Jump to content
Adolf Hamster

the great airsoft robbery, or how much would you pay?

Recommended Posts

so inspired by the recent off topic rambling going on in macks i was thinking this topic might be worthy of further discussion.

 

so in airsoft we're very much used to clone products, hell almost the entire modern sport seems to be based on ripping off marui's designs. so what do we think of this? and how far would you go in supporting the "little guy" when he comes up with something new and awesome?

 

on the one hand, the plethora of cheap equipment available from rip off designs could be seen as a good thing, not everybody who plays has masses of disposable income to spend on toys and every penny counts. making the hobby accessable for everyone this way means more folk playing and i'm sure everyone can agree a growing hobby is a good sign for us.

 

there's also the argument of standardisation, it's handy that when it comes to aeg's there are so many compatible parts because when everything is ripped off from the same place it makes a standard, imagine if every company was like systema with a completely different mechanism powering their pews and more limited avenues for changing things around.

 

on the other hand, we could take the case of odin innovations, poor fella poured his heart and soul into a very innovative product, only for it to hit the market and within a month or two be competing with a sea of clones and seeing the reputation of an amazing bit of kit be sullied by cheap knock-offs that break.

 

it's not good for innovation when anyone who comes up with something new has to accept that their patents aren't going to save them from being ripped off left right and centre. after all it doesn't exactly motivate you to start up a business with no promise of any kind of success.

 

i'm on the fence about this, on the one hand i do like supporting the little guy, especially if you can justify a higher cost for greater quality. but at the same time i've got no qualms about buying an aeg from (insert brand that's not tokyo marui here), and every optic i own is some sort of clone because i don't have that much cash lying around to drop on proper glass.

 

so where do you sit? how much cheaper or more available does a clone need to be for you to opt for it instead of an original?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I very much doubt if I'd buy a set of Siegetek gears unless I won the lottery

 

But do feel bad that his DSG was ripped off by SHS, Modify & even G&G

 

guess it is all down to marketing & economics (supply & demand)

Sell the first batches at high price to help recoup some of the investment/time

then subsequent batches/revisions/updates perhaps the price should slowly decrease

to help get a continual return on revenue than lose out to rip off clones

 

£60 for a sector - leave off

 

£40 - hmmm maybe

 

£30 - yeah I'm thinking about (you get the idea)

 

imitation is a form of flattery - but getting ripped off by Chinese clones don't pay the bills either

still - you might be remembered for innovation, but few inventions are truly unique

often they are just improvements or new adaptations of existing bits of engineering

 

take the classic 3034 diy mosfet, all stuff like that & shit loads more is freely shared

but yes take your point about people who took the time to produce items etc...

 

edit - fully supported UK's own Firestorm Mosfets

how they knocked this out for tenner with wire etc.... was amazing

even reviewed across the pond...

 

 

 

They offered neodym magnets for £12 to turn your ferrite into a mofo motor

carbon fibre cylinders etc... and other engineering stuff they had in pipeline

 

then they just shut up shop, closed company down limited company and was no more :(

friggin' shame coz wanted to buy some more of these but too late

(dunno what happened, too cheap to make profit, personal issues or what but they was good)

 

but end of day, something is only worth what people are prepared to pay at what price

Some will buy an iPhone no matter (almost) what it costs

Others will sooner buy a £200 Android - some may not buy an iPhone ever as they see it overpriced

cars phones trainers - every item/brand has a niche/price/customer base mostly

 

I like to support people - up to a point, depends on if I feel that product is really worth its price tag

(and if i can afford it or really need it)

 

but to each their own, but respect to all clever innovators out there

yet let's not all blame the Chinese for cloning and ripping others off too much

they have nearly always been imitators first than ground breaking innovators

 

If this Corona bites hard for much longer we might see some issues everywhere in all aspects the world over

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, Adolf Hamster said:

 

on the other hand, we could take the case of odin innovations, poor fella poured his heart and soul into a very innovative product, only for it to hit the market and within a month or two be competing with a sea of clones and seeing the reputation of an amazing bit of kit be sullied by cheap knock-offs that break. 

 

 

 

The same could be said about viper/TMC etc. ripping off not only Spiritus but also Ferro and the like. Hell look at WAS even they damn near ripped off the Slickster design. I'm all for being inclusive and everyone being able to play but paying into companies that rip off small businesses is bullshit in my opinion and lets face it in the grand scheme of things SS and Ferro are still fairly small companies which you can judge solely on their production abilities if nothing else. It sometimes makes me wonder about the morality of using clone gear which admittedly I do have some of (talking about crye cut clothing) where does the line get drawn? you say about Odin getting ripped off almost as soon as he released the sidewinder but barely even saw anything when viper released their version of the SS mk3 rig other than a IG story from SS themselves but even they admitted they are too small fry to even bother raising a cease and desist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't really know all that much about inventing and patent law, but perhaps the way to go for small time innovators is to patent their product and then sell the design and patent to a big time player. Thereby getting a bigger pay cheque in the beginning and then maybe also getting some kickback on sales? It seems as though this may have been the case with the M12, as I think PTS were involved. This might provide a solution that allows an inventor to make their money upfront before the onslaught of clones making that the larger partnering manufacturers problem - however it would be less of a problem for them as they would have their big name behind the product as well as a massively diversified product line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only a few years back it was not possible for an average guy to come up with an idea and start selling it. We didn't have the mean of producing it cheap enough in small quantities and couldn't let the world know about the product.

Now, with 3d printing for prototyping, globalization to reach out for Chinese factories for cheap mass production, and everything on the internet to sell it, anyone can do it.

But if you are not a big company you can't protect it. Even if you manage to get the big bucks for a wordwide patent, you won't have the money to pay the lawyers to enforce it. So don't think just because you can start selling stuff, you are an actual player in the industry.

That is not you can realistically aim for. If you are small, you do have your strengths that will sell your small quantities. You can very quickly make changes, make improvements to keep you ahead of competitors. You can sell cheap enough.

You are not big enough to play the big game but you can find the small gaps you can fit in.

Don't blame the market, understand it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the clever money here would be beating the cloners to the punch and directly selling your idea to a manufacturer, at that point your money is in the bank and it's there issue.

 

I personally see the value in "genuine" products, much like software, if I like it and it is a quality product I'm happy to pay and have the "real deal" and if that cost is high then the product needs to be of an equally high quality to justify that.

 

@Samurai this is totally the wrong place for this but I used your mk23 suppressor this weekend. My STTi Mk was one of a raft of SSX23's on field with their drainpipe suppressors and when the "owners" got together I was some what mocked because mine wasn't as long as theirs. Well, I stuck it to them, not only did mine outrange and score a full mag of kills in one go. It was also quieter 😁 (and that's without the fart flap mod). Of course I oblige and pass on your site whenever I get asked where the suppressor came from.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, clumpyedge said:

 

The same could be said about viper/TMC etc. ripping off not only Spiritus but also Ferro and the like. Hell look at WAS even they damn near ripped off the Slickster design. I'm all for being inclusive and everyone being able to play but paying into companies that rip off small businesses is bullshit in my opinion and lets face it in the grand scheme of things SS and Ferro are still fairly small companies which you can judge solely on their production abilities if nothing else. It sometimes makes me wonder about the morality of using clone gear which admittedly I do have some of (talking about crye cut clothing) where does the line get drawn? you say about Odin getting ripped off almost as soon as he released the sidewinder but barely even saw anything when viper released their version of the SS mk3 rig other than a IG story from SS themselves but even they admitted they are too small fry to even bother raising a cease and desist.

 

I think the difference with tactical gear is that airsoft isn't CP, SS or Ferro's primary market. Most of the "gear guys" online from the US will make a point of promoting legit gear over Chinese copies purely because that build quality is more relevant to real firearms owners, Mil/LE markets, etc than it is to the average toy gun weekend warrior. All the while their primary market isn't under direct threat I can understand why it's just not worth their time. When it comes to big mass-market players like Nike and Disney for example, they need an army of lawyers with C&D letters ready to go because knock offs directly impact their market share.

 

The other issue for many companies is that commercially viable manufacturing is still more often than not, based in China. In China, copyright is something that happens to other people so they have absolutely no shame about knocking something off and flogging it as their own product. You only have to have a quick google for "Chinese CG125" and see the sheer volume of knock-off copies of the world's most prolific motorcycles!

 

So in some ways, I have more sympathy for people like Odin that are making a product purely for our market that is then faced with all the copies flooding in most likely from the factory that made it for him in the first place. That said, I seem to recall that when they first came out they were more in the region of £65-70 and to be quite honest, that is WAY overpriced for the market. Yes, it probably reflects the amount of development cost involved and it is a relatively complex lump of plastic (what with the clutch system and whatnot) but that really ought to come off the bottom line not get lumped onto the consumer.

 

I also think that Unity Tactical has the right idea; in partnering with PTS to make licenced airsoft replicas of their (really rather trick) hardware they will neatly sidestep a lot of people that don't want to pay real steel prices but want the kit on their toy guns. Look at the Fusion mounts, yes there are FMA copies to be had but they're not actually that much cheaper than the PTS licenced ones which have the proper trades on and the support of the original company. Maybe SS and Ferro et al ought to acknowledge that they have a secondary market that doesn't need the same level of stitch counting obsessiveness and look to licence their designs (albeit not necessarily the latest versions) to a production partner with a few morals (or at least a decent NDA in place).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just as an add on to the above - lots of people recommend the Visionking Short Dot scope, right? How many of them realise that's a Chinese knock off of a Schmitt & Bender optic that weighs in at around £1800?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where do you put a stop to it? 

For example, do Tokyo marui pay anything to HK, or Smith and wesson, or IMI to use their designs?

The answer is no. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, mzjango said:

.......perhaps the way to go for small time innovators is to patent their product and then sell the design and patent to a big time player. Thereby getting a bigger pay cheque in the beginning and then maybe also getting some kickback on sales?

.......

Sounds fine in principle, but can easily fall

down in practice 

 

With trying to say the absolute minimum for confidentiality, there was a product designed in one industry by an established but small company.  This was an economical item that met the needs of another industry that has very pricey products.

The new item was safer, greener, cheaper - but their attempts at getting into the new market were troublesome up against industry giants.

They were marketing at an industry show, and were approached by a big player for an exclusive contract - a good trade prices and a strong company in the industry.

All were happy

 

Then reality kicked in - they had just sold exclusive rights to the market to a company that just wanted to kill the products potential competition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, clumpyedge said:

 

The same could be said about viper/TMC etc. ripping off not only Spiritus but also Ferro and the like. Hell look at WAS even they damn near ripped off the Slickster design. I'm all for being inclusive and everyone being able to play but paying into companies that rip off small businesses is bullshit in my opinion and lets face it in the grand scheme of things SS and Ferro are still fairly small companies which you can judge solely on their production abilities if nothing else. It sometimes makes me wonder about the morality of using clone gear which admittedly I do have some of (talking about crye cut clothing) where does the line get drawn? you say about Odin getting ripped off almost as soon as he released the sidewinder but barely even saw anything when viper released their version of the SS mk3 rig other than a IG story from SS themselves but even they admitted they are too small fry to even bother raising a cease and desist.

 

yeah, i'm using odin as my example simply because i'm more familiar with it, but there's tons of similar examples out there.

 

3 hours ago, mzjango said:

I don't really know all that much about inventing and patent law, but perhaps the way to go for small time innovators is to patent their product and then sell the design and patent to a big time player. Thereby getting a bigger pay cheque in the beginning and then maybe also getting some kickback on sales? It seems as though this may have been the case with the M12, as I think PTS were involved. This might provide a solution that allows an inventor to make their money upfront before the onslaught of clones making that the larger partnering manufacturers problem - however it would be less of a problem for them as they would have their big name behind the product as well as a massively diversified product line.

 

i'm not massively familiar with the odin case but afaik isnt that what he tried to do? except they screwed him over and were the first ones to rip off his product.

 

1 hour ago, Lozart said:

Just as an add on to the above - lots of people recommend the Visionking Short Dot scope, right? How many of them realise that's a Chinese knock off of a Schmitt & Bender optic that weighs in at around £1800?

 

this is the question, i have no doubt the s&b optic is fantastic quality but at the same time that's more cash than even my most expensive gun cost up front.

 

that said, given i wasn't going to be buying an s&b in any scenario it's not like the existance of clones is going to take my business anyway from them anyway.

 

31 minutes ago, Cromulon1994 said:

Where do you put a stop to it? 

For example, do Tokyo marui pay anything to HK, or Smith and wesson, or IMI to use their designs?

The answer is no. 

 

i think some companies to, like cybergun and the g&g f2000 case, although i'm sure it's not the only one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I love the clone market when it comes to Airsoft, & believe that much of the genuine kit is waaay overpriced for what it is, especially when it comes to load carrying kit, the only real steel exception in my mind being WAS, generally priced midway between cheap clone & supposedly "top end" real steel kit .

As for sights etc, ours are pretty much for show, recoil, engagement ranges & accuracy in Airsoft being minimal, whereas real steel shooters need the hardier higher quality kit to match to real firearms.

As for R&D & patents, it is what it is, everything we use in life was designed by someone, only to be copied by someone else, & the world kept turning lol 🤔

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, Cromulon1994 said:

Where do you put a stop to it? 

For example, do Tokyo marui pay anything to HK, or Smith and wesson, or IMI to use their designs?

The answer is no. 

 

Ah but some companies like Umarex negotiate licences and produce airsoft and airgun designs. TM have had to remove H&K trades thanks to legal action from ze Germans, Cybergun had a C&D on the MCX from Sig (who now make an airsoft one directly). Likewise Kriss set up Krytac for the sole purpose of stopping KWA from producing any of their designs!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Tackle said:

Personally I love the clone market when it comes to Airsoft, & believe that much of the genuine kit is waaay overpriced for what it is,

 

Yeah I mean go back to the mid 2000s and you have JG, CYMA, A&K, D-Boys and maybe one or two others pop up and start pouring their products into the market through RSOV and Gunner-airsoft, a massive majority of consumers were loving it... most of the products were TM clones but with metal receivers (that alone was a step up from the OG plastic TMs they copied) - quality ranged from pretty poor to better than the OG in some cases, and most of them were priced between 90 - 120 quid.. half to a third of what they were copied after. At the time the cheapest you could get a new gun for was about 300 quid from a Taiwan or Japanese make.. it was game changing and very few people were really complaining or taking the moral high ground.

Then within a couple years you had actual UK shops setup who's businesses were pretty much based on ACM imports, such as action-hobbies and they did really well. I remember the old forums were buzzing every time AH got a new shipment in and everyone wanted to see what new AEGs they could nab for around a 100 quid - people were literally ordering 5, 6, AEGs at a time. And that pretty much sealed all these new ACM manufacturers into every ones accepted list. That along with the fact that they did start bringing their own designs forward such as the dboys Mk12 and CYMA AK/RPK/SVD mashup thing. 

 

At the end of the day you could probably say that this would force the big boys to up their game, in features, quality and price - whether it did or not is debatable.. but they must of taken such an initial hit from the ACM revolution.

 

This has been happening in airsoft for over 15 years now, the only reason this strikes us as a bit of a piss take now, is because something like the Odin m12 was essentially a home thought up innovation.

China gonna do what China gonna do and we all both benefit from and suffer the consequences, especially innovators.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they can clone it and spit out a copy for less than half the price (and still make a profit) they were asking for too much margin in the first place. It's easy to open up a lemonade stand and make 20% profit next to the Lemonade stand making 40% profit. I'm sure the stand who was making all the money in the first place isn't happy they aren't making all the money anymore but competition is healthy for consumers and if business' can't be competitive they won't sell.  

 

 


 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the end if the day, anyone that doesn't consider their new product could be subject to copying would be pretty naive, & only the big boys have the corporate might to go after those that do.

For the small innovators it's a massive dilemma, best case, invent an amazing product, then sell the rights to the big boys & move on to the next design while counting your windfall, staying away from the production/marketing etc .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Musica said:

If they can clone it and spit out a copy for less than half the price (and still make a profit) they were asking for too much margin in the first place. It's easy to open up a lemonade stand and make 20% profit next to the Lemonade stand making 40% profit. I'm sure the stand who was making all the money in the first place isn't happy they aren't making all the money anymore but competition is healthy for consumers and if business' can't be competitive they won't sell.  

 

the problem is when it comes to capital costs.

 

production lines take money to set up, money that the little guy simply doesn't have, so a big company can afford to write a cheque for a few hundred thousand for tooling and start churning out products en-masse for low cost, but the little guy can't do that. not to mention the likes of r&d costs which the original inventor has to make back but the ripoff merchant doesn't need to worry about.

 

it's not as simple as straight up competition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Adolf Hamster said:

 

the problem is when it comes to capital costs.

 

production lines take money to set up, money that the little guy simply doesn't have, so a big company can afford to write a cheque for a few hundred thousand for tooling and start churning out products en-masse for low cost, but the little guy can't do that. not to mention the likes of r&d costs which the original inventor has to make back but the ripoff merchant doesn't need to worry about.

 

it's not as simple as straight up competition.

The bigger company can always do it cheaper than the little company. If you don't have a business head don't try to start a business just be a inventory/creator. Keep it as a side hobby not a main source of income.

 

I doubt the airsoft market will see anything like the Baked Beans War of the 90s. 

 

http://www.factfiend.com/time-store-paid-people-take-stuff/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Musica said:

The bigger company can always do it cheaper than the little company. If you don't have a business head don't try to start a business just be a inventory/creator. Keep it as a side hobby not a main source of income.

 

this is the problem, that stifles innovation because anyone who has a neat idea isn't going to put it out there.

 

if the guy behind the odin thought that way i'd have the henchest thumb in existence with the number of midcaps i run :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Adolf Hamster said:

 

this is the problem, that stifles innovation because anyone who has a neat idea isn't going to put it out there.

 

if the guy behind the odin thought that way i'd have the henchest thumb in existence with the number of midcaps i run :P

Personally I'd still buy an odin over a copy because the addon (which now comes as standard on the tipman odin) to silence it is worth more to me but it's lot of ask for a bit of rubber and I've been waiting for a year now for the M12 transformer 

 

If someone comes out with something similar I will be done waiting. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i can get the silence aspect, although it's easily workable.

 

you can just leave it in the safe zone and have enough midcaps for a game.

 

the way i run mine is i either do that or carry it on me and accept that if i've burned 6 midcaps and had to reload in the field stealth has long gone out the window.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sort by: price (low to high)

 

It's not just a habit, it's a way of life.

 

If (for example) Odin wants me to buy their stuff, it needs to be:

 

1) On the first page of sorted results

2) Make it clear in the title or summary why it's worth my time reading the details.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, clumpyedge said:

How many people pirate movies or stream that have commented on this thread. Serious question.

 

I still buy physical BDs and CDs....old school me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...