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RockyTop
June 15th, 2004, 04:01 PM
I am taking my OW class the 25th of this month. I have always wanted to this and cant wait.

I am glad I found this board becuase there is a lot of good info to be found.

I am kind of suprised by all the back and forth over buying from a LDS vs online shop however. I have never even looked at scuba gear before I signed up for the course. I was told I needed to purchase a mask, fins and snorkel. I would much rather buy from the lds. i dont like having to wait for stuff i purchase to arrive in the mail. I dont mind paying a little more to avoid online purchasing either.

I knew the items would be more at the shop. I was thinking 10-20 dollars more maybe, so no big deal. Oh my was I off. The markup was between 50-70%.

The fins I got would have cost me 109.00 at my dive shop. I got them for 52.00 at Leisure Pro. My dive shop didnt carry a snorkel that cost less than 40.00. Picked one up at LP for 14.00.

I would love to buy my stuff at a local shop but with prices that much higher, I cant justify it at all.

I guess I bring all this up just to give a newbie perspective. I didnt know how the industry operated until reading this board. Based on everything i have read I imagine i will rent my gear for some time.

I know that I am not educated enough on the products to go online and buy my gear. At the same time, im not about to go into my dive shop and pay upwards of 3 times what I could purchase it for online.

Again, I appreciate all the good info that is posted here. Wish me luck on my upcoming training.

ShakaZulu
June 15th, 2004, 04:06 PM
Support you local LDS, how are they supposed to survive............... Pros and cons, search, lots about this subject on SB.

RockyTop
June 15th, 2004, 04:23 PM
I hope I am not going to get attacked too bad on this. Again, I understand the reasoning behind supporting your dive shop. However with prices that much higher, i could never justify it.

Why cant the dive shops have prices that are a bit more competitive. I could have stomached paying about 75.00 for the fins. That would have been 20.00 more that LP. I could have lived with that and would have made the purchase. No way I was giving 100+

I really really cant see spending 2 and 3 times the cost for the higher priced items like a bcd and reg.

boney
June 15th, 2004, 04:52 PM
I know how you feel RockyTop... sometimes I see some fairly big price differences just within local shops around here... there not as big as what you've described but enough to shop at another store.
As for BC and regs... those I would definately get at a shop. I have mainly Aqualung stuff and if I bought it online I would void the warranty, not good especially since this stuff is supposed to be my life support down there. At the shop you also get to try it out before buying - this is the most important factor as it would suck if you bought a BC at LeisurePro and have it not fit only to wait another month (or however long it takes) to get another back. Then there is the servicing, hard for online shops to do... real hard.
I'm not trying to tell you to buy everything from your LDS, nor am I saying you should buy everything online. Just pick and choose. For the small stuff like snorkels, fins, lanyards, lights, etc, your probably fine with an online purchase but for the life saving stuff I would go to your LDS...

awap
June 15th, 2004, 05:19 PM
Why cant the dive shops have prices that are a bit more competitive.


They can. They just have not had to yet. New divers with your level of knowledge are still fairly rare. At some point, you should talk to them about their prices and see if you can't work something out. Some will deal with you. But other may coerce, lie, and even blackball you. I hope you can find a good LDS. It's pretty hard to get started without one.

I perfer to buy from a competetive LDs. But I can't think of any scuba gear I would not consider buying online.

Rick Inman
June 15th, 2004, 05:28 PM
I am kind of suprised by all the back and forth over buying from a LDS vs online shop however.
...I would love to buy my stuff at a local shop but with prices that much higher, I cant justify it at all.
A friend of mine and newly certified diver went against my advice (which is normally a good bet) and bought a bunch of stuff off of EBay. It's working out well for the LDS 'cause they’re getting a bunch of service and repair work while still renting my friend gear. He hasn’t taken the dry suit in yet and won't, no matter how much it leaks, until he uses up the tube of Aqua Seal.
Heres how it's going for him.

Fins: Gee, those Aqualung fins LOOKED like full sized jet fins in the picture, but they're so SMALL (he's still using my back-up fins).
Hood: Well, it's tight, but it works...
Regulator: Complete overhaul due to salt and corrosion buildup.
BC: Air2 repair. Brought it to dive and couldn't hook up the power inflator due to non-standard size coupler. Unable to orally inflate. Back in the shop.
Dry Suit: So tight he can only get a pair on polys under it. Can't raise arms all the way up. Leaks (even after multiple self-repairs.

Don't get me wrong. I bought a Mares M1 online, a FredT backplate and some misl. save-a-dive stuff. And I bought some used stuff locally, including my drysuit used out of a garage. However, IMHO, extreme caution is in order when making a purchase from other than your LDS (IOW, you'd better know what you're doing).

PonyBottle
June 15th, 2004, 05:40 PM
There is nothing wrong with purchasing dive gear from Leisure Pro or Scuba.com. I do however believe in supporting LDS.

As far as Ebay...I dont do it.

If there is something I want to purchase, I will see if it is available online first, check the price, than tell my LDS what I can get it for online, and see how close they can come to matching it.

I admit I end up paying a little more than online, but I'm not being ripped off either. Plus I end up supporting LDS in the end...everybodys happy.

Your LDS will work with you if you are knowledgeable and prepared to take your business online.

Plus it helps to know that most high ticket items (cept tanks) usually have a 50% markup.

DiverDunk
June 15th, 2004, 05:48 PM
I support my local dive shops but with that kind of price difference, my support would quickly wane. You may want to point out to them that you would like to support them and are willing to pay a slightly higher price but find the current price difference too great. Check out other dive shops in your area as well.



I am taking my OW class the 25th of this month. I have always wanted to this and cant wait.

I am glad I found this board becuase there is a lot of good info to be found.

I am kind of suprised by all the back and forth over buying from a LDS vs online shop however. I have never even looked at scuba gear before I signed up for the course. I was told I needed to purchase a mask, fins and snorkel. I would much rather buy from the lds. i dont like having to wait for stuff i purchase to arrive in the mail. I dont mind paying a little more to avoid online purchasing either.

I knew the items would be more at the shop. I was thinking 10-20 dollars more maybe, so no big deal. Oh my was I off. The markup was between 50-70%.

The fins I got would have cost me 109.00 at my dive shop. I got them for 52.00 at Leisure Pro. My dive shop didnt carry a snorkel that cost less than 40.00. Picked one up at LP for 14.00.

I would love to buy my stuff at a local shop but with prices that much higher, I cant justify it at all.

I guess I bring all this up just to give a newbie perspective. I didnt know how the industry operated until reading this board. Based on everything i have read I imagine i will rent my gear for some time.

I know that I am not educated enough on the products to go online and buy my gear. At the same time, im not about to go into my dive shop and pay upwards of 3 times what I could purchase it for online.

Again, I appreciate all the good info that is posted here. Wish me luck on my upcoming training.

Rick Inman
June 15th, 2004, 05:48 PM
If there is something I want to purchase, I will see if it is available online first, check the price, than tell my LDS what I can get it for online, and see how close they can come to matching it. .
Oh yeah!! I love getting prices online and watching my LDS dance (if he gets close, I buy from him, for example, my Oxycheq wings). I just wish I had a Leasure Pro hat to wear when I go in the shop. :eyebrow:

Jason B
June 15th, 2004, 06:47 PM
As for Leisure Pro purchases...they are a sponsor for this site so if you enjoy the site, throwing them some business. Of course the same holds true for your local dive shop. When they go under due to no sales, what are you going to do the day before a dive and you need a fin strap? Kind of a double edge sword.

pt40fathoms
June 15th, 2004, 11:47 PM
My O2 tester was damaged this spring, seems it just does not stand up to being driven over by a fully loaded 3/4 ton truck. Lesson learned, don't drive over your O2 tester OR don't drop the darn thing in the first place!

So I had to replace it.

Purchased a brand new Analox EII from Leisure Pro, and got it 2 days later here in Canada. It's not the only purchase I have made from LP, and every time I have made a purchase I have been completely satisfied.

That being said, last year I spent $6000.00 at my LDS. This year I have already spent $5000.00. Whereas LP last year received about $800.00 and this year so far it has been about $550.00.

So yes I support my LDS, but when they don't have what I want, I go to LP or elsewhere. However my LDS pricing and LP pricing is most often within 5% + or - from each other. So my dealing with LP is driven more from an availability standpoint rather than a pricing one.

A good LDS will realize that the market they are in is now global in nature, and will use every tool they have to make sure they are competitive. If they don't, they will not succeed in today’s market place.

divebag
June 16th, 2004, 12:53 AM
It appears that the small LDS will have a very hard time competing.



My O2 tester was damaged this spring, seems it just does not stand up to being driven over by a fully loaded 3/4 ton truck. Lesson learned, don't drive over your O2 tester OR don't drop the darn thing in the first place!

So I had to replace it.

Purchased a brand new Analox EII from Leisure Pro, and got it 2 days later here in Canada. It's not the only purchase I have made from LP, and every time I have made a purchase I have been completely satisfied.

That being said, last year I spent $6000.00 at my LDS. This year I have already spent $5000.00. Whereas LP last year received about $800.00 and this year so far it has been about $550.00.

So yes I support my LDS, but when they don't have what I want, I go to LP or elsewhere. However my LDS pricing and LP pricing is most often within 5% + or - from each other. So my dealing with LP is driven more from an availability standpoint rather than a pricing one.

A good LDS will realize that the market they are in is now global in nature, and will use every tool they have to make sure they are competitive. If they don't, they will not succeed in today’s market place.

wedivebc
June 16th, 2004, 01:23 AM
So does Leisure Pro service regs, fill tanks, tell you where the good dive sites are?
You're going to miss your LDS when they close.

cheers,

scubatoys
June 16th, 2004, 07:54 AM
So does Leisure Pro service regs, fill tanks, tell you where the good dive sites are?
You're going to miss your LDS when they close.

cheers,

Keep in mind not all on-line shops are the same. Yes, we fill tanks, service regs, and actually - there are no good dive sites in Texas... But if there were, I'd tell you!

There is definately a difference between some on line shops that have no warranty and boot leg their gear - and an actual shop that does training, service, etc, but also sells on line... at about the same prices - and with full manufacturers warranty!

Just because we sell on line - doesn't mean we're not a LDS as well...

jbichsel
June 16th, 2004, 08:13 AM
So does Leisure Pro service regs, fill tanks, tell you where the good dive sites are?
You're going to miss your LDS when they close.

cheers,

When I can buy an Aqualung reg, SeaQuest BC, etc. from an authorized dealer in Texas, with full warranties, pay to have it shipped to Colorado, and still save $200+ on each item from what the LDS's want here, how can I argue?

I think one problem is that most LDS's don't make money on classes. Instruction is a 'break even' or even a loss. The gear is the 'cash cow'. That's where the problems of quality instruction come into play. Since most instructors at an LDS become an equipment salesperson first and instructor second, the emphasis is put on quantity of sales rather than quality of instruction.

An Aqualung Legend LX at an LDS here is $595 or more just for 1st and 2nd stage. Then there's the octo and gauges. I know what cost is, and the markup is ridiculous. How about a mask for $120 when I can get the exact same thing for $30?

From the frequency that the LDS owners are out of country on dive trips, it seems to be to fund their hobby. I'm nopt knocking capitalism or free market, but sanity must enter the picture.

Here in Colorado, people have no problem come October when the peaks start to turn white, running out and dropping $1,000+ on skis and bindings, $400+ on boots, $400+ on jackets, pants, etc. I ski also, but I sure don't pay retail. It is somewhat easier to sell ski equipment and lessons around here when people can just look around and see mountains and know that you can use that gear 5-9 months out of the year, with only a 1-2 hour drive.
But scuba becomes more difficult as Colorado has no beachfront property yet, the lakes are cold, Surprisingly, there are quite a few divers in Colorado. I heard that we have the highest number per capita in the nation. But everyone still wants a deal when it comes to diving here.

I'm all for supporting the LDS's as I may soon be one myself, sort of. However, there needs to be some way to meet the wants and needs of the diving community who don't have "Bill Gates" money.

DA Aquamaster
June 16th, 2004, 09:34 AM
Until that glorious time when California finally falls into the Pacific and takes everything west of South Dakota with it, South Dakota will continue to be land locked. (in anticipation of this event, I already have 10 acres of future beach front property)

Land locked dive shops do need to make the extra effort to stay competetive and LDS prices in inland areas are often more competetive than their more spoiled saltwater relatives. Sometimes however the reverse is true and the beached LDS continues with an attitude that if a diver wants it, he has to get it through me and pay whatever I charge. The good news is these guys will not remain in operation for long. The bad news is that neither will their compressors.

But if an LDS wants to remain competetive there are numerous wasy to do it even with the restrictive pricing structures imposed by come manufacturers. Student discounts, package deals, frequent turnover and sales of rental equipment and trade in allowances for used reulators and BC's can all provide mechanisims for the LDS to compete with on line retailers. It is often not possible to match an on line price but it is possible to come close enough where the small amount of extra cash paid is worth it for the additional service and convenience received.

weekender
June 16th, 2004, 09:48 AM
Keep in mind not all on-line shops are the same. Yes, we fill tanks, service regs, and actually - there are no good dive sites in Texas... But if there were, I'd tell you!

There is definately a difference between some on line shops that have no warranty and boot leg their gear - and an actual shop that does training, service, etc, but also sells on line... at about the same prices - and with full manufacturers warranty!

Just because we sell on line - doesn't mean we're not a LDS as well...

which online shops have no warranty? LP does if you are attempting to slander them. also what is" boot leg their gear" are you implying that your competition is dishonest and you are a sactuary of integrity online? im curious why you are permitted to make such post when they are so oblviously advertisements and attempts to discredit your competition. i have never heard a bad thing about your business on this board or any other. you should let your happy customers speak for you. they certainly do a better job representing your business then you do. i've always been impressed with your satified customers post and also your website and pricing. with that said im not impressed with your cheap shots and again wish you would put your personal business addvertisments in its rightful place. just some thoughts from an independent intructor who shops online and makes recomendations to people.

pt40fathoms
June 16th, 2004, 09:55 PM
Just because we sell on line - doesn't mean we're not a LDS as well...

I mentioned in my earlier post that if a local dive shop does not realize they are in a global market, and adjust for those realities, they will fail.

Seems you have decided to adjust and compete head on. That is the sign of a business that is willing to stick its neck out rather than bury its head. Sticking your neck out is risky, but failure is certain if you bury your head and merely complain.

Keep up the good work, and I'll check your selection out next time I am going outside my local LDS for a purchase.

PonyBottle
June 16th, 2004, 10:07 PM
Don't forget to check out SCUBA.COM, they provide manufacturers warranty and will match ANY price whether online or not!

mdteague
June 16th, 2004, 10:08 PM
I am approaching this the same way as another expensive hobby I have with the exact same situation. Support the local merchant some and buy online when I chose. I don't expect the same prices as online at the LDS, but I should not have to pay 2X the online price of a $500 item.

awap
June 16th, 2004, 10:09 PM
There is definately a difference between some on line shops that have no warranty and boot leg their gear - and an actual shop that does training, service, etc, but also sells on line... at about the same prices - and with full manufacturers warranty!


Larry

One other important difference that you missed for those of us who dive Scubapro gear is, unless you want to break/bend the SP rules, there is not much opportunity for price competition with "those other guys". Thankfully, there are a few enlightened LDSs that have seen the light and found ways to be competetive and still provide that not very important mfgr warrenty.

AtomicWalrus
June 16th, 2004, 10:59 PM
I like to give my LDS first consideration, and so far they've been really good to me. It's an individual choice, but I always like to see what kind of deal they'll cut me before I turn elsewhere. Actually, my one internet purchase didn't go so well - between shipping costs & brokerage fees getting it into Canada, I only ended up saving about $20 over the $260 my fins would've cost at the LDS. And I had to wait a week to get them instead of that instant gratification of having it in my hands now!

For something like a mask, I'd really recommend buying at your LDS just so you can be sure you get a good fit. Different masks fit different faces, and you want to make sure that you get something that doesn't leak constantly. I suppose you could do the fitting at the LDS and then buy it online instead, but I think that's kind of dishonest.

wedivebc
June 16th, 2004, 11:03 PM
When I can buy an Aqualung reg, SeaQuest BC, etc. from an authorized dealer in Texas, with full warranties, pay to have it shipped to Colorado, and still save $200+ on each item from what the LDS's want here, how can I argue?

I think one problem is that most LDS's don't make money on classes. Instruction is a 'break even' or even a loss. The gear is the 'cash cow'. That's where the problems of quality instruction come into play. Since most instructors at an LDS become an equipment salesperson first and instructor second, the emphasis is put on quantity of sales rather than quality of instruction.

An Aqualung Legend LX at an LDS here is $595 or more just for 1st and 2nd stage. Then there's the octo and gauges. I know what cost is, and the markup is ridiculous. How about a mask for $120 when I can get the exact same thing for $30?

From the frequency that the LDS owners are out of country on dive trips, it seems to be to fund their hobby. I'm nopt knocking capitalism or free market, but sanity must enter the picture.

Here in Colorado, people have no problem come October when the peaks start to turn white, running out and dropping $1,000+ on skis and bindings, $400+ on boots, $400+ on jackets, pants, etc. I ski also, but I sure don't pay retail. It is somewhat easier to sell ski equipment and lessons around here when people can just look around and see mountains and know that you can use that gear 5-9 months out of the year, with only a 1-2 hour drive.
But scuba becomes more difficult as Colorado has no beachfront property yet, the lakes are cold, Surprisingly, there are quite a few divers in Colorado. I heard that we have the highest number per capita in the nation. But everyone still wants a deal when it comes to diving here.

I'm all for supporting the LDS's as I may soon be one myself, sort of. However, there needs to be some way to meet the wants and needs of the diving community who don't have "Bill Gates" money.

Purchasing Aqualung products online is suppose to be against their policy. Some dive shop owners bend the 'rules' set down by some of the big name manufacturers and they are hurting the LDS in a different market who's pricing is inline with what the big name dictates.
So let's say I am a LDS and I have a customer that I know bought a Seaquest BCD from a store selling it online, I would call my Aqualung rep and sqawk. He would tell the online dealer to desist and may theaten to cut their supply if they did not comply.
So jbichsel, the LDS is trying to play by the rules the manufacturers dictate and they suffer when you buy from someone bending the rules.
Someday dive equipment manufacturers will change their way of doing things;
1. don't set prices
2. sell any gear to any bonfide retailer without geographical restrictions or protected areas
3. allow prices to be posted online
4. allow online selling
5. stop requiring booking programs and then shipping all the leftover cr@p
6. let the LDS run their own business

You guys are blaming the LDS for price gouging then buying elsewhere when the blame should fall squarely on the dive equipment suppliers shoulders and their outmoded policies.
If you don't like the way your LDS sets prices complain to Aqualung, Scubapro, and all the major manufacturers who are screwing the industry with their antiquated ways of doing business. Better yet, BOYCOTT any brand that fixes prices and availablity.

whew, that feels better
:crafty:

wedivebc
June 17th, 2004, 07:37 PM
I like to give my LDS first consideration, and so far they've been really good to me. It's an individual choice, but I always like to see what kind of deal they'll cut me before I turn elsewhere. Actually, my one internet purchase didn't go so well - between shipping costs & brokerage fees getting it into Canada, I only ended up saving about $20 over the $260 my fins would've cost at the LDS. And I had to wait a week to get them instead of that instant gratification of having it in my hands now!

For something like a mask, I'd really recommend buying at your LDS just so you can be sure you get a good fit. Different masks fit different faces, and you want to make sure that you get something that doesn't leak constantly. I suppose you could do the fitting at the LDS and then buy it online instead, but I think that's kind of dishonest.

I totally agree! Give the LDS a chance to sell to you. If they have the item or will get it in for even a few bucks more than online shopping then I would buy from the LDS, otherwise it may be up to them to be more competitive.

cheers,

Allen42
June 18th, 2004, 10:01 AM
which online shops have no warranty? LP does if you are attempting to slander them. also what is" boot leg their gear" are you implying that your competition is dishonest and you are a sactuary of integrity online? im curious why you are permitted to make such post when they are so oblviously advertisements and attempts to discredit your competition. i have never heard a bad thing about your business on this board or any other. you should let your happy customers speak for you. they certainly do a better job representing your business then you do. i've always been impressed with your satified customers post and also your website and pricing. with that said im not impressed with your cheap shots and again wish you would put your personal business addvertisments in its rightful place. just some thoughts from an independent intructor who shops online and makes recomendations to people.

It is my understanding that many manufacturers do not permit online selling, or do so only on a retailer-by-retailer basis. ScubaToys honors these rules, and gets permission to sell online, run pricing specials, etc. (For example: LDS's used to not be allowed to sell you a Zeagle online, and ScubaToys wouldn't. Leisurepro would. Many manufacturer's won't sell to LP, and yet LP constantly has their stuff to sell... hmmm.) There have been many, many questions about where LP "gets their stuff." (Do a general search on "LeisurePro" and "grey-market" or "scubapro" or "lawsuit" to see more.) Why do you think LP can't pass along manufacturer's warranties? If I were Larry, or any LDS, I'd stay pretty pissed at a "grey market" store that forced my margins down. I bought a few things from LP back in the day before I started getting discounts from the local LDS's and ScubaToys opened up here just because of the incredible savings. I was always very sure that what I was buying wasn't a high maintenance item and that I wouldn't need customer service regarding the purchase. (Spend 10 minutes on the the phone with LP, and then call ScubaToys...you'll see.)

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't care too much about the "support your local LDS" theme, but I do care about supporting a good, ethical, customer-focused business over an "allegedly" grey-market business notorious for questionable practices and bad customer service.

And, just so you know, I am not "in league" with ScubaToys, as they are not the closest shop to me, and I have a long-term relationship with another shop. (Although I do refer local students to them.) I've even had a pretty good discussion or two with Larry about some of his "opinions". Ask him what he thinks of PADI or Bonne Terre mine, for example ;) .

yknot
June 18th, 2004, 10:57 AM
It is my understanding that many manufacturers do not permit online selling, or do so only on a retailer-by-retailer basis. ScubaToys honors these rules, and gets permission to sell online, run pricing specials, etc. (For example: LDS's used to not be allowed to sell you a Zeagle online, and ScubaToys wouldn't. Leisurepro would. Many manufacturer's won't sell to LP, and yet LP constantly has their stuff to sell... hmmm.) There have been many, many questions about where LP "gets their stuff." (Do a general search on "LeisurePro" and "grey-market" or "scubapro" or "lawsuit" to see more.) Why do you think LP can't pass along manufacturer's warranties? If I were Larry, or any LDS, I'd stay pretty pissed at a "grey market" store that forced my margins down. I bought a few things from LP back in the day before I started getting discounts from the local LDS's and ScubaToys opened up here just because of the incredible savings. I was always very sure that what I was buying wasn't a high maintenance item and that I wouldn't need customer service regarding the purchase. (Spend 10 minutes on the the phone with LP, and then call ScubaToys...you'll see.)

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't care too much about the "support your local LDS" theme, but I do care about supporting a good, ethical, customer-focused business over an "allegedly" grey-market business notorious for questionable practices and bad customer service.

And, just so you know, I am not "in league" with ScubaToys, as they are not the closest shop to me, and I have a long-term relationship with another shop. (Although I do refer local students to them.) I've even had a pretty good discussion or two with Larry about some of his "opinions". Ask him what he thinks of PADI or Bonne Terre mine, for example ;) .
First of all, LeisurePro does make a point of offering their own warranty to replace any lack of one from the factory, and while everyone's individual experience will vary as to their service they don't really market themselves as a high service provider. Can you name a single retailer that offers best in class customer service along with generally the lowest price? I bet alot of small retailers accused Walmart of some sort of unquantified unfair business practices when Walmart was putting them out of business. What I am continuously impressed about with LP is their vast array of products, second to none in depth compared to other online retailers, and their consistantly lower prices, which are clearly listed on the web site (none of that "call for the lowest price").

scubatoys
June 20th, 2004, 06:52 AM
which online shops have no warranty? LP does if you are attempting to slander them. also what is" boot leg their gear" are you implying that your competition is dishonest and you are a sactuary of integrity online? im curious why you are permitted to make such post when they are so oblviously advertisements and attempts to discredit your competition. i have never heard a bad thing about your business on this board or any other. you should let your happy customers speak for you. they certainly do a better job representing your business then you do. i've always been impressed with your satified customers post and also your website and pricing. with that said im not impressed with your cheap shots and again wish you would put your personal business addvertisments in its rightful place. just some thoughts from an independent intructor who shops online and makes recomendations to people.

I was not specifically naming any site... and I stand corrected, I should have said "There is definately a difference between some on line shops that have no Manufacturers warranty" instead of "some on line shops that have no warranty". I was really not trying to make a "cheap shot". There are many places on line that offer full manufacturers warranty - not just me - and many places that do not - not just LP.

The thing concerning a company that has grey market - or boot legged goods - and that is a standard term - just means not from the manufacturer - not implying they stole it... but the problem arises when if the manufacturer is not selling to them - how are warranty issues corrected. They normally accomplish that by simply replacing a problem unit - and eating the cost of doing it. But how would a company replace something if they don't have it - and can't get it from the manufacturer??

Many of the manufacturers are making great strides to cut of the supply of grey market goods... ScubaPro is even going to start serializing their fins so they can track where they are going. If you had a bad Atomic Reg that needed replacing - LP has been out of them for months. Atomic found who was supplying them and cut them off. So what can they do?? Or if you had one of the Atomic Regs that had the Bad Spring issue, and the warranty papers never got sent in to the manufacturer because you bought grey market, did you find out about the recall? How many guys are doing a 100 ft dive on a reg that that has a bad spring that can shut off air supply at depth?

In my original post - I was just trying to point out there are differences between full service dive shops that sell on line and are authorized dealers, and sites that are not. I understand there are lots of different kinds of people in the world. Some will steal equipment, some will buy stolen equipment, some will buy from a site that is not an authorized dealer, some will insist they are authorized, some will only buy from a local shop they can walk into. There are many kinds of people - so there has to be many different business models.

I was trying to point out differences, and not "slam" any specific company - if it came up that way... please accept my apologies...

scubatoys
June 20th, 2004, 07:00 AM
What I am continuously impressed about with LP is their vast array of products, second to none in depth compared to other online retailers, and their consistantly lower prices, which are clearly listed on the web site (none of that "call for the lowest price").

Again this is a function of the manufacturs MAP (minimum advertised price) policy. For example, I'm not allowed to put an Aeris Elite on our page below the $799 price the manufacturer has set. If I did, they would take away my dealership... So to maintain full warranty coverage - and authorized dealer status, it's marked at that price. Now is someone calls up and wants to order a setup of gear, we can work out a package deal and save them money - but the authorized dealers are really stuck with having to list a Map price - but you can still "call for the lowest price".

Hope that explains that one.

RockyTop
June 21st, 2004, 03:24 PM
Well I must say that I have learned a lot on this subject over the past week or so. In short, it sounds like a mess to me. I cant believe the industry is set up that way. Changes need to made.

I ordered 2 sets of fins and 2 snorkels online for 157.45 shipped to my door. If I had "supported" my LDS these same items would have cost me 298.00 + tax.

I dont see how anyone could even try and make the case that I should have bought these items from my LDS.

I never go in to any store and blindly make a purchase. I always check out the pricing on the net first so as to not get bent over the counter at some chain.

So in this case, I just did what I always do. The only difference is the price was anywhere from 50-70% higher at the LDS.

Unless my LDS can at least get in the ball park on their prices, I will be taking my business online.

Green_Manelishi
June 21st, 2004, 03:33 PM
that most LDS shops charge "a lot" is to be able to afford to dispense free advice, provide a pool, etc.

On the other hand, the reason most LDS shops insist you purchase mask,fins,snorkel, book, class and then rent gear for the OW dives is because well over 90% of new SCOOBER divers quit in 1 year.

Jetwrench
June 22nd, 2004, 08:19 AM
RockyTop
I choose to buy from my LDS. If I add up all the service they have given me, the free tank fills they have thrown my way, the little bits and pieces they have thrown in to get my setup the way I like, and their info and advice and add it all up...I'm ahead of the cost game. Their prices are fair, and as a good customer, I don't have to ask for a bottom-line price. They do right by me, every time. I own one piece of equipment(light) that I bought online only because they do not carry it. They did, however, try to get it but found I could buy it directly. I'm off to Bonaire with the shop owner in October for a two man megadive trip. The folks at the shop are also now some really good friends.
So do what you want. Buy online if you feel the LDS is a rip off. Just don't come crying when you have a problem or your equipment fails or needs service and there is no one local who can help you. If you make that bed, be prepared to lie in it.

oceancrest67
June 24th, 2004, 10:25 AM
I have purchased NON-LIFE SUPPORTING gear online because of the competitive price differences and because of specialty sizes and fit...depending.

I still support my local LDS with other more important purchases...life - supporting gear: BC and Regs.

I would never ever purchase second hand used BC and Regs off of e-bay or even new off of some online site. This is asking for trouble due to condition, performance and warranty issues.

I recommend looking around...taking your time...seeing what is right for you with the kind of diving you wish to do. Definitely try gear on at local LDS...try things out first.

Purchasing dive gear is NOT like purchasing things at K-Mart. You need to know about gear and you need to find what is right for you.


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