WTH is going on with ShopSmith (the company)?

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algale
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Re: WTH is going on with ShopSmith (the company)?

Post by algale »

Shopsmith's struggles have nothing to do with NAFTA and regulation. I mentioned this before in another thread. They got in credit trouble in 2008 with lenders/suppliers, in part because of the financial crisis, and in part because of their own business practices.

No doubt they still are having credit issues with suppliers and thus for things with low demand, they appear to order from their suppliers in batches only when they have sufficient pent up customer demand via prior orders to justify a production run. Hence the advertised specials and the experience of people ordering only to find out the item isn't in stock with some items ordered on special not being delivered until weeks or months after they were ordered.

There are numerous complaints on the Forum about this situation and as many or more on the Shopsmith Customer Service Facebook page.

There may be the odd supplier who has gone out of business, forcing Shopsmith to look for alternative sources, but I don't think this is a major cause of Shopsmith's inability to deliver all orders promptly. Rather it's a credit situation.
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P89DC
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Re: WTH is going on with ShopSmith (the company)?

Post by P89DC »

It doesn't matter why, the issue is delivery and there are two choices, order and wait or dump your Shopsmith and go with separates. It's not as if Shopsmith is trying to piss us off, rather they are trying to survive in a challenging business environment.

NAFTA and China have had an effect on Shopsmith. Before the American worker was sold out by the American government via NAFTA and China dumping/currency manipulation separate woodworking equipments were expensive compared to Shopsmith. These days a Chinese cabinet saw is under $1000.
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davebodner
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Re: WTH is going on with ShopSmith (the company)?

Post by davebodner »

I agree on the challenging business environment.

Woodworking is now a niche market, and we're a niche of a niche. There's no point in complaining about it. Shopsmith has a huge legacy universe of parts to maintain, and there's only so much they can do. There's no way they can have everything in continuous production, or even in stock. I'm grateful they exist and are able to keep us supplied as much as they do. I can imagine things being much worse than they are today.
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robinson46176
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Re: WTH is going on with ShopSmith (the company)?

Post by robinson46176 »

I took my own actions to guarantee that I will always be able to keep my stuff going if the worst happens.
Beyond that I really do miss dropping in at the factory store to pick up parts or just look at the latest stuff or grab a few close-out bargains. I (in the past) always considered myself lucky to be living only about 2 hours west of the factory (Dayton Ohio). We have a number of Ohio friends and visit the area for various other reasons so my visits were fairly regular. While we live just south-east of Indy much of Diana's lives near and around Richmond Indiana which sits right at the state line and is about halfway to Dayton.
The customer repair shop was right off of the store and the shop guys were always great about answering questions or demo-ing a new machine.
I also enjoyed talking with other customers that frequently dropped by. Many were in the habit of bringing their latest small project to show it to the Shopsmith folks or to other customers like me.
I could get really excited over an notification that they were starting up the factory store again. I am not sure that they (at board room level) really understood what a public relations gem that small store was. Then again you don't always get to do what you may want to. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.


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Asbrand
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Re: WTH is going on with ShopSmith (the company)?

Post by Asbrand »

P89DC wrote:I dislike the wait but it's not as if shopsmith is making money hand over fist. I always ask them what's in stock before I place my order.
I get that. However, one would assume they have something in stock if they are going to blast out an e-mail "sale special" on it. :)

And yes...I know what happens when one assumes...
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RFGuy
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Re: WTH is going on with ShopSmith (the company)?

Post by RFGuy »

Asbrand wrote:
P89DC wrote:I dislike the wait but it's not as if shopsmith is making money hand over fist. I always ask them what's in stock before I place my order.
I get that. However, one would assume they have something in stock if they are going to blast out an e-mail "sale special" on it. :)

And yes...I know what happens when one assumes...
I have had the same frustration with them. My take on it....is that they have very limited (or no) inventory on hand. When they decide to send out one of those weekly specials, they are really just soliciting orders. If they get 10 or 100 or ??? orders placed, then they go and place a small build order with their contract manufacturers for the parts needed. This is why those weekly specials can take 2 months sometimes to get. If you are familiar at all with the marketing and promotions that Woodpeckers does, I kind of liken the specials from Shopsmith to be equivalent to the OneTime tools promotion that Woodpeckers offers. Both have the intent of drumming up business, neither have pre-existing inventory per se and both take months to build and ship to you. I have learned to accept this when I see the weekly sales from Shopsmith. It does seem ironic though to offer a sale promotion, yet have little to no inventory on hand to fulfill said promotion.
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dusty
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Re: WTH is going on with ShopSmith (the company)?

Post by dusty »

Asbrand wrote:
P89DC wrote:I dislike the wait but it's not as if shopsmith is making money hand over fist. I always ask them what's in stock before I place my order.
I get that. However, one would assume they have something in stock if they are going to blast out an e-mail "sale special" on it. :)

And yes...I know what happens when one assumes...
I guess I must be terribly naive. I tend to assume that the special offer was quite successful in clearing out the existing inventory and that since I hesitated to place my order I have to wait. This has happened to me at least three times and each time the orders were eventually filled and at the price offered in the special.

The list of Shopsmith users is much longer than I once thought. Check FB. There are many, many users who never post here.
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Shawn
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Re: WTH is going on with ShopSmith (the company)?

Post by Shawn »

I'm not sure what's going on, but I have been told for 2 weeks that everything on my order from 2 months ago (during the free shipping special...) is in stock and ready to ship. First, I was told everything was in and that it would ship "in a few days". After "a few days" and no shipment, I asked, if everything is in, why not just ship it then? No response, so I followed up again via phone and was told it would ship the next Monday. Again, no shipment. After several back and forth e-mails and phone calls, I sent a follow up e-mail stating that I have been very patient, more than any other reasonable customer would be. I asked them to go down - physically find out why my order is not shipping - tell me what is not available - and then just ship me what they have. I got a prompt response that they were looking into it and would get back to me "ASAP". No response. I have had no less than 2 phone conversations guaranteeing my shipment was going out, and 14 emails back and forth on the status of my order. Every single item I ordered is either listed in their catalog, been on a weekly (or basically daily) special, or a part from current production (assuming anyone actually buys any) Mark V or 7 machine. While I want the company to be successful and hope that I am the only one with these kinds of problems, I know it is not the case.
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Re: WTH is going on with ShopSmith (the company)?

Post by dusty »

Shawn wrote:I'm not sure what's going on, but I have been told for 2 weeks that everything on my order from 2 months ago (during the free shipping special...) is in stock and ready to ship. First, I was told everything was in and that it would ship "in a few days". After "a few days" and no shipment, I asked, if everything is in, why not just ship it then? No response, so I followed up again via phone and was told it would ship the next Monday. Again, no shipment. After several back and forth e-mails and phone calls, I sent a follow up e-mail stating that I have been very patient, more than any other reasonable customer would be. I asked them to go down - physically find out why my order is not shipping - tell me what is not available - and then just ship me what they have. I got a prompt response that they were looking into it and would get back to me "ASAP". No response. I have had no less than 2 phone conversations guaranteeing my shipment was going out, and 14 emails back and forth on the status of my order. Every single item I ordered is either listed in their catalog, been on a weekly (or basically daily) special, or a part from current production (assuming anyone actually buys any) Mark V or 7 machine. While I want the company to be successful and hope that I am the only one with these kinds of problems, I know it is not the case.
Just curious. What do you have on order? Have you received an email confirmation of the order?
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RFGuy
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Re: WTH is going on with ShopSmith (the company)?

Post by RFGuy »

Shawn wrote:I'm not sure what's going on, but I have been told for 2 weeks that everything on my order from 2 months ago (during the free shipping special...) is in stock and ready to ship. First, I was told everything was in and that it would ship "in a few days". After "a few days" and no shipment, I asked, if everything is in, why not just ship it then? No response, so I followed up again via phone and was told it would ship the next Monday. Again, no shipment. After several back and forth e-mails and phone calls, I sent a follow up e-mail stating that I have been very patient, more than any other reasonable customer would be. I asked them to go down - physically find out why my order is not shipping - tell me what is not available - and then just ship me what they have. I got a prompt response that they were looking into it and would get back to me "ASAP". No response. I have had no less than 2 phone conversations guaranteeing my shipment was going out, and 14 emails back and forth on the status of my order. Every single item I ordered is either listed in their catalog, been on a weekly (or basically daily) special, or a part from current production (assuming anyone actually buys any) Mark V or 7 machine. While I want the company to be successful and hope that I am the only one with these kinds of problems, I know it is not the case.
Shawn,

Sorry this is happening to you on your order. I know it is frustrating. Yours sounds like an extreme case for sure but I had a somewhat similar experience with some of my orders last year. The common line from CS seems to be just 2 more weeks. Of course 2 weeks comes and goes and then it is 2 more weeks again. The real problem, I think, is that the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing at Shopsmith. What I mean by that is CS really doesn’t know what is going on in manufacturing unfortunately. I was fortunate last year in that only after a few tries, I got to a good CS person at Shopsmith who told me exactly what was going on with my order. I wish I had some good advice for you but I don’t remember the name of the person that was so helpful for me last year. I do see some customers sporadically having good results by contacting Shopsmith on Facebook Customer Service group about their orders. Good luck with it.
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