M2 Kit Sales To Pause

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swbluto
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Re: M2 Kit Sales To Pause

Post by swbluto » Mon Dec 07, 2015 2:46 am

pyronaught wrote:
jprochnow wrote: I'm sure tons of people are just waiting for the kits to come back to place their orders. Like most people in the reprap/diy 3d printing we for the most part enjoy building these machines.
Plus it only takes about 4 hours to put one together, probably even less if you've done it before. So it's like getting paid $75 an hour or more to assemble your M2.
Which is why they pulled it. They want to get paid $75/hour, too.

What they'll find, however, is that buyers who only buy kits are no longer on the radar, so that demographic disappears leaving mostly the people who'd only buy one assembled anyways. However, at this price point, I'm sure there's a few who would pay for an assembled printer who'd rather buy the kit due to the price difference, so that would have an impact on revenue. IMO, I think it'd be wiser from a revenue/profit perspective to increase the price of the kit to dissuade that particular segment, while also opening up to those who only buy kits.

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Jules
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Re: M2 Kit Sales To Pause

Post by Jules » Mon Dec 07, 2015 3:19 am

swbluto wrote:
pyronaught wrote:
jprochnow wrote: I'm sure tons of people are just waiting for the kits to come back to place their orders. Like most people in the reprap/diy 3d printing we for the most part enjoy building these machines.
Plus it only takes about 4 hours to put one together, probably even less if you've done it before. So it's like getting paid $75 an hour or more to assemble your M2.
Which is why they pulled it. They want to get paid $75/hour, too.

What they'll find, however, is that buyers who only buy kits are no longer on the radar, so that demographic disappears leaving mostly the people who'd only buy one assembled anyways. However, at this price point, I'm sure there's a few who would pay for an assembled printer who'd rather buy the kit due to the price difference, so that would have an impact on revenue.
Rather a cynical outlook.

With any other company, I might agree with that assessment, but allow me to state for the record:
Not these guys. ;)

It's much more likely that they have very limited resources and they have so many orders for assembled machines that they have had to pull people off of the kit assembly and put them on machine assembly to focus on getting them out on a timely basis. (There was a 6 week wait when i ordered mine.)

Also more likely that they were having to spend too much time after the fact, helping people who really shouldn't have been assembling kits, and couldn't get the machine working.

In either case, it's their company, their call. I'll bet they have trouble keeping up with the orders as it is.

swbluto
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Re: M2 Kit Sales To Pause

Post by swbluto » Mon Dec 07, 2015 3:27 am

Jules wrote:
Rather a cynical outlook.
How is that cynical? It's called profit maximization and it's exactly how I operate my business. It doesn't make me 'evil', it makes me a capitalist.
Jules wrote:In either case, it's their company, their call. I'll bet they have trouble keeping up with the orders as it is.
That's a good bet in general for the sector (My suppliers are in the same position this time of year), but their front page doesn't suggest they're overflowing with orders. Pricing yourself out of the market is a real phenomenon.

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Pekish79
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Re: M2 Kit Sales To Pause

Post by Pekish79 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 3:37 am

doesn't make you nice either... there is not only one way to be capitalist there is not only money especially in small enterprise custom service and quality sometimes are worth more then just gain for gain itself

swbluto
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Re: M2 Kit Sales To Pause

Post by swbluto » Mon Dec 07, 2015 3:57 am

Pekish79 wrote:doesn't make you nice either... there is not only one way to be capitalist there is not only money especially in small enterprise custom service and quality sometimes are worth more then just gain for gain itself
Dude, who told you I only focused on price? This thread is about price, but that doesn't mean that I think only price affects profitability. Generosity and being accommodating to buyers definitely affects business outcomes, but that's not the discussion this thread is about. I could also talk about inventory size as well as how many marketing channels you have at your disposal as well as market visiblity, BUT AGAIN, NOT WHAT THIS THREAD IS ABOUT. Holy cow.

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Jules
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Re: M2 Kit Sales To Pause

Post by Jules » Mon Dec 07, 2015 4:03 am

swbluto wrote:
Jules wrote:
Rather a cynical outlook.
How is that cynical? It's called profit maximization and it's exactly how I operate my business. It doesn't make me 'evil', it makes me a capitalist.
Didn't say it was evil, I said it was cynical. Assuming that every thing boils down to profit does imply a certain level of cynicism. After dealing with these guys for a while now, it's easier for me to believe that they are resource limited as opposed to being completely consumed with making a profit.

I know that because in my dealings with them, they have been more than generous. They're good guys, with very few people, who are wearing multiple hats - they've got several improvements under development, and not enough people to develop them. When they get to a certain level, they offer those exciting new things to a few experts on the forum, for free, or at a greatly reduced cost, to see how we like them. A company completely consumed by profit would not bother to make these improvements retroactive. They would just release a new improved machine and tough luck to the guys who bought the month before. (I've dealt with companies like that too.)

These guys might be interested in eating (most are) but i can just about guarantee that profit is not their main motivation. I think they're just excited about their machine, want to make it the best that they can, want everyone else to love it too, and they just don't have enough people to devote the time to cleaning up web pages and writing instructions to keep up with all the changes they are implementing. If profit were the only motivation, they would go ahead and do those things first. But i think the development process, and having the best machine on the market, interest them more.

I'm not knocking capitalism - it makes the world go round, and I'm a strong proponent. But there are other considerations besides money when putting out a product that is going to stick around in a niche market. Cheaply made and over-marketed crap doesn't last for long in a market this competitive.

Quality does.

(Whoops, sorry, got a little preachy there......put it down to experience.) :D

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rpollack
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Re: M2 Kit Sales To Pause

Post by rpollack » Mon Dec 07, 2015 4:24 am

Not sure what is going on with this thread....we do not need to offer kits. We've offered kits because we want to offer kits. However,

1) Now that we don't have to handle kits, we have machines in stock. Kits are very time consuming to pack and it is very easy to miss a part. Getting machines in stock was the priority and reason for putting kits on hold. We still plan to offer kits again, I just don't know when that will be.

2) Kits add a significant load for our tech support people. We test assembled machines before they are shipped and know they are working. It is not possible to test a kit before it is shipped. Something that would be easy for us to identify in the shop may take hours of back and forth emails and phone calls to figure out in the field. We try to set expectations up front that kits are not a way to save money. Kits really just exist for people who really, really want to put the machine together. If someone mentions getting a kit as a way to save money, I'll try to talk them out of it. That just ends up increasing our support load.

If profit maximization was the reason, we would have moved our production overseas a while ago...

Rick

swbluto
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Re: M2 Kit Sales To Pause

Post by swbluto » Mon Dec 07, 2015 4:43 am

Jules wrote:
swbluto wrote:
Jules wrote:
Rather a cynical outlook.
How is that cynical? It's called profit maximization and it's exactly how I operate my business. It doesn't make me 'evil', it makes me a capitalist.
I know that because in my dealings with them, they have been more than generous.
I see that they claim profit incentives are not the motivation, but I dispute your implication that profit maximizing behavior excludes generosity as a possible trait. If you think they are somehow mutually exclusive on some level, man, you are more than wrong. Don't get me wrong, most stereotypical /greedy/ people (Like much of New York City's culture) do tend to lack that characteristic of generosity, but that doesn't mean that all profit maximizing seeking behavior indicates a greedy person and even less than that a non-generous one. If anything, I would think they are positively correlated. You should see how many repeat customers I've gained from being in a situation where it was not completely inappropriate to be exceedingly generous (From their perspective).

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Jules
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Re: M2 Kit Sales To Pause

Post by Jules » Mon Dec 07, 2015 4:46 am

rpollack wrote:Not sure what is going on with this thread....we do not need to offer kits. We've offered kits because we want to offer kits. However,

1) Now that we don't have to handle kits, we have machines in stock. Kits are very time consuming to pack and it is very easy to miss a part. Getting machines in stock was the priority and reason for putting kits on hold. We still plan to offer kits again, I just don't know when that will be.

2) Kits add a significant load for our tech support people. We test assembled machines before they are shipped and know they are working. It is not possible to test a kit before it is shipped. Something that would be easy for us to identify in the shop may take hours of back and forth emails and phone calls to figure out in the field. We try to set expectations up front that kits are not a way to save money. Kits really just exist for people who really, really want to put the machine together. If someone mentions getting a kit as a way to save money, I'll try to talk them out of it. That just ends up increasing our support load.

If profit maximization was the reason, we would have moved our production overseas a while ago...

Rick
You know the answer to your dilemma Rick?......make first-time purchase kits the same price as the assembled printer. Second purchase kits can be a reduced price, for those looking to build a farm. Then the people who want to build one, just for the joy of building.....can. And if it's their first purchase, the higher purchase price pays the salary for the additional technical support that they'll need. :D

(Okay that's kind of a joke.......don't anybody kill me.) :lol:

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rpollack
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Re: M2 Kit Sales To Pause

Post by rpollack » Mon Dec 07, 2015 5:14 am

Jules - for the most part, multiple kit orders come from schools. We do not see a lot of individual buyers getting multiple kits. When multiple machines are ordered they are normally assembled machines. For schools that want multiple kits, we recommend they get one of the machines assembled as reference unit (that helps).

Kits were put on hold so that we could get assembled machines in stock. It is working as machines are in stock.

Rick

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