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Thread: Decent espresso

  1. #1891
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    Anyone who has spent any time looking at products released here vs the US (that are likely to be regulated/governed by protective laws) should be well aware of price disparities. They are never just exchange rate+tax if the business is properly trading in both places.

    As an example of the difference; I bought a HTC Vive when it was released directly from HTC. I also drop by the HTC Vive reddit from time to time. On any occasion there are usually 2-3 topics on the front page about appalling HTC customer service and returns are (delays of months repairing, having to pay $80 'consultancy fee' just to have a non-repaired controller returned etc). Virtually all of these are in the USA where HTC will not be held accountable for a large proportion of what they are doing. There are horror stories from the UK/Europe as well, but most of these are from ill informed consumers who let a lying CS rep walk all over them.

    The USA is low regulation/low prices, 'look out for yourself' type economy. I'm usually happy to pay a bit more for the protection we get under law here, and I think John has done a pretty good job explaining exactly how his prices work which is a damn sight better than you get from most companies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan View Post
    The USA is low regulation/low prices, 'look out for yourself' type economy. I'm usually happy to pay a bit more for the protection we get under law here, and I think John has done a pretty good job explaining exactly how his prices work which is a damn sight better than you get from most companies.
    I didn't know you got protection under UK law when buying the DE machines from Hong Kong?
    Vesuvius DBPP, Izzo Duetto DB BTC Machines, Prototype machines Roasters: Amazon Dalian 1kg Drum Roaster, other failed roasters: Grinders: Ceado E92, Niche US and UK: 145kg assorted greens: Just loads of stuff I forget I have.

  3. #1893
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavecUK View Post
    I didn't know you got protection under UK law when buying the DE machines from Hong Kong?
    One for John to answer, but afaik if you sell directly to the UK market as Decent do then you are subject to their same laws regardless of where you ship from - but I dont know the exact ins and outs or at what point exactly you start having to abide by consumer protection.

    Some more extensive Warranty terms would be a good thing for Decent to have, their site mentions their 2 year warranty and from the info John has posted here it looks as if he is looking after the first customers to a fault, but it would be good to have a proper T&C for each country they sell to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan View Post
    One for John to answer, but afaik if you sell directly to the UK market as Decent do then you are subject to their same laws regardless of where you ship from - but I dont know the exact ins and outs or at what point exactly you start having to abide by consumer protection.

    Some more extensive Warranty terms would be a good thing for Decent to have, their site mentions their 2 year warranty and from the info John has posted here it looks as if he is looking after the first customers to a fault, but it would be good to have a proper T&C for each country they sell to.
    Interesting, normally on sites that sometimes even look like UK ones but are really based in HK, all their terms and conditions are based on HK law. I am not sure you are right about the law as it applies

    https://districtwidget.com/pages/terms-and-conditions

    That said, I have bought many products from countries outside the UK and never had a problem....even though I don't enjoy the same protections as I would under UK/EU law.

    P.S. Perhaps it's "omniscience" at work again
    Vesuvius DBPP, Izzo Duetto DB BTC Machines, Prototype machines Roasters: Amazon Dalian 1kg Drum Roaster, other failed roasters: Grinders: Ceado E92, Niche US and UK: 145kg assorted greens: Just loads of stuff I forget I have.

  5. #1895
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    I do not know enough to speculate - it would be good to know from John or anyone else who is sure at what point you become subject to UK law. I had a feeling it was something like if you have to deal with duty/taxes yourself when it arrives in the country then you are the 'importer' but if the company you are buying from deal with this themselves then they are responsible for the item.

    But I cannot find the right search syntax to confirm/deny this - it could as easily be that you need to buy something shipped from a UK company with a UK address which Decent obviously are not.

  6. #1896
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavecUK View Post
    I didn't know you got protection under UK law when buying the DE machines from Hong Kong?
    Most of the laws I'm aware of are very explicit about the fact that they do apply to foreign companies selling to the local market. The recycling directive, for instance, explicitly calls out the different ways that local vs remote companies must comply or face penalties.

    From what I've been told, EU authorities grant a bit of leeway for very-very-small companies, as they get large enough to come into compliance, but "shipped from elsewhere" is not a solid reason to disregard EU rules. Eventually, if we didn't comply, it will catch up with us in ugly ways.

    But regardless, we don't intend to be solely based in HK forever.

    Both of us founders are UK born, and unless Brexit makes it unrealistic, my intention is for the UK to be our EU base.

    A customer recently shipped a machine for repair from Germany to Mat North in Bristol, and the 48h shipping cost was under 40€ (!). If we're able to continue to move machines in/out of the EU for repairs tax-free (again, Brexit), we'll continue with this arrangement and grow it over time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan View Post
    from the info John has posted here it looks as if he is looking after the first customers to a fault
    That will absolutely continue, because over-the-top support of customers has been a lynchpin to the success of 3 previous businesses I've founded.

    I can't see how we could effectively compete with LM, Simonelli and others (not to mention Amazon) if we didn't differentiate ourselves in several notable ways.

    At the moment, there's a very simple policy in place: "Every DE1+ customer needs to make good coffee". We're deeply involved with customer's drinks, helping them dose, prep, grind, etc.... at least until they're making shots better (on average) than their local 3rd wave cafe. Some customers decide to continue in close contact with us, to become ever better at making coffee, whilst others are perfectly content with a decent cup in the morning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan View Post
    Some more extensive Warranty terms would be a good thing for Decent to have, their site mentions their 2 year warranty but it would be good to have a proper T&C for each country they sell to.
    I absolutely agree, and eventually you'll have more extensive Terms & Conditions. However, for now it actually benefits the consumer for us to simply write "2 year warranty", as T&C are usually all about the company reigning in those consumer rights.

    In general, I dislike legalese, especially long T&C. When we get to write them, I'll do my best to keep it as short and sweet as possible. I don't want to simply copy some default "screw the consumer as much as legally allowed" that a lawyer would typically hand me.

    I expect that any T&C that we do write will get micro-analyzed here and elsewhere, so we've got to do a fair job of it, or else suffer a high PR price.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan View Post
    I do not know enough to speculate - it would be good to know from John or anyone else who is sure at what point you become subject to UK law. I had a feeling it was something like if you have to deal with duty/taxes yourself when it arrives in the country then you are the 'importer' but if the company you are buying from deal with this themselves then they are responsible for the item.

    But I cannot find the right search syntax to confirm/deny this - it could as easily be that you need to buy something shipped from a UK company with a UK address which Decent obviously are not.
    Generally, my understanding is that you will come under domestic law if:
    1) the country thinks you have a "place a business" in that country
    2) or you're doing enough business in that country (remotely) that the govt notices you, and informs you that you need to become compliant. They have ways of making you want to "play nice" at that point.

    For us, it's pretty simple, and shipping/duty costs are the main issue. Shipping individual machines from HK is only cost effective when we're not doing much business in a specific country. Shipping a pallet of machines and then doing final delivery locally is much more cost effective. Not to mention local sales, support and repairs, all of which self-reinforce to increase sales in that country.

    We might also decide to send mostly-assembled machines to the UK as no-VAT (and reduced duty) applies unfinished goods, and do final assembly in the UK. We're contemplating doing this in the USA as well.

    Again, though, these future plans do hinge on a tax-free border with the continent.

    I've mentioned before that Tesla is my model. I like their local showroom/repair center approach.

    -john

  7. #1897
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    Default A bit more reliable

    IMG_8888.jpg

    We're becoming a bit more reliable at building espresso machines

    So far, only one of last week's batch of 20 machines has had any problems, which is good news. The week before, it was 3 machines, and before that, 11 machines had issues.

    The bad news is that I've only ever had one person (Tinny) on the "final assembly, clean up and pack up for shipping" job, and until recently that's been ... shall we say... "a part time job" (cough, cough).

    Jennifer is now helping Tinny get this backlog of 9 perfectly-healthy machines out the door and out of the way.

    IMG_8891.jpg

    In this second below, you can see our "hospital" where sick machines go to get healed. At the moment, the hospital only has one espresso machine in it. It's the one place in the factory where I'm happy to see nobody working.

    -john

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