Not to beat an old horse on this thread.
1. Companies like this one, and other VERY Reputable vendors, order from the same suppliers and product is drop shipped from the distributers location if not in stock - which is usually the case.
2. If you order from a web site, Make sure there is a phone
number that does not just go to voice mail. 800 numbers are a good indication that the company is at least paying for more than an online store-front. Call the number and see if someone answers. Google Earth
Street View the location and see if there is an actual facility there or just a postal stop. If there is no address and phone
number on the site, don't expect any customer service.
3. There are many companies like this run by one or two people. 90% of the business runs itself, wheras the order is processed through the distrubuter and drop shipped. All you need is a web front-end to take the orders.
4. You cost is directly related to the overhead of the business. If the company is operated out of someones home, he has very little overhead and thus little mark up, but don't expect great service. If a company that also has a store front and true operations, the mark up is usually higher along with the customer service.
5. You should be able to find as good or better a deal on Ebay if price
is a point and have more recourse.
6. If you are not sure, see who the website is owned by. You can do a whois search on the domain name.
7. If the price
is lower than 30% from a reputable known company, then chances are it may not be reputable. Do your homework on the pricing first through West Marine
, and even Ebay.