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 Post subject: Re: Why I'm Fed Up With Asia Imports
PostPosted: Nov Tue 12, 2019 11:41 pm 
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pixellany wrote:
Scott wrote:
but the junk is the fault of the American companies.

If you set out to find fault, you'll find some for everybody....

I submit that what is made is ultimately driven by what people buy....

How about some additions to my "good news" list?

I stated the iPhone for addition to your "good news" list :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Why I'm Fed Up With Asia Imports
PostPosted: Nov Wed 13, 2019 1:34 am 
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I've had many Chinese friends. My gripe is over a decline in quality which isn't personal in any way. It's just a simple fact that junk is being imported. I started to complain in shops and ask why such and such a product is being sold. By the same token home based companies now need to get out there and produce proper bike pumps, sockets, lights and whatever. The other day someone let me use a foot pump for my tire. The lock catch broke after one minute. Plastic of course.


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 Post subject: Re: Why I'm Fed Up With Asia Imports
PostPosted: Nov Wed 13, 2019 1:42 am 
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Good Chinese products in my opinion:

    Siglent - I have a scope, DVM, and Function Generator I am pleased with.
    Lenovo - I have a 5 year old laptop that still works. My Toshiba and Sony laptops generally died in 2 or 3 years. One didn't last a year.
    Lenovo - We have 4 phones, two of which are 4 years old. One old phone has a battery issue, but both older ones are used as music servers. I will admit I think Samsung's are better. We have the Hasselblad camera attachment for the Lenovos, so we are trapped.
    Laser Genetics - Great laser designator.

John


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 Post subject: Re: Why I'm Fed Up With Asia Imports
PostPosted: Nov Wed 13, 2019 6:40 am 
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I've long believed the "Chinese junk" effect was actually the "Wal-Mart junk" effect. The customers want to pay less, so the retailers pressure the manufacturers to cut costs. The product gets cheaper, but because of the lower quality the customers want to pay even less, so more pressure from the retailers on the manufacturers. Endless downward spiral.

Realizing this, I adopted a "vote with your dollars" approach decades ago. If something appears cheaply-made, I vote against it: I won't buy it. Plain and simple. I willingly and gladly spend more money to get something better-quality, and I try never to buy junk.

After following this approach for about 25 years now, I make this observation: I've been out-voted. It's getting harder and harder to find quality products. The upside is, I buy less stuff. The downside is, it's hard to replace things I do need.

I guess one lone weirdo twisting in the wind isn't enough to keep the good products on the shelves. When I finally find a good product, and go back 6 months later to get another one, the item has been discontinued and can't be gotten anymore.

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 Post subject: Re: Why I'm Fed Up With Asia Imports
PostPosted: Nov Wed 13, 2019 4:14 pm 
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As others noted, the consumer is his/her own worst enemy because companies are distributing what the overwhelming majority of customers demand which is cheap prices for stuff that looks pretty. It isn't any one country producing stuff like this, two decades ago I was at a large global automotive production facility and was invited to watch the reverse auction for a set of components to be used on their next automotive platform. A group of potential suppliers (all U.S. based with U.S. production facilities) were invited to participate in an online auction and every time a supplier entered a new low bid it started a new time period for a competitor to undercut the price. It is all part of the process to provide the consumer with a lot of attractive features at the lowest possible price and the reason that simple automotive components that were made reliably for decades have recently become fairly high failure items (axle seals, engine block heater cords, valve springs, even simple fasteners, etc.). Because suppliers have been squeezed, they in turn squeeze their suppliers and by the time the final product is assembled it is filled with stuff that is of marginal quality at best with the not unexpected higher probability of failure.

Like the old USSR, China has long been able to make high quality parts and it shows in what they supplied to their military for decades. I have used a lot of the old Soviet era "hockey puck" style high power RF capacitors and they are of at least equal quality than the same era stuff from the U.S. and better than the typical Centralab door knob caps. I have some Chinese field radios made during the early 60s and both component quality and workmanship is excellent. The corollary to, "you get the quality you are willing to pay for" is "when the market demands junk, that is what the producer supplies." Unfortunately for those of us willing to pay a premium for better quality, there is less of an opportunity to do so in any meaningful fashion.

Rodger WQ9E


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 Post subject: Re: Why I'm Fed Up With Asia Imports
PostPosted: Nov Thu 14, 2019 1:59 pm 
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rsingl wrote:
As others noted, the consumer is his/her own worst enemy because companies are distributing what the overwhelming majority of customers demand which is cheap prices for stuff that looks pretty. It isn't any one country producing stuff like this, two decades ago I was at a large global automotive production facility and was invited to watch the reverse auction for a set of components to be used on their next automotive platform. A group of potential suppliers (all U.S. based with U.S. production facilities) were invited to participate in an online auction and every time a supplier entered a new low bid it started a new time period for a competitor to undercut the price. It is all part of the process to provide the consumer with a lot of attractive features at the lowest possible price and the reason that simple automotive components that were made reliably for decades have recently become fairly high failure items (axle seals, engine block heater cords, valve springs, even simple fasteners, etc.). Because suppliers have been squeezed, they in turn squeeze their suppliers and by the time the final product is assembled it is filled with stuff that is of marginal quality at best with the not unexpected higher probability of failure.

Like the old USSR, China has long been able to make high quality parts and it shows in what they supplied to their military for decades. I have used a lot of the old Soviet era "hockey puck" style high power RF capacitors and they are of at least equal quality than the same era stuff from the U.S. and better than the typical Centralab door knob caps. I have some Chinese field radios made during the early 60s and both component quality and workmanship is excellent. The corollary to, "you get the quality you are willing to pay for" is "when the market demands junk, that is what the producer supplies." Unfortunately for those of us willing to pay a premium for better quality, there is less of an opportunity to do so in any meaningful fashion.

Rodger WQ9E

To be honest, the best audio sound I get in more modern appliances is my Bush 1959 transistor radio. Simply beats anything modern. The Japanese eighties era was also a good period for engineering. China and Korea can produce quality at times but so much of it is plastic rubbish. I try not to buy it. I even took to making stuff for myself such as a proper shower tray, built to last.


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 Post subject: Re: Why I'm Fed Up With Asia Imports
PostPosted: Nov Thu 14, 2019 3:00 pm 
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Scott wrote:
fifties wrote:
Scott wrote:
China is just making what the American companies are telling them to make. Cheap, low quality crap. Americans want cheap because we want to purchase a lot of cheap things rather than being happy with just a few quality items.
China can make top quality products, like the iPhones for example, but the junk is the fault of the American companies.

+1, but I would go further than the last statement; the poor quality is simply based on the price point consumers here are willing to pay. If allowed to use higher quality/more expensive materials, I am sure Chinese manufacturing would be equal to any other countries work force.

It certainly is the price point as you stated because Americans are a materialistic society. I made that point when I said that we wanted to purchase a lot of cheap things rather than a few high quality items. The amount of doo-dads and gadgets we have is ridiculous. Everyone wants the latest and greatest, from phones to the latest kids toys. Worst part is all this stuff ends up in the landfill at the end of the day.


I agree with this completely. I recall an importer's rep at a trade show about 12 years ago talking to us about woodworking equipment and telling us that Asia will manufacture to any price point and the quality is relative to the price point ..... pretty simple.


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 Post subject: Re: Why I'm Fed Up With Asia Imports
PostPosted: Nov Thu 14, 2019 7:50 pm 
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As far as the typical shopping customer is concerned, Cheap, is king. People will buy a big screen tv at discount that works for a year then breaks. They will complain like heck about that "darn foreign made junk" ...and then go right out and buy another one, even cheaper if they can find it. People I know think I'm nuts for buying and keeping older stuff and maintaining, repairing and fixing it up for decades. Works best for me. You just can't convince people that quality costs money. They want a tv that will last 10 years for the price of one designed to go 2 or 3. What was that set of laws about it?...

Fast and Good will not be Cheap

Fast and Cheap will not be Good

Good and Cheap will not be Fast


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 Post subject: Re: Why I'm Fed Up With Asia Imports
PostPosted: Nov Thu 14, 2019 8:25 pm 
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"Buy quality and cry only once".

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 Post subject: Re: Why I'm Fed Up With Asia Imports
PostPosted: Nov Thu 14, 2019 9:18 pm 
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There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey.

John Ruskin


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 Post subject: Re: Why I'm Fed Up With Asia Imports
PostPosted: Nov Sun 17, 2019 6:08 pm 
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I buy a lot of electronic components from china through ebay.
power supplies
buck converters
battery alarms
fm/mp3 players
miniature voltage displays
audio isolation circuits
miniature amplifiers
solar charge controllers
battery charge controllers
programmable relay controllers
CD drive mechanisms
LED clock circuits

So far in the last 3 years not a single bad component or failure of anything I purchased. NO DOA's because of faulty components... HOWEVER

Absolutely abysmal packing of components
parts arriving physically broken
ridiculously slow shipping (2 months or lost completely)
absolutely zero instructions or datasheets available (which is why I started my youtube channel)
terrible product descriptions
no way to get an answer to any questions about products.

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 Post subject: Re: Why I'm Fed Up With Asia Imports
PostPosted: Nov Sun 17, 2019 10:27 pm 
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Flinx wrote:
So far in the last 3 years not a single bad component or failure of anything I purchased. NO DOA's because of faulty components... HOWEVER

Absolutely abysmal packing of components
parts arriving physically broken
ridiculously slow shipping (2 months or lost completely)
absolutely zero instructions or datasheets available (which is why I started my youtube channel)
terrible product descriptions
no way to get an answer to any questions about products.

You want bargain basement prices, so you get what you pay for...

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 Post subject: Re: Why I'm Fed Up With Asia Imports
PostPosted: Nov Mon 18, 2019 12:09 am 
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It's not that I want bargain basement prices, it's that no one carries the things I need except ebay.

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Last edited by Flinx on Nov Mon 18, 2019 2:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Why I'm Fed Up With Asia Imports
PostPosted: Nov Mon 18, 2019 1:28 am 
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fifties wrote:
You want bargain basement prices, so you get what you pay for...


It's true that we usually get what we pay for, but it's not a universal rule that we should always buy good and buy once. I often have duplicates of tools or accessories that I buy cheap for several reasons. Some of them I buy to destroy intentionally by using them for a single purpose. Some I buy cheap because the use I put them to does not require high end products and so they work just fine even though they are cheap.

It's always a decision, driven by several factors, and while price is one of the factors, it's not usually the deciding one.


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 Post subject: Re: Why I'm Fed Up With Asia Imports
PostPosted: Nov Mon 18, 2019 5:52 am 
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Guys, my point was simply that part and parcel to Chinese commerce -which has undoubtedly about the lowest prices- were some of the negative things that Flinx pointed out.

If needing an English language user manual is a necessity, as an example, they are not going to be first in line.

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 Post subject: Re: Why I'm Fed Up With Asia Imports
PostPosted: Nov Mon 18, 2019 2:59 pm 
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I watched a video once about an entire city built just to make stuff. I think this is it.
https://youtu.be/xMm-YMO5H7o

The reasons why Chinese quality is "what it is", is complicated.

Take harbor freight for example. When it first appeared in the US it was kind of a joke, a dumping ground for really cheap low quality tools. However I have noticed in the last couple of year that, that is not the case anymore. sure they still sell cheap and junky, but they are also starting to sell tools on par with some of the "name brands" of course the problem is now that many of the "name brands" are starting to sell cheap and junky.

Did you know that many of their tools have a Craftsman type of warranty? I do not have a list but I know that some of their clamps are guaranteed for life. The same for many of their sockets and wrenches.

If it wasn't for the fact that I invested in Makita tools and Batteries, many of their battery powered tools are now good enough that I would use them. This is greatly improved from the battery powered tools one of my brothers bought from them 10 years ago (complete junk).

I recently bought a 1/2" impact wrench from them for $15 with coupon, it is a near exact copy of the Rockwell impact wrench it was replacing. The Rockwell was given to me years ago had been badly abused, and did not work right any more. For the amount of times I will use an impact wrench there is no reason to pay more for one. The Central Pneumatic will last me for the rest of my life.

I used to be an Aircraft mechanic (for 7 years ending 25 years ago), all of my tools were of "Harbor Freight" quality. I could never afford Snap on, or MAC (back then). I still have them, they all work.

There seems to be a culture of "not caring" with many Asian ebay sellers. At least that is the impression I get. When I said they don't have datasheets and instructions, Those exist but for some reason (I do not know), they are not providing them. I have been able to find them, but one must have very strong google-fu. One reason I think is that they are only written in Chinese. Many times when they do provide them they are for a different version of the product, or a completely different product. Often just copied and pasted from another listing (bad translations and all). I have had to write my own. I started a whole youtube channel partially based around showing what a device is, how it works, how to use it, and it's limitations because they sure won't. Heck I had to google far and wide, and watch tons of hard to understand videos just to find out if a relay controller could be programmed down to 10 milliseconds. I have to look carefully at pictures of circuit boards to see if an fm/mp3 player had a voltage regulator on it or not, because the voltage requirement listed on ebay were all over the place.

When you ask them questions they either do not respond or respond with an answer that does not make sense, does not answer the question or just parrots the bad information in their listing.

However Chinese quality is improving. It seems to be based on who is requesting the product, how much they want to spend, and how strict they request their quality control. As I said before I have purchased lots of components, and as long as I can get them in to my hands the quality has been just fine. Many of the circuit boards are made by robots and the only time they failed is when I messed up.

Right now if you go to a store and buy just about any name brand consumer tool (and even some pro stuff) guess where it comes from? yup china. Sometimes different name brands come from the same factory, case in point.
A year or so ago I bought a small table top bandsaw, while trying to compare prices I found that the EXACT same band saw was being sold by 7 or 8 manufacturers, and at least another 6 that were mostly the same with added features. they all looked like this one:
Image

Once again, it's not that I want the cheapest stuff, it's that either no one makes or sells it locally, or if they do the prices is absolutely ridiculous.

I could spend a lot of money on a Makita grinder, but since I don't work in a metal shop and use it daily my el cheapo chinesium harbor freight ones that I bought for $9 ea will work fine. If they ever do break (and I can't fix them) I will just chuck them in the trash and buy some more.

I saw a video a while back that explained why the USA no longer manufactures the things we get from china, and basically china has:
cheap labor (and lots of it)
large amounts of resources (especially rare earths)
very low standards on environmental issues
there was more but I don't remember and can't find the video.

I'll stop rambling now.

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 Post subject: Re: Why I'm Fed Up With Asia Imports
PostPosted: Nov Mon 18, 2019 8:36 pm 
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Flinx wrote:

Once again, it's not that I want the cheapest stuff, it's that either no one makes or sells it locally, or if they do the prices is absolutely ridiculous.

Thank you for the very illuminating discussion on your experiences with Chinese retailers. Now consider your last point in the above quote; if there was no China source available, then the domestic price you would have to pay wouldn't seem ridiculous at all. Expensive maybe, but that would be the market value. Instead, we do have Chinese competition, and that distorts the playing field.

Case in point; I recently got a tablet computer to use on the desk in my den, as a music storage device. Since the stereo jack port was on top, for cosmetic appearance I wanted to get a right angle stereo male/female plug, and I wanted it now, so bought one from an American source on eBay for $4.31.

My son was over and suggested buying a second jack, so the wiring, instead of going straight back, would go down, with a second L shaped jack plugged into the first. Good idea, but no big rush, so I again bought from an eBay seller, this time in China. Of course it took longer to get here, but the cost was 75 cents. So here we have an example of an overwhelming difference in price, for two identical items, both made in China.

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 Post subject: Re: Why I'm Fed Up With Asia Imports
PostPosted: Nov Tue 19, 2019 12:34 am 
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Scott wrote:
China is just making what the American companies are telling them to make. Cheap, low quality crap. Americans want cheap because we want to purchase a lot of cheap things rather than being happy with just a few quality items.
China can make top quality products, like the iPhones for example, but the junk is the fault of the American companies.

The fault lies squarely on the shoulders of American consumers. We keep buying their products because they're cheap.

Don't like Asian products? By American or make your own.


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 Post subject: Re: Why I'm Fed Up With Asia Imports
PostPosted: Nov Tue 19, 2019 6:55 am 
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Location: Elmira, NY
We the consumer are at fault. We have sold our technology and business practices to very smart people. When we specify a product to these people, they build it to “our” absolute minimum standard. We get what we pay for. Problem is we want everything cheap.

Case in point, I bought an imported machine shop lathe.. for $2500, the same US built (Hardinge) lathe cost $100,000. Both do the same thing. The import has many imperfections, mostly cosmetic, and durability. When dialed in, my cheap import is dead on accurate, both machines are capable of reproducing their own parts.

Auto mobiles are another example. Years ago there were “grey” market vehicles.(imports) then we started selling our vehicle technology overseas. They built cars to our standards with cheap labor. As time progressed we forced our. Safety standards on them...the price went up, but so did the quality

Now businesses are telemarketing their admistrative staff overseas. People in these countries work for much lower wages.As time progresses the workers get smarter and demand more money. It’s then, these company’s close operations and move to another more impoverished area,

All this is happening because we(the stock holders) demand bigger returns. Our CEO’s are doing their job. Cutting costs and raising. Profits. It’s a never ending cycle of everyone’s greed.


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 Post subject: Re: Why I'm Fed Up With Asia Imports
PostPosted: Nov Wed 20, 2019 9:36 pm 
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One thing I've observed is that American consumerism has been on steroids since WWII. Patience has also been waning at a fast clip. All of the kitchen equipment/utensils in my grandparents' kitchens would fit into a laundry basket. None had cords attached either. Yet they were superb cooks and bakers. Their pasta machine, pierogi maker, Kitchenaid mixer, food processor, etc. consisted of a bowl, rolling pin, a couple wooden spoons, and a butcher knife. And a couple soup spoons, a couple tea cups, and a single measuring cup. That's it.

My grandfathers were both accomplished woodworkers as well. To make a chest of drawers took about 5 or 6 hand tools. And some sandpaper. No routers, bandsaws, miter saws, power drills, planers, plate joiners, doweling jigs, or Krieg gadgets.

My neighbor (a really nice fella) has just about every power tool known to man. If there's a special tool to do a specific job, he buys one; the top of the line, not a cheap one. Do you really need 3 different Milwaukee circular saws to build a shed? And a sliding compound miter saw? And a framing nailer, finish nailer, and coiled roofing nailer - - - all for an 8 X 10 shed! And he manages to screw up the job in spite of all of his expensive toys. Oh, and a 2-stage 80-gallon compressor to power it all. Unbelievable. (Yes, I'm a little jealous . . . .)

The point is, as long as the consumer demand is there, manufacturers will build what we think we need. And build it cheaply so we buy another. Really, it's totally our fault, and there's no one to blame but ourselves.

Dan

FWIW - - - even the "top of the line" Milwaukee power tools are now made in China, but still carry Milwaukee price tags. :roll:


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