Before you buy online...

Your local dive shop needs your help. In today's economy, many dive shops are suffering financially or going out of business. Selling dive instruction and trips does not pay well. In most cases dive instructors are working for very little money, purely out of passion for diving. The majority of money divers pay towards a diving certification or trip goes to covering expenses, such as pool fees, utilities, maintenance of rental gear, transportation, and certification fees. How do dive shops stay in business? By selling gear. And before you say gear sold in dive shops is too expensive, consider what you stand to lose by cutting out your local dive shop and purchasing your gear online.


1. Your Local Dive Shop might Close

This is not an exaggeration. If a dive shop can no longer afford to pay its bills because it is not selling dive equipment for a profit, it will go out of business. That wonderful resource of advice and camaraderie, that divers' hangout and networking spot will no longer be available to you.  Ever thought about where you're going to get air for your tank if we go out of business?


2. You Won't Be Able to Try on Gear Before Purchasing It

Have you tried on gear in a dive shop and then gone home and orderied it online?  What divers need to realize is that dive shops are offering customers a service by allowing them to try on and test gear before purchase. Maybe dive gear is 10% more expensive at your local dive shop, but you can try it out, ask advice of the salespeople, and demo the gear in the  pool before purchasing it. In the end, this saves divers time and money because they purchase the piece of equipment that best fits their needs.


3. Dive Shops Won't Be Able to Go to Bat for You

One of greatest advantages of purchasing dive gear from your local, manufacturer-authorized dealer is that we, along with other dive shops, will defend you in case of an equipment malfunction. We will happily call up equipment manufacturers to replace defective equipment or equipment that is under warranty. A majority of the time, we can simply replace the offending item immediately from our in-store stock  and take the issue up with the equipment manufacturer later. Have you ever tried to replace a piece of defective dive gear yourself? Don't. The manufacturers do not want to talk to you. They want to talk to the authorized dealer that sold it to you. This is the only way the manufacturer can confirm the state of the item when it was sold.


4. Gear Maintenance

Many dive shops will only service equipment that they have sold. Before you get yourself in a huff about this policy, stop to consider that it actually makes sense. A dive shop that sells gear, even used gear, has a general idea of the state of the equipment when it was sold. When dive shop personnel preform maintenance on a piece of equipment, they may be liable for that gear and anything that happens to a diver if it breaks underwater. Would you want to take responsibility for complicated gear that may have unresolved, pre-existing issues -- gear that could have problems you didn't know about or know to look for? I thought not.


Dive shops everywhere are hurting in this economy. Divers using their free services such as advice, networking, and socializing, have a responsibility to support them through equipment purchase. This is their primary source of our income. If you don't support your local dive shops now, we may not be around to support you in the future.


Warm Regards,

Tyler and the Amber Waves Team