Author Topic: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others  (Read 18399 times)

flanagan0718

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Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
« Reply #75 on: August 05, 2017, 07:17:59 PM »
I've had a couple of moral "shifts" over the last year or so. I used to be afraid of the word "clone" but it's really nothing to look over your shoulder about. Yes schematics get copied, and redrawn all the time. I find myself doing it (see my latest B/S/T post, there are 3 "clones" in there). I redraw the schematic, make a component change if needed (mostly reverse polarity diodes), and design my own board. So the only thing I copy is 99% of the schematic. Which isn't copy writable anyways (I pretty sure...don't quote me on that). I do still sell to fund. And I do take a lot of custom build orders.

Here is my quick pricing.
$100 bench fee (includes 125b or 1590b plain box) no knobs, no art, simple circuit (2 knobs or less, one stomp switch, no toggle switches).

Add 25$ for 3-4 knob circuit, or toggle switch. With plastic knobs.

Add 25 for a more complicated build such as delay, chorus, or phaser.

Add $50 for paint and decal or etched enclosure or face plate.

Add $5000000 for 1590a enclosure no matter the circuit! Haha!

I leave most stuff up for negotiations. Most people either except this or walk. I also tell them that I am not a manufacturer. I'm a Dad and this is a hobby not my full time job. So build time varies from 4-6 weeks. Most people are cool with that as well.


I also tell them that it's warrantied for as long as I'm building pedals. So if it breaks (mechanical failures and manufacturing defects) I'll fix it for free, they just pay to ship it to me.


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« Last Edit: August 05, 2017, 07:20:54 PM by flanagan0718 »

BrianS

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Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
« Reply #76 on: August 05, 2017, 07:35:46 PM »

Add $5000000 for 1590a enclosure no matter the circuit! Haha!


I am certainly with you there bud.  Guys that can build in those boxes deserve the extra$$$$$$$$.

pickdropper

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Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
« Reply #77 on: August 05, 2017, 09:30:54 PM »
Well, I think that most people think you're going to work at Chinese sweatshop rates. ;-)

Looking at the economics, if I design my own pedals, get the PCBs manufactured (in China, 4-6 week lead time and the quality is ... interesting, lifting pads, anyone ? ) - I then source the parts as cheaply as possible, take 3-4 hours to build, I spray my own cases, take them up to the local UV printer and pay a small fortune to get logos etc baked on.... yes, I can make a profit, as long as the buyer is reasonable.

Trouble is, they're not. They mainly (experience with synth DIY here) want something for nothing.

That's a lot of work for nothing.

Sorry for taking the thread slightly off topic. I generally find that the moral issues don't crop up if you can't find a decent market for your goods, anyway. I was going to build an add on box for the Korg MS20 Mini reissue synth. Korg originally made some expander boxes in the 70's, they haven't reissued any with the new MS20. I thought yep, design a few bits, box up, there's a market. Then I bounced it off new Korg owners and they basically wanted to pay less for a hand made box than the actual bare enclosure would cost. ;-)

A volume manufacturer can always undercut you.

By the same token, here's a moral argument as well: how can so many pedal manufacturers justify such huge markups ????

There are a lot of good questions and comments in there.  Here are my random thoughts on some of them.

- Most people don't really consider the cost of time to build a one-off.  For most, I don't think it's willful ignorance, just unfamiliarity and a more simplistic "what will it cost me" viewpoint.  There's also the issue that custom builds usually have very low resale value, so gear flippers will usually want a really low price or will go elsewhere.

- I think a lot of players used to approach DIY builders as a cheaper alternative to the pricey boutique models.  With the influx of cheap, Asian built pedals, the cost of entry for a lot of these circuits has changed and now it generally works out only when customers want a true custom option not something that is simply less expensive than a boutique pedal.

- The pedal manufacturer pricing is an interesting one, and one that I have a bit more insight into as a small volume manufacturer.  Certainly, if you build in quantity, it gets cheaper, but not necessarily as cheap as you'd suspect.  I've long leveraged 100 piece price breaks for components in my DIY building, so that doesn't actually change all that much.  Plus, you need to factor in the cost of components + the cost of running the business + dealer markups (and distributor markups if you go through distribution).  As the company gets larger, you need to hire more employees to help build, or you need to automate, both of which cost money.  Certainly, it's a lot more efficient than building a 1-off, but it may not be exactly as you'd expect.  For the small guys, it gets thin pretty quickly.  Without going into brutal detail, by the time everything is factored in, the raw cost of building a FFX pedal is more than I can build a single pedal myself for, although that's ignoring the amount of time spent.  If I really priced out the time I spend on one-off customs, I would certainly go do something else (basically anything else would pay better).  That's on me, because I am somewhat slow and methodical.

For the bigger companies making 500-1000 pedals at a time, the costs definitely come down, but they still have to deal with dealer/distributor markups and the costs of running the business.  Of course, I'm ignoring the really silly $400 3-knob overdrive types.
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pickdropper

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Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
« Reply #78 on: August 05, 2017, 09:31:41 PM »

Add $5000000 for 1590a enclosure no matter the circuit! Haha!


Ha, that's basically 90%+ of anything I do that isn't FFX related.
I am certainly with you there bud.  Guys that can build in those boxes deserve the extra$$$$$$$$.
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BrianS

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Re: Ethical issues - Selling/ building for others
« Reply #79 on: August 06, 2017, 06:00:53 PM »

Add $5000000 for 1590a enclosure no matter the circuit! Haha!

I am certainly with you there bud.  Guys that can build in those boxes deserve the extra$$$$$$$$.

Ha, that's basically 90%+ of anything I do that isn't FFX related.




That's why you're a pedal guru extraordinaire!!!!!