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Old 02-12-2015, 01:14 PM   #1
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$140 insurance on internet order???

Okay...another general post and obviously I am going to do what I am going to do...but.....what am I to do???

I will be ordering a Windlass. The cheapest I have found is $1070 from an internet clearing house that has spotty reviews. The majority of the reviews are decent but there are certainly a few horror stories in there. 3.6 stars on Google.

The second cheapest is $1210 thru an Amazon vendor. This vendor has rave reviews(4.9 stars on Amazon) and basically uses "best internet practices" as most would expect from an Amazon vendor. No horror stories and while everything was not perfect, the vendor made good on any mistakes and corrected what was wrong to get good reviews. Basically, not a single "horror story" review....not even a bad review. 4.9 is obviously stellar.

Is saving a little over 10% worth the risk of dealing with a potentially shady vendor? Shady may be a little strong. But they basically sell stuff and have NO customer service...They do their best and if things get jacked up....kind of a "your problem not ours". They are not interested in resolving problems...just selling at bottom dollar. Discuss!
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:25 PM   #2
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Thats the problem now days. with internet competition, margins are so low that there is very little room for a retail vendor to get involved if he wants to stay profitable. Customer service has a price associated with it.

If the windlass is brand new then you might be ahead by buying it at the lowest price possible and going to the manufacturer if there are any problems other than product delivery. Just don't expect to be able to return it to the retail vendor since the minute you call him with a problem he has lost money on the sale.
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:33 PM   #3
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Just don't expect to be able to return it to the retail vendor since the minute you call him with a problem he has lost money on the sale.
They are not reachable by phone!!!!..... That is how much CS they do NOT have!
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:43 PM   #4
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They are not reachable by phone!!!!..... That is how much CS they do NOT have!
I would not buy it from the low ball dealer. That's just a personal thing, but I don't choose to do business with people like that. Probably four out of five times it's fine. But that one time is all it takes for you to be out $1070 and have no working windlass, plus have to go through a hassle.
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:44 PM   #5
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Just ask the vendor whether it is "new in a sealed box." If the vendor says yes, in writing, buy it with your credit credit card. If it is not in that condition when it arrives, have your credit card company reverse the charge. The burden of proof is on the seller, not the buyer.
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:48 PM   #6
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I sometimes look at the reviews carefully to see if the horror stories are concerning one particular product or type of product. I have seen sites that had good reviews on just about everything except one piece of electronic equipment which had 3 or 4 horror stories. Sometimes a company will sell a model that is not up to snuf and not do anything about it, but the rest of their stuff is fine. Just a thought, but it is a gamble.
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:50 PM   #7
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Just ask the vendor whether it is "new in a sealed box." If the vendor says yes, in writing, buy it with your credit credit card. If it is not in that condition when it arrives, have your credit card company reverse the charge. The burden of proof is on the seller, not the buyer.
They are both NIB!! I have contested stuff on a CC and it is not exactly hassle free.
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:55 PM   #8
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Here's the problem. I have a buddy that started a marine internet parts business. He also started a little boat forum to help drive business his way, and name of his forum is boatfix.com, possibly you've heard of it?

Well, George told me that he averages about 3.5% profit on his sales of marine electronics and accessories due to market competition.

So, at 3.5% on a 1000 dollar sale he's making $35 dollars, minus his costs of doing business.

So, if you get a windlass and lets say its an out of the box failure and the customer calls...

You have to pay return postage back to your warehouse.
You have to generate a RMA request to the manufacturer
You have to send it to the manufacturer at your own expense.
Eventually you will get credit for the defective windlass.

You will have to send the customer a new windlass probably 2 day air because now its an emergency for the customer.

All told that defective windlass ends up costing you hours of your time and real money.

Now lets take this another way. You are a full service retailer of windlasses. A nice guy calls you and you spend 20 minutes on the phone with him helping him select his windlass.

Then that guy goes on the internet and buys it from the lowball place.
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Old 02-12-2015, 02:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
Here's the problem. I have a buddy that started a marine internet parts business. He also started a little boat forum to help drive business his way, and name of his forum is boatfix.com, possibly you've heard of it?

Well, George told me that he averages about 3.5% profit on his sales of marine electronics and accessories due to market competition.

So, at 3.5% on a 1000 dollar sale he's making $35 dollars, minus his costs of doing business.

So, if you get a windlass and lets say its an out of the box failure and the customer calls...

You have to pay return postage back to your warehouse.
You have to generate a RMA request to the manufacturer
You have to send it to the manufacturer at your own expense.
Eventually you will get credit for the defective windlass.

You will have to send the customer a new windlass probably 2 day air because now its an emergency for the customer.

All told that defective windlass ends up costing you hours of your time and real money.

Now lets take this another way. You are a full service retailer of windlasses. A nice guy calls you and you spend 20 minutes on the phone with him helping him select his windlass.

Then that guy goes on the internet and buys it from the lowball place.
I know about THAT guy. I have many friends in the marine business as well.
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Old 02-12-2015, 03:05 PM   #10
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The most expensive thing you can do around boats is to get into the habit of trying to avoid costs.

Now, clearly you phrased your question knowing what we are going to tell you, so let me be direct in response. There is no small amount of irony in seeking out the absolute lowest prices and then wondering aloud about their reputation. As a society We reward the cheapest products (though not necessarily of equal quality, while ignoring the obvious), patronize the worst companies and then get upset when service goes to hell.

I vote with my feet and happily patronize the "best" companies to deal with, while making value comparisons in a wholistic else as I can. I've watched countless of these companies go under at the hands of dishonest competitors who often carry increasingly cheaper and inferior goods. One good reason to go out of your way to patronize good people when possible. 10% in my book is not enough of a discount to be worth the opportunity to avoid patronizing a better seller.

You get what you get.
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Old 02-12-2015, 03:13 PM   #11
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They are both NIB!! I have contested stuff on a CC and it is not exactly hassle free.
First I would email Parks (Hopcar) at Hopkins Carter. I have found his discount for Tfers pretty competitive.

If that still doesn't work, I would not buy from the cheapest.

You are risking too much to save $200.
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Old 02-12-2015, 03:14 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ghost View Post
The most expensive thing you can do around boats is to get into the habit of trying to avoid costs.

Now, clearly you phrased your question knowing what we are going to tell you, so let me be direct in response. There is no small amount of irony in seeking out the absolute lowest prices and then wondering aloud about their reputation. As a society We reward the cheapest products (though not necessarily of equal quality, while ignoring the obvious), patronize the worst companies and then get upset when service goes to hell.

I vote with my feet and happily patronize the "best" companies to deal with, while making value comparisons in a wholistic else as I can. I've watched countless of these companies go under at the hands of dishonest competitors who often carry increasingly cheaper and inferior goods. One good reason to go out of your way to patronize good people when possible. 10% in my book is not enough of a discount to be worth the opportunity to avoid patronizing a better seller.

You get what you get.
I understand your point....but this product is exactly the same. We are talking service here....which could be argued is part of the product.

And I am fully aware of the costs of boating. I have owned 6 "big" boats. And I am replacing two operating water pumps(with bad reputations) with better ones...strictly for peace of mind. Maybe that is my answer right there!!!.....
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Old 02-12-2015, 04:24 PM   #13
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With the price you're paying, there's no way I would deal with a company that doesn't even provide a phone number.

If it was a $25.00 item - then maybe I'd consider it, as there's not much to lose.
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Old 02-12-2015, 04:37 PM   #14
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The brick and mortar guys are there when you need something NOW or, if the gang on this site is unusually out to lunch, you go to a dealer. If you bought everything from the Internet, that store will close, you put some guys out of business, people get laid off and you can't pick up that part when yours breaks.

My solution is to buy about half of the stuff I need from the Internet, the rest from B and M stores. Always from a reputable Internet store, though.
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Old 02-12-2015, 04:56 PM   #15
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Someone above referred to returns and the cost. By comparison, let's talk Amazon. I've only returned one thing in my life. They sent the prepaid label for the box. I took it to the nearest place handling UPS shipments (could have had it picked up) and off it went. I actually received the credit when I shipped it, not even waiting for them to receive and process it.

And a good local brick and mortar, you get to inspect it before buying and if it doesn't work, walk back in to the same counter. But then I'm one who hates to see Radio Shack dying. They were there with everything imaginable when I really needed them and before there were a thousand places to buy the items they carry. In the good old days I purchased a phone there for $50 less than the Sprint store and got far better service including training and advice and help loading anti-virus software and a couple of utilities. That was before all the carrier phone stores and web sites offered deals Radio Shack couldn't possibly match. So, these brick and mortar stores of the past. Did they kill themselves by failure to adapt to market changes? Or did you and I kill them by our greed to save every possible penny?
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Old 02-12-2015, 05:06 PM   #16
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I will pay 5% more for Amazon Prime over Amazon non prime, shipping cost equalized, mostly due to quick delivery. Amazon wrote the book on internet customer service and it may not matter whether it is prime or not.

I will pay 10% more for Amazon Prime over an eBay vendor. eBay is often the same price as Amazon Prime, but sometimes an eBay vendor has something that Amazon doesn't or the price is substantially cheaper.

Same 10% differential for general internet vendors but thankfully I have never had an unresolved problem with them.

I will never again order from an outfit that ships from Hong Kong. I am batting 333 with those guys- one order never arrived, one didn't work right and one worked as represented.

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Old 02-12-2015, 05:14 PM   #17
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A windlass is closer to a helicopter than a glider. Service matters!

But seriously, best of luck no matter what you decide.
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Old 02-12-2015, 05:27 PM   #18
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Are you paying by Paypal or something similar? I would not give the cheaper seller cc detail.
It`s not a throw away item, it may need back up service, I would not use the anonymous seller, if that means paying more, so be it. How much you like a punt?
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Old 02-12-2015, 05:55 PM   #19
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Well I was leaning more towards the reputable Amazon seller and that is the way I went. I told myself that I would order it by the end of the day. I just did. And a little bonus...from this morning until now, the price went down $10. Hey....10 bucks is 10 bucks!!!
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Old 02-12-2015, 10:42 PM   #20
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Worse case actually is that they require you to ship it back to them on your dime. There goes any savings! I too won't buy from a site that doesn't have good reviews and a phone number. I have learned before if I can't talk to you then you don't get my money. I am all for a deal but not at the cost of my time and frustration of trying to remedy issues from something purchased. Remember our time is worth something even if your retired - time is something we can not earn back!
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