Video Controversy (long post)

Video Controversy (long post)

Post by BDRA » Wed, 08 Jul 1998 04:00:00



I've been too busy taking video orders to read the newsgroup lately, and just
now managed to read enough to see what's been going on.

WHEW! I thought I was the only one causing video controversy around here...<G>!

About Burt's post, although my initial reaction to it was also strongly
negative, I think we need to keep some perspective and not "cut off our noses
to spite our faces". He seems to have really misunderstood us and jumped to an
erroneous conclusion based on his experience with some other groups of people.
He also was wise and decent enough to apologize and seems to have our interests
at heart (as well as his own, of course). He definitely has produced some
terrific videos from which we can all learn a lot. And none of us have gone
through life without making any mistakes. So I vote to overlook this faux pas
and concentrate on the good work he has done in making these videos and how
much we can benefit from them instead.

Now I really could use some advice.

By now you're probably all aware of the video controversy that I inadvertently
caused. I'm turning to all of you to help me figure out what to do about it.

First, a little background.

The video swap is what got me into this "video mess" in the first place. I
needed to buy a video in order to participate in this swap. In the past,
although I had planned on buying some of these videos, (I admit--mea culpa) I
didn't because they were becoming available through my guild library and I
could borrow them and see them that way instead. I considered buying them to
have as reference anyway, but it was not high on my priority list but rather
was put on the shelf for "some day" in the future.

I teach craft classes and have a small business selling craft materials--both
in my studio and lately over the internet. I considered selling these videos as
well, and when I needed to buy a video for the video swap I decided this is as
good a time as any to put in my first order.

At about the same time, I read a post from someone online who said she really
wanted to buy these videos but couldn't afford it. Since I was already planning
to order the videos to sell in my studio, I thought it would be a nice gesture
to offer them inexpensively to my polyclay ***friends, so that some of them
could get some videos that they wouldn't be able to afford otherwise. I thought
this would benefit everyone--the clayers would be more likely to buy some tapes
rather than just rent them, the artists would get their percentage of the
sales,  the video company would get its percentage, the vendors of polyclay
supplies would have increased business from all the clayers who would be
anxious to try out all the wonderful techniques--it seemed like a positive move
for everyone.

 Well, I had no idea what I was getting myself into! The response was
overwhelming. I spent the entire next 2 days and nights online just answering
all the email. Then I started to get negative feedback from some pc vendors who
were upset because I was "undercutting" them by selling the videos so cheaply.
I had started out feeling good about doing something nice and ended up feeling
like a criminal and fighting off depression.

I had no intention of hurting anyone or stepping on anyone's toes. I thought I
was helping out a few friends (which turned into an avalanche)! A majority of
people who ordered videos did say that they wouldn't have bought the videos
otherwise--so I don't really think I took the business away from the PC
vendors. But I don't want to make any enemies here. I depend on the PC vendors
too and many of them are my friends. I would never intentionally hurt them.

Now I have to decide what to do. What do you think? Should I stop offering
these videos altogether? I'm thinking of offering them at these low prices
through this week and afterward at 20% off of retail. Does that sound right? I
figure the vendors can't be too upset at that. They might not choose to, but
they could offer 20% off of their merchandise if they wanted to, right? I think
that sounds reasonable.

I'd love to get some advice and input on this.

Nuchi <3

 
 
 

Video Controversy (long post)

Post by kk » Wed, 08 Jul 1998 04:00:00


Quote:
> I had no intention of hurting anyone or stepping on anyone's toes. I thought I
> was helping out a few friends (which turned into an avalanche)! A majority of
> people who ordered videos did say that they wouldn't have bought the videos
> otherwise--so I don't really think I took the business away from the PC
> vendors. But I don't want to make any enemies here. I depend on the PC vendors
> too and many of them are my friends. I would never intentionally hurt them.

> Now I have to decide what to do. What do you think? Should I stop offering
> these videos altogether? I'm thinking of offering them at these low prices
> through this week and afterward at 20% off of retail. Does that sound right? I
> figure the vendors can't be too upset at that. They might not choose to, but
> they could offer 20% off of their merchandise if they wanted to, right? I think
> that sounds reasonable.

Seems to me that if you are buying them as an end-distributor and everyone involved
in the production is getting their fair share, AND the product is not
price-controlled, you can GIVE them away if you so choose.  This is a competitive
free-market country, where vendors rise or fall according to competition AND public
relations, and usually there's room for everyone.

If my best friend were selling them, and for $3 more than you are, I'd buy from him
-- that's called loyalty.  However, since he's not, and you're selling for less,
I'll go with you.  If your competitors decide to hold a sale, or permanently lower
THEIR prices, too, then I'll check out whose shipping is better.

It's all freedom of choice.  If your competitors don't wish to compete with you,
they can stay higher, but they have no room to whine if they choose to do so.  They
could always go to the distributor and negotiate larger volume for a percentage
reduction per unit, and be able to lower their prices.  After all, it's not a
commodity that's going to rot on the shelf if not purchased next week.  There's
always some newbie who will want to see the new techniques and these videos are
worth a thousand printed words.

It's your decision, of course, whether to alienate supplier-colleagues.  However,
I'd like to think that they are professional enough and mature enough to understand
that business is business.  After all, if  lawyers can glower at each other across
a courtroom all week and then go play golf together on the weekends, those of us
who are vendors can stand a little business competition without making a personal
attack out of it.

My $.02, and only MO.

Kelly

 
 
 

Video Controversy (long post)

Post by Otterfi » Wed, 08 Jul 1998 04:00:00


Quote:
>Seems to me that if you are buying them as an end-distributor and everyone
>involved
>in the production is getting their fair share, AND the product is not
>price-controlled, you can GIVE them away if you so choose.  This is a
>competitive
>free-market country, where vendors rise or fall according to competition AND
>public
>relations, and usually there's room for everyone.

Gee and i thought that was what capitalism and THIS country was about!  some
days it harder and harder to see....
 
 
 

Video Controversy (long post)

Post by Narigo » Wed, 08 Jul 1998 04:00:00



Quote:
(BDRAI) writes:
>Now I have to decide what to do. What do you think? Should I stop offering
>these videos altogether? I'm thinking of offering them at these low prices
>through this week and afterward at 20% off of retail. Does that sound right?

Well, Nuchi, it may not mean much coming from somebody who bought 3 videos with
you this past week, but here's my opinion.  Our economy is based on
competition. While good and knowledgable service is appreciated, quite often
price drives our decisions on where to shop. I rarely shop with a business just
to provide the owners with welfare. I shop because I get the best price in
addition to the best service.

It's really easy for another vendor to complain that you're selling something
for less. The question is, are customers complaining?  Who are you
serving--customers or your competitors?  Are you satisfied with your profit?
What kind of friend tells you that you have to run your business only in a way
that doesn't take anything from her/his business?  If you found a really fast
way to make something that other artists were taking much longer to make, would
you still sell that item for a higher price just so other artists wouldn't get
mad?

I guess I just can't see how a business can be healthy if the owners keep
customers by shaming other businesses into keeping their prices higher.  If
business is being done this way, customers will find other reasons to go
elsewhere.

BTW, I wouldn't have bought any of those videos if not for the price and the
offer to buy them all together.

Carol

 
 
 

Video Controversy (long post)

Post by kk » Wed, 08 Jul 1998 04:00:00


Quote:

> >Seems to me that if you are buying them as an end-distributor and everyone
> >involved
> >in the production is getting their fair share, AND the product is not
> >price-controlled, you can GIVE them away if you so choose.  This is a
> >competitive
> >free-market country, where vendors rise or fall according to competition AND
> >public
> >relations, and usually there's room for everyone.

> Gee and i thought that was what capitalism and THIS country was about!  some
> days it harder and harder to see....

 Am I missing something?  I thought that's what I said!

Kelly

 
 
 

Video Controversy (long post)

Post by J J J Ja » Wed, 08 Jul 1998 04:00:00


Nuchi, my two cents worth :-)  

Sometimes a discount is a wash when you add everything up.  If you have to
order from two places to get everything you want and pay shipping and handling
for both, as opposed to ordering from one and meeting the minimum for waiving
the shipping fee.  Also, you may get a discount from many vendors if you order
more than one video.  Your group purchase may not be as big a loss to existing
vendors as some might think.
Jami Miller

 
 
 

Video Controversy (long post)

Post by mlbe » Wed, 08 Jul 1998 04:00:00


Quote:

>   --snipped--

>  Our economy is based on
> competition. While good and knowledgable service is appreciated, quite often
> price drives our decisions on where to shop.

>  -- snipped--

>  Are you satisfied with your profit?
> What kind of friend tells you that you have to run your business only in a way
> that doesn't take anything from her/his business?  If you found a really fast
> way to make something that other artists were taking much longer to make, would
> you still sell that item for a higher price just so other artists wouldn't get
> mad?

>    --snipped--

|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

I concur with Carol (above).  Different businesses have different cost
structures and policies.  We see that already with the range of prices
for polymer clay, even among vendors on the web.

Another example is a crafts cooperative to which I belonged for several
years.  It was a high-quality, juried retail store, open to people whose
crafts were juried in regardless of their "amateur vs. professional"
status.

Quite often a given display  would have items side by side selling for
vastly different prices.  Full-time, experienced, living-on-this-income
craftspeople watched customers buy lower-priced goods instead (in many
cases, beautiful work made by people happy to recover only the cost of
materials).  And there were always some "pros" selling wares for
wholesale prices, competing with those savvy enough to protect their
reputations and refrain from undercutting their regular retail outlets.

Over the years, some of those low-priced "amateurs" became professionals
and learned very quickly what it meant to price their goods to account
for overhead, marketing, taxes, a living wage for themselves and perhaps
assistant(s), etc.

It's a constant cycle and evolutionary process.  The high-priced vendor
charging high prices because of high expenses will lose sales to a
low-cost supplier unless their product and/or service is superior.  The
low-cost vendor may find that they are unable to maintain bargain prices
if and when expenses rise.  As others have said, this is what capitalism
is all about.

MLBee

 
 
 

Video Controversy (long post)

Post by Sherry Bail » Wed, 08 Jul 1998 04:00:00


Well, first of all, I get REALLY annoyed whan ANYBODY thinks there is
something wrong with someone "undercutting" their prices. If their prices have
ROOM to be undercut, then that's where free enterprise makes an opportunity
for someone else. Nobody is "owed" business -- they have to earn it in a
capricious economic environment by giving the customers what they want by way
of products and/or prices and/or service.

Nuchi, I don't know what exactly you are doing, but I presume you aren't
starting a wholesale video resale company as a permanent business. (These
comments will be based on that thought even if it turns out to not be true!!)

The other PC vendors offer other supplies and materials, they offer credit
card purchases, they offer various shipping options, etc. etc. In theory, they
ought to have more stock on hand, faster turn around. That ought to make a
difference to some prospective buyers. It won't to others.

In all areas of craft and other activites, people band together to buy in bulk
for lower prices. Retailers probably hate it, but the fact is that if I had to
pay Michael's regular prices for polymer clay, I wouldn't BE in polymer
clay. I know similar logic prevails for all of us.

There is absolutely NOTHING WRONG with selling tapes at wholesale. I'm sure if
it started COSTING you money, you'd say "Whoa!" Until it does, it's your own
business and normal competition. Anybody with another business who gripes
about this is simply being unrealistic. Chances are that only a tiny protion
of the people YOU sell to would buy from anyone else (and even fewer from that
specific source) anyhow.

(Good luck -- sounds like a lot of work to me!!)

Sherry

 
 
 

Video Controversy (long post)

Post by kk » Thu, 09 Jul 1998 04:00:00


Quote:
> > Am I missing something?  I thought that's what I said!

> >Kelly

> dang it kelly, i forgot my sarcasm disclaimer...oops!

LOL!  I think it goes like this:  :op

--
See website for special information!
http://www.jewlart.com/chart/

 
 
 

Video Controversy (long post)

Post by Otterfi » Thu, 09 Jul 1998 04:00:00


Quote:
>> Gee and i thought that was what capitalism and THIS country was about!
>some
>> days it harder and harder to see....

> Am I missing something?  I thought that's what I said!

>Kelly

dang it kelly, i forgot my sarcasm disclaimer...oops!