Gary, You are livin the life! Overhead isnt killing me its the people who look at $400 softeners and then call me to ask for a price......I have to compete with my own supplier! Shoppers! You cant sell everybody! We all do this for success not for notoriety! Good luck in 2010
So far Dave I see nothing that you said that in any way can help a DIYer here on this forum. Actually I see you are against DIYers and independent online dealers like me and local independent dealers too.
You sell an overpriced softener that the customer can not get parts for except through the one'n only local dealer - YOU. For whatever you want to charge for them IF you will sell parts without insisting that you must charge a service call and install them; like most national brand proprietary softener dealers such as Kinetico that Andy sells.
BTW, the $400 softener you mention you have to compete with, that's the lesser quality big box store brand that your Ecowater ER3500 softener manufacturer makes and floods the market with. I too have to compete with them, which I do very well.
Your problem is that you don't concentrate on the local prospect that wants to depend on a local dealer for installation and service; along with your overhead expenses.
He is not my prospect until after that overpriced local dealer experience drives him to me because he gets tired of paying through the nose for service and decides to become a DIYer. I cater to the DIYer and the wannabe DIYer by saying the overpriced softener and being dependent on one local dealer is a rip off.
I have never said that your ER whatever softener, or Kinetico, is junk. They are overpriced and don't soften water any softer, or for any longer than the softeners I sell and mine are DIYer friendly with parts and repair information available from many online and local dealers. That appeals to many people and especially those that get online to research a softener purchase. Your posts here are not going to win you many sales, and may hurt your sales.
BTW, my 2009 sales were up about 12% over 2008 sales, which was up over 2007 sales. So I expect 2010 sales to be as good if not better due to the poor economy and financial conservatism taking hold on a national basis.