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Defender’s new program

Jan 25, 2011
2,223
S2 11.0A Anacortes, WA
Received an email from Defender outlining their new Defender 1st program. Instead of a product once/week, it’s many products spread over the week. If you’re a member, you are auto enrolled for the first year for free. After that, it’s $50/yr to receive the “discounts”..I don’t think so..
 
Aug 7, 2018
179
Catalina 350 Great Sodus Bay, Lake Ontario
I am not sure I understand your objection? As long as the annual savings exceeds the cost its a smart business move on my part. Obviously is a cash infusion to them and a way for me to save money on retail boating purchases. If you don't spend much each year then perhaps its not for you. You have a whole year to analyse your spending with them and track your savings to see if it exceeds cost before you renew.
 
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Jan 11, 2014
7,824
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Received an email from Defender outlining their new Defender 1st program. Instead of a product once/week, it’s many products spread over the week. If you’re a member, you are auto enrolled for the first year for free. After that, it’s $50/yr to receive the “discounts”..I don’t think so..
My reading of the promo material is a little different from yours. As I read it, many products will be discounted and there will be additional savings on some items. https://www.defender.com/email_list.jsp

The good news about the program is that it will not auto-renew.

Jamestown Distributors had a similar program a few years back, I joined it when I thought it was worth it and dropped my membership when I was no longer buying a lot of boat building/repairing supplies.

Since membership is free this year, we'll see how it goes. When it no longer makes sense for what I buy from Defender, I'll stop paying. If I save $51 because of the program then I'm ahead.
 

jviss

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Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
Amazon clone?? Defender was started in 1938 by Sheldon Lance. His son Stephen still runs the company . I've done business with them since 1975
Yea, and now they want to be an Amazon Prime clone, I think was the man's point.

Who cares how long they've been in business? This year they started charging me sales tax, and they screwed me on a supposedly "new" Lewmar hatch lid that was actually a return, and scratched. Didn't even offer me their usual dent and scratch discount, just a token amount or return it and wait until another was back in stock.

I've spent maybe $20k with them in 10 years, and they don't treat me special in any way. Amazon does.
 

jviss

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Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
BTW, I would happily join for $50/year for free UPS shipping.

I've also found recently that Defender isn't the lowest price on a lot of stuff. Now with the sales tax, even worse.

I like Hodges Marine Electronics, a lot!
 
Sep 25, 2008
6,313
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
Amazon clone?? Defender was started in 1938 by Sheldon Lance. His son Stephen still runs the company . I've done business with them since 1975
The reference was in the context of their business model, not chronology.

There are a myriad of retail outlets, e.g., BJs, Sams Club, Costco,etc... membership sales businesses of which Defender is just a recent addition. Nothing to see here.
 
Jan 25, 2011
2,223
S2 11.0A Anacortes, WA
I, personally don’t spend enough over time to make it worthwhile. I’m also assuming there are a lot of sailors that also do not. I might buy some line every few yrs but the savings isn’t $50/yr. I also photograph. Adobe started going with a subscription rate with photoshop and Lightroom. There are others that do just as well for tens of dollars. Unless I am refitting and spending a bunch of boat bucks, I don’t think I’m staying in this program. I also have to say I found a great inflatable dinghy cleaner from Defender. Called “August Race”. Spray on and wipe off...
 
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Likes: Tally Ho
Dec 23, 2016
184
Catalina 27 Clinton CT
I agree. If you buy a lot from them, the $50.00 is no issue. You get it free for a year. Analyze what you bought at the reduced price versus what you would pay if you didn't have the program and paid regular price. If you saved over $50.00 it is a no brainer.

As for the taxes, they didn't "just" decide to collect taxes. It is a federal law that started on Jan 1 after the Supreme Court ruled that if you do a certain amount of business in a state you a required to collect and remit sales tax to that state. I haven't seen Defender increase their prices since the ruling so I am sure that collecting taxes and remitting them costs them money over what they made last year
 

jviss

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Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
This year they started charging me sales tax
As for the taxes, they didn't "just" decide to collect taxes. It is a federal law that started on Jan 1 after the Supreme Court ruled that if you do a certain amount of business in a state you a required to collect and remit sales tax to that state.
First off, the word "just" doesn't appear in my comment. I said they started collecting sales tax. There is no such Federal law that started on January 1 - that's B.S., too. I can see how Defender may be required to collect tax for Massachusetts sales, because they are a big target. But most online retailers do not. More reason for me to shop elsewhere.
 
Feb 5, 2009
251
Gloucester 20 Kanawha River, Winfield, WV
There is no such Federal law that started on January 1
You're correct, but there was a supreme court ruling about this time last year which cleared the way for state laws to go into effect. Even before that, the trend seemed to me to be that more online retailers than not were starting to charge me state tax.
 

jviss

.
Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
You're correct, but there was a supreme court ruling about this time last year which cleared the way for state laws to go into effect. Even before that, the trend seemed to me to be that more online retailers than not were starting to charge me state tax.
Yes, thanks, I know I am correct, and I've read the SCOTUS decision.
 

4arch

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Jun 29, 2010
91
Beneteau Oceanis 400 Baltimore
Based on the examples provided in their announcement, the discounts are on the order of 5-7% so one would have to both spend at least $800-900 per year AND not be very good at timing their purchases to catch the regular sales to make membership worth the cost. I do fear that Defender’s great sales might eventually become fully or partially limited to paid members.

That said, even though I don’t meet the spending threshold and won’t sign up for the membership, I think this is ultimately a smart move on Defender’s part to “lock in” some of their customers who meet or are close the spending threshold.
 

jviss

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Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
the discounts are on the order of 5-7%
And they are not always the lowest price vendor. E.g., I bought a piece of plumbing this week that was $112 at Defender, plus shipping and 6.025% MA sales tax, from elsewhere for $93, free shipping, no tax.
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,824
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
And they are not always the lowest price vendor. E.g., I bought a piece of plumbing this week that was $112 at Defender, plus shipping and 6.025% MA sales tax, from elsewhere for $93, free shipping, no tax.
That's correct, Defender is not always the lowest price vendor, however, their prices are consistently the lowest or among the lowest prices around. Just like all other retail businesses, there are some loss leaders in their inventory. They are my first stop for most items and I get overnight shipping for standard costs and no sales tax.
 
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Likes: Rick D
Jan 11, 2014
7,824
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Wait a little while.
When that time comes, it comes. Taxes are a zero sum game. It costs a certain amount to run state local government. What the state, county and towns don't collect in sales tax, they collect in property, sales, and income taxes and other fees.
 

JRacer

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Aug 9, 2011
1,239
Beneteau 310 Cheney KS (Wichita)
When that time comes, it comes. Taxes are a zero sum game. It costs a certain amount to run state local government. What the state, county and towns don't collect in sales tax, they collect in property, sales, and income taxes and other fees.
So, you are saying that the State & Local Gov's will all plan to lower one or more of their other taxes to account for the windfall that they will get from the sales tax remittances from the online vendors? Don't hold your breath. All Gov's never saw a tax collection they didn't absorb like water sprayed into a blast furnace. This is "found money". They will spend as efficiently and effectively as the tax dollars that preceded them. YMMV.
 
Aug 3, 2012
2,542
Performance Cruising Telstar 28 302 Watkins Glen
I shop defender often. I like their service so far. I understand all vendors trying to create loyalty by creating membership programs. I tend to sign up for the programs to reap the extra discounts and rewards in a year when I have a big purchase to make or a project going. Then I will let it lapse. I have to admit enjoying not paying an extra 8% for NY sales tax, but that has ended with many online retailers. However, I recall my accountant asking me the last few years if I made purchases on the internet as he was doing my taxes. Seems I cannot recall any!