Warranties, Returns and Repairs

Article By: Bill Doran


At ScubaBiz.Help, we can not give you the best answers for your business, but we can certainly assist you by presenting facts that you

can consider to get you there. In this article, I am introducing an upcoming “Hot Topic Discussion” that you can participate in on our

Facebook Group.


At first glance, this topic would apply to the sale of scuba equipment. While that may be the most common situation, it can also apply

to courses, charters and other aspects of your scuba business. This is a topic that all instructors should be well versed in so that they

are ready to talk to their students and customers.


In short, this article is about finding the balance between serving your customers, suppliers and your business.


Let us start with using a dictionary.


What is a warranty?

According to the dictionary, a warranty is a written guarantee issued to the purchaser of an article by its manufacturer, promising to

repair or replace it if necessary within a specified period of time.


What is a return?

According to the dictionary, a return is an act of coming or going back to a place or activity.


What is a repair?

According to the dictionary, a fix or mend (a thing suffering from damage or a fault)

Is this helpful for you when dealing with students and customers? NO!

Perhaps we would be better starting out by asking the question:

Who are you looking after, the customer, the supplier or you?

Well, the answer is all three!

By now, you are likely thinking, “Bill are you trying to help or confuse me”? Clearly, this is not a simple topic, so I am opening it up as a “ScubaBiz.Help Hot Topic”.


First, I will present some facts that will help with the process.


Facts to consider:

  • Are we looking for ongoing relationships?
    • With our students/customers? Ongoing means more sales.
    • What about with our suppliers? They can not do business with us if they are not making money. We need products to sell.
    • When it comes to us having any ongoing relationship, we need profit as well!
  • Inventory costs for warranty and repair.
    • Do we carry these parts and have the tools? What is the cost of this?
    • Or do we ship in the parts as needed? This increases shipping costs and causes delays to customers.
  • What about straight returns?
    • Is the item a regularly stocked item for you, or is it a special order?
    • Do you have the ability to resell the item at a price that you can recoup all of the costs associated with the returned item?
  • Don’t forget to add on transportation costs!
    • Unlike Amazon and other online stores, our industry does not have next-day or free shipping. So how will you
    • differentiate yourself and compete?
    • The standard in the scuba industry is that the store pays to ship to the manufacturer/distributor, and then the
    • manufacturer/distributor pays to send the item back. Did you build this into your pricing?
    • Where you are located, which manufacturer/distributor you are working with, and your terms and volume will determine
    • the warranty policy you are offered.
    • Do your suppliers offer national versus international warranty programs?
  • Repairs:
    • Was the need for repair caused by the product, the user, or perhaps you are selling the wrong product for the person’s needs?
    • By teaching the diver to use the product correctly and safely, can you avoid returns and repairs? For example, some of us only sell dry suits with a training session included. If the user declines the lesson(s), they void certain warranty or repair issues such as torn seals or zippers. Just a thought!


As seen above, there is a great deal to consider on the topic of Warranties, Returns and Repairs.


In the coming weeks will introduce this as a “Hot Topic Discussion” that you can participate in on our Facebook Group. In addition, based on your interest in the group, we will offer a workshop on the topic where you can work with us and others to build and improve your policies on “Warranties, Returns and Repairs.”

Count Down to Launch

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