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[DPRG] Servo Prices

Subject: [DPRG] Servo Prices
From: Ray Renteria ray at troux.com
Date: Thu Dec 19 17:53:01 CST 2002

I would normally take this offline, and I probably should; but I feel
compelled to respond publicly so I ask pardon for this one indulgence from
the other readers.
> Pete Miles wrote:
> But what is the big deal about trying to save a buck in this hobby? 
It really bothers me that you don't see the irony in that statement.  
The big deal about my trying to save a buck in this hobby is the EXACT same
deal as business trying to *MAKE* a buck in this hobby.  A buck is money.
You whine throughout your post explaining how valuable it is in improving
small margins and subsidizing labor and packing materials.  It's important
to me in the completing of my robot.
> 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. 
I don't worry about how much profit businesses are making.  Do they worry
themselves about much money *I* have?  ..or DON'T have?  No way!  Nor should
they!  It would be immoral.  It's not only immoral to pay more than I have
to, but it's just plain stupid.  Another thing, why would ANYBODY want to
get in a business where they don't make money?  Business is *NOT* a
philanthropic endeavor.  When I buy a product, I am not giving to a charity.
When I buy a product, I expect value.  Period.  "Value is based on and
derives from the facts of reality (it does not derive from mystic authority
or from whim, personal or social)." --Leonard Peikoff  (
> 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. 
It costs money to "but" the servos?  Yikes.  I don't want to buy a servo
that's been "butted."
> Think about it.  Someone places an internet order (on-line, not calling
> talking to a person, which takes more time in labor).  They receive the
> 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
> label on the box and then set the box on the shipping and receiving table
for UPS  
> to come an get it. 
To come "an" get it?  You mean, come AND 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
> an order is abot $1 to $2.  This doesn't event count the cost for all of
the paper, packing  
> material, and boxes. 
I'm not even sure how to respond to the aforementioned.  If I was running a
business where my business model was conducive to losing money, then I'd fix
the process so that I could undersell my competitors.  This is why Dell is
so successful.
> Now if a business has 2 full time employees making minimum wage with full
That should be spelled "b-e-n-e-f-i-t-s."
> they will have to make as profit about $60,000 just to cover wages and
> social security, etc.  Do you know how many servos you have to sell just
to cover that  
> much money.   
That should have been closed with a question mark.  I believe that was a
> This doesn't event cover the rest of the money to run the business or
That's spelled "a-d-v-e-r-t-i-s-e."
> 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
> than minimum wage, your business needs to make more money to cover your
It doesn't matter if I'm making minimum wage or independently wealthy.  When
I'm running a business, I will always try to make money--even if I'm
Microsoft.  When I am buying a product, I will always try to save
money--even if I'm Bill Gates.  To do otherwise is immoral and stupid.
By the way, salary is spelled "s-a-l-a-r-y."  You really should create a
shortcut on your desktop to  <http://www.dictionary.com>
> 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
> them.  They make less money, and when the economy is down, people don't
> as much, and then they have to think, do I go out of business or do I hold
Hmm.  Didn't you call me a cheapskate for trying to save a buck?  So *I*
should feel fine about giving a buck away.  No big deal.  Now you're saying
a buck is a big deal to a company.  Pick a side, man.  Is a buck a big deal
or is it not?
TotalRobots is a great example of a company that offers value.  Before you
remind me they're not an American company and that I should "Buy American,"
let me say that the phrase "Buy American" is unamerican. (
Besides, I'm buying six servos.  If I pay $15 to Acroname, that'll come to
$75 vs. $60 from ServoCity.  That's $15 more!  With $15, I could buy another
> 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
> $11 for a servo. 
Mmmm... double stack bacon burger... mmmmm.
> 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. 
A pet peeve of mine is when other people think that it's more important for
them to have my dollar than it is for me to keep it.  Do you know what I
tell people on the street who beg for money from me?  I tell them, "Get a
job."  If you are running a business that isn't making money, I'll tell you,
"Get a better business model."
I will gladly pay a premium for value.  I paid a huge premium for the WCMs I
bought from TotalRobots.  The value is that the WCMs connect to my OOPic via
an IIC interface, and they provide sample code.  I don't have to assemble
anything.  The savvy hardware engineer would consider my purchase ludicrous
because he can buy and assemble the primitive components for significantly
less than what I paid.  
TotalRobots.com is a prime example of a website that offers value to its
customers.  They aren't always the cheapest, but they have the right
relationships vendor, they have FANTASTIC products, and their website is one
of the best I've seen--simple, clean, always growing, and no broken links!  
The OOPic is also a fantastic product.  It has a very good accessory
following and very active message board.  There are TONS of examples for
accessory connection to the board and how to program them.
I am a Capitalist, not a philanthropist--unless there's value in it for me.
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