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Old 03-25-2008, 08:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Smart Parts??

Hello everyone,

Newbie to the website and forums here. I guess you can still say newbie to the game, since only been playing about 2years now.

well reading throught alot of the postings, from selling, trade, and so on. everyone seems to rip on Smart Parts TONS. Just wanted to know why of all the other manufactures out there this one is getting rip so much. Don't even see spyder, psycho, or even brass eagle riped like SP does. Oh and yeah before you ask or wonder if I am a lover of SP. I do have couple of their guns, not a lover of it but satisfied so far. I have so far not had any problems with those guns. For the money I spent on them, I think I got a good deal. Again this is just curios on everyones point of view more then anything.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There are three main reasons:

1) Business Ethics - SP aggressively peruses patents on technology to which they have dubious rights to claim as their own, such as the electropneumatic paintball gun and more recently the gas-through grip. Once a patent is obtained, the company attempts to coerce companies making competing products to pay royalties, penalties, or cease making those products. This has directly resulted in revered (but smaller) companies like AKA and AGD leaving the electro market. This is generally considered bad as it stifles innovation in the industry and narrows the selection of markers available to the consumer. They have also been known to market items aggressively which have little to no value, such as the infamous "Magic Box", ironically made for AGD.

2) Quality - SP has had some issues with quality control and corresponding customer service in the past, although they are reportedly getting better. Some parts of their markers are made overseas (another minor argument about keeping things made in the USA arises) on the cheap.

3) Anti-fanboyism - Many SP haters, especially on some other forums, hate SP because it's "cool" to do so, having no experience with their products or knowledge about their business tactics and prior mistakes.

There are a couple of other reasons (mostly that the owners were reportedly not honorable players when they were competetive, and counter-fanboyism due to some of their owners vehemently defending the company for no reason other than they own a SP product so it must be good), but those tend to be the biggies.

Edit: For qualification, I do not own any SP products, because I have actively avoided purchasing them due to concerns with issue #1 and what I've read on #2. I'm sure some of their mundane products are fine such as the barrels and misc. upgrades, and the EOS and SP-1 have been pretty well reviewed.

Last edited by Mayvik; 03-25-2008 at 08:32 PM. Reason: For the record..
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'll try to sum it up very simply. They are run by a couple of patent attorneys with questionable morals, who have copied others designs, then patented that idea and sued the original designers. They have edited their existing patents over and over to include so much more than they originally said, and have used those patents to sue and force out of business some of the best and creative companies in our sport. (AKA & AGD to name a couple). Their markers aren't terrible, but they aren't great either. The majority of the hate comes from the way they've done business and run others out, and the fact that they have typically used one of the lowest grades of aluminum to make their markers. I'll stop now... but you can get all the information with just a tiny bit of searching.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Its funny how my sft shocker is the most solid thing I've ever shot.....and puts paint on the spot everytime

I honestly dont think they are lacking in quality I think alot of it is user error.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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that's a big yes and a big no.

Smart Parts has a very bad history of quality control. right off the top i am reminded of the "alumi-butter" shocker bodies they produced a few years back.

More recently, Ions have been going down for seemingly no reason at all.


The reason i dislike them though? their total lack of ethics. The only SP product i own is two sets of wooden grip pannels. The only reason i allow those on my markers is because they were made by another manufacturer for Smart Parts and i could more than likely go out and find a replacement brand with the same product.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The other problem the older players find with SP is forgetting their roots and the roots of Paintball. This industry was founded and grew from grassroot players making new products in the garage. Once SP got big they started to make outrageous claims. They had also bought out some of the older patents and like stated in the other posts whet after other smaller companies. The fact the a judge ruled in their favor on some of the early lawsuits still bothers me. The example I used at the time was like Chevy getting a patent for doors and then slapping a lawsuit on Ford. It just didn't make sense to me.

Anyway they caused the smaller companies out just for the simple reason it was not profitable enough to pay royalties. They basically made this "deal" you close down and you wont owe us thousands of dollars in back royalties. So with out much recourse they closed a few small shops and made it painful for many more.

This really changed the sport and not for the better.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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When people on MCB talk badly about Smart Parts it's generally because they have a good reason to do so.

When the folks on PBN talk badly about Smart Parts they do it because it's in vogue right now and just like headbands and pink guns, if the Agg guys do it, you have to as well. The SP hate bandwagon is been over max capacity for some time now but still getting more passengers every day who don't even know why they're on board.

I have had mixed results with Smart Parts stuff over the years but they have never treated me badly. I'm not waving the banner for or against but I do show companies how I feel about them with my wallet.
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Mayvik really summed it up, but it can't be stated enough just how big an impact SP has had on innovation and its impact on smaller companies. Companies like AKA and AGD being forced out of the electro market due to patents that are only held by force of lawyers and not any actual standing is only part of it, many products have been withdrawn from the market or never made it past the drawing board because of them. A lot of people I think also blame SP for ushering in the modern cutthroat mega business area of lawsuits and patents, but in fairness, elements of that has existed since the start.


Of course, my anti SP feelings stem from before it was fashionable to hate them because of their lousy products and abysmal customer service that has only been compounded in recent years by their actions against other companies that had good products and service.
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf13 View Post
it can't be stated enough just how big an impact SP has had on innovation.
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