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APS is going out of business

Jul 7, 2004
6,509
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
First they dropped all of their marine hardware and focused on wearables. The pandemic has killed them. This was in an email -

APS Liquidation Sale | 30% OFF
It is with much sadness that we are announcing the permanent closing of APS.
Unfortunately, we are unable to bear the burden of the losses caused by the COVID-19 crisis. We want to first and foremost thank you, our customers, for your continued support throughout our 29 years of business. We hope you will take advantage of our liquidation sale through the following weeks.

There are having a clearance sale. -

I was lucky to get my wrap pins before all this happened.
 
Jan 1, 2006
4,709
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
I didn’t think dropping their hardware was a good idea and everyone sells apparel - even venders at sailing events. But it’s sad. Unfortunately we’re going to see more of this.
 
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Phil Herring

Dethroned Admin
Mar 25, 1997
4,658
Hunter 450 Bainbridge Island
:cuss:Rant ahead :badbad:

Part of this is a reflection of changing demographics -- fewer families sailing. But IMHO the biggest single factor is Amazon. Yes, they're usually cheaper and sometimes (not anymore) faster, but their practices kill competition and they're doing a fine job of it. This is a company that will sell products below their cost because they can.

If you care about suppliers who actually know what they're talking about and carry things other than common commodity products, send some business to them. Otherwise, the day will come when we have one choice. And Jeff Bezos isn't a sailor.

Rant concluded :stir:
 
Oct 22, 2014
12,133
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
This is a company that will sell products below their cost because they can.
I am not sure that is the case. They do not sell the product. The receive store and distribute the product. The inventory cost is carried by the sellers on Amazon. You see the product being sent from "Amazon" not a seller. That is because the Seller paid Amazon to store the product and sell it out of their warehouse.

Ever wonder why Amazon will not just give you a refund when the price drops the same day you buy it? Because... Amazon makes money when you return it. It is charged back to the seller. And Amazon makes money when the replacement is sent. Amazon then reports 2 sales. It is an interesting business model. Best distribution plan in the market place.
 
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Aug 1, 2011
3,749
Catalina 270 Wabamun - on the orange ball
Rant concluded :stir:
Actually, rant accepted and an excellent place to once again extol the virtues of this facility. People come here all the time looking for a particular widget, are directed to the store, and do they go there? Jeff may not be a sailor, but it's a fair thought that he doesn't support SBO either.
 

Phil Herring

Dethroned Admin
Mar 25, 1997
4,658
Hunter 450 Bainbridge Island
I could easily be wrong, but I believe that some products are sold by Amazon. We've heard reports of this practice lately from manufacturers, but I have to admit I'm not sure if the mfg is selling to Amazon or subject to their pricing algorithm. And I've heard the same thing about returns.

There's genius in their distribution model for sure, but the way it's being executed is pretty slimy from what I'm hearing.

I know that SBO saw a sharp drop-off in common chandlery parts as Amazon grew into the category. We've built up other aspects of the business to compensate, but it pains me to see good companies crushed under Amazon's bulk. In most categories, it's simply a matter of greater efficiency winning out but in this one, where the boats we maintain can easily be 40 years old, it's dangerous.
 
Oct 22, 2014
12,133
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Yes it is dangerous Phil.
It is easy for me to see the similarities to our outsourcing the manufacture of Medical gear and medicines to foreign companies. Or the entrance of a Dollar Store/Walmart/Box Store (Lowes - Home Depot) and the eventual absence of the corner grocer/meat market or the Hardware store that has wall high bins of every screw and faster you can imagine from manufacturing of 40 years ago. The screw or fastener that matches the others securing the hinge on my cupboard door. Sure you could take the other 5 out and toss them while using 6 new screws with a slightly different patina, and say "well no one will notice."

Maybe I am just being nostalgic.
 
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Dec 28, 2015
728
Laser, Hunter H30 Standard Tacoma
I wonder how many small businesses has started and flourished utilizing Amazon?
 
Mar 2, 2019
120
Oday 25 Milwaukee
I took my 17 year old up to a local mom and pop boat and John Deere store tuesday . He asked why I didn't just order it from Amazon. We walked in and the owners wife who hadn't seen me in two years called me by name and had the part on the counter . She had made sure she had the correct part to replace a 26 year old tractor key switch . Lenny (the wife ) thanked me for finally showing up and made us feel our support was geniunely appreciated .
I think he finally understood why I spend my money as I do . His solution was to simply replace the tractor with a brand new one ... Yeah ..so obviously I still have my work cut out for me ..
 
Mar 26, 2011
2,563
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
I wonder how many small businesses has started and flourished utilizing Amazon?
Yup, I've sold stuff through Amazon. There is often no other practical outlet for small businesses. Very easy.

I've been involved with three small start-ups, trying to market through local small businesses. Some never paid for inventory, the shipping and book keeping was a pain, and enormous time was spent pitching one-at-a-time. Often, dealing with local small businesses just sucks. They aren't all princes either, and they too are fighting to make a buck. Selling direct to individuals is even worse; most are good, but some aren't.

I think it is obvious why so many businesses work with Amazon. They solve your problems so you can focus on making widgets.

Downsides? A few. But this is a market economy, and the dollar votes loudest.
 
Aug 1, 2011
3,749
Catalina 270 Wabamun - on the orange ball
I think its less about the dollar, and ultimately more about the lack of them. The WallyMart model of running everybody out of town, and then suddenly not being able to find anybody, WallyMart included, to buy the widget from.
As a consumer, you are led to believe Amazon is easy. Its really not.
And if you're one of the people they ran out of town, your lack of dollars doesn't help the economy at all. So who wins if you take Jeff out of the discussion.
 
May 17, 2004
2,414
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
As a consumer, you are led to believe Amazon is easy. Its really not.
Can you clarify that? It seems pretty easy to me. I search for something, find it, and it arrives on my doorstep. I used to think “oh, I won’t bother buying that from Amazon, I don’t want to wait for it to ship”, but then I’d be trying to find time to drive to the store, and defer that longer than the shipping time would be. I get that Amazon can do things that are damaging to smaller retailers, and in the long term that might not be a good thing, but as a consumer I don’t feel like it’s ever caused me a problem.

I might be biased. There aren’t many days that go by without Amazon delivering something to me. For marine products though I’ve never found their prices all that great. I can only think of one or two times I’ve gone to them for a boat product, and even then it was usually for shipping speedrather than price.
 
Sep 15, 2013
624
Catalina 270 Baltimore
I didn’t think dropping their hardware was a good idea and everyone sells apparel - even venders at sailing events. But it’s sad. Unfortunately we’re going to see more of this.
I am on their email list. When I read that email I was surprised to learn that they stopped selling hardware. As soon as I read that I knew why they went out of business. Everyone is selling apparel. There are some HH ads where the models were standing on a sail.
 

dLj

.
Mar 23, 2017
1,091
Hunter 30 Snug Harbor, Lake Champlain
I think another model that is yet to come to maturity, especially in the "old parts" category, is the use of 3D printing. A lot of folks are printing in polymers, but printing in metals is also happening, just not on a small scale yet. But those that build and keep the knowledge of the actual part dimensions for the library of all old parts, that knowledge will eventually come to be highly valuable. Then armed with that knowledge and the development of being able to print in a range of metal alloys, and you have a real shot at winning the competitive war, so to speak. It's fairly easy at this point to print in 316 stainless steel, a major player in the marine industry. There is research and some success printing in more sophisticated stainless steel alloys, but that is some time before it could ever get down to this level. Printing in titanium based alloys is being done every day, but that one is mighty tricky as titanium powder is highly explosive. But that could have far reaching implications in high end competitive sailing applications. Aluminum alloys are also being 3D printed. So think about a place like SBO that could house the fundamental knowledge of the part design, with the ability to print it on-demand with 3D printing. In that way the "big box" or Amazons don't have an advantage as they lack the fundamental design knowledge.

Just a thought.

dj
 
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Aug 1, 2011
3,749
Catalina 270 Wabamun - on the orange ball
Can you clarify that? It seems pretty easy to me.
@Davidasailor26 Phil and co have always said that this site is funded by the SBO store. If Jeff runs the SBO store out of business, who's going to fund the site, not to mention who else is impacted by it. Some would say that its simple economics, and yes that is true, but the world domination that Jeff has many times stated that he wants, comes at a cost. Personally, I rather enjoy traipsing around chandleries and hobby shops. Both of which are getting scarce.
 

DougM

.
Jul 24, 2005
1,849
Beneteau 323 Manistee, MI
Probably showing my age, but I loved the old neighborhood hardware store. The nuts and bolts were in bins or drawers. Cordage was available by the foot. I didn’t have to buy two bubble packs of 3 bolts when I needed four, etc.
My sons both worked in a hardware store, which was an education in itself for them. That store still exists to a point, but its not the same. Yet when I go back after having been out of the area for 13 years they still know my name.
I still won’t shop at WallyWorld because I truly think they drove far too many small town establishments out of business.
As for the SBO store, I really would try to use you guys more if you weren’t located in the opposite end of the country.