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Old 02-03-2018, 06:50   #1
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Fast/reliable vendors that honor their shipping policy?

So I am new to buying marine stuff and have heard that service in general is lacking in this industry. I just had my first bad experience with an online shop.. just trying to get some rope and a fid kit.. I follow their policy and order two hours before their stated cutoff. They don't ship and have the gall to tell me I ordered two hours later than I did (pretty obvious if the guy would have just looked at the timestamp on the email I forwarded).

Where can I get expedient service, same day shipping, and fair shipping prices? This other one was about double what it should have been for USPS flat rate. As an owner of an online business, it really ticks me off when some behemoth established brand that supposedly has existed for EIGHTY YEARS doesn't have it's **** together and calls me a liar. Who deserves my money?
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Old 02-03-2018, 06:56   #2
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Re: Fast/reliable vendors that honor their shipping policy?

Jamestown Distributors (if they sell what you need)
APSLtd
Fawcetts.com

Defender's shipping prices tend to be inflated, but merch is priced right.
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Old 02-03-2018, 07:07   #3
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Re: Fast/reliable vendors that honor their shipping policy?

Thank you! Defender is the one I tried first.. yeah no complaints on the prices.. and I'd even let it slide with shipping because I know that it can be difficult (especially with a large catalog) to properly quote rates.. but technology exists that handles this. ShipperHQ has volume-based calculations for example, it's great. Defender has been in business forever yet still has an antiquated website. You have to spend money to update your model if you want to stay competitive. And you have to honor your same day shipping policy or upgrade shipping if you fail to, period. That's what we do and customers reward you for it! Anything else leaves a bad taste. It's just smart. Anyway, I'm venting now. Thank you for the suggestions.
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Old 02-03-2018, 07:37   #4
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Re: Fast/reliable vendors that honor their shipping policy?

jeez.. none of these companies have an outstanding shipping policy. There is definitely a gap in the market for someone to fill.
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Old 02-03-2018, 07:42   #5
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Re: Fast/reliable vendors that honor their shipping policy?

For rope, I've had good luck with Cajun Rope. Free shipping and good customer service.

Cajunrope.com - Home

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Old 02-03-2018, 07:50   #6
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Re: Fast/reliable vendors that honor their shipping policy?

I ordered a dock to boat water hose connection from Amazon on Feb. 19th. I got updated shipping info that said it shipped yesterday from the town next to me. So sorry for the delay. If I don't like the delay I can cancel. How nice of them. Shipped 11 days after ordering. Still waiting for delivery.
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Old 02-03-2018, 08:09   #7
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Re: Fast/reliable vendors that honor their shipping policy?

Haha that is too rich. I would cancel on principle. Maybe they think there isn't any competition. You know, it really is easy to succeed in the online retail world. Simply offer three things: 1) great customer service and a VERY generous return policy, 2) expedient and fair shipping, and 3) good quality. That's all you need to do, and you win.

Thanks for the other suggestions. BTW I found a middle-of-the-country (read: central shipping) place called Vela which was pleasant to deal with and offers a lot more shipping choices. I have to pay tax, but I guess at this point I'm alright with it.

If WestMarine just had 12-strand dyneema in stock, I would have gone with them!
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Old 02-03-2018, 08:26   #8
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Re: Fast/reliable vendors that honor their shipping policy?

Simply offer three things: 1) great customer service ( but dont expect me to pay a penny more for it ) and a VERY generous return policy ( but don't expect me to pay a penny more for it ), 2) expedient ( meaning stock everything I might want, but don't expect me to pay a penny more for it )and fair shipping, and 3) good quality ( just make sure it doesn't cost any more than the cheap crap).

I've been in the internet retail world for a long time. I give any company Kudos for carrying such massive product lines as West marine and Defender. Your model is simple when you have 50 skus, go to 100,000 plus and it's a different world.
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Old 02-03-2018, 08:41   #9
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Re: Fast/reliable vendors that honor their shipping policy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Near2KR View Post
Simply offer three things: 1) great customer service ( but dont expect me to pay a penny more for it ) and a VERY generous return policy ( but don't expect me to pay a penny more for it ), 2) expedient ( meaning stock everything I might want, but don't expect me to pay a penny more for it )and fair shipping, and 3) good quality ( just make sure it doesn't cost any more than the cheap crap).
LOL Accurate. I owned a retail online shop for a while. Really focused on customer service and had great reviews. I built a second store that I limited the customer service (no phones, no product education) with low margins and everything sold at case level. I wanted this store to allow me to increase volume (so I could buy cheaper) and take advantage of specials from my distributors. Different company name, different phone #s so there was no connection between the companiese. Found that all those customers who stated previously in online reviews that they'd only buy from us jumped ship based on price only.
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Old 02-03-2018, 09:13   #10
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Re: Fast/reliable vendors that honor their shipping policy?

Use Fisheries Supply in Seattle for fast, low cost service
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Old 02-03-2018, 09:20   #11
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Re: Fast/reliable vendors that honor their shipping policy?

Nonsense - these old shops with their huge catalogs (yes I agree, it does complicate things) are using antiquated technology. Vela seems to be doing things right - the rate quoting varies with each additional product about how you would expect.

As for generous return policy - from my experience, your take on that is also nonsense. People generally don't take you up on it, but when they do, it is make or break if you want to keep that customer. They have a lifetime value - you can choose to throw the rest of it away if you want to.. but if they're not a big thorn in your side, why would you not sacrifice a few dollars one time to keep them?

And I always expect to pay more for better than the cheap crap. It's not just about the money with many people. I can't speak to your customers dwedeking since I don't know your business and audience, but for basic retail stuff that you can get in many places, simply being close to the average is good enough. If you're talking about commodity products that have qualities that are more qualitative and not as comparable (or even provable, from the customers' perspective), then yeah, I agree that price is king most of the time.

Defender is apparently doing USPS Pick-ups! not even dropping off themselves. That adds a day and is lazy. I think you guys just don't know how good things could be.. I am a technical guy and spent a large amount of time getting things right on the software and order fulfillment management side. It takes some dedication to streamline things, but the result is worth it both for you (save on overhead) and your customers. I know lazy when I see it.. OK perhaps lazy is not a fair word -if you don't know what's possible, I can see someone working harder and less effective than necessary.
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Old 02-03-2018, 10:39   #12
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Re: Fast/reliable vendors that honor their shipping policy?

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Originally Posted by iseadreamer View Post
Use Fisheries Supply in Seattle for fast, low cost service
+1 for Fisheries Supply. They have been in business since 1928. 3 generations, same family owners.
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Old 02-03-2018, 10:48   #13
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Re: Fast/reliable vendors that honor their shipping policy?

I use Fisheries Supply in Seattle. I live in Alaska and find myself in Seattle every few months so I pick up the items in their will call and put them in my checked luggage.
Shipping to Alaska is a big expense. I also am not required to pay the 10%+ sales tax that the residents of Seattle pay because I am not a resident of Washington.
That has been the best way for me to purchase marine supplies.
I also recommend setting us an account as they will provide an additional discount based upon your purchasing volume. Sometimes it is worth it to check for volume discounts to save on items that will be used eventually.
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Old 02-03-2018, 10:52   #14
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Re: Fast/reliable vendors that honor their shipping policy?

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Originally Posted by klawrence View Post
I follow their policy and order two hours before their stated cutoff. guy would have just looked at the timestamp on the email I forwarded).
What time zone was the vendor in? 2 hrs before their cut-off, +1 difference in timezone, is outside of the window if the vendor is in EST.

I don't see this as being applicable to the marine industry specifically. Overall this seems like an unrealistic expectation with an unreasonable response.
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Old 02-03-2018, 11:17   #15
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Re: Fast/reliable vendors that honor their shipping policy?

I use DynamicSailor for all my line needs, especially Dyneema. Fast shipping and superb service if anything ever goes wrong. My connection with them is only as a customer.
https://www.dynamicsailor.com/
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