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12-24-2006, 09:37 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by StrokeofLuck
I can tell you from first hand losing business to China that the labor rates are not just lower they are way lower and so are the quality standards regardless of what Peter@Falcon Cues says. It's pretty difficult to police your quality when something is made in Asia. There are huge communication barriers and when something is made that inexpensively it's easy to settle for less and send your rejects/seconds back to be re-worked. Unfortunately because of these low labor rates it's the fastest growing industrial nation.

While this may be true for many things, if a U.S.-based company uses an off-shore company to do their manufacturing, it is absolutely the U.S. company that is in charge of the quality. It cannot be blamed on China, for example, if the parent company isn't holding them to quality standards.

My company, we have had several companies in China for over a decade. In general, those companies have been our very best. The management and the laborers have shown pride in their work like we can never achieve. I don't know what other US companies are doing to not get this type of quality and committment.


How many of you actually do any kind of legitimate business with China???

Fred


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12-24-2006, 09:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by StrokeofLuck
I can tell you from first hand losing business to China that the labor rates are not just lower they are way lower and so are the quality standards regardless of what Peter@Falcon Cues says. It's pretty difficult to police your quality when something is made in Asia. There are huge communication barriers and when something is made that inexpensively it's easy to settle for less and send your rejects/seconds back to be re-worked. Unfortunately because of these low labor rates it's the fastest growing industrial nation.
It's not that difficult. I know of one company here in the US who has sent an employee to China to oversee product development and quality control. He also happens to be a poster here, and maybe he will get a chance to post his views on this topic from his unique perspective.
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12-24-2006, 09:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornerman
While this may be true for many things, if a U.S.-based company uses an off-shore company to do their manufacturing, it is absolutely the U.S. company that is in charge of the quality. It cannot be blamed on China, for example, if the parent company isn't holding them to quality standards.

My company, we have had several companies in China for over a decade. In general, those companies have been our very best. The management and the laborers have shown pride in their work like we can never achieve. I don't know what other US companies are doing to not get this type of quality and committment.


How many of you actually do any kind of legitimate business with China???

Fred
have a pleasant Sunday morning before Christmas, Cornerman,,,I do business with China, Taiwan and Japan,,,find them to be eager and honorable businessmen,,,JMHO


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12-24-2006, 10:07 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by acedotcom
Uggh! No wonder the Falcon SP I bought 8 months ago was so shoddily made. If you run your finger over the edge of the inlays, you can feel the ridges.

I keep getting emails urging me to become a dealer of this Chinese company's cues - http://www.b2bsmartcue.com/cgi-bin/index.pl. I couldn't get them to send me one free sample. What do you think of their metal ferules?
metal ferrules ?!? you only have to go to wal mart to see these very cues, some a wal mart even have the highly desired screw-in tip,,,


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12-24-2006, 10:08 AM

I can tell you what is being manufactured in China today. Nearly EVERYTHING! There are factories everywhere and more being built all over the place. I never saw so much new construction in my life.

From what I was told (sorry this is second hand), most American furnitiure is being built there. And like someone else said, nearly all wood products as well. Guess what, BRUNSWICK pool tables are built in a factory in Shanghai. I got this from the horses mouth. The filipino distributor shared this info with me at the WPC.
  
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Why does it surprise you ?
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Why does it surprise you ? - 12-24-2006, 10:24 AM

It is called the law of Supply and Demand? We, Americans, have enjoyed the good life for quite some time. Unions continue to push and push for more and more and more. When a skilled worker in Detroit on the line is making $68 an hour (plus overtime and holiday pay), just how do you think we are suppose to compete? I would say, just offhand, that that skilled labor job is NOT WORTH THAT MUCH AN HOUR ....... PERIOD

Our whole country is starting to spin out of control, we are just starting to see the effects of it in segmented areas so far. Quite simply, I fear the future of our country, because I feel our country will suffer much more than we have seen so far, and could end up completely financially ruined.


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12-24-2006, 12:50 PM

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Originally Posted by LWW
Now that is the funniest post I've seen this year.

LWW
You must not spend too much time outside of NPR then...

But please, explain what's funny about my post. My family has engaged business in China for over a decade, and were among the first wave of investors after Deng opened up the market there.

-Roger (can't wait...)
  
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Exclamation You are absolutely right! - 12-24-2006, 03:31 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornerman
While this sbe true for many things, if a U.S.-based company uses an off-shore company to do their manufacturing, it is absolutely the U.S. company that is in charge of the quality. It cannot be blamed on China, for example, if the parent company isn't holding them to quality standards.

My company, we have had several companies in China for over a decade. In general, those companies have been our very best. The management and the laborers have shown pride in their work like we can never achieve. I don't know what other US companies are doing to not get this type of quality and committment.


How many of you actually do any kind of legitimate business with China???

Fred
As I said earlier in this thread having been in the furniture business I have seen both sides of the coin ! Companies like Fine Furniture have well run high tech factories in China that produce etremely high quality product at a cost of production that allows them to compete with a quality product at a reasonable selling price ! while on the other hand producers like Rooms to Go use chinese shops to produce low quality knock offs that are not worth the money they spend to ship them here!


age 58
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Pretty Woman and cues are my weakness!



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12-24-2006, 08:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapshot9
When a skilled worker in Detroit on the line is making $68 an hour (plus overtime and holiday pay)
You're not even close with this number. As for the China quality issue I'll say this; when it comes to wood it's generally not a good idea to ship it back and forth overseas (saltwater) on barges. This has been a constant issue with the skateboarding community as the wood becomes more prone to breakage. What's this have to do with pool? Well, the main wood used in skateboards (built to withstand 6 foot men leaping off of 10 foot ledges) is North American hard rock maple. I don't know much about cue construction, but I do know that maple seems to be the shaft wood of choice.
  
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12-24-2006, 08:39 PM

[QUOTE=jay helfert]There are factories everywhere and more being built all over the place. I never saw so much new construction in my life.
QUOTE]

Let me second that. My source? I am in China right now. Over he last few weeks I have been to several cities in sourthern China and one trip up to Beijing. You have to see the amount of contstruction to believe it. Ride a train through southern China and look out the window. If you see less than 3 or 4 large cranes building a 20 or 30 story building it is unusual.
  
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12-24-2006, 09:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Barton
The ignorance that surrounds this subject is absolutely astounding. Please educate yourselves for a few minutes on how the world really works, how the world worked in the past and how it will continue to work until there is equilibrium between access to goods and services and pruchasing power.

1. Labor - Since the first traders people have brought goods bought at a low price to places where they could sell them at a higher price. With the advent of a consumer class this spread to manufacturing and the purchase of labor wherever the cost of such labor coupled with the transport and logistics costs made the most sense economically. The United States of America, known as the "Colonies" before that, was a good source of CHEAP labor for the British Empire and our country is built in great part on the backs of people who were working in conditions far worse than you can imagine for far less than you can imagine. In fact, America is still teeming with sweatshops that carry on the same deplorable practices now.

2. Fair Wages/Product Cost - The price of a product reflects many things of which the labor cost is one factor. Productivity is a factor, transport, overhead, tariffs, advertising and so on all play a part in price. But LABOR is the one that gets people fired up, because it's easy to tie labor prices to nationalism and incite people's ire. In China the labor rates are fair for the economy. The cost of living is much lower so the cost of labor is also much lower. The cost of labor in Podunk, Missouri is also less then cost of labor in New Your City. (no offense to those living in Podunk, where I am sure the general quality of life is better.) Do some companies charge outrageous prices compared to the cost of the labor? Sure they do, it's called "what the market will bear". Competition usually takes care of prices and quality ensuring better quality for less money. Competition also leads to higher labor costs as more skilled workers are able to command higher wages. A fair wage is a living wage. Many more folks in China who work in the manufacturing sector are making a living wage or better. A lot of Americans aren't making a living wage. So who is the oppressor here? And it's not "Buy Amercian" that solves this issue. It takes the PEOPLE to stand up and demand to be paid a wage that allows them some security. And it takes the people to stand up and tell the government to stop being fiscally irresponsible and wasting the excess money so that inflation doesn't eat up the wage increase. But that is another topic. Back to China.

3. Politics. China is in flux. It is a socialist state with capitalist practices. The Chinese experiment in Communism is only about 60 years old. This is in a country with 5000+ years of recorded history. China is virtually free today. Anyone can start a business, anyone can choose the career they wish to practice. Most Chinese can travel as they choose. Are there restrictions that run counter to the American idea of "freedom"? Most certainly. Would the country be better off with American style democracy and "freedom" as outlined in the Declaration of Indepence and the Bill of Rights? That is highly debatable. What is not up for debate however is that Chinese people as a whole are not being oppressed, they are not being tortured, they are for all practical purposes as free as any American and they are working on making their country better with a swiftness and efficiency that far outpaces "free" America. Lastly, yes, China has quashed demonstrations in horrid ways as in Tiannamen Square. Just as the United States Goverment, State Goverments on down to individual police officers, have all done the same to protestors and demonstrators throughout our country's history as well. We have many atrocities that the US has committed against it's own citizens as well as the citizens of other countries that is 100% counter to the human rights which are supposed to be protected under the constitution of the United States. So please don't use the red herring of communism/socialism vs. democracy to debate the issues of economy as relates to labor costs.

4. Quality. The relative quality of an item is directly related to it's price and expected lifespan. Can one reasonably expect a $20 Wal Mart cue to last ten years? How a $100 Lucasi? How about a $1000 Samsara? It is abolsutely possible to make a cue in China that has all the quality contained in a Samsara. Is it practical or economical to do so and is there demand? No. The quality of cues Made in China reflects what the market will bear in terms of the majority of people consuming those cues. The overall quality of the cues is on par with that of most American manufacturers because the distributers and the American consumer has demanded it and America has supplied the technical knowledge while China has supplied the labor and the infrastructure. Will there be some cues from some manufacturers that will exhibit flaws? Of course. Just as there are cues rolling off the line at the American maker's places that have flaws in them that get by everyone on the line. The fact of the matter is that import cues satisfy an economic demand that exists. And the quality has risen, due to competition and demand, to be the equal of and in some cases better than that of American cue manufacturers. Partly fueled by the self-same American cue manufacturers trading their knowledge for lower priced goods to remain competitive. And this gets all the way back to the beginning which is that we live on a ball and on a ball everything comes around.

So please, please educate yourselves before making comments about topics so that you are commenting from an informed stance rather than a purely emotional and subjective one. Understand that protectionism has never worked in the past and will ever work in the future for true growth and equilibirum in quality of life around the globe. If you truly care about the plight of the world, including the USA, then start living in a less wasteful manner and spread your purchases among those companies that are socially responsible as world citizens. Take some of your time to find out which companies those are and support them rather than blindly wrapping yourselve in the flag to be led around like docile sheep.

John -

As an American who is living in China and has worked here for almost 10 years, I support every statement you have made above about the current situation in China. I just didn't have the energy to write all of that.

Most Americans and others who have not been to China and done business here are completely mislead and misinformed about the situation here.

Rep to you
  
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12-25-2006, 02:43 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Barton
3. Politics. China is in flux. It is a socialist state with capitalist practices. The Chinese experiment in Communism is only about 60 years old. This is in a country with 5000+ years of recorded history. China is virtually free today. Anyone can start a business, anyone can choose the career they wish to practice. Most Chinese can travel as they choose. Are there restrictions that run counter to the American idea of "freedom"? Most certainly. Would the country be better off with American style democracy and "freedom" as outlined in the Declaration of Indepence and the Bill of Rights? That is highly debatable. What is not up for debate however is that Chinese people as a whole are not being oppressed, they are not being tortured, they are for all practical purposes as free as any American and they are working on making their country better with a swiftness and efficiency that far outpaces "free" America. Lastly, yes, China has quashed demonstrations in horrid ways as in Tiannamen Square. Just as the United States Goverment, State Goverments on down to individual police officers, have all done the same to protestors and demonstrators throughout our country's history as well. We have many atrocities that the US has committed against it's own citizens as well as the citizens of other countries that is 100% counter to the human rights which are supposed to be protected under the constitution of the United States. So please don't use the red herring of communism/socialism vs. democracy to debate the issues of economy as relates to labor costs.
I agree with almost everything written, but wanted to point out a major obstacle to true economic equality in China: the "houkou" system, which relegates the rural-born to a staggeringly lower social-economic caste than city dwellers.

The Socialist revolution in China was achieved through the peasantry, yet the market reforms of Deng Xiao-Ping focused enormous capital in industry and urban developement, while neglecting the basic needs of China's "socialist heroes."

Being a Chinese American, I would love nothing more than to see a politically free China. The process towards democracy is the largest determinant of success, but even a democracy born from a bloody coup stands a better chance in China than most countries.

-Roger (hope I live long enough to see that day...)
  
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12-25-2006, 03:28 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Barton
The ignorance that surrounds this subject is absolutely astounding. Please educate yourselves for a few minutes on how the world really works, how the world worked in the past and how it will continue to work until there is equilibrium between access to goods and services and pruchasing power.

1. Labor - Since the first traders people have brought goods bought at a low price to places where they could sell them at a higher price. With the advent of a consumer class this spread to manufacturing and the purchase of labor wherever the cost of such labor coupled with the transport and logistics costs made the most sense economically. The United States of America, known as the "Colonies" before that, was a good source of CHEAP labor for the British Empire and our country is built in great part on the backs of people who were working in conditions far worse than you can imagine for far less than you can imagine. In fact, America is still teeming with sweatshops that carry on the same deplorable practices now.

2. Fair Wages/Product Cost - The price of a product reflects many things of which the labor cost is one factor. Productivity is a factor, transport, overhead, tariffs, advertising and so on all play a part in price. But LABOR is the one that gets people fired up, because it's easy to tie labor prices to nationalism and incite people's ire. In China the labor rates are fair for the economy. The cost of living is much lower so the cost of labor is also much lower. The cost of labor in Podunk, Missouri is also less then cost of labor in New Your City. (no offense to those living in Podunk, where I am sure the general quality of life is better.) Do some companies charge outrageous prices compared to the cost of the labor? Sure they do, it's called "what the market will bear". Competition usually takes care of prices and quality ensuring better quality for less money. Competition also leads to higher labor costs as more skilled workers are able to command higher wages. A fair wage is a living wage. Many more folks in China who work in the manufacturing sector are making a living wage or better. A lot of Americans aren't making a living wage. So who is the oppressor here? And it's not "Buy Amercian" that solves this issue. It takes the PEOPLE to stand up and demand to be paid a wage that allows them some security. And it takes the people to stand up and tell the government to stop being fiscally irresponsible and wasting the excess money so that inflation doesn't eat up the wage increase. But that is another topic. Back to China.

3. Politics. China is in flux. It is a socialist state with capitalist practices. The Chinese experiment in Communism is only about 60 years old. This is in a country with 5000+ years of recorded history. China is virtually free today. Anyone can start a business, anyone can choose the career they wish to practice. Most Chinese can travel as they choose. Are there restrictions that run counter to the American idea of "freedom"? Most certainly. Would the country be better off with American style democracy and "freedom" as outlined in the Declaration of Indepence and the Bill of Rights? That is highly debatable. What is not up for debate however is that Chinese people as a whole are not being oppressed, they are not being tortured, they are for all practical purposes as free as any American and they are working on making their country better with a swiftness and efficiency that far outpaces "free" America. Lastly, yes, China has quashed demonstrations in horrid ways as in Tiannamen Square. Just as the United States Goverment, State Goverments on down to individual police officers, have all done the same to protestors and demonstrators throughout our country's history as well. We have many atrocities that the US has committed against it's own citizens as well as the citizens of other countries that is 100% counter to the human rights which are supposed to be protected under the constitution of the United States. So please don't use the red herring of communism/socialism vs. democracy to debate the issues of economy as relates to labor costs.

4. Quality. The relative quality of an item is directly related to it's price and expected lifespan. Can one reasonably expect a $20 Wal Mart cue to last ten years? How a $100 Lucasi? How about a $1000 Samsara? It is abolsutely possible to make a cue in China that has all the quality contained in a Samsara. Is it practical or economical to do so and is there demand? No. The quality of cues Made in China reflects what the market will bear in terms of the majority of people consuming those cues. The overall quality of the cues is on par with that of most American manufacturers because the distributers and the American consumer has demanded it and America has supplied the technical knowledge while China has supplied the labor and the infrastructure. Will there be some cues from some manufacturers that will exhibit flaws? Of course. Just as there are cues rolling off the line at the American maker's places that have flaws in them that get by everyone on the line. The fact of the matter is that import cues satisfy an economic demand that exists. And the quality has risen, due to competition and demand, to be the equal of and in some cases better than that of American cue manufacturers. Partly fueled by the self-same American cue manufacturers trading their knowledge for lower priced goods to remain competitive. And this gets all the way back to the beginning which is that we live on a ball and on a ball everything comes around.

So please, please educate yourselves before making comments about topics so that you are commenting from an informed stance rather than a purely emotional and subjective one. Understand that protectionism has never worked in the past and will ever work in the future for true growth and equilibirum in quality of life around the globe. If you truly care about the plight of the world, including the USA, then start living in a less wasteful manner and spread your purchases among those companies that are socially responsible as world citizens. Take some of your time to find out which companies those are and support them rather than blindly wrapping yourselve in the flag to be led around like docile sheep.
After reading this, I felt like I took a class in Economics 101. Thank you Professor Barton.

A couple of areas that I observe being vastly different in China are the Legal System and the Bureaucracy. For example, if you have a civil dispute with someone over a busines deal gone sour, good luck. Scams abound and it is "buyer beware" when you enter into a business relationship in China. I don't think there is even any such thing as a Civil Court. Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here, but this is my observation.

And when it comes time to get necessary permits or licenses to operate a business, you may enter a rabbit warren of operatives. They may shuttle you from one office to another, paying various fees as you go. These offices have no prescribed hours of operation, and may be closed at any time for almost any reason. They may tell you to come back tomorrow after you have traveled for two hours to reach this office (it happened to us).

Heaven forbid, a government official doesn't like you for any reason. In their little fiefdom, they can make your life miserable. I personally witnessed this when my girlfriend was applying for a "Single Certificate". The "Official" in charge took one look at her, and belittled her for being single and never married at age 34. I could hear the contempt in his voice, even though I did not understand the language. He told her to wait outside and he "may" be able to help her before 5PM. This was at 1PM.

We sat and stewed for about 30 minutes, and I finally got up and peeked my head into his office. He was kicking back and having a gabfest with two of his buddies. They stopped talking and looked up at me. I said excuse me and ducked back out. I just wanted him to see the American that was with her. I didn't really know if it would do any good, or just piss him off. I knew I had NO power there. He came out 15 minutes later and brought all the paperwork she needed. Charged us over 500 Chinese dollars though (about $75).

Ok Professor, I'm ready for my second class.
  
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12-25-2006, 05:12 AM

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Originally Posted by jay helfert
After reading this, I felt like I took a class in Economics 101. Thank you Professor Barton.

A couple of areas that I observe being vastly different in China are the Legal System and the Bureaucracy. For example, if you have a civil dispute with someone over a busines deal gone sour, good luck. Scams abound and it is "buyer beware" when you enter into a business relationship in China. I don't think there is even any such thing as a Civil Court. Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here, but this is my observation.There are civil courts but the process is very cumbersome. It is however improving wth time.[COLOR="RoyalBlue"]

And when it comes time to get necessary permits or licenses to operate a business, you may enter a rabbit warren of operatives. They may shuttle you from one office to another, paying various fees as you go. These offices have no prescribed hours of operation, and may be closed at any time for almost any reason. They may tell you to come back tomorrow after you have traveled for two hours to reach this office (it happened to us).True. Doing any kind of business here is a long process not suited to the hurry up style of most western business people. There is a saying about doing business in China - "Everything is possible, nothing is easy"

Heaven forbid, a government official doesn't like you for any reason. In their little fiefdom, they can make your life miserable. I personally witnessed this when my girlfriend was applying for a "Single Certificate". The "Official" in charge took one look at her, and belittled her for being single and never married at age 34. I could hear the contempt in his voice, even though I did not understand the language. He told her to wait outside and he "may" be able to help her before 5PM. This was at 1PM.

We sat and stewed for about 30 minutes, and I finally got up and peeked my head into his office. He was kicking back and having a gabfest with two of his buddies. They stopped talking and looked up at me. I said excuse me and ducked back out. I just wanted him to see the American that was with her. I didn't really know if it would do any good, or just piss him off. I knew I had NO power there. He came out 15 minutes later and brought all the paperwork she needed. Charged us over 500 Chinese dollars though (about $75). Jay - Foreigners get special treatment. Next time, be sure the government people see you in the beginning

Ok Professor, I'm ready for my second class.

Jay - See replies above from someone who has been here a long time. I make my living helping western business people in China

Last edited by GADawg; 12-25-2006 at 05:17 AM.
  
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12-25-2006, 02:45 PM

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Originally Posted by GADawg
Jay - See replies above from someone who has been here a long time. I make my living helping western business people in China
Thanks for your reply. I LOVED China and the people, although we were stared out everywhere we went. I rarely, if ever, saw another mixed couple (Western man and Chinese woman). But people were nice to us and especially to me.

Every once in a while, a young person would approach me and ask to speak English with me. Usually they were quite fluent, and that was also a pleasant surprise. I did not have a sense of being in a Communist land, with an oppressed people. Free enterprise was everywhere, from the marketplace to the malls and night clubs. Everyone had a gig, and if there were homeless I didn't see them.

The parks are beautiful and well kept, and very spacious even in the large cities. And of course, the Western dollar still has a lot of buying power. Of course, you must convert to Chinese dollars. Even Hong Kong dollars are unacceptable most places. It was no problem converting money, and we got about eight Chinese dollars for one U.S. dollar at any bank. And banks are everywhere.

In the bank, they asked for my passport and gave a $100 bill a thorough exam (more so than in a US bank), and then gave me exact change. Like 795.40 Chinese dollars. It was easy for me to travel around because I had a well versed tour guide. In some places we went though, men (like cab drivers and motorbike taxi guys) would openly flirt with her, and make suggestive remarks to me. Amy didn't like it one bit either.

I just brushed them off with a laugh and kept right on walking.
  
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