Re: [rootsradicals] Re: Dummy news
- 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, butIn numerous businesses, combining a current and known future price
> the idea behind it is fine.
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.