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Styrka Out Of Business (1 Viewer)

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

apart from the tone, Jessie has a point.

In post number 17 Jan claimed that in Europe the seller is required by law to honour any manufacturer warranty. At least in Germany that is not the case.

And I have not heard about Germany being taken to the court by the EU for lack of passing EU legislation regarding sellers having to honour manufacturer warranties into national law.

In Germany the legal situation is like this - if an item breaks during the first 6 month after the customer received it, the seller has to either fix or replace it unless the item has obviously been abused.
Up to two years the customer can try to claim for this too, but he has to offer proof that a hidden defect was present at the time of sale which later caused the defect - if things go to court that might get tricky and require a significant outlay for expert witnesses.

A manufacturer can offer a warranty in excess of the legal requirement but regardless of what Zeiss said, that is a claim of the customer against the manufacturer and the manufacturer only. If the manufacturer has been able to talk his contract dealers into handling warranty claims too - fine.
But there is no requirement for the customer to claim for warranty through the dealer he bought the item from or any other dealer.

It is true that a dealer might be a bit more forthcoming to a good customer than required by law in the hopes of getting repeat business - but that is his decision.

Joachim
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Hi,

apart from the tone, Jessie has a point.

In post number 17 Jan claimed that in Europe the seller is required by law to honour any manufacturer warranty. At least in Germany that is not the case.

And I have not heard about Germany being taken to the court by the EU for lack of passing EU legislation regarding sellers having to honour manufacturer warranties into national law.

In Germany the legal situation is like this - if an item breaks during the first 6 month after the customer received it, the seller has to either fix or replace it unless the item has obviously been abused.
Up to two years the customer can try to claim for this too, but he has to offer proof that a hidden defect was present at the time of sale which later caused the defect - if things go to court that might get tricky and require a significant outlay for expert witnesses.

A manufacturer can offer a warranty in excess of the legal requirement but regardless of what Zeiss said, that is a claim of the customer against the manufacturer and the manufacturer only. If the manufacturer has been able to talk his contract dealers into handling warranty claims too - fine.
But there is no requirement for the customer to claim for warranty through the dealer he bought the item from or any other dealer.

It is true that a dealer might be a bit more forthcoming to a good customer than required by law in the hopes of getting repeat business - but that is his decision.

Joachim
Well put.

I really don't see what is so difficult to understand that different countries and regions have different laws, regulations, methods, and systems, and indeed industry or business norms.

A dealer, or shop, may be inclined to go above and beyond for the reasons mentioned - or conversely, they may be laggardly, obstinate or even downright negligent or 'criminal' in their actions. I don't think anyone should be telling Jan how to suck eggs !

I am grateful to Adorama for the very fair way they dealt with my return from the other side of the world, when Swift exited, and Swift were answering neither emails or phones eventually.

Conversely, some people dealing direct with Zen-Ray for various issues may have had a worse experience - when they went belly up .... still others, like myself, have had no issues ~10 years down the track - long after legal obligations expired in this country, and long after the end of any warranty Zen made.






Chosun 🙅
 
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jan van daalen

Well-known member
Hi,

apart from the tone, Jessie has a point.

In post number 17 Jan claimed that in Europe the seller is required by law to honour any manufacturer warranty. At least in Germany that is not the case.

And I have not heard about Germany being taken to the court by the EU for lack of passing EU legislation regarding sellers having to honour manufacturer warranties into national law.

In Germany the legal situation is like this - if an item breaks during the first 6 month after the customer received it, the seller has to either fix or replace it unless the item has obviously been abused.
Up to two years the customer can try to claim for this too, but he has to offer proof that a hidden defect was present at the time of sale which later caused the defect - if things go to court that might get tricky and require a significant outlay for expert witnesses.

A manufacturer can offer a warranty in excess of the legal requirement but regardless of what Zeiss said, that is a claim of the customer against the manufacturer and the manufacturer only. If the manufacturer has been able to talk his contract dealers into handling warranty claims too - fine.
But there is no requirement for the customer to claim for warranty through the dealer he bought the item from or any other dealer.

It is true that a dealer might be a bit more forthcoming to a good customer than required by law in the hopes of getting repeat business - but that is his decision.

Joachim
Hi Joachim,

OK, let's built a case.
The customer buys a binocular from a dealer with the lifetime-warranty-no-questions-asked and the bin breaks down after two years.
The customer goes to his dealer for warranty, the dealer sends the bin to the distributor but the distributor ended the coöperation with the brand because of the massive returns, refuses to honor the warranty and ships the bin back to the dealer.
The new distributor refuses the case since the sale was with the former distributor.
The brand has a HQ in the USA but the manufacturer is a unknown Chines OEM.

Mmmm....... "Houston we have a problem".

AFAIK and being explained to me in several courses, to avoid this kind of tragedy, the customer is protected by Civil Law when he bought the item at a dealer who has to honor the warranty conditions because the sales contract is between the dealer and the customer and not the brand and the customer.
The dealer has to take it up with the distributor/brand but that is not the worry of the customer.

It might be different when the sales goes via grey imports, sales construction on E-bay etc but that is a assumption from my part.

Jan

PS

I like your tone better.......
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi Jan,

yes, one can discuss everything in a civil way and sometimes its even best to agree to disagree.

I am quite sure it is different than what you wrote in Germany - it might be as you said in the Netherlands, I don't know dutch law and I am not a lawyer... But if what you wrote was mandated by EU legislation, we can be sure that Germany would have been taken to court at Luxembourg for not following up on EU legislation.

In Germany warranty is not part of the sales contract but a voluntary offer by the manufacturer. The terms of the warranty as stated in the paperwork at tthe time of the sale are then binding for the manufacturer and for the manufacturer only.

The 6 month / 2 year period is also usually not part of the sales contract but is a product liability mandated by law (Produkthaftungsgesetz). And that is always between the customer and the seller.

Joachim
 

jan van daalen

Well-known member
Hi Joachim,

AFAIKnew it was EU Law, so it seems I missed the current developments.
I had some backup talks with a major optics brand and they share your vision.
Life is a steep learning curve.......
Thx mate.
Jan
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi Jan,

I hope to get to Holland some time on vacation and to be able to visit your shop and treat myself to sth nice... and maybe have a chat...

Joachim
 

kestrel1

Well-known member
Hello,
yes this is B2B vs B2C gap

B2B can go even without any warranty, but B2C must follow local law.
I think there are deviations between EU countries and it is not fully harmonized. In SK basic B2C for non-consummables is 2years.
Real execution of aftersales in-warranty service may depend on how well dealer is backed by B2B conditions.
If he cannot transfer burden upstream, and has no big margins to create suitable warranty reserve, than burden will be on goodwill of dealer otherwise transferred downstream to customer, which in return write reviews.

Therefore best to buy from well established dealers with tight connection to real in-house manufacturers.

I am now having one Noblex clone of SV-Bony scope, generally no issue with product.
I bought Noblex branded due 5 year warranty, unfortunately one month later sad news about Noblex were published.
Hoping they get recovered. Still it is cheap 200euro scope so in worst case no big burden on me...
Still cannot get rid off saying that cheap things are sometimes most costly ones.

Thanks
Best Regards
Alex
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
Yes, the market is really getting saturated with these companies. Zen-Ray, Athlon, Carson, Maven, Tract, Styrka, are just a few brands we hear about on this forum.

But have you ever gone on Amazon and tried to search for binoculars? You get obvious generic knock-offs like Wingspan Optics (this 8x32 for example is very obviously a cheap version of the current Vortex Diamondback 8x32) and all sorts of crazy pop-up brands. A zillion choices, they all look the same, any random consumer will have no idea which one is better so they'll just grab whatever $40-50 option has a bunch of good reviews and appears at the top of their search results.

Adorrgon??? POLDR????? Are they literally just putting random letters together?? Eyeskey? Skygenius? Occer? SALLOUS???? Are you kidding me??

View attachment 1357630
View attachment 1357631

I'm with Josh here, Vortex is the one "cheap" brand that I'm NOT worried about. They are widely known in the birding and hunting world, and those Amazon search results? Guess who also appears at the top of nearly every search?

Believe it or not, despite their bad rap in this enthusiast forum, in the "normal" world the $200 Vortex Diamondback is the premium splurge option for someone who thinks binoculars cost $35. Nikon Monarch and Vortex Diamondback are THE two recommendations when someone wants to upgrade to non-junk optics but isn't ready able to spend a fortune. I see more Vortex used by birders out in the field than any other non "premium" brand, except perhaps for Nikon Monarchs.

Vortex really pioneered this business model as the "direct-to-consumer upstart brand with an amazing warranty and optics that play way above their price point" and they've made it this far. Their binoculars have consistently bested low to mid price tiers in all sorts of comparison tests. Years before the now decade-old Conquest HD shook up the mid level market, the Vortex Viper line had an established death grip on the "90% of alpha optics for 1/4 the price" award. And, again years before the Conquest, the Razor line was the first widely known optic to have the reputation of "imperceptibly close to alpha optics for half the price". Someone says "I want a premium scope but I can't spend $3-4K on a Swaro or Zeiss or Leica". The most common answer will be "get a Razor HD".

Their reputation and market presence is just solid, and they seem to have their marketing sensors tuned right. I don't see the fall of the Zen-Rays and Styrkas along the way is relevant to the elephant in the room. Vortex is 15+ years past the teething stages during which those other companies collapsed.


I do think Styrka's business model was odd. Clearly they wanted to stand out in this crowded market. They went a little premium with the price point, and then went over the top with their warranty (send it in every year for cleaning!) and throwing every accessory you can think of in the bag. Unfortunately it feels like all that extra stuff just cut into their profit margin but doesn't matter that much to consumers, why pay $600+ for the Styrka when you can buy the equivalent spec Vortex Viper HD for LESS and get comparable warranty coverage with a much more well-known, established brand?
These 'no name' products are a pretty decent option for the budget constrained buyer.
Anything where the feedback includes several thousand replies is at least modestly ok, then check out the three and two star reviews to find the pain points. Armed with that info, you can make a rational decision.
Fact is, fifty bucks for a half way usable 10x42 is a wonderful value, even if the brand attracts snickers from the Swaro crowd.
 

Troubador

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
These 'no name' products are a pretty decent option for the budget constrained buyer.
Anything where the feedback includes several thousand replies is at least modestly ok, then check out the three and two star reviews to find the pain points. Armed with that info, you can make a rational decision.
Fact is, fifty bucks for a half way usable 10x42 is a wonderful value, even if the brand attracts snickers from the Swaro crowd.
Remember that saying that the best bino you have is the one you are carrying now? Well even if it is a $50/£50 rubbish instrument, if it allows a newcomer to get a taste of nature observation and to want more, then it has done a good job. Maybe there is a risk of disappointment of the binos performance but then I suspect the user is more interested in optics than nature. Everyone is a beginner at some point and a beginner's bino is better than no bino IMHO.

Lee
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Oh yes, don't get me wrong, it's a net positive development for consumers to have inexpensive options that are of decent quality. This is the natural outcome of something going from a hand-crafted luxury item to a commoditized mass-produced good. There's all sorts of stuff where we can get cheap, mass-market knock-offs that are "good enough" for the non enthusiast. Speakers, TV's, coffee makers, whatever.

The downside is consumer confusion, especially in a niche hobby market with low levels of consumer education to begin with. And also of course the damage done to small business owners / entrepreneurs who cannot compete with the mass market stuff. I'm sure many of those ridiculous pop-up brand names I was joking about are run by some small division of a large holding company as part of a much broader portfolio. They have the resources to overwhelm the search engine results and pop to the top, and they can operate on much skinnier margins.
 

tenex

reality-based
Andy, it's called the Dunning-Kruger effect.
Giving things a name sounds really good, but while the D-K effect may have limited validity, I see two obvious problems with it. First, not everyone overestimates their ability; many chronically underestimate it (some think intelligent people may be more likely to, which may itself be a perverse form of self-flattery), and there are probably a few out there somewhere with fairly realistic self-assessments too. Second, D-K (and academic psychology generally) offer a purely cognitive analysis, when phenomena like this are instead very largely about ego and neurosis, an actual need to think highly (in order not to feel badly) about oneself. (For an extreme example, consider a certain soon-to-be-ex-President: knows as much as the generals or scientists, smartest man in the room, very stable genius, etc.)

An interesting subject, though far afield from Styrka... (then again some people have an interesting way of making any topic all about themselves)
 
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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
There's all sorts of stuff where we can get cheap, mass-market knock-offs that are "good enough" for the non enthusiast. Speakers, TV's, coffee makers, whatever.
The TV industry is a very interesting comparison. It is very difficult to differentiate a 'brand' - with high end companies forced to lead on innovation (incurring real, higher R&D expense) and other 'feel good' business process - such as environmentally friendly manufacturing and life cycle etc.

Only a part of the guts of the display device conform to Moore's Law allowing any degree of cost down and scale efficiency. The rest is subject to detail engineering and 'Kaizen' - continuous improvement.

Part of the Korean onslaught (initially) , and then Chinese (latterly) against the Japanese encumbents, involved reduced service levels (an entirely different model) and looser quality standards that were just "good enough".

The higher reject rates getting through to the consumer were covered by complete new replacement policies. There were some other astute strategic decisions, but I won't publicize these. In the case of China, let's just say that some more blatant methods for obtaining intellectual property were employed than mere reverse engineering.

Some of these binocular companies under discussion have also reduced costs of 'real innovation' , and quality levels compared to the 'alphas' and importantly some have even gone all in on a direct to the consumer 'virtual' sales channel model - peeling even more expense out of the product.

Some of the failings though, have been scale (to absorb new model development) , and quality control levels with divergent perspectives of "good enough" from the consumers vs the company's point of view.

With no real effective service model (rudimentary levels revealed a fair bit of what can only be described as butchery in some cases) , and quality levels insufficient to guarantee a suitable replacement - even after multiple attempts - reputations and business begins to suffer.

I would expect this to affect China sourced product moreso than Kamakura OEM. There are of course grey areas where established Japanese companies (and even the Euro 'Alphas') source increasing amounts of components and sub-assemblies from those very same Chinese companies or their suppliers.

It also seems that some Kamakura product for whatever reason, lacks on certain parameters - often I have noticed that it is light weight.

As Eitan said, there a many 'brands' (including the humorously obscure ones noted !) that are merely small cogs in a much larger portfolio of 'marketing plays'.

Some of these global design and supply forces, and business models, eventually benefit consumers - but by crikey, they spew out a heck of a lot of superfluous junk in the process ....

It would be interesting to learn exactly what brought down Styrka's binocular business.






Chosun 🙅
 
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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
I think this thread has crashed and burned, sort of like Australian wine.

Andy W.
Are you saying Chinese political persecution is responsible for Styrka too .... ?

I, for one would like to know the real reasons if anyone has first hand experience to relay, or industry information ......




Chosun 🙅
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Perhaps you can write them and find out for yourself.

Andy W.
That's a d**k comment - why do you bother wasting the oxygen ? Have you just furthered the thread ?? Have you just made the world a better place ???

Your OT post deserves to be reported ..... I'm not sure under what category though - perhaps for 'driving real slow in the ultra fast lane' ? 😉




Chosun 🙅
 

Steve C

Well-known member
Getting somewhat back to to original post. Styrka was somewhat different from the other new companies. It was more an extension, or offshoot of Celestron rather than a brand new startup. However they maintained they were technically distinct companies, how that relationship worked exactly is anybody's guess I suppose. All of the Styrka managers were former project managers from Celestron, and likely that is where they went back to work. It may be interesting to see if some of the Styrka models show up on the Celestron product page. It may also be that warranty and service might be obtained there as well. I'll send a query and see.
 

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