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Old 05-08-2013, 10:30   #181
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One last thing to say.

Heard of Port Supply? It is a wholesale division of West Marine. LOL, wholesale customers normally submit orders by phone, and nowadays maybe even over the net.
Then their order is DELIVERED by Port Supply!

Imagine the liability involved here. Port Supply trucks all over the nation being driven over dangerous roads to do what? DELIVER PRODUCTS SOLD BY WEST MARINE!

Better reassess your stock holdings in West Marine before somebody gets hurt and their lawyer goes after West's deep pockets!

Just goes to show how little importance West Marine puts on cruisers like you and me. They won't even take our $1,000 purchase back to our boat 5 minutes away!
Port supply trucks, lol.
Port supply purchasers(like me) order things in regularly, and pick up at the store. Often I pay shipping costs to the store too. If I want something delivered to the shop, guess who pays for that delivery?? Me! If you were willing to schedule your shipment well in advance, pay the shipping and be ready in a 2 hour time window for receiving it, then I'm sure they'd oblige. Though an anchor is a bit easier to deal with yourself than some of our orders(200 gallons of bottom paint for example).

Furniture companies either build the cost of 'free delivery' in to the price(raising prices) or they charge a good fee for it(more than your cab).

I also suspect your theory on profit margin is a bit off, on some things it's huge, mostly on consumables like tape and wax on most of the big ticket stuff even paint it's not much.
The grocery store which has not a lot of profit at the end of the day typically aims for 100% markup (a candy bar that costs 1.25$ to you costs them 60 cents or less).
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:37   #182
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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Port supply trucks, lol.
Port supply purchasers(like me) order things in regularly, and pick up at the store. Often I pay shipping costs to the store too. If I want something delivered to the shop, guess who pays for that delivery?? Me! If you were willing to schedule your shipment well in advance, pay the shipping and be ready in a 2 hour time window for receiving it, then I'm sure they'd oblige. Though an anchor is a bit easier to deal with yourself than some of our orders(200 gallons of bottom paint for example).

Furniture companies either build the cost of 'free delivery' in to the price(raising prices) or they charge a good fee for it(more than your cab).

I also suspect your theory on profit margin is a bit off, on some things it's huge, mostly on consumables like tape and wax on most of the big ticket stuff even paint it's not much.
The grocery store which has not a lot of profit at the end of the day typically aims for 100% markup (a candy bar that costs 1.25$ to you costs them 60 cents or less).
You piece on profit margin went right over my head because I failed to see the logic. But hey, that's o.k., I think we both get the gist of the fact companies pass their costs onto consumers in the form of higher prices.

Your description of how Port Supply works for you sounds like and indictment more than an endorsement. No?
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:12   #183
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You piece on profit margin went right over my head because I failed to see the logic. But hey, that's o.k., I think we both get the gist of the fact companies pass their costs onto consumers in the form of higher prices.

Your description of how Port Supply works for you sounds like and indictment more than an endorsement. No?
Sorry, I mean that west makes a big profit margin only on selected things. Most of those things are things like tape, west marine brand boat soap etc. On other(even very high priced things) they make less, sometimes nothing. Those things are sold because they are what customers want to buy and west hopes to make money on the things they buy at the same time while in the store. As a result, the profit margin overall is much lower.

Nope, it's not an indictment, it works great! Saves me a ton of headaches and saves me money vs organizing a truck myself. But that which makes delivery possible and easy for commercial shops, and still affordable is not anything like what you are asking for.

if they charged you for what it would cost, no one would use it(cost a lot more than a cab) If they didn't, then the other shoppers would be contributing to the cost of the delivery for you.
Sometimes I'll even get a cab to act as a delivery vehicle because paying them one way is cheaper than me going and getting it.
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:33   #184
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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Sorry, I mean that west makes a big profit margin only on selected things. Most of those things are things like tape, west marine brand boat soap etc. On other(even very high priced things) they make less, sometimes nothing. Those things are sold because they are what customers want to buy and west hopes to make money on the things they buy at the same time while in the store. As a result, the profit margin overall is much lower.

Nope, it's not an indictment, it works great! Saves me a ton of headaches and saves me money vs organizing a truck myself. But that which makes delivery possible and easy for commercial shops, and still affordable is not anything like what you are asking for.

if they charged you for what it would cost, no one would use it(cost a lot more than a cab) If they didn't, then the other shoppers would be contributing to the cost of the delivery for you.
Sometimes I'll even get a cab to act as a delivery vehicle because paying them one way is cheaper than me going and getting it.
Thanks for your clarifications.

I'm not sure that infrequent assistance extended to sailors who've just purchased a heavy product is going to impact significantly on a company's profit margin. In many cases what one spends for marine supplies is pretty proportional to it's weight. Of course uncountable exceptions abound and our surprise at the cost for products weighing mere ounces blows our minds.

Maybe my view is old school, but from my experience the best way to ensure customers come back is to staff a business with experienced and knowledgeable people, providing the best level of customer service possible. Helping a customer who's just dropped $1,000 for anchor and chain back to his boat just seems like the right kind of customer service to extend. How and when can be arranged to satisfy everyone concerned.

I've witnessed West Marine employees loading a newly purchased R.I.B. into one of their pickups - no doubt for delivery to a new owner. So, it can be done. But why not on a consistent basis regardless of the manager and store location? Only way in my view is to make it a store wide company policy.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:30   #185
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

Re profit margins:

Way back in the late 80's before we left the Bay Area to go cruising I had access to Port Supply, Svend's, and before that, Johnson & Josephs... all trade accounts. At taht time, the price I paid for paint products, etc was 50% of the retail price charged in the store. The discount on hardware ran 30 to 40%, electronics much less and variable.

Point is that they must have been showing a profit on those trade prices, so the profit on walk-in customers was huge. I have no recent data to compare with and will not draw conclusions, but it seems that perhaps West is having a hard time covering the overhead for huge and glitzy stores, often pretty close together, and a corporate structure that may include highly paid upper management... and need to charge higher prices to compensate.

As a usually overseas customer, I used to go to them because of their excellent customer service. I had a few unsatisfactory items shipped to me and they always were generous and prompt in dealing with the issues. As their prices have escalated I have more and more gone to on-line shopping with other sources, and have dealt with shipping and research issues on my own. Can be a pita, but the money saved can be substantial, and I vote with my dollars.

Incidentally, I bought rope from Randy at West Coast Ropes in Palo Alto when it was a one man show... so I could be considered a long term customer! I've been sorry to see how the company has changed since they went public, but that's life...

Finally, for those contemplating the long range cruising life in the Pacific: you won't find ANYTHING like West once you leave the States. Even in yachting areas like NZed and Oz the chandleries are smaller, have less stock, fewer choices and higher prices on nearly everything. Some will have good customer services, some will not, but after a few years you will come to view West as a glorious treasure trove!

Enough blather... go forth and buy!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:52   #186
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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Re profit margins:

Way back in the late 80's before we left the Bay Area to go cruising I had access to Port Supply, Svend's, and before that, Johnson & Josephs... all trade accounts. At taht time, the price I paid for paint products, etc was 50% of the retail price charged in the store. The discount on hardware ran 30 to 40%, electronics much less and variable.

Point is that they must have been showing a profit on those trade prices, so the profit on walk-in customers was huge. I have no recent data to compare with and will not draw conclusions, but it seems that perhaps West is having a hard time covering the overhead for huge and glitzy stores, often pretty close together, and a corporate structure that may include highly paid upper management... and need to charge higher prices to compensate.

As a usually overseas customer, I used to go to them because of their excellent customer service. I had a few unsatisfactory items shipped to me and they always were generous and prompt in dealing with the issues. As their prices have escalated I have more and more gone to on-line shopping with other sources, and have dealt with shipping and research issues on my own. Can be a pita, but the money saved can be substantial, and I vote with my dollars.

Incidentally, I bought rope from Randy at West Coast Ropes in Palo Alto when it was a one man show... so I could be considered a long term customer! I've been sorry to see how the company has changed since they went public, but that's life...

Finally, for those contemplating the long range cruising life in the Pacific: you won't find ANYTHING like West once you leave the States. Even in yachting areas like NZed and Oz the chandleries are smaller, have less stock, fewer choices and higher prices on nearly everything. Some will have good customer services, some will not, but after a few years you will come to view West as a glorious treasure trove!

Enough blather... go forth and buy!

Cheers,

Jim
I'd like to add to Jim's very accurate of what you'll find after leaving West Marine land. Best advice I can give is to buy the big ticket items and items too expensive to ship due to weight, dimensions or classified as a hazardous material, before you go. Sure, it's hard to anticipate what may fail after you've left, but it's pretty predictable some things require replacement as a matter of course. Make a list and do your shopping well in advance of your planned departure date. Discount the value of warranties, because in many cases the cost for shipping stuff to a manufacturer is prohibitively high, and requires the manufacturer inspect and approve your item before you know the warranty will apply.

A lot can be saved shopping on line.

Taking along anti-foulant paint may or may not be an advantage. Consider for example La Paz where the boat yards will expect you to pay as if you bought everything, including your paint from them before even being considered for a haul out.

I know it sounds crazy, but carrying a spare ssb and the like may save you $ in the long run - because as Jim said - everything is more expensive out there.
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Old 05-08-2013, 13:17   #187
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

If the personal attacks do not stop the thread will be closed. Please abide by the Be Nice rule.
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Old 05-08-2013, 14:06   #188
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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.

One last thing to say.

!
Promises, promises...
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Old 05-08-2013, 14:10   #189
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Promises, promises...
Pointless post.
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Old 05-08-2013, 14:37   #190
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I shop lots of places. I have gotten lots of great deals at WM. Most smaller shops I have dealt with dont discount anything and some of the used parts places are high as well. I have gotten some great prices online and shoping around, but time is money. But I stop at every wm I pass because I find great prices there all the time. Look for the orange tag.
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Old 05-08-2013, 14:45   #191
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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I shop lots of places. I have gotten lots of great deals at WM. Most smaller shops I have dealt with dont discount anything and some of the used parts places are high as well. I have gotten some great prices online and shoping around, but time is money. But I stop at every wm I pass because I find great prices there all the time. Look for the orange tag.
It seems every boating/sailing forum has its share of angry people who don't seem to have much to do except vent about seemingly trivial or poorly understood issues. Some people appreciate WM, some don't. Then, there are those who we should worry about because they are driving a boat in close proximity to others.
WM wouldn't be the successful business it is, particularly in this weak economy when everyone is cost-conscious, unless lots of people shop there.
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Old 05-08-2013, 14:51   #192
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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It seems every boating/sailing forum has its share of angry people who don't seem to have much to do except vent about seemingly trivial or poorly understood issues. Some people appreciate WM, some don't. Then, there are those who we should worry about because they are driving a boat in close proximity to others.
WM wouldn't be the successful business it is, particularly in this weak economy when everyone is cost-conscious, unless lots of people shop there.
Then there are some people who, regardless of facts on the ground will defend over pricing and poor service if and where it exists.

May be they have an iron in the fire. Invested in stock or an employee.

Best practice is to consider all contributions and decide for yourself.
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Old 05-08-2013, 14:57   #193
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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Read closely...as has been posted SOME grocery stores do pick you up and take you back to the marina...there are hardware stores and restaurants that do the same...in Myrtle Beach there is a restaurant that picks you up at the marina...takes you to the restaurant..will let you grocery shop next door after you eat and run you back.

While I never expect it from businesses..there are plenty out there that do it despite what some here are claiming that "it just doesn't happen".

You need to get out cruising and read the cruising info....AND live it because I have used those services on my cruise last winter. I even have had marina managers run me all over the place in their private vehicles.

They have those services figured into the pricing.
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Old 05-08-2013, 15:25   #194
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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They have those services figured into the pricing.
You'd think by now any company selling heavy items to sailors, such as chain, anchors, and R.I.B.s in particular would anticipate customers will need assistance getting them to their boat.

Also, given the infrequent number of times this is necessary, when distributed over the total number of stores cost for providing the assistance is probably not very much. Not a difficult task estimating the cost and adding it to prices. And, if the cost was spread between all products sold it would be barely noticed - if at all.

I don't believe anyone is so naive to believe there isn't already enough room in most company's operating expenses to absorb costs for providing this service.
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Old 05-08-2013, 15:41   #195
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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You'd think by now any company selling heavy items to sailors, such as chain, anchors, and R.I.B.s in particular would anticipate customers will need assistance getting them to their boat.
The very great majority of West Marine customers are not cruisers without transportation. Therefore it seems likely that an extremely small percentage of their customers would ever require assistance in delivering their purchases.

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Also, given the infrequent number of times this is necessary, when distributed over the total number of stores cost for providing the assistance is probably not very much.
Since it is clear that only a tiny percentage of West Marine sales would require delivery, the cost of being able to provide that service is not easily amortized. There is no great benefit to the company in providing what is a little-used but relatively expensive service.
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