Presented by Nine Lives Racing
Johnny_at_NineLives
Johnny_at_NineLives GRM+ Memberand New Reader
7/12/21 10:56 a.m.

looking for feedback 
 

The story.

Plastic prices are soaring. The material we use for air dams has doubled. The problem is really with splitters. The cost to coat the splitters have increased so much we lose $40 on each one we sell.

The question. What would be the drawback if we just stopped coating the Burch, dropped the price to $150, and sold them in pairs?

Thoughts?

Link to part in question... https://9livesracing.com/collections/all/products/mazda-miata-splitters

NOT A TA
NOT A TA SuperDork
7/12/21 11:10 a.m.

Offer them coated for a price you can still make a reasonable profit on and bare for less money? See what sells.

Toyman01 + Sized and
Toyman01 + Sized and GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/12/21 11:18 a.m.
NOT A TA said:

Offer them coated for a price you can still make a reasonable profit on and bare for less money? See what sells.

This.

A lot of off-road parts are available with or without finishing. Many people are going to be willing to spend the extra coin for a finished product. For the ones that want to save a dollar or two, you still get to make the sale and they can paint it themselves. 

Edit:  Easily done with the option dropdowns already on your page. 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa UberDork
7/12/21 11:39 a.m.

Not_A_TA has the solution, methinks.

Option C, with plastic prices rising, is there another coating out there that may now be cheaper?  Epoxy or some other?

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
7/12/21 5:01 p.m.

I like what I'm hearing

also, I resisted the urge to fix your title as 'some knee think tank action'.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/12/21 5:06 p.m.
Toyman01 + Sized and said:
NOT A TA said:

Offer them coated for a price you can still make a reasonable profit on and bare for less money? See what sells.

This.

A lot of off-road parts are available with or without finishing. Many people are going to be willing to spend the extra coin for a finished product. For the ones that want to save a dollar or two, you still get to make the sale and they can paint it themselves. 

Edit:  Easily done with the option dropdowns already on your page. 

We tried that experiment with some of our braces. Turns out it wasn't all that popular, but more importantly now you've doubled your SKU count and shelf space for inventory (coating is not an instant process, so you can't just coat on demand) as well as total inventory count (because you always want a bit of a cushion, ideally). So we don't offer it anymore.

In this case, I'd be tempted to bare the birch.

Toyman01 + Sized and
Toyman01 + Sized and GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/12/21 6:43 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

It will probably depend on the price delta. Off-road bumpers go like this. 

Finished and painted. $750. 

Welded but unfinished. $400. 

Cut but not welded. $200. 

If the difference between painted and not is $5 you won't get many takers. At $50 you still might not. At $200-$500, let's just say I welded and painted my own. 

84FSP
84FSP UltraDork
7/12/21 7:30 p.m.

I would switch from thermoplastic to a thermoset plastic as those prices haven't changed drastically like the thermoplastics have.  Bonuses are no high temp stuff and expensive tools.  Negatives are more manual process and often freezers involved to keep various agents below activation temperatures.  Happy to talk a bit more off line if you like as I'm in the thermoplastics biz.

Dave

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/12/21 7:33 p.m.

In reply to Toyman01 + Sized and :

Our price deltas were based on what it actually cost to coat. IIRC we're talking about 15% of the total price. Regardless of customer take-up, the higher costs at our end were real.

I want to hear more of what Dave has to say about plastics :)

Toyman01 + Sized and
Toyman01 + Sized and GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/12/21 7:54 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I'm guessing they are counting grinding and coating cost. The welded one was just welded. No finish grinding or any prep for paint. I spent about 3 hours grinding mine to get the surfaces and welded corners decent enough for coating. 

Johnny_at_NineLives
Johnny_at_NineLives GRM+ Memberand New Reader
7/13/21 11:50 a.m.

In reply to Toyman01 + Sized and :

off-road guys are also happy to bust out a welder. Road Race people are not so inclined to fabrication. 

Johnny_at_NineLives
Johnny_at_NineLives GRM+ Memberand New Reader
7/13/21 11:52 a.m.

In reply to 84FSP :

i'm ok to talk openly. we share almost all of our findings. when you're saying thermoplastic your talking about things like vacuum forming right? 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/13/21 11:53 a.m.

I don't think anyone's suggesting selling these unwelded. Even road racers are able to handle a rattle can or a paint brush, despite occasional evidence to the contrary :)

I would totally weld up my own offroad bumper because it would be fun.

Johnny_at_NineLives
Johnny_at_NineLives GRM+ Memberand New Reader
7/13/21 12:03 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

oh, I was just implying that off-road dudes take to fabricating like fish to water. so if they could save $14, get it uncoated so they can weld some lights (idk if you noticed how I'm grasping at straws trying to explain what off roading people like becuseigotnoidea) they will go for it. 

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia SuperDork
7/13/21 12:09 p.m.

How many people would love to have the option to buy it "bare" since they plan on painting it body color etc anyway ?

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/13/21 12:52 p.m.

Painting?  Hurumph, how pleb.  Have some decorum.

I went for the stain and poly.  Colonial maple in this case:

To seriously answer the question:  Unfortunately, this seems like the sort of thing that you need to A/B test your market for, which means all of the hassle that Keith mentions about inventory (space, ordering, managing, etc.) as well as how clearly you can communicate the difference to the users.

Bottom line is you can't afford to lose money on each splitter, that's ridiculous.  So you need to price them fairly for you, and the customer has to deal with the fact that prices are going up across the board.   Good on you for thinking to offer a cheaper entry, though!  All of us poor Miata folks love that, but higher end customers are going to want (and generally be agreeable to paying for) concierge service.  I do think that $150 for two unfinished seems like the steal of a century, you guys must have some crazy good pricing on a sheet of 1/2 ply!

Retail pricing on mine when I built my splitter last May before all plywood prices went insane was $60 for a sheet if I recall correctly.    I know there's not much machine time per splitter, but being the CAM/Manufacturing world (on the mill side), I'd bill a smaller router @ $90-100/hr right now, and I can't imagine that you could routinely rip those out in less than a half hour by the time you handle the material, deburr, inspect, etc., so you're at $100ish per sheet already, without covering R&D/programming or additional costs..  A bigger router would bring the time down a bit, but still.  

stylngle2003
stylngle2003 GRM+ Memberand Reader
7/21/21 1:02 p.m.

could you negotiate lower on the coating price if you were able to get all ordered parts from a certain time period (once a week, once a month? idk) coated at once (if that's not how you're already doing it)? 
like...build in a lead time with the customers and only drop the splitters with the coater every other friday, so they can do the prep work and coat in batches, reduce material waste

on the flipside, maybe building in a lengthy time period for benchracing and second guessing is hurtful to gaining market share. haha


if you were able to furnish uncoated birch splitters for my 350z i'd gladly pay more than $150 per blade. probably even spring for a set of plastic splitter diffusers while i was in there. but you've gotta be able to do this profitably.  

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