Author Topic: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others  (Read 18388 times)

nzCdog

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Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
« Reply #30 on: March 12, 2012, 05:38:53 PM »

There's some distance from religion, politics and pedal building. Actually, there's a link between them.
But guys, good or bad idea, religions are still discussed and so should the pedal building stuff when it comes to these kind of questions.
No need to be afraid as long as respect drives the conversation and this is certainly the case here.

My two cents, ohms, pf (as you prefer)
Not really when you consider it in in terms of polarity... opinions in this area are irreconcilable, which was my point ;)  (See I made a pun)


Some advice guys... in life some people are not going to like what you do...  Don't make that your problem! 
I lived far too long being 'nice guy' esteeming other people opinions too highly.  Now I do whats right... by my conscience... and that's good enough for me... 
if you don't like it... well thats completely irrelevant!
Opinions are only that, opinions. When someone thinks their opinion is more than just an opinion... then they're a bigot.  In my opinion ;)
Which is why I echoed juansolo's post above...

I think the pedal ethics debate has reached the same level as religion and politics. Things that are best stayed well away from on internet forums. Life's too short to get pulled into the debate that cannot ever be concluded.
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bigmufffuzzwizz

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Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2012, 03:19:19 PM »
This has always been a subject in the back of my mind and I try not to let it bother me too much. I must first say Thank you so much MB and CJ for your knowledge, but most of all your gruntbox layout! That's what got me crazy into this hobby and to really want to excel with it. It was such an easy platform to learn from for me. I used to worry but now know selling clones of a big muff is not such a big deal, I'll never ever put anywhat of a dent into EHX's business...and I wouldn't want to, they've made amazing stuff throughout the pedal history.

I wouldn't call myself commercial in any way but I get all sorts of requests all the time. I built a lot for all my musician buddies, a lot of the time getting my parts cost or nothing back for it. I was testing one of my BM that I built at a good buddies house and he just had to have one. Made one for him and soon enough my other good friend in a band and both of their bass players were down my neck for one. I built about 6 on those gruntbox boards before I finally made my own layout. I now have a modded up really unique sounding muff with an ever growing list. When I realized I was gonna be making a bunch I had to get my own layout going. Right now I'm using something simple that I created with DIYPCB layout, works great for my needs. One day I hope to get the hang of Eagle and make something really professional looking.

Even spending years in school I don't know how to design pedals and that's another thing I hope to grasp someday. I know hanging around here helps.

I agree you shouldn't strive to build your entire company off someone else's work but selling a few to get yourself up and off the ground isn't a horrible thing. The ebay jerks are just plain obnoxious!

I guess I can sum it up as "if you are gonna steal, do it from the best, but put something of yourself into it and make it your own".  :D

I like this. That's been my mentality and I'm glad to see you say that!
Owner and operator of Magic Pedals Partner and production builder of Dunwich Amplification

madbean

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Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2012, 03:46:42 PM »
I agree you shouldn't strive to build your entire company off someone else's work but selling a few to get yourself up and off the ground isn't a horrible thing.

Pretty much this. Since writing down my initial thoughts a couple of weeks ago, I decided to lighten up a little bit. Anyone who has seen the documents for the new Baby Board projects will notice this:

Baby Board Licensing
Baby Board PCBs purchased from madbeanpedals may be used for small quantities of commercial pedal building (keep in mind that bulk discounting on PCBs is not offered).



Hopefully this will help some of you out that want to "get off the ground" like bigmufffuzzywickleman mentioned. So, if some of you want to dip your toe into the shitstorm that is pedal manufacturing, these may offer you a leg up :)
I own madbeanpedals (duh). I am part owner of Function F(X).

juansolo

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Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
« Reply #33 on: March 22, 2012, 01:04:11 AM »
I wouldn't call myself commercial in any way but I get all sorts of requests all the time. I built a lot for all my musician buddies, a lot of the time getting my parts cost or nothing back for it. I was testing one of my BM that I built at a good buddies house and he just had to have one. Made one for him and soon enough my other good friend in a band and both of their bass players were down my neck for one.

Being a vero guy mostly, I would never have discovered MBP had it not been for a friend asking me to build him a Klone. At the time I had no interest whatsoever in building one for me but I agreed, then looked at the vero that was out there and decided that was a bit excessive. Found MBs board built it, loved it and it all started from there really.

I started keeping an eye on costs not long after and in total I've 'made' (not counting parts and labour) £1243 from making a few things for people. Some straight board drop-ins, some custom stuff, a few repairs and what have you. My outgoing on pedal building for the same period have been £1279...

So from my perspective it just makes the hobby cheaper. I enjoy building them, which is handy as I seem to have this need to build everything... But it does mean that my own and marauder's pedals are pretty much paid for by it.
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radioegg

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Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
« Reply #34 on: May 12, 2012, 06:30:30 PM »
How would it be if I used the MB Quadrovibe schematic, made a new layout, made 10-100 pedals, and made money out of it? That's one thing. Another question is if a commercial pedal manifacturer took that schem and put it into production (you know the Quadrovibe looks soooo good!!)? Just asking... (I got one board on the way, great expectations, might order a second one and build for my mate if he provides a bottle of single malt scotch whisky...).

New here, btw, been over at the byoc...

Cheers
Tor

gtr2

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Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
« Reply #35 on: May 12, 2012, 06:56:00 PM »
Welcome to the forum Tor.  I always forget about the byoc forum, good guys.

mandrewbot3k

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Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
« Reply #36 on: December 06, 2012, 02:46:52 PM »
i'm in no way at the level of most folks on here. I havent built that much, but I have built for friends.

I enjoy the process of building and don't have the money to build all the pedals I want to for myself. I was etching my own boards using Brian's layouts before, because it has caused me more heartburn trying to trouble shoot this stupid egodriver.... lol. 3/4 of my first etched pcbs not too bad, but I'll leave it to the pros until I come up with my own circuits and layouts in the future.

What do I charge my friends for them? $50. It barely covers the cost of the parts for most overdrives, sometimes. When I set out to make a pedal, I usually buy 4 times the amount of parts needed for it, just in case, you never know what you may bend or fry. I don't usually order enclosures or even pots, 3pdts, just the stuff to populate the boards. That leaves me with extra 'kits' i can put together for later builds or friends, or to play with later on.

I've only made 5 pedals (4 on the way) for myself, and 3 for others. populating the board is the only part I actually enjoy. haha. i hate stripping those tiny wires and trying cram everything in the enclosure. I'm awful at best.

I made myself a Timmy on vero using Paul C's schematic from DIY Stomp. Why did I do it? Because I didn't want to wait 18 months for one of his and I didn't want to spend $350 on ebay for one. It was my first non kit build and it stays on my board and will always stay with me. I show it off to everyone and tell them where to buy them (from Paul). I have a kit waiting to be built for one right now, but I've decided I just really dont want to build it for anyone, i'll use it for something else for myself. I feel they should have more patient than me and get on the waiting list. At least they get to play mine first. Hypocrite, i know.

Another story,
I built an egodriver for a friend and also an RC booster. He loves them both. He loved the egodriver so much he bought two more Fulltone OCDs (seems excessive, but he does a lot of cover band stuff and he likes how they stack up with each other). He runs them all on his board with very few other pedals. He loves the egodriver more than the OCDs, so props to Brian. While it doesnt help brian that he went out and bought two OCDs, I think it shows that not everyone does it just to save money. They are just intrigued by it. And I think knowing that he liked the ego more than the ocd should drive up brian's ego a bit anyways :-D

I think all of us have that knowledge of 'morality' and we know what lines we arent supposed to cross. There are the select few that cross it anyway.

My suggestion is if you are going to build one for a friend who isnt capable of building, have him help you put it together. Let them watch you. Guitarists are nerds. They love watching that stuff. Drink some beers over it. Enjoy the company. Let them try to solder a few bads on some IC sockets. You don't need to be charging friends for labor.

I DIY everything, to a fault even. Not because its cheaper. Not because it's easier. But because I like to learn how to do things. It is quite the rewarding experience.

End rambling...
Andrew

(Formerly roflcopter)

leftwing73

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Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
« Reply #37 on: January 28, 2013, 08:57:05 PM »
Hey gang.

I've been lurking here for a while and I have my own microscopic company 73 Effects. This is a great discussion by some very intelligent level-headed dudes (until I started posting...) So thanks everyone for that.

My take on all this is pretty simple. if you want to be your own company or brand your pedals, do your own layouts or pay someone to do it for you. If you offer a production pedal with its own unique name, I think it lends more credibility to the builder if it's not based on a DIY project like from Madbean. Although that's even a gray area because you can get pretty creative with some of these builds enough to make it your own.

I've built some one-off pedals for people who want a Phase 90 or a chorus pedal or whatever and I'll use a DIY project. These I sell for a profit because they'll finance my own production builds with my own board designs.  I don't see anything wrong with that, and neither do my customers. They get a cool custom-build one of a kind pedal, I get funds to make more pedals. Win-Win.





culturejam

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Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
« Reply #38 on: December 11, 2013, 09:30:12 PM »
I just read through this thread to see if my views had changed from 2012 through right now, on the eve of launching a pedal company with my partners madbean and pickdropper...

Nope.  ;D  I still stand by my comments, even though my financial stake in the pedal business is now radically different.

*pats self on back*

sdlogan9

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Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
« Reply #39 on: June 08, 2014, 05:43:04 PM »
I really like this discussion.  It has helped me sort out for my self how I want to approach this hobby..  Which I use to fund some guitar gear purchases every now and then.


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Mojo Fandangle

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Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
« Reply #40 on: January 06, 2015, 05:07:13 PM »
Great discussion.

It's pretty low that people who are too lazy to get involved with DIY will ruthlessly scrounge a bargain out of a DIY'er and will even try to barter between builders to save 5 or 10 dollars.

I'd say just stick to building for friends to help support your own pedal building costs.

You might only make about $20 per build but it helps build experience. At least that way you get satisfaction knowing that people like what you do and benefit from it rather than the stress of dealing with assholes who just want to use you to scam a bargain.
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juansolo

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Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
« Reply #41 on: January 08, 2015, 02:57:14 AM »
I just read through this thread to see if my views had changed from 2012 through right now, on the eve of launching a pedal company with my partners madbean and pickdropper...

Nope.  ;D  I still stand by my comments, even though my financial stake in the pedal business is now radically different.

*pats self on back*

Likewise. It's impressive (as I keep accounts) as to how much has gone through this hobby in the 1.5 years since I last posted to this thread, vs the sheer amount of profit I haven't made. Over £11k has come in since I started keeping accounts and I have made a grand total of £50 during that entire time. All the rest has gone back into the hobby (as will that £50). I'd make a crap businessman!.

Then again I've become much more picky with what I will build for people and turn away far more people than I build for. I've also become a lot better at not giving stuff away... As in charging what I consider to be a fair price for my time. Again, that turns a lot of people away, but has got me a very small group of return customers who appreciate the work and the result.

For example I really stick strictly to my rule these days of I'm not going to build you something if it's a production pedal by people who don't take the piss in some way. I also won't build people multis (which is what I get the most requests for these days) that don't make sense. I did one that was just a pedal board in a box and it was the least satisfying build ever. It had no coherence, it didn't have a purpose other than being a bunch of unrelated effects in a box. I didn't like it, so I won't do another like that.

Otherwise it's the same old thing. I honestly don't think in the UK you can make a business of making low volume, high cost, high quality handmade pedals. There's just no market for it. I wish there was, but there just isn't and selling to the States, where there is, we're buggered by the cost of parts here and the exchange rate back to the US. The only choice here would be to make it cheap, make it in bulk and sell at a very low margin. I could see that becoming tedious fast!

All I would say to people who do sell is don't sell your work/time/expertise short. Too many people give it away and it's wrong. The quality of DIY work, certainly on this forum, is often WAY beyond the shat that's pedalled on the boutique circuit, yet when we do make them for other people we charge them barely more than the parts because we are not just in it to make a quick buck. Because we enjoy building pedals. I'm not saying we should take the piss, just charge a reasonable amount for your time. Let DIYers be regarded more like a good luthier, rather than some geek in his basement hunched over a card table.

Anyhow, waffling now. Got a pedal to build ;)
« Last Edit: January 08, 2015, 03:01:06 AM by juansolo »
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Cortexturizer

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Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
« Reply #42 on: January 08, 2015, 05:22:21 AM »
Let DIYers be regarded more like a good luthier, rather than some geek in his basement hunched over a card table.
This is what people see me I'm afraid to confirm...I've given up on making pedals even for friends, I've made one for a friend just a couple of weeks ago and I've composed a sheet of all the parts used and links to where one could find em on the interwebz with prices and all, with the total for all at the bottom. Then I told him "this is what it cost me, you are free to give me ANY amount over that amount". After a lot of hassle where I've lost many hours of repairing a pot that he had killed due to abusing the pedal the next day he got it, and answering his many questions why his crappy adapter won't work well, why is there noise when he stacks eleven overdrives on top of my pedal etc etc, in the end he paid me only the amount that I've put into it that the sheet showed at the bottom.
I've lost a lot of patience and nerves while doing this build, even though it was for a friend. I have a nice paying job and when I looked at the amount of hours I've put into the build times how much I make an hour there I could have bought a moogerfooger instead. I mean really.
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LaceSensor

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Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
« Reply #43 on: January 08, 2015, 05:28:15 AM »
I recently changed my policies to include a (modest) minimum bench fee and working off a model of 2x the cost of parts
I do it for fun though and not to make money, just a bit on the side to justify other DIY builds / keep parts in stock

Noone is gonna get rich doing this, and you are right even a small headache makes it not worth it.
One thing that is very clear building for friends and then word of mouth is you do one for a mate at cost, cos you are a pal, and then every fucker else wants a £250 commerical pedal for £50 because they think thats what it really costs.

heck, if I actually charged my pro rata hourly rate from my day job....my pedals would be like Cornish prices (!)  ::) 8)

juansolo

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Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
« Reply #44 on: January 09, 2015, 01:16:57 PM »
^ this on all counts. I've also taken to charging 2x the parts cost, but I also factor in the effort taken... So for some builds it can be higher.

Impressively after the Gilmourizer I had two people say, if you can build me one of those I've definitely take it. Having been bitten before by this, I offered my build up for £400 (6 effects in one, huge effort required, quite reasonable IMO. I'd then build myself another)... Unsurprisingly I still possess the Gilmourizer and I'm not bothered in the slightest.

I even expect it now. This is purely because I won't give away the huge amount of effort building these effects costs. I'm sorry but that's my time and if I'm not getting compensated for it then I'm going to spend it building something for me instead.

I've also found that customers can be funny buggers. So there's always that initial contact thing with them where I try to figure out whether they're going to be more hassle than they're worth (knowing what margins I'm dealing with) and whether to discourage them or not... I discourage a lot. Mate, I don't need your £30 that badly...

heck, if I actually charged my pro rata hourly rate from my day job....my pedals would be like Cornish prices (!)  ::) 8)

Honestly I don't see a problem with that. You're not doing anything that he isn't. He totally charges based on the fact that he has some very famous users, that's all. Same goes for DAM and any other boutique builder.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2015, 01:22:55 PM by juansolo »
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