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Posted: 3/24/2005 5:28:54 PM EDT
Just wondering if anyone knows if the distribution policy below is a form of price-fixing? Personally, it doesn't seem ethical.

Thanks for anyone who can knows.

SUREFIRE DEALER DISTRIBUTION POLICY

SureFire LLC has unilaterally decided that, effective July 1, 2004, it will sell products only to those dealers that in the sole and independent opinion of SureFire, meet the following criteria:

Dealers that Sell SureFire products at prices no lower than SureFire's manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) as stated in SureFire's price list published from time to time.

Dealers that advertise SureFire products at prices no lower than SureFire's manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP).

Dealers that sell SureFire products only through their own retail outlets, catalogs, or through Internet websites authorized by SureFire in writing.

Dealers that do not sell or market SureFire products in any awy that disparages or injures SureFire or its products.

Dealers that do not use SureFire products in any illegal, deceptive, undesirable or improper retail practices, including loss leaders, bait and switch or negative selling practices.

Dealers that do not advertise, sell, or distribute SureFire products for any improper or illegal purpose.

Dealers that comply with SureFire's standard sales policy, as well as any previously announced policies, including SureFire's Retail, Catalog, Professional, and Internet Sales Standards.

Link Posted: 3/24/2005 6:03:30 PM EDT
I am not a lawyer, but it sure seems like it runs afoul of at least one or two laws.

I guess that explains why Midway changed their dealer and retail pricing to the same price.
Link Posted: 3/24/2005 6:24:14 PM EDT
I think that the products belong to them so they can decide what they should sell for. A free market economy will bring along an equivalent product at a lower price and if you look around you'll see a number of new products that are probably equal to SureFire.



I still like my SureFire products a lot though!! Just wish they weren't so expensive!! But I still think they should be able to sell them for what they want.
Link Posted: 3/24/2005 6:26:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/24/2005 6:27:21 PM EDT by wildearp]
Competition will cut their balls off. It is only a matter of time. It ain't like you can patent a flashlight. Maybe a feature, but not the flashlight technology.
Link Posted: 3/24/2005 9:57:17 PM EDT
The problem, of course, is that low-cost manufacturers are making knock-offs of SureFire products. Some using the exact specifications (not necessarily including the same quality metal), so the parts interchange.

Some of the patented features are being illegally copied, but again, it's rather hard to deal with foreign companies that don't play by the same rules. Witness the flagrant rip offs of movie DVDs produced in China to avoid paying royalties.

It seems to me that SureFire is simply trying to protect its reputation and products. If people will pay more for them, then so be it. For example, I bought a Parker-Hale bipod rather than a Versa-Pod. Did it cost more? Sure. Was I willing to pay? Yes, because I did not want any unpleasant surprises with my counter-sniping rifle.

Also, it's not as if we don't have the option of buying something less expensive. For example, I use a Nikon spotting scope. Would I prefer a Zeiss? Sure, but I don't want to spend 10x as much for the better product.

Just some random thoughts.
Link Posted: 3/25/2005 5:39:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/25/2005 5:42:33 AM EDT by Victor]

Originally Posted By wildearp:
Competition will cut their balls off. It is only a matter of time. It ain't like you can patent a flashlight. Maybe a feature, but not the flashlight technology.



Maybe not in the military circles, but oh yes, in the commercial market, they (the owner, and Paul Kim) have stated they do not care about the commercial end of the market, INCLUDING LE. All the LEO's in my area have REFUSED to buy ANYTHING from SF for over the last two years! They have treated us like dirt on more than one occasion!

Vic

TAGGED!

Edited to add! Go "Gladius"!
Link Posted: 3/25/2005 11:08:16 AM EDT
$urefire is about to get severly pummeled by several challengers with very promising products. I for one have stopped purchasing and recommending their products since this company decided "civilian" sales are not an important market segment.

Its their company, they can do what they wish. It is also my money and I will vote with it under the free market system. I urge you all to do the same.

Oh, and chain smoking is bad for you.
Link Posted: 3/25/2005 2:00:37 PM EDT
Price fixing (in an unlawful sense) means the competitors in the marketplace are colluding on pricing. For instance, if all the airline CEO’s got in a room and decided to raise the price of air travel by $50 would be price fixing. (To get around this, the airlines just put out press releases about their price increases to see if their competitors will meet them). In this case with Surefire, there’s no element of collusion because they are unilaterally setting the price. There is also no anti-trust problem because they do not have control over the market (this is a very simplified version).

I have read several stories from Surefire that “they don’t care about the Wal-Mart price point.” It’s sure going to bite them in the fanny – I would not want my business soley dependent on government contracts. As for me personally, I just got my Digilight T-12 today and I’m very happy with it.
Link Posted: 3/25/2005 4:26:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By freemanesq:
Price fixing (in an unlawful sense) means the competitors in the marketplace are colluding on pricing. For instance, if all the airline CEO’s got in a room and decided to raise the price of air travel by $50 would be price fixing. (To get around this, the airlines just put out press releases about their price increases to see if their competitors will meet them). In this case with Surefire, there’s no element of collusion because they are unilaterally setting the price. There is also no anti-trust problem because they do not have control over the market (this is a very simplified version).

I have read several stories from Surefire that “they don’t care about the Wal-Mart price point.” It’s sure going to bite them in the fanny – I would not want my business soley dependent on government contracts. As for me personally, I just got my Digilight T-12 today and I’m very happy with it.



sounds like gas prices in North America

Mark
Link Posted: 3/25/2005 8:53:30 PM EDT
the only time a company can be guilty of breaking laws by setting minimum pricing is if they are considered a monopoly (something like 80% market share)

oakley sunglasses has had minimum SPR (suggested retail price) for years and all dealers must follow or else! they have no monopoly on sunglassses so they can get away with it. SF is no different. plenty of other options.

not to say it's right, but its legal. personally i don't see it as a good business practice either. usually the pressure comes from distributors that complain about other distributors selling to cheap. i have personal experience in this type of big corporate behavior in the golf industry. belive me, it runs rampant in the golf world.
Link Posted: 3/26/2005 8:05:22 PM EDT
It amazes me that people pay more for a flashlight than they do for a computer or a rifle or any number of other more complicated, higher technology devices. This is an example of an inefficient market. I have no doubt SF will suffer in the process unless they change their attitude (which seems to be "Gouge the crap out of the people who use and depend on flashlights for a living - soldiers, cops, etc.").
Link Posted: 3/26/2005 8:48:15 PM EDT
You're right. Have you heard of these guys from Kahles, Swarovski, and Schmidt&Bender?

They sell machined aluminum tubes with lenses on the front...and they don't even have batteries in them! Seriously, though, a high-quality piece of gear may cost more than the weapon it's being mounted on. If I used the price of my rifle as a gauge to determine what other accessories should cost, I wouldn't have a Badger base and rings, when some cheaper Tasco set would work. However, in my line of work, I depend upon the most durable/reliable gear I can.

Also, don't confuse the retail prices listed on the Surefire website with our mil/leo pricing.


-john out

John Standridge
Surefire Mil/LEO Sales
(Former Marine Scout/Sniper, Current SRT Sniper) still depending upon a flashlight, not yet having the crap gouged out of me..


Link Posted: 3/26/2005 9:23:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By j_standridge:
You're right. Have you heard of these guys from Kahles, Swarovski, and Schmidt&Bender?

They sell machined aluminum tubes with lenses on the front...and they don't even have batteries in them! Seriously, though, a high-quality piece of gear may cost more than the weapon it's being mounted on. If I used the price of my rifle as a gauge to determine what other accessories should cost, I wouldn't have a Badger base and rings, when some cheaper Tasco set would work. However, in my line of work, I depend upon the most durable/reliable gear I can.

Also, don't confuse the retail prices listed on the Surefire website with our mil/leo pricing.


-john out

John Standridge
Surefire Mil/LEO Sales
(Former Marine Scout/Sniper, Current SRT Sniper) still depending upon a flashlight, not yet having the crap gouged out of me..





Don't worry I, (we) at several LE agencies won't confuse your terrible service to us.

Vic
Link Posted: 3/26/2005 9:47:48 PM EDT
Well, what's the story? If I/we have stepped on our dick, let me know. I can't go back in time and unfuck everything, but I'll listen and do what I can...

-john out
Link Posted: 3/26/2005 10:46:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/26/2005 10:52:30 PM EDT by Victor]

Originally Posted By j_standridge:
Well, what's the story? If I/we have stepped on our dick, let me know. I can't go back in time and unfuck everything, but I'll listen and do what I can...

-john out



You can read my above posts about Paul Kim and your (respected?) owner and ask them how they've treated SBPD, LASO and a few others a few years back. Give Paul my name and ask him...Oh that's right he's too damn busy I have to go to his assistant. Oh that right she's too busy to return ANY of our phone calls. Ask Paul about the time we traveled over two hours to your company, JUST TO DO YOUR COMPANY A FAVOR on taking measurements on a new weapon platform for a light. For 1 year after that we NEVER could get frickin' call back on how we could get a light module for the weapon we introduced to you. The weapon at that time wasn't even offered to the public, but you all were sure nice getting us in the door!! Hell, since that time, I've made over a dozen calls AND emails asking for a status. I even tried to see Paul at the shot show this year and the same story! Yes I know, you and your company have made it VERY clear....."The military is where our sales are geared toward and we do not give any priority to the civilians or (we are sorry to say), LE as well." That is a quote, so please no song and dance on this forum, I've had up close and a VERY personal experience with your company. You all at SF have made your bed now sleep in it!

Vic
10-7
Link Posted: 3/27/2005 5:45:51 AM EDT
Thanks. That's a start, send more info.

I can't go in and say, "Hey, Victor the guy with only one name, from SBPD (Seal Beach? San Berdoo? Santa Barbara, Solana Beach, Sunset Beach? San Bruno?) came to assist you with a top secret firearm (rocket launcher/less lethal/pistol/shotgun/sniper rifle/whatever) How come you don't return his calls? "


Give me a name and contact info for you. Also the "thing" you were working on. That'll jog some memories in the engineering staff. I'll print this thread on Monday and see what is going on at Surefire.

For OPSEC/PERSEC reasons, feel free to email me or PM the info.


-john out
jstandridge@surefire.com


Link Posted: 3/27/2005 12:30:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/27/2005 3:13:24 PM EDT by txgp17]

One entry found for price-fixing.
Main Entry: price-fix·ing
Pronunciation: 'prIs-"fik-si[ng]
Function: noun
: the setting of prices artificially (as by producers or government) contrary to free market operations


It's price fixing, no way around it.
If the dealers aren't allowed to sell below a certain price, then it's price fixing. Not the kind suitable for criminal prosecution, but the kind that pisses me off to no end.
I won't buy anything that has the Surefire name on it for this very reason.
ETA - I'm not an attorney, but I play one on TV.


Originally Posted By TacticalConcepts:
sounds like gas prices in North America

Mark


Not quite. Gas prices are high because OPEC is a cartel. It's a group of sellers that act like a single unit. The intentionally produce less product that is demanded by the market so that prices will rise and create higher profit margins from them.
Link Posted: 3/27/2005 1:09:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/27/2005 1:10:11 PM EDT by ElmerFudd]

Originally Posted By j_standridge:
You're right. Have you heard of these guys from Kahles, Swarovski, and Schmidt&Bender?

They sell machined aluminum tubes with lenses on the front...and they don't even have batteries in them! Seriously, though, a high-quality piece of gear may cost more than the weapon it's being mounted on. If I used the price of my rifle as a gauge to determine what other accessories should cost, I wouldn't have a Badger base and rings, when some cheaper Tasco set would work. However, in my line of work, I depend upon the most durable/reliable gear I can.

Also, don't confuse the retail prices listed on the Surefire website with our mil/leo pricing.


-john out

John Standridge
Surefire Mil/LEO Sales
(Former Marine Scout/Sniper, Current SRT Sniper) still depending upon a flashlight, not yet having the crap gouged out of me..





Of course you don't get the crap gouged out of you John, you get an employee discount

And remember, probably a significant percentage of your retail sales of high end weaponlights and tactical flashlights are actually to E-2s buying their own gear at full retail. Or is your company kind enough to give a price break to the dealers at Benning, Bragg, etc?

I am a civilian who has never owned a Surefire. From what I have read you make wonderful flashlights and weaponlights. However, at your price points I will never buy one. The price/performance equation does not make sense to me. Your company has made a strategic decision to market to a relatively small niche of flashlight users to whom price is less important. Fair enough, but to make this work you had better have 99+% customer satisfaction and significant design/technical advantages over the competition. I don't think you pass either test. And depending on governemnt procurement contracts (in wartime) as a long term strategy is questionable IMHO.
Link Posted: 3/27/2005 2:45:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/27/2005 2:46:28 PM EDT by BigBoot]
Well, what's the story? If I/we have stepped on our dick, let me know. I can't go back in time and unfuck everything, but I'll listen and do what I can...

Seems like there has been some definite negatives lately toward SureFire. Right or wrong I don't have an opinion yet! I will say the language in this post would not be what I would want to see when an employee represented my company.
Link Posted: 3/27/2005 3:14:01 PM EDT
Since you've asked, yes, we do sell to dealers at a lower price than our website/retail prices. All manufacturers do this, it allows for a dealer to make his margin on a product. Do we sell to dealers in close proximity to a military installation cheaper? No, we have one price for all dealers, whether they sell 100 lights a year or 100,000. That's fair to the big guys and the little guys.

If a soldier/sailor/Marine/airman chooses to purchase a light from us we offer a mil/LEO discount ranging from 25% to 33% depending upon quantity purchased. If they purchase from a gear supply store outside the gate, well that price isn't controlled by us.

It's interesting to note, however, that the main crux of this discussion seems centered upon Surefire supposedly demanding that dealers cannot sell for less than a minimum price. That is patently false.
Re-read the first post. It states that we will not sell to anyone who sells for less than our MSRP.

That's a lie.

Think about it. We advertise our Rem870 forend light (model 618FA) on our website for MSRP $235. Yet, there are dozens of dealers who sell them online for less...

VangComp has them for $220, Ranger Arms sells them for less than $200. How can that be?
The answer is, we do not enforce a fixed price on our dealers, once they purchase the item, it's theirs, the dealer can do whatever they want with it...

As for this supposed Surefire policy...cite your source.

Once again, an unsubstantiated internet rumor is passed off as fact. But, since we're all policing the prices of Surefire gear, take a minute and look at these people.

www.girlscoutgear.com

They sell a G2 (retail price $34) online to Girl Scouts for $70.89 Not doing this to change the subject, but WTF?

-john out



Link Posted: 3/27/2005 3:16:23 PM EDT
Well, if my coarse language has offended some, I apologize.


-john out
Link Posted: 3/27/2005 3:34:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By j_standridge:

If a soldier/sailor/Marine/airman chooses to purchase a light from us we offer a mil/LEO discount ranging from 25% to 33% depending upon quantity purchased.



Details? I like surefire products, but think the pricing is insane. Maybe with tihs discount i can actually afford to purchase some items.
Link Posted: 3/27/2005 3:57:47 PM EDT
We price our gear as follows:

1-20 (of the same item) we deduct 25% off retail/website price
21-100 (same item) we deduct 30%
101+ we deduct 33%

Again, this is for purchases of the same item. So, if you buy one 6P or twenty 6P's it's 25% off.
At this rate, even if you buy just one light, you'll always get a minimum of 25% off your order. Get the whole platoon to buy at once, it's 30% off, etc... If the Battalion makes a big purchase, it's 33%, see?

The only exceptions I know of are batteries and "Sale" items marked-down on the website. This is available if you call in your order or do it through the internet, but you have to make sure the computer-dudes know you're military. (Ship to a base, or have "2nd Lt." or "SSgt." in front of your name)

If it's going to an APO/FPO, they'll catch it and do it automatically.

-john out
Link Posted: 3/27/2005 6:00:07 PM EDT
The comments are most interesting!

John ( Standridge's) attempts at deflecting criticisms remind me of the liberals during the elections last November. Liberals are famous for attacking / pointing fingers at others when criticized and they don't have truth on their side (or a leg to stand on).

As for Johns attempts to help, that is commendable, but how many other people are out there not getting help from the one person (or few people) who care enough to do what is right?

Sounds like SF is not for me. When possible, I prefer to buy from companies with high ethical standards / behavior. I may be a dinosaur, but ethics use to be a lot more common in America 50 years or so ago.
Link Posted: 3/27/2005 6:49:01 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/27/2005 7:00:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By j_standridge:
Also, don't confuse the retail prices listed on the Surefire website with our mil/leo pricing.



Uh, how come I've always been charged full price even when the items I've ordered were purchased by and even shipped to leo stations? Are your phone operators getting a commission or afraid to offer this secret discount?
Link Posted: 3/27/2005 8:31:18 PM EDT
None of our customer service reps are on commission.

There's no "secret" discount. They're human and to a man (or woman) not LEO's (few mil vets, but no cops) If you order something, tell them you're a crime-fighter and they'll take care of you.

As to why they didn't just ask if you're a cop? I haven't got an answer for that, I wasn't there.

If you'd like, I can give you the contact info of their boss, our Customer Service Mgr.

-john out

Link Posted: 3/28/2005 8:45:19 AM EDT
What's th average mark-up on a Surefire light? Cost vs the retailer's store price?

How does Surefire track how much the retailers are selling them for? Word of mouth?
Link Posted: 4/1/2005 6:01:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/1/2005 6:02:01 AM EDT by TheOtherDave]
Well, I don't have a dog in this fight as I don't own a Surefire and have only looked at their catalogs to see what they have that might work for me. Pricing has been a bit of an obstacle... I don't mind ponying up for good gear, but we are talking about a flashlight... and one that burns out bulbs at a rate that is unnaceptable to me. I understand that performance comes at a price, but a 225w flashlight is becomes a club the minute you need it most and the bulb dies out ..

So, I'm looking at other brands of quality LED lights. Obviously the Gladius comes to mind. It's sad to think that a company with a "Good to Go" repututation has become the Harley Davidson of "Illumintaion Tools". What will surefire do when we are done playing in the sandbox and defense dollars are short from prosecuting a prolonged war?

Dave
Link Posted: 4/1/2005 9:27:47 PM EDT
I don't have a dog in this fight, But I have had nothing but excellent product and service from Surefire. In my humble opinion they bend over BACKWARDS to take care of all of their customers.

having had a bad experience with companis in the past, I can relate to some of the comments made here.

As an example, we had one of our SWAT guys break the tab off the switch on a department issued Streamlight/Insights M3. I called and was asked how old the light was and replied it was about a year old. I was told it was out of warranty and we'd have to buy a replacement switch, but we couldn't buy a switchfrom Streamlight, we'd have to buy one from a Distributer.

The same day I called Surefire because a couple of other SWAT guys had taken the head off an MP5 forend weapons light and had crossthreaded the head back on. They then got hold of a wrench and REALLY crossthreaded the head on. If it doesn't fit . . . FORCE IT!!

I call Surefire, explain that through "User Neglagence" they had ruined the Foreend . . . . yadda yadda. Can I and how do I get it repaired and what's it going to cost me?

"We'll send you a new one, just ship us back the broken one." he says

"No, you don't understand. The SWAT Monkeys got hold of a wrench and really Fu**ed it up. It's 'our' fault" I explain

"You break it, we fix it or replace it. Period"

I've not had the misfortune to need to call Surefires customer service often, but when ever I have, they have done right by me/us EVERY SINGLE TIME. I have NEVER gotten the impression that they didn't care about me as an Idividual customer or a Law Enforcement customer.

Do Surefire products cost real money? Yes they do. But they're worth it. Sorta like "Why do Divorces cost so much? . . . they're worth it. :D

In my book, your paying for a quality product, outstanding customer service and reseach/development costs.

It's easy to sell a product for half what Surefire does. You buy a surefire light, backwards engineer it and have it produced in China (or insert other communist, slave labor country here) for pennies. It's easy to rip someone else off, innovation takes effort and costs money.

Buy right, Buy once . . . Long Live Surefire!!
Link Posted: 4/1/2005 9:43:06 PM EDT
As far as I'm concerned, Surefire was the company that first offered serious well engineered specialized lighting products, and at the highest quality level ever seen.
Nowadays there are a few other companies that are trying to compete in a market that Surefire essentially created, and hopefully some actual competition is coming to the market. Surefire will either compete in the price arena or they will produce lights so superior to the competition that the market will still swarm to Surefire.

I for one am glad to see the competition, and hope that the new guys are as innovative as Surefire and are able to offer their products at a lower cost.

For there to have been any actual price fixing would have required illicit collaberation between Surefire and their competitors. Not very likely!!

For now Surefire will charge what the market will bear, and if we're lucky there will be a selection of alternatives. At some point they will have to compete.
Link Posted: 4/1/2005 10:25:23 PM EDT
Nope it's legal. Lots of companies do it, one of the reasons is so none of the distributers have an advantage over another. The seller can easily make up for it by offering free shipping or free batteries or something like that. I help a friend out at his offroad shop a lot and many of offroad companies do the same thing. To make up for it you just offer free shipping or install.



Link Posted: 4/1/2005 11:00:32 PM EDT

Maybe not in the military circles, but oh yes, in the commercial market, they (the owner, and Paul Kim) have stated they do not care about the commercial end of the market, INCLUDING LE. All the LEO's in my area have REFUSED to buy ANYTHING from SF for over the last two years! They have treated us like dirt on more than one occasion!

Vic

TAGGED!

Edited to add! Go "Gladius"!




Man, I've had the absolute opposite customer service from surefire. I dropped my 8x at work and broke the bulb, I had to go back to work that night and couldn't find a shop with a lamp in stock so I drove over to SF, walked in the front door and explained the situation to see if I could buy one from them. The lady at the front desk got on the phone and someone came out and gave me one, when I asked how much they said it was on the house. Another time I walked in the front door with the light for my sig 226 because I wanted to get the pressure pad swapped out for the newer style. They said they would have it done by the end of the week but would have to charge me $60, which sounded fair to me. Well they didn't end up getting it done till a week after they originally said, which was fine with me. When I went to pick it up the guy who did the work came out and apologized for not having it done when he said and told me that there was no charge because of it. Now thats good customer service as far as I'm concerned.

Link Posted: 4/3/2005 8:42:21 PM EDT
I've only had to have customer service from SureFire once. It was a bad set of batteries for a 8NX light. One email and they asked me for my address and sent two free batteries.....no questions asked. That's service.

They are expensive and the competition is good for prices but SureFire is a top notch company. Maybe they are not focusing on a good market(LE and civilians) but time will tell. There are other good products out there now but their prices aren't much cheaper.
Link Posted: 4/7/2005 12:05:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheOtherDave:
It's sad to think that a company with a "Good to Go" repututation has become the Harley Davidson of "Illumintaion Tools". Dave



Truer words have seldom been spoken. Sad.
Link Posted: 4/9/2005 12:52:21 PM EDT
My experiences with Surefire have always been very positive. I have three Surefire lights a E2e, G2 and a D2 Defender. They are all well worth the money in my opinion and I am really proud of them. They have the best prices on quality cr123 batteries I have seen.
Link Posted: 4/10/2005 5:19:37 AM EDT
Maybe I'm way out in left field here:

It seems to me that Surefire put itself up on a pedestal. I won't disput the quality. It is excellent (usually). But seriously, I'm sure the company's shoulders are hurting pretty bad from patting themselves on the back. Just look at the COMBAT TACTICS Presented by Surefire.

Surefire places itself on the pedestal and then drags it's prices along with it. They do this knowing that there is no where else to go for that quality. Surefire puts those prices up there because they WANT to. Not because they HAVE to. Then Surefire puts on their pouty face, and gets all butt hurt, when another company comes along with excellent quality at half the price.

Surefire is it's own worst enemy. Surefire is the reason other companies have come into this market. And please don't play the "R & D is expensive" card. I'm sure Surefire has made up for it's R & D costs many years ago. Prices should be going down or stabilizing for their product. Not going up.
Link Posted: 4/10/2005 6:33:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By newbe:
Surefire is it's own worst enemy. Surefire is the reason other companies have come into this market. And please don't play the "R & D is expensive" card. I'm sure Surefire has made up for it's R & D costs many years ago. Prices should be going down or stabilizing for their product. Not going up.




As is ALWAYS the case in a competitive market, the market will set the price. Who can blame a for profit company for charging what the market will bear? If/when true competition arrives, Surefire will have to adjust its prices accordingly. Until then their prices will rightly be set by what customers are willing to pay.

Capitalism at its finest.
Link Posted: 4/10/2005 10:27:39 AM EDT
The question I ask myself is why should the prices be lowered if the demand continues to exceed supply?

Al
Link Posted: 4/10/2005 1:11:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2005 1:14:17 PM EDT by SoCalJBT]
I don't have a dog in this fight either. I own several SF lights because I tend to buy premium products. I'm not rich by any stretch, but I value reliability over saving money and taking any risk in whether my stuff will work.

Any company that sells to .gov vs. civilians at 1000 to 1 is bound to care more about thier big customers. This is survival skills 101 for SF. I have neither experienced nor am I making excuses for bad customer service by SF. It just seems to me that it's wrong to complain about high prices when there are alternative products out there. Isn't that the definition of our capitalist system - the American dream?
Link Posted: 4/11/2005 7:25:54 AM EDT
I've got a few things to say that don't matter a whit more than any of y'alls worthless comments.

1) Surefire customer service has proven repeatedly to be among the best in ANY industry. A few exceptions (and I'm sure some exaggerations), but please let me know of a company that does better, even if it's not a flashlight company.
2) R&D is expensive. Period. Telling me not to say it doesn't change the fact. I have a history in software development and biotech, I know of what I speak. Surefire is consistently developing new technologies and applications. If you want a company that's already recouped their R&D costs, go buy a Maglight.
3) If Surefire was priced above what they were worth, wouldn't companies be lining up to fill the void? So there's this new Pentagon light bunch out there. Turns out their lights are priced almost exactly what Surefire's are. If you don't like it, start a flashlight company.
4) Noone's making you buy a Surefire. If you don't like their alleged pricing policy, go buy something else. Stop whining just because someone gave you access to the internet and you can't afford that 910 that you want so bad. Speak with your checkbook. It's louder than whining on a forum. I can guarantee that noone's whining has caused me to think twice about buying a Surefire.
5) It's obvious a lot of us have a complete misunderstanding of economics. Surefire is perfectly free to sell their flashlights for as much as people will buy them for. Last time I heard, there's no shortage of those people.
6) Surefire created their own niche market, but they aren't but a FRACTION of the total flashlight market. Of course, Maglight doesn't make a light that will mount on your wanna-be M4 without duct-tape or a cheesy plastic holder, either.
7) Price fixing is a colusion between competitors to artificially keep up prices. What Surefire is doing is no different than what Sony, Kodak, Pioneer, Saturn, etc. do every day.
Link Posted: 4/11/2005 11:25:57 PM EDT
I should have been more specific with my "prices comment". You are right. If people will buy it, why change the price? The angle I was leaning towards was: Most often when somebody compares another light to SF, then SF starts screaming stuff like, "It does'nt have this, or this, or this, like our SF lights do!" Basiclly trying to justify their high prices. Some had merit-some not.

I have a few SF lights. If the prices were more realistic, I would have a lot more. I would also remain brand loyal when other lights of equal or better quality come about for cheaper. They'll be here soon. Some are already here. SF is already nervous avout it. You just watch. When more and more light companies come into the market, SF will start giving "special deals" like extra bulbs or 'comes with free belt sheath'.

You see all the high gas prices right? Why so high? Cause people will pay it! I don't know a single person that has changed their driving habits to cut back on gasoline consumption. But everyone I know complains about the prices. If I were in charge of the oil industry, I'd stick it to the people to! Why? Cause they will pay for it!

If we could all go out tomarrow and but a car or truck that would run on water, we would. So when we can all go out and buy quality lights for less, we will. I just don't want SF to play stupid and wonder why.
Link Posted: 4/13/2005 6:45:01 AM EDT
Well, so far my experience with Surefire has been less than stellar. I bought a Kimber Pro TLE/RL II that came as a package with an X200. It fit tightly to the rail, and is bright as hell. After firing the first magazine and loading a fresh magazine, I noticed the flashlight was flopping around on the rail. I figured the screws holding the tops of the mount where loose, so I tightened them a bit - still flops. I have since reinstalled them per the instructions that came with the box - no go. I'm gonna give customer service a call today after I get home and see what they want to do.


Also, the anodizing on the aluminum above the light housing came off.
Link Posted: 4/13/2005 9:52:51 AM EDT
All Surefire really has to do to keep prices higher is to limit production. But as the supply curve shift to the right (as they produce more and more) the price should also fall. And I do not see why dealers shouldn't be allowed to sell for whatever they want. Basically they are function as a monopolist because they are acting as a price maker. Well technically I suppose they are an ogopoly since there are only a few manufactures of lights up to par with them. The industry could possibly have formed a cartel to fix prices and production. But I highly doubt that. It is very illegal in the U.S.
Link Posted: 4/21/2005 11:13:35 AM EDT
So the question is:
If as j_standridge says


t's interesting to note, however, that the main crux of this discussion seems centered upon Surefire supposedly demanding that dealers cannot sell for less than a minimum price. That is patently false.
Re-read the first post. It states that we will not sell to anyone who sells for less than our MSRP.

That's a lie.

Think about it. We advertise our Rem870 forend light (model 618FA) on our website for MSRP $235. Yet, there are dozens of dealers who sell them online for less...

VangComp has them for $220, Ranger Arms sells them for less than $200. How can that be?
The answer is, we do not enforce a fixed price on our dealers, once they purchase the item, it's theirs, the dealer can do whatever they want with it...



So if surefire does not enfoce the pricing policy where can I get a X200A for less then $250 MSRP??????

Anyone Anyone....bueller
Link Posted: 4/21/2005 3:46:57 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/21/2005 4:02:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/21/2005 4:08:52 PM EDT by resq944]
I do not fault dealers for selling product for what they can, thats capitalism, supply and demand and all.

But the fact that everyone lists the price at $250.00 means that Surefire must be enforcing this "price fixing" policy or someone would have it for $249.99 or 239.99 or 229.00 etc etc.

If the dealers are afraid of surefire and their stupid policy they are by defacto enforcing it and j_standridge is FOS and is “stepping on my nuts” to use his language.

I would never fault a dealer for charging more for an in-demand item however if they are being forced too as it seems they are thats just wrong, I guess Im not alone in this belief.

With that said I will still (I have no spine) be buying a X200A but I won't be paying 250$ for it.

Also as a Volquartsen Custom Distributor, I know all about MSRP and not being allowed to advertise prices lower then a company tells you is ok. However I am still free to sell the item for what ever I want, I just am not allowed to advertise them at that price. Still a kind of price fixing but much different then having a policy (enforced or not) telling me what I can and cannot charge for an item.
Link Posted: 4/21/2005 4:09:14 PM EDT


sounds like gas prices in North America


Actually, it would be exactly like gas prices, since the cartel called OPEC fixes the open price and quantities.
Link Posted: 4/21/2005 4:18:50 PM EDT
Surefire need someone who understand economics to work for them. They clearly would have higher volumes of sales and higher profits if they lowered their mark-up. I would buy several lights at 50% current price, but I might not buy any at their current price (M500).

There are only a few explainations for their pricing:

1- Incompetent manufacturing engineer (LEAN) or no mfg engineer working for them.
2- Poor supply quality and lots of off quality due to incompetent quality manager or no quality manager.
3- No real skilled labor making their parts. Or making them out of a low volume machine shop.
4- Owners who have no regard for product line improvement (this means MFG line improvement)
5- Owners not interested in serving the market, only serving themselves.
Link Posted: 4/21/2005 4:34:30 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/21/2005 5:33:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JoseyWales:
Surefire need someone who understand economics to work for them. They clearly would have higher volumes of sales and higher profits if they lowered their mark-up. I would buy several lights at 50% current price, but I might not buy any at their current price (M500).

There are only a few explainations for their pricing:

1- Incompetent manufacturing engineer (LEAN) or no mfg engineer working for them.
2- Poor supply quality and lots of off quality due to incompetent quality manager or no quality manager.
3- No real skilled labor making their parts. Or making them out of a low volume machine shop.
4- Owners who have no regard for product line improvement (this means MFG line improvement)
5- Owners not interested in serving the market, only serving themselves.



Your opening statement might as well have read, "I'm a no-talent assclown that doesn't understand economics, but that won't stop the meaningless dribble from pouring out of my mouth," and you then go on to explain how everyone there must be incompetant.
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