|Jim Williams wrote on Mon, 10 January 2011 16:08|
Profit standards are very important to the Chinese.
And much more important to their Western OEM clients.
One doesn't see many ads for "Silver Flute" microphones in the Western world...
1 Chinese FET LDC mic: US$ 25-
1 Chrome head basket for above: US$ 3-
1 fancy packaging: US$ 5-
1 better shockmount: US$ 4-
TOTAL: US$ 37-
US Retail price for the above, under a different badge: US$ 199-.
Recently we had the Lexicon BD player fiasco, where they were selling for over US$3K a player that was no more than a "Oppo" brand player with a new faceplate, a player sold (retail) for US$ 399.
One can only imagine, based on the above examples, what are the real costs paid by famous brands for other merchandise they sell around here that were also sourced from China.
True story: a few years ago a traditional local manufacturer of specialty lighting fixtures (Xmas lights, etc) complained to my father that he was about to lose his family's 4-generation business: the Chinese equivalents of his products were being sold as contraband in the streets for less that what it was costing him just for the packaging of his local products so his sales were dropping near the break-even point.
He found the solution: closed his production lines, kept the sales dept, started importing the product, then sold regularly in stores as usual (not in the streets) for half of his former price - and at 5 times the profit - aided by the traditional brand name he owns.
So who's the greedy one?
Now if you, Jim, get a $30 Chinese mic, use your superior knowledge and design new electronics for it, adds your labor or the labor of an employee overseen by you and offer the improved result for whatever price you deem fit, that's alright: you have added value, labor and your intellectual property; it is a custom job.
But a price-jacked OEM thing? Nope.
To think that at $30 the Chinese plant is making a profit... and realize that if they implemented first-class QC and a little more attention during development they could churn out very good product at not much more than that!