Dick Smith Exposed - Page 2

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Re: Dick Smith Exposed

"kreed"
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** What era was this ?

I know someone what was there in the late 70s.

DSE  generally lost money selling 0.5W resistors and tantalum caps through
their retail stores.

Wages paid to staff that had to order and handle such stock and deal with
counter sales exceeded the value the sales - plus there as a high theft
rate.


" Never been to Ikea, so dont know what their pricing is like."

Dick's criticisms of Aldi, Ikea and others is all here:

http://whatacon.com.au/blog/ikea-what-going

He seems to have a good point.



...  Phil




Re: Dick Smith Exposed
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Late seventies (79?). Sid McKitrick, Mark Sutton, and a Brian who's last
name I can't remember, he was a good bloke - worse I can't remember the
name of a mate who came over from the Buranda store - Michael Hodges.

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I have never heard that (lost money). Just running some numbers it would
indeed be true if the customer only bought a couple of resistors or
caps. Service was faster/cheaper back then as you did not have to record
part numbers, and if a customer asked for something by device name ( a
741) most of the staff could just turn around and pick it out of the
parts trays.

Except for one guy called Cyril M. He was retired. He was sort of a sad
guy. Every time, he'd come to the counter with a switch or something and
ask if you had one that was a specific colour or shape or size or
something. Of course the answer was "No", and then he'd take 10 minuets
telling you why he needed one that was different, but he would take this
one if you were sure that was all you had because ... (another 5
minutes. We used to dread him especially on busy days (it made no
difference to him), but when he wasn't in our store he was doing the
same at Delsound, St Lucia, and other Dick Smith stores.

I never heard of the theft rate being a problem although we never caught
a shoplifter despite what the sign said. Our stock takes came in within
1% of the expected value so Chermside at least did OK. We had a casual
who used to help himself to the till but when it was figured out who it
was he was let go.




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--
We have failed to address the fundamental truth that endless growth is
impossible in a finite world.

Re: Dick Smith Exposed
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And the rest. When I went to Tokyo in 1980, I found that I could buy the
same stuff at one third the price retail in Akihabara.

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You weren't a "Techxpert" were you


Re: Dick Smith Exposed
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There may be an miss read in what DSE used to call a profit margin. I
assure you this is what DSE used:

A product that sold with a 98% profit margin meant (to DSE - I had an
argument and had to check it more than once) that of the product sales
price (say 3 cents for a resistor) 98% of that 3 cents was profit. Only
0.2% was the product cost to DSE.

The staff discount scheme was you could buy anything for your own use
for cost price plus 10%. I forget how many resistors you could get for a
cent - they were so cheap you only bought the 1% metal film and tantalum
caps that retailed for over a dollar were less than 20 cents. Everyone
had lots of experience in using this scheme, I assure you this is
accurate.

--
We have failed to address the fundamental truth that endless growth is
impossible in a finite world.

Re: Dick Smith Exposed

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Indeed. Well, AFAIK Dick did sell his name and image, so...
OTOH, if I were him, I'd be trying to divorce myself from the DSE
brand as much as possible at this point. Perhaps he ought to change
his name by deed poll!


Re: Dick Smith Exposed
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Wasn't there some rumoured rider they had to keep selling components and
other basic  items to retain the Dick Smith 'endorsement' and naming rights,
given that was what Dick was so enthusiastic about making available to
budding tecnical generations ?

geoff



Re: Dick Smith Exposed

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Possibly the rider was only for a set amount of years? I've no idea if
such a rider existed or not though.


Re: Dick Smith Exposed
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Sufficient bucks would over ride that

Re: Dick Smith Exposed

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A lot more of this in Whirlpool forums I noticed too.

Im not really surprised at this, and I don't think it would be limited
to Dick Smith either.

vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

Had returned faulty items that had been put back on the shelf several times
from Maplin in the UK.

Suspect once or twice from the Lidl chain of stores too.



Re: Dick Smith Exposed

"kreed"

As for your case with valves and transistors, it could also apply to
kits.

IIRC years ago, when you bought a kit from Dick Smith, you would be
able to return it for a refund if, once getting it home, opening it
and looking at what was involved, you didnt feel confident you could
build it and hadn't started construction.

If there were IC's involved, and they were not handled with static
safe methods before being returned, you could end up with a faulty
kit, if you were the next owner of one of these returned kits.


** As I recall, ICs were supplied in a plastic bag and were inserted into
pieces of conductive foam  -  whether they needed that or not.

By far the most likely reason for finding a bad part in a DSE kit is that is
came from a shonky supplier. This was particularly true of TO3 transistors
with "TIC" brand on them or later the Motorola "M" brand on them.

At one time in the late 1970s, DSE were selling LM741s that were out of spec
and more than half were completely dud. I remember the logo on the packs was
like a clover leaf.

The faulty transistors I bought were MJ15031/32s from David Reed in York
Street. I purchased 5 of each and they were all shorted C-E.  When I got a
staffer to check the remaining stock with a multimeter - they proved to be
all shorted too.

Then the truth came out, all the stock had been returned by another customer
who had put them through a selection process to find the ones with the
highest Vce rating.  He returned all the ones that failed his test.

The faulty valves were GE brand 6L6GCs bought from Radio Despatch Service in
George Street. I had returned four of them for making severe crackling
noises only to have them turn up in an amplifier on my bench two weeks
later. The owner of the amp had bought them from RDS a few days previously
and he still had the boxes. They were the same ones.


...  Phil





Re: Dick Smith Exposed

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I think there were heaps of faulty 741s on the market, I remember
building an acceptance tester that the assembly people could bin
the parts into working comparators, integrators, or fully functional.

We didn't get many product returns, and the binning sure helped
improve manufacturing yield for completed assemblies, mid 70s.

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Poor testing, worse ethics :(

DSE also supplied remarked 5% resistors as 1%, some values you
could see the gold showing through the brown tolerance band.

Grant.

Re: Dick Smith Exposed




** From the SMH:

Dick Smith and other retailers exposed for selling returned items as new.

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/computers/used-sold-as-new-dick-smith-says-it-wouldnt-happen-if-he-was-in-charge-20111223-1p890.html

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/computers/exposed-new-dick-smith-hard-drive-full-of-pirated-movies-20111222-1p6eh.html

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/computers/new-goods-scandal--more-stores-accused-20111223-1p80h.html

Anyone who has ever had anything to do with retailing knows that any item
returned in presentable condition goes right back on the shelf. That is why
retailers will not accept damaged items for return nor items with no
packaging.

DSEs famous 7 or 14 day " satisfaction guarantee" was all about doing just
this.

But with digital storage media, the subsequent owner can be in for a nasty
surprise ...

It ain't happed to me, but I have been sold faulty valves and transistors
where I was certainly not the first owner.


...  Phil

When I negotiated a price match on my wireless router from DS, the salesgirl
rummaged in a cupboard and came out with a boxed unit. When I got it home
and set it up it already had details in it including a hotmail address. It
would appear that the customer thought he/she could connect to the internet
without an isp? and when not successful, returned the unit. Nevertheless it
has worked faultlessly since. When I was next in the store I mentioned the
fact to the manager, and also that the Ethernet cable was missing. He
apologised and was willing to give me a cable however as I have plenty
already, I declined.
Not limited to Dick Smith either. I purchased a canon Camera from Harvey
Norman last year. I negotiated a lower price and the salesman assured me
that they had new stock and it would not be the display unit. He then walked
me to the payment counter and disappeared saying that he had to search the
storeroom. After what seemed a rather long time he appeared with a boxed
unit and I made the purchase. When I got the box home and set it up all
appeared ok except that the battery was already installed in the camera and
there was no battery cover. Having purchased several Canon cameras
previously, the batteries always come in a sealed plastic bag so the guy had
more than likely reboxed the display unit or given me a return. It has
proved to be OK also, tho I would like a battery cover
I find myself opening boxes in the car park these days just to make sure I
am getting what I paid for before I take it home!


Re: Dick Smith Exposed

"bristan"

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**  Some customers are very cunning.

With stores that offer a no quibbles return policy -  they will return an
item that is clearly faulty and say they changed their
mind. They then get an immediate, no questions asked instead of waiting god
knows how long for the item to be assessed and maybe repaired by DSE or some
other company.

With the money, they then buy another one at another DSE store or elsewhere.

The faulty one is then sold to the next customer.....


...  Phil



Re: Dick Smith Exposed

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MMMmm maybe DSE are not doing the right thing in some stores, but the
ones I frequent have a label on returned stuff saying it is returned,
and why it was returned.  Cant be fairer than that

David

Re: Dick Smith Exposed

"David"


** FUCK OFF   -  MORON !!!!





Re: Dick Smith Exposed

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Thanks Phil.  For a while I thought you had forgotten me.  xx

David

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