• Welcome to ScubaBoard

  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

Are the majority of dive shops bad?

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by PalmettoDiver0215, May 2, 2019.

  1. yle

    yle Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Southern California
    It seems like your only issue with Shop J is the mailing of the physical cert cards. But you admit you already have the digital cert cards. Is it possible there's a misunderstanding... that they're thinking you already have the digital certs and don't realize you want physical cards?

    Or... is it possible they mailed the paperwork to SDI and it's SDI that is supposed to mail the cards to you? (this is how PADI works... the agency mails the cards to the students). So could it be possible that the shop has done what it was supposed to do?

    I'm asking only because it seems Shop J treated you well, except for getting your cards to you, and it seems odd they would do well on the hard stuff and then fail on something so simple.
    Seaweed Doc likes this.
  2. ljpm

    ljpm Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Ottawa, Canada
    Quick question. Are there any duties on scuba equipment coming into Canada? Based on my limited experience the increased fees we see in Canada have more to do with higher delivery costs and exorbitant brokerage fees (especially with eBay). I typically ship my items to a NY location and go pick up from there; $10 gas and $6 crossing the border. That usually means free shipping and no brokerage fees. I don't even have to pay tax if the price of the item is low enough.
  3. ljpm

    ljpm Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Ottawa, Canada
    There are a few.
    Dan's dive shop sells on line although with you being in Toronto you may consider that a LDS.
    There is also Scuba Gear Canada.

    I have found that the higher prices are more to do with shipping costs and brokerage costs (eBay international shipping). I ship to a UPS store in NY and then go pick up the items there. Shipping within the US is usually free. Factoring in my costs, even when I don't get a tank of cheaper gas, I usually save money. I also have a much wider selection.
  4. Dogbowl

    Dogbowl Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Somewhere
    I have purchased stuff from Dan's Dive Shop and Scuba Gear Canada. I would recommend those shops if they have what you need.

    Nowadays, shopping in the US doesn't make much sense for us Canadians, when you factor in exchange rate, shipping, brokerage, duties. However, sometimes you just have to buy from the US, so in those instances, I use crossborderpickups.ca, which is a Greater Toronto Area pick-up service. You ship it to their warehouse in the US, they pick it up for you and transport it back to their warehouse in the GTA, where you pick it up yourself or you can have them ship the item to you via Canada Post. You still have to pay HST and duties (if you honestly declare, which I do), but it saves me the hassle of driving to the US to pick it up myself. They charge a very small pick up fee (CAD$10 for a regular sized package), which is totally worth it for me. Recently, I purchased 2 books from a US retailer. They wanted USD$60 to ship it to Canada, but charged only USD$12 to ship it within the US. The books only cost USD$24 each so I couldn't get myself to pay USD$60 to ship them!

    Just an example, when I purchased my 2 sets of Deep6 regulators, I was charged USD$80+ shipping fee, and CAD$350+ HST and duties. It was Canada Post so brokerage was something reasonable. I don't think I'll do that again though.
    pauldw, chillyinCanada and GrafCanuck like this.
  5. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    I’m sorry, I’m a US broker, not a Canadian one. I don’t know what Canada changes for duties on specific items. And there wouldn’t be just one HS code for scuba gear. It would depend on what the item is.
    ljpm likes this.
  6. GeekFitGuy

    GeekFitGuy Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Florida
    I'm in the Table Top gaming business and much can be said about that arena as well. Many game shop owners love games and comics, but don't really know how to run a business. They get some startup capital for inventory, find a cheap location that just has room for their inventory, and open a square account. Then they sit back and wait for the money to roll in. That last part is usually where it doesn't happen and they get frustrated, so they take it out on customers. I don't know how many times I've been to a local gaming store to buy one thing and it just never seemed like enough, like I should have bought more. Meanwhile, the place is empty except for maybe 1-2 people that are the owner's friends.

    There's something to be said about opening a business you're passionate about AND knowing how to run a good business/having good customer service.
    Dogbowl and Lorenzoid like this.
  7. W W Meixner

    W W Meixner Rebreather Pilot

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Ontario Canada

    Swearing only frustrates you...they don't lose any sleep...and yes...you become the jerk...

    The best dive gear is that gear that meets or exceeds your expectation...has long term serviceability...and is purchased at the best possible price...

    The fewer sales associates you have to deal with the better...

    Forget the brand hype...and warranties/free service...which you pay for ten times over...don't jump at the ''new better mousetrap''...until it has a couple seasons to prove itself...the Scuba-Pro Hydros BC is a perfect example...the LDS does not want the broken ones back...and neither does ScubaPro...ScubaPro is going to argue...that the integrated pockets are being ''over-weighted'' causing un-due stress...I've heard all this BS before...

    And...the best way to show your complete dis-satisfaction...is to NOT put ''any money in their till...when the phone stops ringing...and their customer base falls off...they'll get the message...

    So many already have...with more to come...soon...

  8. davecampbell

    davecampbell Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    Dan's dive shop is great. They're a 45 minute drive from me, but they have the lowest prices around. I consider myself lucky...
    Dogbowl likes this.
  9. Rred

    Rred Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: In a safe place
    "It just appears to me that these shops may know how to dive, but really don't understand how to run a business."
    I came to that conclusion about 30 years ago. But it isn't just dive shops--there are a lot of businesses where someone has a passion, but no business skills. A lot of doctors offices the same way.

    Find out how long the shop has been around. 20 years? Then they're probably doing something right. I know one shop that has a college course contract, PD and FD training and supply contracts, a good boat partner, they charge a bit more but they are wired into a solid base for a long time. Then there are other shops, often closed in five years or less. Those are the folks who find out the hard way how hard it is to run a niche business. Shops that are ten years old are either learning to compete--or really turning over masses of tourists or something to stay alive.

    A shop that chides, accuses, mocks, badmouths the competition...That's one that probably won't be around for ten years. No customer likes to hear that.
  10. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    I'll just post my experiences. The shop I originally took OW, other courses and DM with (worked for them 4 years) is very good (Nova Scotia). A shop in Destin FL. where I took many courses with including MSD was very good. Shops I've taken charters with in FL, SC, TX and Panama were very good. A shop I patronize every summer in Yonkers, NY is very good. I've been very lucky in avoiding
    all the a**hats.

Share This Page