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Old 02-21-2013, 08:19 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
So they should stay open and pay their help and bills just as a personal showroom for you? That's pretty selfserving and selfish. With "customers" like you, they will go out of business and then what will you do?

I shop at WM and on the Internet, I'm no fool. But I don't go to WM and take up al the salesperson's time explaining something to me and then rush of to order it from an offshore ebay vendor. That's just not right. How would you like it if people did that to your business?
+1
My business supplies excellent service & support & some people use us only as a showroom also. It's not cheap to run our business like this, but we think it's the best way.

Needless to say I don't like it, but that's the way it is.

Unfortunately, we'll always have people that take advantage of that. And, fortunatley, we'll always have customers that realize the value and keep coming back.

I have no problem with West Marine's policy.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:20 PM   #62
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Amen!!!
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:31 PM   #63
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As far as coming to the boat to help with an installation, I've never asked the folks at West marine to do this and I'm pretty surprised that they would.
Well, in our case they didn't since we did not buy our radar from them, nor would we ever buy something like a radar from West Marine. Over the last ten years or so we have come to regard West Marine as a "pick up the couple of screws you need on a Sunday" store only. And now that the local marine stores have introduced Sunday hours, we don't have to bother with West Marine at all anymore.

Obviously if one lives in a location where there aren't any good locally-owned providers then one has to come up with some other source be it a chain like WM or the Internet. Fortunately we don't live in a place like that so we have a good number of excellent, locally-owned marine stores specializing in everything from diesel engines to electronics to electrics to general hardware.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:44 PM   #64
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Interesting thread. WM is not everywhere in Canada. I would have to take a ferry and drive an hour on a highway to get to the nearest one. On my way, I would have to pass by many small locally owned shops. The small shops have better selection and pretty good service. I'm fortunate to have a great local store (Marine Traders) right in the harbour. Serves recreational boaters and the commercial fleet too. Lots on the shelf and can have pretty much any part next day. The only thing I've seen that is better a WM is the electronics wall, and but I still wouldn't likely buy from them.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:51 PM   #65
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"Thank you for taking the time to reach out to me with your thoughts and concerns."
The very fact the WM guy used the current limp-wristed, kumbaya, feel-good phrase "reach out" tells me everything I need to know about this guy and reinforces my satisfaction with our decision not to use West Marine anymore.

Sorry, just a pet peeve of mine but I've found since it came into favor recently that everyone I've dealt with who uses the phrase in that way is as phony as they come and is not to be trusted as far as I can spit.

A company's persona comes from the top down so I guess it's no surprise the WM chain has been doing what it's been doing. The couple of times we've been in the Bellingham WM over the last year it's been quiet as a tomb. One or two customers. This at the same time the two locally owned marine stores, LFS and Redden, have been swarming with customers.

The prices are not all that much different although WM is invariably a bit higher. But not enough to drive customers away. I think what's killing the WM store off is the overall attitude, the poor knowledge of the staff, the increasingly limited inventory consisting of more and more "store brand " items, and the fact that most people simply prefer dealing with a friendly, reputable, local company.

If the WM store does fold I doubt anyone in our 2000+ boat marina will even notice they're gone.

Years and years ago we used West Marine all the time. The prices were good and the inventory was excellent and comprehensive. If they had retained that we would still be customers. But over the years they have veered far off course, as personified today by Mr. Matt "Reach Out" Hyde.
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:45 PM   #66
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.............. I think what's killing the WM store off is the overall attitude, the poor knowledge of the staff, the increasingly limited inventory consisting of more and more "store brand " items, and the fact that most people simply prefer dealing with a friendly, reputable, local company.............
That hasn't been my experience in my area, Sure, once in a while I've run into a "dummy", but for the most part the employees know boating and their products and try hard to help. That's in sharp contrast to the late Boaters World stores where the average age of the staff was about twenty two and their qualifications seemed to be having two arms, two legs, and a way to get to work in the morning.

A for a "friendly, reputable, local company", I posted it above, we have none.
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:56 PM   #67
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The WM staff in the stores in this area used to be as you described. But-- as I was told by a retired boater friend who for several years worked part time at WM-- the company's push to cut costs and maximize profit has led to the hiring of ever-cheaper staff members.

The local WM stores I've been into over the past few years have been staffed increasingly with young "do you want fries with that" employees with maybe one older, more knowledgable staffer (manager?) in the store each day.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:31 PM   #68
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They have become the 7-11 of marine stores?
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:25 PM   #69
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You're gonna hate me for resurrecting this thread, but...

Just this week I've searched for 3-4 items on the Internet, and found them all cheaper at West Marine.

Today it was a "radiant plate and dome" for my Magma grill. Cheaper at WM than Amazon. WAY cheaper than Defender. A little more than WholesaleMarine but they want $14 or more to ship it. WM will ship it right to a store near me for nothing.

This is certainly NOT my experience in the past. Like everyone else, I'd use WM as a convenience store, but go on-line for the things that can wait. Maybe it's a fluke. Maybe next week it'll all be back to normal. Right now I'm just astonished.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:25 PM   #70
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Just bought some Forespar Davits and having them shipped to the WM store was slightly cheaper than Defender's price plus shipping. Plus I get WM Advantage points.

I too have been surprised with a lot of the items we've purchased while outfitting this boat that the WM prices seem very competitive on a lot of items.

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