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 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....