This is from a Dyson trader in a member-only forum in the Dyson after-market business, and re-posted here with permission for comment:
I think the window of opportunity for large scale refurbing of machines is coming to an end. I’ll explain why I think that and we’ll maybe discuss.
When James Dyson had the reigns of the company instead of Max Conze and the bean counters as we have now, they made good products that lasted. Great for consumers and folks like us who refurb stuff, but bad for the long term growth of Dyson.
I call it the Volvo effect: Remember the Volvo 240, the 740 and the 940? Proper things; albeit facelifted versions of the same things. Built like tanks, cheap and easy to fix and lasted for years. Those cars were so good that Volvo went skint and started rebadging French cars along the way down to ownership by Ford, etc. Because repeat custom was low as the product was too good.
Why would you sell someone a product and not see that buyer again for fifteen years, when you could sell them a product that has built in natural short term expiry, beyond which it is an uneconomical repair? That way you see the customer again right after the guarantee runs out.
In reality, Dyson was a one trick Pony. The DC01 was OK, but the DC04 was really the one that made the company. But, for example, my Dad still has one of the very first DC04’s we imported brand new in the late 90’s. As do literally hundreds of thousands of other people.
The DC07, a DC04 with a different cyclone. A facelift.
The DC14, a revamped DC04.
The DC27 has a carriage design fault that nobody seems to be able to figure out how to fix.
The DC33, a shoddier, cheaper built, facelifted DC14. Pretty much a DC04 under the skin.
And at the DC33, they killed the model that made the company. That design is now dead. It was still too good.
Along the way we had the over-complicated and expensive to repair DC15 and DC18. The future!
What we have since is facelifts and evolution of the DC18. Each one more complicated, with more to go wrong, and inbuilt design flaws and intended short life components.
Balls are built to blow up or fall to bits at the end of the guarantee period. Many do so well before then. Early expiry by design.
If they learn by the mistakes of making the parts and tools fit all models, which they have, they can minimise the impact of the aftermarket on parts prices by making everything that little bit different along the way so parts are not interchangeable (DC18 and DC25 cyclones are early evidence of this – same item, bar one tweak which stops one working on the other).
Fast forward to today, and we have the DC41, discussed here. A machine so overly complicated to take apart, with parts so expensive, and design so awful that core units will be in no condition to refurbish in the future. Even the ducts were falling apart on the “clean ones” we got. We had to glue them up and make some pretty shoddy chemical metal repairs here and there I wasn’t really happy with. They have the inbuilt design fault that renders most in need of a new cleaner head (shitty wheel causing glueing to the floor and Johnson brushroll motor from the DC25).
DC41’s we here will see in two or three years will be in no condition to refurbish without practically renewing the machine. Who does hand-helds? Also crap and no small parts available for.
This means our window of opportunity has expired on new models. Dyson have closed the door (as they have tried to do on Airblades – but thats another story)
This leaves the refurbers window of opportunity the DC04, DC07, DC14 and DC33. To a lesser extent we might add the DC24 and DC25 (both riddled with design faults but just doable).
We are seeing some DC04 stuff going obsolete the last few weeks, soon they will pull support as they did with the DC01. Why the DC01 is almost gone.
We will be left with the 7, 14 and 33 as easy to do machines with plentiful parts. Followed up by the 24 and 25. When they get older? Job done.
Aggressive “trade in” deals is causing over supply in the core machine market. We was reaching out for machines a year ago. This week we turned down 120, and that is after moving along about a hundred into the trade recently “as is”. That wont last long, just long enough to pull a few hundred thousand more older machines out of the market to overwhelm the aftermarket and create export to the developing world, which is already happening – we already exported some machines this way.
Export en masse of core units is good for a manufacturer – it empties the main marketplace (where the profit is) of old products people can recycle. When did you last see a Volvo 940 or a Mercedes 307D/308D/310D T1 van?
You didnt because they all quietly vanished on boats to Africa. Volvo and Mercedes created export demand – as Dyson are doing. Soon we will see guys buying up old units to send to Africa, India and maybe Russia in container loads (remember when all the Ladas went back to Russia in 97-98?).
I give it five years tops. After which all that will be available is smashed up DC41’s and later models that will be uneconomical and over-complicated to repair leaving no decent profit margin. So the refurbed machine market will die. We’ll all get a good run on DC14’s (aka Volvo 940) now for a while, but when they start to look old hat, the easy days will be behind us.
This has all been planned by Dyson carefully to kill the refurbed machine aftermarket (an unintended consequence of a quality product), and by extension reign in the burgeoning after-market. Every machine any of us sell is a potential lost sale to them how they see it. I don’t agree with that (I think the customers are quite different), but I heard it from the horses mouth: A Dyson staff member. Why they closed our spares account without warning. Explanation? “We don’t support what you do. We don’t support the refurbished product market. We refuse to supply you, and have notified every dealer in Europe not to supply you.” Well, I like to ruffle feathers. I am flattered they noticed us.
Any thoughts or opinions out there?