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Old 25-11-2014, 11:42   #1
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Best Time of Year to Buy at West Marine

I seem to recall that West Marine offers deep discounts on almost everything during certain times in the off season.

They're promoting a 15% off sale on-line sale on Thanksgiving day. But I also recall 20% off deals in the past.

Does anyone remember what time of year they typically offer their best deals?

I know what some of you are going to say. Before we go down THAT path, there are products that WM offers for relatively competitive prices, especially when I factor in free shipping to the store. Catching a 20% off deal would make it a no-brainer for buying a new refrigerator, or VHF radio, two items where they're close to the same price as on-line already. And I don't really want to pay for shipping for a fridge.
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Old 25-11-2014, 18:52   #2
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Re: Best Time of Year to Buy at West Marine

Best is to have a friend with an active Port Supply card. Discounts depend on how much the card is used. Otherwise WM is seriously overpriced.
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Old 25-11-2014, 19:02   #3
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Re: Best Time of Year to Buy at West Marine

First, I am not going to slam West Marine and this is not what the OP wants to hear.

Port Supply discounts also depend on their profit margin for the item. They do not have much of profit margin on marine electronics for example so you don't see much a price difference between the retail price and the Port Supply price. I have a Port Supply account.

I find that a handful of online vendors have the closest and most consistent prices to the wholesale price. It is really not necessary to wait for a West Marine sale to get these prices if you want cheap prices now.

I see sales at West Marine occasionally but they do not seem to be just during the off season. (The cold months).
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Old 25-11-2014, 19:47   #4
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Re: Best Time of Year to Buy at West Marine

They will have the Garmin 741xs on sale for $899 on Friday. I've never seen it anywhere near that low. Some of their electronics prices really aren't bad.

That said, I think it's been a really long time since they had a 20 percent off deal. They have done 15 on Thanksgiving day and I recall maybe again early spring a couple of years. There are also always a lot of exclusions in the fine print.
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Old 26-11-2014, 01:31   #5
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Re: Best Time of Year to Buy at West Marine

Strange to hear about rarity of 20% discounts as I get their flyers practically monthly with 20% off on a lot of items. But that's may be b/c I've been a member since 1998 or thereabouts. But still even after the discount they are way more expensive than online competition. Few seasons ago I was looking for a particular 5 step telescoping ladder for under the platform installation. Theirs was around $250-280 regular price and had to be ordered with a few weeks wait for delivery. With a 20% off coupon it still would've been around $200 or more. On line I got brand new identical one for $130 and got it 2-3 days later with free shipping. Also my first year of boat ownership I was told by an old salt to always check first with Walmart as many of them located in boating areas have fairly decent marine departments for everyday small items. So I got there red, green and stern Perko lights for $12 each when identical Perkos at WM were $25-29. WM's 2-cycle oil is $25-30/gal and "only" $20 on sale. In Walmart same oil is $12-15 and $10-12 when on sale.

Same is true probably for every item they have in their stores/catalog with very few exceptions (electronics, etc).
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Old 26-11-2014, 05:36   #6
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Re: Best Time of Year to Buy at West Marine

WM is invaluable for the gotta have it now items, like when my airconditioner water pump went out in July etc.
Sometimes like just last week they had their portable folding chairs on sale for 50% off, and a pair of Steiner binos regular $500 for $300, so you just never know.

I seem to do way more business on-line myself and shop for prices.
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Old 26-11-2014, 12:53   #7
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Re: Best Time of Year to Buy at West Marine

OP:

IIRC, Friday, Sat., and Sunday after Thanksgiving, so your question is very timely.

Ann
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Old 26-11-2014, 13:22   #8
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Re: Best Time of Year to Buy at West Marine

In the last two years i bought 90 items xbey, about 70 of them for my Windrose . I bought 5 things at WM because the price was 35% higher then online elsewhere . Two of the things i bought at WM i'm very happy; 17" round Magna stove/grill $25.00 yes $25 floor model . The sign said needs regulator. there was a regulator on it , and i took it home and cooked my lunch on it . The other was a Standard Horizon GX2200 VHF/AIS/GPS $399.00 catalog or on line ( 5 ) YEAR WARRANTY $30.00 rebate. I pad $389.99. Online elsewhere $329.99 + rebate ( 3 ) YEAR FACTORY WARRANTY . The point is, the online store reviews made me nervous that they might send me a GX2150. And the fact of the extra ( 2 ) YEARS and i can carry it into any WM in the world may it break down. Its all about doing research .
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Old 26-11-2014, 13:35   #9
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Re: Best Time of Year to Buy at West Marine

Agree that WM sometimes has wicked sales. But lately not very often. I once came across their 75% off for ss pressure cookers. Bought 4 last ones they had in stock and they made wonderful gifts for my liveaboard buddies. Another time got binoculars for $70 with their reg. price around $200-220.

And yes when you need something right away AND they happen to have it in stock it overrides their price gouging. But more and more with online stores and c-list options looks like they'd have to change their pricing model to stay around long term.

I laugh each time I see their floatable key thingies being sold for $3-5 when you can get dozens of them for free at any boat show. Sometimes I wonder how ignorant can one be and still do marketing/advertising for WM stoes or to pay for those trinkets with company logos on them.
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Old 26-11-2014, 17:29   #10
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Re: Best Time of Year to Buy at West Marine

Ignorance is bliss...or it was, until two minutes ago.
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Old 26-11-2014, 18:34   #11
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Re: Best Time of Year to Buy at West Marine

We frequent a WM in Delaware. No sales tax, and for specialty items, no shipping. Because of these two things they can often beat online pricing. I order it shipped to the store and make a pick up on the way to the boat. Grainger, same thing.

Plus I will return to the store. I NEVER do a mail order return.

Just my quirks.
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Old 26-11-2014, 20:39   #12
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Re: Best Time of Year to Buy at West Marine

The one thing to remember , WE NEED WM period . I will buy at WM when the price is not worth a couple bucks either way. They have big overhead , off seasons with no great sales income. If we don't all buy WM in store when practical , we will not have but few brick & mortar stores of any type anywhere. My earlier thread said i bought 5 things from WM . I take that back . Besides the two listed i bought $250.00 worth of accessories for the GX2200 & put shore power on a racer that never had it. Unlike online sometimes you need to put an item in your hand to know you've got the right one .
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Old 26-11-2014, 21:19   #13
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Re: Best Time of Year to Buy at West Marine

Everything thing on West Marine's site is 15% off on Thanksgiving day.
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Old 28-11-2014, 19:43   #14
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Re: Best Time of Year to Buy at West Marine

Buy from anyone else then West Marine.

They are about running off all the local vendors and then turning into a marine clothing store.

In San Diego I buy from Downwind, Sailing Store and Maine Exchange.

On the net I but from a number of stores - Defender, Jamestown, Hamilton, iMarine, Fisheries Supply, etc.

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Old 29-11-2014, 06:28   #15
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Re: Best Time of Year to Buy at West Marine

I knew this was going to happen. Another addition to the list: anchors, guns, multi/mono, deep fryers and now WM.

I DID end up ordering the fridge from WM on line, 15% off, shipped to the store in NH (no sales tax, no shipping.) None of the other on-line vendors referenced above, and a few more I frequent, could touch the price.

I buy a lot of boat stuff. There's another local chandler I frequent because they have everything, and they're close to the boat, but their prices aren't that good. WM prices have improved a lot, at least on some things. As was pointed out, sometimes you need to have the item in hand. The option to do an easy return if you get the wrong one, or too many, is also a plus. I'm too far from Hamilton Marine to make them my #1 go-to, but when I'm near one of their stores I always bring a list. I also buy a lot, if not most, of my stuff on line.

At WM they do seem to go in for high-margin "fashion" and "designer" items. No problem for me, the people who buy those things are keeping the store open for when I need to dash in for a fitting or other inexpensive part.

Also, they noticeably reduced their inventory to keep the absolute minimum in stock. Granted, they can get most parts in a day or two, but it's inconvenient. Especially when you're looking to buy things that only work in pairs, like chocks, and they have just ONE of each size in stock.

Finally, I've found that their prices on electronics are generally on par with everyone else, even on line, especially if you wait for a sale. Salesmen at the store have confirmed that their margin on electronics is pretty slim.

In the end, WM is neither good nor evil. They're in a tough position as a seasonal, brick-and-mortar business. I don't agree with all the decisions they make to try to stay in business, but for my sake, I hope they succeed.

We just lost a local hardware store in my town. The owner tried to sell the business, but there were no takers. They rarely had bargain prices, but they were close by and always had what I needed for the house. They will be missed, even though I know everything is cheaper at the big-box home improvement stores.
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