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Author Topic: Costco is now selling Martins !  (Read 8699 times)
Walkerman
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« Reply #80 on: September 26, 2007, 02:31:19 PM »

This sounds pretty typical for many Chinese manufacturers.  It doesn't mean there's anything dishonest going on or that they're trying to cheat anyone.  But its certainely not a "craft shop".

This reminds me of what folks used to say about the Japanese....good at copying, but no innovation.

Well, I'll take a Japanese car over an American car anyday...and that goes from luxery down to economy.  They make better...more innovative....cars than we do.  The Chinese manufacturing sector is in it's infancy.  First they learn how to make things...next, they will learn how to desing things.  They will dwarf the Japanese economy, and rival, if not surpass, ours.  This will take time, but it is inevitible.  So, buy FXI and enjoy the ride.
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bjstrings
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« Reply #81 on: September 26, 2007, 02:53:49 PM »

You're right that it looks similar to the situation 20 years ago with the Japanese, but its actually a bit different.  Before Chinese industry can learn to innovate, the education system needs to change. The Chinese educational system is based on rote learning and thinking out of the box is actually punished, not encouraged.  Innovation requires, by definition, approaching problems in new ways, not using conventional wisdom. Also, in China today, almost the entire system (educational, technical, economic, political) is based on obedience to authoriity and acceptance of approved ways of seeing things.  This is the antithesis of the approaches needed for innovative thinking.  In japan, there is great respect (but not blind obedience to) the past & to tradition.  Nevertheless, it is an open society.  China today, despite the vast changes of the last 25 or so years, is anything but.

Just for reference, I've lived in China for the last 15+ years and my job is involved with both the educational system and working with Chinese companies.  I also teach a economics course every year at a well known (western run) research & teaching center for Chinese studies in Beijing.
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Mike

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Mr_LV19E
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« Reply #82 on: September 26, 2007, 03:09:01 PM »

This reminds me of what folks used to say about the Japanese....good at copying, but no innovation.

Well, I'll take a Japanese car over an American car anyday...and that goes from luxery down to economy.  They make better...more innovative....cars than we do. 

Thats only your opinion, and you have the right to speak it. Think about it!
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Roger


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jimmy buffett
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« Reply #83 on: September 27, 2007, 02:35:24 PM »

Thats only your opinion, and you have the right to speak it. Think about it!

Imports better than domestics? 

It also seems to be the opinion of every mechanic that I've spoken to in recent years.  And their kids all drive imports too.  Given the volume of vehicles that they see, I have some respect for their opinion.

jimmy
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Mr_LV19E
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« Reply #84 on: September 27, 2007, 03:41:14 PM »

Imports better than domestics? 

It also seems to be the opinion of every mechanic that I've spoken to in recent years.  And their kids all drive imports too.  Given the volume of vehicles that they see, I have some respect for their opinion.

jimmy

I only buy American made vehicles and have not heard any mechanics say that, oh wait, thats because I never had to take my vehicle to a mechanic.
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Roger


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« Reply #85 on: September 29, 2007, 02:11:48 AM »

I believe Chairman Mau said something to the effect that "all power emanates from the barrel of a gun"   I gather that China is a repressive country that commands obedience with prisons and AK47s.

Here is America we are innovative thinkers, so we use Tasers.

I drive an American truck.

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Larrivee OM3R
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dermot
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« Reply #86 on: September 29, 2007, 03:15:45 PM »

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The Chinese educational system is based on rote learning and thinking out of the box is actually punished, not encouraged.  Innovation requires, by definition, approaching problems in new ways, not using conventional wisdom

Well said Mike... i have been trying to articulate this for a while now... i just finished a project with some of the work done in Bejing, some in LA... (a new US national Honda Accord commerical) with the animation coming from artists in Bejing.... and it rings true.... inovation is a hard comodity to find in China, excelent workmanship is easier to find....

As you know i lived in Shanghai for a few years (2000-> 2002), and still do some bizness with the artists there...

But today i am writing this from the balcony beside the ocean in Ibiza, recovering from the closing night at Pascha with Pete Tong DJ'n untill dawn..... thumpa-thumpa-thumpa..... tonight is closing night at Amnisia..... wish me strength!

;-)

d.

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jimmy buffett
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« Reply #87 on: September 29, 2007, 05:34:54 PM »

I only buy American made vehicles and have not heard any mechanics say that, oh wait, thats because I never had to take my vehicle to a mechanic.

Lucky you!  The last domestic vehicle I purchased was a Chevy Blazer that was returned to the dealer 7 times in the first 3,000 miles.  Between recalls, faulty wiring, and starter problems. 

Let's see, that was drive it for a week, make a trip to the dealer, drive it for a week, make a trip to the dealer...

jimmy
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Carbon
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« Reply #88 on: October 13, 2007, 07:22:55 PM »

Personally, I would have no problems buying a guitar from Costco, if only they were authorized dealers. But as we know they are not. Moreover, I haven't ever seen high-end guitars that were either on display or playable at Costco (only low end ones) and there is no way I am going to purchase a guitar without trying it out personally.

Since we are on the topic of cars.... I'm not trying to turn this into an argument about automobiles and everyone has the right to their opinion, but my father is a mechanic and has been fixing cars for ~40 years and he would tell you that in general, foreign cars (Japanese/European) are more reliable and are a much better value that their american counterparts. I mean you don't have to look much further to see that American automakers are in bad shape right now and losing money.

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bjstrings
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« Reply #89 on: October 14, 2007, 12:25:18 PM »

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Well said Mike... i have been trying to articulate this for a while now...

Thanks!  I don't know why I didn't flag this thread to notify me of replies  . . . anyway, I've been here for more than 15 years and the lack of innovation, lack of ability to think independently at all, is pretty striking.  As long as the U.S. economy capitalizes on innovation, I don't think it will have long term problems.  Of course, not spending more than you make (a life-long problem for me, too) would help -- as would some other things.  blush
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Mike

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« Reply #90 on: October 14, 2007, 11:07:41 PM »

It wouldn't surprise me if innovation in China is just around the corner. They are getting scientific research published in American peer-reviewed journals at an increasing rate, just to mention one sign of progress.
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« Reply #91 on: October 14, 2007, 11:55:05 PM »

There are some very smart people here, but innovation, if its gonna be very broad-based (by which I mean not just isolated occasions) has to be part of the educational system.  Here, its not.  It also has to be part of the culture.  Here it's not.  In China today,truth is less important than face.  Obebience is more important than creativity & innovation.  It goes on and on . . .  Maybe it'll change, but I I have doubts it'll be a quick thing.  Innovation isn't something mandated at the top, its something that bubbles up from the bottom.
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Mike

Larrivee P-10MQ
Martin 00-18 Retro
Martin 000-16SGT
Martin LX1
Washburn D10SDL
plus lots of Chinese instruments, 2 violins, 2 pianos, etc., etc.
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« Reply #92 on: October 16, 2007, 07:15:41 AM »

Im  hoping COSTCO doesnt ever sell Larrivee's - boy would that cheapen a good brands identity -- this COSTCO thing really cheapens the Martin name in my eyes - you expect to see some of the orient brands like Yamaha or harmony etc -
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Ted @ LA Guitar Sales
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« Reply #93 on: November 11, 2007, 12:49:31 AM »

Costco offers a 100% refund on any purchase if you are not satisfied for any reason. Unlike Walmart  they are a class organization.

That’s just too funny. I’ve never heard the word class in the same sentence with Cosco before unless it was back to class, or class action.

As for their return policy, Guitar Center/Musicians Friend have it as well. This return policy is important with an online purchase but probably not as important with a guitar you bought after getting a chance to play it for a while.

Biggest problem with a big corporation is that with their buying power they will decide what Martin or Taylor make most of, and ultimately what your options are.

Ted
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Ted

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jeremy3220
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« Reply #94 on: November 11, 2007, 02:46:41 PM »


Biggest problem with a big corporation is that with their buying power they will decide what Martin or Taylor make most of, and ultimately what your options are.


Not Wal-mart and Costco because they are not authorized dealers and have no say in the matter.
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jimmyd
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« Reply #95 on: November 11, 2007, 05:41:17 PM »

That’s just too funny. I’ve never heard the word class in the same sentence with Cosco before unless it was back to class, or class action.

As for their return policy, Guitar Center/Musicians Friend have it as well. This return policy is important with an online purchase but probably not as important with a guitar you bought after getting a chance to play it for a while.

Biggest problem with a big corporation is that with their buying power they will decide what Martin or Taylor make most of, and ultimately what your options are.

Ted
http://www.laguitarsales.com



Ted. You're opinion on Costco makes me smile.  Just tell me where would you want your kid to work if you had to choose between Costco or Walmart ?
It's uncertain how Costco got those Martins. Martin has no interest in Costo becoming a Martin dealer. There is a notice on the Martin website that addresses that issue.  Costco's business model flies in the face of current big retail operations. They treat their employees very well. They have suffered criticism from wall street for their employee pay & benefits policies. Their CEO points out that he wants to maintain an organization that pays people a living wage, that will be viable for decades and not focused on how much money they make by next week. Like other big retailers they  pressure manufacturers for low prices. Too bad the retail climate is based on low price.  I'm not sure that is good for consumers in the long run.  GC, Sam Ash, etc, offer a 45 day moneyback guarantee. Costco offers an unconditional  no time limit 100% refund/exchange policy. 
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zeebee
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« Reply #96 on: November 11, 2007, 05:59:38 PM »

here in winnipeg you can get Taylor T5's, 310's 810ce's and Guilds while bulking up on your favorite appetizers . "will that be a Taylor with your 30 lbs of cabbage roll sir or would monsieur prefer a Guild and a case of cheese puffs"
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Mr_LV19E
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« Reply #97 on: November 11, 2007, 07:52:58 PM »


Ted. You're opinion on Costco makes me smile.  Just tell me where would you want your kid to work if you had to choose between Costco or Walmart ?
It's uncertain how Costco got those Martins. Martin has no interest in Costo becoming a Martin dealer. There is a notice on the Martin website that addresses that issue.  Costco's business model flies in the face of current big retail operations. They treat their employees very well. They have suffered criticism from wall street for their employee pay & benefits policies. Their CEO points out that he wants to maintain an organization that pays people a living wage, that will be viable for decades and not focused on how much money they make by next week. Like other big retailers they  pressure manufacturers for low prices. Too bad the retail climate is based on low price.  I'm not sure that is good for consumers in the long run.  GC, Sam Ash, etc, offer a 45 day moneyback guarantee. Costco offers an unconditional  no time limit 100% refund/exchange policy. 

I agree with you Jimmyd, there are far to many places paying wages that you can't possibly afford to live on. Unless your living with your parents or sharing living expenses with someone. And that job better be very close to where you live or you'll be working the first couple hours everyday just to pay for your gas to get there and back.

But as far as Costco's unconditional refund policy it does not include all purchases. Electronics being one of them.
A year and a half ago I purchased a 20"LCD enhanced definition TV for my RV. This year I found out that in the beginning of 2009 unless I'm hooked up to cable the set is useless because starting then there will no longer be any analog signals to pick up, you will need a HDTV to pick up local broadcasting. When I found that out, I felt like I had been cheated, why would anybody sell a TV that won't work in 3 years, why was this not common knowledge. It was only this summer that I saw notices on TV that the change was going to take effect.

Sorry for ranting but the point is when I checked the return policy out to see if I could return it for a HDTV which by the way are less expensive than what I paid for mine, size comparable, I found out the return policy states:
We guarantee your satisfaction on every product we sell with a full refund. Exceptions: Televisions, projectors, computers, cameras, camcorders, iPOD / MP3 players and cellular phones must be returned within 90 days of purchase for a refund.
I suppose it was my fault for not being informed, but can you really know everything.

I still spend about 7 grand a year there and have returned other items that weren't right so all in all I think it's a great place to shop. I would rather spend a little more money on stuff at Costco than shop at WalMart.

 
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Roger


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« Reply #98 on: November 12, 2007, 02:05:25 PM »

FWIW, while they are still showing some Taylors (and Johnsons, for that matter) currently you can't buy a CFM there; @ least for now.
IMHO, I believe that Costco is arguably a better corporate citizen than Walmart (Sams Club). Whether or not that translates to a 'class act' is certainly up for debate.
As something of an old timer myself, I pine for the days of the corner hardware store and local bakery, but that won't bring them back. And I have "issues" (as we like to say in Ann Arbor) with the acres of asphalt these big box stores pave for parking, in destroying the landscape and preventing anyone form walking to their store. I personally don't like shopping in a 100,000 sq ft store. I don't wish to make a day of it; I'd like to get my purchase and get out of there & enjoy the rest of my day. Clearly everybody doesn't share my view on this (or anything else, as far as that goes).
Perhaps this is a bit off-topic since we're really talking about online shopping of quality stringed instruments. Sorry about that.
As far as returning a TV 6 months after you bought it because it won't work 2 years into the future in your particular application doesn't sound horribly unfair to me. The fact is, most of the homes in United States have cable now, so for Costco or any other retailer to offer products that will continue to work in most American homes does not fit my own personal definition of "cheating" the consumer who intends to use it in an RV or other... shall we say *non-standard* applications.
Honestly, I hate defending these guys, but consumers all too often abuse return privileges (again, in my humble opinion).
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Mr_LV19E
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« Reply #99 on: November 12, 2007, 05:49:35 PM »

As something of an old timer myself, I pine for the days of the corner hardware store and local bakery, but that won't bring them back. And I have "issues" (as we like to say in Ann Arbor) with the acres of asphalt these big box stores pave for parking, in destroying the landscape and preventing anyone form walking to their store. I personally don't like shopping in a 100,000 sq ft store. I don't wish to make a day of it; I'd like to get my purchase and get out of there & enjoy the rest of my day.

    I can actually walk to Costco, or any other retail facility or restaurant from my home, although you have to do it when the traffic is light. I live on an acre that is fenced for my doggie and very private in the back yard, but also sometimes very noisy with traffic. I can see I-75 from my bedroom window, what a view. I like to think I have the best of both worlds, country setting with easy access to all needs. 

As far as returning a TV 6 months after you bought it because it won't work 2 years into the future in your particular application doesn't sound horribly unfair to me. The fact is, most of the homes in United States have cable now, so for Costco or any other retailer to offer products that will continue to work in most American homes does not fit my own personal definition of "cheating" the consumer who intends to use it in an RV or other... shall we say *non-standard* applications.
Honestly, I hate defending these guys, but consumers all too often abuse return privileges (again, in my humble opinion).

    I did say I was sorry for ranting, and I wouldn't have tried to return it anyway after giving it some thought. After all I would have been trying to return something for a refund to turn around and buy something twice as good for half the cost. Always better to feel cheated than to cheat someone else. I shouldn't have aired my frustration of my lack of knowledge, I should have just pasted their policy and left it at that.  And FWIW I agree that there is too much abuse of returns which only results in higher prices in the end.

 
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Roger


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