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Non-Competitive Pricing

For those of you unfamiliar with the operation of a stump grinder this is my issue with finding replacement bearings---at a realistic price--- for its cutter wheel shaft. Without going into boring technical details, the bearings I use are designed with, what appears to be a unique feature.  This feature allows an adjustment to be made to eliminate unwanted play owing to fair wear. It is an American bearing of an imperial measurement.  It seems like this particular manufacturer has cornered its market with this adjustment feature, and its distributors here in the UK and in the EU, are asking rip-off prices as a consequence of no competitors offering their own very fine products without this adjustment feature, which lengthens a bearings service life. A stump grinder operates "at the coal face" in an extremely hostile environment for bearings to operate within, which is why the OEM of this grinder decided appropriately to use this particular bearing. This story isn't only about my issue of not finding a competitive price, but a classic example of non-competitive pricing!

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  • is it covered by patent law?  It is annoying but if someone has developed a unique product they are economically sensible to charge a premium

  • This is something we have all come across.  There are sometimes ways round it though. I have an ‘Easy Lift Harness’ for the hedge cutter. When after a few years work the gas strut wore out, I found an online firm who made up gas struts to order. You could define all parameters to produce an identical copy of the OEM item. This worked out at less than a third of the OEM price and is of the same quality and works exactly the same. Plus it was easier and quicker to order, arriving much faster than an OEM one, thus getting me up and running sooner.

    It’s the same with drive belts. I get them from a specialized online firm. Their belts are about one third of the price of a genuine Stiga belt [even after a good dealer discount] and are actually better made and last longer.

     There are some very good Bearing suppliers online. They seem to cover all eventualities. Also, even if you have to use non-adjustable bearings, thus replacing them more often, wouldn’t this still work out cheaper?

    • Hi Vic,

      Adjustable bearings, in situ.  Replacement bearings, major surgery.  I also use cogged wedge belts and Gates polychain which is rather expensive.  Who is your belt supplier.

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