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Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Chu Gai, Jul 13, 2003.
From Forbes Magazine we have the following peak into matters.
I find this article very interesting & amusing. Seeing how I work at CC & how much they push you to sell the most over priced piece of junk that you can, I can see how this is true. And Monster products is one of the biggest things they try to push in our store, next to of course Service Scams, Ahh I mean Service Plans. What I find so funny about all the things that goes on in this type of business is for the most part they hire young kids who you can tell them that this is the best that it gets, If you buy these cables you will be a god & your system will sound 100% better, & they always buy into it. Now not to put my foot in my mouth as I do have some Monster products in my set up, but I can buy them at 60% off retail so it not to bad of a deal. Had I not work for CC I would probably never buy Monster products as they to me are way over priced at retail cost. That is another thing I love about working there is the fact when a rep for a company comes in they expect for you to not know anything & they will feed you every line of crap they can to sell the products. In fact I had an argument with our local Harmon Kardon rep that was trying to tell me I was stupid for wonting to buy a separate amp for my system as there receivers done it all. He then proceeded to tell me features of one of there receivers that no one else had on theres, but the funny thing was my 5ES had them as did one of my previous receivers 2 years ago. I had even offered to let him come over to my house & verify these features but he had no interest & still went on to tell me how wrong I was. Their was several other things that went on such as telling me I had wasted my time building my own sub cause it could not perform as good as one of theres & it could never play below 20hz, as in his words no sub could. And I will be the first to admit I don't know everything, thats one big reason I come here as their are much more knowledgeable people here than myself. But I can say I do love to prove people wrong when they treat you like your a dumb ass when in fact they are the ones wrong. I hope I didn't steer off the topic but I thought it was fitting.
It is for this very reason I will never, ever buy another Monster product. Not that I haven't in the past, and not because they aren't any good, but becuase of the marketing and advertising strategies which Chu has pointed out. I abhor advertising in general and make it a habit to turn off the sound whenever ads are on, whether at home or in the car, and I make it a habit not to talk to salesman who invade my privacy either on the phone or at my door. I hate em, hate em, hate em AND their friggin' marketing stratagies which take us all for utter imbeccile, moronic, lemming like creatures with no minds of our own. Now where'd my King of Beers go....I just had it here a second ago!?
Now seeing something like the Monster Girls with swimsuits done up in thin Monster cables just might make me a believer. That's probably one test I wouldn't be doing blind. I don't mind the advertising. It's just good to read between the lines and o into these things with a little sketpicism. And that includes all things in life. Three of the movies that I think serve people well in keeping better control of their finances are Putney Swope, Crazy People with Dudley Moore, and Leap of Faith with Steve Martin.
I'm suprised that a publication like Forbes would be crying foul when a company is achieving success. It seems to go against the very thing they stand for. Why bash the guy who has the savvy, in a free market, to gain such a market share? I would think Forbes would want to celebrate Lee's entepenurial skills & marketing strategy. DJ
Assuming the article is accurate, and seeing as it's not written by a former reporter for the NY Times, then I think all its doing is giving a picture of the business model. Incentives are nothing new and markups and margins for many products are substantial. As an aside, next time you go into a supermarket, pick up a can of Similac and check out the price. It costs somewhere under 10% to make that product.
It seems they are throwing a few jabs in there as well. As far as markup goes, who's to say there's not just as much markup, by percentage, in the cheap Radio Shack interconnects. Let's not even get into the markup of shoes, clothes, and jewelry. Monster is even expanding on its existing strategy by getting into rechargeable batteries and even power amps. Perhaps soon Monster will merge with Microsoft and rule the World. Seriously though, it's hard to argue with success, but it seems popular to take shots at those who do things right in the business world. I just wouldn't expect it from a publication like Forbes. DJ
I bless Monster Cables' Organization. Not because I like them - I actually HATE them, but because they sparked alot of the better cable makers out there, due to their success. Monster cable is made 'mainly', to upgrade cables that come straight out of the box with the components. At least, the mass market sales come from these type of consumers. So, it's not a scam, it really does make a difference. It may be very slight to some, but huge to others - it's all subjective. More power to them. And Rob, you just need to stop eating those damn fast food burgers, dude
monster cables are good cables. there is probably NO real world difference between Video 2 and Video 3. THX ultra is just video 3 made up to look fancier. THX standard is just video 1 made up to look fancier. monster cables are going to make your dvd and tv look and sounds a billion times better than the cables in the box would. monster cables have an enourmous markup, they spend millions indocternating salepeople with silly keywords, and makretting bullshit when they could actually teach them something useful. these are all factsthat you can use to make your decision about monster. some might like to compare them to bose. both are overpriced marketting machines after all. main difference is monster delivers what it promises, and bose does not.
Monster is a classic example of emphasizing image over substance. I don't care for them, any more than I care for "designer" shoes, clothes, or jewelry.
I work at ultimate electronics. I like working there, I do car audio and home electronics. We sell monster. Monster is a good company. Alot of my cables are monster. But I know there is better out there. Our managers push us really hard to sell monster. I think it usually is a good purchase to get on alot of the equipment we sell. Do I think you should get $100 cable on a $30 DVD player? NO! Usually I was very good at selling cables. I usually was about about 10%+, they want us at 9%. Lately Im at 1.5%. Because they pay us half what they used to on cables. So now I would rather sell less cables but more product. Because I make more. But in car audio you have to sell more. Becuase the amps dont come with anything. So its easy to sell it.
I find it odd that otherwise clear-headed individuals are so passionate about the evils being propagated by companies like Monster Cable. Business is business, and it's not like Monster Cable is out there eating babies. On the list of companies who market products to consumers who would be better off without them, tobacco, soda pop, and junk food manufacturers rank far higher on my indignation-meter. Marketing is a fairly critical part of being in business. You can't set up shop, and expect to sit there quietly and have the business come to you. Well, you can, but the result won't be what you're hoping for. I'm not going to stir up the ongoing clash between the Cables Don't Matter and the Cables Do Matter crowd. But the vitriol directed at a company that is thriving, and as far as I know, not breaking any laws seems like some fairly base-model playa hatin'. Am I biased? Of course I am, everybody has an opinion. And in the interests of full disclosure, I just got back from one of Monster's "junkets." Naturally, being in business, no one can fault me for being pro-business, right? And Chu, is that this month's Forbes, or a recent back-issue?
Fairly dated Lee. Certainly its not like this sort of thing doesn't go on in all kinds of businesses, but then for me to recount what goes on at car dealerships, instrument manufacturers, and so on wouldn't be germaine to the HTF readership. I understand where you're coming from RobertR, but sometimes, depending upon the business you're in, you've got to look the part. The movie American Psycho comes to mind...now what kind of business card can I get?
Yes Chu, I see that now that I reread the article, and it mentions projected sales for 1998, doh. And to address other comments about image over substance: if image didn't matter, all loudspeakers would be black rectangles, and all cars would look the same. I must confess that my purchase decisions have been swayed by, amongst the important things, triffles like blue LED displays, so my stack stays congruent visually. However, even Stereophile, who can be counted on to be fairly critical of mass-market product, think favorably of Monster's Sigma product: http://www.stereophile.com/accessoryreviews/204monster/ Fortunately, we live in a mostly-free market, and consumers have plenty of choices. But I would be surprised if I were to learn that no other accessory cable maker delivers the margins that Monster has. Even the bulk wire at Home Depot has some steep GP% built into it.
That's damned honest of you Lee, and I find nothing wrong with going with a plan and recognizing your likes and preferences. I'm sure you're right in a general sense about the GP% but one has to keep in mind where the floor starts. One million feet of dealer cost 0.15/foot marked up 100% pales by comparison to 100,000 feet of $10/foot marked up 100%. Then we've got the $20/foot stuff that goes for hundreds per meter.... There's tons of choices. I think its useful to inform people with lesser technical backgrounds so that that they can get a better grasp of how things work and which performance characteristics are worth paying for when making a purchase. Once they've got that under their belt, I think they can make more intelligent purchasing decisions which does not have to mean the cheapest thing out there.
Hell, I was surprised this even got resurrected...proof that there is life after death!
I'm amazed at the restraint on this board. I haven't seen any of the following surface in this thread: Cables Good! Cables Bad! Cables Good! Cables Bad! Cables Good! Cables Bad! Cables Good! Cables Bad! Cables Good! Cables Bad! Cables Good! Cables Bad! Cables Good! Cables Bad! At least, not yet anyways.