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New to the sport (Purchasing Related)

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by RockyTop, Jun 15, 2004.

  1. RockyTop

    RockyTop Angel Fish

    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.
  2. ShakaZulu

    ShakaZulu Great White

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Diego, CA
    Support you local LDS, how are they supposed to survive............... Pros and cons, search, lots about this subject on SB.
  3. RockyTop

    RockyTop Angel Fish

    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.
  4. boney

    boney Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Toronto, ONT, Canada
    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...
  5. redacted

    redacted Guest

    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.
  6. Rick Inman

    Rick Inman Advisor ScubaBoard Supporter

    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).
  7. PonyBottle

    PonyBottle Nassau Grouper

    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.
  8. DiverDunk

    DiverDunk Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: SoCal
    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.

  9. Rick Inman

    Rick Inman Advisor ScubaBoard Supporter

    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:
  10. Jason B

    Jason B Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: NC
    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.

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