I have trouble returning a (insert long story) product from Amazon. It took
weeks to fix.
I do however, still do business with them when it makes sense. I too am a
great believer in competition, we all benefit in some way. However,
companies like Lee Valley could not exist if their product line was not
suited for a small market. How long do you think they would last if the
BORG sold everything Lee Valley did and at lower prices? People in general
will put up with bad customer service to save a buck.
PS: Keep up the good work Robin!
Hi Dave -
The BORG can't have our line...they'd have to buy our patents first... :) -
and about 25% of our sales are things we actually make...
In business, there are few absolutes though... price isn't everything, but
it's certainly important where there's no value added by the seller. The
quest for low prices has driven many businesses offshore, and has
consolidated a lot of product under large roofs....entire manufacturers have
dissappeared as companies are acquired by comglomerates to service box store
Really - it's all the fault of the internet.... economics is a much more
exact "science" today than it ever has been - consumers are much closer to
having "perfect knowledge" than before.... all that ECON 101 theory has a
lot more real world direct relevance than it did a decade ago....
I'm sure there's a good paper in all this somewhere......
(and thanks for the kind words)
The Internet is just the latest in a long series of improvements.
When Grog the cave man needed a new pointed stick, and his neighbor Ug
in the next cave was selling pointed sticks for 3 rocks, Grog paid up
the three rocks or made his own pointed stick. Little did he know
that on the other side of the hill, the going rate for pointed sticks
was just 2 rocks, and if you bought 6 of them at once, they threw in
an antelope jaw for free.
Then along came the Sears catalog, and you could order pointed sticks
at 3 for 2 rocks and 99 pebbles (and no sales tax!) from some town
far, far away, made by people who you've never met.
I've already got an antelope jaw, but I'm waiting for the upgraded
version. In the meantime, I'm saving my rocks and pebbles.
Of course, if you don't need the features of the new antelope jaw, I
suspect they'll be blowing out the old ones just before the new ones
No, I think he's now the pointy stick expert at the BORG.
I also hear HF is going to have deal now on Chiwanese Pointy Sticks; I
think, though, that the point's going to be on the other end ...
Do you think the internet has been a help to the consumer at the expense of
the seller? Or do you think it just made us more knowledgeable?
I agree that there probably is a good paper in there. It certainly has
changed how I do business. I buy things I never knew existed before, from
sources I never knew existed before. My source for simple things like tea
(also from Canada) to more complex tools like Veritas are 100% internet
related. I never heard of Lee Valley or Veritas before the internet and that
was from a source about cooking, not woodwork.
Appliances, brand name tools can be found in many stores, but I narrow my
search through the internet. I buy from where I perceive to be the best
value. Price is a factor, but much more makes something a good value.
Service and a known quality come into play. The big box stores have also
forced the little guys to form buying co-ops to give the local consumer a
much better value. Competitive prices with usually superior service.
Hi Edwin -
It's economic Darwinism... not good... not bad.... just depends on how/who
Speaking as a consumer - the Internet has been a boon... (just as it has on
the business side)...
I personally still buy just as much from local business I trust and value
though - where they add value to my purchase.
There are only three things I'm wary about... the agglutinated businesses
(i.e. Am***n), the profit per transaction based businesses (boxes, W**mart),
and the people selling out of their garages...I'm not conviced they're a net
"benefit" to the retail world....or to individual manufacturers.
It may take years to play out, but I think it is going to be a serious net
loss to the economy as we know it. Especially the second example. As we go
from a manufacturing based economy to a casino gambling based economy we sit
back and admire the goods we bought at such low prices until . . . . . . . .
Then the Pogo theory comes in to play. We have met the enemy and it is us.
Just received my Jorgenson clamps from Lee Valley today. These are my
first Cabinet Master clamsp and I must say, I like them better than
Bessey K-Body's -- at least the fit and finish. I can't see much
difference in things like parallelism and clamping force.
I'm now a Cabinet Master man!
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