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Old 05-08-2013, 15:49   #196
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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Originally Posted by fstbttms View Post
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.

Clearly acknowledged in my last post. The point being, that extending this service is not going to cost the company much - unless they don't. Then lost future sales that may have been made to now disgruntled sailors will be realized.

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 in the company providing what is a little-used but relatively expensive service.
I don't consider lost future sales to be beneficial. As to whether or not providing the service is expensive, it has to be weighed against the value of lost future sales and calculated against actual costs. Not so hard to extrapolate or for a company with more than adequate resources necessary to assess these types expenses. When there is a will or necessity to know it can be done.
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Old 05-08-2013, 15:51   #197
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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.

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.
Ah, but I, as a west marine customer who values lower prices, do not want to subsidize your transportation costs. I'd rather you pay them.
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Old 05-08-2013, 15:51   #198
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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.

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.
You could apply this logic to many stores, but it just doesn't work. Should Best Buy provide a van for those people who buy a 60" TV that won't fit in their car?

If you are going to go to a store and know the store isn't in the business of delivering the items to you, then you should have a plan for getting it where it needs to go. I can understand asking if anyone is going that way to see if you can get a ride, but wouldn't blame the store if they couldn't provide one.

There's also another BIG factor to consider. Let's say an employee does drive the person - what if there is an accident? Employee is hurt or killed - Now West Marine is on the hook. Just too much liability for a company to provide this when its not a service they offer. Even worse for a Mom & Pop shop and even if the Mom & Pop wanted to provide it, it probably wouldn't be in their best interest due to the potential legal issues that could come up.
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Old 05-08-2013, 15:55   #199
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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Ah, but I, as a west marine customer who values lower prices, do not want to subsidize your transportation costs. I'd rather you pay them.
I don't read all of the posts either. Too lazy.

But as I said in a previous post, a reasonable charge for the service may be acceptable. If I were the seller however, I'd consider the value of the sale and my take in profit before making someone pay for my assistance.
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Old 05-08-2013, 16:01   #200
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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I don't consider lost future sales to be beneficial. As to whether or not providing the service is expensive, it has to be weighed against the value of lost future sales and calculated against actual costs. Not so hard to extrapolate or for a company with more than adequate resources necessary to assess these types expenses. When there is a will or necessity to know it can be done.
You have repeatedly stated that West Marine uses a failing business model and that the fact that it is not corporate policy to provide free delivery to those customers who can't (or won't) provide it for themselves is leading to their downfall. I find it amusing that you think the largest recreational marine retailer and wholesaler in world is somehow on their last legs simply because they won't deliver a bucket of anchor chain to somebody's boat for free. This mass exodus of customers that you've referred to is in reality just a few noisy haters on this and other forums, whom (if truth be told) probably still frequent West Marine.
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Old 05-08-2013, 16:06   #201
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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You could apply this logic to many stores, but it just doesn't work. Should Best Buy provide a van for those people who buy a 60" TV that won't fit in their car?

If you are going to go to a store and know the store isn't in the business of delivering the items to you, then you should have a plan for getting it where it needs to go. I can understand asking if anyone is going that way to see if you can get a ride, but wouldn't blame the store if they couldn't provide one.

There's also another BIG factor to consider. Let's say an employee does drive the person - what if there is an accident? Employee is hurt or killed - Now West Marine is on the hook. Just too much liability for a company to provide this when its not a service they offer. Even worse for a Mom & Pop shop and even if the Mom & Pop wanted to provide it, it probably wouldn't be in their best interest due to the potential legal issues that could come up.
Again, I don't read all of the posts either. Same reason. But, the issue of liability was addressed in other posts. So I won't repeat.

I have been successful asking on several occasions if there was perhaps an employee who lived in the area near a marina who could drop my purchase off on his or her way home. Happened in South Africa, St. Petersburg, Florida, Galveston, Texas, Lake Charles, La. and San Diego.

I can imagine circumstances though where there is no other alternative but for me to rely on the store where I bought my chain and anchor, battery or other heavy item for help. It all depends upon where your boat is, foot and vehicle traffic.
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Old 05-08-2013, 16:13   #202
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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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.
Talk about beating a dead horse.

A quick review of WM's financials shows a profit in only the most recent of the last three quarters. I have no stock or other financial interest in the corporation but thanks for assuming something (incorrect) again.

Based on their financials, it seems they are operating in the margin over the last year and it would be extraordinarily dumb for any corporation to expose itself unnecessarily to additional liability or decrease profitability by the add' l cost of providing a chauffeur service for those unable to anticipate a need for transportation. Clearly, but to state the incredibly obvious, the vast majority of customer are satisfied or shop elsewhere

Really, if you want to discuss corporate policy, fiscal considerations or management of a successful corporate enterprise, a little less whining and a little more knowledge may be prudent if, for no other reason, to maintain a constructive discussion here. Although, this is hardy the venue for those topics.

If anyone thinks WM is "over-priced" or has "poor service"', open your own store. I guess it's always easier to criticize those who do it rather than complain.
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Old 05-08-2013, 16:22   #203
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

As a cruiser who changes locations several times a year. I use WM at various locations fairly often. I find they have very limited stock and high prices as many people have described. In fact most of the time they don't have what I need. In many cases they are the only marine store though so I'm happy they are there.

I think of this like any other corporate chain store. I avoid them if possible because in most cases I don't own the common version of anything and WM only stocks the high volume items as do most corporate stores. This is just a the current state of retail.

I try to support local stores even if I'm not local. In general this is a ethic I believe in. Until the economics change WM will survive that is the reality in the US. It will probably do no good to complain it seems to me. Deal with who you like but in most cases most of us will find a way to get what we need and if possible at the cheapest most convenient place, (that may be online if there is time).

I wish in many ways I lived in a world as it was when I was young in the rural west were they was no such thing as a chain store and other than a couple of big grocery stores miles away. It was nice dealing with people you know but that world is long gone in most of the US. Fun to think about.
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Old 05-08-2013, 16:29   #204
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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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?

Of course they pass it on. This is capitalism, not communism. I find it remarkable when people welcome the freedoms and liberties that come with capitalism, but not the cost of it.
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Old 05-08-2013, 16:30   #205
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

Re the chain delivery issue:

Were I to be in the position of buying chain and anchor, I would discuss the possibility of delivery prior to the purchase. This gives the vendor the chance to decide if the sale is worth the hassle of delivery (by whatever means he has at his disposal).

I suspect that this approach might be more productive than an after-sales request, and it gives the buyer a chance to consider other means of transport if refused.

Cheers,

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Old 05-08-2013, 16:30   #206
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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Ah, but I, as a west marine customer who values lower prices, do not want to subsidize your transportation costs. I'd rather you pay them.

That's right. I want him to call a taxi and suck it up. Fortunately, taxis don't charge by the pound.
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Old 05-08-2013, 16:34   #207
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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Of course they pass it on. This is capitalism, not communism. I find it remarkable when people welcome the freedoms and liberties that come with capitalism, but not the cost of it.
i beg to differ it is called consumerism,and has nothing to do with what it cost to produce,or any savings to the buyer,the only constant is what the corporation can sell it for and make the maximum profit

capitalism is so yesterday...get with the program raku...that stuff died out with mcarthyism
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Old 05-08-2013, 16:40   #208
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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Re the chain delivery issue:

Were I to be in the position of buying chain and anchor, I would discuss the possibility of delivery prior to the purchase. This gives the vendor the chance to decide if the sale is worth the hassle of delivery (by whatever means he has at his disposal).

I suspect that this approach might be more productive than an after-sales request, and it gives the buyer a chance to consider other means of transport if refused.

Cheers,

Jim
Can't agree more. But, there are lots of times when a cruiser doesn't have the luxury of being in a position to ask first. And these times are more likely than not to require a trek or hitch hike to the nearest source.
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Old 05-08-2013, 16:45   #209
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

If you pay a hooker for sex do you expect her to kiss you?
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Old 05-08-2013, 16:50   #210
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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Can't agree more. But, there are lots of times when a cruiser doesn't have the luxury of being in a position to ask first. And these times are more likely than not to require a trek or hitch hike to the nearest source.
Well, I've been a car-less cruiser for a long time, and have faced the transport issue myself... not always successfully! But really, even if it is approached immediately before the transaction with the spiel: "I'd like to but this chain and anchor, but don't have any means of getting it to the boat. Any way that you could help with that?" one might get a favorable reply... who knows?

Cheers,

Jim
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