Try on equipment before buying
Ever order a clothing or shoe item over the internet – only to find that it does not fit right? You return it and order another size – and still it’s not quite right. When you buy your equipment from a local dive shop you can see and touch the item. By doing this you can try on the item to ensure a proper, comfortable fit – and gain valuable advice from the experienced instructors/dive shop personnel on fit and comfort. If you buy online you have to wait for the package to arrive before you can try it on- and if it doesn’t fit properly you have to go through the hassle of returning the item, confirming refund and repurchasing. By purchasing in a local shop, you can ensure you have the proper fit before you even purchase.
Advice on what equipment is best for your use
Another benefit of purchasing equipment in a local dive shop (LDS) is the advice that you receive during your purchase experience. Your LDS can provide recommendations for the item that would best serve the purpose you need it for. For instance, if you are looking to purchase a dive light for cave diving, a shop employee will show you the best options for that specific purpose and how to attach it to your BCD. In contrast, on the internet, you must rely on someone whose experience level is questionable and whose recommendation might not be the best for your use. If your light is for more general use, your LDS team can show you the difference in features and brightness so that you can make an informed decision.
Assembly and demonstration
Have you ever bought something online and realized after you bought it that it had some feature that you were unaware of? When you buy equipment from a local dive shop an employee is there to help you with the assembly of the equipment as well as demonstrate its uses and features. When you purchase online you may not only have to assemble the product yourself, but you may not be aware of the various uses. For instance, at the 20,000 Leagues Scuba store, we teach you how to use each Dive Computer – along with showing you a demonstration in a simulated ‘diving’ situation. That is something that can not be gained when purchasing on the ‘net.
Purchasing online might save you a bit of money at that moment but purchasing a in store could save you more money in the long run. A lot of stores offer ‘package deals’ where for a certain price you get a bundle of items. For instance, at 20,000 Leagues Scuba and Aquatics we offer a variety of packages- many of which even include your certification at reduced or no cost! One example of where combining training with equipment is a good idea is with underwater cameras. Proper training can significantly reduce your learning cycle – and result in capturing great photos almost immediately.
Become a part of a family!
The best reason by far of purchasing from your local dive shop is that you become part of the community. This community is filled with divers just like you full of knowledge and experiences that they would love to share with you! You’ll always have dive buddies to go on adventures with and to learn from. That is why we have a “Dive Buddies for Life” philosophy at our shop!
You may likely find that making a purchase from your local dive shop this holiday season results in getting exactly what you want – in the right size – and at the same price. If you find a small difference, speak with your Dive Shop – they may show some flexibility to earn your business. And … the LDS also may have an internet shop of their own where you can get initial ideas before you stop in to visit them.
While this list only shows the top five reasons for why a diver should buy from their local dive shop instead of shopping online, there are plenty of others! Comment below why you buy from a local dive shop! We’d like to hear from you.