he was bashing 19 year olds. Was more a figure of speach.


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#691 - 05/24/01 04:26 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
nobends Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/08/01
Posts: 76
Loc: NY,NY, USA
Back to the topic here, how are brick and mortar retail stores going to have to change to compete with the pricing pressure from online stores??

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#692 - 05/29/01 10:00 AM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
Wetguy Offline
new diver

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 2
The big thing is to do your best to know who you are buying from.

Make sure they know what the heck they are talking about. You can go into a dive shop just as easily as get a "phone instructor" and get nothing more than the same stuff you can read from the catalog yourself on the piece of gear you are interested in. It's all in the approach. Next time you call a web based dive retailer, have a copy of the catalog handy and see what they actually tell you about a piece of equipment. I'll wager it's all in that catalog. Same with the dive shop, the "19" year old we are bashing is repeating what he has been told.

Next thing, when you make up your mind what you want, do you actually get it? Did you get the color you wanted? Did you get the item you wanted. Did you get convinced that you must take another color or item because the retailer (web or shop) can't get it for you?

Personally, when I spend MY money, I know what I want, and THAT is what I want. If the place I'm shopping doesn't have it, I'm sure somebody will.

Shopping is shopping. Web or retail. Makes no difference, you can get screwed just as easily in both areas. Some of the "best" sites/store out there pull the above crud on a daily basis.

Do your research, there's many places to get the info now a days, find what you really want, then don't let somebody who THINKS they know what you want talk you out of it. Buy it in the best place for you. There really is no right or wrong.


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#693 - 06/02/01 09:55 AM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
jshimmer Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 21
Loc: Detroit, MI, USA
Just as an example, I priced an AquaLung Cousteau D Glacia (1st and 2nd stages, cold water) at a local dive shop (popular one), and online.

Local dive shop wants $430 + tax (6%).
Online wants $235 + shipping.

How could I possibly convince myself to purchase it at the local dive shop?


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#694 - 06/04/01 09:06 AM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
TexasMike Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/02/01
Posts: 301
You might print off the page of the online store that lists the price and show it to the dive shop. Let the shop know you appreciate their taking the time to assist you and that you would like to make your purchase there if they will come down on the price, or offer something else (for free?) that will make up the difference.

Always worth a try.

--Michael


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#695 - 06/05/01 07:04 AM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
jshimmer Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 21
Loc: Detroit, MI, USA
quote:
Originally posted by TexasMike:
You might print off the page of the online store that lists the price and show it to the dive shop. Let the shop know you appreciate their taking the time to assist you and that you would like to make your purchase there if they will come down on the price, or offer something else (for free?) that will make up the difference.

Always worth a try.

--Michael


Basically, I did. And what he told me was that RETAIL dive shops are bound by contract to sell most (if not everything) at an agreed upon markup, and NOTHING LESS. That's why they can't match the mail order prices (and, of course, you get the mfg warranty, local service, support, knowledge, etc.). But I still can't bring myself to spend $3500 locally when I can get it all for $1900 mail order.


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#696 - 06/05/01 07:58 AM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
TexasMike Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/02/01
Posts: 301
"Contractually bound to sell at that price"????? I'd ask to see the contract! Last I had heard, this was supposed to be a free market society. If the manufacturer was so keen at contractually forcing a retail price, then how in heck are online's able to provide a discount? I think he was feeding you some hooey there.

(I'm also thinking of a car dealership trying to pull the same line of BS, especially when all the ads say "$$$ off of the MSRP")

I patronize a shop in Dallas that sells Zeagle, Genesis, TUSA, Dive-Rite, and others as it's main lines. And constantly they are working deals with me and others on equipment providing discounts and tossing in small stuff to sweeten the deal.

Out of curiosity, have you priced the equipment at another shop yet? Oh, and was the guy that told you that the manager or just a flunky?

[This message has been edited by TexasMike (edited 06-05-2001).]


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#697 - 06/06/01 05:17 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
jshimmer Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 21
Loc: Detroit, MI, USA
TexasMike -

He said that, basically, many of the stores that sell online get their merchandise from OTHER retail shops that are liquidating due to (mostly) going out of business. Some even approach legit retailers, agree to purchase large quantities with the obligation to sell them retail, but turn around and sell wholesale.

My only beef with online purchasing is, at many places, you don't receive the manufacturer's warranty. Even if you DO get a "store warranty", it's only good as long as the store is in business.

Having to send stuff back to the store via mail, UPS, etc., can be a pain in the butt and costly. And I like being able to look someone in the eye, tell him/her that he/she sold me a piece of $hit, and get them to do something THEN. Mail order, you can't do that.

Now this does NOT apply to those manufacturers that are mostly and/ or strictly mail order (i.e., IDI, Zeagle, Cressi, etc.).

Again, I'm just repeating what he said. Do I believe him? To some extent, yes. But to the majority of the extent, no.

Will I purchase most everything (if not all) mail order? Probably. It's just a tough decision when you weigh some of the other factors in. How do I size a wetsuit? How do I make sure the mask fits/seals properly when I have my regulator in my mouth? Can't do that mail order. And shipping back and forth until you get the right size/model/combination/whatever can be costly.


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#698 - 06/08/01 12:58 AM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
Hyperjoe Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/28/01
Posts: 29
Loc: Mayfield Hts
"And I like being able to look someone in the eye, tell him/her that he/she sold me a piece of $hit,"

I do too.=)

-hyper


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

Registered: 06/07/01
Posts: 55
A lot of good comments here...my 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

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#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!

JMHO

Brian
ScubaNorthwest

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


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#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"

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

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.


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#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.


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

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 shops...no air fills!

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

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


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

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.

quote:
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).]


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

Registered: 06/07/01
Posts: 55
Hey large_scuba...Simply Scuba.com 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.

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#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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#709 - 08/15/01 06:01 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
kwesler Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/07/01
Posts: 55
Actually, although I have purchased gear online, I have bought very little (under $100) from a strictly online operation. All of my other purchases have been an internet purchase accessing a bricks and mortar store-the oft mentioned "local dive shop". If local dive shops would focus more on competing in a global market, they might find they are selling overseas and increasing their business. No shop carries everything, and the internet eliminates the need to use a brand or style of equipment you might not prefer, simply because it is not carried locally. The negative campaigning-"no serivce/warranty no help in purchasing" cannot help. Work on the positive-COMPETE using the same tools. You can only succeed by doing well yourself, not by badmouthing the other guy.

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#710 - 08/16/01 11:58 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
sprins Offline
avid diver

Registered: 07/12/01
Posts: 6
Loc: Columbia, Tennessee
This is a major dilemma for me also. While I would like to support my local Dive shop, the prices are just sky high. My son and I are in the process of completing Scuba lessons, so I am looking at having to pay for gear times 2. My local dive shop sells Scuba Pro gear that I really like, but its cost is prohibitive. Then Scuba Pro puts a strangle hold on things by not honoring a warranty if purchased online. (BTW: Just where do online stores get equipment like Scuba Pro if Scuba Pro is not going to honor a warranty? Why would Scuba Pro sell to them?) I am beginning to think the warranty threat is a bunch of BS anyway since all they really guarantee is the parts; you still pay for the labor on your required yearly service calls to keep the warranty in effect. Miss a service time and no more warranty. Sorry for the rambling, but I have looked at alot of equipment online and in store, and the price difference is far too great to ignore. I would like to hear others opinions on this; maybe I am way off base?

[This message has been edited by sprins (edited 08-17-2001).]


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#711 - 08/17/01 12:02 AM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
sprins Offline
avid diver

Registered: 07/12/01
Posts: 6
Loc: Columbia, Tennessee

This is a major dilemma for me also. While I would like to support my local Dive shop, the prices are just sky high. My son and I are in the process of completing Scuba lessons, so I am looking at having to pay for gear times 2. My local dive shop sells Scuba Pro gear that I really like, but its cost is prohibitive. Then Scuba Pro puts a strangle hold on things by not honoring a warranty if purchased online. (BTW: Just where do online stores get equipment like Scuba Pro if Scuba Pro is not going to honor a warranty? Why would Scuba Pro sell to them?) I am beginning to think the warranty threat is a bunch of BS anyway since all they really guarantee is the parts; you still pay for the labor on your required yearly service calls to keep the warranty in effect. Miss a service time and no more warranty. Sorry for the rambling, but I have looked at alot of equipment online and in store, and the price difference is far too great to ignore. I would like to hear others opinions on this; maybe I am way off base?



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#712 - 08/17/01 04:06 AM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
kwesler Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/07/01
Posts: 55
I cannot speak to your specific situation, but here is what I found. While officially the warranty only covers parts, a local shop will usually perform an annual service at no cost if you buy the regs there. However, I want to correct an often posted inaccuracy-and this is straight from Scubapro. Scubapro ABSOLUTELY honors a warranty on a reg (or whatever) bought in Europe. You do NOT have to send them to the shop in Europe you bought them at, nor do you have to send it to Scubapro Europe. I called SCubapro before I bought my regs to check this, since I had to buy three sets (!) and the cost difference between my local shop and the online sales arm of a UK dive shop was over $800 AFTER shipping.

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#713 - 08/17/01 09:59 AM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
wheezy Offline
avid diver

Registered: 08/14/01
Posts: 11
Loc: Newport Beach / CA
Apeks TX-100 MSRP=$630 / AVG Price at LDS=$560 + TAX/ Price from DiveInn.com=$327 delivered to my front door in 4 days...


SIMPLE CHOICE.. how often do you service a reg... once a year here... cost $20-100

How often do I replace my gear? Faster than those yearly servicings add up to surpass the regular cost at a LDS...


Bottom line.. INTERNET IS THE WAY TO GO..

use and abuse places like Sport Chalet to try out stuff and get your hands on it.. find someone who has it to try it.. buy it online and save the money for a new BC while your at it... IT JUST DOES NOT MAKE SENSE TO PAY 120% MARKUP...

Take it easy....


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#714 - 08/17/01 03:26 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
diverone Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/20/01
Posts: 49
Loc: australia
my two cents....

after being ripped off by the scuba shop.

selling me some unknonw gear " now i now better." this is what i do.....

i go to diff shops and price what i want...
i shop around " NET...ebay.. trading post etc.
and who ever gives me the CHEAPER. price gets the money.....


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#715 - 08/20/01 02:22 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
wheezy Offline
avid diver

Registered: 08/14/01
Posts: 11
Loc: Newport Beach / CA
not always the best choice: Cheapest is not best... best price for products/service/quality is best... Diveinn.com scores top notch all the way around and is always my first stop to see if they carry what I want... heck sometimes the best bet is to pay more and pay the LDS (such as when you lose your mask and want to dive)...

Good Luck


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#716 - 10/12/01 06:39 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
Colnago Offline
new diver

Registered: 10/12/01
Posts: 3
Loc: Burbank, CA, USA
IMHO, if you can haggle, go to a shop. There are times that they would give you breaks because you bought a lot of stuff from them like one entire set of equipment for example.

99% of the time, you won't get the same deal with online purchases.

You can also get better advice from someone who you talk to face-to-face especially when it comes to picking out equipment and stuff. Remember, they SEE you and not just READ you. It would be a whole lot easier for them to give advice because they can visualize.


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#717 - 10/16/01 01:25 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
DiveGalCA Offline
avid diver

Registered: 10/08/01
Posts: 6
Even after haggling them down to a lower price most the time you can find it here cheaper. The retailers make you think your getting a good deal by marking the price WAY up then allowing you to haggle them down. UGGG I hate those games. Im sticking to buying online, no games just good prices.

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#718 - 10/25/01 08:15 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
Northeastwrecks Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/23/01
Posts: 22
Loc: Longmeadow, MA, USA
For what its worth, I look to my LDS when the item in question is one where the dive shop can bring something to the table to justify the extra expense. That can include the product's immediate availability, their expertise or my desire to compare competing models in the store. I am willing to pay somewhat more for these services. Of course, more is relative. I'll pay a few bucks more for gloves when I want them right away.

I buy online when I want a particular product that doesn't require much personal investigation or when the price differential is significant. For example, I recently order two HP steel 120's. The LDS could not guarantee delivery before March, 2002 because they are out of stock on the East Coast. In addition, the cost differential, after shipping, was approximately $300.00. Needless to say, I bought online.


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#719 - 10/28/01 06:48 AM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
rstone Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/05/01
Posts: 104
Loc: Jacksonville, FL USA
In defense of dive shops and for that fact online retailers.. there is no way in hell you can as the sales person TRY everything the place sells.. to try out 1000 different items would take forever. Sometimes your only option is to repeat what you know.. been told.. heard... or experienced with use.

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#720 - 10/29/01 03:09 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
Rebecca Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/06/00
Posts: 561
I have been working with Divers Discount for close to 10 years. There is not much in this store I have not tried out. For the items I couldn't possibly dive with (like the Genesis Recon which fits about 20 times too big for me) I talk to and watch the other instructors who use them and find out what they like and dont like about each item.
I think people shouldn't stereotype online dive stores. Divers Discount has retail locations and the retail locations have the same prices and services as the online store.


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#721 - 10/29/01 03:38 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
Northeastwrecks Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/23/01
Posts: 22
Loc: Longmeadow, MA, USA
Dear Rebecca:

I absolutely did NOT mean to stereotype DDS. In fact, I have been exceptionally pleased with the store. I merely meant to say that there are times when I want to try on the product without the bother of shipping it cross country or when I want it immediately, as in 20 minutes before I leave for a dive. In those circumstances, I will buy at the LDS.

For products that are "one size fits all" (i.e., computers, tanks, etc...) DDS is my first choice. That includes circumstances where the choice involves highly technical information.


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#722 - 11/10/01 04:38 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
Dafydd Offline
new diver

Registered: 11/02/01
Posts: 4
Loc: SLC, Ut, USA
I was amazed that this topic (Online Vs Local Store) gets side tracked around here so easy...
Ya, I'm new here and new to diving. But the concept remains the same, wether its dive gear or photogear.
The pros and cons.
Local, positives.
1. They are local!
2. You can go back to them any time.
3. You talk to and create relationships with real people.
4. At my local dive shop they have a pool. That means you can bring your suit and try it before you bue it.
5. Warrantee.
6. Service.
Local, negatives.
1. They have high over head cost.
2. Low valume, means mark up.
3. Taxes, (unless you consider paying your fair share to operate the country a good thing, I do).
4. They have higher prices.
5. You might not like the people.

Mail order posatives.
1. Lower cost
2. Hm, having trouble with number two.
Mail order negatives.
1. Differant people every time you call. Or no people if you go internet.
2. It takes extra time.
3. No way to try it before buing it.
4. Returns are a hassle.
5. Difficult to verify if the warrantee is valid.
6. Could send you a "Store Demo" as a "New" item. This happend to me.
7. Service means sending it back or going to the local shop after buing it elswere.

There seems to be something wrong to me with the attitude that the bottom line is always cost. The "Who ever has the lowest price gets the bid" attitude. Its what we complain about when it comes to governmet work, but when we do it can it be OK?
I think a lot more goes into it than cost. I do go to the local shop and tell them up front, I found this item for $X on the internet. You having it here and being able to try it means a lot to me, but come on $X? They will always try to keep my business and knowing costs and how to "haggle" is just part of doing business. I perfer local to internet unless the item must be specail ordered. Or, I admit it, the price differance is just too extreem.


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#723 - 11/18/01 02:27 AM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
rstone Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/05/01
Posts: 104
Loc: Jacksonville, FL USA
quote:
Originally posted by Dafydd:
The pros and cons.
Local, positives.
1. They are local!
2. You can go back to them any time.

Store hours permitting

quote:
3. You talk to and create relationships with real people.

Of course anyone can be nice to your face, its what goes on behind your back that matters.

quote:
4. At my local dive shop they have a pool. That means you can bring your suit and try it before you bue it.

Thats always nice, but most shops dont/wont let you do that.

quote:
5. Warrantee.
6. Service.
Local, negatives.
1. They have high over head cost.
2. Low valume, means mark up.
3. Taxes, (unless you consider paying your fair share to operate the country a good thing, I do).
4. They have higher prices.

Well that depends on the store. Our store can beat most online prices, but then again we buy in high volume, and have 9 stores.

quote:
5. You might not like the people.

Well you might not like the online people to.

quote:
Mail order posatives.
1. Lower cost.

Not always

quote:
2. Hm, having trouble with number two.
Mail order negatives.
1. Differant people every time you call. Or no people if you go internet.
2. It takes extra time.
3. No way to try it before buing it.
4. Returns are a hassle.
5. Difficult to verify if the warrantee is valid.
6. Could send you a "Store Demo" as a "New" item. This happend to me.
7. Service means sending it back or going to the local shop after buing it elswere.

There seems to be something wrong to me with the attitude that the bottom line is always cost. The "Who ever has the lowest price gets the bid" attitude. Its what we complain about when it comes to governmet work, but when we do it can it be OK?
I think a lot more goes into it than cost. I do go to the local shop and tell them up front, I found this item for $X on the internet. You having it here and being able to try it means a lot to me, but come on $X? They will always try to keep my business and knowing costs and how to "haggle" is just part of doing business. I perfer local to internet unless the item must be specail ordered. Or, I admit it, the price differance is just too extreem.


Well some shops wont haggle with you. They have discounted the item so much they have little room as it is.


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#724 - 11/19/01 07:26 AM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
Dive Grrl Offline
avid diver

Registered: 09/14/01
Posts: 7
Well, for most of you this is probably blinding obvious, but for those who don’t know-- Don’t buy dive watches from Jewellers! They don’t know a damn thing!

I was sold a 'dive watch' good for 200m. It flooded and fogged at 14m. I was back to the jewellers within the week demanding a replacement- here is the rather amusing conversation that ensued.
Me: Yes, I would like a replacement, my watch has flooded.
Assistant: Tell me, did you dive with or without tanks?
Me: With, but what’s that got to do with my watch?
Assistant: Did you dive any deeper than 200m?
Me: What? That would kill me! I only took it 14m, and it broke! As far as I'm concerned you guys owe me a watch!
Assistant: **with a nasty look** You do realise that this brand is only splash proof?
Me: Splash proof? How can it be splash proof at 200m? That’s ridicules!
Assistant: If you like we can use it as part trade in for a new watch?
Me: ** after a good look at all the watches** Ohh, this one is nice, Ill have it.
Assistant: ** in a hurry** Let me box it up for you!
Me: Waaiit!!! Let me have a look at that. Hold on a sec, the Bezel is stuck!
Assistant: Oh, its not stuck, its just there for decoration, its not supposed to turn.
Me: Arrrrrgh!!!!!!!!!

True story! In the end I nearly killed the shop assistant as he boxed my broken watch up to be send back to the manufacturers!


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#725 - 12/04/01 08:32 AM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
Northeastwrecks Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/23/01
Posts: 22
Loc: Longmeadow, MA, USA
Sadly, I must retract my earlier praise of online dive shops as my most recent experience has shown that, notwithstanding their promises, online shops are risky.

On October 22, 2001, I purchased two 120 cu. ft. tanks from DDS. I received the tanks. Prior to using them, I made arrangement to have them oxygen cleaned for Nitrox use at my LDS.

Before I left the shop, the owner called me in an told me that one of the tanks was rusty. He showed me the inside of the tank, which was, in fact, severely rusted.

I called DDS to report the problem. DDS asked me to contact Genesis directly. Genesis confirmed that this was, in fact, a problem and told me to return the tank. DDS agreed to accept the return.

DDS received the tank on November 19, 2001. They promised to deal with the problem in 5 days. In later correspondence, however, they told me that it would take at least two weeks for them to address the situation. Shipping would take another week.

I could not wait three or more weeks for a new tank; accordingly, I asked for a refund.

Up to this point, DDS had been helpful and cooperative. After requesting the refund, however, this changed. On November 21, 2001, I received one line response stating that "We will take care of it for you." Instead of being signed, the message came from "Instructor".

As of December 4, 2001, I still have not received my credit. Moreover, DDS no longer acknowledges my emails and will not return telephone calls. I've had to ask my credit card company to initiate an investigation so that they can charge back the purchase.

In sharp contrast, on the one occassion where I had a problem with a dive computer purchased at my LDS, the owner (1) stayed open late so that I could get to his shop; (2) processed the repair immediately; and (3) gave me a new "loaner" so that I could dive the next day and until the repair was completed. He also called the manufacturer to track the repair and kept me up to date on the status.

Overall, this level of service is worth the extra money, if any, that I spend. I am now firmly of the belief that you should find a dive shop that offers excellent customer service at reasonable prices, then stay with them. While there is nothing wrong with checking out the competition to keep the LDS honest, good service and loyalty is worth more than the savings.



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#726 - 12/05/01 11:05 AM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
Mel Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/23/01
Posts: 73
Loc: Irvine, CA USA
Dear Daniel,

Rebecca just drew my attention to your post.

First off, I am very sorry for the inconvenience to you. Everyone around here knows about your situation and here is the end result, and I think you know about the bumps in the road so I won’t belabor those…but one of the tanks you bought from us for a special application had a substance called tank wash, which is safe, but caused everybody to go a little nuts. Also, the Instructor who was working on your case was on holiday for a few days which made matters worse since we personally assign an Instructor to any unusual problem so we are sure to have accountability and resolutions of a customer’s problem in the most expeditious way, but in this case, it took a few days longer to solve your problem. Your refund has been done and will appear on your next billing cycle. I am glad that you have a local dive store that you have a great relationship with. We try to be that to our customers here in So Cal and also our web customers who do not have a knowledgeable and nearby local dive store with which to do business.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and again, I am very sorry for the inconvenience we caused you.


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#727 - 12/05/01 06:36 PM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
Northeastwrecks Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/23/01
Posts: 22
Loc: Longmeadow, MA, USA
Dear Mel:

Thank you very much. I appreciate your response. I understand that things can happen and, in fact, gave everyone the benefit of the doubt until the point where no one was responding.

What I found curious was the fact that DDS had been great until this incident. I ordered several other products and have been happy with them.

Thanks again for your help.


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#728 - 12/06/01 09:18 AM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
Mel Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/23/01
Posts: 73
Loc: Irvine, CA USA
You are a very generous person, Daniel. Thank you for the vote of confidence and Happy Holidays,
Mel

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#729 - 12/06/01 11:53 AM Re: Buying Online vs. Buying at local store
Northeastwrecks Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/23/01
Posts: 22
Loc: Longmeadow, MA, USA
To you as well.

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