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View Full Version : What do you do with seconds?



goose
09-26-2009, 08:35 AM
For retailing parts to your clients, inquiring what is your opinion on seconds. That is, parts that are functional at %100 but have cosmetic flaws.

Do you throw them out or offer them at a reduced price, or put them in a little bin in your shop to think about later?

Let's say your making doodads that you retail direct to the end use, and they normally sell at $15 a piece. Would you bother offering any cosmetically challenged pieces at $5 a pop just to get back some money? Or would you never consider compromising the quality of your product line?

At times it seems like a quick way to move stuff out of the shop and make a little money as well, but then I think of a manufacturer such as Lie-Nielsen planes, they don't have seconds. If /when they do have defects in a piece, it probably gets tossed in the furnace.


Thank you,

Gary

John Stevenson
09-26-2009, 08:37 AM
Wait until you get 60 of them..





.

Evan
09-26-2009, 09:02 AM
That is a classic "it depends" question.

It depends on the item and the end use. If the cosmetics are going to be destroyed shortly in use then sell them. If the cosmetic flaws will be obvious as a manufacturing defect for the rest of eternity then don't sell them.

Another option is to cover the object with the same sort of flaws. One accidental hammer mark is a dent. A bunch is "antiquing". One scratch is just a scratch. A bunch of them is a "Brushed finish". Then it becomes a new and more expensive "deluxe" feature... :D

Carld
09-26-2009, 09:33 AM
Yep, as John said. Seconds make minutes, minutes make hours, hours make days, days make weeks, weeks make months, months make years, years make a life time and your dead. Well, so much for that life. :D

:eek: Oh, oh, I see defective parts you have manufactured. Think about it, would you sell a defective part to someone? I wouldn't and anything I make that doesn't meet my approval goes in the trash or scrap pile to make something else from. I have kept defective parts as a sample with a customers tooling.

websterz
09-26-2009, 09:35 AM
I wait until I have a dozen or so and run a "Cosmetic Seconds" sale. I show pics of the seconds alongside first run parts, explaining that the "flaws" are only visual. They generally move quickly at a 50% off rate, and many folks come back later to buy other items from me, seconds or not. Why waste usable parts???

Lew Hartswick
09-26-2009, 09:44 AM
When I read the tiltle I formed a reply but I see John and carld beat
me to it. :-)
...lew...

andy_b
09-26-2009, 10:37 AM
:eek: Oh, oh, I see defective parts you have manufactured. Think about it, would you sell a defective part to someone? I wouldn't and anything I make that doesn't meet my approval goes in the trash or scrap pile to make something else from. I have kept defective parts as a sample with a customers tooling.

if i threw out everything i made that was defective i wouldn't have anything left. :)

andy b.

Mcgyver
09-26-2009, 11:21 AM
it does depend, but it depends on demand and margins. Something with a low gross margin that is widely available should be discounted to move, the other end of the spectrum is a captive market with very high margins - scrap them as discounting cannibalizes a high margin sale.

Circlip
09-26-2009, 11:35 AM
But you've been buying some of these for years and been gloating about them??

Regards Ian.

rockrat
09-26-2009, 12:32 PM
I will partially side with Evan here. At the real old place that I once worked, we were never to do anything that made the part look better unless it was on the print or on the job router (job sheet, shop directions etc).

Had a run of parts and the fellow making them cleaned up a part of the casting were there was a nasty edge that the operator grabbed when loading the part. We didn't make the castings and they always came in that way. The trick was to grab them a bit different and you were good. It said so on the sheet.

Rockwell got the parts and accepted them as good. But the next batch was done by a different fellow in our shop. He had run the parts before and didn't clean up the edge.

Rockwell rejected them all due to the fact that the edge was not cleaned. Buy doing it once, we committed to doing it in the future. Man the owner went through the roof.

Ship the seconds first, then if they gripe, ship your firsts. ymmv

rock~

andy_b
09-26-2009, 02:02 PM
I will partially side with Evan here. At the real old place that I once worked, we were never to do anything that made the part look better unless it was on the print or on the job router (job sheet, shop directions etc).

Had a run of parts and the fellow making them cleaned up a part of the casting were there was a nasty edge that the operator grabbed when loading the part. We didn't make the castings and they always came in that way. The trick was to grab them a bit different and you were good. It said so on the sheet.

Rockwell got the parts and accepted them as good. But the next batch was done by a different fellow in our shop. He had run the parts before and didn't clean up the edge.

Rockwell rejected them all due to the fact that the edge was not cleaned. Buy doing it once, we committed to doing it in the future. Man the owner went through the roof.

rock~

they should have fired that operator who went the extra mile, or at least sent his ass to China. how dare he go above and beyond to show pride in his work and make a quality part. oh wait minute, you were working for Starrett, weren't you?

andy b.

rockrat
09-26-2009, 02:52 PM
oh wait minute, you were working for Starrett, weren't you?

andy b.

rut ro raggy!

I didnt say it was the best place to work, just A place. :)

rock

danlb
09-26-2009, 03:51 PM
There are problems with selling seconds....

It cuts into your sales of first rate (stated above)

It might make some folks delay buying until they can get a second

I hurts your reputation, since the unwashed public does not know that we all make mistakes.

I'd only sell them if there was a high materials cost involved, or if you have so much work that you are turningaway customers. Your time is worthless if no one is paying for it... Or priceless. Your call.

Dan

Your Old Dog
09-26-2009, 04:41 PM
I wouldn't sell "seconds" for any price if I was in the business of making a product.

I once asked a body shop to paint by Blazer but don't do any body work on it, just a quick paint job. The guy said, "no! You'll tell everyone you know where you got the paint job but you won't bother to tell them that you didn't want us to do the body work first"

mochinist
09-26-2009, 05:07 PM
I will partially side with Evan here. At the real old place that I once worked, we were never to do anything that made the part look better unless it was on the print or on the job router (job sheet, shop directions etc).

Had a run of parts and the fellow making them cleaned up a part of the casting were there was a nasty edge that the operator grabbed when loading the part. We didn't make the castings and they always came in that way. The trick was to grab them a bit different and you were good. It said so on the sheet.

Rockwell got the parts and accepted them as good. But the next batch was done by a different fellow in our shop. He had run the parts before and didn't clean up the edge.

Rockwell rejected them all due to the fact that the edge was not cleaned. Buy doing it once, we committed to doing it in the future. Man the owner went through the roof.

Ship the seconds first, then if they gripe, ship your firsts. ymmv

rock~ I think the owner let himself get pushed around on that one

topct
09-26-2009, 05:36 PM
There was a lot of metal that we did not sell as seconds at Kaiser. You are flying around in the very best.

Your welcome. :D

rockrat
09-26-2009, 06:53 PM
I think the owner let himself get pushed around on that one

I agree but when an owner also allows his company to have 90% contracts from one customer, that customer ends up with more control than it should.

But, such is life.

As for the topic, I like the paint shop example.

rock~

bob ward
09-26-2009, 08:27 PM
There are a lot of variables in the question that will influence the course of action.

In general I don't think you want to offer them alongside your A grade items as you will cannibalise the A grade sales. A more discrete word of mouth method is probably the better option.

In a previous life, nothing to do with machining, I used to turn out the odd second grade item, it was just under 1% of production. I would stockpile the seconds for a few months, then have a quiet word with one of my favourite customers, this is the guy that was always reasonable and always paid his bills on time.

We would negotiate a price and both walk away happy. He had bought some cheaper stock that was not going to affect the quality of his product, I had recovered my costs plus a small margin.

goose
09-26-2009, 09:57 PM
Thank you ! Only the best and the very best goes out the shop doors, that was my current view. But it seems a shame to waste a nice piece that's at 98 percent perfection, but got screwed up on one of the last steps, (often knurling.) Good opinions all.

Gary

gmatov
09-27-2009, 03:25 AM
I buy stuff. I don't produce things.So, NO, I don't think you should sell DEFECTS.

I have heard for years that when you buy a 1 buck sparkplug, you are buying a "second" I don't believe that.

If YOU are making titanium hip replacements, and you sell your rejects for less, that is a no-no.

If you are forging Crescent wrenches, and the handle is not perfect, yes, I might buy that.

Cheers,

George