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Old 22-12-2011, 08:09   #31
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Re: Bigger West marine discount?

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Originally Posted by bella View Post
WM charges far to much, doesn't care what market share they lose, esp since Boaters world went belly up. They push only a few major brands of electronics which hurts the little guys..who may or may not have a superior product..

I got soured on WM the time I went in looking for a head part, and had a clerk, older guy.. say, "honey, why don't you go home and ask your husband to come in. I am sure he knows what head you have".

I _KNEW_ what head I had.. a Raritan something II (its been 12 yrs gimme a break on the actual name).

Guy didn't even apologize when I lit onto him that it was MY boat, that I was a Licensed captain and that I had been sailing boats all my life.. he didn't even bat an eye when he turned walked away and called me a women's libber... geez...

Defender is on speed dial... In Hampton Va, its I. Coopers.. great shop and great service..
Your experience isn't a WM norm, but a norm with guys.

My wife worked at WM in Marathon, and she would always have guys coming in who didn't want to work with her because she didn't have a penis. She would use her headset and ask if an associate with a penis was available to help this customer.
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Old 22-12-2011, 08:12   #32
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Re: Bigger West marine discount?

Wow people like to beat on WM. If you don't like it, then simply don't shop there.
I personally like the ability to see what I am buying and if I am working on a project to get the item I need right now. Plus they have a great return policy where I can return an item and get a replacement today, good luck doing that over the internet.
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Old 22-12-2011, 08:28   #33
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Re: Bigger West marine discount?

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Wow people like to beat on WM. If you don't like it, then simply don't shop there.
I personally like the ability to see what I am buying and if I am working on a project to get the item I need right now. Plus they have a great return policy where I can return an item and get a replacement today, good luck doing that over the internet.
...I think you are seeing from this thread that in fact people are no longer shopping there. Still, they have every right to voice an opinion. After all...this is a boat forum. If you like WM, then Howdy-Doody to you, shop there. If positive change is to be brought about, it's through people voicing their opinions. Of which, in the end, you will benefit from.
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Old 22-12-2011, 08:38   #34
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Re: Bigger West marine discount?

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There's a simple answer to the prices at WM: Don't shop there. If everyone stopped shopping there, they would change.

I'm always amused by people who seem to feel a sense of personal injustice over high prices. In a capitalist market economy everyone works to maximize their profits and minimize their expenses. The price of things are largely set by what people are willing to pay, not by any intrinsic value of the product. There is no proper price. There is only what the thing can be sold for.

So don't buy it at WM. Or haggle for the discount. Either way, you can bet that WM is making lots of money using their current business approach. The market has spoken! ... And we all know, markets are never wrong
Totally agree. That's why I don't go there any more.

But, as a former business owner and board member of a couple of companies currently, I think customer feedback is one of the most valuable things you can get. Many business fail, thinking they are doing the right things, while actually making grave mistakes in the eyes of their customers. With no customers, you have no business. The crime is that the company never asked, and the customers never told.

As a result, not only do I make my own purchases from the firms who I think best deliver what I want, but I feel an obligation as a fellow business man to tell companies if I'm unhappy and why. They can do with it what they want, including deciding that my concerns are not the ones they wish to cater too. I have no problem with that. But nobody wins if we leave them guessing what we want, or guessing why we're not shopping with them anymore.
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Old 22-12-2011, 09:19   #35
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Re: Bigger West marine discount?

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As a result, not only do I make my own purchases from the firms who I think best deliver what I want, but I feel an obligation as a fellow business man to tell companies if I'm unhappy and why.
Totally agree Twisted. This is why good companies welcome this kind of feedback. Bad ones don't -- and will suffer accordingly.
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Old 22-12-2011, 09:57   #36
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Re: Bigger West marine discount?

West Marine has a 6.22% profit margin. I would not call this ripping people off. They have brick and mortar and employee expenses.
West Marine, Inc.: NASDAQ:WMAR quotes & news - Google Finance

By comparison, Apple has a 23.43% profit margin.
Apple Inc.: NASDAQ:AAPL quotes & news - Google Finance
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Old 22-12-2011, 10:27   #37
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Re: Bigger West marine discount?

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West Marine has a 6.22% profit margin. I would not call this ripping people off. They have brick and mortar and employee expenses.
West Marine, Inc.: NASDAQ:WMAR quotes & news - Google Finance

By comparison, Apple has a 23.43% profit margin.
Apple Inc.: NASDAQ:AAPL quotes & news - Google Finance
To be clear David, my point is that within a capitalist market economy, it is ludicrous to make a moral argument about prices. Businesses (and individuals) maximize profits, period. There is no proper profit margin (mark up), there is no fair price, there is only what people will pay.

WM, just like oil companies, banks or food stores, know their markets and respond accordingly. If someone doesn't like their prices, there's no point trying to make a moral argument about them charging too much; it's a non sequitur in a capitalist economy. Profit and personal wealth is all that matters -- or so our system says.

... which is why I'm going sailing.
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Old 22-12-2011, 10:58   #38
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Re: Bigger West marine discount?

Defender and Jamestown Distributors get most of my business. Even shopping online with these two vendors I have found it still pays to price-check.

I bought an Adler-Barbour Super Cold Machine to replace my dead one, and found that Defender had the best price.

But I found I also needed the Quick-Connect Adapters so I could connect the new compressor to my old evaporator plate. Defender's price for those was $169.99, vs $91.00 at BargainBoatParts.com.
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Old 22-12-2011, 13:52   #39
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Re: Bigger West marine discount?

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Now I've heard it all. West Marine is the convenience store of mariners, fishermen and recreational boaters. Not only, we're willing want to pay more than market value for their supplies, because they're convenient?
EG ~ Toilet Tissue, 4-Pack (2-Ply) Online retail prices, WM= 6.99; Defender= 5.79. It's ludicrous to pay more for the proud privilege of purchasing "West Marine" branded products. Say it's not so.
OK, well if you want a fair comparison, let's do that:

firstly, you can't actually buy a pack of TP from defender, they have a $25 minimum order. So you have to buy FIVE packs.

But even if you could, Then you have to pay a minimum of $9.25 shipping, for ground which will take a week or so to get to where I am in the west coast. But on 5 it's actually $12.

So that make's defender's actual price $8.19 and get it in a week compared to walking into a WM and having it NOW for 6.99 + local tax.
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Old 22-12-2011, 13:54   #40
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Re: Bigger West marine discount?

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
To be clear David, my point is that within a capitalist market economy, it is ludicrous to make a moral argument about prices. Businesses (and individuals) maximize profits, period. There is no proper profit margin (mark up), there is no fair price, there is only what people will pay.

WM, just like oil companies, banks or food stores, know their markets and respond accordingly. If someone doesn't like their prices, there's no point trying to make a moral argument about them charging too much; it's a non sequitur in a capitalist economy. Profit and personal wealth is all that matters -- or so our system says.

... which is why I'm going sailing.
We are in agreement.
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Old 22-12-2011, 15:50   #41
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Re: Bigger West marine discount?

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I feel an obligation as a fellow business man to tell companies if I'm unhappy and why. They can do with it what they want, including deciding that my concerns are not the ones they wish to cater too. I have no problem with that. But nobody wins if we leave them guessing what we want, or guessing why we're not shopping with them anymore.
I appreciate where you are coming from but IME many companies are not equipped to cope with ideas / suggestions from there own employees - let alone from Customers (apart from the standard soft soap / pat on the head from a preset play book).

Some businesses drive me nuts especially those I am pretty much forced to deal with (small island here) and some I even work at / with..........but to be honest, when a customer, I don't usually bother pointing out stupidity as the person I am dealing with most likely can't do anything anyway and likely don't care either. Often also a bit of a language barrier - and that includes folks who are locally born whose first (only!) language is English.

Recently I had a problem with an unexplained £500 transfer from a bank account, I know it is easy enough to clarify (like simply telling me where it went? - turned out it was a cash withdrawel I had forgotten about ).....but most of my time was spent trying to find where my account actually was and who was dealing with it.... all folks knew was that it had SFA to do with them - still not entirely sure if it is in Jersey, the Isle of Man, the UK, India or somewhere on the internet .

Oh, and the cashier / teller who had absolutely no idea what putting a "stop" on a cheque meant (I didn't expect that it was her job, just wanted to make sure whilst I was there anyway).

I gave up on setting up internet banking as I lost the will to live. Several times. As I told one fella on the phone, you may not know who I am - but I don't know who you are either.
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Old 22-12-2011, 16:28   #42
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Re: Bigger West marine discount?

I hear ya
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Old 22-12-2011, 16:55   #43
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Re: Bigger West marine discount?

Being a publicly traded company, bottom line is the most important aspect of managing their business. Companies like WM are run by bean counters, not people that are deeply experienced in the products they sell. I could be mistaken, but I believe the previous CEO of WM was formerly the CEO of the company that has most of the duty free shops in large, international airports. I saw this mentality in the construction industry, where large financial groups would by up small lumber yards, and run them as a bottom line business, ignoring the uniqueness of the industry. I feel WM does the same thing. Keep the inventory light, sell there own brand of products, which seem to be of lesser quality, and not listen to the customer, but listen to the analysts. I would imagine as market share decreases, they will possibly come to understand their market.
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Old 22-12-2011, 17:31   #44
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Re: Bigger West marine discount?

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Well, I work at WM. I'm thankful to have a job, along with the thousands of other employees. I get a little riled up when someone comes in and is all Po'd because we are not the same price as amazon.
really... amazon is not always cheap either darlin... bar mop towels I bought at Publix today for $3.99 at $11.99 on amazon... not the correct analogy.

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we will price match.
2/3 of the time I have to argue with the employee and then get the manager up there and involved..and then they still want to charge me shipping "because you have to pay shipping to defender, etc".. NO I don't not always.. and your catalog says nada about adding shipping.. its call truth in advertising and its a law, not a whim.

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Same dude will come in and complain that West's price on chain is crazy higher than Defender. Yeah... um.. how much to ship 300' of chain?

West marine has 300+ stores, thousands of associates, two huge distribution centers, pays payroll and taxes in almost every state of the union and three countries.

Defender has _1_ building. They OUGHT to be cheaper
Actually West Marine has the advantage of buying in volume for its stores.. and getting negotiated volume discounts. It is easy to see you have never run a business, just been an employee. As a business owner the larger the quantity of an item I purchase the lower my price and better my profit margin upon resale. Typically in the marine business, as in the jewelry business the markup is in the neighborhood of 300-500%. On some items they will either sell at costs or barely above costs.. loss leaders they are called. It gets you into the store and most people that come in to buy the loss leader will purchase more items. Having music that keeps them in the store also helps with sales..the local store had some kind of nasty rap stuff and it chased me out in 20 min.. no sale.

Quote:
You don't go to 7-11 and expect them to be cheaper than costco. You go there cuz you want a gallon of milk, now. West Marine **HAS** stuff. They might not have everything, all the time, but most of em do pretty well.
a marine 7-11 is the boat yard store, or the store at the marina.. NOT a multi state chain.. again your analogy is seriously lacking.
There IS a reason that Waste Marine gives a, or did, give a 30% new boaters discount for the first 30 days of boat ownership for fitting out.. and its not because they are a 7-11.
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Old 22-12-2011, 19:17   #45
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Re: Bigger West marine discount?

I don't know where the previous two posters are getting their information - but it really differs from what is public. Here is a link to West Marine Inc report at "The Street"
West Marine Inc. (WMAR) Company Profile | TheStreet

Gross margin on products is only 30.9% - a long way below 300% to 500%. 31% is about average for retail supply companies like West Marine - and WM profit margin is only 3.7% which is also about average in my experience. Food chain stores are touted to be in the 1% range.

The CEO, Geoffrey Eisenberg, seems to be an "old hand" around West Marine. See: Geoffrey A. Eisenberg Profile - Forbes.com
Here is the VP of Merchandizing and Logistics - http://investing.businessweek.com/re...ticker=WMAR:US


However, the above does not mean that the company is well run from a customer standpoint as a cruiser. I do believe there is a lot of variation amongst their stores with some being very welcoming and helpful and others definitely not so much.

I have been involved re-selling WM/PS stuff since 1991 and have noticed prices sneak up and discounts for independent resellers decrease as West Marine acquired and put out of business various competitors. But that's capitalism.

What is disturbing to me recently is the product mix in the WM stores appears to be shifting towards power boats and small sports fishermen. Sailboat stuff is not being stocked in any great variety anymore. For that reason, even though I am an old-timer re-seller, I have been forced to source stuff from Defender and other marine distributors. Maybe the sailboat market is just too small and decreasing - who knows?
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