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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Online Electronics Dealers
|Author||Topic: Online Electronics Dealers|
posted 02-25-2007 11:12 PM ET (US)
I'm thinking about adding a GPS and would like to find out who has good service and prices. I've been looking at the portable and semi portable units. I'm not looking for a brand reccomendation just suppliers.
posted 02-25-2007 11:30 PM ET (US)
Try BOE Marine
posted 02-25-2007 11:49 PM ET (US)
I've had good luck with boatfix.com.
posted 02-26-2007 04:36 AM ET (US)
If you want to buy from an on-line store, just find the best price on FROGGLE.COM and buy with a credit card. You make a few clicks, and a few days later the equipment shows up on your doorstep. I don't understand how people try to differentiate one on-line seller from another. As far as I can see when buying on-line it's:
--you get what you paid for, or
--you don't get what you paid for, in which case you call your credit card company, and get on the closest website and trash the living hell out of the vendor.
I find it somewhat odd that certain re-sellers who contribute significant advertising revenue to the operators of certain websites seem to be given such an exualted status among on-line resellers. And they have such awful web sites, to boot! If buying on-line at least use a website that is not a pain in the neck to navigate and buy from.
Personally, I'd rather pay five bucks more and deal with my local guy. i have found that a lot of stuff that looks great in the pictures turns out to be a lot bigger or smaller than I pictured it would be.
posted 02-26-2007 07:57 AM ET (US)
Go to your nearest Theft Marine if you want to see what something looks like. And a lot of electronics run simulators in the store so you can really get a good idea how it works.
If you want to buy it, do what Jim says. Entering a part number in a google search will come up with a lot of sites that aren't themselves sellers but are outfits like nextag with links to a whole group of sellers, along with the comparative pricing. And in most cases you'll also see customer reviews of the various vendors if you want to get some feel for service, etc, should you have a problem.
I've bought a zillion marine things online and have never had a problem with any of those outfits.
posted 02-26-2007 08:04 AM ET (US)
As an aside, the one place I would not buy electronics from is eBay. The vast majority of stuff is new - either in an eBay *store* or in a "Buy it Now"-only auction. If you can find used electronics in a real auction there will be plenty of bidders and it's not likely to go dirt cheap.
And for new things, you'll find the prices are not much different from "real" online businesses, who I would much rather deal with than some guy operating out of his basement.
posted 02-26-2007 01:26 PM ET (US)
" ...a guy in his basement.." Precisely! I noticed a very impressive on-line website selling marine electronics. The guy was located in Michigan, and, as it turned out, just a few miles away from me. He was literally selling stuff out of his basement. The website looked like a million bucks--you would have thought you were buying from the same ship chandlery that supplies Cunard Lines.
posted 02-26-2007 03:53 PM ET (US)
BoatFix.com for electronics and everything else.
posted 02-26-2007 04:39 PM ET (US)
Get a reseller rating. Go to the "Store Rating" tab and just type in the store name.
My example is Broadway Photo which rates .8 out of 10. I would not buy from them, to put it mildly.
posted 02-26-2007 08:20 PM ET (US)
I bought all the electronics for both my Outrage and Montauk from Boatfix.com. Great prices and reasonable shipping.
posted 02-26-2007 08:51 PM ET (US)
I've used prosourceGPS.com. They had a good selection and i received my gps in less than a week
posted 02-26-2007 11:09 PM ET (US)
When you guys buy electronics on line were to you go for repair? I like a dealer that I can go back to.
posted 02-27-2007 12:49 PM ET (US)
Something I actually know something about.
More and more, consumer electronics are not fixed if they break (unless it's something real obvious). Rather than scads of replaceable parts, there are usually just a handful of custom chips and microprocessors, and a lot of the work is done by software. There's no way this complex stuff can be fixed on a workbench without a huge amount of knowledge and a vast array of expensive equipment.
Most "repair" consists of giving you a new (or refurbished** unit). You need to have that mindset when you are worrying about whether some place will give you good service.
**Refurbishing mainly consists of keeping the physical shell, display and control components (knobs etc), and putting in a new set of internal electronic components - these are usually on one board. The board has become the smallest component that gets replaced these days.
posted 02-27-2007 02:10 PM ET (US)
When I first read that post, I repeated...out loud - 'Re-PAIR?' Scratching my head and tilting my head to the side in a quizzical manner.
Who repairs electronic equipment nowadays?!
It costs more to repair many components than it does to just replace them.
I can't remember the last time I had anything electronic repaired.
Come to think of it, the reliability of modern components is such that it generally either works out of the box or it doesn't - and from there, it either keeps on working, or is replaced.
I still have my very first CD player. I remember buying the Extended Service Plan for it in 1989. It's been relegated to my bedroom stereo system, rather than the big stage - the home entertainment system in the living room - but it still works great - and I spin a lot of music!
posted 03-01-2007 10:54 PM ET (US)
Marine electronic dealers do not usually repair electronics, you send them back to the manufacturer. Most of them have a flat fee that they charge to repair your unit, usually its a fraction of the cost of a new unit. If your buying bottom line hundred dollar or two units I would say toss it. If your spending a few grand on a unit it would be very cost effective to have it repaired. I had a chart plotter repaired for less than two hundred, it would have cost me $2500 to replace it. Most major brands will have your unit back to you in less than a week after recieving it. Back to your original question, try www.defender.com. On higher end electronics they are a couple hundred cheaper than the other major marine retailers and their customer service is great. I had a warranty issue with a product that I purchased from them and I couldnt find the sale receipt, after a one minute phone call I had a copy of my receipt faxed to me within ten minutes.
posted 03-02-2007 12:46 AM ET (US)
I just helped a friend arrange a repair of his Standard Horizon CP-150. He had damaged the external antenna and also had a problem on the main unit. He sent it to Standard-Horizon on the west coast. They repaired the main unit (I think it was just a blown fuse on the DC feed up the antenna coax) at no charge and sold him a new external antenna for $99. They shipped it back in about two weeks. This unit was about four years old. I'd say that was good support and moderate cost.
posted 03-03-2007 12:58 AM ET (US)
Sorry for being absent from my own post and thanks for the information. I've been helping my son checkout buy his first boat. I guess we may be looking for 2 unit now. It's a Whaler of course.
posted 03-03-2007 07:46 AM ET (US)
I stand by my original post (as supported by buckda). Yes, in the examples given, the units were repaired - but if it was not something easy or obvious (fuse, broken wire, loose connector, etc), I'm sure the board or boards on which the internal electronics were located got replaced wholesale.
And it is still true that a lot of "repair" places don't even have the skill to do that much - you will get a new or refurbed unit.
posted 03-04-2007 09:46 PM ET (US)
I used gpsdiscount.com when I bought my handheld unit a couple of years ago. They were, at the time,the cheapest show around for the unit I was looking for, but shop around. The xperience was a good one.
Eventually, I had a problem with the unit and sent it back to Garmin, who replaced it outright (and it was their top of the line unit, at the time). It was a quick turn-around, and hassle free.
Last week, I bought a Garmin 492 for $425 at my local West Marine, so it pays to check what's on sale at the local chandlery too. Garmin's new line is coming out this month, so the previous models are being marked down significantly. Other brnds may be on a similar schedule to coincide with the spring Boating Season.
posted 03-04-2007 10:32 PM ET (US)
Roy how dd you get that $425 price? When I went into West
Marine today (FL) and asked for the discontinued sale they told me the 492 had been reduced to $499. They had a 15% discount on all clearanced electronics but the 492 wasn't considered clearance. 15% of $499 is $425. That was the only way we figured you could have gotten it for the price you did. Talk as I may I could not get the 15% discuont.
posted 03-05-2007 02:24 PM ET (US)
The one I bought had a damaged box. I thought I was just getting the 15% off of the clearance price, as you related in your post, but maybe not. Perhaps they gave me the 15% off becuase of the box. How could a clearance priced item not be considered clearance? Sounds like they are giving you a run around, but I'll check at my local store and let you know.
posted 03-05-2007 03:31 PM ET (US)
I checked it out on my lunch hour. The price I got was due to the damaged box. The "reduced" price is $499, not to be confused with a "clearance" price. Apparently, it is a fine distinction.
The only 492 they have left is the display model, and they will take 10% off that, so you might inquire as to that.
I think the MSRP has dropped some for comparable units in Garmin's new line, so shop thoroughly before you buy.
posted 03-05-2007 05:40 PM ET (US)
The clearance vs. reduced distinction was the story I got. They also said that they were looking for the 498 to go down to about about $540 soon to match the reduction of 492. I think I'll wait for the 498 then I can get rid of my 250C fishfinder and regain real estate on my console.
posted 03-09-2007 04:51 PM ET (US)
There is a vast difference in on-line retailers, and I would not simply go for the lowest price. Many of these low price sellers do not have the products in their inventory, and that usually means a long wait. Actual qualitative feedback from real customers here on the forum is worth having, and I've followed some of that advice with good results.
I have found that some of the low price on-line marine product dealers are actually brick and mortar dealers that also have an on-line presence. Many of these are located in Florida. They offer the advantage of having a phone number that you can call to speak to an actual salesperson that knows something about the products.
Finally, if you have to resolve a dispute on a sale through your credit card company, it is not a pleasant or fun experience. If the vendor disagrees with what you report, it can take months, and you may never really get any satisfaction. In the meantime, your money is tied up, and you are without the thing that you tried to buy. Been there, done that.
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