Re: Who's charging $120 for a Cat trip? - Me, sort of

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Posted by Ken Kurtis on June 22, 2009 at 15:47:35:

In Reply to: Who's charging $120 for a Cat trip? posted by Wet One on June 22, 2009 at 15:14:13:

"Wet One" opined: "I belive that the shops are charging $140 or more."

I believe you would be wrong.

For a Reef Seekers Catalina trip (3/21, 6/14, 8/8, and 9/13) if you do Early Purchase (pay for it two weeks or more ahead of time) and you either have a Reef Saver Card or are a member of an affiliated dive club (save another 10%), you can do any of these trips for $126.

Yes, it's absolutely true that our top price for that same trip is $155, but that's someone who's not booking ahead and who doesn't get the discount. Even booking late with the discount knocks you back down to $139.50.

I realize you're just a weasely little troll but if you actually want to have a serious discussion about all this, you need to consider other factors as well:

1. We pay anywhere from $3000-$3500 for the charter.
2. Charters are rarely filling nowadays.
3. Average load is ually in the range of 20-25 paying divers.
4. I can't speak for other shops, but I use a standard pricing formula that we've used for years that's based on the rate the boat charges us. As that goes up, so does our retail rate.
5. Probably 80% of our paying customers take advanatge of Early Purchase, Reef Saver/Club Price or both. (The point being, you rarely charge the top rate.)

In all seriousness, if it was such a good deal, the boats WOULD be doing this themsevles all the time. But this requires a very large customer base (since you can't count on the same people diving over and over again), a lot of promotion, a setup to deal with the phone calls (which requires a lot more time than most people would think), and other logistical support (mailing receipts, dealing with cancellations, just answering questions, etc.) that most of the boats aren't set up to deal with. (Doesn't mean they couldn't, just that they're not now set to do so.)

But you are right about one thing, at least as far as Reef Seekers trips go. We don't offer 3 dive for that $126. We offer 4. (That's actually the standard goal on all of our trips.)

But please don't let that little fact or any of the other real numbers and data I give sway you from your preconceived notions.

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

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