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beck3906

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Aug 13, 2005
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Belton, TX 76513
I was talking to one of my favorite suppliers this week about them being out of certain kits. He mentioned that Berea had changed their shipping practice from getting shipments in by air to having shipments delivered by surface. Berea changed the shipping means because of increased transportation costs.

Berea was telling this supplier that he needed to predict orders 6 weeks in advance. This places suppliers in an awkward position as they now may need to carry larger inventory levels to cover the 6 week shipping time.

What does this mean to us? Well, I've been using a lot of chrome Sierra kits which were out of stock for several days. Alternative sources were also out. I've waited for several days for the Berea order to arrive so I could complete a few things I had turned.

I also will need to carry a small number of kits to cover unexpected orders instead of relying on suppliers having them in stock.

You may want to consider your favorite Berea kits and be aware of potential supply shortages and order lead times.
 
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ed4copies

Local Chapter Manager
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Racine, WI, USA.
We are preparing for that problem, just got 500 sierra chrome--feel free to stop in.

But, yes, I would encourage those who want to support the IAP vendors to order early. Ideally, if you know you will want 100 or this or that for Christmas, tell one of us (Ernie, Bill, Jim or me) and we can order them for you.

As the "new kid" in this industry, I don't expect them to listen to me much. So, I'm afraid we will adapt.
 

Smitty37

Passed Away Mar 29, 2018
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Big impact

This is going to impact everyone....I get my stuff mostly Air Express and the rates are going up every order. I'm having to adjust prices often. I am checking on surface shipping right now but have been told in the past that shipping time enroute will be about 5 weeks, which means I'll need to order a lot earlier and perhaps in larger quantities. I have some questions at my supplier and I'll try a test run when they reply.
 

Arizona Silhouette

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Yuma, AZ
Hello John T.,

You endorsed timberbits (an Australian based company that does business in China) to a customer of mine who was looking for a particular pen kit. That's fine – completion is a good thing. However, when doing business with a company located outside the United States – who does that benefit? The company located outside of the United States. Does that help our economy? No. Does that help companies here in the U.S. keep people employed? No.

I have been in business for over ten years and have been around the IAP since 2004. Over that time I have seen the shift on the IAP to 'buy from the cheapest source' no matter where that source is located. Cheap, cheap, cheap. As a result companies here in the U.S. have cut back on what kits are stocked especially the very high end kits.

Then you have a Taiwanese distributor (Dayacom) advertising directly to the consumer because they are trying save a portion their business because the U.S. economy has taken a major hit over the past year and a half (I'm not even going to get into that bag of worms). Dayacom only cares about Dayacom.

Some U.S companies have decided to sell kits made in mainland China because - guess what? The kits are cheaper! Are they better than Taiwanese kits? In my experience - no. We will not break our 'brand' – we will not sell pen kits made in mainland China.

I have read numerous threads from IAP members who have lost their jobs because their jobs were outsourced overseas in order to save money for the company they worked for. I have read numerous threads where folks have lost their jobs because the products they produced were replaced by cheaper (but not necessarily better) products made overseas. Does buying overseas help our economy? No.

I don't care where the members of the IAP buy their kits as long as it's from companies located here in the United States. Regardless of where the kits originate (buyer beware) in these economic times we should support the companies located here in this country.

Bill Baumbeck
Arizona Silhouette Inc.
 

PenPal

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Joined
Nov 29, 2006
Messages
2,708
Location
Canberra, A.C.T., Australia.
Hello Bill,

As the name of the IAP stands for International are you proposing that the name be changed to American Pen Group meaning you wish to exclude us overseas members by inference.
Our great Country went down the mine as a direct result of following investments in the USA. Correct me if I am wrong your supplies as do the majority of Timberbits come from Taiwan so Taiwan profits, Timberbits unashamably purchases another range from China to accomodate pen makers who choose to buy them, please never confuse Taiwanese as anything but Chinese with families on both sides of the dividing sea, some companies have factories in Mainland China and Taiwan. If this Pen business is going to change the balance of payments by itself what a revelation that would be. I purchase from many companies in the USA there are some suppliers who refuse to supply Australian requests.

Now our Island population is around the same as one of the USA cities please treat us with the same courtesy we extend to yours and protectionism left to the Govts of both our countries who have trade policies. Nearly every commodity consumed in this country very like your country, cars, clothing etc is from other country sources.

I would be interested if your comments are supported by the IAP as directive or suggestive
or divert us from the great hobby of enjoyment that Pen Making is for me. We here in Australia share some of the same antecedents some of my family migrated to Australia and some to the USA before and since the 1800.s making their mark in both countries.

Hesitating to express myself is something you as a member and I as a member I feel are entitled to, in order not to distract from the good order and discipline of the IAP I am happy to speak to you personally at any time and assure you that free speech is reciprocal and good manners conducive to harmony.

Kind regards Peter.
 

MIKL

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Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
439
Location
Sale, Victoria, Australia
Hello John T.,

You endorsed timberbits (an Australian based company that does business in China) to a customer of mine who was looking for a particular pen kit. That's fine – completion is a good thing. However, when doing business with a company located outside the United States – who does that benefit? The company located outside of the United States. Does that help our economy? No. Does that help companies here in the U.S. keep people employed? No.

I have been in business for over ten years and have been around the IAP since 2004. Over that time I have seen the shift on the IAP to 'buy from the cheapest source' no matter where that source is located. Cheap, cheap, cheap. As a result companies here in the U.S. have cut back on what kits are stocked especially the very high end kits.

Then you have a Taiwanese distributor (Dayacom) advertising directly to the consumer because they are trying save a portion their business because the U.S. economy has taken a major hit over the past year and a half (I'm not even going to get into that bag of worms). Dayacom only cares about Dayacom.

Some U.S companies have decided to sell kits made in mainland China because - guess what? The kits are cheaper! Are they better than Taiwanese kits? In my experience - no. We will not break our 'brand' – we will not sell pen kits made in mainland China.

I have read numerous threads from IAP members who have lost their jobs because their jobs were outsourced overseas in order to save money for the company they worked for. I have read numerous threads where folks have lost their jobs because the products they produced were replaced by cheaper (but not necessarily better) products made overseas. Does buying overseas help our economy? No.

I don't care where the members of the IAP buy their kits as long as it's from companies located here in the United States. Regardless of where the kits originate (buyer beware) in these economic times we should support the companies located here in this country.

Bill Baumbeck
Arizona Silhouette Inc.

and all this comes from someone who wont send overseas

i, like most of my australian pen turners support companies in Australia, but we also have to get some kits in from the US as well, so we are therefore supporting your economy as well

a lot of our Australian companies are being consumed by the US big boys, so imagine how our economy travels when all the dollars effectively end up in your backyard and not ours

i find the statements above very poor when you also consider that this site caters for pen turners from all over the world.

poor form Arizona Silhouette, i am now glad that you don't send overseas

Timber-Bits is a great supplier that is slowly working up to a bigger range of kits and he sends world wide, with free postage if you order over $200 worth of bits and pieces.

i will continue to order from all the suppliers i curently use and i am sure that others will come along as well, great service is what everyone likes, and this is what brings people back time and again

MIK
 

nativewooder

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Feb 26, 2009
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Fort Pierce, Fl 34982
As the world around us changes, a lot of which is caused by American Companies moving their factories to countries where they can increase their greed (profits), we must learn that we are now a debtor nation, as allowed by law. This will require learning to do business as was done in the 1700s and 1800s when this Country was forming. As a hobbyist, I admire all those who are running businesses in these difficult times. While I may not agree with the philosophies and politics of everyone, I will continue to support American Companies located in the United States as long as they have the stock that I need. If necessary, then I will make purchases outside the United States. Many good men and women have died to preserve our lifestyle over the years and it is my hope that those of you who are NOT VETERANS will stop and think about how blessed you are to live in this land of plenty. Those of us who have served and have seen how the rest of the world lives and survives will continue to pray for our troops and our Country.
 

Smitty37

Passed Away Mar 29, 2018
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Milford, Delaware 19963
I disagree

I think Mr. Baumbeck went a little astray there - he does not sell American made kits and never has. Americans have since our very beginnings been an international trading nation. The earliest settlers engaged in international trade sending lumber, furs, tobacco and other products back to Europe in exchange for things not made here.

There is no American manufacturer of pen kits for anyone to go to, so it is a matter of what part of China your dollars go to, not whether or not they go to China. So it's a little disingenuous for Mr. Baumbeck to suggest that buying from him is "buying American" when in reality it is buying Taiwanese. His sales give jobs to Chinese who live in Taiwan. Mine give jobs to Chinese who live just outside Hong Kong.

Maybe one day India or some other low cost country will start making kits or maybe an American company will start - but for now the choice seems to be Chinese or Chinese.
 

Smitty37

Passed Away Mar 29, 2018
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Whoa

As the world around us changes, a lot of which is caused by American Companies moving their factories to countries where they can increase their greed (profits), we must learn that we are now a debtor nation, as allowed by law. This will require learning to do business as was done in the 1700s and 1800s when this Country was forming. As a hobbyist, I admire all those who are running businesses in these difficult times. While I may not agree with the philosophies and politics of everyone, I will continue to support American Companies located in the United States as long as they have the stock that I need. If necessary, then I will make purchases outside the United States. Many good men and women have died to preserve our lifestyle over the years and it is my hope that those of you who are NOT VETERANS will stop and think about how blessed you are to live in this land of plenty. Those of us who have served and have seen how the rest of the world lives and survives will continue to pray for our troops and our Country.

I agree with a lot of what you said here but --- profit is not greed. I need to make a profit to get paid for my labor and investment just like you need to get paid for your work. Without profit there would be no employers to provide jobs for anyone.
 

KenV

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Oct 28, 2005
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Juneau, Alaska.
May I suggest that value judgement of "right" and "wrong" are just that -- value judgements and flame material.

Energy cost effects and timing morphed a long ways --- to a just use an alternative supply to an editorial on the percieved bias to lowest cost as the paramont objective.
 

Daniel

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Location
Reno, NV, USA.
I think it is funny how often you see a post that goes something like. What is the best lathe, turning tool, drill press, band saw or whatever.? Hopefully at a good price. And then call it greed that manufacturers actually do an obvious thing to meet that last requirement. If they manufactured it in the U.S. at U.S. labor process the price would go up accordingly. Again people would call them crooks. In other words they cannot win for loosing. Many people just think they are crooks and are convinced they are right. If you ever ran a business you would no you don't go very far for very long by cheating customers.

Bill, as for your post. All I can say is, Once again You have a real talent for sticking your foot in it. I have a question for you though. Do you every have anything good to say? You might want to try it at least once. I actually went and read all 8 of your posts in this group, and you are chewing some sort of ass in every one of them. I am just grateful that the products you provide cover a lot of wrong you do with your keyboard. So in the spirit of a good old gruff bar buddy type comment. shut up and go back to work. and I do mean that humorously. For everyone else. If you think you know Bill from simple things like his posts. I will just say you do not. Bill is a pioneer. a first and at one time only one of his kind in penturning. As far as I can tell, Bill is the original "High End" thinker. What he has done has taken courage. And I am sure he has suffered far more than his fair share of criticism for it. I know first hand that resistance to something different can be vicious.
I don't make the comment to shut up as an insult to him. I make it because comments like those above lend to a reputation that he does not deserve. Bill as far as I know is one of the few members (or at least was) of the penturning guild, that I think are by all rights in a group of exclusive people. I have watched what he has done over the years, and attribute his contribution to what is in his words "Eye Candy" as one of the single greatest contributions to penturning. Bill made wood glimmer. He provided a product that made it possibel to make a wood pen that looked like a wood pen should look. But by the standards then it was radically different thinking. it was radically different priced. and I am sure it drew radical comments, not good ones either. I tend to believe that experience has left it's mark. Well that is what I choose to believe anyway. But Bill is an Icon. He gets a lot of leway to put his foot in it with me. Sort of reminds me of Eagle in a way. Not a poet but definitely an artist.
 
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Well, Well, Well, When I wanted to buy retail pen boxes from Bill he refused to sell any more because I am competition for his buddy and Bill is not the only one. They have forced me to get boxes with recessed lids and other products from overseas, locally or manufactured myself. I always thought competition was a good and it would keep prices down?
I wanted to buy local was refused/rejected but guess what I am glad that happened it makes me stronger in a business sense.

I am sure I am going to get a lot of negative comments but that is also fine, we all have our fans and customers.



Wow..just wow! Can only shake my head. That post Bill is just so wrong on so many levels.
 
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arioux

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Jan 20, 2005
Messages
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Location
Terrebonne, Quebec, Canada.
I am mix feeling about this post. First, it doest'nt bother me because i'm in Canada an Bill don't ship here. His "patriotic" call is ok for me and kind of "normal" in these rough times.

The problem i have is that it's out of place, It was a direct reply to someone pointing us to an other "very fine" vendor that has good kits, price and service and who namy of us are using. In my opinion, this is put of place and it was obvious that the "international" community woul'd react.

Will i go thru that each time i will post a link to a good special but it is out of the US ? William Woodright is base in Canada and has some great deal once in a while on Berea kits. Makes me wonder if i should let you know!
 
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LeeR

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Nov 13, 2010
Messages
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Location
Fort Collins, Colorado
As the world around us changes, a lot of which is caused by American Companies moving their factories to countries where they can increase their greed (profits),
[...]

I am sorry, but broad brush statements like this, assuming all American companies are greedy, is just WRONG. Are some greedy? Certainly. But do not equate profits with greed. That big pay check we all want, with good benefits, requires that the company we work for (or own) be profitable. Stock holders demand that a company show profits. Profits are good, not evil.

The tax burden and mountainous pile of ridiculous regulation make it expensive to do business here. Certainly you cannot drop all regulation -- we all want clean water, a safe work environment, etc.), but much is just encouraging companies to take their manufacturing offshore. And some is just asinine -- we have banned offshore drilling, but other countries like China are going to drill off our shores anyway? How much insanity are Americans going to stand?

I worked for a Fortune 100 company for over 20 years. I left in 2000, and have been with a handful of small companies since then. My current employer is a mom and pop product development company. I have been there for 4 years, and seen it go from 65 people, to almost 200, to about 80 now. We live in a very anti-business environment, and the tax burdens alone have nearly killed is off.

Personally, I have grown incredibly weary of all the corporate bashing. Elect some pro-America, pro-growth people to run this country, and we will quit having these discussions. Will all that manufacturing return? Of course not, but we might be able to save what precious few manufacturing jobs we have left.

And while I can only speak for the USA, I feel compassion for our Aussie friends on this post who have chimed in, and certainly have many of the same feelings. I'll bet that in many places where I've said America or USA, they could put Australia. I just do not understand to what extent.

Just my $.03, (adjusted for inflation).
 
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Arizona Silhouette

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Yuma, AZ
This dog pile didn't take long to start…

My original message was addressed to John T. who resides in New Jersey (for those of you that don't know that is in the United States). If you take the time to read my message I was asking John to continue to buy from companies located in the United States. I did not state or imply, in any way, that timberbits was a bad vendor as some have suggested.

I did not ask nor suggest that all turners worldwide buy from companies here in the U.S. . The first response from pwhay assumed that was what I was recommending. The second response was also from an Australian and he, too, believed what pwhay had stated. And on it went.

Then the thread takes a different direction – Smitty37 states that the kits I sell are made in Taiwan. Holy Batman! What a revelation! The source of my kits is prominently mentioned numerous times throughout my website. Personally I would much rather support a business (and the families of that business) in Taiwan than China (it's a 'trust' issue with me). Smitty, you did make one profound statement: "…profit is not greed. I need to make a profit to get paid for my labor and investment just like you need to get paid for your work. Without profit there would be no employers to provide jobs for anyone." That was the message I was trying to convey to John T. but you stated it much better.

Daniel, thank you for your kind words but you and I are not the same page on most things. We just think differently. I stand up for what I believe and am not shy in expressing my beliefs. And I am not 'politically correct'. Keep your feet moving if you're afraid of getting your toes stepped on.

We do not ship outside the United Stated (including Canada) because of time. The time it takes to process an out of country order and take it to our main post office for processing eats up any profit.

Now, before all you postal experts start telling me what to do, we are under a special set of postal rules because of our location with regards to Mexico. Yuma is on the Arizona/Mexico border. The Department of Homeland Security set up these rules and they are not going to change. You cannot go to a postal mail stop, etc. and mail a package to Canada or anywhere else outside the U.S. I would rather pay my employees for doing something constructive instead of standing around waiting in line. We do offer the option of shipping an order to a friend or relative here in the U.S. and they can forward it on.

Bill Baumbeck
Arizona Silhouette Inc.
 

BKelley

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Jan 31, 2010
Messages
891
Location
Tucker, Georgia, 30084
I have expressed my feelings in the past on BUY AMERICAN. I will buy from American companies if I can and if the quality is up to snuff. If an American company does not have the product I want, then I will buy from a foreign company. Yes the name IAP does say International and this is good. It is nice to ask some one in Germany, France or where ever how they apply a finish, or how they did this or that. If a member in Norway post a picture of a nice pen, I want to compliment them on their craftsmanship. I find no wrong with any nationality supporting their respective countries. I think they should. Still I would like to remain friends with them.

Ben
 

Smitty37

Passed Away Mar 29, 2018
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My point

This dog pile didn't take long to start…

My original message was addressed to John T. who resides in New Jersey (for those of you that don't know that is in the United States). If you take the time to read my message I was asking John to continue to buy from companies located in the United States. I did not state or imply, in any way, that timberbits was a bad vendor as some have suggested.

I did not ask nor suggest that all turners worldwide buy from companies here in the U.S. . The first response from pwhay assumed that was what I was recommending. The second response was also from an Australian and he, too, believed what pwhay had stated. And on it went.

Then the thread takes a different direction – Smitty37 states that the kits I sell are made in Taiwan. Holy Batman! What a revelation! The source of my kits is prominently mentioned numerous times throughout my website. Personally I would much rather support a business (and the families of that business) in Taiwan than China (it's a 'trust' issue with me). Smitty, you did make one profound statement: "…profit is not greed. I need to make a profit to get paid for my labor and investment just like you need to get paid for your work. Without profit there would be no employers to provide jobs for anyone." That was the message I was trying to convey to John T. but you stated it much better.

Daniel, thank you for your kind words but you and I are not the same page on most things. We just think differently. I stand up for what I believe and am not shy in expressing my beliefs. And I am not 'politically correct'. Keep your feet moving if you're afraid of getting your toes stepped on.

We do not ship outside the United Stated (including Canada) because of time. The time it takes to process an out of country order and take it to our main post office for processing eats up any profit.

Now, before all you postal experts start telling me what to do, we are under a special set of postal rules because of our location with regards to Mexico. Yuma is on the Arizona/Mexico border. The Department of Homeland Security set up these rules and they are not going to change. You cannot go to a postal mail stop, etc. and mail a package to Canada or anywhere else outside the U.S. I would rather pay my employees for doing something constructive instead of standing around waiting in line. We do offer the option of shipping an order to a friend or relative here in the U.S. and they can forward it on.

Bill Baumbeck
Arizona Silhouette Inc.

Bill, My point and maybe it got away was- Taiwanese and Chinese both say that Taiwan is part of China - so having kits made in Taiwan IS having them made in China. I wasn't faulting you for doing that or implying that you were not upfront about where your kits come from.

You and Timberbits are both competitors to me and I won't fault either of you on how you do business. I have never bought anything from either of you but think of both as honest businessmen. Having said that, to be honest I don't really see any big difference in someone buying my kits from mainland China, yours from Taiwan or Timberbits from either or both.

The only difference that I can see is that the money someone sends to Australia mostly winds up in China via a different route than if they by from you or me. I do get some of the money I spend outside the USA back when I make an International Sale.
 

Arizona Silhouette

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Hello Smitty,

Taiwan is not a part of China - they are fiercely independent of China. Different governments (one is Communist the other is democratic), different ways of life (an open society vs. a closed society), etc.

Yes, we both by from foreign sources as many companies do. However, when people buy from us, Craft Supplies, Berea, etc., etc. they are supporting families here in the United States as a direct result of the profits derived from those sales. That is the point I was trying to make.

Bill
 

maxwell_smart007

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middle of nowhere in the great, white North
I have NO idea how a thread that indicated that a particular company was changing their shipping policy has morphed into a 'Buy American' and sales posturing thread.

Please refrain from political statements or comments, as per site policies.

Thank you,
Andrew
assistant moderator
 

Smitty37

Passed Away Mar 29, 2018
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I understand but

Hello Smitty,

Taiwan is not a part of China - they are fiercely independent of China. Different governments (one is Communist the other is democratic), different ways of life (an open society vs. a closed society), etc.

Yes, we both by from foreign sources as many companies do. However, when people buy from us, Craft Supplies, Berea, etc., etc. they are supporting families here in the United States as a direct result of the profits derived from those sales. That is the point I was trying to make.

Bill

I understand what you are saying Bill but and won't get into a historical debate with you about that -- but the current Republic of China (Taiwan) Government (President and Legislative Yaun) is in the hands of the KMT party (Chang Kai-shek's original governing party) which is predominantly former mainland chinese and their decendents. That party still favors eventual unification with the mainland.

We could discuss trade and it's impacts for years and might never even figure out if we agreed or disagreed. That being said Australia and the USA have a Free Trade Agreement similar to what we have with NAFTA with Canada and Mexico since about 2007. Since the Idea is to promote two way trade both governments must have agreed that's a good thing. Historically the US has seemed to benefit slightly more than Australia.
 

ed4copies

Local Chapter Manager
Joined
Mar 25, 2005
Messages
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Location
Racine, WI, USA.
Smitty says: "Since the Idea is to promote two way trade both governments must have agreed that's a good thing."

I am staying out of this because it is too close to being political for my comfort.

But I WILL say the one thing we could probably Nearly all agree on, if the two governments agreed to something, it does not guarantee that it was good for EITHER country's average citizen.
 

toolcrazy

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Dec 23, 2006
Messages
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Port Orchard, WA
Here is what it boils down to for me. Do I care where my kits come from? As long as the pen hardware is good quality and it sells well, NO I don't care. We live in a global economy. And regardless of what we buy, there is some global influence in that product.

And to get back to what this thread is all about. I will plan a little farther ahead when it comes to buying hardware. And that is fine with me. And because I don't sell a large volume of pens, I will have to depend on the vendors to manage their inventory, so I can get what I need when I need it.
 

Smitty37

Passed Away Mar 29, 2018
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I agree

Smitty says: "Since the Idea is to promote two way trade both governments must have agreed that's a good thing."

I am staying out of this because it is too close to being political for my comfort.

But I WILL say the one thing we could probably Nearly all agree on, if the two governments agreed to something, it does not guarantee that it was good for EITHER country's average citizen.

I don't disagree with you Ed. I didn't say I thought it was a good thing. I'd go one step farther, in my opinion most international agreements are NOT a good thing for the average citizens of at least some of the countries involved.
 
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Smitty37

Passed Away Mar 29, 2018
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a non political reply

Hello Smitty,

Taiwan is not a part of China - they are fiercely independent of China. Different governments (one is Communist the other is democratic), different ways of life (an open society vs. a closed society), etc.

Yes, we both by from foreign sources as many companies do. However, when people buy from us, Craft Supplies, Berea, etc., etc. they are supporting families here in the United States as a direct result of the profits derived from those sales. That is the point I was trying to make.

Bill

1. As far as I know there is not a single country in the world including the USA that recognizes Taiwan as an independent country. Hence they are frequently denied admission to the UN - Over 15 times.

2. The legal and political status of Taiwan is probably the most complex unsettled sovreignty problem in the world. There are at least 5 points of view on what should be done and who has jurisdiction to do it. At least 3 different opinions are held by folks who live there.

3. Regardless of what we think, I have serious doubt that it will be settled in our lifetime short of a major war deciding the issue.

4. The question of what should be done regarding Taiwan can be discussed for hours just to try to understand who all the players are and what their role should be.
 

Arizona Silhouette

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"I will plan a little farther ahead when it comes to buying hardware. And that is fine with me. And because I don't sell a large volume of pens, I will have to depend on the vendors to manage their inventory, so I can get what I need when I need it."



Tell me Steve, how does any vendor anticipate what their customers might require 60 days in advance? If I could do this accurately I would be on Wall Street making millions of dollars a year.


Arizona Silhouette Inc. has a customer base of over 8,000 customers. Am I supposed to be able to anticipate what each of these individuals might want to order sixty days in advance? Am I supposed to cover the cost of paying the 'flooring' cost of my inventory so you might want to order fifteen pen kits four times a year?


Most businesses in today's economy are reluctant to invest thousands or millions of dollars in inventory because they don't know what may be coming down the road with regards to government mandates (health care insurance, taxes, etc.).


Based on what you posted I would guess that what you are looking for is a vendor that will take the financial risk instead of yourself.


Bill Baumbeck
Arizona Silhouette Inc.
 

Smitty37

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We agree on this

"I will plan a little farther ahead when it comes to buying hardware. And that is fine with me. And because I don't sell a large volume of pens, I will have to depend on the vendors to manage their inventory, so I can get what I need when I need it."



Tell me Steve, how does any vendor anticipate what their customers might require 60 days in advance? If I could do this accurately I would be on Wall Street making millions of dollars a year.


Arizona Silhouette Inc. has a customer base of over 8,000 customers. Am I supposed to be able to anticipate what each of these individuals might want to order sixty days in advance? Am I supposed to cover the cost of paying the 'flooring' cost of my inventory so you might want to order fifteen pen kits four times a year?


Most businesses in today's economy are reluctant to invest thousands or millions of dollars in inventory because they don't know what may be coming down the road with regards to government mandates (health care insurance, taxes, etc.).


Based on what you posted I would guess that what you are looking for is a vendor that will take the financial risk instead of yourself.


Bill Baumbeck
Arizona Silhouette Inc.

Bill, I don't think any of my customers (and my base is much smaller than yours) appreciate that there is any cost associated with inventory.

Small as I am my inventory is at any given moment valued between 25
and 40 percent of my gross yearly sales. Yours could be more or less than that but it is darned well a lot of money.

Most of our buyers also don't realize that our money is not only tied up in inventory but it is also at risk. Something falls out of favor for whatever reason or no reason at all and there goes a lot of money when we can't sell the stock or have to discount it heavily.

We also need to insure it against fire/theft and what have you.
 

ed4copies

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Sorry Smitty,

You and Bill have very different business models.

You sell product, collect from the members, place an order with their money and wait for delivery with a small amount of your own money at risk. But you have advertised that HALF of the order is pre-sold, so you have less than 35% of the total (assuming you make a profit) at risk.

Bill inventories product and sells off his shelves. Bill clearly incurs far more risk and has a much higher cost of inventory. But, he also incorporates a higher profit margin, I suspect.

Two methods of approaching the same market.
 

MesquiteMan

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4. The question of what should be done regarding Taiwan can be discussed for hours just to try to understand who all the players are and what their role should be.

And does not belong on IAP since this is very political and political discussion are not permitted!
 

Hess

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Bill
I understand buying American, but I an confused when buyers are to buy from U.S. Vendors but U.S. vendors are free to buy anywhere and make a fair profit?

I dont know of any makers here in the US and I am very grateful for vendors like Smithy whom I have been using for about 3 years. I generly buy in bulk so his $$ are more than fair.

This debate is kin to the old Harley or Rice bike debates. I'm neither, I ride a Can Am out of Canada.

A year ago I placed an order from China who most anyone is able to do. I was amazed at some of the mark up that many were making. The shipping beat the heck out of me but lets be real the org investment of 1500 turned out to be near 4 k worth of kits at some of our vendor prices. I know this to be ture as I sold less the 1/2 of my order and covered my investment

Most of the Vendors are fair but some really seem to stick it when they can

So I guess what Im asking you out right is, if your could buy from a maker here in the US rather then overseas but it was going to cost you 2 to 3 xs the cost to say Made in USA would you do that yourself? It not why would you expect others to do any different

I believe in the good old American way of getting the best for the lest amount of money I can
 

jaywood1207

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Talk about double standards Bill. Wow. You buy from overseas because you have to. Understood. You won't pay your employees to "stand in line" to ship internationally (Canada in my case) because it affects your bottom line. You jump on John T and anyone else that buys overseas because we are trying to get the best bang for our buck. Where is the logic in that? You want to spend your hard earned money wisely but berate us when we try to.
 
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witz1976

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Bill,

First off I have high respect for what you do and I do not envy at all the risks you take or the business decisions you do have to make.

However your statement of should you anticipate carrying X so customer Y may be able to purchase 15 a quarter should be considered part of job. I am sure if you have good records of what you have sold the past 10 years you should be able to more effectively predict what sells. I am not saying as a vendor you must stock 20K of each kit in each plating in hopes Joe Schmoe in East Overshoe, Maine just may happen to purchase it this year. But I think there should be some expectation on the customer side that the more popular kit styles would be in stock.

Being in the ordering seat for a number of Hearth retail stores I can say how frustrating it is to order a common stove or part only to be told they are out because the distributors are refusing to take on risk. So I do understand that it is not just in the pen turning world rather it is becoming a norm in the retail world.

That being said, I do not think Steve was making threats such as stock up or else. Rather Steve is saying what a lot of us smaller turners, including myself are thinking. Which is if supplies are going to be tight we may have to start looking to other vendors we traditionally do not buy from.

Bill, I have purchased from you before. No, not a lot and not frequently, however when I did purchase from you, I found your service to be top flight.

I wish I could take more of the risk and buy more, however I am a part time turner with little cash to invest. However I hate paying full price for anything (yes, it's the Jewish blood in me) and I plan 99% of the time I make an order to maximize the discounts.

I do a couple of shows a year and currently I am still learning my market. I have taken risks and I am changing what I sell based on my risks. So I have to rely on you and the other places I order from to have what I need in stock. If vendor A does not have my whole order in stock, then I will try vendor B.

Bill, I am sure of the 8000+ customers you have a good portion of them are people like Steve and I.

Respectfully Submitted,
 

Smitty37

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Ooops

Sorry Smitty,

You and Bill have very different business models.

You sell product, collect from the members, place an order with their money and wait for delivery with a small amount of your own money at risk. But you have advertised that HALF of the order is pre-sold, so you have less than 35% of the total (assuming you make a profit) at risk.

Bill inventories product and sells off his shelves. Bill clearly incurs far more risk and has a much higher cost of inventory. But, he also incorporates a higher profit margin, I suspect.

Two methods of approaching the same market.

Ed less than 1/4 of my gross sales last year was via the prepaid sales and will be less than that this year(if the year goes as planned), they're a lot of work and a lot of hassel for little profit - you looked at the idea and backed away because you thought there was too much risk. Well the same risks you saw are there when I do it.

Until late last year(when the prices fell too low there) my biggest volume was via eBay auction sales and store sales resulting from eBay auction sales. If you can find a bigger risk than auctions where the buyers decide the price I'm not quite sure what that might be.

Slimlines have been and still are my biggest seller both in volume and dollars and the attempts to use that model with slims was not successful.

The bulk of my sales are just like Bill's, I buy inventory and sell off the shelf - that so I can ship most orders within 24 hours.
 
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hunter-27

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Now yes I could just skip this thread and move on but I won't. I had interest in the original post, so I keep reading the thread. I do believe we have a marketing forum. This really sounds like marketing so perhaps all the "businessmen/businesswomen would like to start their own thread and continue this debate over there. Those of us who would like to follow the original post may continue to do so. There is no disrespect intended or meant to be implied. Simply stating MY opinion. Thanks

Landon
 

Smitty37

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Sorry

4. The question of what should be done regarding Taiwan can be discussed for hours just to try to understand who all the players are and what their role should be.

And does not belong on IAP since this is very political and political discussion are not permitted!

Sorry Curtis, I agree...I was not suggesting that we discuss it.
 
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avbill

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I'm glad I read this thread in the morning so I can forgot about it as I start my day! What I suggest for all to do is select a wood or acrylic blank and turn it. Place a pen kit of your choice on it and then photograph the pen so we can all see the beauity of our hobby.


Go hug a porcupine You'll feel better !
 

avbill

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This discussion was well discussed/debated in the 60's about Japanese made products. Look around you today can you see Japanese made cars.....
 
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