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Old 10-05-2008, 08:21   #31
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I'm sure West Marine is pleased that all these boaters frequent their stores. Its hard to believe that any one store can have all the best solutions and best prices on every item for everyone. These guys to do a pretty good job and in my experience cheerfully as well. When I point out more competitive pricing they do not hesitate to match. So far. I like to give my local chandelry at my marina my business but they dont keep the extensive inventory that WM does.
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Old 10-05-2008, 12:05   #32
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As a former wholesaler, I was plagued by competitors that tried to stick “our” customers with higher prices, but, when caught, offered to “price-match” my lower up-front prices.
Why would you prefer to give your business to the store that tried to rip you off?
[OK - I might accept a price-match from a trusted supplier, who usually has the "right" price (not a "gouger"). This is more an "I boobed", than a "You caught me" situation]

When I was in the boat repair business, and buying $1,000 every week, Port Supply (West wholesale) got about a third of my business. I NEVER asked for a price match. They either had the best up-front price, inventory that nobody else had, or were located close enough to justify a premium cost.

Then there’s always the store that offers a fantastic price, but is “out of stock” (no rainchecks).
I used to tell my customers that, I too, can advertise a “loss-leader” price, when I have none to sell (& lose $ on).
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Old 10-05-2008, 12:26   #33
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Perhaps I am too much of a cynic but it seems WM is making a push to put the small internet guys out of business who with low overheads can keep the pricing down.

If they succeed I am quite sure WM mark-ups will only increase. Spread that money around and support the little guy!
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Old 10-05-2008, 13:23   #34
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GordMay and Pelagic, I think your points are well taken. I also like to spread my business around and support the little guy and mostly try to buy at my marina. But as a former retailer specializing in outfitting cruising sailors, I understand only too well the issues of inventory, profits and customer service. All conflicting to a certain degree. I am pleased to have retailers around that do usually have what I want and dont mind paying a little extra for that within reason. When it comes to larger expenditures, I give the little a guys an opportunity for the business but if they can't or won't be competitive then I don't feel badly about not subsidizing them and taking that business somewhere else. I also think it works both ways in that many buyers will use the expertise, catalogues and suggestions of reatilers such as WM or others and then go shopping on the internet. The guys on the internet often have no store front, staff, inventory or other significant overhead so they are the ones making the great profits.
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Old 10-05-2008, 16:18   #35
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... I also think it works both ways in that many buyers will use the expertise, catalogues and suggestions of reatilers such as WM or others and then go shopping on the internet. The guys on the internet often have no store front, staff, inventory or other significant overhead so they are the ones making the great profits.
That's called Strip (me of my services), and shop for price. Another of my pet peeves.
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Old 10-05-2008, 19:12   #36
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Gord, I have always thought that a guy who was knowledgeable about his products, took care to service his customers properly and stood by his promises to guarantee quality was rewarded by loyal customers who if the pricing was about the same would support him rather than a competitor.

If for whatever reason, there is a large disparity in pricing, the customer has actually done him a service by pointing out his weakness.

(Be grateful for us Scotsmen out there!)
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:27   #37
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Gord, I have always thought that a guy who was knowledgeable about his products, took care to service his customers properly and stood by his promises to guarantee quality was rewarded by loyal customers who if the pricing was about the same would support him rather than a competitor.

If for whatever reason, there is a large disparity in pricing, the customer has actually done him a service by pointing out his weakness.

(Be grateful for us Scotsmen out there!)
Is the price "about the same" when I was the knowledgeable store owner with a $975.00 price (with a free extended in home warranty) and the box store price was $965.00?

The product took not a lot of learning, but at least a couple hours worth.
I gave too much learning before the sale, and the customer bought for ten dollars less at the big box store.

Usually you wouldn't know the rest of the story, but this guy had the nerve to come back to me about a week later inquiring how to access a certain feature of the product. As I had already spent more time than usual with him, I said I'd go over it when I delivered the product.

He said, "Oh, I already bought one. I saved ten dollars over your price."

When I said he should ask the store where he bought it to help him with his new purchase, he said, "They don't know ANYTHING! That's why I came back to ask you!"

I kicked him out of my store.


Steve B.
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:46   #38
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The guy was foolish not to have bought from you Steve
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Old 13-05-2008, 14:43   #39
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well.... I am damn well NOT impressed. I just got off the phone with west marine "We only match our direct competitor's prices -- for example, boaters world" Me: "Ummmm... you and boaters world are near identical in prices". dead silence. "Like I said, we only match direct competitor's prices. for example, we would not match Radio Shack, Best buy, or the grocery store."

I am not expecting the moon. And I have never found fault with WM. They want to charge whatever, that is their business. I can elect to shop or not to shop. But this so called price "matching" is nothing more than a ripple in a tea cup.

Let me tell you how impressed I am with this west marine price matching BS: As in none. What a bunch of crap. It is a marketing ghost -- devoid of substance.

Michael
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Old 13-05-2008, 14:55   #40
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Is the price "about the same" when I was the knowledgeable store owner with a $975.00 price (with a free extended in home warranty) and the box store price was $965.00?

The product took not a lot of learning, but at least a couple hours worth.
I gave too much learning before the sale, and the customer bought for ten dollars less at the big box store.

Usually you wouldn't know the rest of the story, but this guy had the nerve to come back to me about a week later inquiring how to access a certain feature of the product. As I had already spent more time than usual with him, I said I'd go over it when I delivered the product.

He said, "Oh, I already bought one. I saved ten dollars over your price."

When I said he should ask the store where he bought it to help him with his new purchase, he said, "They don't know ANYTHING! That's why I came back to ask you!"

I kicked him out of my store.


Steve B.
Steve,
That is exactly the reason I bought my new Navnet 3D system from a local retailer and not over the internet. It is a complex system and it is new for Furuno, which means that I am almost certain I am going to have questions. It does not always pay to go with the cheapest price.

David
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Old 13-05-2008, 15:54   #41
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Though not about pricing, I give kudo's to the WM store in Morehead City, NC. Needed the plastic oar blade tips for a Walker Bay dinghy. They GAVE them to me, no charge.

I'm not a big WM fan, but like with any business, it's only as good as the people they employ. The manager at Morehead City obviously understands the concept of service.
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Old 13-05-2008, 16:08   #42
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Again, I thought a reduction of $500 in price by WM to match Outdoor World was fairly impressive. If they wouldn't have, the answer was simple.
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Old 13-05-2008, 21:25   #43
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Tellie..all other things being equal...why wouldn't you give your business to the store that charges you the right price in the first place? It is nice that West will now match competitors...but the real goal should be to make them COMPETE in the first place. $500 bucks more for the same engine is a 30% premium and THAT is a rip off that MANY customers will unknowingly pay.
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Old 14-05-2008, 03:00   #44
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Tellie..all other things being equal...why wouldn't you give your business to the store that charges you the right price in the first place? It is nice that West will now match competitors...but the real goal should be to make them COMPETE in the first place. $500 bucks more for the same engine is a 30% premium and THAT is a rip off that MANY customers will unknowingly pay.
Sometimes, but not nearly always, a price-match policy is only proof; backing up an always lowest price guarantee.
This is not the same as car lot bargaining, wherein the seller initially tries to get a higher price, but will match if they have to.
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Old 14-05-2008, 06:48   #45
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Camaradeire, good point. The $500 price match was between two huge stores. If it were a small guy I would have to buy from him.
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