Vendor Boycotts

Discussion in 'Product and Vendor Reviews' started by jderimig, Dec 1, 2019.

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  1. Dec 2, 2019 #31

    watheyak

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    If you dug into the supply chains for most of the products you buy I'm sure you'd find a lot you didn't like.

    We often and unknowingly turn a blind eye to horrors worse than CT.
     
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  2. Dec 2, 2019 #32

    tbonerocketeer

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    there is a second, different from the one you can't mention.
     
  3. Dec 2, 2019 #33

    prfesser

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    I fully agree. Yes, it's tedious to glass a paper or phenolic tube...but isn't construction half the fun? And add the satisfaction of doing more of the rocket yourself. And of no longer supporting some supplier who has demonstrated over the years that s/he is dishonest and cannot be trusted with your money.

    And it's a lot cheaper than filament wound stock. FW is perhaps stronger than homemade cloth-wrapped, but how often is that additional strength really needed? And if extra strength IS needed, use carbon fiber cloth instead of fiberglass. A homemade CF tube is cheaper, or only slightly more expensive, than FW glass tubing.

    Best -- Terry
    "Why should I pay someone else to screw up something that I can screw up myself for free?"
     
  4. Dec 2, 2019 #34

    Ez2cDave

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    Yes, I know ( I can't mention that one, either ) . . . I was on the phone with the person that uses them, for almost 2 hours today . . . A very nice guy !

    Dave F.
     
  5. Dec 3, 2019 #35

    Rob702Martinez

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    I'm debating on replying to all of this...
     
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  6. Dec 4, 2019 #36

    Woody's Workshop

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    Not that I am interested in filament wound anything, but does anyone else see what I see?
    An Opportunity. If someone was able to invest in the start up and staff it, you could quickly gain a great client base and reputation.
    Too bad I'm so poor, sounds like something I would enjoy doing.
     
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  7. Dec 4, 2019 #37

    solid_fuel

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    They say the fastest way to make a million bucks is to start with two million.
     
  8. Dec 4, 2019 #38

    jderimig

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    I respectfully ask keeping this thread on topic.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2019
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  9. Dec 4, 2019 #39

    John Beans

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    As a product vendor myself and a former management consultant and marketing exec, I'll pitch in some of my opinions/observations about product shortages and some of the business decisions which lead to them. I'm by no means the last word on this, and what I say is general, and not directed at any particular vendor/reseller—but it applies to some degree to all of them. All of us, really.

    The industry has a few business practices that contribute to shortages:
    1. Competing on low price
    2. Volume price breaks
    2. Discounts and promotions

    They seem great for customers in the short term, but in the long run they lead to what we are talking about.

    With regards to #1, it can honestly be hard to differentiate a product if it's just like someone else's. If two body tubes or two parachutes look and act the same, people will tend to pick the less expensive one. If one's a little better, they'll pay a little more. But no one wants to pay more than they need to.

    But one bad thing about competing on price (rather than performance, features, technology, great service, selection, speed, or website) is that there's not always a lot of economic motivation for great customer service and to perform at a high level (same day shipment, for instance). Someone spends $10 on something that a vendor (for whatever reason) nets just a $1 profit, and suddenly the order doesn't get the attention or urgency the customer (to whom $10 is important) expects. Yes, it's true that a decent person should always try to do a good job no matter how much or little money is made, but look around at all of the businesses you encounter every day: notice how obvious it is when you see someone doing a great job. It really stands out. The odds get higher that you'll get better service if you go to a business that you give more money to and that is doing well.

    The other thing that competing on price tends to do is to lead manufacturers to offshore manufacturing. That can introduce big time delays between production batches, occasional quality issues, and tends to make product improvements occur more slowly. To save on shipping costs and take advantage of the frequent volume discounts that overseas vendors seek, slow ocean boats and giant containers of product are one result. Those mean that the vendor oscillates between having too much inventory, then too little. In a very lumpy fashion. This happens to Estes all the time, for instance.

    Volume price breaks incent people to load up on more inventory than they'd normally want in order to reduce unit costs. But those large orders tie up cash. If that vendor/reseller suddenly needs cash for something else, they often resort to putting their now "excess" inventory on sale to get some quick cash.

    Once a product has been seen on sale for $18, nobody wants to pay $25 for it any more. That product is now "worth" $18, because it can sometimes be purchased for that, and nobody (me included) wants to spend more than they have to once they know that.

    So you have an industry full of small companies running on low margins, with customers who grow used to one reseller or another discounting products to get a burst of life-saving cash. Other resellers that are holding those same products in inventory suddenly see them lose value, and may follow suit. It's a race to the bottom.

    How does one reseller's big buys and discounting affect product availability across the whole industry? First, one reseller makes a large purchase from a manufacturer to get a volume discount. Then (and all resellers know this is a common experience) they'll send out an ad with a great deal to pass the savings along. Given the nature of the internet, almost all of the sales for that product immediately flow to that reseller, leaving others with few/no sales. The reseller who posted the ad quickly sells out, perhaps disappointing the last group of customers who tried to order some. So you've got that reseller now with no inventory and even some backorders, and others with too much inventory of a product that is now worth less than they hoped it would be. They make themselves a promise not to get caught with so much inventory next time (thus in essence preparing to be short of inventory themselves at some point).

    So the final situation we find ourselves in is this: customers constantly search for deals from resellers who frequently run promotions and frequently run out of product. They are not making much money and due to their financial struggles aren't always in the mood to be super-helpful to angry customers. They may ignore emails. They don't invest in real-time inventory systems and other techniques to become a more reliable supplier, they hate giving perks like free shipping, and they can be hard to deal with in terms of returns and repairs.

    That's the flip side of "a great deal."

    Some industries are plagued with such "promotional cycles" (which have all but killed Macy's, who has tried but can't seem to move away from them), while some have largely avoided it. You can't, for instance, ever find an Apple product on sale—the price is the same everywhere.

    Model rocketry happens to be particularly bad on the promotional cycle spectrum. Lots of shortages, frustrated customers, promotional lock-in ("Wait until Hobby Lobby has a coupon sale!"), and failing businesses.

    Or at least that's my observation.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
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  10. Dec 5, 2019 #40

    swatkat

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    The situation that you describe above still doesn't explain why a year later a vendor is still unable to deliver. It's a case of a bad supplier that hasn't changed behavior and likely won't until is affects his pocketbook. By voting with dollars through vendors that he supplies, the likely course is that those vendors will put added stress on the supplier and threaten and/or move to a different more reliable supplier thereby achieving the desired end result, either through the supplier changing behavior or going out of business.
     
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  11. Dec 5, 2019 #41

    Buddy Michaelson

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    I don’t want to get into this, as it’s none of my business, but here we go. I don’t think that is right at all, it should 100% be on Ken, he promised his customers something and he broke that promise. You should press Ken, call him everyday like you are his boss until he delivers. It should not be Madcows, AMW, Rocketman, or any other of his suppliers faults, as it’s going to hurt everyone in the long run. Boycotting a vendor will never be good for the hobby no matter what way you look at it, and just spreads hate, that’s the last thing we need. Rocketry is supposed to be joyful, and something to do to get away from the crazy politics. It’s all about having control of the situation, like I have all 100 of my GoFast Kits in my hand right now (other than the ones that have shipped). Me shipping late, isn’t CT’s fault, it’s 100% mine as they’re in my hands. Ken should’ve had the kits in his hands before selling them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
  12. Dec 5, 2019 #42

    burkefj

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    But you will admit you sold the miss riley
    Kits before you had all the pieces, right? You are saying that was a learning? If so thats good.. I've only done pre orders when i made it clear it was a pre order up front, i dont like to do that but sometimes its the only way to be sure your costs will be covered before you order specialized parts.

    ...
     
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  13. Dec 5, 2019 #43

    Buddy Michaelson

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    So why doesn’t he send you the tubes if they’re done already? I would be calling him everyday until it’s done, Ken has no excuse to screw his dedicated customers.
     
  14. Dec 5, 2019 #44

    OZRoc

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    That is slightly incorrect. Some larger FG parts specifically say that "This item is made to order and usually ships within 2-3 weeks - please call or email if you want to check specific ship times."
    However I am hoping for a good outcome to a recent transaction.
    Cheers
     
  15. Dec 6, 2019 #45

    CzTeacherMan

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    Out of curiosity...
    Aside from the specific situation mostly discussed above...
    Are there other reasons to boycott a vendor?

    I've got two that will never see a dime of mine:

    One is for purely personal reasons. I used to purchase from this person but stopped after an incident. I let him know and we went our separate ways. I respect his work and what he does, but I won't purchase from him anymore. I won't out that vendor in public but in private whenever that product comes up, I make my stance clear to people that know me. My minor protest has very little effect on that vendor's bottom line (virtually zero), but it's a stance based on personal reasons and principles.

    The other has engaged in pretty despicable tactics, doesn't respect copyrights, has no respect for club rules, and has outright lied to myself and several others. I'm not gonna out that vendor here so that this discussion stays academic, but myself and others make no bones about the fact that this vendor will never see a penny of our money; further, we'll discourage everyone we know and interact with from doing business with this person.

    Aside from those two vendors, I try to spend $ with my local vendor as much as possible. When I visit elsewhere, I try to be sure to grab at least an item or two from those local vendors as well. I understand the dynamics of our niche market, and I want my small contribution to have the greatest impact possible. Conversely, the academic idea of a boycott is a good one. "Vote with your dollars" is exactly right. If we all support (and conversely refuse to support) vendors that we prefer for whatever reason, we can have an impact on the market. If someone is trying to make a living at this, then their basic responsibility is to themselves and their own best interest. If a vendor engages in poor business practices, losing business is a natural consequence of that. That's kind of central to capitalism...
     
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  16. Dec 6, 2019 #46

    Onebadhawk

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    Good man..
    Well said..

    Must be a teacher or somtin..
    stey en skuoll..

    Teddy
     
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  17. Dec 6, 2019 #47

    jd2cylman

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    Teddy,
    You english goodly... :p
     
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  18. Dec 6, 2019 #48

    Onebadhawk

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    yeahhh,,
    goodly..
    More betterer..

    Me..
     
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  19. Dec 6, 2019 #49

    spigalau

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    Teddy is just a jersey boy... right ?
     
  20. Dec 6, 2019 #50

    Onebadhawk

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    Ha,,
    That's pretty funny Dean..
    I wanna go to where your from and see it..
    It's super beautiful there right ??
    My wife Sandy and I love to see new places..
    There's so much to see here though..
    But it's sure be something to see a beautiful place on the other side of the planet..

    Teddy
     
  21. Dec 6, 2019 #51

    tomsteve

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    as long as they dont have nuthin against bacon, im good with em all.:D
     
  22. Dec 6, 2019 #52

    HASTE

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    A good set of for's and against in this discussion but...
    In this politically correct world with gender neutrality the way it is ,should it not just be "cott" ?
    Sadly I could not help myself, sorry for the distraction nothing to see here move on :)
     
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  23. Dec 7, 2019 #53

    prfesser

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    Same here, with two rocket vendors, except that I've never let them know and I won't out them for other reasons. One did something fundamentally dishonest, to take advantage of me (to his/her benefit) in a particular situation. The other is simply an internet bully, not just to me but to others as well, and because of certain circumstances there will be no adverse consequences to his/her actions. Happily for me, the second one is no longer in business. I didn't have anything to do with that. Wish I had...

    Best -- Terry
     
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  24. Dec 8, 2019 #54

    cbrarick

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    Teddy's a Joesey Boy....
     
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  25. Dec 8, 2019 #55

    Binder Design

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    I've looked into that very same thing. "The vendor that will not be named" has cornered the market very effectively by doing one thing. Low pricing. I could not make my own FWFG tubing and sell it as cheaply as he does especially if I were trying to recoup equipment costs in a reasonable timeframe. That's the reason nobody else has stepped up, IMO.
     
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  26. Dec 8, 2019 #56

    WILDMANRS

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    "Hello I am Standing right here " in my best Teddy voice.
    Those who know will laugh
     
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  27. Dec 8, 2019 #57

    heada

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    I can't speak for others but I would be willing to pay slightly more to a vendor that is ethical and will actually deliver product and keep resellers stocked. I have a few kits from the person who cornered the market but not in several years and never again. I refuse to support them.
     
  28. Dec 8, 2019 #58

    Binder Design

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    I was not aware you owned a FWFG tubing factory.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
  29. Dec 8, 2019 #59

    WILDMANRS

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    We offer 29mm-8 inch size tube and nose cones in filament wound fiberglass and it’s not coming from the “one who shall not be named “
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
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  30. Dec 9, 2019 #60

    Bat-mite

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    Personcott.
     
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