I agree that nearly $50 is an outlandish price to pay for a replacement
plug, especially one that based upon similar reports couldn't have been
too robust in the first place. That being said, I think Jim is probably
correct that Yaesu might correctly perceive that to be approximately the
actual cost to them for the administrative hassle of handling such a
transaction. They certainly don't expect your payment to be significant
to their business whether you pay $2 or $200, and I'm sure they'd rather
you went elsewhere to solve the problem anyway.
Some companies value their customers' good will above all else and
bypass their bureaucracy to send out a replacement part or sample. I
(and others in my group) did it all the time when I managed part of
Motorola's discrete semiconductor operations. Other companies don't
much focus on individual customers (it is actually a valid business
model even if we don't like it) and either ignore them or "gouge" them
to make them go away. If you buy from the first category you have some
measure of confidence that you won't be left stranded no matter what
happens. If you buy from the second you'd better hope that the
reliability of the product is so great you won't ever need them, or that
the lower price you might have paid for the product in the first place
(as a result of their streamlined business model) offsets any risk of
Yaesu makes some fine equipment but it doesn't take much reading of the
various online reviews and forum archives to find that they've proved
time and time again for both rigs and rotators that they fit the second
category. Given the size of the company and the global nature of their
business, that might be the right model for them. I suspect there are
more long term survivors in the second category than in the first.
Doesn't mean I'd always choose to buy from them, though.
Joe Giacobello wrote:
> Jim, with all due respect and deference to your experience in the
> industry, the price for the plug penetrates the envelope. I would have
> to guesstimate that the cost of manufacture and bulk shipment for the
> plug is around $1-2 per unit. A markup of 2300-4700%, barring special
> situations, is gouging in my lexicon.
> As frame of reference, my experiences with Yaesu's competitors are
> relevant. I have received difficult-to-obtain precision metering shunt
> resistors from Tentec and MFJ and a microphone wind screen from Icom at
> no charge whatsoever . Admittedly, in each of these cases - and there
> have been others, but these are the recollections that immediately come
> to mind - I was relying on the good nature of the individual employee to
> slip the item into an envelope and address it to me. Nevertheless, even
> if they had to go through normal processing channels, a typical supplier
> either has some kind of minimum charge or simply adds on a nominal
> handling fee of $5-10.
> Of course, given that Yaesu USA is in California and given the price of
> housing, real estate and routine living costs there relative to most
> other parts of the country, $48, on further reflection, may have been a
> bargain. :-)
> 73, Joe
> Jim Lux wrote:
>> At 02:47 PM 3/25/2007, Joe Giacobello wrote:
>>> During the installation, we damaged the seven pin rotor plug and had to
>>> buy a replacement from Yaesu for $48!!!! I was really appalled at such
>>> blatant gouging. I have since done a search for the plug's Japanese
>>> manufacturer (Nanaboshi) and found a posting from some equally incensed
>>> hams who apparently identified a US distributor where they could be
>>> obtained for about $7/ea. in lots of 50. If anyone knows of a source
>>> for these plugs or an equivalent at a reasonable price, please let me know.
>> I think gouging is too strong a term.
>> If the only distributor requires a minimum order of 50, at $7 each,
>> then Yaesu is doing you a favor by zapping you for $50.. it could
>> have cost you $350.<grin>
>> I don't think it's so much Yaesu charging too much (their "per order"
>> handling and stocking costs could easily be $30, and a part that
>> sells for $7 in qty 50 could easily sell for $15 in qty 1), but that
>> they happened to select a part that isn't readily available at low
>> cost. But then, that might not be on their list of design
>> objectives, either.. (things like manufacturing availability,
>> compatibility with existing fixturing, etc. would be higher on the list)
>> It's a truism that building a car from retail replacement parts would
>> cost 10 times as much as buying the car already assembled, and you'd
>> supply the labor. Same applies to most anything else.
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