Jeff Carter wrote:
> I actually have ordered from these people (Cable Organizer) and was
> quite satisfied both at the quality of what I was sent and the fact
> that they didn't seem to be thieves like more and more organizations
> marketing to hobby-ists seem to be these days. There is a
> conversation in another thread about how folks who are marketing to
> hams are dishonest a lot of the time, but I find it's pretty much
> across the board. The reason professionals don't encounter this so
> much is because they know the difference in what they're buying, and
> even they get tripped up sometimes when trying to save a buck or two.
or professionals have a keener sense of what their time is worth and
figure it's easier and faster to go with one source they know of, and
not spend all afternoon researching how to save a few bucks. Sort of
like ordering from McMaster-Carr. Sure, they are sometimes more
expensive than other sources, but I know where to find them, they ship
An engineer who is being paid to do some quanta of work (not the typical
ham situation, I grant you) is costing their employer or client around
$100-150/hr.. or call it $2-3/minute. 5 minutes spent browsing the web
or navigating a new website, setting up an account or shipping address,
and you've blown your savings on shipping cost.
If you're in a moderate to biggish company where there is a non-zero
administrative overhead to getting a new vendor approved, it could be an
even bigger hurdle. Although, most large organizations have something
along the lines of a credit card to order small (<$2K) things without
having to go through formal "purchasing and acquisitions", but there's
still a non-zero hassle factor, and as they say, time is money.
> As the grey-haired guys retire and/or die, much of what they knew dies
> with them, and the generations that follow are left to fumble in the
> dark and pay $15 or more for shipping 2 or 3 ounces, or other such
> travesties that spring from not knowing any better.
Not necessarily a travesty. It costs the selling company some non-zero
amount, even for very small orders. Even though the shipping clerk may
only be $20-30/hr, fully burdened, if it takes them 5 minutes to print
up the label, enter it into the tracking system, etc., that's a few
bucks right there.
And, a lot of companies simplify their shipping by using the same method
for all shipping, regardless of purchase size or weight. Companies like
FedEx and UPS offer very attractive total shipping solutions in these
situations. Both Sellers and Buyers tend to like things like tracking
numbers to answer the "where is my stuff" question. The seller because
the buyer can go online to find out easily, without calling the seller
(who would have to have someone there to answer the phone, etc.).
Buyers because, well, they can push the refresh button every 10 minutes
waiting for their stuff to get there. Obviously, one is free to look
for vendors that aren't using that strategy if your cost/benefit
analysis is otherwise.
> I don't want anybody to think that any of this is a personal attack on
> those who feel it's their God-given right to spend too much for
> nothing. I am a Veteran of the US Military, and I served proudly to
> protect *your* right to do things that make absolutely no sense to me
> whatsoever. I'm just glad to be asked to participate in the
> conversation here on TowerTalk.
Oddly, the DoD is notorious for seemingly paying a lot for stuff that a
consumer could get much cheaper. A lot of times that's for a couple
a) there's a paperwork burden to prove that the taxpayer isn't getting
b)there's a minimum transaction charge (often to provide the paperwork
for (a)).. $500 isn't a huge bump for a $100K spectrum analyzer.. a
pretty big bump for a $4 hammer. As long as you buy more dollars worth
of spectrum analyzers than hammers, it's probably ok in the overall
Overall, though, DoD procurement does a pretty good job. One hears on
the news about the few outliers, but the vast majority of things go
through just fine. Many commercial companies would love to have their
TowerTalk mailing list