Welcome to ScubaBoard, an online scuba diving forum community where you can join over 205,000 divers diving from around the world. If the topic is related to scuba diving, this is the place to find divers talking about it. To gain full access to ScubaBoard (and make this large box go away) you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:
Participate in over 500 dive topic forums and browse from over 5,500,000 posts.
Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
Post your own photos or view from well over 100,000 user submitted images.
Gain access to our free classifieds marketplace to buy, sell and trade gear, travel and services.
Use the calendar to organize your events and enroll in other members' events.
Find a dive buddy or communicate directly with scuba equipment manufacturers.
All this and much more is available to you absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!
If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact the ScubaBoard Support Team.
I've had several loves in my life, One is scuba and the other is skiing, for years the ski industry has set up a program at most ski resorts where you can rent top-of-the-line equipment as demo skis and I would believe that this has increased sales for the industry four-fold. I always get this story when I ask my LDS why the dive industry isn't the same and they always tell me that the market is not big enough, well I'll tell you in Cincinnati, Ohio there are many more dive shops than ski shops and during the winter it gets pretty cold here, cold enough to ski. I'm asked by my dive shop many times over when am I going to buy gear? My reply is when you rent out some of the BCDs I would want to buy. Really, why doesn't Scubapro or seaQuest go around to some of their best LDS clients and hand out a few Top-of-the-line regs and BCDs and have the shop rent the gear at a higher price and if the customer likes the gear then apply that extra rental fee to the cost of the same new gear? With companies like DiveInn and leisurepro can Scubapro and the gear manufactures afford not to adopt a program like this. I've heard that if I buy quality equipment that I'm assured to like it....I say Phooey! thats not true. I would love to take out quality gear and give it a test dive before I buy! Nothing worse than spending thousands of dollars and not like the equipment you bought! especially after a couple of salt water dives! "but I have the reciept! can't I just return it and buy another BC?" yeah right, i'll be laughed right out of the shop........Thanks eric
Letting you try before you buy......what a novel concept ;-)
I think it depends on the mfr. and the LDS.
Some mfrs. do this in conjunction with publicity provided by local dealers. DUI for example is holding demo days at many spots around the country where you can try ou their drysuits and other gear for a $5 fee.
I've had local dive shops here let me try out gear that they don't normally rent when they understand that I'm serious about buying -- at one point I was interested in an Atomic T1/B2 and a DatamaxPro plus and the owner let me try them both out for 2 dives at the regular rental charge for a reg. This was $1,400 worth of gear!
Others have policies that let you bring stuff back within a certain amount of time even if slightly used for full store credit. This works well if you have it narrowed down to 2-3 models/brands that one store sells.
This is the policy at my LDS here in Boston:
Any merchandise purchased from us may be returned up to 60 days after the date of purchase for a full store credit (provided that it is in good condition). This policy ensures that you are satisfied with the equipment you have purchased. You may gladly get a full refund on all un-used equipment for up to 60 days.
Bottom line, if there are several dive shops in Cincinnati (and I know there are since I used to live there) and the one you're using now isn't letting you try stuff before you buy, try another LDS.
My LDS has rental products for every major item they sell (BCD's, Regs). They are more than willing to let you try it out in thier indoor pool in order to help decide on which is best suited you. I know not all dive shops will do that, but good ones will.
My LDS will, as policy, let you rent anything in the store that they sell. If they don't have an open one as a rental unit, they'll open a new one for you. I had the same experience as above -- the LDS let me walk out of the store w/ $1200 worth of gear to dive it before I made the decision to buy.
Given the current debate of LDS vs online, this is one of the big things that can be done to make the extra cost of the LDS worthwhile. I wouldn't buy from an LDS if they weren't willing to do this -- if you can't try before buying, why the hell shouldn't you buy online?
After getting a fill today at my LDS, my buddy asked the owner if the Apex 200s were really that much better then the Sherwood he's diving with now. The owner then offered to show my buddy just how nice the Apex is, he quickly switched his gauge console and hoses to the Apex and sent us out diving.
My buddy returned impressed enough to buy a new 200. A good LDS should give the oppourtunity to try anything before you buy it.
The only dive shop in Central Oregon was where I got certified. I went about trying masks on for size and found one that seemed ok. I asked if I could try it in the water, he said sure, after you buy it! They will not let you try anything without buying it. If it has been used at all when you try to bring it back, too bad.
I sure wish there was another shop nearby, then I wouldn't have to drive 350 miles one way to the shop I normally buy stuff from.
I wish you lived here in Virginia Beach, I would introduce you to Lynnhaven Dive. They are the BIGGEST Scubapro dealer in Virginia. All of the gear they rent is Scubapro, and they just put in brand new top of the line BC's and Reg's with Uatech computers for you to use for training. And they always have the try before you buy attitude, and even more...... every penny you spend on rental goes right towards the purchase of the gear you want. Sorry man, I wish you lived here.