2 Aug 2015

Prices of Japanese radios?

I wonder when the next round of price drops will come on Japanese gear? The big Japanese players such as Yaesu, Icom and Kenwood have had an easy ride of late and been able to dictate prices. Now the competition is waking up, I expect they will be facing tougher times.

The latest exchange rates (UK pound to Japanese Yen) is £1 is worth about 193 Yen. Not many years ago it was less than 130 Yen to the pound. In real terms, Japanese goods should be much less expensive. At the moment both the UK dealers and Japanese are doing very well thank you from a customer base prepared to pay high prices. Expect big falls between now and the year end. This will be partly due exchange rates becoming much better (for those in the UK) and partly due to the increasing threat from the non-Japanese suppliers. Don't you find it amazing how low cost some Chinese hand portables are compared with similar products from Japan? Rip-off come to mind - charge high prices for Japanese goods as long as the suckers pay.

No, the age of UK amateur radio consumers being taken for a ride is ending. The next time you discuss prices with UK dealers remind them of competition and exchange rates! At the moment their margins must be very high. Japanese goods are priced too high in the UK - fact. A few years ago I was more sympathetic, but not any more. UK consumers should pay a fair price with the dealers getting a fair margin, but please don't take us all for mugs. I shall buy when the prices are fair and not before.

If I have this wrong, I shall be interested to hear the dealers viewpoint. Exchange rates have got vastly better and I do not see this reflected in end user prices here in the UK.  Someone is making very handsome profits.

Consumers - vote with your wallets and do not buy overpriced radios.  I have said before, the FT817 is classic example: all development costs were recovered years ago, so the price should be considerably lower than it is. Dealers have dropped the price somewhat, but it is nowhere near what it should be for a very mature design.


Anonymous said...

This has been the case with a lot of cheap Chinese electronics and why many companies move their manufacturing to these cheaper places. They don't have to abide by the same laws as if they were produced in the UK or USA. Be very careful of what you wish for here as the Walmart trend does serious damage.

Wait for these cheap Chinese radios manufactures put the bigger names out of business, then guess what. You only don't have the option of buying higher quality gear. Just like how mom and pop stores when out of business in small towns due to Walmart. Now the only place to buy anything in some of these towns is Walmart with poor quality goods and horrible selection.

There are many other aspects to this concept that should be considered as well. Environment, worker rights and work place safety, patent infringement, etc.

Roger G3XBM said...

My main point is the pound-yen exchange rate has improved considerably and this is NOT yet reflected in end user prices in the UK. Chinese competition may make the Japanese and the dealers wake up. I agree with your concerns. I want the dealers and manufacturers to make profits, but not take us all for mugs.

Roger G3XBM said...

Most things on sale here in the UK now say, "Made in China". Back in the 1960s it was, "Made in Japan". I still wish it said, "Made in the UK".

Anonymous said...

I agree with your comment about exchange rate (although they do buy parts and warehouse product all over the world). I wish our governments could equal the playing field, as I agree I miss the "Made in USA" label. As long as we allow importing products from companies that are not held to the same standards this will not change. There needs to be incentives to companies to manufacture in the region being sold. It would be nice if the people could control this with their buying power, but here in the US everyone seems to want to shop at walmart and costco, regardless if they can afford to do otherwise.