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Steve
I know your IP address
Consultant
join:2001-03-10
Foothill Ranch, CA
kudos:5
reply to Bob4

Re: Brand names

said by Bob4:

Which is why companies like BMW are out of business because people refuse to pay that much money for a car.

Nobody could possibly believe that every market operates exactly like — or even a little bit like — every other market.

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey

Until Wal-Mart starts selling cars.

It's the availability of crap for cheap prices that causes people to buy the cheap crap.



Steve
I know your IP address
Consultant
join:2001-03-10
Foothill Ranch, CA
kudos:5

1 recommendation

said by Bob4:

It's the availability of crap for cheap prices that causes people to buy the cheap crap.

The technical term for this is "filling a market need", and bemoaning Wal-Mart is like blaming your house for the appetite of the termites.

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey

I disagree.


hoyleysox
Premium
join:2003-11-07
Long Beach, CA
reply to nunya

I recently participated in a focus group on tools where the facilitator asked a bunch of dudes to expound about how tools make us feel, none of us seemed seemed like professional artisans. My takeaway was that the brand who sponsored the focus group was trying to sell the "doing" of a project and the "being" the cool guy depicted working.



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to Bob4

Really - they are out of business?????? Trust me - they are not anywhere NEAR out of business.



Steve
I know your IP address
Consultant
join:2001-03-10
Foothill Ranch, CA
kudos:5

said by CylonRed:

Really - they are out of business?????? Trust me - they are not anywhere NEAR out of business.

He was attempting to demonstrate a counter-example to my claim by way of sarcasm.

scross

join:2002-09-13
Cordova, TN
reply to Steve

said by Steve:

said by scross:

and stupid enough to do total off-shoring like that ultimately pay the price by losing any reputation for quality that they might have once had.

When customers are no longer willing to pay for quality, a reputation for same is no longer worth all that much.

Yeah, I'm not really buying this argument any longer. The Walmarts of the world keep saying that they are just trying to keep prices low (funny, though, how prices seem to keep going up and up), but they are notorious for continually going back to their suppliers and telling them to squeeze out more costs, which almost always means lowering quality. And most of this cost savings just goes directly into their own (Walmart's) pocket.

Sometimes only a nickel or a dime here or a quarter there is all it takes to create a quality product instead of a crap product. I remember having a long discussion about this years ago with a Maytag rep, back when Maytag still meant "quality", and he pointed out exactly where they spent those extra nickels, dimes, and quarters. And I've had discussions with engineers from local manufacturers, who were complaining about being ordered to make 5 to 10 percent cost cuts in their products every year (which meant using thinner metal here and cheaper quality components there and so on), until their products could barely survive past the warranty period, so that the company could please Wall Street with higher profits - NOT so they could lower prices.

scross

join:2002-09-13
Cordova, TN
reply to Xioden

said by Xioden:

said by scross:

So, would it be fair to say that, after transferring our manufacturing know-how and (quite often) the very machines to do that manufacturing over to China, that they now produce and keep the good stuff for themselves (at reasonable prices), while shipping the junk back home to us? I mean, this seems like it would be an expected outcome of the whole penny-pinching off-shoring process. Also very Darwinian, where companies that are greedy and stupid enough to do total off-shoring like that ultimately pay the price by losing any reputation for quality that they might have once had.

It's more just that companies have figured out people are more than willing to have to buy new crap every year or two, so why bother making stuff that will last for pretty much the rest of their life? China just happens to provide lower cost labor. Said laborer will put together something the same way regardless if it's made out of some super strong carbon-alloy tungsten fortified steel or some crappy reprocessed hodgepodge of metals they pulled from a scrap yard.

Well, given the choice between cheap Chinese-made crap and expensive Chinese-made crap, who wouldn't go with the cheaper stuff? And the Chinese have gone on record (in print, in America) as saying that they are more than happy to ship us "made to fail" products, because they think that we will just keep buying them over and over. But they seem to not grasp the concept of "other options" - meaning that when we've been burned by their crap once or twice, we will start looking elsewhere - regardless of brand name, regardless of price.


Raphion

join:2000-10-14
Samsara
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to 54067323

said by 54067323:

Opened it up and found the steel drive gear on the motor had split the Delrin gear it drove, now I realize Delrin is a self lubricating material stronger then nylon but what happened to using steel gears with grease.

Delrin gears in a hammer drill?! Unbelievable. Delrin in a child's toy sure, but in a DRILL? Obscene.

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
reply to scross

said by scross:

they [Wal-Mart] are notorious for continually going back to their suppliers and telling them to squeeze out more costs, which almost always means lowering quality.

That's what I was trying to point out to Steve.

Timmn

join:2000-04-23
Tinley Park, IL
Reviews:
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reply to nunya

Many of the brands you mentioned are now owned by a Chinese company, Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd.

Follow the link below to see the brands that they own:

»www.ttigroup.com/en/our_brands



Steve
I know your IP address
Consultant
join:2001-03-10
Foothill Ranch, CA
kudos:5
reply to Bob4

said by Bob4:

said by scross:

they [Wal-Mart] are notorious for continually going back to their suppliers and telling them to squeeze out more costs, which almost always means lowering quality.

That's what I was trying to point out to Steve.

I'm fully aware of how Wal-Mart operates, but in a commodity market (which Wal-Mart serves), reductions in costs virtually always results in lower prices to the end consumer: I'm not sure that any sober assessment of the facts can come to any other conclusion. Rollback, anyone?

Wal-Mart can only do this because they proxy the voting-with-their-wallet power that their customers have given them, and their enormous success is testament to their ability to meet the low-prices demanded by their customers.

Now if somebody wants to call this a "race to the bottom", they'll be on far firmer footing, but lots of people are making decisions with their own money to go that direction, which means that our view - preferring quality - is a clear (perhaps overwhelming) minority.

Steve
--
Stephen J. Friedl | Unix Wizard | Security Consultant | Orange County, California USA | my web site


cableties
Premium
join:2005-01-27
reply to nunya

Nunya: I hear ya.
I order jeans from denimexpress. Two years ago I got a pair of Carhartt canvas work jeans. Great jeans but $20 more than Wrangler, Dickies and Key. So I tried Key and their work jeans (5 pocket with little pocket that can hold cell phone not wood ruler). A heavier denim compared to Wrangler and Dickies. and $18.
Last month I ordered another Carhartt "canvas" in diff color. It was thinner grade and tighter than the same #, same size pair I had two years ago. Quality down hill.
As for Black And Decker, they are junk now (Stanley took them over in 2010), but also own DeWalt (combined now with Porter Cable). Dewalt seems to make decent tools, but they also evolve. I find their batteries are more than their tools, so when the batteries die, cheaper to get new tool with batteries.

Talking about something very good but pricey...look up Kitchen Aid Pro Line. They make a toaster now (looks VERY deco) that is $300! (2 slice). I saw one and had toast from it. I want one but not for $300!
--
Splat


sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon FiOS
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

Milwaukee is a heart breaker. I have many Milwaukee drills from the olden days. They still hum along fine. They were very expensive, but I use them for commercial use, so it was worth the money.
I bought a cordless Milwaukee set a few years ago, and it has been nothing but problems. At least three trips to the repair shop. I FINALLY got the Milwaukee rep to switch out the drill with a new one.
Milwaukee is now owned by Techtronic (Ryobi), thus the dramatic drop in quality.

I like Bosch, but it appears as thought they are taking the same path as Milwaukee. Everything is going to China. I have yet to see a quality power tool from China.

I just bought one of Bosch's higher end 3/8" drills, made in Switzerland. Hilti is still made in Lichtenstein as far as I know.

Liberty

join:2005-06-12
Tucson, AZ
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
reply to cableties

said by cableties:

Nunya: I hear ya.
I order jeans from denimexpress. Two years ago I got a pair of Carhartt canvas work jeans. Great jeans but $20 more than Wrangler, Dickies and Key. So I tried Key and their work jeans (5 pocket with little pocket that can hold cell phone not wood ruler). A heavier denim compared to Wrangler and Dickies. and $18.
Last month I ordered another Carhartt "canvas" in diff color. It was thinner grade and tighter than the same #, same size pair I had two years ago. Quality down hill.

I have been buying made in USA jeans from Pointer for couple years now
They aren't quite as stylin' as the Wranglers I have been buying for decades but have all American fabric and labor
Cost half again what Wrangers cost


nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
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reply to nunya

My Redwing boots crapped out last month (holes in the uppers, worn out soles). They were beyond repair, so I went to the boot store looking for non-Chinese replacements. Nothing that was waterproof. I couldn't believe Redwing had gone down the China path.
I finally ordered from »www.afboots.com/ (I was leery about ordering boots online). They wound up being 1/2 the price of Chinese Redwings.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


dogo88

join:2001-09-24
Old Bridge, NJ
reply to Liberty

Bought Pointer jeans but but like you the style wasn't there. I found allamericaclothing.com and they have jeans that are all american made from the cotton to the zipper. Style is similar to Wrangler and Lee. Price is compatible to Levis.


Liberty

join:2005-06-12
Tucson, AZ
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

My Redwing boots crapped out last month (holes in the uppers, worn out soles). They were beyond repair, so I went to the boot store looking for non-Chinese replacements. Nothing that was waterproof. I couldn't believe Redwing had gone down the China path.
I finally ordered from »www.afboots.com/ (I was leery about ordering boots online). They wound up being 1/2 the price of Chinese Redwings.

I have bought Redwings for years & years too and have struggled with their line gradually converting to Chinese
No US models that interest me any longer there

My criteria for purchases now days, first filter is:
Made in USA or not China
Second is trade imbalance with manufacturer's country

The boots I have now are made in Romania (I think) Asolo
Expensive as Redwings and comfortable as hell - time will tell on build quality
Could not find decent US boots to-save-my-sole

sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10
reply to Timmn

Close, but it is based in Hong Kong and run by a German who is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer who also sits on the board of Novatel Wireless Inc.


Timmn

join:2000-04-23
Tinley Park, IL

I don't know what difference being based in Hong Kong makes, the British handed it over to China years ago.


Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
reply to CylonRed

said by CylonRed:

GE never had good stuff imho.

we had a GE fridge that ran fine for 35+ years or something, and its interior build quality was far superior to anything today. Its compressor even survived my parents running it in the UK while in the USAF. meaning it ran on a transformer at 50hz instead of 60hz as it was designed to.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports

sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon FiOS

1 recommendation

reply to Timmn

said by Timmn:

I don't know what difference being based in Hong Kong makes, the British handed it over to China years ago.

You mean other than minor things like an independent government, currency, and market economy?


chip89
Premium
join:2012-07-05
Independence, OH
reply to Hellrazor

To Late I bought A craftsman last year!


Hellrazor
Bah Humbug

join:2002-02-02
Abyss, PA

said by chip89:

To Late I bought A craftsman last year!

My condolences...

sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10

I haven't bought a Craftsman power tool since the late 80's...and those still run fine.



KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
reply to nunya

Profit margins. Companies must keep propping up stock with continuous gains, all the while consumers, squeezed on every side by soaring inflation and wage stagnation shop purely by price.

So the race to the lowest quality junk only accelerates. The sad thing is now is you can spend real money on a product and still get cheap junk quality that will fail and die. Look at modern construction vs a few decades ago. Ever watch how quickly a modern house burns down?
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini



KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
reply to Steve

Wal-Mart perpetuates the myth of low prices.

They do this by having very visible and well placed loss leaders....

while they make it up selling cheap junk at very high margins elsewhere. Walmart is always believed to be the cheapest, but it isn't.

It's not just Walmart, however. The cheap junk at full price syndrome is everywhere. Farm Supply, Home Depot, ACE hardware, you name it. Junk @ full price.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini


telco_mtl

join:2012-01-06

1 recommendation

said by KrK:

Wal-Mart perpetuates the myth of low prices.

They do this by having very visible and well placed loss leaders....

while they make it up selling cheap junk at very high margins elsewhere. Walmart is always believed to be the cheapest, but it isn't.

It's not just Walmart, however. The cheap junk at full price syndrome is everywhere. Farm Supply, Home Depot, ACE hardware, you name it. Junk @ full price.

and its funny how the little things can be priced differently, up here we have a Canadian chain that operates under a few different banners, RONA. on things like breaker panels they are cheaper than home depot, but oddly home depot is cheaper on the breakers to fill the panel. its like this with many items. Sadly these big box stores have killed the traditional hardware store, when i was a kid we had 3 small hardware stores and 4 local owned lumber yards. today those 3 hardware stores are gone and 2 of the lumber yards gone, the other two have been bought up by chains. They may be cheaper on hardware and the like, but the mom n pop hardware store came with know how behind the product. Sometimes you would run into an odd problem around the house, if you go to a big box for a solution they will tell you cant be done, the mom n pop, he will head down to the mythical hardware store basement, you will hear crashing and banging with swearing and the guy appears with a couple of parts that fix your problem. Sadly these places are now few and far between. When i find one i frequent them as much as i can.


tschmidt
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join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
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1 recommendation

said by telco_mtl:

Sadly these places are now few and far between. When i find one i frequent them as much as i can.

We are lucky in that respect in that local hardware, lumber, plumbing and electrical businesses have not been displaced by the big box retailers and seem to be holding their own.

Our local hardware store comes reasonably close to big box prices and as you mentioned the people who work there have been there for years and know who you are and are able to offer advice.

I try to patronize local businesses but I have to admit there is an attraction to big box home centers in being able to walk the isles and see merchandise to get ideas. That is not something you can do in a smaller business where the counter attendant gets the merchandise for you.

While I generally agree with the axiom - you get what you pay for - it is hard to tell the true difference between products any more. There has been so much consolidation that now most brands are now owned by amorphous corporate conglomerates. Whatever unique traits they used to bring to the market have been lost.

/tom