Amazon??

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Feb 13, 2014
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Anyone ever order a canoe from Amazon?

I've heard a few horror stories of receiving a broken canoe, and even the wrong canoe.
 
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If it was me, I'd give it a long think before I bypassed my local canoe dealer. Or even one that required a drive to get to. You're going to need advice, help, more and other gear. Maybe a second canoe in the future, someplace to trade in the old one. Suppose the canoe needs repairs? Sure would be nice if the dealer remembered you.
Somebody trying to run a canoe shop needs to stand behind what he sells. His reputation is critical to him staying in business. The big outfits; they run on volume and I don't think they much care what happens to the customer once they have his money.

Best Wishes, Rob
 
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No.. I haven't and never will. I prefer to buy used from paddlers. Or buy new from the guy/gal that made the boat.
Or at least the closest paddlesports shop to me.

If we don't buy local there is a chance that we have no recourse but to buy through Amazon.

I am curious what sort of canoe were you looking at at Amazon?
 
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I don't see much for sale on Amazon except Old Towns.. and not their more performance oriented boats.. Nothing wrong with Old Towns..but I sure want to see what I am getting before it arrives on the front porch sight unseen with the delivery truck retreating rapidly.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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I've never bought a canoe from Amazon, but I've had only favorable experiences with their return policies. They've even taken defective things back after the usual 30 day return period.

I'll be buying much less from Amazon now that they're charging state sales tax in Connecticut.

Many people don't live anywhere near a paddle shop, so buying without seeing is not uncommon. If you are not already familiar with the canoe model, you are of course taking a risk that you won't like it once you get it on the water.

If I were already familiar with a canoe on Amazon, or other national mail order company, I would have no qualms about buying it if the price was right. For stock or fungible items, I shop for everything on line and only care about price and return policies. You can also buy canoes online from Sierra Trading Post. Also from REI and have it shipped for free to a nearby REI store, if there is one.

Here's the important thing. Make sure you are there when the shipper arrives so you can inspect the canoe thoroughly. If there's anything wrong with it, refuse to accept shipment and tell the trucker to take it back to Amazon. If there are defects, you could even take pictures.

Also, verify beforehand what the return policy is for a canoe and how much the return shipping would be. You might even be able to return it yourself to the nearest Amazon warehouse.
 
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I do a decent amount of Amazon shopping and it's always been a good experience. I don't even mind the sales tax since I'd be paying it anyway if I shopped 'big box' locally. That said, I don't think I would be comfortable buying a canoe from Amazon. That's the sort of thing I want to research the heck out of and check out in person. I have always gotten my canoes/kayaks either used or from a paddle shop. They know their business and it's nice to talk 'shop' with the knowledgeable folks. Besides, I like to support local small businesses, and that's precisely what our local paddle shops are.
 
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Canoes via freight haulers

Canoes via freight haulers

Here's the important thing. Make sure you are there when the shipper arrives so you can inspect the canoe thoroughly. If there's anything wrong with it, refuse to accept shipment and tell the trucker to take it back to Amazon. If there are defects, you could even take pictures.

Years ago when I was writing canoe reviews for Paddler I received boats from some of the more distant manufacturers via freight truck. Although these boats were destined for delivery to my home I always tried to pick them up at the local freight terminal as soon as they arrived, instead of taking the risk them being loaded onto yet another truck.

Despite that precaution two of the boats I went to pick up had been damaged in shipment. In both cases someone had tried to load or unload them by driving a forklift or pallet jack under the immense bubble wrap of canoe.

Well, not exactly “under”, more like “through”, including one Royalex canoe.

Just as Glenn wrote – if you receive a boat from a freight hauler do not sign for it until you have completely unwrapped and inspected it. Toward that end I would go pick the boat up at the terminal when it arrives locally.

I took photos of the damage on the loading dock, making sure to include trucks with the hauler’s name/logo in the background. At that point any dispute was between the manufacturer and the freight hauler, and the photos helped the former avoid paying shipping costs twice (or, like a double portage, three times).

I would have to really, really want a specific and otherwise unobtainable canoe to go that route again.

EDIT: In all fairness to the carelessness of the dock workers, I suspect from the location of the damage that both boats were whacked while someone was using a forklift or pallet jack to move a package stacked in front of the canoe. Other than playing bubble wrap pinball there would be no other reason to hit it with the forks 8 inches off the ground.

It made me anxious as hell when unwrapping subsequent boats.
 
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I see that Sierra Trading Post sells only factory 2nds. There are no dealers in my area. Not anywhere within 200 miles. Is it safe to buy a factory 2nd??
 
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I see that Sierra Trading Post sells only factory 2nds. There are no dealers in my area. Not anywhere within 200 miles. Is it safe to buy a factory 2nd??

Not with out inspecting it first hand. A Cabelas in Prairie du Chien Wissonsin at one time sold Old Town blems (blemished canoes). They were marked BLEM right on the outside of the hull. I looked them over different times looking for a cheep boat. I remember seeing some that looked like they had been droped on the stem when hot off the mold as they were notched about an 1 1/2". I couldn't look at that all the time, it would drive me nuts. Others had misc defects in the sides. If it was a defect in the color or something like that it might be ok but I would want to see whats wrong with it before I bought it. Is this a model that you have paddled before? If not you shouldn't buy a canoe with out test paddling it first. I have to drive to a dealer in a different state to buy a canoe so I can paddle it first. It really is necessary. Good luck!
 
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I see that Sierra Trading Post sells only factory 2nds. There are no dealers in my area. Not anywhere within 200 miles. Is it safe to buy a factory 2nd??


As in all things canoeing, Maybe. I don't know how much of a hassle it is to return a boat to STP or what its return policy is. But I will say that I have never bought anything other than a blem boat new. Its always been cosmetic. Even small makers make color booboos now and then or a bubble turns out where it isn't wanted.

After you paddle it once you will have added your own blems. But do find out ahead just what the blem is.
 
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I dated an Amazon for a year or so back in the 90s. Great paddler, wonderful forward stroke, sprinted carries with pack on and boat over her head, but I wouldn't buy a canoe from her, too much chance of hidden stresses.

Oh, never mind......
 
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