Re: Thoughts from a shop owner

Scuba Diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by Ken Kurtis on September 10, 2002 at 10:51:02:

In Reply to: Calling All Divers! posted by newbie on September 09, 2002 at 17:27:38:

I'll start off with the caveat that this is not intended to come off as spam. I'll also remind everyone that my vested interest here is that I co-own a dive shop. And I'll also point out that I've actually taken the time to physically visit the Leisure Pro store in NYC which gives a different perspective than from just visiting their website. All that being said . . .

Couple of quick things about Leisure Pro. They're located on top of their camera store, three floors up. Fairly small space (maybe 500 square feet or so) but they've got a decent amount of things displayed. And they were certainly very pleasant to me when I asked questions, even after I told them I owned a dive shop.

Leisure Pro does not buy directly from most manufacturers. So, technically, you DON'T get a valid warrnty from them (usually it's a "Leisure Pro" warranty) but most of the time suckers like me will honor the warranty anyhow because, despite the fact that some of you seem to think that all dive shop owners are simply blood-sucking parasites, we're really a bunch of generally nice guys who try to take care of our customers, even if it means it costs us some money in the short run.

Leisure Pro generally gets their stuff by either buying gray market, or getting deals from shops that are over-stocked (and willing to deal with LP), or they get stuff from stores that are going out of business. So that means they some have . . . "dated" . . . inventory.

My favorite was when I was there, seeing a "Brand New" Orca Delphi in their display case. The Delphi ceased production around 1992 (became the Phoenix) so "new" was a stretch at best.

The gear you've zeroed in on is workable. The Duo Air is an AIR2 knock-off, the reg is decent, the BC's okay, and the console is probably adequate. There may be better choices, but I think the stuff will work.

The thing that frustrates shop owners like me, is that dealer cost on these items is roughly $800. That means LP is willing to sell this for an apparent profit margin of 20%. I can tell you right now that NO business can survive in this service-oriented industry on a 20% margin. The way LP does this is that they've bought it (if they even truly have it all in stock - see above) for perhaps $400-600 so their profit margin is 40-50% and that's doable.

But I'll tell you what I'm willing to do.

Since we are an authorized TUSA dealer, I'll match the Leisure Pro price. (I won't charge you shipping like LP will, but I will have to add in tax.) But I'll do it on the same terms they do: you pay me up-front, I'll order the items, I will hand them to you boxed up for you to assemble, and if you have any questions about anything, you can feel free to call us and we'll do our best to answer your questions. And if you choose to accept this offer, note that in this case, all sales are final.

Or . . .

I'd be happy to sell you the Reef Seekers standard "Men's Package" for the exact same price. It consists of an Aqualung Titan Micra adjustable regulator, Aqualung LPO octopus, Seaquest Pro QD+ BC, and an Oceanic Versa downloadable computer w/gauge & compass. This package will come to you asssembled, with full factory-authorized warranties, and backed up further by Reef Seekers unique "Satisfaction Guaranteed" policy. (Personally, I think this is a better deal.)

Happy to help you out. That's what we (and other local shops) do. Or you can deal with Leisure Pro if you think that's a better way to go. Please feel free to contact me directly if you think we can be of service.

Ken Kurtis
NAUI Instr. #5936
Co-owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, CA

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