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Handgrey Titanium Quick Release Carabiner
Handgrey Titanium Quick Release Carabiner
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Just want to drop in before the drop ends, and answer some of the comments people have posted here.
It's amazing how quickly people can pass judgement on products and pricing, simply because it doesn't fit in to their perception of the sense of value. I can tell right away, none of the people in this discussion thread have had experience in hands-on production and trying to create something from scratch, and get it produce on a mass scale, then having to deal with distribution.
You see a product posted here, saw the price and immediately think..."hmm, this looks pretty cool, but OMG, the price is ridiculous. I can get that for $5.00 elsewhere, the value is absurd!"
It's like going into an Italian restaurant to order a fresh made pasta for $15 pasta, and complaining how you can get a frozen / microwave pasta at K-Mart for $4.29. What a rip off, no value whatsoever.
My suggestion is........ go ahead and try to make a product like this yourself. Make it with the same process I do, and put in the attention to details that I do. See how much time you use up in the process, how much of that translate to costs.
Yes, I could have compromise all of these, get them mass produced in China for cheap, sell them dirt cheap, just so I can sell in bulk. I can get a piece made poorly for a buck. Sell it for a set of 3 for 6. Make double the profit, and you guys would be happy with paying on "$6" , while I go home doubling my money, and just sit here doing nothing.
I make these product in small volume made by EDM wire cutting (comparable to making prototype 1 by 1) , and finished partially by hand and partly by mass-media tumbling. In order to produce anything, I have to import and stock Titanium in bulk. I can't order just enough for what I make. Each time I go into production, I order at least $10,000 in material to have it shipped to me before I send these off for production. They are then cut individually before I get them back for hand finishing. The wire cutting factory can cut maybe 30 pcs. per shift per machine if they are lucky, while mass production process can cast / stamp 1,000s of pcs per hours if needed.
Also, when placing orders for an item to be cut, there are minimums. 300 pcs. per order, etc. Guess what I have to do with the rest that are not sold? I stock them.
Packaging are custom made, and just the mold itself cost nearly $15,000, and another $0.50 per plastic case that I order. Again there is a minimum for the items produce. What do I do. Stock them.
Not only are the processes expensive, the design I created, is not typical. The gate you see on these carabiners are the first of their kind, and no factory are willing to mass produce them. I have to cut each one individually and machine them afterward.
Again, I could have made this with bent wires the way all other mass produced biners are made. Those gates cost around $0.10 cents or less, and can be produce 10,000 per hour. I make 100, per day, and it cost around $7.00 just to make the gate alone. Not much difference huh.
So to answer your question of why these cost so much.
1. A customize unorthodox product is hard to make, and slow.
2. Production requires a set minimum in both raw materials and production. Often more than the amount needed.
3. Small volume production are much more expensive than big volume productions.
4. Attention to details can double or triple the normal cost of creating one of these.
5. Creating and protecting an idea for a product is very expensive. I have spent $13,000 for patents thus for for this design.
6. Defective items / losses, etc. also occurs.
7. Wholesale cost to retailers, also add to the final price of the products.
Currently, I have spent a year on this design devoting myself full time. After a year, I am only starting to generate profit from this series. Whatever I make, I put back in to my inventory, website and brand building, not to mention trying to maintain my staff to help put things together. Don't forget, even when I have no order, I PAY THEM.
My intentions going into design and manufacturing, was never to make a quick buck. When I go into manufacturing, I choose my partners carefully, using those who have ethical practices, and I pay them fairly. I don't deal with sweat shops, which often occurs with chinese factories, one way or another. I choose my materials carefully, and I work with my staff in details, hands-on, to make each of these.
If you think I am getting rich because I charge $65 for a design that I put my heart and soul into, think again. Better yet, try to make something your self, and see what happens. See how much you think your product should be sold for.
Sense of value is very relative. You spend $6-10 for a product that cost $0.29 cents to make (20X mark up +), like an iphone case, etc., and you feel like you are getting value Yet spend $65 on a custom product, like a knife or a carabiner that cost $25-40 to make (2X mark up ) and you making comments on how pricy something is, and comparing it to mass produced goods from China.
I learned this through experience. Before you complain about prices and chalking something up to "wanton consumerism", and "hype", you may want to get to know the reasoning behind how something is made, and how much they cost, before passing judgement on "value." If design, time, effort, devotion, fair labor practices, and environmental awareness in production, means nothing to you, then yes, go buy what ever is cheapest online. My efforts here obviously means nothing.
Lastly, I stock 10K worth of titanium, to start this production run for mass drop. If I'm lucky, I make around $18 per carabiner, sold here after all expenses. So if this drops ends at 100 pcs. sold, I make off with $1,800.... Yeah, I'm gonna get rich real soon.
Nice design. I think I will print one with my 3d printer. Just going to use it as a keychain and a bottle opener anyway.
Thanks for supplying mass drop with your new Handgrey Carabiner Design. I was one of the original kickstarter backers that backed your original titanium carabiner and it's still working well! I purchased your new design from mass drop as I missed the kickstarter campaign. Can't wait for it to arrive. Thanks again! Any new design for the next titanium carabiner? haha.
Very well stated Sunny. I'm a believer in you get what you pay for. Your product looks incredible and I'm sure it will be worth every penny. Not every consumer out there is educated and knowledgeable of what it takes to do what you are doing, I've been in your situation and totally understand what you are saying and back you up 100%.
Personally I do find the price a little high, being from Canada and our dollar being so low it looks even more expensive when the price is converted into Canadian funds.
Keep up the good work, can't wait to get my product. I'm sure I will be a very satisfied customer and will refer your product and services to family friends and colleagues.
"Make it yourself" is not a valid argument, sorry. It's wanton. Your risks mean nothing to me as a consumer; this isn't art, it's mass-produced quasi-utility consumer grade luxury items. Bummer that it takes a while, and the materials are expensive, etc etc, but the fact is, making it was your choice. This is one of the most entitled, whiny posts from a manufacturer I've seen here. Step back a minute and consider what you're doing.
It does reek of "Screw it, I'm gonna pay off all my expenditures from creating and bringing these products to market with just two production runs in about 4 months time" instead of being reasonable by spreading those costs out and not expecting to gouge your client base by charging far more than the product is ever going to be worth, simply to pay off every capitol expense ASAP at any cost. Not a wise move to burn your own customer base and pushing them away as soon as you've suckered them on their first purchase. And while it is often true that with many products you get what you pay for...with this brand (based on my prior personal experience with Handgrey, as explained below) its clear with this product and manufacturer, that's simply not the case. Getting less than what you over paid for. Its doing nothing but creating one-time customers who will feel cheated, and who will likely be detractors for life. A very shortsighted move.
My other Handgrey TI 'biner, from Kickstart, I believe was right around $45-50 for getting in early, looked great in its promotional materials. But upon receipt, I was immediately disappointed that a poorly engineered paper thin titanium spring bar was used. Becauase of this, the lateral play in it was entirely unacceptable. The thing just bends under the lightest of pressure. It's not a product that I could trust to not fall apart from babied use alone. Because of this, its now a $50 titanium paperweight collecting dust in the bottom of my desk drawer.
Handgrey left a bad taste in my mouth, and due to their attempts to sell slightly higher than average quality/engineered TI products at above exceptional quality/engineering pricing, they have unfortunately lost any future consideration for the product they may offer. Their response here solidified that decision for me as the right thing.
It sound like you're talking about his bauhuas-series. Why are you even surprised it's thin? The Kickstarter material has pictures and descriptions. It functions like it's designed to do. There's lateral play because there's no screw to lock-in. It's a free form uni-body design. I have the p99 model. I've been using it for almost 2yrs everyday and to this day the hinge is perfectly fine.
It sounds to me you don't know what you were doing. It pretty stupid of you to use it as a paperweight because the spring looked poorly engineered to you. Go read the follow up kickstarter if have any doubts about the design. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1147070536/bauhaus-series-unibody-titanium-key-carabiner/comments
There are over 4500backers. The page would be filled with complains if the design was bad.
How dare he try to make a profit?! People that never designed and try bring a new product to market SHOULD not tell him how to run his business. The creator can charge whatever he feel it's worth to sustain his business. He explained it and I agree with it. Your rant is pretty much what creator posted about. It fit doesn't into your perception of the sense of value. Don't complain about it. just don't buy it. People here vote with their money and they made their choice.
The lateral play is what kills it. Its not secure, and I cannot place faith in a tool I know will not deliver on its core purpose when needed. Outside of the paper thin spring bar, because the retention bar doesn't firmly or securely mate with caribiner body, it slips and slides, and offers little confidence. It won't see active duty because of this. Hence the paperweight designation.
Dissimilar to Massdrop, I've found that with Kickstarter by and large, once the invested product is received, the majority of backers do not post after the fact reviews to the project page. It's a done deal for many at that point. I highly doubt I'm the only one concerned with or feeling as though the product received was not worth what I paid.
The point here is that the build quality + the material(s) + the brand name does not come close to offering value even in the same ballpark as the price charged. A little background on me, I almost exclusively purchase the highest quality that I can afford. I gladly pay up if it's going to be a lifetime product. As many say, you get what you pay for...I wish that were the case here. In my personal opinion, it disappointingly wasn't. You can pay up on a product for of the item itself, for the materials used, for the build quality, for the brand name - any combination of the above. Unfortunately for the Handgrey brand, as I've personally found, none of those factors add up to the prices charged. I paid exceptionally for a non-exceptional product, and this was a mistake. After hearing the owner/creator complain here about the basic struggles of small business, and this is why he feels overcharging for his wares is acceptable, I knew my decision was right. I couldn't care less as to how they run THEIR business. That's their deal. I'm only stating the personal reasons why I will no longer even consider their products. I'm sorry, but burning your very new client base by overcharging horribly is not how you create dedicated customers for life. Customers who will advertise your products and bring in other new customers. Make a handful of extra dollars on that initial purchase, then nothing afterwards. As mentioned in my previous response here, it shortsightedly begs to creates detractors, rather than promoters of your brand. "How dare he make a profit?" Was that even questioned here? There is a MASSIVE difference between a profit and gouging your customers. Taking them to the cleaners by charging 400% markup. Making comments like that makes me think that you may be closer to this company than you're letting on. Are you? Or are you simply a satisfied (with the product quality, price charged, and value) HG customer?
I do completely get what you're saying and where you're coming from. Empty complaints here around how expensive a product is, and how crazy someone would be for "wasting" that much money on X when you can buy a low quality chinese knockoff for Y is extremely annoying. For example, I witnessed a few people the other day complaining about how a $250 custom kitchen pairing knife dropped here was insanely expensive. The difference being that you were receiving a top of the line, custom made by hand in the United States pairing knife. The knife was unquestionably high quality. And at least in my eyes, worth the price being asked. I'm not someone just needlessly bitching about high cost of these 'biners. I'm sharing my personal experience with this company. Perhaps it will help others in the community with their decision whether or not to take the risk the next time we see a HG drop.
" Dissimilar to Massdrop, I've found that with Kickstarter by and large, once the invested product is received, the majority of backers do not post after the fact reviews to the project page. It's a done deal for many at that point."
Good catch. I've never provided any feedback after receiving the products that I backed on Kickstarter.
I also found something interesting: some big hit projects on KS didn't even make the drop here such as Lifetime Pencil
or Scout Hook Keychain Bottle Opener
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