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Posted by kelphead on September 15, 2000 at 11:31:29:

In Reply to: Re: Discount Divers/Price comparison posted by Curt Billings on September 14, 2000 at 19:53:02:

thanx! for spelling out my own feelings more explicitly
than i did myself.

i HEARTILY agree w/your commentary and your reasons
for not being exclusively loyal to one local dive

i echo your sentiments.

just as an aside, i DID patronize two different
local dive shops. i purchased my brand new b.c.,
brand new fins (to replace my then-existent fins),
a snorkel, and a watch from one of these two stores.
i even tried to join their small, local dive club,
but not only did i feel unwelcome at their club
meet (by the other divers), the shop itself went
under--apparently due to bad management. i'm glad
i supported them at that time, but they closed due
to their own faults. the shop then reopened
several months to a year later in a completely different
city which made it inconvenient for me to get to.

the other dive shop that i used to patronize i did
so DESPITE the fact that the owner had a holier-than-thou
crusty attitude. whether we were discussing aquarium stuff
or charter boats or divers' training, he had this
attitude that only HIS opinion was right and everyone
else's was wrong--no matter what. after a while, i
just stopped having conversations w/him and just
nodded my head every time he spoke. i purchased from
him a pony bottle and a brand new reg to upgrade what
i already had. i also had bought a longer hose for
that new reg and i paid 20$ for an air card. i think
that guy still owes me 16-18$ b/c he closed shop just
AFTER i purchased an air card. not that i'm crying
over a lousy 16-18$, but the point is he took my money
knowing full well that he wasn't going to be around
the next month(!). what kind of business man is that?
(well, i know what kind, that is just a rhetorical q.)
and, you know what, i still would have patronized him if
he were still open and i would've done so for his know-how
and the brands that he sold, but oh well.

the point is, however, that there are wonderful
dive shops and boat operators and there are not
so wonderful dive shops and boat operators. in
the u.s., capitalistic competition still reigns
and until otherwise, i will feel free to shop
around--as is the american way--for the best VALUE.
value does not mean exclusively the best price, but
it means the best price for the quality and service
one receives for that product.

in other words, there really aren't that many
'reef seeker' quality shops around, so, why force
divers to shop at 'low quality' dive shops where
the service just isn't great or they don't have
what you want (some shops only sell one or two
major brands and that's it!) or the diver seems
to have more product knowledge and knows more about
dive SAFETY issues than the dive shop employees

i didn't mention the 3rd dive shop in my city that
also shut down almost as quickly as it had opened.
i had visited the store, checked it out, and just a
few months later--before they had really set up
the shop--they closed. is that MY fault? or is
it just poor business sense? (sheesh!! does anyone
know how many dive shops existed in a 5 mile radius
in h.b. ~4 years ago????!!! there were 5. i still
don't understand the 'starbucks'-on-every-corner

anyway, i think the bottom line here is that we
as individual dive shoppers need to weigh the
plusses and minusses of our buying habits and
let that decide how we shop and who we patronize.

btw, not all mail order or internet outfits
lack full service shops in THEIR geographical area.
the two dive shops that i used to purchase a
couple of items via phone order have shops of their
own in their respective states: the one in new
york has 3 different shops located in different
cities, while the other shop in florida that
is indeed a full service exclusively
water related shop (ie, only scuba diving,
water skiiing, u/w photography, etc.)

so the establishments that i patronized may
not be local (and i did try to price match
one item to no avail), but they are full service
dive shops and not fly by night establishments.

to each his/her own.


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