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How do they make Xmas tree lights so cheaply

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by normanstrong, Dec 9, 2004.

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  1. normanstrong

    normanstrong Guest

    Have you ever bought one of those strings of 100 lights that sells for
    $1? I just purchased 8 strings of them for 50 cents a string, on
    sale--normal price: $1. I have a difficult time understanding how
    they can be sold at that price, even if the entire manufacturing
    process is automated. The raw materials alone would seem to cost more
    than $1.

    Norm Strong
     
  2. I don't even see how the shipping/warehousing/packaging costs are met. On a
    related issue, I bought a new 21" color TV with remote for $90 last year at
    a supermarket. They had an enormous stack of them near the checkout lines.
    It works fine. Color TVs cost $500 in the 1950s ... adjust that for
    inflation! I have seen DVD players for $49. The Asians are amazing.
     
  3. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hi Norm,

    In many Asian countries people are happy when they earn 50 cents and
    hour. Pretty sad. Engineers make a little more but not a whole lot
    (that's where outsourcing comes in...). Problem with many of these cheap
    products is quality. I remember that the old lighting strings worked
    forever. This year alone we had four of them croak after just a few
    hours. They are so flimsy that fixing them is hardly worth it. But here
    you are, high up there on a ladder, trying to untie everything and
    realizing that the new string is just a couple inches shorter so all the
    others connected to the output side need to be untied and re-attached again.

    I was more happy with the older expensive versions. Once up there they
    weathered all the storms through Christmas. If a little light bulb blew
    you could change it without the whole plastic enchilada crumbling into
    your hands.

    Regards, Joerg
     
  4. Had me puzzled for a while also - until I studied the econnomics of China a
    bit:
    The bad debt in Chinese banks was at Sep. 2004 running at 40% of BNP!!!

    So The answer is:

    It was made at at Loss; the Chineese manufacturer Lost Money on it, but he
    did not really care: His "game" is to get turnover, which he will use to
    borrow more money to fund his "business" ... China is one huge dot.com
    bubble running on credit, the only "business plan" is to go for market
    share; however the US "Land Grab" in the Middle East pushing up energy
    prices and the falling US Dollar will ensure a grim end for the Chineese
    economy within this decade.

    Them "Strategic Interests" again.
     
  5. Frithiof Andreas Jensen wrote...
    I seriously doubt this. While they may have some fun sorting things
    out, in their managed way I'm sure they will, perhaps using the cash
    they've built up with years of a massively-positive balance of trade.
     
  6. Leon Heller

    Leon Heller Guest

    They tend not to automate that sort of production, they have lots of very
    cheap labour and an artificial exchange rate.

    Leon
     
  7. Of course China will be there as a nation in 30 years, but the pension money
    people put into China funds will not be there. China's "economic miracle"
    will not go pretty much the same way as it did in f.ex. Mexico, Argentina,
    Turkey, Brazil and the "new economy".

    (Japan is somewhat similar and yet different - here the problem is vast
    losses on property investments buried in banks that cannot write off those
    losses witout going bancrupt - yet "everybody" knows that is the way things
    are, so nobody dare invest in Japan just in case the lid blows off that
    particular economic septic-tank).

    Asia times online are quite good on China:
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China.html
     
  8. Do you have access to Chinese bank accounts to see what they are doing with
    that cash?
     
  9. They're buying some interesting foreign assets- IBM's PC division,
    Canada's Falconbridge Nickel, Singer, and others. That makes a lot
    more sense than following the Japanese lead and buying US Treasuries
    that have net negative return when you consider the plummeting USD.

    They're currently running an overall trade deficit, so presumably the
    value of the yuan is a touch on the high side.


    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
     
  10. Spehro Pefhany wrote...
    Is that right? I thought it was the other way around.
     
  11. It's correct that they are running an overall trade deficit, the other
    is a matter of conjecture. ;-)


    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-05/15/content_330990.htm

    "China's trade deficit hit US$10.76 billion in the first four months
    with soaring exports and imports."


    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
     
  12. Guy Macon

    Guy Macon Guest

    Winfield Hill wrote...
    Leaving aside the question of whether this one particular country
    has a positive trade balance, a trade imbalance means that the
    other country is sending us TVs, VCRs, steel, wood, etc. and in
    return we are sending them little slips of paper. We seem to be
    getting the better end of the deal.
     
  13. I just bough a DVD-player for one of the children - DKK 339 - or about USD
    60 at today's price. That includes 25% VAT, Profit for the shop, profit for
    the Importer and Shipping from China.

    Did the Chinese manufacturer make a profit - naah, don't think so.!
     
  14. A shipping company probably had a ship container that had some unused
    space, and the lights where used as packaging, sort of hitech
    bubblewrap


    martin

    Serious error.
    All shortcuts have disappeared.
    Screen. Mind. Both are blank.
     
  15. Guest

    Don't be so quick to laugh - this DOES happen. Oftentimes when there is
    empty space in a container, the shipping company or an employee of that
    company will invest a couple of hundred dollars in random junk to fill
    the space and maybe turn a little profit.
     
  16. On 22 Dec 2004 08:29:28 -0800, in sci.electronics.design
    I wonder what they send bck to china in the containers? I cant imagine
    the chinese need much from the EU or US


    martin

    Serious error.
    All shortcuts have disappeared.
    Screen. Mind. Both are blank.
     
  17. Guest

    Money.
     
  18. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    Here in the US, cheap DVD players are typically found in stores for $30-$40.
    $35 is easily obtainable during holiday sales without the need for rebates
    or other gimmicks.
    Sure they did, it was just miniscule but they sold ten million of the
    things...
     
  19. Calculate how many of those tiny Xmas light boxes will fit into a FULL
    forty-foot sea-shipment container and you'll have your answer.

    Either 2385 or 2690 cubic feet internally.


    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
     
  20. Active8

    Active8 Guest

    We send them all the junk the EPA won't let us burn.
     
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