{Collins} Re: Equipment classification

I am sorry to say this is not limited to Amateur Radio, it is well permeated
into all aspects of American society today.
We have been Wal-Marted to death in terms of price and no service.  People
demand the lowest price at all costs.  This means no service and no profits
available at either end.  So what we have is a system of trying to make a
buck wherever possible at any cost to one's reputation or to the detriment
of the customer.
The funny part of it is, when I find where a customer has been raped by a
supplier on some product, and then point it out, instead of giving me the
order at the correct price point, they tell the other guy who "matches" the
price and he gets the order.  I have just given up on people.  I can tell
you many more stories of doing business in this country, but I don't want to
waste anyone's time with more history on what they probably already know.
The days of  loyalty to someone who has busted their ass for their customer
base are gone as Wall Street pours more money into each crack they can find
in any industry to build the next "Super Store America".
It appears to be getting worse, not better with time.  So I do not see what
anyone can do about it, I am sorry to say.
Bruce K1XR

----- Original Message -----
From: "Glen Zook" <gzook@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <collins@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>; <glowbugs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, June 11, 2001 4:51 PM
Subject: {Collins} Equipment classification

> I am one of the "moderators" of QRZ.com and thus have
> to read all of the posts.  One appeared today that,
> unfortunately, addresses a major problem in amateur
> radio today.  The problem?  Amateurs taking advantage
> of other amateurs.  Years ago, this just was not done.
>  But, today, there are "rip off" artists, shady
> operations, etc., that either actually steal
> equipment, get it by dubious means, or make
> unreasonable claims about the condition of equipment
> that is being sold.
> A few months back, I appeared as an "expert" witness
> in a case between two amateurs (actually a local
> amateur and a business run by another amateur).  This
> was the result of my experience in the communications
> field and because I have been doing some repair,
> modifications, etc. on equipment for local amateurs.
> I have been taking a very good look at what is now
> being offered as "mint", or, "excellent" condition,
> equipment.  "Mint" means one thing:  Never been put
> into operation.  That means no power applied, in the
> original packing, with original manuals, etc.
> Excellent means just that.  Very little, if any, wear
> showing.  Operates perfectly, etc.
> What I am seeing sold as "mint" is actually equipment
> that has been reconditioned or restored.  Neither of
> these equates to "mint".  Also, a lot of the
> restoration work does not even approach "mint"
> condition.  The paint work does not match the original
> (i.e. color, texture, "sheen", etc.).  Repairs have
> been made, usually not using "period" parts (now, I am
> not saying that "black beauty" capacitors, etc. should
> not be replaced, etc., but, this is not "mint").
> Power cords have been replaced with newer type cords.
> The list goes on.
> Now, there are a number of people who do a great job
> of restoring equipment, especially Collins "A" and "S"
> Lines.  But, those restoration jobs are normally
> referred to by one amateur trying to sell the unit to
> another.  In fact, many restorations done by certain
> parties are definitely a "plus" factor in the deal.
> Those guys do great work.  However, it would be wrong
> (and, in my opinion, illegal) to say that these
> restored sets are "mint".  They definitely are not.
> The restorations normally include replacing
> capacitors, doing factory updates, etc.  All of these
> detract from the "mint" classification while adding to
> the usefulness of the radio.
> There are a few companies specializing in "boat
> anchor" equipment sales.  Some of these claim to have
> a lot of "mint" equipment.  Considering the fact that
> this equipment is well over 30 years old, the chance
> of finding even a few truly "mint" condition items is
> a rare thing.
> What I have seen is repainting, repairing, etc.  This
> is, in my opinion, a misrepresentation of the item
> being sold.  There is nothing wrong with restoration.
> In fact, I have an antique/vintage radio collection of
> about 100 units that I have restored.  But, I do not
> claim that these are "mint".  I do have one radio that
> is virtually mint.  The only thing wrong is that there
> are some water marks on the original packing box.
> This is a crystal set that was packed on 22 October
> 1922.  How do I know?  I have the original packing
> slip, the original manual, and the original box. But,
> this is a true rarity.
> "Boat anchor" equipment is again having some value.
> Years ago, you almost couldn't give it away.  Now,
> what was virtually worthless in the 1970s is worth
> hundreds of dollars tody.  Because of this, there are
> a few within our amateur radio ranks that are trying
> to make a "quick buck" by acquiring this equipment at
> a low price (from unknowing older amateurs, widows,
> etc.), doing a quick "restore" job, and then selling
> to those who do not really know what the equipment
> should look like at an inflated price, calling it
> "mint".
> I do not think this is right.  Yes, anyone in business
> has to make a profit to stay in business, that is
> definitely OK.  But, to misrepresent equipment as
> being several "grades" better than it really is, and
> to sell this to amateurs who really don't know better,
> that is, in my opinion, not right.
> Thoughts anyone?
> Glen, K9STH
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