|Re: Cheap chinese junk|
Message #2 Posted by Bill Wiese on 4 Nov 2003, 9:09 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Dom Dinis
Well, labor costs are very cheap in China - far cheaper than even Mexico. Lots of assembly labor there is essentially 'slave labor' - folks go unpaid, jobs are misrepresented as to hours/duties/wages, folks are held prisoner in factories (locked doors, managers hold employees' internal passports so they can't leave facility or town). Many of these firms are one step removed from the Chinese gov't or military and/or are run by favored cronies of the Politburo elite, not subject to prosecution for all but the grossest of crimes.
Even w/diminished quality, it seems to be the norm in the consumer electronics biz that the true mfgr "eats" warranty returns & some associated costs. It's the dirty little secret in the consumer elec. industry that 25+% items (other than TVs and stereos, which ordinary folks seem to be able to use without skills) are returned to seller. Oftentimes this is not due to any real defect/product problem but due to incompatibility w/platform or user skill in installing devices (for example, PC peripherals) or confusing usage due to poor user interfaces & firmware (VCRs, camcorders, etc.) Often, when you buy a 'refurbed' item there may be NOTHING wrong with it other than the customer couldn't figure out the logic of the product; the product is just reboxed/resealed and new paperwork is thrown in. Can't be sold as new (except at Fry's ;)
Many Chinese electronic firms operate on time value of money "float" for their profits: they get money upfront to build a widget, chip, etc. The work is done at cost, but the profit is gained on the float. Risky, and they are willing to live w/the small margins. (Many do go broke.)
In general, I don't know why we do business with Red China.
I'd pay triple to avoid them. It is an avowed enemy state. I don't doubt we'll have a war with them in the next 50 years - maybe sooner if they try to take Taiwan. I try to avoid buying ANYTHING originating from there (sometimes difficult, but actually possible). Given such low labor costs, every dollar spent in Red China adds a significant kick to their internal oppression & military budget.
San Jose CA