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Online Freediving Equipment

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.

Would you buy Freediving Equipment from an Online Store?

  • Absolutely

    Votes: 22 81.5%
  • Cautious, but not opposed to the idea

    Votes: 5 18.5%
  • Much prefer a "real" store

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No way man!

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    27

Stephan Whelan

Papa Smurf
Staff member
Admin
Jan 7, 1999
6,804
667
268
42
We're investigating the possibility of starting an online store here at Deeper Blue to sell Freediving equipment such as fins, masks, suits, books, etc...

I am personally trying to guage whether people would be interested in this, and if so what they would like to see in the shop.

Plus I want to see if people would be willing to buy they equipment online as opposed to a local store.

I look forward to responses...
 

Sickboy

New Member
Jan 30, 2001
53
0
0
Hey Stephan. Good idea about starting an online shop, but I think there will be a wide ranging consensus on whether people will want to buy freediving stuff online.

Freediving is still quite rare, so for some people (ie me) buying online is our only option, and to have a store run by people who really know about freediving would be a major attraction.

DiveInn.com seems to be like this, as well as being VERY cheap for European brand stuff. Their customer service is very good, and it feels like it's run by divers. They have had to stop taking orders since last week because they are so overloaded with orders already. So I guess the demand is there, although they also sell a lot of Scuba stuff too.

Conversly, because freediving is such a rare sport, the equipment is still very personal to the user. This could mean people would prefer to go to a proper store to touch the product, and even try it out. This would be true for fins (too stiff, foot pocket too hard) and wetsuits; freediving wetsuits usually do not have zips, so getting the right size is Very important. You may consider offereing a trial period, to give the users a bit more confidence.

Anyway, hope this helps; you've probably already thought about that stuff.

Regards,

Terry
 

DanDaMan

New Member
Jul 18, 2001
3
0
0
i think a online shop here would be great. i am just starting, and don't have good equipment and would buy from you if you were resonably priced. normally i like to go to local stores, but no one in my area knows alot about freediving. if you guys started a store where people could email you with questions, that would be really cool.... Good Luck
 

Angus

New Member
Apr 2, 2001
190
4
0
68
Already shopping

I hate to shop. So I buy most of my stuff on line or through catalogs. I bought all of my current diving equipment from Picasso online. For those of us in remote areas online buying is wonderful. As that was very easy for me I am not sure what Deeper Blue would add to the online buying of equipment. I would hate to see Deeper Blue inadvertently become involved in endorsements of products that they are selling as well as into advertisement. If the idea is to develop a clearinghouse and help get good gear cheaper - sure that would be nice. Or if Deeper Blue would become the superstore for one stop shopping across manufacturors possibly. I have appreciated the specialty items such as the book The Blue and would like to see more unusual products that are not part of the normal providers and vendors. At this point I wonder why I would buy gear from someone other than the manufacturor? Angus
 

Stephan Whelan

Papa Smurf
Staff member
Admin
Jan 7, 1999
6,804
667
268
42
Angus,

Good points (as always!)

Online shopping is always a touch and go thing - being on the 'net from the (very) distant days of 1990/1, and generally being a first adopter, I find online purchasing second nature - but am not so short sighted as to see that a lot of people do not see online buying the same way as me.

As I said before, we are in the formative stages of deciding if it is something our visitors want - we're not even close to implementing yet (or if we indeed do).

The store i'd invisage is one that carries all major brands of fins, masks, and suits. I also have good working relationships with people such as Seven Tenths, publisher of "The Blue", and other "interesting" items. I'd want to make sure that we covered a wide series of products and be competively priced.

As far as endorsements go, I have a policy - any pages that we directly sell products on (not affiliate deals where we get a tiny percentage that usually isn't even worth our while) will not carry advertisments, so for example this store would not carry any ad's of any kind.

This way the eCommerce elements of the site and the "magazine" orientated parts are not dicatating to one another. This is of course easier said than done, but I can tell you now that I have turned down potential advertisers (and some serious $$$) before because they wanted the site to endorse their product above another. I am very strict on this policy - I originally founded this site (and all the current staff follow the same policy) of being independent of governing organisations and advertisers. I have no problem taking money from advertisers and endorsing their product if it is extremely good (e.g. The Blue) but we cannot be "bought".

Anyway, i'll get down off my soap-box now ;-)
 

Angus

New Member
Apr 2, 2001
190
4
0
68
go for it

Stephan,

One of the first things that attracted me to this forum was the very limited amount of advertising and none of it was the assaultive or intrusive type that gets in one's face and require a person to fight their way to the information that they originally were seeking. So I have recognized, at least subliminally, the ethics of your vision. I am glad that you stated it so clearly and so strongly.

With an ethical foundation such as this it would be nice to have an online store that incorporated the same ethics. For instance, quality would be an area of importance. Knowing that you cannot be bought and creating a clear operational criteria for the quality of the gear that the store would sell would be a great asset. I would thing that it would include such things as quality of materials and construction as well as the quality of customer service.

When I bought my wetsuit from Picasso they sent me a 5mm when I had ordered a 7mm. I called Roger and I had the 7mm within the week; without first returning the 5mm. I wish I could say that I was responsive but I took over 2 months to return the 5mm. Some of this was due to spending 2 weeks diving in Belize but mostly it was due to packing up the 5mm and then forgetting to mail it. Roger never pestered or complained. About a week after I remember to mail it Roger called. He was quite concerned that something was wrong and that I was displeased with the wetsuit. As you know the Picasso wetsuits are of very high quality, but Roger's immediate concern was for me, the customer.

Now some might think that this is an example of poor management. To me it reflects a perspective and way of living that I admire, respect, and try to achieve - one of trust and caring. This is one of the finest examples of customer service I can think of.

So if it is this type of enterprise that your are envisioning I am all for it.
 

melarvie

New Member
Aug 11, 2000
5
1
0
I think that an on-line store would be very nice, especially if you would offer something like a 48hr return policy with a minimal restocking fee for items in which fit is important.
 

mark aronoff

New Member
Jul 9, 2001
16
0
0
being of inexperience, I would hesitate to purchase a pair of fins on-line,without having tried on the same size and brand in a pool first. Buying comfortably-fitting shoes is a pain the neck and I imagine buying fins without trying them on and testing---for both comfort of fit and characteristics of use---would be a real hit and miss proposition. How much cheaper would mail-order fins be vs. 'local' store? For ten or twenty dollars, I'd balance the cost against the nuisance of finding they don't fit, re-packing and re-mailing them and then trying the whole process again. A hassle, it seems. On the other hand, if I'd tried a pair, liked them and then KNEW what I wanted to get, perhaps the dollars (or pounds or lira or kopek or whatever) would be enough incentive to try it.
 

Pekka

neoprene dreamer
Aug 22, 2001
790
60
118
41
equipment

sure e-stores are great, I have bought some of my stuff from diveinn.com and it worked great, I would like to see some freediveing fins (blades especially) , masks and guages.
 
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