21 Jun 2015

Japanese goods should be cheaper!

The exchange rate (Sterling to Yen) has improved enormously in the last few years and was around 195 Yen to the UK Pound in recent days. Not long ago (2 years ago?) it was less than 130 Yen to the Pound. In real terms Japanese radios should be hugely less expensive based on the exchange rate alone becoming so much more favorable. These are not marginal changes they are huge.

Don't feel too sorry for the dealers. After all, they have to put fuel in their cars. If they struggled a few years ago they are not struggling any more! No, we the consumers are seen as easy fodder, to be milked. The dealers make big profits from early adopters who must have that shiny new radio whatever the cost. Once their greed has been satisfied, the price will drop to attract the rest of us.  I predict the Yaesu FT991 will soon drop in price. Just how much will depend on how much of the exchange rate change the dealers are prepared to pass on to us. One thing is certain, the UK dealers are doing well at the moment.

The FT817 is another story. All development costs were recovered in the first few years. As for LCD and other "supply issues" I just do not believe it. These radios have sold well worldwide for about 15 years and Yaesu has the buying power on anything. No, the true story is someone is making huge profits on this radio, and we the buying public are being taken for a ride.

When the Chinese take the amateur market seriously the Japanese suppliers and their dealers will have a rude awakening.


G1KQH said...

Dealers certainly like their cut!

How do they all get to the same price? They must have a mothers meeting on the phone to come to some agreement what they are all going to charge,from the smallest to the biggest rig there is not much difference in price from any of them.

73 Steve

Roger G3XBM said...

I am happy for the UK dealers to make a profit but the consumer is being EXPLOITED. With the exchange rate VASTLY better (was about 130 Yen to the Pound and now about 195 Yen to the Pound) we should be seeing MUCH lower prices on Japanese transceivers. Give us a break! Make a fair profit but don't take us all for total mugs.

Todd Dugdale said...

I agree, Roger.
One of the oddest phenomenon I have seen in this hobby is the reverent loyalty of hams to faceless Japanese corporations (YaeComWood). These corporations end up driving the hobby, and hams engage in "rig-shaming" to pressure others to "keep up". People who get into the hobby for $100 soon find out that they are expected to spend ten times that amount, or face derision and have all of their 'conversations' turn into a defence of their rig.

Needless to say, many new operators aren't going to invest sums like that for a hobby in its current state. So they just don't get on the air any more.

Roger G3XBM said...

Thanks Todd. We are being taken for suckers and it is largely because we continue to buy new rigs at inflated prices. This is OUR fault and the law of supply and demand. As long as rigs are bought at inflated prices, prices will remain too high.