Author Topic: How can we change the way people think about buying consumer electronics?  (Read 16888 times)

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Offline poptones

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Re: How can we change the way people think about buying consumer electronics?
« Reply #50 on: September 29, 2012, 07:02:20 pm »
Singer used to do the same thing with old sewing machines because the used market was killing their business.

There ya go. Like I was saying...
« Last Edit: September 29, 2012, 07:05:50 pm by poptones »
 

Offline Pentium100

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Re: How can we change the way people think about buying consumer electronics?
« Reply #51 on: September 29, 2012, 07:21:32 pm »
What some of you seem to not realize is that selling "parts" for an item puts manufacturers in competition with themselves. Apple doesn't want to sell you a battery for your ipod because Apple doesn't make much money on that battery (there is absolutely zero value added in selling parts) and by repairing your ipod they have deprived themselves of an opportunity to sell you a new ipod. It's not in Dell's best interest to sell you a motherboard they had to buy from Foxconn, they want to sell you a whole computer that DELL made. See?
Yes, that is why the government needs to force the manufacturers do it, because they are not going to do this themselves. They don't need to sell all parts, just the custom ones, like heads for a VCR (I can buy capacitors and resistors in my local electronics store, no need to buy them from the manufacturer and pay for shipping). Also, a law mandating minimum 5 year warranty would increase the reliability of the devices (since then it would not be economical to make devices that fail within a year).

The companies want the consumer to buy their products, toss them out (not sell on ebay) as quickly as possible and buy new ones from the same company. This, however, creates a lot of waste, since the devices are not properly recycled and even if they were (and it was possible to recycle 100% of the materials), all the fuel burned to ship them from China to the consumer and from the consumer back to China (for recycling) also adds to the waste generated just so the companies can make even more money. So, to reduce the waste we need to force the companies to create less waste, even though they will make less money than they currently do.
 

Offline poptones

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Re: How can we change the way people think about buying consumer electronics?
« Reply #52 on: September 29, 2012, 07:31:59 pm »
Again, that's a stupid idea. You're cutting down on the number of jobs for people.

If you're worried about transport cost, why not just end the 40 Billion in subsidies the US pays for oil? I'm not sure how much the UK or China provide in subsidies, but in the case of China I'm willing to bet it's a HUGE sum of money.

Now everything is more expensive. Now poor people can no longer afford air conditioning, so you have more poor and elderly people dropping dead during heatwaves. Cutting off subsidies sure seems to have worked in Nigeria, where there are many poor people.

http://youtu.be/LWsJwwGVW-o

I think things work pretty well right now.
 

Offline T4P

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Re: How can we change the way people think about buying consumer electronics?
« Reply #53 on: September 29, 2012, 07:37:10 pm »
Apple doesn't want to sell you a battery for your ipod because Apple doesn't make much money on that battery (there is absolutely zero value added in selling parts) and by repairing your ipod they have deprived themselves of an opportunity to sell you a new ipod.
Of course it's against their normal practice to sell individual parts, just like they don't divulge a single detail of what's going on in a MAC. Nor do they tell you what CPU you are getting with their seriously overpriced Macs, now, they can sell batteries all they want but they are probably gonna sell it at 100$, when they easily got it from Foxconn(they do!) for fewer than 2$ even in one-off quantities(Believe me or not, it's the truth)
That's apple ethnic. Sell you a crap battery that craps out in a year and frozen in a coffin-like case and expect you to change a new model the next year
I have seen LG make that mistake with the first optimus but my other LGs have not crapped out within the first year nor is my HTC crapping out
My friend's 4S purchased last year has already crapped out
You get my point? It's all about apple ethnic.
 

Offline poptones

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Re: How can we change the way people think about buying consumer electronics?
« Reply #54 on: September 29, 2012, 07:42:23 pm »
Ethic.

And again I say so what? A dead ipod is still worth money, no one is tossing it in the trash they sell it on ebay to someone who needs to repair theirs, or who doesn't mind opening the case and fixing that two dollar battery.

We don't need legislation to protect people from themselves. If you had a bad experience with an Apple, don't fucking buy another one. When their sales fall off they'll fix the problem, no legislation needed.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2012, 07:44:08 pm by poptones »
 

Offline Pentium100

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Re: How can we change the way people think about buying consumer electronics?
« Reply #55 on: September 29, 2012, 08:59:57 pm »
We don't need legislation to protect people from themselves. If you had a bad experience with an Apple, don't fucking buy another one. When their sales fall off they'll fix the problem, no legislation needed.
Unless all cell phone manufacturers start doing the same.

After all, if lead paint was not banned, it would be used on a lot of toys (it still is, even though it is banned). Same with other toxic materials. Free market only works if there are a lot of suppliers and the buyers have complete information.

Making everything more expensive (by mandating long warranties, not with a tax) would also encourage people to try to repair the old device instead of trowing it out and buying a new one. That would even help the repair service market.

This whole "companies must grow" thing is unsustainable - we will run out of resources and then what?
 

Offline poptones

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Re: How can we change the way people think about buying consumer electronics?
« Reply #56 on: September 29, 2012, 09:32:38 pm »
That's a rather dumb "if." There is no legislation now and they don't do it. Manufactuers are greedy but not stupid. If you piss off your customers, no more company. Chinese companies are able to get away with this because resources are so cheap and there are so many Chinese. That well will eventually run dry and manufacturers will be forced to improve their quality - just like Yugo and some of the other little car companies did in the west. Otherwise they'll go the way of SAAB and someone else will fill their shoes.

As I already pointed out numerously, stuff is already being recycled. Making everything more expensive penalizes poor people. I'm not down with making the lives of poor people even harder.

Man, am I glad I don't live in the EU. I now see how convoluted some of that "legislate everything" thinking can be.

Nothing personal. It's cultural.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2012, 09:36:40 pm by poptones »
 

Offline Pentium100

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Re: How can we change the way people think about buying consumer electronics?
« Reply #57 on: September 29, 2012, 09:59:36 pm »
That's a rather dumb "if." There is no legislation now and they don't do it. Manufactuers are greedy but not stupid. If you piss off your customers, no more company.

Gasoline (A95) in my country costs ~$1.8/L (not gallon, by the way, average salary here is $850/month, minimal salary is ~$250/month). When the price of oil increases, the price of gasoline immediately increases too, the gas stations explain this by the fact tat they have no reserves, so they now buy more expensive gas and sell it at higher price. This is understandable. However, when the price of oil drops, the price of gasoline stays the same or increases, the gas stations explain this by saying that now they have huge reserves of the expensive gas, so they cannot lower the price. There are maybe 5 companies that run gas stations and they all do this.

No wonder a lot of people want the government to regulate the price of gas. Germany already does that and the government in my country doesn't because they are idiots or in the pocket of the gas companies.
 

Online tom66

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Re: How can we change the way people think about buying consumer electronics?
« Reply #58 on: September 29, 2012, 10:02:54 pm »
To be honest - we wouldn't be losing out on much in the UK. Hardly anything is made in these countries that the average consumer would buy. It might reduce some jobs in the retail market -- but this has been on the decline for some time anyway, and more and more customers are buying stuff on the internet. The number of times I've walked into a big box store to find it mostly empty but still staffed with 10 bored looking sales assistants!

Margins on TVs and such are razor thin - they'd rather sell you that £90 HDMI cable, which they make 90% margin on, rather than the TV which nets them 2-3%. I was in a retail store a couple of weeks ago where the customer was asking what HDMI cable they'd need to watch HD, the sales assistant was going on about how you'd get a clearer picture, better colours etc etc with the higher end cable. I was so tempted to hand them the £1 metre long cable I'd picked up in Poundland! (BTW - the cable is perfectly capable of 1080p at 50 Hz; the only complaint must be is that 1m is a stretch, but I'd quite happily pay £2 for a 2 metre one!)

If repair and service becomes more popular, the jobs would probably be transferred from the retail market to the repair industry.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2012, 10:05:49 pm by tom66 »
 

Offline amvakar

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Re: How can we change the way people think about buying consumer electronics?
« Reply #59 on: September 29, 2012, 10:43:49 pm »
Maybe I live in a strange parallel universe, but most people I know actually do research on products and factor reliability and longetivity into their purchasing decisions. It's not like we live in a world where a salesman can lie anymore -- the Internet is full of critiques of every major device one can buy. If people choose cheap crap it's because they're too stupid to deserve better, don't care to deserve better, or can't afford better. The first two will stratify markets no matter how high one sets the baseline, and the last will always exist until you legislate poor people into having nothing for their own good.
 

Offline poptones

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Re: How can we change the way people think about buying consumer electronics?
« Reply #60 on: September 29, 2012, 11:02:01 pm »
Indeed. Every time I go to buy an appliance I have two rules that I generally follow:

Don't buy anything when it has just come on the market.
Check reviews.

If there are lifetime issues the reviews will indicate it, but not until AFTER the item has been on the market six months or more.

The exception to this rule I have followed was a Panasonic G10 42" plasma monitor I bought. And I bought it knowing it was a Panasonic. In my experience, that's a very good brand.

I bought my Acer pad after shopping around more than a month. It was in the middle of its life cycle so I got it reconditioned for about half retail. I find "reconditioned" to also be a good value (there's that recycling thing again...)
 

Online tom66

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Re: How can we change the way people think about buying consumer electronics?
« Reply #61 on: September 29, 2012, 11:17:32 pm »
You did good on your G10 series. I happen to have a 50" G10 in my student dorm. It unfortunately has a cracked screen, so it's going to be recycled for parts (I'm just selling it on eBay to someone who does this kind of stuff.) But build quality is head and shoulders above any Samsung or LG plasma by far - all Rubycon caps on the plasma scan/sustain boards (PSU uses Chemicon) - the number of IGBTs on it - I counted 20 on the scan board and another 15 on the sustain board - it's really well engineered. It's one of the few TVs that will lead you to the fault when something is wrong using the blink code. Excellent service manual, with full schematics of everything.

Panasonic used to give away free 5 year warranties with their TVs - they were confident that they would last.

They don't do it any more, my guess would be the retail stores don't like it, they like to add their optional warranty for hundreds of pounds. The warranty seems to be the same whether you get a 42" Panny plasma or a 42" Vestel based Toshiba/Sharp/Hitachi, they seem to have no knowledge of the difference in build quality!

I will say though - stay AWAY from the new X5 consumer Panasonic plasmas. They aren't the high end ones but I used to recommend them as they are budget - think £349 for a 42" 1080p - but they're full of crappy caps and the build quality has really suffered. BAD Panasonic!! :(
« Last Edit: September 29, 2012, 11:21:24 pm by tom66 »
 

Offline poptones

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Re: How can we change the way people think about buying consumer electronics?
« Reply #62 on: September 29, 2012, 11:39:28 pm »
I'll probably buy another Panasonic, but not a plasma. I use my monitor for my desktop and I didn't know plasma could etch. By the time I lost track of it (long story) iI could see a dark stripe across the top where my taskbar resides.

I'm not even terribly sure about the Pana part, I am looking at an LG LED set for 699 bucks.

Seven hundred bucks for a 1080P 42" LED set. If it blows up I can replace the caps myself :)
« Last Edit: September 29, 2012, 11:41:46 pm by poptones »
 

Online tom66

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Re: How can we change the way people think about buying consumer electronics?
« Reply #63 on: September 29, 2012, 11:47:09 pm »
I'll probably buy another Panasonic, but not a plasma. I use my monitor for my desktop and I didn't know plasma could etch. By the time I lost track of it (long story) iI could see a dark stripe across the top where my taskbar resides.

I'm not even terribly sure about the Pana part, I am looking at an LG LED set for 699 bucks.

Seven hundred bucks for a 1080P 42" LED set. If it blows up I can replace the caps myself :)

LG have a lot more problems than caps now.

"Lucky if it Goes"

Mainly firmware issues. Though they are better than some others I like to avoid LG. They also don't stand behind their product as evidenced by their mura issues.

I would go for a higher end Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, Sharp, or even a JVC LED (>=40") - it appears all make their own LED TVs (though I'm not sure for how long - we'll have to see.) Some Samsung LEDs are OK - usually they use good caps (form factor requirements - Rubycon has excellent low profile caps) - but I've seen on the badcaps forums quite a few dying after 2-3 years with various problems.
 

Offline madires

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Re: How can we change the way people think about buying consumer electronics?
« Reply #64 on: September 30, 2012, 01:10:08 pm »
What some of you seem to not realize is that selling "parts" for an item puts manufacturers in competition with themselves. Apple doesn't want to sell you a battery for your ipod because Apple doesn't make much money on that battery (there is absolutely zero value added in selling parts) and by repairing your ipod they have deprived themselves of an opportunity to sell you a new ipod. It's not in Dell's best interest to sell you a motherboard they had to buy from Foxconn, they want to sell you a whole computer that DELL made. See?

I see, and those companies will continue with that business model as long as they can. But we also have to realize that natural ressources are limited and throwing broken e-junk at the nearest landfill isn't the most brilliant idea. You don't need to be scientist to anticipate what will happen. Some  raw materials will become very expensive, rare earths for example, so it will be cheaper to recycle old electronics. Landfills will become new mines. Not next year, but in 20 or 30 years.

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There is one area where laws like this exist in the US: cars. Automakers are required by law to stock replacement parts for ten years. It's a pain in the ass and, guess what? It depresses the market supply of aftermarket parts. For example, it used to be that Ford small blocks cost about twice as much to rebuild as Chevy small blocks. Gaskets, pistons, rings and bearings cost a lot more for a Ford than a Chevy. Why? Because there were a lot more Chevys being sold. And when Ford released the Fox body Mustang and sales took off like a rocket, it still cost more for many years to rebuild a Ford than a Chevy even though the DFord was outselling the Chevy. Why? Because Ford changed some of their tooling in 1981 and Chevy didn't change their small block until several years later. It wasn't until the late 80's that it became cheaper to build a Ford small block than a Chevy - after Chevy had changed their small block, and Ford's mandated spare parts inventory was about to expire and so the aftermarket companies considered it worthwhile to ramp up their own production of spare parts.

If there wouldn't be any regulation at all, the car manufactures would try to suppress any and kind of aftermarket spare parts with patents, because they want you to buy a new car.

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Forcing manufacturers to repair everything they sell would depress the market for repair shops and spare parts. It would make it even more expensive to roll our own computers because everything that goes inside would cost more. It would depress the resale market because rather than upgrading their phone and selling the old one on ebay (because that's what happens to good phones - no one is tossing out a 200 dollar phone) they would keep the old one until it was so obsolete no one would want it.

I would enforce manufactures to provide service documentation and spares of custom parts, not that they have to repair all products by themselves. And I don't think it would depress the resale market, since products would become more expensive. Yes, my home-built PC will be more expensive too.

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The problem is the electronics are not recycled most of the time, they get put in a shipping container and shipped to dumps in India or China.

That's not true at all. They get put in shipping containers and shipped off to places with terrible environmental laws where they get disassembled, ground up, and reprocessed for the precious metal content. Even lead batteries - there's a giant battery processing place in China where the workers get sick and the ground is toxic waste from all the lead. Perhaps something needs to be done about that, too, but it's not our business ot tell China how to deal with their own real estate.

Like burning the whole TV to get the copper wires by kids in Africa or "cooking" PCBs with acid to get the gold in front of a hut at the dumpster somewhere in Asia. It's our business because we created that e-junk by throwing it away. It's easy to export that problem, but that doesn't solve it. There are several local companies recycling e-junk in a proper way and they make money. But with shipping containers full of e-junk to Africa or Asia you can make a quick buck :-(
 


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