Scuba Tech Tips: Local Dive Store vs Online Purchase – S08E20

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What factors should you consider when buying locally vs online? Alec shares 6 key points to consider when deciding between a local dive store or an online purchase.

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32 Comments
  1. Darrell Grainger says

    Missed one good example of not buying online due to service… You might not have a local shop which can service things you purchase online. For example, I purchase an ABC regulator. It requires special tools to service it. There are no dive shops in my area which services ABC regulators. I might have made a great purchase; it might be a perfect regulator for me. However, if I cannot get it serviced, it will be worthless to me in a year or two.

  2. Joel Perron says

    Awesome vid like always Alec ! thanks !!

  3. Mark Stengel says

    Important topic. Relationships are vital when it comes to a hobby where the gear is going to need trained techs to repair. Cheap is dear. FYI Periscope Films has Cousteau films from before his tv series. I suber of them, saw this and immediately thought of you. I've watched many of him on Periscope. Going to search my area local dive/scuba shops. Glad i found your utube channel. God Bless

  4. Bob Harrison says

    hi alec i was talking to u awhile back maybe 2 months ago im still having trouble when i go down i dont no if its my suit i have a 3 -2 wet suit suit every time i try and go down i dont have any weight belts on and i also to borrow my son 7 mil head cap but it seems like the pressure is keeping me up at top water im only 194lbs what is the weights that i need to purchase to keep me from going back up its like im fighting gravity when i start to go down and down here in florida in the springs i wanna be able to go down

  5. Marijn Janssen says

    Hi! Do you know why firemen usaly have there tank valve down to the ground when using it on land? But when diving they have it aimed "up"? Does it mather at all for diving?

  6. Rus Rus says

    Hello Mr.Alec. First of all thanks for your videos. You do them really useful. I wonder if you ever had a chance to use what is called “A Diving Air Nozzle” and is it worth having? Thanks in advance

  7. Steven Liu says

    Great video again. I totally agree with you, supporting local brick and mortar stores is definitely a good thing. And believe it or not, many local dive shops even set their prices below internet prices!!!

  8. Gage W says

    Can you do a video on backplate and wings and the pros/cons of them?

  9. ArgosWarrior says

    Alec is there any chance of you posting vids of your actual dives, I for one would be interested in watching.

  10. toriless says

    A lot of companies force authorized dealers to sell at very small or no discounts. A classic example is Weber. It is always the same price for the same model. If it is less you are probably not getting it from an authorized dealer.

  11. toriless says

    I had to buy my fins and boots on-line because they did not carry the size I need for a dry suit set up. I also got a second mask on-line since I had tried on in the shop but they stopped carrying that model by the time I was ready for an expensive model.

  12. Ted Reitsma says

    Hi Alec. Great video as usual. I do the same for the same reasons. Dive Gear Express is a US website that has gear I cannot get in my Canadian dive shops. The dive shops generally are not vendors for the specific items and the stuff I need is more tech diver oriented, and dive shops make their money mostly from the newbies in my experience. Some items ARE cheaper, but I get hit with duties so it usually pans out the same. If people viewing this are looking for cheaper items, my suggestion for them is comparison shop in the area (some shops may have items at cheaper cost- and see if your dive shop will match). Christmas Black Fridays are great. In Greater Toronto area (where you and I are from) , some of the dive shops usually have some deals during the time of the "Outdoor Show" (held this week actually). There is also the yearly scuba swap (usually in August )- but this is for used equipment- so buyer beware. Great if you are selling your stuff. I sold and old wetsuit and bought a used air tank at the swap. The tank failed the hydrostatic test the next year, so I only got 1 year use out of it (bad luck as in theory tanks can get 100,000 fills). Good place to get cheap led weights.

  13. No Thank You says

    Some things I will buy online, if it is difficult to find, or if I find a really good price. The problem is you can't really develop a relationship with someone on the internet, or at least it is very difficult. Those relationships go a long way when it comes time for technical advice or for service. The other factor for my buying online is I live in a somewhat remote area with only one dive shop anywhere near me and the next one several hours away. The one near me doesn't carry the brands I prefer to use, but I will buy from them on other items. The one several hours away from me carries the brands I prefer, but getting something serviced involves 4 hours of windshield time.

    My biggest successes with buying online has been with Craigslist and using it to find specific equipment and meet other local divers.

    Which Indian do you ride?

  14. Rick Kinney says

    What you are saying here makes perfect sense to me. After doing my research last year, I purchased my mask, fins, snorkel, wetsuit, dive skins, BCD, regulator, safe second, air-integrated computer, knife, weight belt, weights and tanks from my local dive stores. They did all the assembly required to make everything work as it should, fit right and that I was happy with the purchases. I did shop on-line for some accessories, but by far, most of the main pieces of my gear are from local retailers. Fit was the most important factor in my decision to buy local, exactly as you discuss.

  15. Nic Thornton says

    When my LDS is charging $16+tax for bolt snaps and I can get the same quality ones from DGX for ~$4 they'll continue to lose my business. This goes for most accessories they carry. Wrist slate at LDS = $22+tax, wrist slate at DGX = $6.

    I'd like to support them, but a 300% markup? Ridiculous.

  16. GrandmasKid says

    Very good thoughtful presentation. I'm not knew to diving but I am knew to the idea of buying a drysuit. I live in the south and have not needed one for the type of diving I've been doing. I'm considring a drysuit because I've stared doing a lot of training in a local quarry and I want to be able to dive it year round. My local shop seems great but they do like selling higher end higher priced gear. I don't blame them but I am retired and need to consider not spending all my money on gear. Any thoughts on this are greatly appreciated. Love your Tech Tips!

  17. Gregory Boyle says

    Whoa. I haven't seen this channel in awhile. Is he working at a shop again? I know he left the other place a good time ago.

  18. Arshad Mohammed says

    I live in Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean and all the stores here have ridiculous markups, almost every product not just scuba gear. When I went to purchase my wetsuit from a local store the price was nearly US$300, I ended up buying on amazon and it cost me US $100 shipped to my door.

  19. Mike Ramsey says

    When I can I prefer to purchase locally because if I have a problem with an item I know that my local dive stores will stand behind their products, whereas your online purchase may not be that easy to return.

  20. HypnoticAbyss says

    theres this website called divestock where the prices seem too good to be true you can get a Scubapro MK25 EVO / S620 Ti & Free R195 Octopus for only 785 $CAD
    not sure if i trust that.

  21. Scott Van Nederynen says

    Great video and subject. It applies to Scuba and to just about any product. I have a small Christmas Tree Farm. We have a relationship with our customers. Yet I buy so much online, just for convienance. But as you said, I basically buy commidity goods online.

  22. Richard Currin says

    Great points, never forget about the service after the sale

  23. In0c3n7 says

    most scuba gear is very robust, so you can buy it used very cheap, but still in good shape. Often thats not possible in your lokal dive shop. also some items, like bolt snaps for example are way to expensive if you buy them at a dive store, because they just sell scuba brands, better buy them at a shop for small metal parts (online or offline), however be careful, that they are made out of the right material

  24. Pepe Rodríguez Domínguez says

    I get all my gear online. Because my diveshop has a webpage where there are lots of sales and i can go to the dive shop try it and purchase it online from them. The downside is that i have to wait a week

  25. Matthew Bishop says

    When it comes to mom and pop shops and specialty shops I prefer to shop local because of their vast knowledge, but when it comes to normal everyday things that you can buy at any store then I don't have a problem buying online. Besides my Local Dive Store taught me to swim when I was 5 and so I have been going there for a long time.

  26. Battlefreak says

    Alec, as always great video and thank you for supplying people with all the useful information. Can't agree more about building a relationship with your local dive store. Not only do you get access to more information but it can also lead to discounts on future purchases or opportunities to buy gear from their rental stock at a good price. (Varies with different stores of course) Plus if you buy locally, you can usually get it serviced locally. Nothing sucks more than having to ship your gear away to get it serviced and then wait when you could be diving.

  27. Jess Peoples says

    One good thing about from buying your local dive store is you get to try it before buying it like a wetsuit.

  28. Skunki says

    My biggest online purchase gain: I get some stuff that isn't shiny enough anymore for the next year like a dive computer that costs X EUR in 201X and get replaced with a new more colorful model that costs 2X EUR in 201X+1. Reading a manual always helps. It'll tell you a lot more interesting things than YouTube tutorials. 
    My biggest local (sort of) dive store gain: A made to measure dry suit. Its priceless. Literally.
    My biggest online fraud: Someone did steal my credit card information and bought guns for 4000 EUR.
    My biggest local dive store setback: 2 out of 3 times, I get a parking ticket. Its annoying. If the local dive store was more local I'd at least earn a few cents because, I print the tickets.

  29. Reza Gorji says

    Wonderful video.

  30. Random 13 says

    What I find works well is if I want something online that my local dive store doesn't have, I let him order it online for me. He gets at a discount for frequent purchases, so still makes profit after absorbing the shipping fee, and I get the item for slightly less than the price I see…

  31. Pricediver says

    Totally agree, don't ever buy any sized equipment online. but i feel like a regulator should be fine tho

  32. diver dave says

    My good ole LDS will not refund your $$$ once you leave the shop unless its defective !

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