The Proper Screw

Why is this stuff so expensive?

Posted on Oct 09, 2012. 0 comments

FSB is perhaps the best all-around manufacturer of modern door hardware in the world. It is always on the cutting edge both on the technology and the aesthetics. In the time we've been offering their hardware, they have continually upgraded their offerings, bringing their considerable resources to bear on issues big and small which move the state of the art forward, and satisfy the desires and demands of our best customers. 



Manufacturing in Germany isn't cheap: they've got a reputation to uphold.  
I was looking around on the FSB.de site to see what was new in the Old World and came across this comprehensive explanation of the DIN, the standards that govern all of German manufacturing and is primarily responsible for the consistently superior quality of their products. I'd always wondered, and here it was all laid out in all its maniacal detail. 

At the end of the document was this quote : 

“There is hardly anything in the world that some man
cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper.
It is unwise to pay too much, but it is also unwise to
pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little
money, that is all. When you pay too little, 
you sometimes lose everything because the thing you bought 
is incapable of doing the thing you bought it to do.
The common law of business balance prohibits paying
a little and getting a lot … It can’t be done.
If you deal with the lowest bidder it is well to add
something for the risk you run. And if you do that you
will have enough to pay for something better.”

John Ruskin (1819 – 1900), English social critic


That just nailed it. We're often asked why our hardware is so damned expensive and, depending on the item in question, we have good arguments for the value that every piece of hardware we offer brings to a project. But when I read Ruskin's blast from the past, I realize, hey, the battle we are fighting, the battle for a better built environment, is not a new one. Schlock has always existed and will always exist. Gray market products are always going to seduce the inexperienced and callow. It's only companies like FSB and others at that level which provide us with the ammunition (dear as it is) to battle the entrenched mediocrity, armed with the best that money can buy (as long as it's in the budget, right?). 



This stuff is expensive, sure, but so is buying ugly junk. 
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