When it comes to buying your own dive equipment there is one main dilemma, should you buy in store or online. Throughout this article we will discuss the positives and negatives of each decision, whether it be price, customer service or warranty. Of course purchasing equipment as a beginner and in turn as a professional is tremendously different, however for basics such as BCD’s (or wings), suits, regulators, computers and fins are the main items we will discuss.
In the online era, many website stores offer cheaper prices due to the fact that they are not paying for a physical location, only a website. Cheaper prices are defiantly a benefit, yet it is always important to consider the postage and packaging prices, especially if ordering from another country. Furthermore if you are in a rush to acquire a certain artefact, make sure to check the delivery date, and make sure to be at the delivery address when delivery has been promised to ensure you do not miss the package.
Many online stores have a easy category function, allowing customers to browse with ease, finding their preferred purchase within seconds. Furthermore online stores often have tabs for different brands, allowing an easy price comparison.
In addition many online dive websites have the option for different languages, a real bonus in this modern multi-cultural society.
Often online stores have a wider range of products than actual location outlets. This can be a huge benefit for water sports enthusiasts who do not know exactly what they wish to purchase and would prefer to browse.
Purchasing In Store
Purchasing in store is always a good alternative to online shopping, and in many ways is a better choice all together. It reduces the hassle of waiting for delivery, and for many items, usually smaller items such as fins, masks and knifes, the difference in price is often minimal.
Supporting your own local business is in turn a worthwhile venture, and the staff, usually are knowledgeable and willing to help with your queries.
Perhaps the most imperative reason of buying in a store is that you often need to try the kit before purchase to make sure it fits. For example Cressi fin sizes, while written the same as other brands such as Mares, can be completely different when it comes to trying them on for size.
Furthermore in a local dive shop there are often deals included when one buys equipment, whether that be a discount on the next item, or a course or in another facet of the dive industry.
There are definite pros and cons to both online and local store shopping. For those who don’t live close to a local dive shop it is the obvious choice to shop online. However building a rapport with local staff, and receiving valuable information is one of the many reasons that shopping in a local store can be the most beneficial step.