jwdd
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Element14 no longer sell RasPi for personal use?

Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:56 pm

Hi all,

A few days ago the page on E14 with the Buy Now button linked to a new page asking the region/country. After selecting the region two options are available : Business or Consumer. The description indicate that "private or non-business" qualify for Consumer.

Clicking the Order Now button then bring up a list of "approved retailers". The only one for where i live linked to a static page with no further details. I then emailed them for pricing, and the response is HK$350. Back then E14 sells for only HK$279, with free shipping. The price is increased by 25% through this "approved retailer" for "private or non-business" use.

I don't quite get it. What is going on by this segmentation of pricing? I thought RasPi is mainly for peronal consumer. But then why should they pay more? This is almost US$9 more for us to get a RasPi..

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bwoodbury
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Re: Element14 no longer sell RasPi for personal use?

Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:40 pm

I just tested this from Canada and after selecting my country I don't get any prompt about business or consumer. After selecting place order the item and price show up in the shopping cart at $35.00

jwdd
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Re: Element14 no longer sell RasPi for personal use?

Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:00 pm

bwoodbury wrote:I just tested this from Canada and after selecting my country I don't get any prompt about business or consumer. After selecting place order the item and price show up in the shopping cart at $35.00
Thank you for the information. So this policy seems to be limited to our region (Asia and Austrailia).
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Last edited by jwdd on Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jwdd
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Re: Element14 no longer sell RasPi for personal use?

Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:17 pm

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The company is established since 1997, but its web site url is registered last month:
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Code: Select all

   Domain Name: ARIES-HK.COM
   Registrar: ONLINENIC, INC.
   Whois Server: whois.onlinenic.com
   Referral URL: http://www.OnlineNIC.com
   Name Server: NS1.STRUGGLE-CITY.COM
   Name Server: NS2.STRUGGLE-CITY.COM
   Status: ok
   Updated Date: 22-nov-2012
   Creation Date: 22-nov-2012
   Expiration Date: 22-nov-2013

Kole
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Re: Element14 no longer sell RasPi for personal use?

Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:32 pm

I've seen a few threads like this one before, but I can't find them all now. It seems that Farnell/Element14 decided to just stop selling RasPi directly in some regions and to force people to use local distributors. I don't think that we've head official explanation for that (or at least I wasn't able to find it while reading all 22 pages of this subforum), but some of the stories I did see were that they had regulatory issues or that selling to individuals is unprofitable. While both reasons are understandable, it would definitely be nice to hear some information on this topic from a trustworthy source. Maybe a sticky in the forum, like the one for RS?

In any case this leaves some people forced to buy from RS components and enjoy the RS experience.

Here's one more thread about the same issue:
http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 23&t=24608

jwdd
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Re: Element14 no longer sell RasPi for personal use?

Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:07 am

Kole wrote:I've seen a few threads like this one before, but I can't find them all now. It seems that Farnell/Element14 decided to just stop selling RasPi directly in some regions and to force people to use local distributors. I don't think that we've head official explanation for that (or at least I wasn't able to find it while reading all 22 pages of this subforum), but some of the stories I did see were that they had regulatory issues or that selling to individuals is unprofitable. While both reasons are understandable, it would definitely be nice to hear some information on this topic from a trustworthy source. Maybe a sticky in the forum, like the one for RS?

In any case this leaves some people forced to buy from RS components and enjoy the RS experience.

Here's one more thread about the same issue:
http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 23&t=24608
Thanks for the link and info.. Oh well, 25% mark up is not that much compared to 42%. Suddenly the $35 price tag doesn't sound so attractive any more, considering

1. the mark up by the "approved retailer", using my local 25% example, amount approx to 1x FRDM-KL25Z Freescale Freedom Dev Board, or 2x MSP430 TI Launchpad.

2. E14 here has always been offering free delivery for any purchase over HK$200 (~US$25.6), and one single RasPi qualify for this.

3. Even without this offer, E14 delivery charge is only $30 (~US$3.8). So a RasPi from E14 plus shipping here is HK$279 + HK$30 = HK$309.

4. I am from a region very close to where the RasPi is manufactured. I'd guess if the factory is at southern China, we are just a few hours travel by train apart.

5. The "approved retailer" sells one for HK$350. The difference is HK$41 (~US$5.3) each.

6. The reality (E14 free shipping applies) is HK$350 - HK$279 = HK$71 (~US$9.1).

The RasPi is a great product and have a very noble origin. Please don't get me wrong I am not saying retailers should not make profit off a great product, but just couldn't help thinking should i instead donate the difference to charity for support kids in less developed countries learning computer.

jamesh
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Re: Element14 no longer sell RasPi for personal use?

Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:07 am

We are looking in to this, no news as yet, but something isn't right somewhere.
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Kole
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Re: Element14 no longer sell RasPi for personal use?

Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:15 am

It's good to hear this!

jwdd
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Re: Element14 no longer sell RasPi for personal use?

Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:42 pm

jamesh wrote:We are looking in to this, no news as yet, but something isn't right somewhere.
This is great! Thank you very much!

rxzlion
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Re: Element14 no longer sell RasPi for personal use?

Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:51 pm

Anything new about this?

TomWij
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Re: Element14 no longer sell RasPi for personal use?

Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:28 pm

The exact same thing happened in Europe throughout November. At the end of October I was forced to go RS Components since Farnell showed the exact same as in the screenshots in this thread. Some weeks later in November it finally showed me a local distributor for Belgium.

I guess that now that they have done Europe, they're now dealing with USA!

The reasoning behind this is probably because they want to keep any problems to be more local, because the demand is just too much to deal with for a single distributor...

rxzlion
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Re: Element14 no longer sell RasPi for personal use?

Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:43 pm

TomWij wrote:The exact same thing happened in Europe throughout November. At the end of October I was forced to go RS Components since Farnell showed the exact same as in the screenshots in this thread. Some weeks later in November it finally showed me a local distributor for Belgium.

I guess that now that they have done Europe, they're now dealing with USA!

The reasoning behind this is probably because they want to keep any problems to be more local, because the demand is just too much to deal with for a single distributor...
I don't have a problem with a local distributor.
But Element14 sell at 35$ and the refer my to some one that sells at 55$.
That almost 60% more!

gjerman
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Re: Element14 no longer sell RasPi for personal use?

Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:12 pm

Russian retailer to which Element14 points to sells RasPi for $84 per unit... :o

rxzlion
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Re: Element14 no longer sell RasPi for personal use?

Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:27 pm

gjerman wrote:Russian retailer to which Element14 points to sells RasPi for $84 per unit... :o
:shock: its 140% more! doesn't seems right at all.

Kole
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Re: Element14 no longer sell RasPi for personal use?

Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:48 pm

Another possible issue related to price and the difference: In some countries (like mine for example) you don't pay customs and taxes if the price of imported goods in below a certain value. So if I import a single Raspberry Pi, I don't pay customs fees, customs inspection fee, spedition (how do you call that in English?) and VAT. On the other hand, an importer will need to pay all plus take his cut too.

For other products, usual practice is that the manufacturer will provide a discount to the importer based on fulfillment of sales plans, number of sold units and so on. Instead of that, here we have a special situation where manufacturer is supposedly selling the product at a very low price with very little markup, so he can't provide any discount to the importer, leaving the buyer to suffer the import expenses.

So while the E14/Farnell may have interest in selling the Raspberry Pi using a distributor, I as an end-user don't have any interest in buying from a distributor.

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liz
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Re: Element14 no longer sell RasPi for personal use?

Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:04 am

Just to keep you updated: I've just had mail from e14, who are looking into everything that's been raised above; they hope to get back to us soon. But it *is* coming up to Christmas, and people's schedules vary across the globe, so it may be that we don't get a reply until after the holiday.
Director of Communications, Raspberry Pi

rxzlion
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Re: Element14 no longer sell RasPi for personal use?

Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:08 am

liz wrote:Just to keep you updated: I've just had mail from e14, who are looking into everything that's been raised above; they hope to get back to us soon. But it *is* coming up to Christmas, and people's schedules vary across the globe, so it may be that we don't get a reply until after the holiday.
That good to hear thank you for the update :D!

toxibunny
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Re: Element14 no longer sell RasPi for personal use?

Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:40 am

It's the same in Finland. Redirects me to 'Partco' where I can buy one for 47.70euros/62 dollars before postage&packaging. RS has them at 35.40 euros...
note: I may or may not know what I'm talking about...

gjerman
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Re: Element14 no longer sell RasPi for personal use?

Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:31 am

Kole wrote:... On the other hand, an importer will need to pay all plus take his cut too.....
The average import tax in Russia is below 10% (if not zero for electronic components), and VAT is 18%.
Let's take $35 (retail price per unit!) and add 38% (direct taxes mentioned above) is equal approx. $48. So $84 - $48 = $36 for retailer margin and delivery cost (the latter in reality should be negligible as they do not use UPS/DHL etc to deliver a single unit).
100% is pretty well cut...

Kole
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Re: Element14 no longer sell RasPi for personal use?

Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:05 am

Indeed it is, and seeing how little competition there isn't anyone there to force them to make a lower price.

jamesh
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Re: Element14 no longer sell RasPi for personal use?

Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:02 am

Although anyone can buy in bulk from Farnell/RS and sell on...so I expect over time these prices to stabilise at a lower point.
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Max

Re: Element14 no longer sell RasPi for personal use?

Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:14 pm

Even for orders that are not handled by an external retailer, but by their own group, they tend to have different terms for consumers and businesses.

E.g. select that you are in the Netherlands, and are a business, Farnell will ship for free regardless of the little order value.
Select you are a consumer, and you will be redirected to Farnell Export, which will charge 9.95 GBP for shipping.

tufty
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Re: Element14 no longer sell RasPi for personal use?

Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:23 am

jamesh wrote:Although anyone can buy in bulk from Farnell/RS and sell on...so I expect over time these prices to stabilise at a lower point.
How's that going to work, then?

Let's assume I set up a small business importing and reselling Pis.

I buy them from Farnell at $35 + shipping + relevant local taxes. I have to put my own markup on top of that, to cover my operating costs : manpower, shipping from me to client, taxes, and, of course, the ever present $$PROFIT$$ to make it worth my while.

As a fully fledged business, I should be able to claim back the local VAT, but even with that, it's extremely difficult to leave room in the equation for profit. If I do a "lightweight" company setup (such as exists here in France, for example), I can reduce my operating taxes, but lose the possibility of claiming back VAT. In any case, there's no way in hell I can approach the already inflated Farnell price, let alone the $35 + shipping + taxes that the device is supposed to ship at. And, of course, as a non-official reseller, I'll get bugger all trade forwarded to me Farnell or RS. So I'll make maybe 1 or 2 bucks a unit on very low turnover, and still get called a price-gouging @#%^ by everyone.

Prices stabilising at a lower point simply isn't going to happen whilst the supply of the device is entirely in the hands of the private sector, who need to make a profit. Especially when one of the two suppliers has seemingly decided to get out of the business of shipping single units.

Kole
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Re: Element14 no longer sell RasPi for personal use?

Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:08 am

In addition to that, there's the fact that foundation is doing advertizement for Farnell and RS (which is in my opinion understandable, since they are the official manufacturers) and then Farnell does advertizement for its distributors because you'll be provided a link to distributor's page when you try to order from Farnell. This effectively makes Farnell's distributors more "official" than someone else that may also be importing Raspberry Pi into a region.

So there exists an "official" chain which connects visitors of the official site to Farnell's distributors. This doesn't exist for any smaller company that would hypothetically be competition to the distributor.

Another problem would be warranty and returns for example. If I were to make a company and import Raspberry Pi computers into my country, I'd have to handle that as well. Since the laws are different from region to region, it could happen that the minimum warranty period is shorter than what Farnell/RS provides, so in that case the difference would need to be covered from my own profits, which would be minimal due to reasons explained tufty's post. Another thing would be the period it takes for the warranty claims to be processed by the Farnell/RS. From what I can read in the forums, in some regions that period would be too long and then the independent importer would have handle the warranty claim from his own stock and then hope that he'll be covered by RS or Farnell. If he isn't, well he'll just have to sell at least 50 more Raspberry Pis in order to make come back to zero profit again.

A counter-claim would be that we can expect very small percentage of computers to be broken (in fact we can expect the figure to be in per mil range), but as far as I can see, nobody wants to publish exact numbers. I can also understand why, but that doesn't make it any easier for hypothetical competition to Farnell's distributor.

All that is quite a lot of risk for very little (if any) profit.


So although in theory anyone can import it and distribute it, I can only see it being imported by someone who already has a well established company and has interest other than profit in importing the Raspberry Pi. The only other option I see would be to sell it as a kit together with some very high markup peripherals and hope to make profit on them and not on Raspberry Pi.

jwdd
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Re: Element14 no longer sell RasPi for personal use?

Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:36 pm

Max wrote:Even for orders that are not handled by an external retailer, but by their own group, they tend to have different terms for consumers and businesses.

E.g. select that you are in the Netherlands, and are a business, Farnell will ship for free regardless of the little order value.
Select you are a consumer, and you will be redirected to Farnell Export, which will charge 9.95 GBP for shipping.
We are more fortunate here. I used to order from E14 and enjoy the free shipping. There is no differentiation between consumers or business as far as i am aware of. At least I have never been asked and refused at E14 like this time trying to get a RasPi for identifying myself as a consumer.

For the free shipping here, I think partly because of we are a small but crowded city. Transportation is then more efficient, and thus it is more reasonable for us to enjoy free shipping for a relatively less amount of purchase. I add stuff I needed to the basket and order only once it qualifies (about US$26).

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