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Old 23-12-2011, 05:02   #46
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Re: Bigger West marine discount?

I had said prior CEO, but should have added that the current CEO had been in the ranks for awhile. This might be the change I mentioned when a company is run by someone with experience in the products they sell, not just a spreadsheet. 30.9% gross profit is what is needed to keep doors open, we learned that in my wife's 28 year ownership of a retail business. The staple, everyday service products where discounted, and gifts, luxury items had a higher mark up.
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Old 23-12-2011, 06:57   #47
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Re: Bigger West marine discount?

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Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
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?
I noticed the same trend and when I discussed it with the local WM store manager, he stated that sailboat hardware is the most stolen product line they have plus it's simply hard to stock the 1000s of variations of products. I also need to mention that power boat to sailboat ratio in this location is probably 30 power boats for every sailboat. He has always been very accommodating in getting what I want (and still price match!).

I do make the effort to support the local store. I want them to be there for those late afternoon runs for that one thing I need to finish a project. Never have been able to get Defender or Jamestown to deliver within 20 minutes of when I discover I need something!

I typically buy big ticket electronics items from a local tech service shop and not at WM, but for routine stuff, of the dollars I spend ~50-60% goes to WM, ~30% to Defender, and small amounts other places.
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Old 23-12-2011, 12:11   #48
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Re: Bigger West Marine Discount?

I generally shop WM here in San Antonio. I call them with what I need on Monday, and it arrives at the store by Thursday, if there's something they don't have. They know I want them to PM Defender - and pretty much do it automatically now. I like the ladies in this store (Mgr and Assist Mgr), and they are real pros. Conversely, the management at the store nearest our boat isn't so great. I was in the store a year or so ago, and he was chewing the entire staff out, in front of customers.

As for sales tax. All I can say is, if you buy a product from out of state and pay no sales tax, you DO owe sales tax to your state! Yes, you do. Just because the retailer doesn't collect it, does not mean it isn't owed.
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Old 23-12-2011, 15:06   #49
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Re: Bigger West Marine Discount?

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I generally shop WM here in San Antonio. I call them with what I need on Monday, and it arrives at the store by Thursday, if there's something they don't have. They know I want them to PM Defender - and pretty much do it automatically now. I like the ladies in this store (Mgr and Assist Mgr), and they are real pros. Conversely, the management at the store nearest our boat isn't so great. I was in the store a year or so ago, and he was chewing the entire staff out, in front of customers.

As for sales tax. All I can say is, if you buy a product from out of state and pay no sales tax, you DO owe sales tax to your state! Yes, you do. Just because the retailer doesn't collect it, does not mean it isn't owed.
And again, WM is at a huge disadvantage when they have *ANY* presence in that state their online division has to charge tax. Someone else might not, but I **OFTEN** get complaints or have people want to match an online price without tax.

your other point is a good one too, WM has a fairly strict chain of command, and I guarantee you that a district Mgr. would not like to hear such a comment from a customer. They do have a 'how are we doing' postcard in the store, and those **DO** get read and acted upon.

Also online @ westmarine.com/survey
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Old 23-12-2011, 19:42   #50
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WM is beginning to be tougher on the port accounts. I have found that you can price match and get as cheap or cheaper than Port Supply prices. Then you also get the West Marine points, which you don't get with a Port Supply account
I no longer use Port Supply. Its better to do price match.
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Old 24-12-2011, 09:34   #51
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Re: Bigger West marine discount?

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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.
Nonsense. If you walk into the store you can buy any of one thing. If you want it shipped, there IS a minimum order. It's still more if you're shipping from WM. My local chandlery who purchases from Port Supply still charges more than Defender per item (up to 25%) with shipping included. That said I can buy a 9 pack from Defender (2ply) and have it shipped to my door for less than WM's store price and I pay the tax . Further, if I buy 3 - 9 packs @ 8.99 (not discounted) each, have it shipped, I pay less that 1.50 per roll all in. The best you can ever get at WM is $3 per roll (sorry, that should read $2.10 per roll), not including the fuel driving to the local WM plus tax.
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Old 24-12-2011, 10:57   #52
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Re: Bigger West Marine Discount?

Well, again you are comparing apples to oranges. Online vs local. It's great that you can walk in to defender, but the vast majority of the country cannot.

And sorry, but again WM will price match Defender, so 'the best you can do" @ wm is the lowest price available anywhere.

When you go to your local gourmet burger shop, do you demand they have a Dollar menu like McDonalds? Why not?

If you don't like WM's prices, do not shop there. BUT it's not fair to say they are universally higher all the time on everything, because it's just not true. **AND** even is some cases where they are higher, the total price is cheaper.

ACCO chain is another great example of this. WM is higher than Defender, but does not charge you shipping. **AND** you can in fact price match defender's price which makes it dramatically cheaper @ wm.'

It's also not exactly accurate to say WM 'has nothing' in stock. That may be your experience, and it may be true for many if not most of the stores. However there are lots of west marine stores that are frikken huge, and packed to the rafters.
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Old 24-12-2011, 16:31   #53
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Re: Bigger West Marine Discount?

"Food chain stores are touted to be in the 1% range."
Yeah, that's what that industry says. And they claim the big discounts, the two-fers, etc. are loss leaders to get your business. I don't know, but it takes an awful lot of 1% profits to make up for ten bucks off on loss leaders. What they say, and what the numbers add up to, just doesn't match.

Defender, as in the first store and then the second in New Rochelle, used to have a "problem" with selling electronics that they were not an authorized dealer for, so any warranty return had to go back to THEM and not the maker. When you're buying gray market, etc., it is hard to ask a retailer to match that price. Maybe West is losing money on each sale but making it up on volume. [sic]

The price match guarantee is nice but when you pay $20 for a bottle of something and then see it selling for $15 elsewhere...are you going to spend the hour going back for it? When a battery sells for half at Sam's Club and supposedly is the same except for the label, does that jibe with a 3-4% profit margin?

All I know is that if I need it "now", the odds are I'm going to West because that's the most likely place to find it in stock.

FWIW if you have a major project it might be worth asking them about "commissioning" discounts. They used to have a formal policy that if you had just bought a boat (new or used) and were doing all the fixing up, they'd apply a special discount to the whole deal for the first 90? days or something. I think any savvy store manager would be willing to do something special today, i.e. if you said "I'm doing a major project, how about giving me back xx% on all my purchases after the first 90 days?"

You never know till you ask.
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Old 24-12-2011, 17:12   #54
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Re: Bigger West Marine Discount?

I think WM is deluding themselves thinking that the price match policy compensates for the high asking price relative to others. It fails to recognize the work it creates for a customer. Why would I make a shopping list for WM, then run that list through Defender or other suppliers to figure out the market price, then take that back to WM and go through the process of price matching? It would take all day. If I'm going to run the list through Defender or some other supplier who has competitive pricing, I'll just push the Buy button and be done. Why on earth would I go through all the other work just to buy from WM?

I just don't think they are thinking it through. To me, price matching is a great policy, but only useful if customers rarely need to invoke it. It works if 95% of your prices are competitive. But having to use price matching for every item you buy, every time you shop is just making the buying experience much harder - torture I would call it - for their customers. It worsens the problem when 95% of your prices are 15%-20% higher than everyone else. Because of this, I ONLY shop at WM when I need something TODAY, and only after exhausting all other local sources. Other than that small slice of my buying, other sources are less work and lower cost, so I'd be nuts to behave otherwise.
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Old 24-12-2011, 18:16   #55
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Re: Bigger West Marine Discount?

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............Other than that small slice of my buying, other sources are less work and lower cost, so I'd be nuts to behave otherwise.
And that is how the multitude of various customer service entities survive. You buy where/how you want, I'll buy where/how I want to. Neither is right, neither is wrong.
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Old 24-12-2011, 18:24   #56
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Re: Bigger West Marine Discount?

" It fails to recognize the work it creates for a customer. " Not at all, it DEPENDS on the burden on the customer. Ever see a store rebate on a big ticket item? Something like 30-40% of all rebates are never cashed, people mislay them, they get lazy, the time runs out...but the store OFFERED A BARGAIN and that makes sales. And the stores all rely very much on that 40% never being redeemed.

Same thing with the price match guarantee, they KNOW most folks won't take them up on it. But it makes sales.
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Old 26-12-2011, 06:29   #57
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Re: Bigger West Marine Discount?

More importantly, a 40% discount isn't a real discount if the MSRP is boosted 30% higher than anybody else.
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Old 26-12-2011, 07:00   #58
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Re: Bigger West Marine Discount?

If your a boat owner opening a Port Supply account, which can be done if you actually own a business and can show that it is "marine related", you won't save much money and are better to use the WM price match policy.

The basic Port Supply matrix pricing is pretty poor and Defender retail usually beats the basic Port Supply matrix. However, if you are a real marine business, and have the volume to back it up, call your local Port Supply rep and have a discussion with them.

I have multiple wholesale accounts and rarely gave Port Supply the time of day. I then ran into my rep one day and he asked why I did not buy more? I was frank with him and let him know I was offended by his companies "wholesale pricing" mainly due to their buying power.... A week later my pricing matrix became very competitive and I now buy quite a bit from them. I have a good PS rep, who is available, returns emails, text or voice messages usually within minutes. He's earned my business. It will be interesting to see my 2012 pricing.....

They are still not always the best price but I am buying a lot more from them. Case in point, I just purchased a Raritan head for a customer that was almost double the wholesale price at PS vs. Defender. I called my rep to see why, and he was honest with me, and said Stepehen L. probably got a very good deal on a truck load, or two and WM simply did not take advantage of it. He suggested I get it at Defender, I liked his honesty.. If you want the best pricing you need to shop around even if buying commercially. I now divide my business up more evenly, though Hamilton Marine is still the highest portion of my spending, but they are local...
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Old 26-12-2011, 08:32   #59
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Re: Bigger West Marine Discount?

Seems lots of posters here don't understand why companies are in business! It's to make money! If you don't like WM don't go. But I like WM and don't have an issue that they need to make a profit. Yes I internet shop for bigger things etc. for bigger ticket items, but for day to day stuff I like being able to see it, touch it, then buy it when I need it!

Lets be a little real here, maybe the real issue isn't that WM wants to make money, maybe it's just that you are cheap!
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Old 26-12-2011, 11:05   #60
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Re: Bigger West Marine Discount?

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More importantly, a 40% discount isn't a real discount if the MSRP is boosted 30% higher than anybody else.
Um, MSRP is "manufacturer suggested retail price" WM, is not 30% higher than msrp on anything I've ever seen.
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