Author Topic: Small bear retiring  (Read 4199 times)

lars

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 977
    • View Profile
Re: Small bear retiring
« Reply #45 on: September 24, 2021, 11:33:24 PM »
With luck some of our other favorite suppliers will step in and fill the very large gap that's coming.
The reality is, it's more likely that more suppliers are going to fold. When Tayda goes down...oh, man. Get out the gas masks and hazmat suits.
One there's than a skin way more cat, to!

matmosphere

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 2709
  • Matthew
    • View Profile
Re: Small bear retiring
« Reply #46 on: September 25, 2021, 12:49:09 AM »
With luck some of our other favorite suppliers will step in and fill the very large gap that's coming.
The reality is, it's more likely that more suppliers are going to fold. When Tayda goes down...oh, man. Get out the gas masks and hazmat suits.

Donít know about this. Steveís announcement makes it a point to say he retiring and that the business is still going very well. Plus the market has to be a lot larger than it used to be if it can support all the new places that have popped up in the past few years.

pickdropper

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 6266
    • View Profile
Re: Small bear retiring
« Reply #47 on: September 25, 2021, 08:26:10 AM »
Yeah, this is going to be a big problem.  Small Bear was unique in the sheer number of quality SKUs they maintained.  I expect some of the other popular suppliers will pick up some of slack, but some of the more obscure parts may be more difficult.

Beyond that, Steve did a much better job of maintaining stock levels.  Things would go OOS on occasion, but not nearly as frequently as other places.

I'm particularly concerned about pots.  Small Bear was one of the few that carried all values across 16mm and 9mm.  Plus, you could get quantity discounts by pot type/size, not just by value, which is how most normal distributors handle it.
Function f(x)
Follow me on Instagram as pickdropper

TGP39

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 817
  • Steven
    • View Profile
Re: Small bear retiring
« Reply #48 on: September 26, 2021, 12:15:21 AM »

I'm particularly concerned about pots.  Small Bear was one of the few that carried all values across 16mm and 9mm.  Plus, you could get quantity discounts by pot type/size, not just by value, which is how most normal distributors handle it.

This is my biggest concern too.  Nobody has the potentiometer selection that Smallbear has.  They put mouser / Digikey to shame.  Good luck finding those obscure double ganged pots without them.
Follow me on Instagram under PharmerFx.

pickdropper

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 6266
    • View Profile
Re: Small bear retiring
« Reply #49 on: September 26, 2021, 05:22:42 AM »

I'm particularly concerned about pots.  Small Bear was one of the few that carried all values across 16mm and 9mm.  Plus, you could get quantity discounts by pot type/size, not just by value, which is how most normal distributors handle it.

This is my biggest concern too.  Nobody has the potentiometer selection that Smallbear has.  They put mouser / Digikey to shame.  Good luck finding those obscure double ganged pots without them.

Not to mention that Mouser is significantly more expensive in many cases.  When I looked at 9mm pots last week, the values they did have were 2-3x the price, even in very large quantities.

Most things like resistors/caps/etc Mouser is often cheaper than Small Bear, but Steve did a great job of leveraging pricing on hardware and passing it through with a very reasonable markup to DIYers and small volume manufacturers.
Function f(x)
Follow me on Instagram as pickdropper

matmosphere

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 2709
  • Matthew
    • View Profile
Re: Small bear retiring
« Reply #50 on: September 26, 2021, 07:11:22 AM »
I know this will be an unpopular thing to say, but Tayda carries a lot of 9mm lots now and the few Iíve gotten from them have been fine.

I think the reality of this is that there is demand for a lot of this stuff and a couple of places will probably step up and attempt to fill the gaps created. There is a demand and Iím sure it will be filled. Iíll be sad to not have smallbear, but my solder will continue to flow.

The only question is, how much wire to stockpile before he closes for good.

EBK

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1950
  • Eric K. (personal pronouns: he/him)
    • View Profile
Re: Small bear retiring
« Reply #51 on: September 26, 2021, 10:18:56 AM »
The only question is, how much wire to stockpile before he closes for good.
I ordered three 50-foot samplers and I have a 50 foot spool of gray in my cart (wanted black or white but it is gone). 

I have now placed 3 orders since Steve's retirement announcement.   ::)

Wire is going fast.  I had a spool remove itself from my cart because I wasn't quick enough to keep it.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2021, 03:59:11 PM by EBK »
"There is a pestilence upon this land. Nothing is sacred. Even those who arrange and design shrubberies are under considerable economic stress in this period in history." --Roger the Shrubber

fair.child

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 663
    • View Profile
Re: Small bear retiring
« Reply #52 on: September 26, 2021, 10:01:51 PM »
Man, this thread is going strong. Never thought everyone is panicking in terms inventory. I guess we just need to give Steve a call and ask for source of the parts. In case in the future, we will order the parts. At least we know where to go. But again, if heís going to provide us with some directions.

I agree with pots concerns. I get most of my pots 16mm and 9mm from Smallbear. Mouser/digikey canít beat it. Otherwise I go over eBay but again it can be very tricky for the long run

alanp

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 6192
  • Aotearoa
    • View Profile
    • http://alanp.info/
Re: Small bear retiring
« Reply #53 on: September 26, 2021, 10:05:10 PM »
Golden opportunity for Chromesphere to step up his webshop. (DIYGP at the top of the forum page, he's a good guy.)
"A man is not dead while his name is still spoken."
- Terry Pratchett
My OSHpark shared projects
My website

EBK

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1950
  • Eric K. (personal pronouns: he/him)
    • View Profile
Re: Small bear retiring
« Reply #54 on: September 27, 2021, 03:36:12 AM »
Man, this thread is going strong. Never thought everyone is panicking in terms inventory. I guess we just need to give Steve a call and ask for source of the parts. In case in the future, we will order the parts. At least we know where to go. But again, if heís going to provide us with some directions.

I agree with pots concerns. I get most of my pots 16mm and 9mm from Smallbear. Mouser/digikey canít beat it. Otherwise I go over eBay but again it can be very tricky for the long run
It's not necessarily as simple as knowing the source.  The real question is whether the source will sell you one or two of something rather than making you buy a thousand. 
"There is a pestilence upon this land. Nothing is sacred. Even those who arrange and design shrubberies are under considerable economic stress in this period in history." --Roger the Shrubber

pickdropper

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 6266
    • View Profile
Re: Small bear retiring
« Reply #55 on: September 27, 2021, 05:33:25 AM »
I know this will be an unpopular thing to say, but Tayda carries a lot of 9mm lots now and the few Iíve gotten from them have been fine.

I think the reality of this is that there is demand for a lot of this stuff and a couple of places will probably step up and attempt to fill the gaps created. There is a demand and Iím sure it will be filled. Iíll be sad to not have smallbear, but my solder will continue to flow.

The only question is, how much wire to stockpile before he closes for good.

I expect I am the outlier, but in my case, Tayda carries the wrong 9mm pots.  They carry the PC mount right angle version and I prefer the typical PC mount, which is more difficult to find.
Function f(x)
Follow me on Instagram as pickdropper

matmosphere

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 2709
  • Matthew
    • View Profile
Re: Small bear retiring
« Reply #56 on: September 27, 2021, 05:43:19 AM »
I know this will be an unpopular thing to say, but Tayda carries a lot of 9mm lots now and the few Iíve gotten from them have been fine.

I think the reality of this is that there is demand for a lot of this stuff and a couple of places will probably step up and attempt to fill the gaps created. There is a demand and Iím sure it will be filled. Iíll be sad to not have smallbear, but my solder will continue to flow.

The only question is, how much wire to stockpile before he closes for good.

I expect I am the outlier, but in my case, Tayda carries the wrong 9mm pots.  They carry the PC mount right angle version and I prefer the typical PC mount, which is more difficult to find.

Yeah, those are next to impossible to find for some reason. Musikding had a decent selection of them last time I looked.

aion

  • Solder Ninja
  • ****
  • Posts: 415
    • View Profile
    • Aion FX
Re: Small bear retiring
« Reply #57 on: September 27, 2021, 09:36:54 AM »
I guess we just need to give Steve a call and ask for source of the parts. In case in the future, we will order the parts. At least we know where to go. But again, if heís going to provide us with some directions.

Someone on FB emailed Steve to ask about sources and he had this response:

"The vendor information and part numbers are part of my intellectual capital. What I suggest to customers who are looking for a new source is that they do the homework I did."

I was already thinking about asking about their source for pot dust covers since I use them for all my kits - they fit better than Tayda's. So this was pretty disappointing to see, since he hasn't given any other indication that he plans on capitalizing on his intellectual property (i.e. selling the business including supplier lists). Based on the information he's shared, the inference is that he's just going to leave customers stranded if they were dependent on parts that only SBE sells.

I hope it's just bad miscommunication on his part and there's more news to come. But SBE's relationship with the DIY community goes both ways. He's been a great part of it, legendary even, but we've also given him his job for 20 years, so this is not a great way to close out an otherwise impeccable career.

madbean

  • Administrator
  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 10222
  • Brian
    • View Profile
    • madbeanpedals
Re: Small bear retiring
« Reply #58 on: September 27, 2021, 09:49:00 AM »
I guess we just need to give Steve a call and ask for source of the parts. In case in the future, we will order the parts. At least we know where to go. But again, if heís going to provide us with some directions.

Someone on FB emailed Steve to ask about sources and he had this response:

"The vendor information and part numbers are part of my intellectual capital. What I suggest to customers who are looking for a new source is that they do the homework I did."

I was already thinking about asking about their source for pot dust covers since I use them for all my kits - they fit better than Tayda's. So this was pretty disappointing to see, since he hasn't given any other indication that he plans on capitalizing on his intellectual property (i.e. selling the business including supplier lists). Based on the information he's shared, the inference is that he's just going to leave customers stranded if they were dependent on parts that only SBE sells.

I hope it's just bad miscommunication on his part and there's more news to come. But SBE's relationship with the DIY community goes both ways. He's been a great part of it, legendary even, but we've also given him his job for 20 years, so this is not a great way to close out an otherwise impeccable career.

Yeah, I can see both sides of this. Steve probably spent much of his time researching vendors and building relationships with distributors over the last two decades. My hope is that someone else will get to take over some part of smallbear and build on those contacts so that the DIY community can continue to have access to the things we want.

EBK

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1950
  • Eric K. (personal pronouns: he/him)
    • View Profile
Re: Small bear retiring
« Reply #59 on: September 27, 2021, 10:01:14 AM »
Presumably, his intellectual capital is for sale at the right price to the right buyer.
"There is a pestilence upon this land. Nothing is sacred. Even those who arrange and design shrubberies are under considerable economic stress in this period in history." --Roger the Shrubber