Moderated Discussion Areas
ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
|Author||Topic: Vendor Endorsement|
posted 02-25-2011 06:29 PM ET (US)
I went to the February Miami Beach boat show to review the new electronics for my larger boat. I decided on a Garmain 4214 with the G2 card, Icom Radio 504, and a new Shakespeare Antenna 5225. I then came home a did a little researching to find the best prices. I came upon The GPS Store located in North Carolina. They have a hot line and a customer service center, and, with all of my findings, it seemed like a good place to buy from. I sent out a check for the above electronics about a week ago. I received a phone call today, February 25, from the [The GPS Store] to inform me that Garmin will be having a rebate starting March 1. The service person wanted to know if it would be ok to hold up my order after March 1 so I could claim the rebate. I was surprised that they would be so considerate to make the call to inform me of the savings. I will be contacting them to thank them and now have a customer for life. Icom also has a rebate on the radio I purchased. Maybe worth the look if any of you want to purchase any electronics.
posted 02-25-2011 07:01 PM ET (US)
I've had great experiences with the GPS store.com in the past as well. Congrats on the new gear!
posted 02-26-2011 09:42 AM ET (US)
My most recent electronic purchase was from my local marine store, Lockeman's Boat and Hardware. I found their prices to be extremely competitive with any mail order store. As a general rule I like to support a local brick-and-mortar store operation in preference to an on-line virtual store.
posted 02-26-2011 10:12 AM ET (US)
Supporting local stores helps the local economy and perhaps saves a local job or so. Although we have no local store comparable to Lockeman's we do have three West Marine stores in nearby Mobile. Our West Marine stores will price match any on-line vendor's prices except for the addition of sales tax which we are legally obliged to pay even on on-line purchases. Admittedly few pay the sales tax on on-line purchases.
I bought a Garmin GPS a few months ago from an on-line vendor because of their willingness to work with me by providing installation advice which was not available from my local stores. I also realize good advice is available from Garmin via telephone and on-line. I felt it would be unethical to spend several minutes on the telephone with the on-line vendor getting installation advice while buying locally.
posted 03-07-2011 04:34 PM ET (US)
West Marine is my local marine store, both in retail and their corporate headquarters. It's the first place I went when I started shopping for a new sonar/gps chart-plotter. A very tech savvy sales associate was more than willing to show me a lot of gear that was 2x to 3x my stated price range "just so I understood what the state of the industry was". When I asked some questions about the actual equipment I as interested in, he didn't have much knowledge, and eventually admitted that he didn't do any fishing and wasn't that familiar with Sonar and fish finders. After doing some on-line research, I visited the store again and had a remarkably similar experience with a different friendly and eager-to-help sales associate. Since the particular model I was interested in was not on display, I inquired about it's availability and price. After a lot of checking on the computer system, the sales associate finally returned with some keys and started to rifle through the cabinet to look for a unit, to no avail. When I asked some questions about which transducer set would be best for local waters, I was met with a blank stare, and then an offer to "see if the catalog says anything about that".
My next stop was a marine electronics dealer at the harbor. According to its website, this establishment carries "every major brand of marine electronics" and has an impressive array of 20 manufacturers, but Lowrance is not one of them, and I was interested in Lowrance. No matter, since the hours of this establishment are about the same as my local bank, except that the bank is open for a few hours on the weekends.
Finding a dead end there, I phoned the tech support number of an on-line shop (which also has a brick and mortar retail outlet on the east coast) that was mentioned many times on another boating forum. I spoke with the shop owner, who was able to answer all of my questions in great detail, with extensive knowledge of how I would be using sonar for fishing. I placed my order then and there, which was easy to do since this shop had the best prices I could find. I guess I supported somebody else's local economy, which is fine with me. I'll try to inject the 9.25% I saved in sales tax at some local establishments. Oh yeah, and the shipping was paid for by the seller as well. I'm a big fan of supporting the local guys, and would even be willing to pay a bit more if the service and availability were there...
posted 03-07-2011 08:07 PM ET (US)
The GPS Store is a brick and mortar store in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. I've been in it. My experience with them has been good.
posted 03-07-2011 11:43 PM ET (US)
They're located about 3/4's of a mile from our home. Great folks to deal with.
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