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Handling LDS fee?

Discussion in 'Advanced Scuba' started by elitegoodguy, Mar 21, 2021.

  1. elitegoodguy

    elitegoodguy Solo Diver

    Just getting a feel for what people feel is appropriate to pay extra at a local dive shop?

    I want to do as much business as possible with my local dive shops for a variety of great reasons, I know in many cases it'll be a little more than buying online but how much more is acceptable to you? And how do you go about telling your LDS without burning bridges?

    Example: I took a multi year break from diving and got back into the hobby in 2018. I went to the LDS to buy a new BC. And was quoted $650... I felt that it seemed a little high so I saw the same model online at a reputable place for half that price.

    I'd think +10% or so would be fine to pay at a LDS. But not more than double the cost.

    I'm getting into sidemount and looking at new sidemount regs. They're charging 25% more than if I ordered directly from the manufacturer.

    Am I off base?
  2. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    I am very honest with my LDS. If their price is more than my budget, I’ll tell them. Being small, they just can’t beat a lot of the prices from places like DGX. For example, LP50s were $399/each through the dive shop. Off the top of my head, they were $250ish from DGX. The owner thanked me for giving them a chance to quote. Said anything through Blue Steel (the distributor) is really expensive.

    Another dive shop I get fills from said he can’t even get LP tanks.

    I’d buy things you need to try on from the dive shop. Other stuff, online.
  3. marsh9077

    marsh9077 Contributor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Australia, Indonesia, USA
    Sadly as much as its nice to support local business just like any other retail industry its hard for a small business to compete with online retailers. Especially nowadays with online shops offering lower prices, free 1-2 day shipping and many are now offering free returns (I know the diving online industry is not here yet but I'm sure it will progress to this). Its just all around easier, cheaper, and sometimes even better customer service. I bought a pair of new ski boots from backcountry.com they were significantly less than local store, free 2 day shipping, I used them a couple times and they just were not working for me so I called up backcountry.com they emailed me a free return label, UPS came and picked the box up from my house and I got a full refund even after using them. A small business just would not be able to do this, they have way too much overhead cost.
  4. runsongas

    runsongas Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: California - Bay Area
    ask them to compete with value adds like store credit for rentals/fills if they can't or won't price match, but if they won't even try then just buy online
    couv, hedonist222 and lexvil like this.
  5. 100days-a-year

    100days-a-year Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: NE Florida
    I will happily let them fail if they charge a cent over retail or MSRP. I don't expect huge discounts but I don't expect to be fleeced either.
    The reality of all retail in the digital age is the service and goods must be competitive whether brick and mortar or online. LDS that adapt will thrive.
  6. Glenn Williams

    Glenn Williams Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Fort Worth, Texas
    My first local dive shop became hostile to me after buying a dive computer and BCD elsewhere. We were just not a good fit. Then when it was time to get my regulators serviced which I also bought elsewhere was outright lied to and now my lifetime parts warranty is null. I explained to them why I bought elsewhere and they countered with if you buy from us you get lifetime service etc etc etc. we were like fingernails on a chalkboard. Every time I went in there to inquire about something or to just chew the fat, I felt like I was walking on egg shells.

    Needless to say that I have another dive shop I frequent. I completed my master diver with them and consider them (husband and wife team) to be friends.

    There is nothing wrong with price shopping and buy what your wallet can afford. I bought my Suunto Eon core for about 1/4 of the price new and it had 6 dives on it. Two of those were the factory dives. If a dive shop berates you for getting a good deal then they are not looking out for your best interest, they are in it only for the money.

    By the way my first local dive shop is no longer in business in a brick and mortar store. Customer service Pre and post sale go along way. Word of mouth goes further.

    I am a fan of buying “quality equipment” used. However you have to do your homework, know what your getting and be willing to lose money if you pull the trigger and the product was not as advertised. I’ve been fortunate. The Suunto Eon core and a tank pod I purchased later were awesome. The warranty was transferable to me and got the tank pod replaced when it went bad on the first dive with it. I try to purchase when needed late model equipment still under warranty. Good luck and good diving.

  7. Hppyfam

    Hppyfam Registered

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Guam
    Maybe I just lucked out, but my LDS has prices on par with online. For example bought a set of Hollis f-2 fins, Hollis 500se w/o hose and even a dive rite notebook... all the prices of those three items were already set to the same price I could have paid online + the fact I live in a decently remote area far as mail getting to me so It would take 3-4 weeks to get items in mail, so my LDS could easily up charge 10% and would not have issues paying.
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  8. BoltSnap

    BoltSnap Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Nomad
    That is crazy price difference, something isn't right at all here. Did you tell them and ask why their price is double the price of others?

    Again, something isn't right here and it appears to me that there is missing information. Are they charging 25% more than mfg suggested retail price?? That is crazy if true.
  9. OTF

    OTF Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: scubaboard
    This is a good option. Not every shop will do it, it's not economical for some. But I know of one that will throw in a 20 fill card if you buy a big steel tank at full price, which is actually an awesome deal that no online shop can touch.
  10. Pressurehead

    Pressurehead ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Queensland Australia
    I buy a good proportion of my dive gear from dive shop in another state, not my home state, I have built up a rapport [an affinity of sorts] with this business , there is no trouble with returns [ only one the so far] , warranties etc, and often what is called "mates rates" on well know brands [no names here] I like, as a well know return customer .
    The two local shops are good for Nitrox fills, bits and pieces and the like, They do just fine with their ' packed to the gunnels' dive boats to the local reefs and one wreck [scuttled wreck], so guilt is not an issue when I require their services [which is minimal].

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