Cheap China!

Discussion in 'Plane Kits & Frames' started by TManiaci, Oct 28, 2009.

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  1. Oct 28, 2009 #1

    TManiaci

    TManiaci

    TManiaci

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    I know the whole Made-in-China thing is a bad deal for our economy. But, alas, it is the new world economy. I just returned from attending the first phase of the biggest international consumer products trade show in the world last week in Guangzhou, China. I was so blown away I can't describe it. The size of this venue was overwhealmig, with 38 indoor show floors (and several really big outdoor exhibit areas) with at least 300 exhibitors on each floor, just mind boggling. I walked the show for three days, and barely covered 1/2 of the exhibits.

    You have never seen such a variety of unknown brands of every product you can imagine. Unfortunatly, the show is in three phases, and I attended the one that suited our business. So, the airplane stuff was probably in the second week-long phase that I could not stay long enough to attend.

    Regardless, the number of vendors selling stuff to the world market was astounding. And, the prices were just absurd. As a registered buyer, you get distributor price lists on eveything you inquire about, and I mean cheap is an understatement. You would be amazed at the kind of mark-ups we pay and for these Chinese products and still feel like we are getting a killer deal.

    So here are a few selected shots of my experience.

    One of the several passages between the three major halls. Notice the people movers and the golf cart transports. Lots of walking!
    1.JPG

    This is the plaza inside one of the halls. I swear there were at least 1/4 million people at this show at any given moment.
    2.JPG

    Yes, there were pretty Chinese girls.
    3.JPG

    Typical conventtion floor scenes.
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    In all my travels in China, this is the first time I have seen military people other than at border crossings and customs. All a show, posing. They also had platoons of these guys marching around all sychronized.
    6.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009
  2. Oct 28, 2009 #2

    TManiaci

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    What sparked my interest to start this thread was not about my adventures in China. It was mostly from an email promotion I received today from Hobby King. Every time I go to that site I am impressed with the rising quality of products and the insane prices. I'm sure there are other on-line retailers like this, but this is the one I have used a few times.

    So, the intent here was to showcase items that are just amazing, by the price or by the value, or by the innovation... whatever.

    Cheap China... share you finds here.

    Here is an example. The Turnigy Monster 2000. This thing is crazy. With enough power capacity to fly a 50lb 3D airplane with ease (see footnote. 12S@200A - 8,800W cont., 10,200W burst!) it sells for $190.00 !!!!! That's insane!

    Monster2000.JPG

    To put this in perspective, the biggest Phoenix is a HV140 good for 7,000W (@ 12S) and costs $360. The PHX-180 (6S max) is only good for 4,500W, and goes for $300. Other manufacturers have higher power, and higher prices.

    The point is, they have upped the ante to 10,000 watt class aircraft, at less than half the price. With similar absurd prices on LiPo batteries and BL Motors, it won't be long before e-flight for our big 35%-40% gassers is practical and cost effective.

    (footnote. reasonable 3D performance requires around 150 Watts per pound in a typical acrobatic platform. A 40% aircraft that weighs around 45 lbs should have at least 7,000 watts of power at 50% discharge of the battery pack)
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009
  3. Oct 28, 2009 #3

    3DKid

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    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009
  4. Oct 29, 2009 #4

    10+

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    Great stuff. Amazing that there can be profit there. I guess NO unions over there?? No workmans comp, NO AQMD, NO regulatory BS that we have strapping us do death here??
     
  5. Oct 29, 2009 #5

    TManiaci

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    It is pretty unregulated, but that is changing rapidly over there. In the major cities they have outlawed the scooters. They clamped down on plating manufacturers and really increased safety and waste management controls, causing prices to soar on that stuff last year. They're a long way from good, but they are beginning to take steps to improve. There is heavy pressure from the customers that expect cleaner environments to improve product quality, which is the driving force. The government recognizes this, and is driven to not only make China the low price leader, but develop a reputation much like Japan for quality. Many factories now have formal QA systems in place, ISO compliance and much more. It's a very dynamic environment.

    Here are a few photos from the worst factory I visited on this last trip...

    IMG_8419.JPG

    IMG_8422.JPG

    IMG_8430.JPG

    IMG_8434.JPG

    IMG_8452.JPG

    IMG_8415.JPG
     
  6. Oct 29, 2009 #6

    mxwrench

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    Looks like the same type of set up I was looking at when I visited Taiwan a few years back. Only difference is it looks like the Chinese have a WHOLE lot more space in their workshops. Taiwanese manufacturing seems to be done alot inside folks garages and little teeny tiny shops waaaay down some dingy walkway surrounded by 1500 other little teeny tiny DIRTY shops with machines and welders going round the clock. Amazing.
     
  7. Oct 29, 2009 #7

    Barry Built

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    I have seen pics of some pretty sad shoe manufacture warehouses when I use to import shoes.. I was buying all leather kid shoes for .25 to .45 cents a pair. Wholesale was to retail stores was 8.00.. Nice profit...
     
  8. Oct 29, 2009 #8

    BRUTUS

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    Wowsa.
     
  9. Oct 29, 2009 #9

    dbronst3790

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    I wonder where the world will turn to for cheap products when China prices themselves out of the market when they start making real quality stuff?
     
  10. Oct 29, 2009 #10

    BRUTUS

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    I hate to say it but the greedy bastards that feel OK making 5000% profit off it's work force don't give two shits about the people they exploit. Without some kind of regulation we (yes WE) would be fucked until our ass holes were big enough to fly a 40% plane through. You think even 20% of businesses and people like Trump wouldn't sell their employees down the river if they could drop overhead even 10%?

    Holy Christ guys- you think people in positions power give a **** about us? The delusion that we are wealthy (even the ones with steady six figure jobs) is a farse. I've been in one of Daniel Loeb's $60 million dollar homes, I've been to upstate New York and installed for some of the the richest fuckers in the world, and I can tell you that if there is a way to save a buck they would do it no matter WHO they screwed in the process, because after all they are looking out for #1! If it weren't for some kind of regulation we and our children would all still be working 90 hours a week, dying in sweat shops, the successful business owners would own our asses, and be laughing all the way to the bank. You want less regulation? Move to China and start producing for them.

    If you don't believe me look at the Chinese quality of life compared to ours. They have NO recourse if they get fucked on the job.:boxing:

    I hate getting political, but **** man, sometimes you have to look at the big picture! The rich are still getting richer, and the poor are still getting poorer. Even the banks are banking on it- ever heard of the Plutonomy? Google it. Their rationale is that the poorest 90% of the entire population (us) doesn't even have the buying power to influence the market, so why even factor them in?!

    Oh yeah, I pay unemplyment too.
     
  11. Oct 29, 2009 #11

    TManiaci

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    Wow Cody, hav'in a bad day?

    I think we have to temper our feelings of guilt and morality with a bit of reality too here. I don't condone the misconduct of any government that exploits or abuses the people...

    However. You must step back and try to see things just for a moment from the perspective of the people that are working in these dungeons of dread and gloom. These cultures we are talking about are coming out of a time that is parallel to the turn of the 20th century for America, like 1905 or so...

    What the hell do I mean by that?

    Take a near death starving kid in Ethiopia, see he gets 3 meals a day, clothing, an education and a home. It's that kind of change for the people in China today.

    These people are primitive by our standards. They come from grass huts with dirt floors in the vast inland for the most part, migrating to the cities to find their fortune. They live in a small apartment that by our standards is a mansion. They make $40-$50 per week, when their cost of living in their home village is maybe $2-$4 per week. They typically come to the city to work for a few years, saving, then go home and live like kings as the richest man/woman in town. It's like a minimum wage worker here getting a 1/2 million dollar annual salary for a few years, and saving every nickle they could, living a very reserved lifestyle. No luxuries, no car, no movies, no spending on anything more than basic survival needs.

    So, here we are, fat and lazy Americans that work a measly 40 hours week, live in a nice home where there is always food on the table, a comfortable bed and entertainment. We drive a car to our work, or the welfare office, and collect our meager incomes. We have healthcare, government sponsored or not, we get it when we need it. So many things we consider less than an essential... for these people all that is an extravagant luxury.

    We don't spend every waking momnent insuring our survival tendng crops or working six 12 hour days a week.

    I have seen this first-hand. The cultural picture we have here is so biased by our own idea of what living is, we can't even comprehend it. Even English speaking staff in most factories find it a major treat to have a simple lunch or dinner at a restaurant. We are so spoiled it's not even funny.

    So, yea, they have it hard, no argument. But, from their perspective, they are living like kings. They are used to living under a government that is slowly letting up on oppression, and granting freedoms that they never experienced before... again life is good... relatively speaking.

    Maybe you won't get what I'm saying... it's really hard to look at a society without imposing your own ideals and standards.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2009
  12. Oct 29, 2009 #12

    airboss

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    that was a novel , and thanks for all the civil and political lessons , need a drink and a soft chair to enjoy it in . thanks China
     
  13. Oct 30, 2009 #13

    Votec Yak Guy

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    It is futile to resist the borg.......
     
  14. Oct 30, 2009 #14

    TManiaci

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    Back on tack here....

    China Cheap!

    Check out these new airplanes! Add Rx and Battery and FLY. $80 for either a Corsair or Mustang, 38-39 inch span foam construction, four channel with Brushless Motor and ESC, Servos and all. And they look NICE! A year ago a plane like this sold for $70-$90 airframe only. The reviews by the buyers are very good...

    Corsair.JPG

    Mustang.JPG
     
  15. Oct 30, 2009 #15

    sandman

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    Going to the trade show looks like a real blast. Too bad yu couldn't go the following week as well.

    I agree with you on the attitude of the majority of Chinese workers - at all levels. They are thrilled to be enjoying some freedoms and mony opportunities that were previously unknown and taking every chance to tap into the new prosperity. Even the guy sweeping the street has one hand on the broom and the other holding his cell phone to his ear making a deal.
     
  16. Oct 30, 2009 #16

    yogoblue

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    Speaking of the chinese stuff. An older e guy at our field got that iMax9 chan 2.4 radio for 66.00 and receivers are 15.00 each or so for 9 channels. Seemed to perform and range check just fine. I wouldnt trust it to larger stuff but for Park and small electrics its a pretty damn fine radio setup for no money. We have been unable to make it fail with testing now for weeks.

    What does this say to USA firms that do nothing but import airframes and re-label them? If on the topic via funboy. I guess it points out that everyone is out for number one. I have seen some of the "top" preferred models sold by firms that I can get direct from china. Without naming names .. it can in some instances be all the same stuff. In funboys defense the QC can be shitty but you usually know that out of the box.

    I guess if the rich dont look out for us, we have the right to look out for ourselves. I run A123's from HK because the cells are all the same.

    Please dont bash me about local HS crappola. I suggest everyone support their local shop but here in North Mexico/South Texas we dont have **** for shops that cater to anything over RC Spiders, butterflies, skateboarders and the occasional type f glow plug. We have learned to fend for ourselves because of no other choice.

    I bet if I cross the border not very far there is better shops in Mexico, we run into teams from down there and they run the finest stuff. Its crazy!

    There are alot of Chinese products that are decent IF they work out of the box.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2009
  17. Oct 30, 2009 #17

    Barry Built

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    I fail to see the problem...
     
  18. Oct 30, 2009 #18

    TManiaci

    TManiaci

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    We used to make a few things in Taiwan too, back n the 90's. I went there and saw what you described. Small shops... but it's a little island with lots of people. Just about any land that's flat and not covered with agriculture has a building on it for 5000 years of one kind or other.

    This is one thing that facinates me, the age of the culture. We get all centimental about 200 year old buildings here... you pass 2000 year old building every day over there. Taiwan is too expensive now, but they have matured to become the factory owners and managers for manufacturing in China. Taiwan businessmen are typically more educated, and have a much better sense of modern culture and US/European needs and managment styles.
     
  19. Oct 30, 2009 #19

    TManiaci

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    That's gonna take quite a while.

    Until the labor costs rise to the same levels as they are here, we're toast. Delivery and duty costs between 10-15% for Chinese product coming to the states. Coincidentally, the Chinese Government pays export bonuses in the same range to their manufactures. So delivery is a wash.

    Our company, likely pretty typical or maybe a bit better than most in California, suffers from about a 32% payroll premium to cover the cost of overhead. That cost is mostly Regulatory Fees, Taxes, Benefits, Health Insurance, Workers Comp, Unemployment, etc. The Chinese have virtually none of these burdens.

    So, with an average hourly worker making around $12, the burdened labor cost is around $16 per hour. That workforce is almost all migrant industrial workers (legal mind you), most of which don't speak English. That's actually damn cheap for US labor.

    With Chinese labor costing between $0.80-$1.00 per hour today... you can see there is a big gap. It will take a lot of cultural change and time to cross that bridge. At the rate the gap is currently closing (about $0.25 per year), we're talking about 50 years with all other conditions remaining the same!

    Can you say DOOMED?
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2009
  20. Oct 30, 2009 #20

    shannah

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    The world is already going to the cheap labor in Vietnam.
     

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