Contacting budget light manufacturers

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peteybaby
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Contacting budget light manufacturers

Has anybody ever tried to contact the manufacturers of our budget lights, e.g. to ask if a certain new product is in the pipe, etc.?

I've contacted MTE in the past, and they answered once (and were quite informative), but they didn't answer any subsequent questions.

I've just now emailed Ultrafire, but will not hold my breath for an answer.

The way we hear about new budget lights is kind of the opposite of what Surefire allegedly does (I have no first-hand knowledge since SF lights are out of my price range): they sometimes announce lights a year in advance.

It would be great if a rep from each of those companies could join BLF, but I don't anticipate that happening.  Alternatively, it would be almost as good if they would agree to answer questions from a BLF rep, and then we could fire all our questions to them through that person, perhaps with the questions being filtered by that person.

Don
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Nice idea, but I suspect that we'd need a speaker of the appropriate version of Chinese to make this possible. Maybe the guys at Manafont could help out. But it may be that they are dealing with intermediaries rather than manufacturers - it seems as if DX is judging by the supplier bit at the bottom of each listing.

 

But worth a try...

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

peteybaby
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Hey, I never noticed that supplier bit at the bottom.  So it's "yanglight" who provides many of the light products on DX.  I couldn't find them by googling, unfortunately.

Piers
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I wonder if the budget manufacturers have a presence on that Chinese flashlight forum, not that it helps us at all. Silly

Boaz
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Oxy Moron
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DX does both. They used to deal directly with manufacturers and still do on occasion but for the most part, they act as sort of a clearing house for their suppliers and only provide the logistics, etc. Back when Kyle was running things and DX was a much smaller shop, you could actually email him and he'd sometimes get back to you with the answer from the manufacturer. These days, there's a good chance that the supplier you're in essence buying from doesn't really know or care a whole lot about flashlights. If there was more money in it, they'd be selling something else and as a matter of fact, they usually are. Most of these companies operate under many different names and it's not uncommon for a shop to vanish over night and reappear the next day under a different name.

The Chinese have a very different approach to brand names compared to Western enterprises. In the US and in Europe, a brandname is a very valuable thing. The Chinese recognize that and obviously try to use it to their advantage. Sure, you have companies like Changhong (I think I've written about Ni Runfeng in the context of pricing in the past) which is a household name in many markets but branding is just one weapon in their arsenal (and, I'm not trying to be weirdly metaphorical here: I know more than a few Chinese business people who literally plan their product launches as if they were planning a war).

A brandname doesn't really mean all that much over there and the whole concept of "genuine vs. fake" doesn't apply to the same extent as it does in the West. Quite a few business practices that would get you sued into bankruptcy in the United States, are fair game in China and using a competitor's brandname is one of them. And it just never fails to amuse me when I see a fake copy of a fake. Oh, and the reason you never noticed the supplier bit at the bottom of the product page is probably that they only added it late last summer.

sb56637
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I agree that it would be a good move for the budget manufacturers to communicate better with their customers. Albeit just a few clear photos with specs in Chinese, Google translate can deal pretty well with simple things like specifications. Manafont once tried to contact Ultrafire about a custom light (presumably they contacted them in Chinese), but they told me that Ultrafire wasn't very responsive. So far, Mrlite and XTAR are the manufacturers that post here on BLF.

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

old4570
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I have been in touch with a few manufacturers ..

I get the feeling , that , there not that interested in enthusiasts . I think there goal is to sell to the masses , and make products that appeal to Joe Six Pack ! 

I get the feeling we enthusiasts , may seem to demanding to the manufacturers , even I get that feeling some times .

As we all want that perfect [ for me ] flashlight , when the manufacturer may wish to make something acceptable to as many people as possible , at a price point the masses [ Joe and Joline six pack ] find enticing .  Some people after there experience at the entry level price point , may move onto the more expensive lights , either having there appetites whetted or feeling some what put out from the entry level experience .  

Everyone has there own idea for what a good light should be , but to give advice , one needs to be able to see the other picture [ manufacturers point of view ] , and then advice as to what would be best for them , rather than a single individual .    

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….