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Old 15-03-2011, 08:20   #1
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Inflation Is Here

I just peeked in new 2011 West Marine catalog and noticed that list prices of many items I plann(ed) to buy are 10-20% higher than list prices in 2010 catalog, even US-made items (those very few left). Weak dollar? Inflation? Both? Government insists that there is 0% inflation ...
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Old 15-03-2011, 08:24   #2
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pirate Re: Inflation is here

Thats where having an old boats nice.... galvanised 'looks' traditional and well on her....
A lot of its available in the Hardware store...
amazing how expensive shops with 'Marine' in their labeling are...
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Old 15-03-2011, 08:33   #3
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Re: Inflation is here

West Marine has become the price leader in the wrong way. Shop around. On a lot of stuff I'm finding that small local marine stores in marinas can often beat the prices of anybody. Check out Defender and Hamilton too.
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Old 15-03-2011, 08:46   #4
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Re: Inflation is here

Basically it probably is case of smart capitalism by buying out competitors so you are the only "game" in town. Then you can set your prices wherever you desire. Several local serious competitors in my Fla local area were bought out by West Marine and now they have no serious local competition.
- - Mail-ordering from Defender is definitely most probably cheaper for the same stuff but you have postage and the long wait for the stuff to arrive. And you don't get a chance to hold and examine the things you are thinking about buying as you do in a locally convenient store. Same with Hamilton.
- - One way to get around the problem for a lot of the stuff we use on sailing boats is to shop at "power boat/ fishing boat" stores or even better at RV stores.
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Old 15-03-2011, 08:47   #5
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Re: Inflation is here

greed? lack of business sense? economical must? knife on the throat?

USD is weak but so is the EUR, while most of the stuff is made in China

BTW China is asking higher prices recently SO this may be the actual reason

b.
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Old 15-03-2011, 08:53   #6
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Re: Inflation is here

Hmm. Well, My take on WM is as follows: I shopped for an ST2000 among other items with various suppliers. Then went to West Marine and they matched the lowest price without question. AND I didn't have to pay for shipping on anything that was drop shipped to their store. So while I don't have any professional affiliation with them and I admit that I've ordered from many other suppliers there are times when it's nice to know that I can walk in somewhere and shake somebody up face to face if things really go to heck.
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Old 15-03-2011, 09:30   #7
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Re: Inflation is here

And what Tbrad says is why I, for one, am willing to pay a slightly higher price for the convenience of a local West Marine versus a distant/mail order place like Defender. But if the price difference is "too" much then I will order from somebody else like Defender or Hamilton.
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Old 15-03-2011, 09:46   #8
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Re: Inflation is here

I would blame the price increase on their far too generous return policy. It's amazing what cheap a$$ cruisers will return/try to return to West Marine. I read a thread on here just a week or two ago that I can't find now where somebodies electric gizmo died, so he bought one at WM, hooked it up and it didn't work. So he took it back, got another one, it didn't work either. So he took it back also and then came on here asking how to troubleshoot his problem.
Try working at WM or talk to someone who has worked there a while. A good friend worked there and told me lots of hilariously shocking stories, like the old cruising couple who took there WM weather gear">foul weather gear back demanding a replacement set, it had worn out. They were able to look it up in the computer, they had bought them over 5 years earlier! And WM still gave them a pro-rated discount on a new set. A fellow obviously found an old fender floating around the dock, flattened, algae covered with barnacles, and took it back to WM for a new one. No problem, he had done the old "buy an item you already have one of, then use the receipt to take back the old item for a refund/new one" trick.

If you expect to by a $2000 chartplotter, take it back to your boat and fry it with your shoddy electrical system, or send it swimming as you drop it while jumping aboard, then take it back to the store the next day for a new one....then expect to pay a large markup.

West Marine knows you can buy it cheaper online. You know you can buy it cheaper online. The only thing inflating is our expectations....
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Old 15-03-2011, 10:25   #9
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Re: Inflation is here

With regard to the fender, West is the agent for Taylor's return any of our fenders and get a new one program.
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Old 15-03-2011, 13:39   #10
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Re: Inflation is Here

I shopped JSI a local sailors store, in St Pete on comparable items is 20-40% cheaper then West. Their autoinflating PFD w, harness D rings were around 60+$$ less then a comparable band at West. West has gotten way too pricey, but as Ossirisail said you pay for convenience
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Old 15-03-2011, 13:46   #11
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Re: Inflation is Here

WM has suspended their free delivery to the store feature, so now they're even a worse deal.
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Old 15-03-2011, 13:49   #12
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Re: Inflation is Here

I priced up a 5 gall, 25 ltr drum of glycol antifreeze today and was shocked to find its now 80 plus 20% tax.

3 months ago it was 55
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Old 15-03-2011, 13:51   #13
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Re: Inflation is here

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
greed? lack of business sense? economical must? knife on the throat?

USD is weak but so is the EUR, while most of the stuff is made in China

BTW China is asking higher prices recently SO this may be the actual reason

b.

Once they were cheap to get a foot in the door but now they are so big and they know it.
I know what to do about it but convincing others is the problem, everyone wants cheap and they cant see the long term harm
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Old 15-03-2011, 14:09   #14
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Re: Inflation is Here

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve_hendry View Post
WM has suspended their free delivery to the store feature, so now they're even a worse deal.

I just bought something over the phone last week and was told that the free ship to store was not working and in lieu of that they would ship to my home for free. They always match prices if requested and with this particular item I got the defender.com price plus free shipping (but because WM have a presence in every US state you are always going to pay US state sales tax)

The return policy is both great and sensible, there have been a few times when I have purchased things that either did not work or were unsuitable for my boat (something you only really know by buying and trying).

On the flip side there are times when I have had to buy something on the fly and the price has been eye watering, but for planned in advance purchases they are competitive. In a more general sense I think all large companies would do well to lessen their love of "marketing", buying a product to see it reduced in price a few months later makes me reluctant to purchase new and instead head to the consignment store or craigslist.
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Old 16-03-2011, 10:29   #15
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Re: Inflation is Here

We've been buying from WM with price matches to Defender. They've been great about it.
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