The Honest Team often get asked, “hey, can you price match scuba gear for me? I found it cheaper on another website.”
You know us, we’re always completely honest with you. I wrote this article for three reasons:
- To explain why we don’t price match scuba gear
- To show you what we do instead and,
- To show you where there’s a little loophole to our general rule (more details below!)
I KNOW WE’RE NOT THE CHEAPEST…
… and I’m cool with that. If you’re hunting for the cheapest prices, you’re probably not going to find them on this site. We sell at the recommended retail price as suggested by the manufacturer.
Sometimes we can have sale items, or more specifically, Hal can! Hal’s Howlers feature the products that we have on special offer.
BUT, I want to make this really clear…
They’re not on a special offer because we’re trying to get rid of them! Hal’s Howlers feature products that are on offer from our supplier, and we’re passing on the lower price to you.
So, let’s get into the nitty gritty. Here’s 5 reasons why we don’t price match scuba gear…
1. WE DON’T KEEP MASSIVE STOCKS
Let’s be honest – we’re only little! We keep as much in stock as we can, but we can’t really afford to have lots of money tied up in products sitting on a shelf (and I’m not gonna lie, there’s no more room in the cupboard!)
I understand the impact this has on your shopping experience – I know it adds a few days to your delivery time because we order things in specifically for you and that takes time. BUT, there’s a positive side to working like this which I think you’ll LOVE – you can be sure that everything you order from us is in pristine condition! It’s not been lying around on the floor getting bashed and dusty. Hal’s Howlers are not products that have been lying around – we order these in specially too!
This in itself is another reason we don’t price match scuba gear. The large online scuba shops (we think of them like our big brothers) have LOTS of stock. They’ll go through cycles where they do clearances to get rid of old stock and if you time it right, you’ll be able to pick up a bargain! In these cases, we can’t price match because, to be blunt, they’re selling it for less than we can buy it for.
2. WE DON’T WANT TO UNDERCUT YOUR LOCAL DIVE SHOP
What, a UK dive centre that CARES about the “competition”?! Well, first of all, The Honest Diver doesn’t consider your local dive centre as competition. I’ve got friends in centres all over the UK and I know that one of the biggest bugbears of all is when a diver walks into their shop, asks for loads of advice, tries stuff on and then buys it online because they found it cheaper.
The Honest Team do not want to be part of that problem. In fact, if you look around this site, you’ll see Jim, Harry and myself give you advice and then tell you to go to your local dive centre! We’ve flipped it on its head!
Choosing a scuba mask is a prime example of this – unless you know exactly what you want, it is simply impossible to buy a mask online and be 100% confident it’s going to fit your face. You need to do the suck test and you need to get it wet. That’s why in this video and blog, Jim openly says go to your local centre, we just can’t do that stuff online!
3. WE DO NICE THINGS FOR OUR AMAZING CUSTOMERS
You aren’t just an order number to us. The Honest Team genuinely want to get to know you! I love checking in with you guys to give you order updates (which I do by personalised videos – see what I mean here) and to find out how you got on with your new toys. All our reviews say that our customer service is second to none.
But what’s this got to do with price matching scuba gear?? Well, because you’re paying full whack, it gives us the chance to thank you for being awesome in other ways. I would much rather give you something EXTRA than give you a discount. This is because we can make the value of the “extra thing” way more than the money you would save from price matching… does that make sense!?
Let me give you some examples to explain what I mean:
- We add little thank you gifts to your package. We’re always on the lookout for scuba goodies to hide in your delivery. It’s like an extra little surprise when you open up your box!
- We do all the technical stuff so you don’t have to. When you buy something that needs assembly (like a regulator – did you know they just come in a box of bits?!) Jim will personally set it up for you, to your specification and check it over on his test bench before he sends it. That means it’s ready to use straight out the box.
- We help you get the most out of your new gear. Let’s say you buy gear that needs fettling (that’s Jim’s nerdy term for making it fit by the way haha!) like a new wing. He will make sure it’s perfect by sizing it up in person at Honest HQ or talking you through it over a video call if you’re not local.
- Come jump in the training tank. If you want to try before you buy, or make more tweaks under Jim’s guidance come and jump in the water! We’ve got a tank at Honest HQ where you can see yourself in mirrors to make sure your trim and streamlining is on point – I’ve even seen Jim jump in with tools to make adjustments on the fly!
- We can afford sustainable packaging. It’s always more expensive… what’s that about?! We package up your order with love (I always think it goes out the door looking like it’s been gift-wrapped!) We want you to have fun when you’re opening it and make sure it’s 100% recyclable once you’re finished with it. Even our packaging tape is recyclable and our stickers are biodegradable.
- It’s awesome when you spread the love. When you refer us to your friends and we find out about it on the grapevine, we’ll send you a present for being a legend. It’s people like you who make The Honest Diver a success. You’re just amazing and we want to show our appreciation. In the past, we’ve sent everything from friendship bracelets to Just Eat vouchers!
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that you might save a few quid if you price match scuba gear elsewhere, but you can’t put a price on all the extra goodies and fantastic customer service you’ll get from The Honest Diver.
4. WE USE OUR PROFITS TO PROTECT THE OCEAN
You know that we’re all mad keen on ocean conservation. The Honest Team are out at diving and snorkelling sites pretty much every day. We make sure that we’re doing our bit to take care of the ocean by doing underwater litter picks and beach cleans.
But, I’ve pushed the business to go one step further. We make sure that a portion of our profits go to four charities that are very close to our hearts. You’ll also notice when you’re paying for your order you can help us support these amazing organisations even more by making a donation too!
OUR CHOSEN CHARITIES
PROJECT AWARE We are massive fans of Project AWARE and we love the work that they do. Every dive done by The Honest team is a Dive Against Debris. We remove litter from underwater whenever we see it and report the data back to Project AWARE. This is then used as evidence of the destruction caused by marine debris, driving changes in regulation and policy.
BRITISH DIVERS MARINE LIFE RESCUE The Honest team are all trained marine mammal medics. This means we respond to call-outs to attend sick and injured seals, whales, dolphins, porpoises… you name it! The charity has volunteer medics all around the UK, and donations make it possible for BDMLR to help marine life in need. We also support our local Seal Hospital at Tynemouth Aquarium by raising funds and donating old wetsuits that get turned into makeshift mammies for stranded baby seals!
RNLI As divers we never hope to need the assistance of the Lifeboats, but it’s certainly reassuring to know that they’re there! RNLI stations all over the country attend to divers when they find themselves in trouble, so it seems only right that we do our part to raise money for this incredible organisation. We support our local station in Blyth by raising funds and also helping them during training exercises so they know how to handle divers and their equipment.
SURFERS AGAINST SEWAGE We’ve been organising SAS beach cleans for years. We’ve always been blown away by the support we’ve received from local reps and the incredible work they do and we wanted to give something back. We’re proud to be a member of the 250 club which helps fund their education programme, beach cleans and campaigns to protect the marine environment.
5. WE OFFSET OUR CARBON EMISSIONS WITH SEAGRASS
We’re on a journey to reduce our carbon emissions. Right now, we offset our footprint using SeaGrass Grow, the worlds first and only blue carbon calculator. Basically, we pay money to help fund seagrass planting initiatives, helping trap more carbon and restore coastal environments. It was an obvious choice for a bunch of scuba divers!
Our goal is to become carbon neutral by implementing more changes at The Honest Diver. As much as I would LOVE to get things like solar panels plastered all over Honest HQ and an electric van to tootle around in, we just can’t afford that cost right now… but we’re working on it!
And I’ll let you in on a little pipe dream of mine. I would love to plant our own seagrass meadow. Imagine that… our own carbon sink planted and maintained by our divers! THAT would be epic and if we could achieve it, we might even be able to become carbon positive. (By the way, if you’re reading this and think you could help us with that dream… please get in touch!)
SO, DO YOU STILL WANT US TO PRICE MATCH SCUBA GEAR?
By selling at RRP and refusing to price match scuba gear, we do make more profit on our sales. I can’t hide that fact!
However, I hope that now you’ve read this little article of mine, you can see that it’s got nothing to do with greed. We use our profits to go the extra mile for our customers and the ocean and grow our business into something amazing.
I totally understand if you need to get your dive gear in the most cost-effective way, that’s cool and I get it. The Honest Team are always here if you need us.
NOW FOR THE LOOPHOLE…
There is one way that you can request a price match…
Submerge is our online scuba diving subscription. Amongst LOADS of other perks, members have access to live weekly scuba training, a whole back catalogue of sessions to binge on AND we bend over backwards to find the best prices for them at The Honest Diver. As a member of Submerge, you are VERY special to us. We’ve got a fantastic little community of scuba divers from all over the UK and we make sure we look after you every way we can 🙂