When is a Bargain not a Bargain?
As you all are aware, diving is a very gear intensive sport. It is understandable that some people are reluctant to sink a lot of money into dive gear when they are new to the sport either because of their personal finances or a desire to “make sure they will use it.” Purchasing secondhand gear is an alternative, but the buyer must certainly beware.
A diver recently brought in a second hand regulator that he wanted rebuilt. During class, he remembered that he used a Titan regulator, and he remembered that it retailed for $470, so when he spotted a Titan complete with gauges and an octopus for $300, he jumped on it. He was very proud of the deal he got on Craig’s list. It was a perfect case of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing, and unfortunately for him, this bargain ended up costing him more than he thought.
Our diver remembered correctly that our rental regulators are Titans, but that is where the similarity between his bargain and our rental regs stopped. His Titan was an older version of the Titan, an entry level regulator. The regulator he used in class was in fact a Titan LX Supreme, an environmentally sealed cold water regulator with an auto closure device that protects the first stage from water. I always recommend the environmentally sealed regs for local diving and for the versatility of a reg fit for most water temperatures. When considering the purchase of any second hand equipment, it is important to remember that as models are updated, parts for earlier incarnations eventually become scarce. Luckily for our bargain hunter, the parts were still available. The bad news is that he will have to pay for them, unlike someone who bought their Titan new from an authorized dealer and with a factory warranty.
As to the rest of his set up, the alternate air source was truly a classic (and by that I mean old, old, old!), and without available parts was not tuning properly. We ultimately sold him one of our ABS octos. His gauges were bottom of the line with tiny displays and a compass as fussy as a colicky newborn. He’ll likely experience some frustration navigating with that one.
So let’s do the math. Craig’s list reg set up, $300 plus $20 shipping, regulator rebuild plus parts, $139 replacement octo, $80. His bargain cost $539 for a non-environmentally sealed, out-of-production regulator. The really smart bargain shopper picked up a used regulator from us, environmentally sealed, cold water rated, with superior Suunto gauges and compass, recently rebuilt for $525.
In this gear intensive sport it is tempting to look for a cheaper alternative to what is for sale at your local dive shop, but what you get from an unknown online source may not be what you bargained for. When you buy from a local store, the item you buy automatically comes with personalized expert advice, professional assembly with custom configuration and answers to all your diving questions; things not available on eBay!
In Other News………………
Speaking of bargains, if you subscribe to any dive magazines you probably have seen a hint as to a new product coming from Aqualung. I am sworn to secrecy, but stop in the shop after Dec. 10 and check out what is new and what has finally gone on clearance price!
Atomic’s new Cobalt dive computer really kicks butt! You may recall that Team Manta was one of the beta testers of this latest entry into the dive computer world and we loved it! This American made beauty is rechargeable and PC downloadable with a very bright color screen. While it comes with a very detailed manual, the functions are so intuitive that it is hardly necessary.
Another great gift for the diver in your life is this one of a kind wall clock. Painted by a local artist, this clock is the definitive item for the hard to buy for person. You could also have one of your own pictures painted onto a clock. See us in the shop for details.
We are continuing to mark down in-stock wetsuits. This is a good time to pick up second suit (so you always have a dry one available) or ditch that one that is becoming ratty from all the use.
The Pro QD i3 BC has been put on the clearance rack, too, so here’s your chance to get a kick-butt BC with the latest i3 inflation device for an unheard of price!
Remember to fill out a Christmas Wish List! Get what you really want this holiday by guiding those gift givers to the perfect addition to your dive set up!
Congratulations to our Enriched Air Divers, Judy and Daron Mackey, John Miles, and Chris and Kathryn Elliott.
Congratulations to our newly minted Safety Signing Divers, Liz Boomer, Jerry and Sheryl Brandes, Michael Miller, Patricia Berry