Lincoln Bester 190C - Price Fixing

  1. chopper_harris New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Standish, UK
    Morning all

    I run a small classic motorcycle workshop, and my elderly Clark Mig has finally died after 4 months in lockdown.

    I need to buy a new unit asap, and the Lincoln Bester 190C will give me the option to learn TIG.

    Looking online, there are few deals around on the Bester - the majority of bricks'n'mortar and eBay are around £515 - InverterFusion.co.uk are offering a 'free' autodim mask - I already have two !

    Can any of the members recommend a supplier who isn't locked in to the restrictive price fixing that appears to be going on with Lincoln products. - I was looking for online discount codes, but haven't spotted any so far.

    Many thanks

    IanH
     
  2. Brad93

    Brad93 M J B Engineering

    Messages:
    10,404
    Location:
    Essex
    Not gonna happen. Otherwise only one supplier would sell any machines.

    Lincoln will start out with a List Price. Different suppliers will then have a different discount, based on how much business they do with Lincoln.

    The supplier/distributor will then pass some of that discount on to you the customer. I.e. list price of the machine is £900, distributor buys it from Lincoln at 50% of list, and sells it to you for 70% of list, making a 20% profit.
     
  3. TechnicAl

    TechnicAl Member

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    8,261
    Location:
    Rotherham
    Thats a coincidence........I was looking for discount codes for a classic motorcycle....cant find any anywhere...:laughing:
     
  4. Munkul

    Munkul Jack of some trades, Master of none

    Messages:
    3,171
    Location:
    Cumbria
    You'll find greater price variance when it comes to higher-end products, as there is more margin in them for dealers to play with. It's then worth ringing up dealers and getting a best price direct, as sometimes web pricing is more fixed than in-shop.
    £500 is about the going rate for that grade of machine, now it comes down to who you want to buy from regarding warranty, aftersales etc.
     
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  5. arther dailey

    arther dailey Member

    Messages:
    4,120
    Location:
    England
    as they are all £same price there abouts I would recomend buying from a local dealer so you have some back up if you need it , support local business ,the hassle and time wasted sending a faulty machine back will/would cost you far more than the monies saved on a best price internet deal. good luck and enjoy
     
  6. chopper_harris New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Standish, UK
    My local weld store - 'Adlington Welding' couldn't be bothered to give me a price - sorry mate, we just get them in to order - at full list.

    I ordered from inverterFusion.co.uk at the typical online price of £514 - they have included a 4m TIG torch and a set of TIG consumables in the deal, in lieu of an auto-dim helmet.

    Next day shipping is included - happy days !
     
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  7. arther dailey

    arther dailey Member

    Messages:
    4,120
    Location:
    England
    Sorted , at least you gave them the opportunity , obviously all your business will be taken else where and thats their own fault eh, hope your pleased with it and all goes well.
     
  8. Munkul

    Munkul Jack of some trades, Master of none

    Messages:
    3,171
    Location:
    Cumbria
    How is it their fault? The price is the price. Its a low margin product.
     
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  9. Steveblade

    Steveblade Member

    Messages:
    133
    Location:
    West midlands

    Jees :dontknow: the price they didnt give ?:worms:scared: They clearly wanted his business.

    northwest comments are valid below, I'd guess theyd have been better saying were dont stock em
     
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  10. northwest

    northwest Member

    Messages:
    2,080
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    Price fixing. An interesting theory.

    I have quite a few observations to make about this.

    And this is it really. You wouldn't believe me if I told you how low some of the margins can be. I would speculate that there is a possibility that your local supplier gets them in to order because they could well have a machine sat in the shop for three months which they have paid for and they will see £35 profit after the sale, because every other supplier has engaged in a race to the bottom. They probably have a good idea what their customers want and stock that, it helps with their cash flow.

    I have actually bought stuff in and suffered a loss on the sale, because the customer is a regular and I don't have an account with that supplier (you can't stock everything) I will get the item in and keep the customer. Not always but quite often. The customers who are the once in a lifetime visit, although valuable to me, do not get some of the things my regular customers get. It is the way of the world.

    As has been mentioned above £500 is sort of "entry level" really and there is not that much room to manoeuvre. Don't forget, we have to deal with any warranty issues and all the paperwork that goes along with it. Sometimes you only need to be on the phone with the customer for half an hour and your profit has gone. Easily done.

    I would suggest that if there was some sort of price fixing going on that could possibly be a good thing, everyone could stock the particular machine or item as they know there would be some actual profit in the job and not just turnover. Everyone would win and the product could have a real place in the market as the dealers would all support it, because it would be worth their while. If price fixing means good products with good dealer support, good resale value and a quality item, is that a bad thing?

    Remember, if you buy something that is the subject of a price war,your resale value will be far less than a well supported item thus devaluing your own investment in the product. The Chinese do it all the time with stuff, devalue it that is. What wold you rather have: A Chinese welder that is £244 this week but could quite likely be £199 next week or a welder that has a brand and everyone knows costs £525 new? I know what I would rather have.
     
  11. TechnicAl

    TechnicAl Member

    Messages:
    8,261
    Location:
    Rotherham

    I can confirm what youre saying..........I was on consumables but the same happens....Ive been to end users with Distributors and been shocked to find out they are selling the product for less than they are paying.....
     
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  12. northwest

    northwest Member

    Messages:
    2,080
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    The problem today is everyone's "rights". Consumer rights, consumer protection, right to return, distance selling regulations etc. etc.

    What we are doing here is trying to protect stupid consumers from a few unscrupulous traders, but it has spilled over and now encompases everyone. This is typical conversation I have every fortnight or so:

    "can I help?"

    Yes! well I bought XYZ from you and it is now leaking and I want you to do something about it. When are you open as I need to drop it off so you can fix it under warranty?

    "we are open now sir".

    No, I've just been past and the place is closed!

    "when did you buy this from us sir?"

    Just after Christmas, bought other stuff too, I am a good customer you know!

    "really sir? Which Christmas would that be as we have been moved over two years?"

    Silence.

    Happens all the time. There is no Retailer Protection or Retailer Rights. We have to spot the possible sources of trouble as they walk through the door. Keeps us on our toes. You don't believe me? Come on down for a day.
     
  13. Brad93

    Brad93 M J B Engineering

    Messages:
    10,404
    Location:
    Essex
    This.

    support your chosen local welding distributor and they’ll look after you
     
  14. matt1978

    matt1978 www.lorch.eu

    Messages:
    3,796
    Location:
    UK, Cannock
    Price fixing is a really poor choice of words in regard to this.

    Manufacturers have a RRP or List price and then the reseller/sales partner operates on discount in order to work out their cost price.

    I’m from within the Industry and see it all of the time, where as some goods are offered online at reasonable price, reasonable in the sense that the retailer is still retaining a fair margin and the selling price is well placed against comparable products. Until some other online retailers will reduce the price slightly to “gain a competitive edge” then the next one reduces their price further to keep up and so it carry’s on. By the end some gross margins on some of the smaller machines can be as little as £25-£50.

    So who has won? You could argue the customer has. But realistically which retailer is going to want to support a machine based on £50? So the customer has only won assuming he doesn’t need any hand holding or after sales support from the company they purchased it from.

    The retailers lose out because they now have stock of machines that they can’t sell unless they price match the online artificially low prices forcing on them low margins which they didn’t create and certainly wouldn’t of envisaged when they first invested within the stock.

    Finally then the manufacturer also loses out because now all of sudden retailers no longer want to sell or stock the product because “no one can make any money on it”

    The machine you referenced is a brand new offering from Lincoln/Bester, it’s literally just 2-3 months into the market. It has a List price/RRP comparable to other similar manufacturers within that sector so I don’t see why it’s classed price fixing if all the prices you find for that product are within 5-10% of each other :confused:
     
  15. addjunkie

    addjunkie Member

    Messages:
    6,484
    Location:
    Northumberland. Reet oot in the sticks

    What you describe is a race to the bottom where eventually there will be no small buisness left to support the little guy, eventually everything will come from one big supplier, sounds a lot like a joint venture between the chinese and amazon.

    I was brought up in a small buisness family, and always try to support the independant smaller companies. But it gets more and more difficult as time goes on.
     
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  16. Domdom Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    347
    Location:
    UK, Warwickshire
    How on earth does this represent price fixing?

    Let me get this straight in my own mind a moment. You want a machine to support a business, which presumably is the thing that pays your salary. You also will use a bunch of consumables over time which sounds like those will come from the cheapest place on the day. So no customer loyalty, not much chance of repeat business for the supplier and yet you feel that those suppliers somehow owe you discounts?

    you might call it price fixing, most of us see it as honest trading with decent service backup at a fair price, and a price which allows the supplier to make a living.

    Perhaps you would do well to study the VA part of VAR. That would be Value Add Reseller. These people are a world apart from Box Shifters, who will generally be a couple of percentage points cheaper on the day. The uplift is advice, experience and insights into the market. This is the advice which may well save you from making a costly mistake. Put a price on that if you will.

    And then we get to the folks who feel it is perfectly acceptable to get all this advice for free but then sod off to Google to save a few quid. Kind of like the bloke who used to go into Jessops to play with, feel, inspect a decent camera, get all the advice from the store salesman, and then go and buy online to save a fiver. That is the very reason why Jessops went into administration.

    One genuine question I have. Why bother buying a good quality machine when it’s patently obvious it will only ever see cheap consumables?
     
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  17. northwest

    northwest Member

    Messages:
    2,080
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    We are in a real bind. I am guilty myself of buying stuff online when really I should support the local retailer. But right now, who wants to "go shopping"? I am talking generally here. Times they are a changing goes the song and I believe the long term effects of this "global crisis" will be far reaching, we have not yet begun to really understand what will change and how. It will however change retail beyond recognition.

    Sadly, up against the giants: Amazon and Ebay you don't stand a chance. If you join them the fees are eye watering , they are the ones making the money, not you and the draconian punishments if you post something a day late are just not funny. Paypal? Let's not go there. How that organisation is allowed to operate is beyond me.

    But I have been there. I was present at a Summit Meeting when Tessa Jowell was the Minister for Culture Media and Sport and ebay was being grilled. McGowan, the CEO of ebay was fielding the questions well but then something came up, he was in a bit of a bind as they were actually breaking UK Law. His answer? "Ebay is a company registered in Luxembourg and complies with all local laws". In other words: "Mess with us and we will see you in the European court" and we know how that will end. She dropped it.

    If the government knows they are flogging a dead horse, the consumer is screwed. As @matt1978 said above and any retailer will confirm, someone in the Industry starts to discount and from then on, it's a race to the bottom, that "great deal" you just got may not turn out so well if it develops a fault. Especially if you find yourself shipping it back to the manufacturer/importer.

    Lets face it guys, who likes to work for nothing? I can assure you that the shopkeeper peering over the counter waiting for you to make your mind up is not thinking about how great a customer you are, gracing his shop with your presence. He is waiting for you to get on with it so he can catch up with the VAT paperwork so he won't have to do it tonight after his tea! You would quite simply not believe the hours some retailers put in. If I drew minimum wage I would be on a fortune, I don't and I am not. But I wouldn't be doing anything else though. It's my choice. It's also my choice who I will serve too.
     
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  18. northwest

    northwest Member

    Messages:
    2,080
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    Get it all the time. The ones who get right up my nose are those who actually start looking for online prices right in front of you on their phones. They always look askance when they ask me "for my best price" and I stick another tenner on? Well, it's much better for me. I usually ask them if they go through this palaver when they go to Tesco's?

    When the customer is in front of me and they are buying a full package or something similar I always take care of them. They always go away happy. When I get them on the phone asking a million questions about "deals" I get rid of them as quickly as possible.
     
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  19. Munkul

    Munkul Jack of some trades, Master of none

    Messages:
    3,171
    Location:
    Cumbria
    My cousin gets it all the time in the motor trade. Worse, maybe, since cars go wrong all the time... from the stupidest things like lightbulbs etc to major warranty work... my cousin is the most helpful dealer around but he would get pushed into buying the customer a brand new car out of his own pockets, if he didn't push back sometimes.
     
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  20. Munkul

    Munkul Jack of some trades, Master of none

    Messages:
    3,171
    Location:
    Cumbria
    It's funny that, isn't it... walked into my local airgun shop and told the guy point blank I wanted a gun, a scope, and a bottle, and he couldn't have been more helpful and informative, plus I didn't even have to ask for discount... he knocked plenty off himself after we got through a few more accessories, s good as if not better than any online sale... I wonder what sort of attitude he would have had if I'd went in checking prices against my phone and muttering about prices.
     
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