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Newly certified, looking for gear... abroad?

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by tmrqs, Nov 17, 2020.

  1. D_Fresh

    D_Fresh ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    A couple points to consider, most of which have already been mentioned....

    -Cost of shipping and duties may negate any savings.

    -Warranty may not be honored due to regional sales policies.

    -May not even be shipped to the US, for the same Regional Sales policies mentioned above. (Tends to be particularly true for Aqualung products.) Even if a company did ship "out of region", the warranty (again) may not be recognized as the seller is likely "gray market" or violating the mfg's policies.
    rick00001967 likes this.
  2. lowwall

    lowwall Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Chicago
    Welcome to the world of MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) and Colgate policies. Certain manufacturers, Scubapro foremost among them in the scuba world, require US retailers to abide by a set pricing policy in their advertising.

    This narrowly avoids antitrust issues on the theory that manufacturers aren't requiring retailers to actually sell at the fixed advertised price once a customer is in the store. Of course the reality for online stores is the advertised price is the sale price, so at some point I hope the courts reconsider this.

    Anyway, what MAP does in practice is create artificially high prices for products if the manufacturer can convince consumers that their product is better than competitors with variable pricing. More insidiously, it can create artificially high prices for an entire class of products if all the manufacturers use these agreements and more or less copy each other's pricing. This is pretty much the case for most regs sold in US dive shops.

    Again, that's the US. MAP policies are illegal in the EU. This means there's actual competition and, surprise, much lower prices. Those deals you see on European websites are legit. It's the same products and it may well be cheaper to buy there even after shipping and any duties.

    You do have to watch out for warranty games though. Scubapro used to do this with LeisurePro which was not an authorized reseller (that's an interesting story of its own) . Although I'm not sure how they would justify it since the European retailers are authorized sellers. Would they really refuse to honor the warranty of a diver visiting from abroad with gear from the same shop? Maybe use a fake accent when you drop it off for service :)

    Anyway, my preference is simply to not purchase new products at artificially high prices. You still have plenty of great choices: used regs from anyone; new regs from companies with reasonable pricing like Edge HOG (uses MAP but doesn't gouge and supplies parts to divers, not just shops) and Deep6; and there are some shops that hate MAP restrictions and will give you an honest price if you give them any chance at all.
    kelemvor, Bigbella, tmrqs and 2 others like this.
  3. drk5036

    drk5036 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sapporo, Japan
  4. lexvil

    lexvil ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: jamestown, ca.
    I bought my MK 11 C370 from a UK dealer last year but I had a friend flying over (pre plague) to the US, ended up getting both for less than the C370 is selling for alone, I care nothing about warrantee’s I’ll check the gear and fix any problem that may occur myself. The MK 11 now rides a pony and the 370 serves as a back up on a short hose, an amazingly nice reg, hope I get to use it as intended one of these days, paired with a Mk11T for a thing we used to do called “travel”.
    tmrqs likes this.
  5. oly5050user

    oly5050user Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Westchester NY
    Purchased overseas and not thru US distributor will not give you any warranties , if you have no need for warranties make your choice. Facility I teach for is a scuba pro dealer located in Yonkers NY and will treat you fairly. We have a pool onsite , and when you purchase here or take a class here, if you wish to use pool anytime it is available you can usually use it at no charge.
    Biotech Diver likes this.
  6. tmrqs

    tmrqs ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: New York
    Thank you all for all the replies!

    From what I have been able to gather so far, both here and exchanging emails with resellers, is that Scubapro doesn’t allow resellers in the UK/Europe to ship to the US, which seems to be about controlling the prices (as @lowwall suggested).

    What isn’t clear cut however is whether the Scubapro warranty will apply globally or not.
    • If I were to walk into a store in the UK and buy a reg, and then try to get it serviced/repaired in Bali, some indicate it won’t be a problem, others say it would have to be in the UK.
    • I would be shocked if it didn’t work globally (especially given the nature of the products, dives can be anywhere in the world) but I don’t know.
    To @oly5050user’s point (and a few others in this thread), I would be very happy to give my $$ to a local shop, I am not looking to get the absolute cheapest option). I will reach out to a few stores (already did to LeisurePro) to see what kind of pricing they can give me on a bundle.
    If you have any recos as to who to ask, I’ll happily reach out to them! :)

    To put things in perspective however, on a complete BCD/1st stage/2nd stage/Octo/Gauge setup, the price difference is about 30-40% (with shipping/taxes included), which is significant on a $1k+ purchase.
    Not cool on Scubapro for putting US resellers in that position...
  7. Sifossifoco

    Sifossifoco Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Private
    Resellers make more money when prices are higher, and that is why Scubapro is pushed so hard in countries where prices are artificially kept up... There is also more money for direct and indirect marketing, that way. So don't look at resellers as they are just innocent victims of an evil company :wink:
  8. tmrqs

    tmrqs ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: New York
    Ahah makes sense. :)

    Well Scubapro just confirmed their warranty works worldwide, just need to keep the receipts!
    And so far no luck on getting lower prices in the US, the couple resellers I talked to said Scubapro locked the prices.
  9. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Regular of the Pub

    You just need to find friends on the other side of the pond. I'm waiting for the moment reg pushers realize such friends exist. :popcorn:
    Bob DBF likes this.
  10. rick00001967

    rick00001967 Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: canada
    this is non sense. they can sell their products for whatever amount they want. the only restriction would be on an "advertised" price.

    btw.....i feel your pain on costs. up here in canada we deal with this BS all the time on many different products. when it comes to scuba gear in particular, it depends on the brand. some brands are very good at setting prices that are fair while others can be half the cost or less across the border in the u.s.
    D_Fresh likes this.

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