Before we get into beginnings,
operations... I stumbled onto a "competitor's"
website the other day. What I saw pretty much tells the
story of why we're different and why we've earned the
trust of our clients. Upon ordering from the wanna-be
competitor (with the initials A C) they try to tack on
an additional purchase of a profit generating
"bond" to ensure the transition is handled fairly. What
does the bond buy you? (Copied from their text)
your item will be packaged and shipped via the
promised shipping method
your item will ship in the timeframe promised
you will receive what you ordered as described online
all payment methods indicated will be accepted
all return and refund policies will be honored
Well, with us you don't have to
buy a bond to receive this guarantee. You get a personal promise and a
commitment from me personally that goes a lot further. To add a bit
more differentiation between CharkBait and the plethora
of wanna-be's. We're listed with the Better Business
Bureau, and have a higher customer satisfaction rating
than any competitor (AAA).
view our Better Business Bureau report (this
is our internet's report, you will find the same rating
for our retail shop)
Yes we are different, refreshingly so.
- Mark Smith
Now, back to the tale..........
2008 CharkBait Team
Leeana Aragon customer service manager, Matt Hornschu
Product Manager, Jeff Lambert Sales Advisor, Tom Harmon Warehouse Manager,
Ross Nakamura Sales and Service, Aret Partalciyan Customer Service, Mark
Smith Clean-up, Mark Hoffman Shop Manager. Not pictured Melissa
Partalciyan accounting, Mike (Ruby) Rubin & Aaron Borhegyi Customer
2009 Edition Below - Amazing consistency of photo pose isn't it?
Leeana, Max, Melissa, Jeff, Tom, Aaron, Paul, Aret, Mark
and the ever lovely Rube.
And, for 2010/11 we have another strangely familiar image
with rather unique individuals. Left to right, Leeana, Max, Sergey, Jeff,
Megan (San Diego) Tom, Mike (San Diego), Paul, John, JJ (San Diego), Mark and Vince (San Diego).
So, who's / what's CharkBait?
Is the CharkSite a safe place?
Shipping, hidden charges, bait and switch...?
What's CharkBait!? Well, let's see, you're not
dealing with some big faceless corporation. Or some nincompoop who's simply moving boxes.
You are dealing with me, my name is Mark Smith, I'm CharkBait, with a little help from
some friends. (very, very old picture...with some hair, perhaps not much
but it really existed at one point...)
I started CharkBait! in the mid 90's as a hobby, with part of the website devoted to
fishing the local coast, and part of the site containing education resources. (I'm also
involved in education.) When I moved back to California from Texas I
discovered saltwater fishing, bought a new boat, and realized it's not all
that easy finding the fish on your own. So, the website became a Private
Boater networking tool, for me and other guys sharing information. At the time of the "beginning" I was an aspiring
administrator working on my doctorate at USC. When work terminally interfered with my
fishing I opted to change directions, and teach an at risk population of
kids - doing something constructive and
positive - and build CharkBait into something a bit more than a hobby. That's when I got
the notion of starting a tackle business, and formally started the retail enterprise in
1997. Prior to teaching I spent 13 years working as sales manager in the consumer
electronics industry, including tours of duty with Sansui Electronics, JVC, Proton and
Sunkyong. I enjoy teaching, fishing, and yes even retail!
I went "commercial" and entered the tackle business, our goal
was to grow the business the right way, and ultimately build ourselves a
retail storefront. I started out taking over my garage, moved into
the upstairs bedrooms, living room... Then we got our first
warehouse. Life was great. But, within a year's time it was
way too small for our needs.
August 2001 we opened our first retail store. We still maintain the
warehouse. We've had some nice slow progress over the past few
years. Learned a lot along the way. First and foremost has been the
importance of everyone on our team, the investment in human capital.
In April '07 we opened a dedicated Internet
Office and Warehouse facility in Huntington Beach, CA. The new warehouse
offers a lot of square footage, added inventory, and a dedicated staff
working solely to expedite processing of Internet orders. Again, we
invested in better service for our clients.
Let's see what else can I say? Ah, I've got a darg, I'm a Capricorn, and I like quiet
walks along....oh, sorry, I got a bit off track...
Safety and Operation:
CharkBait! is hosted by a large Internet service
provider, host to other major businesses with an Internet presence. The host, is a
twenty-million dollar subsidiary, of a multi-billion dollar telecommunications firm. I
produce the files, they maintain storage space, the Internet machinery and the connection
you use to access this site. There are two types of website, in terms of security: SSL
sites and non-SSL sites. This website is hosted on a secure SSL computer. What that means
is that when you enter information on one of the product pages, it becomes encrypted in a
format which can't be viewed by anybody but me. When you visit the product pages you'll
find pictures, text, and areas for you to make your selections. Once you fill out your
selections, click on the "Send to Charkbait" or Submit button, you'll be
presented with a certificate indicating you are going to a secured zone. There you will
see the information you are sending me - secured. The encryption process only
effects the information you submit to me when you "press" the Submit
button on the product selection section of the tackle sales pages. Once
you send over your order and enter your shipping/billing info you're just about done. You'll
immediately receive an order confirmation. This is ONLY A CONFIRMATION.
You will receive another email from us within 12 hours showing your
total billing amount for your approval.
The final invoice will reflect shipping and applicable CA sales taxes.
(Orders shipped within CA are taxed, outside CA are untaxed). As
of 07/14/08 we are changing our shipping policy. Orders for shipment
within the USA which are over $100 will receive FREE
SHIPPING. Oversize, over-weight orders will not be free...you'll
still get the confirming invoice reflecting total charges for your
approval prior to billing. But, standard size/weight orders will be
processed and billed more quickly with the change in our operating
system, and you'll save some bucks too!
CharkBait! uses the best, most expensive, secured
Internet commerce system available. But, if you still would rather not
conduct your transaction via the computer, you may instead call in your
credit card number or fax your information - that's why we have an 800
line! You'll find the phone numbers and email addresses listed at the
bottom of each page on our site. We try to make contacting us easy.
Operations, Bait and
I maintain inventory on all that I post on the website. That's
one thing that is different about CharkBait! than most any other catalog company or
Internet store. I'm not working off a distributor's stock, wasting your time with shipping
delays. I stock the merchandise, and try to ship in a timely fashion.
CharkBait is a
"real" business, with real inventory. I buy my tackle from the same folks
everyone else does, and can get a hold of just about every type of tackle available.
Further, we have grown over the years, and now are "direct" with our
major suppliers unlike most shops. As a result of our volume we can
purchase in large enough quantities to have a direct relationship with
our primary venders. Again, this is a significant difference from other
internet based, and retail shop based stores in this field. We have
become a significant player in the sportfishing community, and our
purchasing power is great enough to leverage some very good buys for our
work on turns, and efficiency, keeping prices as low as possible. As a
result, we've been the recipient of word-of-mouth advertising over the
years. That's also helped maintain our low overhead and competitive
Oh, yeah, bait and switch... We don't do it. Everything is on sale, nothing is
"spiffed". Our sales staff does not try to push whatever has the
highest profit margin, they are not paid a commission based upon sales
volume or profitability. We want you happy, and coming back again, telling friends good things
about this place. That's our advertising - budgets being what they are. We try to be very
price competitive, offering the most value possible. We're constantly searching out things
that represent a special value. You can be sure the manufacturers who's products are
represented on the CharkSite offer exceptional value, reliability, and performance. If
they are not, I simply won't invest my dollars for the inventory. Should you buy something that winds up going on special at the CharkStore, don't
worry, we also offer 30 day price protection in the form of credit, and will do all that's
in our power to ensure your satisfaction. If you are looking for something not displayed on
one of the product pages, please send ud an email. I'm eager to add things that make sense
Please visit our Shipping
page for information regarding shipping costs.
Returns and Exchanges: Be
sure of your purchase when ordering. If there's an error on the order
confirmation, a script mistake, or a doubled entry, please email or call
us back so we ship you exactly what you'd like to receive. Upon
processing your order, note we do no online billing a real live person
actually will use the data you submit and work up a final invoice - you'll receive an invoice
back via email showing the items selected - your final invoice and final
billing amount. Look that over to be sure you are getting what you wish. We
try to operate efficiently. That's a key to our ability to offer good
values. Customer service is also a key part of our success. We check your
gear prior to shipment to ensure accuracy in shipment and the quality of
the merchandise. Do the same when you receive your order.
Please inspect your purchase upon receipt, and notify us if there's any
problem ASAP. If, in the unlikely event, you receive a damaged
product please contact us via email or phone to arrange the return.
You have a seven day refund
privilege on non-special order purchases. You also have a
30 day exchange privilege
for defective merchandise when you order with CharkBait. Returned
goods must be in new condition, with all packaging material and warranty
cards. If we make an error, we are accountable/responsible for
return shipping or exchanges. If you make an error or change your mind,
you are accountable.
If you simply
change your mind about a purchase within 30 days, the return will carry a
10% restocking charge as long as the merchandise is in it's original
packaging, is unused and pristine in condition. After 30 days, the
product is considered used and we will not accept a return. Again,
we try to offer low prices to our clients. We'd rather have you
delay a purchase than buy an item to try, and then return. That's
not fair to the next person to get the gear you returned. We only
sell brand new gear, not used, not "demo" merchandise. We do not
have the ability to deal with returns. We're not Target, Neman
Marcus or Nordstrums. Then again, we don't operate at 50% profit
margins either. Know what you want when you make your purchase.
We'll cover our end of the transaction's responsibility (shipping brand
new gear, in top condition, at fair prices), you are expected to be
responsible for your decisions, too.
No returns will
be accepted without a RMA number (Return Merchandise Authorization).
To obtain an RMA # just give us a call or email. We'll supply you
with the necessary information.
If we make a shipping error, the return shipping is at our expense not
yours. If a product is found defective we'll also pick up the
shipping tab, upon inspection. Otherwise, returned goods will be at your
We do not sell or provide anyone any information regarding
visitors, e-mail address, nothing. I do provide advertising banners on this site.
All such advertising is hosted on our site, so there's no issue
with spamming, security or other abuses of private information or email
accounts. Spam is a pet peeve of mine, we don't do it, allow
it, or condone the practice.
Since I'm trying to work most efficiently, e-mail is the preferred method
of communication. Knowing that circumstances and security may make other
options preferable, you can also contact us directly via fax or phone.