The blog will now be devoted not to boat building but to my 82-year-old Vertue, Sally II, now undergoing a well needed refit at Johnson & Loftus in Ullapool (and gliding...)

Tuesday 1 February 2011

That Aerial (again)

A few posts back I was moaning about the ridiculous cost of a simple VHF aerial. This kind of over pricing seems rife in the marine industry, but is it justified? It seems that marketing, packaging and mark ups of 40% right up the chain from China leave the customer paying £50 for something made for less than £5.

But, it seems, this is the price we pay for our addiction to our pastime, and just the way our crazy economy works. This is confirmed by my good friend in the electronics business, who deals with China all the time.

I have done some preliminary checking with our man in China, and the
consensus seems to be that what you are experiencing is normal.

The sordid fact in this day and age is that the actual cost of the item you
are buying is ludicrously small in relation to the price.  This is only
partly related to the fact that everything is made in China, but rather more
that in today's market, anyone can source anything at that low price.  So
the only thing that differentiates is image and branding.  So today, all the
money goes on money, branding and distribution.  This is inevitably a big
lump of cash.  Every set of hands it passes through on its way from factory
to consumer adds 30-40% to it, and, if the volumes are small, then the big
lump of cash spent on branding etc has to come from a low number of sales.

Marine parts are the epitome of this - large bits of cash spent on branding,
advertising, setting up distribution channels being recouped on low volume

The consensus was that this particular widget was not outrageously

Regrettably, also, a quick trawl of their Oriental sources and contacts
revealed no prospect of getting this particular item any cheaper on a
one-off basis.

So there we have it. Meanwhile a soldering iron and a length of self amalgamating tape later, the old aerial is better than new (a saving of around £49.99...)

1 comment:

  1. I'll avoid the usual rant and only say that I admire your ingenuity. But even more, I applaud the moral stance of refusing to buy into the game, even for free, to provide a lesson we can all live by.