Please excuse any typos and grammar issues. I worked a 14 hour day yesterday and the morning coffee has not yet entered the bloodstream.
Julie (a representative from AquaGear.com) contacted me about a week ago to do a review of their store and some of their products. They offered me $40 worth of free product in exchange for a honest review.
At first I thought this was a targeted blog scam. I did some research and discovered many other bloggers who were also contacted and did a review. So I proceeded with caution and ask a few questions to put my mind at ease. After some back and forth emails with Julie, I was satisfied this was legitimate.
Before I proceed with the AquaGear review let me make something clear. This is an honest review. Yes, they gave me $40 worth of free gear (which was nice) but anyone who knows me knows that I can sometimes be honest to a fault. You will see this when I do my review of my experiences with TriSports (who will never get my business again after the experience I had with them).
Customer Service: Grade A
It is so nice when you get great customer service. It really sells you on a company. AquaGear excelled in this area. They had awesome customer service. Their email response time was extremely quick and useful. I was trying to pick out some cool new goggles and had no idea what I wanted. I asked Julie about some of the goggle I was looking at and she gave me a very honest review of each of them. She even suggested the cheaper of the two goggles.
Shipping/Delivery: Grade A
My package was shipped the same day I ordered it. It arrived in about 1-2 days (ground normal shipping). But in all fairness they are located in West Palm Beach, Florida which is only about a 3-4 hour drive from my house. But the package was shipped within 24 hours as advertised which was great. Shipping is free on orders about $75 and standard shipping is just $5.99 regardless of order size.
Prices: Grade A
I did a quick price comparison of some of their products and it appears their prices are much lower than brick and mortar shops and at (or below) other online retailers. I do not buy much swimming equipment so I am not the best to grade this category.
Website Ease of Use: Grade C
The left hand produce menu changes with nearly every click. It seems to be context sensitive to what you are currently looking at. This means you have to go back to the main website to find items not related to your current item. This can be confusing. It is also one BIG menu so it is easy to get lost. The good news is if you know exactly what you are looking for they have a great search box on the top right.
Website User Reviews: Grade ?
One thing I found frustrating (and it is probably not AquaGear's fault) is the customer reviews. It seems that no items actually have customer reviews. This made the website seem like they have had no customers or just started their business. They should somehow encourage customers to place product reviews or they should place links to the AquaGear blog reviews on their website.
Merchandise: Grade A
They have a TON of quality and variety items to choose from. You seem to carry most major brands. They have EVERYTHING you should ever need for swimming.
Overall I think AquaGear is GREAT and HIGHLY recommend you doing business with them. It was a joy working with them and I have no complaints. It was a great experience.
BTW - HalfTRIing readers (all two of you) get an AquaGear 5% discount. The coupon code to use is fivehalftri5 This code will expire in about 1 year.