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Old 12-13-2006, 10:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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shartley's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Manchester, NH

Originally Posted by Drum View Post
I am not sure that I get your statement about an abundance of Mag grips. Don't mags take the same grip design as Sheridan pistols?

As for your laughter about small grip makers being put out of business by SP.... are you still making any grips?

I do not intend to insist that it was SP grips that made you decide to stop offering custom grips, but it seems ironic that you would laugh at such an assertion.

And I wasn't referring to you when I typed that, Sam. I have a friend here who made custom plastic grips that had similar swirls of color and finger grooves just like the SP grips. After trying to sell his grip for $20+, he was stymied by the flood of cheap grips coming from his "neighbor" Smart Parts.

Ask around and I think you will find that there are slight differences between the two SP grips that look the same.

As for me not making grips and the connection between that and SP’s wooden grips… you are correct in your second statement on the matter. My making grips or not had nothing to do with SP or the availability of cheap wooden grips. Heck, they were available and being used when I was at the height of my grip making. They were never my competition. That does not mean I was “better” than they were, but that simply put those who purchased my grips wanted something custom and not mass produced.

I do understand the rubber/plastic grip market though. However, that is a bit of a different beast IMHO.

I will also state that I believe the ability for businesses to reach the customers is as much a factor as the fact they have a competing product. People tend to (as a whole) purchase products from the same places if they can help it… they get the marker, grips, and other gear in a one stop shopping experience. The smaller guys simply can’t get their products in the same places (with a few exceptions). This hurts their sales IMHO more than the prices or even the number of competitors out there.

I also don’t think SP actually was trying to push anyone out of business with their grips. Heck, I am sure we both know that if you pick up SP grips and a few other similar grips on the market, you will find that they are virtually identical and probably made in the same factory, just branded and packaged for a different company.

But this is all academic… small businesses have always had a harder time competing on the open market compared to the larger ones. But that does not mean the intent of the larger business is always to force the smaller ones out of business. Sometimes that is the case, but in this case I don’t see it in this situation. The same as I don’t think there was a conscious effort from larger companies to make head coverings that look almost identical to my Ban-du so they can force me out of the market. I think it was a natural progression of products and they capitalized on their ability to mass produce them and get them in front of potential customers.

And please do not think I am saying my Ban-du was a totally original idea. Sandana made similar (but had notably different aspects) longer head coverings, but they seemed to then focus on the more “biker” style what had no “tails” or neck covering. And I capitalized on the fact the folks seemed to want those other features and could not readily find any. Again, it is the natural progression of business. And now larger companies have seen the desire as well and capitalized on their abilities to provide it as well.

This is all business. The nature of the beast will force smaller businesses out of the market far more often than any “intent” by the larger businesses. Again, that does not mean it does not happen (the intent of forcing smaller businesses out), but that it should not always be assumed it is what happened because a smaller business simply could not compete.
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