REDICULOUS replacement lamp PRICES!!! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 45 Old 08-15-2002, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
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One thing I've noticed that no one really talks about is the cost of the replacement lamps for these units. They are REDICULOUSLY priced from "minimum $300.00 to $800.00 each and more .

I have no idea why the replacement lamps cost so much since it's just a bulb. I have an older SHARPVISION projector and it works well for my use. However I have removed the bulb for inspection and there is really nothing to them. Basically a regualr bulb. I dont see them costing more than a few dollars to make. But yet when you go buy them you have to dish out 1/3 the cost of the projector for it. I just dont see how they can cost so much. And why people pay so much for them. Replacement for mine (whole assembly) is $300.00. I found a company that will sell me just the bulb for $160.00. I have included a pic of what $160.00 will buy me. (3" long 250W metal halide) can it be justified?


Could someone explain this rediculous costs to me? I believe that if replacement lamps were cheaper many more people would own projectors and the projector companys would be much happier! Dont you agree?

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post #2 of 45 Old 08-15-2002, 10:11 AM
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Easy answer: profit.

Selling printers isn't about printers. It's about ink.
Selling cell phones isn't about the phones. It's the service.

Yada, yada... C'est la vie unfortunately...
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post #3 of 45 Old 08-15-2002, 10:58 AM
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its not all profit...my guess is they probably make about 25% profit which is not out of line with most speciality markets. As an investor, I would love/expect to see this type of returns on med to hi risk technology sector industry. (I consider PJ a high risk technology).

But keep in mind, that Manufacturing process costs a lot of money, especially for low volume markets. Equipment cost is probably one of the biggest costs and materials (gases, high quality glass) is probably very expensive, transportations of those materials, HR personal, facilities, electricity, closely followed by the $25 per hour technicians (including benefits), and then you overheads - this is profit, R&D, sales, and marketing.

Of that $160

Profits 20% ($32)
Overheads(SR&AP) 10% ($16) - actually I think R&D costs in this sector are fairly high. But I'd need to look at a financial report of the actual bulb makerss. The R&D costs also help lower costs and increase brightness for the future :)

People (assume it takes 2 people 30 minutes each to make one) ($25)

That leaves $87 to cover material costs including transportation and packaging, equipment depreciation, rent, electricity, and the BIGGEST VARIABLE THAT WILL DRIVE ALL THESE COSTS UP IS PURELY VOLUME.

My guess is that the biggest variable is low volumes is what's driving these costs. Because the machine that makes these bulbs is probably easily $500,000 if not more. Now divide this by the project life and volume. Project life is typically short with new projectors, and volume is also small.

And don't disregard profit, because it is what makes tomorrow turn. This is why we have a job tomorrow because of these profits.

Finally, the lower prices probably won't increase volumes of PJ sold. Most people probably don't by PJ because of the cost of the PJ - the entry cost, not the bulbs. So simply lowering costs on bulbs, won't be offset by additional sales. But that's my guess because $160 divided by 1000 hours is $0.16 per hour on a bulb. Its pretty small compared to the initial cost of the PJ.

Its like owning an BMW. Don't expect just to pay your monthly loan payments, budget for maintainance that will cost you an arm and a leg. So don't expect to buy a projector without budgeting for the bulbs :D
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post #4 of 45 Old 08-15-2002, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I understand what you are saying. It is true, There are many expenses associated with having a projector. But the way I look at it ... ITS JUST A BULB. You state that the machine that makes the bulbs can cost around $500,000. But that machie doesnt make only 1 bulb , it makes hundreds. Besides I dont think the manufacturer of the projector has to worry about covering the expense machine that makes the bulbs because all the bulbs are made by other companys that make bulbs. You think that NEC makes their own bulbs? Or SHARP or SONY? No way! They find companys that already have these machines that have been paid over 50 times already.

There is a major price mark-up on these replacements. I figure these bulbs cannot cost more that $5.00 - $10.00 to make (im talking just the bulb not the whole assembly) so from $10.00 add your manufacture expense, remember they have a mexican (no offence to any mexicans) ruinning the machines not a technican getting paid $24.00 an hour. and your packing, shipping is paid by us so that not an add-on to the net price.

example:

I worked for a company that make their own products and I will tell you it is extremly cheap. When you go but a gallon of anti-freeze you pay from $4 - $8 each gallon. My company would make a box with 6 Freezetone gallons fully packaged for retail sale and sell them for $5.00. And that was with our profit added to it already.

That is what they are doing. Getting something made very cheap and marking it up like if it was gold.

I remember when I first saw a projector I was very interested untill I found out the replacement lamps would cost $500.00. Believe it or not that stops alot of people from buying becasue they think, I can get a wide screen 65" tv for $2200 and it will last for years watching it everyday for 8 hours. You do that to a projector and you will need a new lamp every year or sooner.


Just me venting on these damn companies that make it hard to have nice things.

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post #5 of 45 Old 08-15-2002, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Daniel Swartz,

i agree with you. its only for proffit. nothing else.

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post #6 of 45 Old 08-15-2002, 12:09 PM
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The Ae100 bulb isnt very bad at all. 5000 hrs to begin with and when I do need a replacement its like 250. :)
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post #7 of 45 Old 08-15-2002, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
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yeah $250 sounds resonable compared to the $500 other bulbs cost but you think $250 is resonable when you holding a bulb in your hand?

Check this out. I believe those Compact Fluorescent Bulbs that sell at homedepot cost more to make than these bulbs. I could be wrong....

I mean how many DVDs can you purchase with $250.00 ???

Talk about updating your dvd collection. Oh well we'll pay what they say.

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post #8 of 45 Old 08-15-2002, 12:26 PM
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The factory price of the bulb of a popular cheap pj is +- 50 usd ( all included ).
But start complaining about the price of the pj's . They can all be made for less than 999 usd retail if they can sell enough. ( lcd and dlp vga + wvga AND CRT )
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post #9 of 45 Old 08-15-2002, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Prices of some projectors are rediculous as well. I've seem LCD projectors go for $30,000 - $70,000 and more. Shyt, Do you really need a real theater in your house? Anyways... I dont mind the cost of electronics, its the cost of the support equipment that drives me crazy. Its like buying a top of the line receiver but having to change the amps every 3 months cause they ware out. Doesn't make sense to me.

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post #10 of 45 Old 08-15-2002, 02:00 PM
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Yeah, I hate it when that happens! the other day I was on my car and it stopped moving, I called Mercedes and they told me I had to add gas to make it work again. I told them that I had just bought a very expensive car and expected everything to be included, gave them a piece of my mind I don't mind telling you! I am thinking of returning that pos.

While I am at it i also hate all companies that make a profit. Companies should all operate at a loss and give me stuff for free. Making money is unethical unless it is me, I should make more money.

lol

You ask why are projector bulbs so expensive? Bulbs are no different than any other merchandise in the world, they are priced at the absolute maximum price they can charge to meet their targeted number of sales. Number of sales in this case is pretty secure (if you have the effing pj you are buying the effing bulb), price goes up. The more expensive the projector the more they can charge for a bulb, since it is less likely that you will throw away the pj when it comes time to replace it. DILA pj, 800$ for a 500hour lamp, enjoy.
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post #11 of 45 Old 08-15-2002, 02:14 PM
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And I can assure you that the bulbs don't cost $10 to make again its the volume issue. It costs a lot more. Think about the following supply chain:

1. THE MIDDLEMAN HAS TO MAKE PROFIT
2. NEC HAS TO MAKE PROFIT ON THE BULB!!!!!!!!!
3. THE COMPANY THAT MAKES THE BULB HAS TO MAKE PROFIT ON THE BULB!!!!
4. THE COMPANIES THAT MAKE THE RAW MATERIAL HAVE TO MAKE PROFIT!!!!

I DEMAND IT OF EVERY COMPANY listed above PRIVATELY OWNED OR PUBLICLY OWNED TO MAKE PROFIT. Why would any entity want to loose money? Let alone invest in something that will only make them 10% while other companies are doing 25%.

EACH ONE OF THE FOUR COMPANIES HAVE OVERHEADS, MATERIALS, every step adds exponential to the cost, but its there to support the people support each and every step.

(Please understand that NEC has to make a profit on the bulbs. Do you know why? Because its called an expense. NEC has to by these bulbs, before they sell it to a reseller - called a contract. Because NEC has to report it to wallstreet as an expenditure, they have to make 25% profit for its shareholders. I won't lend money to NEC unless it makes 25%. PERIOD!!)
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post #12 of 45 Old 08-15-2002, 02:17 PM
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The issue is wallstreet and how they measure company success. If you any shares of NEC you'd damn well sure on every dollar NEC spends they report 25% profit on it. Otherwise you'd spend your money else where...

... separate post, just to get me over the 300 post mark:D

Don't get me wrong. I have to pay $300 for my LT150 bulb every 1000 hours. It is expensive, but it is also luxury item. Font Projectors is a low volume market that requires a premium in both manufacturing costs and overheads. But I think its a changing market. I think FPTV are slowly become mainstream (increased volumes), so you will see prices drop both for the PJ and bulbs.
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post #13 of 45 Old 08-15-2002, 04:31 PM
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I guess it would be a good business to start remanufacturing blubs.
If there is a buck to be made, sooner or later someone will start to do it.
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post #14 of 45 Old 08-15-2002, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
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i believe im going to start a projector bulb company. Shyt load of money to be made there.

As for all the people related to manufacturing of projector bulbs making money.... im all for it. obviously a company has to make moneys on an item if not they would never sell it. But be resonable... $100.00 $150.00 maybe even $200.00 but $800 and up? sheeesh....

As for the Mercedez analogy. its a good one. But your talking about gas. Gas is $1.60 a gallon and it will provide alot of milage. $800.00 in gas will likely last you all year if not longer and you will get alot of use from your Mercedez. Would you like paying $4.00 - $5.00 per gallon? not me.


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post #15 of 45 Old 08-15-2002, 09:09 PM
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Another Mercedes analogy:

You buy a Mercedes, it is a top of the line luxury car. When it breaks down, the parts to a Mercedes will cost you 5 times as much, if it were Honda Civic breaking down. If you want a Honda Civic(lets say 27in TV), it will be reliable and get you from A-B.

But a Mercedes(PJ), you'll enjoy getting from A-B alot more.

Until Star Trek comes true and we all have replicators, and everyone works to further their potential and not for money, we will have to live with this crap.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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post #16 of 45 Old 08-15-2002, 09:41 PM
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apotheosis,

Good luck on your new venture, no you will not make any money, but you very well may lower the price of bulbs for the rest of us.

I wish my mercedes only drank 800$ of gas a year, and in europe people are paying 5$+ per gallon. I don't think it is such a bad example.
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post #17 of 45 Old 08-15-2002, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
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ha!

Yeah alot of good points are made but I still believe its a scam. Just a SCAM we'll have to live with.

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post #18 of 45 Old 08-15-2002, 10:06 PM
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I agree on the negative. The powers to be charging $300 and up for a bulb are no angels. Shame!

Yeah they're laughing to you know where. Lets see who laughs last. Karhma!

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post #19 of 45 Old 08-18-2002, 02:02 AM
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What is different in HID setups in cars? For a few $100, you can get a complete HID system, balasts, 2 bulbs.... that supposedly will last longer than a regular halogen bulb. So... why the 500-2000 hr lifespan and several hundred per bulb when compared to an HID system in automobiles? That may be a stupid question, Im not a bulb guy, just wondering why the huge difference. I dont want to know why the price is different, just want to know if technology is similar.
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post #20 of 45 Old 08-18-2002, 07:19 AM
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Largest potential profit margin...,
bottled water!!!
Compare it's cost to gasoline sometime!

Jim Story
Here's to deeper black and higher contrast on a 120" HP screen.
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post #21 of 45 Old 08-18-2002, 10:43 AM
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The lamps in modern digital projectors are not just "bulbs." They are high pressure mercury arc lamps in ultra-pure quartz envelopes, designed to withstand temperatures in excess of 1000 degrees C. In fact, the arc itself is plasma, and runs about 7000C. There are only a handful of manufacturers in the world that can make such lamps.

The lamp is a substantial portion of the total cost of a projector, and is certainly one of the most high-tech parts.
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post #22 of 45 Old 08-18-2002, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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mmmm.... yeah maybe your right, but that still doesn't justify the cost. i mean... common $900.00 for a "Bulb" doesnt sound right to me.

Its like braces. Cost is $4000.00 and up but if you step back and look at it you got about $ .50 cents worth of material in your mouth and 1 hour of work to put them in and you are the one going through the pain and the uncomfort of having them on.

thank god i have straight teeth and didnt have to go through that!

what a rip!

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post #23 of 45 Old 08-19-2002, 06:32 AM
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The price of an item has nothing to do with its cost. The sole determinate is supply and demand. The ability of a company to turn a profit is related to its ability to supply a widget at a price greater than its costs. Companies try to maximize profits by hitting a "sweet spot" in the supply curve, or in generating more demand. Ultimately, in a fair and open market, the market sets the price. This is "Economics 101".
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post #24 of 45 Old 08-21-2002, 03:27 PM
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I believe that replacement bulbs are definately overpriced, there is no way that these cost anywhere near $400-$800 to manufacture and distribute (even assuming R&D prices). You can tell that these inflated prices are from the manufacturer, because there would be some dealer out there trying to undercut the price by a lot to sell in volume. This doesn't really exist too much, however I have found that there are many dealers selling the same bulb for a couple hundred dollars more than others. (Thank god I know how to use a search engine).

It seems to me that each projector (or a small sub-set) has a different bulb, or bulb assembly. Since these things are so particular to a type of projector, you don't have anyone just making generic bulbs that have a broad installation base. Once you get customization, you get high prices. Until manufacturers start using similar bulbs (perhaps 5 to 10 options only) en masse, prices will remain high.

Also, I don't believe that you could make much money trying to make these on your own. Installing a non-approved bulb will, I'm sure, void your projector's warranty. No one would want to take that bet to save a couple of hundred bucks. Just my 2 cents.

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post #25 of 45 Old 08-21-2002, 05:19 PM
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Well if you look at some of the other industries, the price of a bulb is not that bad!

Below prices quoted in Canadian $$

Take dentistry, cleaning your teeth (give em an hour) 200-300! Cap tooth (1500), hell pull the darn thing over $100. Give him a minute to put in the freezing, 5 minutes to pull (he will not be standing there waiting for the freezing to kick in, he's making mucho $$ in the next couple stalls).

Viagra (don't know cause I don't need :) )...how much are they a pill.
Take an ambulance ride (200+)

Go to the doctor, 15 minutes and he bills the medicare $60+. Have him write you a note for work 25.00.

Heck what is the price of a heart transplant???

Buy a dumb in cart with an ounce of ink (Canon BCI-3EC) 20.00 (an we complain about the price of gas at 73 cents a litre (4 1/2 litres to make a imperial gal).

If we didn't have medical/dental insurance we sure as hell would be complaining alot louder.

How come it costs a $1,000,000+ to pave a mile of road?

Why does an SUV cost $40.000

What the market will bear! Well come to free enterprise!
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post #26 of 45 Old 08-21-2002, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by girlgeek
....Also, I don't believe that you could make much money trying to make these on your own. Installing a non-approved bulb will, I'm sure, void your projector's warranty. No one would want to take that bet to save a couple of hundred bucks. Just my 2 cents.
--Girlgeek
Voiding the warranty is the least of the risks. Get a bulb that was shoddily constructed to cut costs, and watch what happens to the light path of the PJ when that high-pressure/temperature beauty explodes. Cheap knock-offs ARE available and folks have had their PJs trashed as the result --- not all of 'em, but enough. And those same risks apply when folks try to cheap out on the replacements by resetting the bulb timers.


Talk to the CRT PJ faithful about the "high" cost of digital PJ bulbs, and they'll just laugh at ya. Try laying out $2k to $4k for a red, blue, or green CRT per replacement, and thank yer stars that the bulbs for digital PJs are less expensive per hour of viewing time, and you only need to replace ONE when it terminates its useful/viewable life-span.
Dave

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post #27 of 45 Old 11-21-2002, 11:25 AM
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I agree that the bulb / lamp replacement cost is really killing the demand for projectors. I would buy one today if the bulb could be replaced for < $10. Regular light bulbs cost about 25 cents or so. Super efficient bulbs like the 15 watt 800 lumen energy savers you can buy at Sam's are $5 each. There is just no way I'm going to pay $100 + to replace a bulb.

And all these analyses of why the bulbs are so high just don't get it. The Mercedes analogy misses the point: Imagine having to refuel your mercedes at a special mercedes filling station because you need a special type of fuel pump that Exxon, BP, Amoco are not allowed to use. The Mercedes gas costs $100 a gallon. Would you be pissed? Metal halide lamps go for several DOLLARS not hundreds of dollars. But the official versions for projectors are marked up.

Also the post where the guy was YELLING IN CAPS ABOUT THE MANUFACTURERS *HAVING* TO MAKE PROFITS ON LAMPS. There is no law that says they do. For years you had to buy special ink refills for $25+ to refill inkjet printers. Now they sell these kits on TV that let you refill four or five times for $15. Does that make a printer more affordable for people? Yes. Did HP or Epson *have* to sell you your ink? No. Were they upset at the competition? I'm sure.

The problem here is that the builders of these pjs are not allowing the free market to provide goods at competitive prices. The idea of capitalism is that firms specialize in what they do best. These firms make projectors, not bulbs. If the market for replacement bulbs was open, and they used standard "OEM" replaceable parts, I'm sure there would be a huge market share opened, as people flood to buy the pj. As it stands now they push people like me away. If they have to mark up prices of the pjs, that's fine. I'll decide if I can afford the new price or not. But right now I have absolutely no idea what the true cost of a pj is. If the bulb blows out every 90 days it could cost me tens of thousands of dollars. If it lasts years it may cost only $3000 or so. But consumers like me are very hesitant to take those types of risks. Risk is borne by the producer; that's why they are allowed to profit :)

Sorry for the long rant but I'm just pissed that I can't buy one of these now! And had to give the opinion of an MBA student :)
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post #28 of 45 Old 11-21-2002, 11:49 AM
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Sometimes you guys are funny. Of course it is about profit. EVERYTHING is about profit. You think a company is in business because they are altruistic? If they have any brains, the margin on any part supply is at about 3 times that of a fully configured machine. Many of these companies are public and their overall operating margin is no secret... so it isn't hard to factor out a good guess what profit there is on a part.
If you think they make WAY too much money get even with them... buy their shares and get your piece of their profit :D
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post #29 of 45 Old 11-21-2002, 12:04 PM
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i have a very close friend of mine who works at General Electric. They manufacture all sorts of light bulbs at his huge plant. When i told him how much projector bulbs costs, he told me they manufacture all kinds of bulbs and even ones for projectors. I don't know if they have LCD and DLP projector bulbs or just bulbs for overhead projectors or whatever... but he said for me just to give him my dead bulb and he would bring me a whole box of them for free is they had it. I don't think i will go through with it though.........it does seem tempting.... i could have like 10 years worths of bulbs.
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post #30 of 45 Old 11-21-2002, 03:45 PM
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Don't underestimate markups, a few years back I stopped in my car dealership for a set of factory mudflaps. In a fit of confusion the parts guy let me see his parts price book. The dealers markup was an amazing 3X. Even more amazing was that the dealer cost was way more than I was willing to pay. His cost was $20/wheel , he charged $60/wheel. Same thing with bulbs, I think you will find the projector company and the middleman rip the highest profit.

Jon
aviman33 is offline  
Closed Thread Digital Projectors - Under $3,000 USD MSRP

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