View Full Version : Welders...Manufacturing cost vs. sales price?
05-20-2004, 12:21 PM
A few things about cost of welding equipment are puzzling.
One is why the prices seem to rise over time rather than decline. With every other electronic equipment (computers, stereo, communications, etc.) prices rapidly decline as technology and manufacturing techniques improve. Competition increases the pace.
Other thing is when you take a look inside the box, there doesn't seem to be much there. It all looks modular, as well. So why the super high cost for relatively little?
Is it like the price of gasoline and diamonds...artificial inflation? Tell me what I'm missing :D
05-20-2004, 01:12 PM
Welder design hasn't really changed all that much in the past handful of years. The control circuitry is getting more complex, and the new inverter welders are certainly different, but by and large all arc welders push voltage and amperage into metal. The thing is, they're heavy and cost a lot to ship anywhere. They're big and bulky, yet fairly fragile so need lots of packaging. I'm guessing that the welding companies are making a profit, but not exactly going to bermuda on the profits from my HH175.
05-20-2004, 01:36 PM
I'd say a large percentage of what you're paying for a new machine is a thing called Marketing.
Another cost you're paying is a combination of product liability insurance and projected future legal costs.
Many if not all stick machines have been redesigned to limit open circuit voltage, doubtless because some lawyer sued a manufacturer because his stupid client got shocked, and everyone who buys a machine for the next 10 years will pay a bonus to the stupid ****. As a side benefit, the new machines don't strike an arc worth a damn with some rods.
Manufacturers all share these costs, and generally have legions of in house as well as contractor bodys devoted to both.
There is obviously some profit in the welding equipment arena as companys like Lincoln and ITW are buying up their compeditors in an effort to limit sources of supply.
The market for small, 120 volt, MIG has been whipped to a frenzy with vendors such as box stores accounting for the majority of sales in that market. Given the shortsighted nature of US marketing and tax laws, this marketing concept works in some business plan.
Both Linclon and ITW have just begun marketing new and "improved" versions of 135 and 175 class machines, and it appears both have managed to make a market for these before the machines were ever manufactured. The reality is the new machines offer only minescule advantage over their predecessors. What the buyers fail to recognize is that by marketing the NEW machines, manufacturers have begun to toll the clock on how long they are required to inventory parts for both the 135 and 175 class machines. This too is becoming a trend in manufacturing, and it won't be long until you're told "sorry, no parts are available for your machine" and you'll need to replace a perfectly good machine for the want of a $2,00 part.
Bottom line, they charge what they do Because They Can. Manufacturers have already screwed their delaers by going to mass marketing, and have no compunction about screwing the end user.
What will you do when your new INVERTER craps out in 4 or 5 years, and you can't get parts?
05-20-2004, 09:35 PM
I think these machines are cheap, people are willing to pay 300 for a golf putter and thousands for a TV. 1300 or so for a machine like a MM210 is a bargain considering how well it works and how long it lasts. The raw materials, the design, manufactur, shipping, sales, warranty, profit,,, seems reasonable, cheap atually. Ask Franz how long it would take to eat up 1200$ of his labor and shop time?
05-20-2004, 11:15 PM
This quote from Franz is right on the money for manufacturers of everything from appliances, chainsaws & lawnequipment, computers,and cell phones.
"What the buyers fail to recognize is that by marketing the NEW machines, manufacturers have begun to toll the clock on how long they are required to inventory parts for both the 135 and 175 class machines. This too is becoming a trend in manufacturing, and it won't be long until you're told "sorry, no parts are available for your machine" and you'll need to replace a perfectly good machine for the want of a $2,00 part.
Bottom line, they charge what they do Because They Can. Manufacturers have already screwed their delaers by going to mass marketing, and have no compunction about screwing the end user."
Every time I go into one of these cell phone places they tell me they have upgraded their system and now I need to get another phone that is compatible with their new system.
I've got a great old Stihl chainsaw that is hard to get parts for,but it still starts on the second or third pull and its 25 years old.
I bought a Whirlpool ice machine and it worked 6 months and quit ,had it fixed twice. Quit again and I gripped so much they gave me another new one ,it worked 9 months and quit. It was 4 years old and it had worked a year and 3 months.I got it fixed the other day and I had to wait a month for the part and it cost $250.00 to get it fixed.
Rule here is "Don't buy Whirlpool ,they suck!!
Well, I say no one holds a gun to my head to buy the welders. If I don't like it I can always go back to hand forging. I have complete control over the situation.
05-24-2004, 06:21 PM
I agree withSberry,most of these machines are a bargin.look at what you get when you buy an engine drive.you have a 8 to 10 thousand watt genarator plus a kick *** welding machine[blue or red].they are all good machines.the mig machines are a good deal also.the little 175,s [blue,red or hobart] will do a lot of welding for the money.and last a long time too.i have a cheap 110 volt mig machine[weld pac 100].it is 5 years old and has had a lot of fluxcore wire run thru it.never had any trouble at all with it.it was around 300 $.when people are paying 5000$ for a plasma tv or 50000 $ for a SUV. i think these machines are a great deal.
05-25-2004, 07:58 AM
True; the other day I was at a dealership and saw a 2k4 GMC sierra 1500, extended cab 2wd truck for over $30K. If people are willing to spend that kind of money on a 2wd 1500, they'll pay anything for anything.
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