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View Full Version : Why are Skimmers so ridiculously overpriced???


schriss
04/19/2011, 02:03 AM
Skimmer is a pump and a plastic case. Production cost is minimal, can be seen by cheap skimmer prices. Then there was article comparing different skimmers and result was that the best ones are not the most expensive ones.

So why are skimmers costing hundreds/thousands, if there is only pump inside and the rest is plastic? That plastic part is produced in the same way any other plastic box is produced - extremely cheap.

Is it because Skimmer will only be purchased by Reef owner and all reef owners need to be rich?
The same pump that is mounted in any skimmer can be bought for little, but then such pump can be used by many people, not only reef owners.

Are we being ripped of? Big time?

nanojg
04/19/2011, 04:29 AM
I can definetly tell the difference between a cheap skimmer and a quality skimmer, the build quality and construction is noticeably different. You need to do some better research into skimmer pumps :).

geaux xman
04/19/2011, 04:43 AM
yeah the mark up on aquarium equipment is very high.

TripleT
04/19/2011, 04:45 AM
Often wondered the same.

And we're not the only ones, considering how many people are making their own out of traffic cones and buckets and such.

jdegrasse
04/19/2011, 05:24 AM
I think its simple economics. First you have supply and demand. The price can be high, cause we want the best skimmer and we will pay for it. Second, these things are not mass produced, so the cost of production is a bit higher than a full blown assembly line.

That aside, you are right -- t is essentially a pump and a plastic tube. A cheap skimmer can be upgraded by improving the pump or even a DIY skimmer a la traffic cone should be fine.

jake levi
04/19/2011, 05:51 AM
I have wondered the same, a pump, and a tube, and a few small items, I have wondered why there isnt more people around the country making them to sell?

Same thing with overflo boxes, even cheaper to make, but they start at $40 and shoot up from there. I know there isnt a huge market for them so there arnt huge volumes of sales, but it does seem like its a good niche for guys with shops who can do them as a side line.

Harry_Y
04/19/2011, 07:05 AM
We are Not being ripped off at all.

It's Simple, If you don't like the price don't buy it.

Nanook
04/19/2011, 07:28 AM
Skimmers are manufactured with acrylic which is derived from oil. So, acrylic prices vary based on the current price of oil. Now, add the fact that the acrylic has to be formed into a mode and the price for this tube goes up a lot. Add in the fact that someone has to engineer, often through trial and error, a design that works as well or better than other skimmers on the market and the price goes up even more. Throw in a quality pump or three and add some supply and demand and the price goes up some more. Skimmer pricing is pretty crazy, IMO, but I kind of get why they are and think it is a cost worth investing in.

prodman
04/19/2011, 07:32 AM
You are paying for more than plastic and a pump(when you buy a quality product). You pay for R&D, customer service, warranty and profit most people are in business to make money. Being in business for myself I know what it is like to have people who know nothing about what I do think I should do it cheaper.

Not to mention the problem of cheap Chinese goods having made anything else seem over priced to people who don't know the difference (or care).

bamf25
04/19/2011, 08:05 AM
It is simple supply and demand working here. Demand is relatively low for salt water equipment, how many people in this country or even the world want that item. Across the board maybe a few thousand are sold every year. So you have 4 or 5 companies making skimmers that if they are lucky will sell a few thousand any given year across all model lines. Because there is low damand the supply is also relatively low, companies do not want to make something they may not sell and retailers will only buy a handful and may have them sitting around a long time. With a small nitch market sales are much less predictable than say TV sales. This usually applies upward pressure to the pricing when supply is low. When demand out strips supply prices go up, and this is easy to due in an already small market.

Now couple this all with r&d costs. If a popular model is only expected to sell 10,000 (which is likely a high number) units over the model's lifespan, all the r&d costs, marketing, manufacturing, etc needs to be recouped over a small number of units. Thus high costs again. Prices are pushed up by relatively high r&d, small supply, and relatively high demand (albet a small and nitch market).

zaheda
04/19/2011, 08:08 AM
The Bubble Master for me the overpriced skimmer of all.

BowieReefer84
04/19/2011, 08:08 AM
It is simple supply and demand working here. Demand is relatively low for salt water equipment, how many people in this country or even the world want that item. Across the board maybe a few thousand are sold every year. So you have 4 or 5 companies making skimmers that if they are lucky will sell a few thousand any given year across all model lines. Because there is low damand the supply is also relatively low, companies do not want to make something they may not sell and retailers will only buy a handful and may have them sitting around a long time. With a small nitch market sales are much less predictable than say TV sales. This usually applies upward pressure to the pricing when supply is low. When demand out strips supply prices go up, and this is easy to due in an already small market.

Now couple this all with r&d costs. If a popular model is only expected to sell 10,000 (which is likely a high number) units over the model's lifespan, all the r&d costs, marketing, manufacturing, etc needs to be recouped over a small number of units. Thus high costs again. Prices are pushed up by relatively high r&d, small supply, and relatively high demand (albet a small and nitch market).

What do you mean?

docstomper
04/19/2011, 09:47 AM
The "plastic" used is acrylic and it must be molded... That mold I hear can cost upwards of 10k dollars for one mold. Now the Supply and demand... 10k For one type of skimmer body!

No one is stopping you from going out... heating a sheet of acrylic and bending it... even into a cone, using acrylic cement and having a nasty looking crease in your skimmer, but now you have a cone skimmer... at maybe a mere 80 dollars in material for just the body. Go to Harbor freight get a 1000gph pump with 370W electricity and tons of heat for 40 bucks. Now you have a skimmer! Does it work? probably... does it work well? probably not... Is it more to run than your MH? Maybe. But at least you have a cheap skimmer!

schriss
04/19/2011, 11:10 AM
I'm not wanting cheap equipment and not denying R&D and quality, but still, half a thousand of us dollars seems like an overkill to me. Why would acrylic and a pump be more expensive than some not bad LED light units is beyond me.

moondoggy4
04/19/2011, 01:00 PM
Becasue of price point, a European company cannot build a 150 dollar skimmer and sell it in the US the shipping is too expensive so they have to build more expensive ones. they're labor cost are too high. Besides skimmer cost have gone down since the recession H&S is selling Bubble Magnus in Europe now.

nanojg
04/19/2011, 02:35 PM
I dont understand the "acrylic and a pump" to "not bad LED light" analogy.

If it didnt cost that much to make a quality skimmer than a new company would make quality skimmers for cheaper.

Scott B
04/19/2011, 04:14 PM
the "plastic" used is acrylic and it must be molded... That mold i hear can cost upwards of 10k dollars for one mold. Now the supply and demand... 10k for one type of skimmer body!

No one is stopping you from going out... Heating a sheet of acrylic and bending it... Even into a cone, using acrylic cement and having a nasty looking crease in your skimmer, but now you have a cone skimmer... At maybe a mere 80 dollars in material for just the body. Go to harbor freight get a 1000gph pump with 370w electricity and tons of heat for 40 bucks. Now you have a skimmer! Does it work? Probably... Does it work well? Probably not... Is it more to run than your mh? Maybe. But at least you have a cheap skimmer!

exactly!!! Lol

fireball198
04/19/2011, 04:23 PM
just like everything you get what you pay for.

ToddG.
04/19/2011, 04:23 PM
Thiers many skimmers that are good for a reasonable price i think i paid 285 for mine but i agree thiers no way id spend over a 1000 dollars for a skimmer unless it was on a huge system.

UnoZeus
04/19/2011, 05:33 PM
I think if you compare the price of the materials and the labor to build the skimmer against the retail price, you will find there is a substantial markup.

Think about it though, this doesn't only happen in the aquarium industry, it's all over.

3.99AfterTaxes
04/19/2011, 06:04 PM
I think if you compare the price of the materials and the labor to build the skimmer against the retail price, you will find there is a substantial markup.

Think about it though, this doesn't only happen in the aquarium industry, it's all over.

Where's your evidence? What exactly defines a substantial markup? I've seen my LFS's dry goods order sheet (from a reputable distributor) and the margins are negligible (often < 30 points!!!!). I've also toyed around with the idea of making my own skimmer since my friend owns a fabrication studio and CNC equipment, and the savings did not come anywhere close to the so-called bargain manufacturing costs that are being touted in this thread.

So let's see it...

BowieReefer84
04/19/2011, 06:13 PM
Here is a nice company that offers quality DIY skimmers at a good price. They are a RC sponsor as well.

http://www.avastmarine.com/ssc/do/product/youbuilt/CS1-Cone-Skimmer-Kit

I don't think you can really ask for a lower price than that?

NYCBOB
04/19/2011, 07:08 PM
it has nothing with supply and demand. most companies that make skimmers also make other aquarium products. the skimmers are priced high bc people r willing to pay such a high price to keep their expensive livestocks alive, and companies know this. if one doesnt want to pay such a high price, get out of the hobby. no one is forcing anyone to shell out $400-600 for a vortech pump, but people r willing bc they do improve the overall reef experience.

James77
04/19/2011, 07:14 PM
I think if you compare the price of the materials and the labor to build the skimmer against the retail price, you will find there is a substantial markup.

Think about it though, this doesn't only happen in the aquarium industry, it's all over.

The people in this hobby making and selling skimmers are not running around with wads of money falling out of their pockets. Just looking at the materials involved....of course the markup will seem high. People selling skimmers are not doing it for charity work....they need to make a living. Considering the reefing hobby is pretty small, the price is higher because they are only selling a few, but have to cover salaries, retail, development, production machines, etc etc.

Pallobi
04/19/2011, 07:17 PM
one word... greed... agree or disagree, but they could be cheaper, but we are lining someone else's pocket willingly, so why should they drop price... the $500 skimmer could easily be 400, the $1000 skimmer could be 700... and the nonsense $2k plus, well, obviously its a rape job... but since people who need to have the "best" buy them, they will always be that high... economics, sure, but greed is the bottom line... why does everyone i know sell purple hornets for $50 plus? when i sell them for 20 each... same thing...

James77
04/19/2011, 07:18 PM
The example above of the vortech pump being $400 for the MP40.....

That is retail, so Ecotech themselves are getting probably 20-30% less than that. Then every one of their employeesneeds to get paid, as well as employment taxes and expenses, the insurance and mortgage on the building. Then you have marketing, shipping, warranties and losses. Oops, I forgot to mention you have to buy all the materials for the pumps and their packaging.

When you factor in the the above example, or any piece of solely reef equipment, will only sell a fairly limited amount....the price needs to be higher. The more that are sold the more that drives price down.

Some of the more expensive things that get bashed come from Europe......those have the added expensives of battling the worthless dollar, shipping overseas, VAT over on their side, and import/exporting taxes and fees. You are paying the people that make this stuff a fairly mdest salary...they are not flying around on private jets because of greed or our stupidity for paying such a high price......when the demand is low, the prices become high. There are not enough buyers to scale the costs down.

James77
04/19/2011, 07:21 PM
one word... greed... agree or disagree, but they could be cheaper, but we are lining someone else's pocket willingly, so why should they drop price... the $500 skimmer could easily be 400, the $1000 skimmer could be 700... and the nonsense $2k plus, well, obviously its a rape job... but since people who need to have the "best" buy them, they will always be that high... economics, sure, but greed is the bottom line... why does everyone i know sell purple hornets for $50 plus? when i sell them for 20 each... same thing...

If they could be cheaper, they absolutely would be! ANY manufacturer would rather slash the prices and sell thousands more....he would make a killing in the market. Reality is there are not enough people buying these things to cover the expenses if they were sold too cheap.

Overpriced coral are a totally different thing. But you selling them at $20 is alot differnt than a retailer who has overhead, salaries and the like to cover. Yes, they tend to be hyped coral....but you selling a frag out of your tank....you do not need to make a salary, cover other peoples salaries, buildings, taxes,insurance, etc. If the retailer could sell it for one cent and still cover the needed expenses, you really don't think he would to grab a huge share of the market?

Pallobi
04/19/2011, 07:35 PM
you have your opinion, and i have mine... i respect yours... i jus feel they could be cheaper is all...

but btw, the frag reference was from fellow hobbyist frag sellers... but lets not start a frag war, was jus an opinionated point i made

redfishsc
04/19/2011, 07:53 PM
A part of the reason that prices are so high is that reef keepers can fall victim to the mentality that a very costly product is proportionately more effective than a mid-priced version.

Some of our skimmer offerings are just ludicrously priced and an insult to common sense. You get what you pay for--- a high dollar name, sometimes, and that's all you get. And you paid for it.

Others are well designed, effective, and worth the cost. And you still get what you paid for--- an effective, well designed skimmer.

I think this is true in most every facet of our hobby. I think it's even worse in the reef lighting industry.

kevin28
04/19/2011, 08:19 PM
anything that says AQUARIUM is more a good example is mag pumps aquarium pumps are one price depending on pump and the pond pump (the same model ) is cheaper but has a longer cord you would think the longer cord would cost more.

Harry_Y
04/19/2011, 08:34 PM
I will admit I've seen a couple of these threads lately and they make me laugh.

Nobody is ripping anybody off, they make a product because they want to
make money plain and simple, God bless them that they can make a profit.

I have come up with some various things over the years some I produced others I did
not because there was not enough money to be made to justify my time and efforts.

Same for these people they are in it to make money, why should they charge
anything less than what the market will bear, that would be foolish on their part.

You set a price and if people pay it Great, if not then
you either drop the price or don't make the item.

My ratio on an small item is:
It should cost me less than a $1 in materials
Take less then 10 minutes to make
And sell for $20 or more

If it cant pass that, I don't make it as it is not worth the time to make it.


I have a CNC mill and can make lots of things but it is not worth even turning
on the machine unless it is either for me because I want it or I'm making money.


It is simple economics 101

karsseboom
04/19/2011, 08:59 PM
I'm not wanting cheap equipment and not denying R&D and quality, but still, half a thousand of us dollars seems like an overkill to me. Why would acrylic and a pump be more expensive than some not bad LED light units is beyond me.

Well we can tell your cheap..look your still using a caniter filter despite the fact that people have so many problems with high nitrates and all sort of issues... theres about a miilion threads about how people shouldnt us canister on marine but your to cheap to build a sump?

Pallobi
04/19/2011, 09:06 PM
Well we can tell your cheap..look your still using a caniter filter despite the fact that people have so many problems with high nitrates and all sort of issues... theres about a miilion threads about how people shouldnt us canister on marine but your to cheap to build a sump?

there is no reason to go insulting people... there is no need to throw out comments based on someones equipment used... maybe they cant afford it, but i bet they still love their livestock jus the same... what gives you the right to throw out those kind of accusations? lets hear your answer if you feel you have a good excuse for doin such a thing...

comments like this are a complete shame and give the RC people a bad name...

Nanook
04/19/2011, 10:57 PM
[flamealert]

James77
04/20/2011, 07:21 AM
I'm not wanting cheap equipment and not denying R&D and quality, but still, half a thousand of us dollars seems like an overkill to me. Why would acrylic and a pump be more expensive than some not bad LED light units is beyond me.

There are all different grades of acrylic and different qualities of pumps, so it is hard to lump all skimmers together as just a plastic body and pump. I've had cheaply built skimmers where I could squeeze the body, to skimmers that are built with thicker acrylic than really needed. Some pumps are custom built volutes and impellers.....again, you are paying a person and their employees to design and manufacture these things, so that adds to the expense. If only a handful of skimmers are sold, then the price will be higher, because their salaries and costs still need to be covered....whether they sell 5 or 500 will determine how high the price is.

Some of the cheapest skimmers on the market come from China, where ideas and designs are blatantly stolen and then sold at that cheap Chinese price....so that makes it more difficult to understand higher priced skimmers that were designed by people from similar skimmers that were made with their stolen ideas and designs at a very sheap price.

rjmayes34
04/20/2011, 07:32 AM
they could deff be cheaper!! It is a mold that they melt down plastic/acrilic and pump it in. Wait 30 mins for it to set and take it out. Put a pump with it and you good to go!! Like you said they can charge it so they do!! Its like you can go to lowes and buy a pond pump for way cheaper than you would going to your LFS and spend almost double on the same pump!!!! It dosent matter how many they sell. If they started selling them by the millions their price would not drop and that is crazy to think that!! WHen they upgrade roadrunner high speed internet do they just give it to you since your a "valued costomer" for the past ten years? No they tell you if you want it you have to pay more!! You $120 a month dosnt cover the "better" internet!!
Greed,Greed,Greed is what it boiles down to!!

nanojg
04/20/2011, 07:54 AM
It is so funny that people do not understand the difference in skimmer pumps and think that just any cheap pump will work as well and efficient as a higher priced pump. Same goes for skimmer designs.

Simple economic concepts are also apparently too challenging to understand for a lot of people as well. These companies are not working with economies of scale; therefore, the markup must be enough to pay for supplies, overhead, salaries and profit.

Kinda makes me laugh but its also sad too. Oh well...

DustinB
04/20/2011, 08:22 AM
I don't know if some of you have actually priced acrylic or not, but it is far from cheap. I've purchased several grades and sizes under a good wholesale account and it is still expensive. As others have stated, supply and demand does have a big factor in it. Smaller quantity equals higher production costs. Quantity manufacturing discounts typically start to get low at 10,000 units per order, each company makes far less than that each order.

Personally, at $320 for my Octopus XS200, I think it's a very fair price for a huge skimmer. I will agree that some of the "high end" equipment such as bubble king is IMO extremely overpriced, but balking at typical skimmer prices is just insane. Do a little economics research and look at manufacturing costs, labor, marketing, R&D, etc... in relation to such a small demand as the saltwater aquarium hobby. As many people are in this hobby, it is in fact still a VERY small market.

Pallobi
04/20/2011, 08:36 AM
I have priced plenty of acrylic, and yes, it is very pricey, even at the better priced locations/sites... and no the pumps are not cheap, and not like a regular old return pump... i definately agree with both of those concepts... and overhead, etc... are both legit concerns... I was wrong in my statements about a $1000 skimmer should be $700, as that probably isnt possible, it didnt cost 700 to make i am sure, but the maker has to make some money... however, some skimmers, are a bit overpriced imo... i shopped for a while to find mine... reef octopus 300 extreme dual pump skimmer... $500 shipped and i was and still am happy with my purchase 3 years later... i will need new pumps for it soon, and they are $189 each which is a bit steep with the original price i paid, clearly they are marking these up quite a bit, as two of them will cost nearly as much as the whole unit did... again, however, i am happy with the price i paid and the unit it got... sure there maybe others that cost twice to 4 times as much for the size mine is said to handle (300g total volume system) but I am happy with the amount it pulls and the job it does, so i feel i got a good product at a fair price, and really that is all you can ask for...

James77
04/20/2011, 08:37 AM
Simple economic concepts are also apparently too challenging to understand for a lot of people as well. These companies are not working with economies of scale; therefore, the markup must be enough to pay for supplies, overhead, salaries and profit.
Kinda makes me laugh but its also sad too. Oh well...

I guess some can only see the price tag, and not realize everything that goes behind it. All they see is the cost for the actual material, and then tack on "greed" as the one and only reason why the price is so high.

James77
04/20/2011, 08:43 AM
they could deff be cheaper!! It is a mold that they melt down plastic/acrilic and pump it in. Wait 30 mins for it to set and take it out. Put a pump with it and you good to go!! Like you said they can charge it so they do!! Its like you can go to lowes and buy a pond pump for way cheaper than you would going to your LFS and spend almost double on the same pump!!!! It dosent matter how many they sell. If they started selling them by the millions their price would not drop and that is crazy to think that!! WHen they upgrade roadrunner high speed internet do they just give it to you since your a "valued costomer" for the past ten years? No they tell you if you want it you have to pay more!! You $120 a month dosnt cover the "better" internet!!
Greed,Greed,Greed is what it boiles down to!!

Molds cost money, just as larger and more advanced wire and servers for that super duper fast internet cost money. A company exists to employ people and make a modest profit in order to continue to stay in business.

Lowes will sell far more of those pumps than your LFS store will, and the LFS also cannot buy them in the massively discounted quantities that Lowes can. Lowes will buy 25,000 for cheaper becuase of the volume, whereas the LFS can only afford to buy a few dozen. Yes, the pump is also just repackaged to be sold to the aquarium industry....but that requires different boxing and costs, to a smaller market to cover the costs.

Soulsanctu
04/20/2011, 09:06 AM
Reefin ain't cheap.....It all comes down to what are you willing to pay. I prefer to spend more than I should because experience has taught me that if you buy something, get the highest quality you can afford and you will never regret it. Yeah its just a bunch of plastic, fittings, and a pump but it is what it is. If you can make one, same quality and sell it at a cheaper price then you may want to do that as you will get customers lining up to buy it....thats how capitalism works(ain't it a beautiful thing?).....

phenom5
04/20/2011, 09:36 AM
It is so funny that people do not understand the difference in skimmer pumps and think that just any cheap pump will work as well and efficient as a higher priced pump. Same goes for skimmer designs.

Simple economic concepts are also apparently too challenging to understand for a lot of people as well. These companies are not working with economies of scale; therefore, the markup must be enough to pay for supplies, overhead, salaries and profit.


QFT.


I don't think skimmers are ridiculously overpriced at all. Quite the opposite these days. You can get more skimmer for the money than you ever could in the past. Sure, there are some really pricey skimmers out there, just like there always have been. And there are some really crappy cheap skimmers out there, just like there always have been. But now there are literally dozens of skimmers on the market that are effective, efficient, and reasonably priced. CoralVue, Bubble Magnus, SWC, Vertex, Reef Dynamics...and the list goes on of companies producing skimmers that are reasonably priced, good performing skimmers.

I don't know that skimmer manufacturers are price gouging anywhere near as bad as some people want to believe. Like nanojg said, economies of scale. Skimmers sales are probably at an all time high...but it's still a niche market. And if they were really taking people to the cleaners, somebody would enter the market with one of these mythical, dirt cheap wonder skimmers and force BK, ATB, and the like to lower their prices or get out.

Pallobi
04/20/2011, 09:43 AM
well said phenom...

Ricardo_Jorge
04/20/2011, 10:14 AM
Hey guys, you think that the skimmers sold in US are overpriced?
Take a look on prices here in Brazil. Itīs so overpriced that makes me LOL!!

Nowadays, in US, we have prices for any tastes without leaving hand of quality!
Unfortunately, our hobby isnīt so cheap as we would like!

Ex.: A Mini Bubble King 160 that costs U$ 929.99 in US, here in Brazil is about U$ 1,700.00...

Pallobi
04/20/2011, 10:17 AM
good point ricardo, thank you for sharing...

MrKite24
04/20/2011, 01:07 PM
I don't mean to sound like a jerk, but if you think they are overpriced then build one yourself. If you think you can build a good skimmer for less then start marketing it and sell it yourself. You don't realize what the costs are paying for until you do it yourself.

kiel
04/20/2011, 01:36 PM
marketing is also a big factor....there's a reason we all know the big brand names, the costs of which are passed onto the consumer

gcarroll
04/20/2011, 02:41 PM
QFT.


I don't think skimmers are ridiculously overpriced at all. Quite the opposite these days. You can get more skimmer for the money than you ever could in the past. Sure, there are some really pricey skimmers out there, just like there always have been. And there are some really crappy cheap skimmers out there, just like there always have been. But now there are literally dozens of skimmers on the market that are effective, efficient, and reasonably priced. CoralVue, Bubble Magnus, SWC, Vertex, Reef Dynamics...and the list goes on of companies producing skimmers that are reasonably priced, good performing skimmers.

I don't know that skimmer manufacturers are price gouging anywhere near as bad as some people want to believe. Like nanojg said, economies of scale. Skimmers sales are probably at an all time high...but it's still a niche market. And if they were really taking people to the cleaners, somebody would enter the market with one of these mythical, dirt cheap wonder skimmers and force BK, ATB, and the like to lower their prices or get out.Funny how you praise many of the companies with little or no R&D and condemn the innovative companies who actually create all the advancements in skimmer tech. Funny how soon we forget. Many of the companies you praised do not produce skimmers. I will leave it at that.

kiel also injected a large cost that is being left out. Marketing. Let's not forget shipping either. There is also distribution that needs to be factored in.

phenom5
04/20/2011, 05:02 PM
Funny how you praise many of the companies with little or no R&D and condemn the innovative companies who actually create all the advancements in skimmer tech. Funny how soon we forget. Many of the companies you praised do not produce skimmers. I will leave it at that.


I didn't condemn anyone in my post, and my intent was not to sing the praises of any particular company's product or practices. Yes, I'm aware of how & where many of those skimmers are produced, and what those company's do in terms of "manufacturing".

My point was simply that there are plenty of options, and plenty of price ranges out there. There are plenty of skimmers that will do an adequate job on an appropriately sized tank, so the idea that skimmers are ridiculously over priced doesn't hold a lot of water...IMO of course.

kenjung
04/20/2011, 05:51 PM
I will say, Vortech pumps are worth their price. I bought 2 use MP40 on different occasion older model. These rocks, they are still going strong.

As far as skimmer goes, I rather spent my money on corals, that just me. I have old Bermuda skimmer on 156 oceanic tank, my nitrate 1 to 2 ppm. My bio load is more than average with 6 medium size tangs.

All bio filtration and little skimmer, I saw my friend big dollar skimmer, makes it look outdated. But I not upgrading until it needs to be.

You need skimmer but you can compensate for them.

hk855
04/20/2011, 07:40 PM
I build aquaculture filtration systems and know the price behind building products, lets look at the cost of building my 100g Canadian made skimmer. The first distinction is between quality or not. A quality body is cell cast acrylic, about $10 a foot for 4", there is $15. Base, add another 5. Fittings, two for the pump one for the collection cup $10 easy. Pumps wholesale aren't much cheaper than retail, say $15. Add another $5 for random parts and were at $50 in materials probably on the very low end. Now pay for someone to glue it together at a decent wage, double that to pay the office workers and add $10 to ship it and $5 for packing. So your looking at $90 just to get it to the wholesaler.

Considering I paid $180 the mark up isn't bad for a select item, that is built like a brick. That super cheap skimmer that is polycarbonate cast in three pieces for $5 glued for 50 cents in china with a $10 pump and will crack when droped 6" is overpriced for $120. But the lower end quality skimmers are worth it in most instances. I wouldn't buy a bubble king either tho.

sreefs
04/20/2011, 07:57 PM
You are paying for more than plastic and a pump(when you buy a quality product). You pay for R&D, customer service, warranty and profit most people are in business to make money. Being in business for myself I know what it is like to have people who know nothing about what I do think I should do it cheaper.

Not to mention the problem of cheap Chinese goods having made anything else seem over priced to people who don't know the difference (or care).

Prodman very well said, couldn't agree more.

gcarroll
04/21/2011, 06:38 AM
I didn't condemn anyone in my post, and my intent was not to sing the praises of any particular company's product or practices. Yes, I'm aware of how & where many of those skimmers are produced, and what those company's do in terms of "manufacturing".

My point was simply that there are plenty of options, and plenty of price ranges out there. There are plenty of skimmers that will do an adequate job on an appropriately sized tank, so the idea that skimmers are ridiculously over priced doesn't hold a lot of water...IMO of course.Rob, my bad, after re-reading, it is obvious I was wrong. you were speaking in hypothetical terms. Sorry.

phenom5
04/21/2011, 09:22 AM
No worries Greg.

cromedogg33
04/21/2011, 09:43 AM
I have to wonder why we argue on price? If you don't like the price don't buy it. You will notice one thing with TOTM thread here on RC. MOST all have extremely nice skimmers that were not cheap. Not to say other ways don't work but there definately is a trend with nice tanks.

I paid a pretty penny for my skimmer but having used 3 prior to my new deltec. It's not even comparable in performance.

It's kind of like buying a car IMO. You have the Kia car at one dealer and you have a Ferrari and the other down the road. Sure ultimately they get you from point A to point B, but it's the performance, look, feel that the ferrari gets you that makes it superior.

A really good example of reefing equipment would be the profilux controllers. They were absolutely ridiculously priced just a few years ago. Neptune Apex and RKE came around and profilux is scrambling to stay in the market with price cuts.

So when the Kia start performing like a Ferrari, then prices will come down on the Ferrari...until then I'll smell my fish poo in my Deltec.

sjm817
04/21/2011, 10:07 AM
I wouldn't want a Ferrari skimmer. A skimmer that looks great, performs well when it works, but is expensive to maintain and is not reliable is not what I would want in a skimmer.

A skimmer needs to be functional. Its a device that takes fish poo out of the water and puts it in a cup. It doesn't need to be pretty. I wont pay for fancy colored plastic. Grey or black is fine. It needs to work well, be trouble free, easy and inexpensive to service. Just because it costs a lot doesn't necessarily mean the design was well tested before being shipped, or that it is well supported. BTW, not saying Deltec fits in that category.

schriss
04/26/2011, 05:27 AM
I do realize price I pay is supposed to be more that total price of all parts of the product.
I have just bought Deltec MCE600, because it had good reviews and was said to be quality. I am very happy with it as it works great and produced more skimmate on first 2 days that my old skimmer would produce in a week.

But I stll feel ripped off exploited because I could have two WII consoles for that money. Surely you can tell the difference in technology used in a console and a skimmer.
I have also paid 800 Euro for LED light unit and again, the same feeling. I know it takes fraction of that amount to build it. Double that to make up for R&D and profits, still much less that what I paid. It's real value is probably close to 200 Euro.

I think it does go down to greed because there is big demand, so it's exploited as much as possible, until it lasts.

IluvGod'sreefs
04/26/2011, 09:23 AM
Everyone in this hobby knows full well going in that it is expensive, and if you don't, then you haven't done your homework prior to starting. I agree that there is a lot of greed out there, but there just isn't a lot that can be done about it. IMO, anyone that feels exploited and just can't make peace with it should sell their tank, cut their losses, and put an aquarium screen saver on their computer. That is a heck of a lot better than going around feeling butt-hurt all of the time!

schriss
04/26/2011, 09:37 AM
No, give up is not an option.

ludiNano
04/26/2011, 09:49 AM
Then there was article comparing different skimmers and result was that the best ones are not the most expensive ones.

Im sure there is more then one study on this but the only one ive seen has bubble king winning the test among a wide range of test skimmers.

Now that said it was a narrow gap among all of them including the BK.

nanojg
04/26/2011, 10:09 AM
No, give up is not an option.

I think you have four options:

1. Give up
2. Get over it
3. Build your own quality equipment
4. Buy cheap equipment

James77
04/26/2011, 10:10 AM
But I stll feel ripped off exploited because I could have two WII consoles for that money. Surely you can tell the difference in technology used in a console and a skimmer.
I have also paid 800 Euro for LED light unit and again, the same feeling. I know it takes fraction of that amount to build it. Double that to make up for R&D and profits, still much less that what I paid. It's real value is probably close to 200 Euro.
I think it does go down to greed because there is big demand, so it's exploited as much as possible, until it lasts.

Exploited? C'mon. How many Wii's have been sold compared to how many Deltec skimmers? There have been close to 90 million Wii units sold worldwide, that is why they are so cheap. They are mass produced by automated assembly lines, and the electronics are sold in such mass bulk that it makes it further cheaper. They are made with the cheapest labor possible, and are distributed by the cargo container full to countries. Add into that the company is also getting further money from every single game that is sold, so they are guaranteed future business.

Compare that to Deltec....I have no idea of their sales, but it is nowhere near millions, I can hazard to guess. Yet they still have to pay themselves and their employees to design, build, market, and support the skimmer.....and make a profit as a company on top of it. You CANNOT just go on the parts cost as your judgement of greed or exploitation....you are paying for salaries, taxes, profit, marketing,insurances, machines, molds, overhead costs, etc, etc.

There is NOT big demand for anything in our hobby, it is a niche market for the most part, especially equipment like skimmers and high intensity LED lighting. As I have said and others have said, the people making and selling our hobbies equipment are not running around millionaires....there are no private jets from our buying their equipment. There are very real, expensive costs that they MUST cover in order to stay in business...that is what dictates the final price of the skimmer or any other equipment sold. The more they can sell, the cheaper it becomes....that is true across the board with most anything....cars, appliances, etc. They are also not getting the retail price you paid....there are retailers, distributors, and shippers that all must get paid ( and have simialr overheads too) to get that skimmer to you!

nanojg
04/26/2011, 10:13 AM
Exploited? C'mon. How many Wii's have been sold compared to how many Deltec skimmers? There have been close to 90 million Wii units sold worldwide, that is why they are so cheap. They are mass produced by automated assembly lines, and the electronics are sold in such mass bulk that it makes it further cheaper. They are made with the cheapest labor possible, and are distributed by the cargo container full to countries. Add into that the company is also getting further money from every single game that is sold, so they are guaranteed future business.

Compare that to Deltec....I have no idea of their sales, but it is nowhere near millions, I can hazard to guess. Yet they still have to pay themselves and their employees to design, build, market, and support yhe skimmer.....and make a profit as a company on top of it. You CANNOT just go on the parts cost as your judgemnet of greed or exploitation....you are paying for salaries, taxes, profit, marketing, overhead costs, etc, etc.

There is NOT big demand for anything in our hobby, it is a niche market for the most part, especially equipment like skimmers and high intensity LED lighting. As I have said and others have said, the people making and selling our hobbies equipment are not running around millionaires....there are no private jets from our buying their equipment. There are very real, expensive costs that they MUST cover in order to stay in business...that is what dictates the final price of the skimmer. They are also not getting the retail price you paid....there are retailers, distributors, and shippers that all must get paid to get that skimmer to you!



I think it is rather obvious that he has no concept of economics.

James77
04/26/2011, 10:21 AM
I have also paid 800 Euro for LED light unit and again, the same feeling. I know it takes fraction of that amount to build it. Double that to make up for R&D and profits, still much less that what I paid. It's real value is probably close to 200 Euro.
.

It is alot more complicated, and far more expensive than a simple doubling of what you think it cost for them to build. They have a set cost of operating....and overhead....that they must cover. That is their salaries and whatever else I listed above. If they sell only a certain amount of product....that product must still cover all those costs. The fewer they sell, the more the product will cost because they cannot spread it out over more sales. The more they sell, the more costs can come down because each unit will cost less since it is mostly parts as more units have covered the bottom line costs.

If Toyota made one car- or could only sell 10,000- can you imagine the cost? But they sell millions, as do most car makers, so the costs come down. i

Nanook
04/26/2011, 10:24 AM
This is one of the reasons why I do business with GEO. He is a hobbyist that manufactures his reactors and skimmers in the USA and he doesn't charge thousands of dollars for high-end equipment. Also, if you have any issues he is available to help troubleshoot or send parts within a day or two. There are some great options for us in the USA when it comes to get high quality products for fair prices.

schriss
04/27/2011, 06:33 AM
Ok now I understand that economy is to blame. The price is sky high because skimmers are not produced/sold in millions, like some other goods, so the price has to make up for it.

schriss
04/27/2011, 06:40 AM
I think you have four options:

1. Give up
No way.
2. Get over it
Sooner or later I will, but the hole in my pocket still burns.
3. Build your own quality equipment
Actually I was thinking about dropping a cheap pump into a bucket, that is in case of huge disaster when civilisation collapses and I wouldnt even be able to get Boyu Skimmer off eBay.
4. Buy cheap equipment
Was thinking about Boyu, bought V2 Skim 300 Compact Skimmer and had neverending problems with it. Done with it.

pbnj
04/27/2011, 08:39 AM
I don't know the first thing about what goes into designing/manufacturing/marketing a high-end skimmer, but if you're someone trying to justify the cost/value, then why do they depreciate faster than cars? Seems like as soon as they get wet, they lose 25% of their value. Most used skimmers here on RC go for 40-60% of their retail value.

fatwrasse
04/27/2011, 09:13 AM
This thread should have been called "Why are poeple willing to learn so much about their reef hobby and not economics." All I see here is people explaing economic/business principles and people replying with "BAWWW thats too much, I'm being ripped". Lrn2 Economics & Business MGMT.



That is all.

schriss
04/27/2011, 09:15 AM
I just googled for "economy" :-D what you described is core part of it. Goods need to age, loose value and break. It cant hold initial value forever or work flawlessly forever.

schriss
04/27/2011, 10:02 AM
Having read all replies and explanations of higher cost and added costs for items that are not in mass production, I still believe I was ripped off ;-) Sorry. I just wanted to see if Im alone with this feeling. Especially that I had no choice but to pay, knowing I get quality stuff, but at what price...

James77
04/27/2011, 12:01 PM
I don't know the first thing about what goes into designing/manufacturing/marketing a high-end skimmer, but if you're someone trying to justify the cost/value, then why do they depreciate faster than cars? Seems like as soon as they get wet, they lose 25% of their value. Most used skimmers here on RC go for 40-60% of their retail value.

They are two grossly different markets.....but new cars depreciate about 15-20% in their first year. Cars can also last 10+ years, whereas our hobby equipment can crap out withn a few years. For myself, I would rather pay 100% retail on a skimmer than from a seller selling at 90% of value....simply because it is safer as far as knowing what I am getting, warranty, and shipping damage.