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Old 04-08-2013, 08:04   #121
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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Incredible!!!!!

Let us know the next time you get a ride home from Best Buy, Sears, Costco, Target, Home depot, etc...
Actually, if you were to buy a battery from any one of them - explain you don't have a car and ask if they have an employee living near your location who could drop it off after work - I bet odds are more favourable than not you'd get your battery this way. I have.

Also, if you were buying a like item from West Marine sold by any one of the stores you mention, you'd pay significantly less at the other store (not W.M.). But, I'll also wager were you to ask the same question at West Marine, you may also get your battery this way.

The stores you mention are big box stores, and while West Marine may be large in the sense it has many stores, it is anything but a big box store. By virtue of it's limited customer base - people who own boats - it is particularly important that West Marine does everything in its power to bring these customers in not only for the first purchase, but others to follow. The stores you mention sell a broad variety of products of interest to a much larger customer base. Not many cases when a sailor will be popping in to ask for the favour of a lift back to the boat.

My question is the same. 0% or 5%?
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:18   #122
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

I've noticed a certain degree of changes that have occurred in society since my high school days of the late '50's.

My observation is that sometimes progress is not always for the best.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:24   #123
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

West Marine operates with a net profit margin of 9.42%, (Q2 2013). That is not exactly ripping people off.
West Marine, Inc.: NASDAQ:WMAR quotes & news - Google Finance

Apple operates with a net profit margin of 19.53%
Apple Inc.: NASDAQ:AAPL quotes & news - Google Finance
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:47   #124
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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West Marine operates with a net profit margin of 9.42%, (Q2 2013). That is not exactly ripping people off.
West Marine, Inc.: NASDAQ:WMAR quotes & news - Google Finance

Apple operates with a net profit margin of 19.53%
Apple Inc.: NASDAQ:AAPL quotes & news - Google Finance
Which goes to prove anyone who buys an Apple product is, well, uh, you fill in the _______.

Grocery stores operate at about the same margin as West Marine, but still have people to bag and carry your purchase to the car. Kind of the same as giving someone a lift back to the boat. It is a service where the employee is not considered to be selling anything yet adds the cost of doing business to the store. The only way a grocery store is going to bring customers back if they do not provide this service is to deeply discount prices. Do we see West Marine doing this?

Nah. They refuse to give a bit extra in order to bring customers back - yet keep prices high. Can't survive much longer with this business model.

When West Marine is gone, the mom & pop marine stores that serve coffee and donuts, offer rides to their customers will still be there.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:52   #125
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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Can't survive much longer with this business model.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:53   #126
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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Your point?
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:54   #127
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

WEST MARINE
Inflatable Boat Oar Retainer


  • Model # 7780083 | Manuf. # 43010
  • Little piece of round plastic designed to break easily
  • WMP discount price $18.49
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:00   #128
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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Your point?
The point is that that your statement is fairly ridiculous.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:14   #129
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When West Marine is gone, the mom & pop marine stores that serve coffee and donuts, offer rides to their customers will still be there.
What a load of nonsense! If you had been given a ride by WM and an accident happened the guy in the other car would have sued for vast sums. As you are not the one with deep pockets then WM would have to fight the legal battles. The manager made the right call. Please end this senseless line of WM bashing as it is IMHO against the written rules of this forum.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:27   #130
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

I do wish they would get rid of the dopey college kids who stand by the front door and pester people. Three times straight I tried to make good use of them and asked where the XXXXX were.

Three times straight they showed me to the wrong section. Now I have them on ignore.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:31   #131
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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Actually, if you were to buy a battery from any one of them - explain you don't have a car and ask if they have an employee living near your location who could drop it off after work - I bet odds are more favourable than not you'd get your battery this way. I have.


Naturally, in this scenario, the employee coincidentally lived near you and his shift ended concurrent with your timing to get home.

This is a senseless debate. You can expect anything but plausibility is another matter.

I guess it may be unreasonable in this day and age to expect personal responsibility sufficient to anticipate how one might return to their boat with a heavy item before making such a purchase. The age of dependency is upon us!
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:31   #132
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

I worked at WM in the 80's when they were six or seven stores on the West Coast. Today there is one in my home town. I NEVER shop there unless I am in a pinch and need a last minute part or ran out of something from my regular supplier. Why? Their selection is limited and prices are very high. And I have a Port Supply resale account. More local suppliers (Fisheries, Redden) have better prices.

WM associate (employee) knowledge is a crap shoot. Back then, they would hire any body they could for as cheap as they could. Knowledge or not. A knowledgable associate is often a boater working there to get the employee discount.

WM does have better catalog selection, but fat chance if you find it in stock at your local store. It takes a few days to order it from the warehouse. I can often special order from a local supplier for even cheaper and maybe wait a few extra days at worst.

They may have a 9% profit margin, but that means nothing on end user prices if their overhead is high. And they have a LOT of infrastructure/inventory to support.

Once they catered to sailboaters and powerboaters. Now it is fishermen, wakeboarders, water skiers, etc. They are trying to be everything to any kind of boater. Sorta like the REI of boating.

Don't get me started on all of the clothing/apparel or the "WM-branded-chinese-knockoffs-of-once-stocked-reputable-products"

I understand for some boaters, WM is the only source in town for you. Which is too bad because you are paying way too much money. Best thing I can recommend is try and plan ahead and order from some of the online retailers.

My $.02
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:32   #133
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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What a load of nonsense! If you had been given a ride by WM and an accident happened the guy in the other car would have sued for vast sums. As you are not the one with deep pockets then WM would have to fight the legal battles. The manager made the right call. Please end this senseless line of WM bashing as it is IMHO against the written rules of this forum.
Until your post nobody has threatened participants in this discussion by referring to the "rules".

We are comparing business practices, not bashing anyone.

In most cases, issues related to liability is a red herring. If we follow your argument there would be no kind of service giving rides to anyone anywhere. No taxis, no bus service, no air service... Companies obtain insurance to protect themselves from claims. If West Marine or any other company decides giving lifts to customers beneficial to the company, they can insure for it.

I'm anchored off a small Texas town where an employee of the city government told me they don't want boaters coming ashore due to liability concerns - thus no dingy dock. Well, unless they post a policeman along the shoreline to tell boaters they can't come ashore due to liability concerns - their liability does not go away - and the wise thing to do is to make sure the city has insurance to cover for such an occurrence. In addition, building a dingy dock is most likely to help people to avoid injury - not cause it.

If there is a moderator who sincerely believes there is unwarranted, unreasonable bashing going on in this thread - then isn't it their business to bring it to a close and for participants to not have to suffer intimidation from others?
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:53   #134
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

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Naturally, in this scenario, the employee coincidentally lived near you and his shift ended concurrent with your timing to get home.

This is a senseless debate. You can expect anything but plausibility is another matter.

I guess it may be unreasonable in this day and age to expect personal responsibility sufficient to anticipate how one might return to their boat with a heavy item before making such a purchase. The age of dependency is upon us!
If a company selling heavy items is happy missing sales to people who would otherwise be making a purchase if there a delivery service, fine. But a company selling heavy items like furniture, heavy equipment and you name it - anchors, chain, inflatables, kayaks, blah, blah, blah - anticipates many customers may not have transport of the type necessary to get the product home. So, they provide a delivery service. They insure for it. They make sales they would not otherwise make.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:00   #135
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Re: West Marine Getting Worse

I purchased a pair of hand held VHFs from West recently on a close out deal. I was traveling at the time. The price was great. The performance was terrible. I took them back to a different branch of West Marine this morning. I showed them the radios. They tested them & agreed that performance was poor. They offered me an exact replacement. We tested the new ones & found them to be about the same. They then gave me full credit for my original purchase & I bought a better radio that works well. I was completely happy with the customer service. I was pleasantly surprised that I was treated so well at a branch that was different from the one where I made the original purchase. I am not one of their advantage club members. They still treated me like a valued customer.

I've been to West Marine stores from coast to coast & even one that was in the middle of a desert (Phoenix). The quality of the sales help varies quite a bit from store to store. The larger stores usually have at least one or two useful people that you can get to if you need them. The smaller stores are more of a gamble. Sometimes you find good people there. Sometimes you don't. I have not tried their national phone number for customer support yet. I haven't needed to.
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