14/12/2011 by Carl Reynolds
Was working all day, so no time to get down the lido…after all an Ape’s gotta work sometimes. So I decided to do a little experiment and see what it cost to get the basic kit on-line. I must confess to rarely buying anything swim related in an actual shop, as they rarely stock what I want or need. I looked for –
- Speedo Endurance Jammers
- Aquasphere Kaiman goggles
- Speedo Biofuse Earplugs
This is the kit I normally use. I looked at six websites. If the product was not available I choose the nearest equivalent, but will indicate this below. The results –
Allens of Kingsbury: Jammers £15.50; Goggles £12.85*; Earplugs £4.95. Total £33.30. Note – don’t stock Aquasphere, googles were Speedo Biofuse.
Wiggle: Jammers £19; Goggles £14.39; Earplugs £4. Total £37.39
Swimming without Stress: Jammers £17.99; Goggles £14.99; Earplugs £3.49*. Total £36.47. Note – don’t stock Speedo earplugs.
Swimshop: Jammers £15.49; Goggles £15*; Earplugs £4.99. Total £35.48. Note – didn’t have Aquasphere Kaiman googles.
Mailsports: Jammers £22.99*; Goggles £14.35; Earplugs £3.99. Total £41.30. Note – didn’t have standard Speedo Endurance jammers, so nearest Speedo equivalent.
ActivInstinct: Jammers £17.99; Goggles £13.71; Earplugs £4.99. Total £36.69.
Not a huge price difference, and it is important to note that they all at some time or another offer discounts. And some charge differently for P&P depending on how much you spend and some always deliver for free. Check if it’s Royal Mail though, as in my experience couriers are a pain to get your stuff from if you weren’t in when they called.
I was also interested in the About Us section on their respective websites – which of them were small independents, which larger and which, if any were part of larger conglomerates. I have also purchased goods from five of them, so have some experience of aftercare.
Swimshop were interesting because they have offered me a £50 voucher in the past to review their site and insert a link to women’s swimwear, but they do not stock Aquapshere Kaimen’s, my google of choice. They also claim to have the “lowest prices”, but note, not the lowest price.
Mailsport say they are an independent, but don’t say anything else to characterise this.
Wiggle have gone from being a small local outlet to a pretty big player – they have 54,000 likes on Facebook for example.
Swimming without Stress are a small independent on the coast and the owners love swimming. So much so that they teach it too.
Allen’s of Kingsbury are also an independent, and although cheapest overall, didn’t stock Aquasphere Kaiman’s.
ActivInstinct emerged out of Millet Sports and most of you in the UK will have heard of Millet’s. They are also one of the few outlets to stock Orca Jammers (which imho are the best), but they sell out very, very quickly.
I’ll leave you to come to your own conclusion about best value, but should finish by saying that you should shop around. I’ve seen Kaiman googles for as little as £9.99, Speedo Biofuse earplugs at £3.50 and Speedo Endurance Jammers for as little as £12. But it’s like going to charity shops, you’ll get a bargain every one in ten visits.