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[DPRG] Servo Prices

Subject: [DPRG] Servo Prices
From: Pete Miles petem at ormondllc.com
Date: Thu Dec 19 11:48:01 CST 2002

I know we are all not Bill Gates,

But what is the big deal about trying to save a buck in this hobby?

If you notice most of the servos listed below are within a buck from each other.  Do you think the people that sell them are making a lot of money off of them?  They are not.

It costs money to but the servos.  It costs money in labor to unpack them, stock them, and then package them up to ship them to you.

Think about it.  Someone places an internet order (on-line, not calling and talking to a person, which takes more time in labor).  They receive the order, they get the item from inventory, they box it up, they print a packing list, the print a shipping lable, and the place the packing list on the box, and the packing label on the box and then set the box on the shipping and receiving table for UPS to come an get it.

Think about it, 10, 15 minutes to do all of these activities seems.  If you are paying someone say minimum wage of around $5 per hour, the labor costs just to handle an order is abot $1 to $2.  This doesn't event count the cost for all of the paper, packing material, and boxes.

Now if a business has 2 full time employees making minimum wage with full bennifits, they will have to make as profit about $60,000 just to cover wages and bennifits, social security, etc.  Do you know how many servos you have to sell just to cover that much money.  This doesn't event cover the rest of the money to run the business or advertize.

And how many of you are happy with the minimum wage you are making right now.  You are making minimum wage right?  Because if you are making more money than minimum wage, your business needs to make more money to cover your salery.

Small robotics companies like Lynxmotion and Acroname do not make a lot of money off of their products.  So beating them up to save a $1 only hurts them.  They make less money, and when the economy is down, people don't buy as much, and then they have to think, do I go out of business or do I hold on.

The next time you are thinking about an $11 servo is too expensive over that $10 servo, think about the last hamburger you bought.  Did you buy that 99 cent double stack from Wendy's or did you buy the $3.50 bacon burger.  People generally have no problem spending a lot of money on food and entertainment, but think the world is ripping them off when they charge $11 for a servo.

Sorry, a pet peeve of mine, since these robot businesses out there are trying to make a business with a bunch of cheapskates as their customers.

Pete Miles
petem at ormondllc.com
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Ray Renteria 
  To: DPRGlist at dprg.org 
  Sent: Thursday, December 19, 2002 8:25 AM
  Subject: RE: [DPRG] Servos

  Thanks for all the replies.  I've decided to go with ServoCity.  Based on the feedback I received, I've concluded that the Hitec 322 is the best quality/price mix I'm looking for.  There are longer-lasting servos out there and some that are easier to modify for continuous rotation.  I'm not looking for continuous rotation and I suspect this version of my bot won't exist for more than six to twelve months.  So, longevity is not a big deal either.
  For those interested, here's what I found:
  TotalRobots has 'em for about #8.00 each (that's about $12.72).
  ServoCity has a 322 for $9.95 and free shipping.

  TowerHobbies has it for $9.99.

  Acroname has the lower-grade "Standard Servo" for $10.90.

  ..and a 322 for $15.00.

  LynxMotion doesn't have the 322 listed, but with a quantity discount of 10% 
  for six servos, Jim Frye graciously offered to them to me for $10 ea.
  The MarkIII robot store sells a GWS for $10.25.
  Maxx has it for $9.99 but the shopping cart was broken and I couldn't purchase if I wanted to.
  http://www.maxxprod.com/mpi-15.htm ($9.99) CGI problem with the shopping cart.
  Balsa has a 322 for $9.99 but they're out of stock.

  Acroname was the most expensive at $15 a pop.  ServoCity was the cheapest and the shipping is free.
  For these price comparisons, I tried to find servos that closely matched the 322.  There are variants of the 322 and I didn't do a comprehensive technical comparison between servos at the same price.  The gut feel I got from the emails I received is that Hitec makes a reasonably good servo and my wallet (I'm buying six servos) says that $10 is about the right price.  My point:  This wasn't a scientific or consumer-reportish survey.  I make this statement so that Maxx, Balsa, Acroname...etc, don't sue me.
  Thanks for the advice and site suggestions everyone.  I'm going with ServoCity.
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Ray Renteria [mailto:ray at troux.com]
    Sent: Wednesday, December 18, 2002 1:28 PM
    To: DPRGlist at dprg.org
    Subject: [DPRG] Servos

    I'm writing up a Christmas list for Santa Clause and I'm stuck on the servo choice and was hoping somebody might be able to clue me in.
    The two servos in question are:
    Standard Servo
    Hitec HS-322 Servo
    The Acroname sales support guy told me that the difference was in the internal quality of the electronics.  Should I really care about the internal quality of the electronics?  What's the difference between the two?  Can anybody recommend a good place to buy good servos online?  Did the other reindeer ever let Rudolph play reindeer games?  
    The price difference is huge--$10 vs $15.  Both servos have operate at about 5V.  The Standard servo is actually faster at 0.15 second through 60 degrees.   The Standard servo also comes with more mounting hardware than does the Hitec.
    What am I missing?
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