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Old 14-12-2007, 05:38   #31
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Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
I ask these kids a technical question about paint and they begin to read the back of the can. Danm! I can F#&king read! If they don't know an answer...say so.
Try Best Buy or Circuit City or Home Depot or...

Sometimes you find a 'sales' employee that has good knowledge, most times you find label readers. Everyone wants things cheaper but they rarely want to give up good service and quality. Just another sign o the times I suppose.
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Old 14-12-2007, 07:17   #32
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West Marine followed the big box model and its owner decided to cash out big time. All the good things it had way back then are slowing disappearing.

That's America and how capitalism changes the how we consume and what we are provided to consume.

It's all downhill. But they won't admit it.
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Old 15-12-2007, 13:04   #33
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I love the discount that my wife receives as a employee! Our boat is about done!
But I will say that I would not do much business with them if she did not work there. I agree with many of the point that were made so far.
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Old 15-12-2007, 13:23   #34
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Originally Posted by irwinsailor View Post
I love the discount that my wife receives as a employee! Our boat is about done!
But I will say that I would not do much business with them if she did not work there. I agree with many of the point that were made so far.
A friend of mine did the same thing for about 6 months in Ca. He said he hated every minute of it. It was not the customers but the people he had to work with. The manager with absolutely no boating experience but paid much more and the other employees coming to him constanly with questions from the customers they were serving. He was doing the job of 3 people most of the time. He was grateful for the discount and was on his merry way to the South Pacific.
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Old 15-12-2007, 14:48   #35
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I'm not defending WM in their decision not to keep BALMAR in stock, but in all fairness if you order an item at the store counter they will have it there usually in 2 days from one of their two warehouses. As an example, I just ordered the INTERLUX Inter-Deck Paint from a WM in Brandon, Florida (very small store) on Friday after 4pm and they will have it on Tuesday..... I can't really fault any business that can react that fast, with courteous service to boot!
Granted, their prices are not always the best, but for convenience, returns, and a "boating" staff I enjoy dealing with them as compared to 90% of the _ick-heads that we have to deal with in SOUTH FLORIDA!
Every time I go into BOATERSWORLD in Fort Lauderdale, the "kids" are always at the front either on personal phone calls or talking about their boyfriends, and I have to go chase somebody down..... the last time I did that the kid "pointed" me to the rear of the store.... GEE, THANKS!
You won't find that mentality at WM!
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Old 15-12-2007, 15:18   #36
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I'm sure experiences vary from store to store and not just WM. I'm sure we can all agree that customer service as a whole has declined terribly in the last 20 years in all areas of retail. Sad and I'm waiting for a customer service revolution.
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Old 15-12-2007, 16:32   #37
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West Marine is on their way down. The store is for the un-initiated who don't know where to look for quality products. Five dollar an hour employees who know nothing about anything they are selling. Every time I have to go into one of their stores it is in absolute desperation and turns out to be absolute torture. All of that for prices that are astronomical !!!
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Old 15-12-2007, 18:23   #38
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I agree that you need to know what you want before you go into a WM. If they don't have it on the shelf, they can order it and have it in a few days. The prices are high, the trade off is convience next to the marina. Twice the Long Beach, CA store came through for me in a big way. I bought a garmin 72 handheld, 2 months later the 76 goes on sale for just a few dollars more. They happily exchange it for th difference in cash. I bought an inflatable kayak in 04. I inflated it this last summer and a glue seam that was suppose to be sewn, but not spilt. 3 years later they exchanged for a new one. The new one did not come with paddles, they let me keep the old ones.

When I have needed them, they have come through for me.

Again, this was the Long Beach store, the one in San Pedro near the boat is just about useless. I only go there for nuts and bolts.
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Old 15-12-2007, 21:14   #39
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I would agree that service varies with stores. The WM I deal with (with a wholesale Port account) is excellent. I can call or fax them and have the stuff there the following week. They will match any other stores prices (plus cost of shipping). There is also another side and that is the attitude of the boaters, especially power boaters and those sailors who call their boats yachts. Over the years I've been really happy when some of my "customers" went elsewhere.
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Old 18-12-2007, 11:54   #40
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Here in Colorado marine supplies are in short order. If all you need are parts for your fishing or ski boat it's OK. But good luck if you want to re-fit a sailboat. There is a WM in the Denver area. Very small store but that's what our market will support I guess. On my most recent trip there for a bruce anchor the store price was $5 higher than the web price, the price at Defender was $5 less than that, they matched the Defender price. That coupled with a $10 voucher they sent me added up to $55 out the door for a #22 anchor. Not bad for these parts.
I still do most of my shopping on-line.
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Old 18-12-2007, 12:41   #41
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I agree with many of the assessments above - having dealt with both West Marine and Defender on numerous occasions (and Sailnet in its past iteration), I find the service at Defender to be as good as West Marine, and the prices to be vastly superior. I would also agree that there are much better sites for non-exclusively marine products such as solar panels, s/s screws/bolts, etc.
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Old 18-12-2007, 13:08   #42
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The reason most of you are seeing higher prices at West Marine is because most people cannot get a Port Supply account...which is West Marines wholesale division available only to businesses and government agencies.

I have a Port Supply account and some of the prices are radically different from each other. On electronics there is not much a price markup but on some other items like sandpaper, cleaners, waxes and fasteners and quit number of other items, there is a huge difference..like 40%. If any of you can get a Port Supply account then I highly advise it.

One of the funny things West Marine does is they have higher prices in their Port Supply catalog than in their West Marine catalog to make the Port Supply customers think they are getting an even better deal when they compare "regular" West Marine prices to the Port Supply prices. It's a little gimmick that all their Port Supply customers are aware of. We know..because we pick up regular West Marine catalogs in the store....Duh!

I also get a chuckle out of some of the things they call "marine grade"..so they can charge more for what is a common Home Depot or grocery store item. How stupid do they think we are? I got news...all plastic is "marine grade".

I like Defender for high end items that Port Supply cannot beat in price, but sometimes I like to have in my own hands the item that I am considering buying. West Marine cannot be beat for that...neither can their return policy. I have returned things to West Marine that I did not even have a receipt for.

Something West Marine has been doing is cutting back on their inventory...I think they listened more to their accountants than to their common sense. They cut back on their stainlesses steel fastener inventory..which has really ticked me off quite a number of times.

Their store inventory is really inconsistent and their delivery truck time estimates are a lucky guess at best. If there is an item that they do not have in their warehouse then forget it....just go on the internet and buy it directly from the manufacturer and save the hassle, delivery delays and added expense of the same item getting routed through West Marine's system,

Both companies have their distinct advantages and disadvantages...it just depends on what you need.
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Old 18-12-2007, 13:39   #43
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As David said, if you can get a PORT SUPPLY Account through your business WM will look MUCH better to you!
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Old 19-12-2007, 11:02   #44
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David M, you say, "I got news...all plastic is "marine grade"." I hope you're not including vinyl used for upholstery & other pvc sheeting used on a boat. If it is not "Marine Grade", you will have a problem sooner or later.
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:04   #45
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West Marine reported (Jan. 10/08) net sales of US$117.8 million for its fourth quarter ended December 29, 2007, a decrease of 4.9 per cent compared to the same period a year ago. They also said that same-store sales were down 3.0 per cent for the quarter. The company did not release its net loss or income.

According to a statement, the sales drop came primarily from a $4.2 million decrease in sales because of closed stores, and a $2.9 million drop in same-store sales compared to Q4 2006.

Its Port Supply (wholesale) segment saw its sales decline by 4.5 per cent to $41.6 million.

Severance costs for outgoing CEO Peter Harris were $1.3 million.
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