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5345Re: [rootsradicals] Re: Dummy news

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  • phaedrus
    Jul 7, 2008
      On Fri, Jul 4, 2008 at 9:18 AM, Vik <threeohm@...> wrote:
      > Posting about the double increase was a poor PR move on Surly's part, but
      > the idea behind it is fine.

      In numerous businesses, combining a current and known future price
      increase into a single price increase like this is pretty normal
      because doing an increase with another one following quickly on its
      heels really tends to get under people's skin - they may eat it once
      or twice, but they tend to start looking for another place to be the
      place they do regular business with. It tends to be a "if its gone up
      twice this fast, it'll probably go up again tomorrow - I can't count
      on them so I'm going to look elsewhere" sort of thing. Probably less
      of an issue in product related businesses than in the service related
      businesses I've had more interaction with, although, with products,
      you've got to also consider that when you change your price, you've
      got to update every bit of marketing material and so does everyone
      down the chain who handles your products. Additionally everyone who
      sells anything based on your product has to then adjust their prices.
      Its being a lot nicer to those middle-people to do it less often.

      As far as saying they were doing it being poor PR, I've got mixed
      feelings about it. I can see how the people who were going to be in
      (or thought they were going to be in) that middle batch feel like
      they're paying more than they should have to but I rather respect
      Surly for having a somewhat greater degree of transparency on their
      decision making than many other companies would have. It makes me
      more likely to buy from them in the future rather than less. Unless
      they're very different from other businesses I've worked with, they
      hated having to raise their price and talking about it on their blog
      was probably partially a way to vent some of the frustration as well
      as explain to people why they did it.

      They certainly didn't do anything unethical - they didn't take
      anyone's money and, given that QBP won't let bike shops pre-order
      anything until its actually priced and in stock, its a gamble for any
      bike shop to guarantee a price or even availability. If someone put
      down their money, its the bike shop that took it, not Surly.

      As far as the actual amount of the increase, it is less than 10% of
      even a fairly basic Big Dummy build out. Compared to the jump in price
      on the German parts for my gen-1 BD between when I spec'd it and when
      the frame was available to actually build out, its not much at all -
      my bike ended up running nearly a grand over what I'd been planning on
      when I'd spec'd it after they announced the Big Dummy was going to be

      Here's something to consider - if $150 is the difference between
      building one out and not, I think one can get much more bike for their
      money by building up an xtracycle with better components than a BD
      with the cheapest stuff they can put on it - especially if carrying
      more than 60 - 100lbs of cargo is uncommon. Putting the money into
      the wheelset, the bearings, the crankset and pedals, the brakes, the
      bars, the grips, the seat, some fenders, etc., will go a lot further
      than just putting all the bike budget into the frame.

      Either way, its going to get tougher for a while. The dollar's
      hurting on a global level right now and one place it is showing is in
      10 - 50% price increases on imported bike parts across the board.
      Even domestic parts are leaping in price. I wish it weren't the case,
      but there it is. The only silver lining is hopefully this will
      encourage more local and regional light industry as domestic and
      international production and transportation costs start to reach more
      towards parity. I love my Dummy, but I do wish it hadn't had to
      travel halfway around the world to get to me.

      In any case, having been up and down the economic ladder a number of
      times now, when I've got a bit of spare money, I've started using some
      of it to invest in tools and storable wear-and-tear replacement parts
      for my bikes in case I can't afford to buy them when I actually need
      them. I hope to eventually have backups of every gear, sprocket,
      bearing, chain, etc. I might need. I'm too socially inclined to be a
      proper survivalist and move out of the city and into a bunker, but it
      seems foolish not to save a bit for a rainy day, especially when there
      appear to be storms on the horizon.

      - phaedrus
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