We lost a customer today, at least until we start being reasonable again..

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by MissouriBullet, Jun 10, 2010.

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  1. MissouriBullet

    MissouriBullet Member

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    Ok, so we just got this email from a past customer:

    We hate to lose customers for any reason (well, almost any reason, anyhow) so I wrote him back with our side of things:

    Hi >Mr. Customer< -

    Sorry to lose you as a customer but am happy for >anotherbulletcompany< that they will have a good customer in you.

    I'd like to think that you might be interested in hearing our side of the story? If so, I'll try to explain.

    We last raised our prices in January of 2008 and held them steady until last month. In January of this year, our lead alloy cost increased by $.32 per pound. That works out to $14,080.00 per truckload of 22 tons. It also works out to $5.12 per box of 200 grain bullets at 16 lbs. each. I withstood the cost increase throughout that truckload and then halfway through the 2nd truckload. That means that I withstood $21,000 of price increase without any return. Continuing to do that would have put us out of business.

    Our price increase continues to fall below the added cost of what it costs us to make bullets in raw material cost. And we continue to be VERY competitive, across the board.

    I am happy that >anotherbulletcompany< is able to supply you with bullets more cheaply than we do. But I'm wondering - maybe they don't pay workman's comp, as we do. Maybe they don't include insurance in their shipping, as we do. Maybe they don't cover their employees with health insurance, as we do. Maybe they don't routinely ship bullets to competitive cowboy and action pistol matches across the country in order to support the shooting sports, as we do. Maybe they don't have 5 Magma casting machines, 7 Magma lubrisizers, and nearly 60 bullets in their line so that they can turn out most any order within a day or two, as we do. Maybe they don't have to stock two different types of alloy, purchased a truckload at a time, each, so that they can provide softer target/cowboy bullets or harder action bullets, as we do.

    I'd love to be able to charge the same low price no matter how much more it costs to buy the lead. But I can't.

    Anyhow, thanks for listening and we will miss you.

    Take care.

    Brad
    *****

    So, I checked the prices on the other vendor (I'm sure they are fine people and make excellent bullets) and learned that their bullets are indeed cheaper than ours. But their shipping is $2.00 more and they don't provide free shipping insurance. So, on a single box of bullets weighing up to 200 grains, theirs cost more.

    Anyhow, I just wanted to share the drama with you all by way of venting. It's been a tough day today.

    Thank you.

    Brad
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2010
  2. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Well now!!

    You must understand that you are supposed to supply us with quality bullets at a net loss so that we won't have to pay more. Of course if you do this we will have to buy bullets from someone else - like it or not. :rolleyes:

    Clearly some people are brain-dead, and/or have never run a business.

    I doubt that your former customer will find much support here.

    Carry on... ;)
     
  3. sonier

    sonier Member

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    sometimes everyone cant be made happy. sometimes some people just forget about shipping charges too lol
     
  4. WLE

    WLE Member

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    Good write up with an excellent explanation for all of the ignorant people about business. Being self employed I know that you can not please everybody all the time. Service and quality is what I sell first, not price.
     
  5. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Brad, I found that you just can't please everyone in this life for one reason or another.

    Example. Price of gas vary from one gas station to another gas station on a daily basis. If a particular gas station raises the price (due to wholesale price increase on their latest tanker delivery), we don't go inside and complain to the manager why they raised the price. We simply pay for the higher price or go to another gas station who may have a lower price.

    When the other gas stations match the price increase because they also have to pay the higher wholesale price on their next tanker purchase, we return to the gas station that is closest or convenient to us.

    Your decision to raise the price of your bullets was YOUR business decision. If your "past customer" was not happy with your new price, s/he simply pay your new price or shop elsewhere - no need to complain. Since s/he did not say anything about the quality of your bullets, apparently s/he was satisfied with your bullets to "regularly buy large quantities".

    I also regularly buy large quantities of bullets (jacketed/plated/lead) and "choose" to support vendors I believe provide quality products with great price and customer service (for me, accuracy and consistency is the final word).

    If it is any consolation, instead of dwelling on "one lost customer", think of the "countless" other happy customers who appreciate your products, great price and terrific customer service on a daily basis.

    Keep up the great work!
     
  6. MissouriBullet

    MissouriBullet Member

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    Hey guys, thank you. I feel better.

    Brad

    ps - it's darn loud in here. The night shift is in full production making those high-priced bullets!
     
  7. sonier

    sonier Member

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    missouri ive looked into your leadcast very reasonable prices i would buy them but i have a local vendor, if it wasnt for supporting my local vendor who does this out of his house for a job id be buying from you :) keep with the goodwork i still may need to order a few special bullets from you guys just yet ;)
     
  8. NMGonzo

    NMGonzo Member

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    "I've read on the internet that I can get them cheaper"

    The sure mantra of the person that knows not what he is talking about.
     
  9. WLE

    WLE Member

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    Those evil companies trying to make a profit how shameful.
     
  10. sonier

    sonier Member

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    just morally incorrect trying to put food on the tables, just wrong aint it ;)
     
  11. tango2echo

    tango2echo Member

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    Brad, you have a first class company and great products. You will continue to get my business.

    t2e
     
  12. MissouriBullet

    MissouriBullet Member

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    Ok, that's it! 15% price increase effective immediately!

    :->
     
  13. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Now, will THAT business decision come with free shipping? :D
     
  14. sonier

    sonier Member

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    hahaha
     
  15. Publius1688

    Publius1688 Member

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    Don't sweat it---you can't make every customer happy with your every move. Continue to produce an excellent product, continue to take good care of your employees, and you'll be successful.
     
  16. Gryffydd

    Gryffydd Member

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    Some people just don't understand business, and manufacturing in particular.

    Some companies also seem to lube their bullets with recycled crayons, and take 2-4 weeks to ship, and charge more for shipping so their product looks cheaper up front, and any number of other things. You'll always lose a few hyper-price-sensitive customers to companies like that. Oh well, I'd just as soon you keep making quality products and I'll continue to buy from you.
     
  17. herohog

    herohog Member

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    I bought a few boxes of bullets from you when you first appeared on the forum offering discounts for Vets like myself and will continue to go to you for my bullets. I only wish I could afford to buy more than I do but my income is almost nonexistent! ;-) Hang in there. You have a great company and provide a quality product at very competitive prices.
     
  18. EHCRain10

    EHCRain10 Member

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    Well since they left Ill make my first order from you to replace them, it isnt large but hopefully the first of many to come.

    Glad to hear that a company takes care of their employees!
     
  19. Jeff H

    Jeff H Member

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    We had a long office meeting tonight discussing profit/loss issues. I happened to suggest that Obammy should have to deal with such issues as prez... You seem to be dealing with such issues as well as most small businesses"

    Keep up the good work.
    When my local supply of cast bullets dries up, you'll have another customer.
     
  20. Scrapperz

    Scrapperz Member

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    Very nicely explained. That's why you get my business when I need bullets. Keep up the excellent work Brad.
     
  21. 420Stainless

    420Stainless Member

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    Lose some - win some. I'm a new customer and was just out this week trying out your Keith bullets in .45 Colt and the Trooper .41 Mag. I am happy enough with the results that I ain't gonna be doing any shopping around for a better price. Haven't tried the .38 Targets yet, but should get around to loading a bunch soon!

    Love your products and really love that everything I wanted was instantly available. Nice not to see a backorder statement when clicking on a reloading component these days:).
     
  22. SpamHandler

    SpamHandler Member

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    "But I'm wondering - maybe they don't pay workman's comp, as we do. (Maybe you should find out). Maybe they don't include insurance in their shipping, as we do. (Maybe you should find out if they do). Maybe they don't cover their employees with health insurance, as we do. (Again, find out). Maybe they don't routinely ship bullets to competitive cowboy and action pistol matches across the country in order to support the shooting sports, as we do. (Perhaps they do as well). Maybe they don't have 5 Magma casting machines, 7 Magma lubrisizers, and nearly 60 bullets in their line so that they can turn out most any order within a day or two, as we do. (Again, find out!) Maybe they don't have to stock two different types of alloy, purchased a truckload at a time, each, so that they can provide softer target/cowboy bullets or harder action bullets, as we do."

    Maybe finding out for certain, and telling prospective purchasers what the ACTUAL differences are. Maybe they infer similar costs and expenditures and still undercut the competition. Maybe they'll be swayed by facts and not an emotional appeal based on too many 'maybes'.
     
  23. MissouriBullet

    MissouriBullet Member

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    And maybe life is too short to spend it doing opposition research on the competition. Personally, I'm too busy manufacturing bullets than to do that and if I had that much spare time, I'd be riding one of my Harleys in this fine Missouri summertime weather or spending it at the local range working with some of the guns I've bought but haven't had time to shoot even once.

    We just do the best we can and hope to make our customers happy. Sometimes it feels good to be able to explain why things are the way they are when a profound ignorance of it is exposed, as it was in this case.

    And fact-wise, we have 7,500 customers who are still with us and are very busy making them happy.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2010
  24. trickyasafox

    trickyasafox Member

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    I don't buy bullets often- but when I do, I buy from you guys. I do my best to cast my own, but frankly- if I didn't enjoy the actual process of casting the offerings you have are a better value. it takes me hours to cast a 1000 bullets, and another good hour or more to lube them. Or I can pony up my pennies and have them from you in a couple of days. Thats a bargain.

    You lost one, and you actually took time to respond. I think that shows the quality of businessman you actually are.
     
  25. Jeeper

    Jeeper Member

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    It is nice to hear that you actually waited for your costs to go up before you raised prices. It is always comical to me that when a price of an item, say copper, lead, oil goes up that the price increase is instant. This is despite the fact that they supply they are selling was bought at the lower price. This happened with copper a few years ago when it was like $4 a pound. All wire went up immediately despite the fact it was manufactured and sold by the distributors way before the increase. It wasnt the cost going up, it was the fact they knew they could charge more because everyone else did.
     
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