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Handling LDS fee?

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

  1. tep

    tep ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Diego CA USA
    I'll be shopping for a new dive computer in a few weeks. Likely a Shearwater.

    I've always tried to support the 3 LDS in the area one way or another. One was close to the office and a tech-oriented shop. I bought a BC there and I get regulator servicing, VIPs, hydros and fills. Another shop is more locals for diving and surfing and snorkeling stuff for tourists. My wife wanted a wet suit and some fins; they had the fins that she wanted that the tech store didn't. The last shop is a deluxe retail with lots of training, and they do lots of travel stuff. I don't need that, but when I needed a GoPro enclosure, they had it (a little more than Amazon). That shop carried the specific mask that the others stores didn't and they helped me make sure that it was suitable for a prescription. They were able to do a reg service when the other shop was backed up, and I got a fill there because I was in that area.

    When I needed a specific light that no one local carried or could order, I bought it at DGX (as opposed to Amazon) and got great service. I've bought a few other things there, brands that the LDS didn't have, for example.

    I guess the point is that no single shop, local or otherwise, had everything I needed, when I needed it. And if 2 shops had the same item for about the same price, I could pick based on convenience or more likely, how I was treated the last time I was in.

    I will probably just call the three shops, tell them what I want, and ask a) their price and b) do they include anything else? Like a fill card, or a free VIP. It will also matter how they treat me on the phone. I will pay a little more on a $900 computer for someone who treats me as a customer, not a wallet.

    I'm often a very low impact customer, I usually don't need much hand holding. But when I need it, they're there. If they have the patience to spend 30 minutes or an hour educating me about a product when I need it, they've made a sale if the price is at all reasonably competitive.

    I know I can probably buy that computer for a little less somewhere else, but...

    ...a mail order LDS can't fill my tanks. They always get the first shot at my business.

    I'm willing to consider paying a bit more because all three give good service at a reasonable price, and I want to support local business and local jobs when I can. And the mail order fills another niche, when the locals don't have what I want.
  2. Kevin W. Blaylock

    Kevin W. Blaylock Registered

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: North Carolina
    Just my 2 cents, but give the lds a chance to compete with online before just getting it from online. Last year i was in the market for a new dive computer, the computer i wanted was on sale online (because it was discontinued) i asked my lds if they could even get close to the price before i ordered online. The owner of the shop did not match the exact online price, but came close. I was willing to pay a little extra to support my local shop. As it turns out i started hanging out at my lds so much, that i started helping out where i could and eventually became a tank inspector and "whip boy" for them.
    Cdncoldwater and Hoag like this.

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