Originally Posted by Al Gerhart
Funny how the original poster didn't find it rude and said I made some good points yet somehow you are "offended"?
Here is how capitalism works.... buyer and seller find each other and one trades cash for the other's product. Both are happy with the deal or it wouldn't go forward. Being happy depends on being informed. So when the poster asked about assembly process I took twenty minutes of my time in a very busy day and laid it all out in great detail. I also laid out the reasoning why we do what we do and how it benefits the customer. That wasn't enough so the potential customer asked for more expense and trouble in making a new video. That is negotiating, smart consumer to try that but this isn't a large ticket item that has enough profit in it to justify spending time and effort to make a new video. So I said no. No meeting of the minds, no trade, he keeps his money I keep my product. A good outcome for both.
Now two points that some might think about. A: why not make a new video and B: Why not invest the time placating this customer and make the sale?
A: The much maligned single page of assembly instructions is enough for 99% of the customers. Some rave about how easy the feeder is to assemble. Two bolts installed in the only two holes in the feeder, then slip the treadle on and insert the wire link. The 90% of the other 1% find the video more than enough to explain things. There there is that tiny percentage that simply are not mechanically orientated as the poster clearly admitted to his credit. You know what? As a businessman I don't want that customer.
This is not a product you pull out of a box and stick it in the coop. It needs assembled, it needs the spring adjusted and usually the treadle bar has to be pulled to one side or the other. It needs fastened to a wall or post so it doesn't rock around. This is not a product for a clutz to be buying so the instructions are a bit obtuse on purpose so those sorts are discouraged from buying. Because if a person doesn't understand there will be some tinkering needed they are going to be unhappy with their purchase. Far better they purchase another product that will make them happy.
B: Investing the time and effort required to make one sale is simply silly. Past the reason above, to not sell to those that aren't capable of setting up the feeder, you don't want to sell to customers that need a lot of hand holding during the sale or afterward. We get calls every week asking to do a manual sale, the person is having problems with the PayPal system or in placing their order. Not our shopping cart, the PayPal gateway. Usually a low balance rejecting the payment, or they are shipping to an address that isn't listed on their PayPal account, or sometimes PayPal itself is down for a few minutes and rather than try it again in an hour they are quick to ask for twenty minutes of your time during a busy day at your main job when the website clearly says not to call with questions but to submit them via email. So you would burn $50.00 worth of shop overhead coddling a customer for a product with a profit margin of about $6.00. Not a good way to stay in business. You just tell them to try the process again in a few minutes and to check that their using the correct log in info and a validated shipping address. 90% of the time you see their order a few minutes later in the email.
There are a certain number of people that aren't looking for a solution to the rats or wild birds stealing their feed. They also want the retail therapy experience, hand holding, and sometimes some major hinny kissing. Fine, go somewhere else. The feeder that doesn't work well, that will fail in a few years, that costs 83% more, and costs 50% more to ship is there waiting to serve you because they have 1300% more profit to make it worth their while. Good for them. That is capitalism.
I started making these feeders to solve a major problem of the back yard community, rats and wild birds. The BYC community helped a lot in finalizing the design and beta testing it. The feeder started out low tech, made out of plywood because that was the only way I could make one at the time. As it grew in sophistication and cost we kept the price the same at $65.00 and were losing money on feeders before long. I kept it up because I knew that the Philippines shop eventually would come on line and lower the costs of manufacturing and I spent about a hundred grand getting there. A hundred grand over two years before I ever saw a single dime of return as it took that long to establish the plant and fill the first container and get the export permit. Now I can net about $6.00 per feeder if the customer is a normal person, with normal abilities, common sense, and enough tenacity and determination to invest in the time to set the product up correctly. So there simply is not enough profit in the feeder to hold hands nor is there enough profit to make me want to spend my time doing that. Let em go elsewhere, let them pay 83% more or 300% more for a Grandpa feeder. And thank God we live in such a country where we have those choices.