Proxxon Removed From THMStore
I shut down the Proxxon product line in my eCommerce site, The Hobbyist Machine Store, (THMS). It is just the best business decision I can make under the circumstances
Nothing wrong with the product. The PD400 lathe and all the other Proxxon products are just wonderful machines. The biggest problem is it is what I call a “Me Too” product line. I am not the only store offering the product. The only thing I have to offer is a reduced price from MSRP and actually try to meet or beat the “street price” of other vendors.It’s a premium product and perhaps the economy has stopped the sales.
Any marketing I would do is a benefit to all my competitors who may offer a slightly lower price. That is how the Internet works. Decide what you want and search for the lowest price. All marketing effort and cost must therefore be carried by the distributor. There is not enough profit for a small dealer after discounting the price, to contribute to any dealer funded marketing plan or budget on his own.
This is no surprise to me and I don’t feel badly about how the business works. I knew this going in and even talk about not wanting to offer “Me Too” products in the store site. So this never was a sound business decision. Since the THMS doesn’t (yet) put groceries on the table, I wanted to see if the US hobby market was ready for a quality lathe – the PD400, and see if I could make sufficient profit selling them. The other Proxxon products came in just because they are good products.
I haven’t completed a PD400 order since early in the year but have quoted more than half a dozen. Either the purchase was not made or they ordered elsewhere. Other Proxxon Items are sold through large volume stores such as Micro-Mark (under their brand name) but are exactly the same product. Many at Proxxon dealer prices. (Large volume pricing breaks)
So the time has come for me to stop wasting my time and effort with Proxxon. It does take a lot of effort and late hours answering all the emails for first time buyers. I don’t mind that, but a year’s worth of very limited purchases is not a good business segment. A tiny business doesn’t grow doing things for free that don’t bring a reward. That means they go away.
For example, the previous post in this blog about the band saw was spawned by a purchase inquiry but did not create a THMS sale. I didn’t expect it would as I am very specific about the application of this saw. I am concerned about customers making the correct choice and spend way to much time making sure. That makes me feel good about what I sell but sure limits sales. I have just so much time and I have to do (as a business) what returns the best reward for time spent, beyond feeling good…
I shall just quietly be one of the happy owners of a very good German made metric mini-lathe.
The Taig product line is exactly the same “Me Too” situation. The redeeming value for THMS with the Taig products is it is a much lower cost and better known USA product. I also have a good turn over. That allows me to stock inventory on the fastest turning items. You want it I got it. I drop ship the machines to avoid double shipping cost. So THMS will continue to offer the Taig products.
The mini gears are the perfect product for a small operation like The Hobbyist Machine Store. That’s the kind of product I need. We are still the go-to place for those gears.