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Thread: Happy Customers?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Happy Customers?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    A few postings in another thread prompted me to discuss this as off topic.

    Many of you know I often have a lot to say - at an average of almpst 9 postings a day. one could easily argue that I have too much to say! *At times I have been censured, and for the most part, can often understand why, once explained and with the benefit of hindsight.

    There have been a few occasions though, when I dont think Ive necessarily been dealt with appropriately or fairly - it can be difficult to abide by the rules when you dont know what they are. *Ultimately though, I respect the umpires decision. *It cant always be easy to make judgments on what is and isnt appropriate when dealing only with the written word.

    When I bought my giotto I decided to purchase from Chris although able to get the machine cheaper elsewhere (this is the first he is hearing of this). *When I bought my gene from Serge, the same applied. *You see, rightly or wrongly, I have a thing about loyalty - my phone account is still with Telstra, and I happily pay more for comparable produce if its made in Oz. *However its not just about loyalty either. *Its also about service both before and after the sale.

    Its been my pleasure to deal with many of the sponsors on the left hand side of the page - without exception, they have provided outstanding value, service and support.

    I for one, am a happy customer! *Anyone else share my feelings?

  2. #2
    mwatt
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Absolutely! Chris has received a couple rather large chunks of our savings, and I couldnt be happier. (And Ill finally be able to put a face to the name after the Sydney Home Espresso course!)

    My Pullman tamper rocks, and has certainly improved my shots!

    I also order a bit of stuff from Coffeeparts and theyre unbelievably prompt!

    And I quite enjoy CoffeeHits Ultimate Hit- for when I just havent had time to roast! In fact, it was searching for online coffee sales that I stumbled across this sight and got hooked on the greens...

    Michelle

  3. #3
    TC
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Thanks Dennis and Michelle,

    Taking my mod hat off ::) and putting my sponsor hat on ;), your support- and savings are greatly appreciated.

    There are times where you may find you can save a few bucks by purchasing a box with no support and questionable if any warranty, but is it worth it? I believe in what comes around et al. This week I have spent many hours on the phone with one potential client...What will it be? Bott?? Silvia?? Giotto?? Who knows...Perhaps he wont even purchase from us, but maybe someday hell refer a buddy and thats how we build businesses.

    I get daily calls from past clients and browned off clients of other non-sponsors as well. Its a pleasure to assist in their search for coffee nirvana and hopefully we all gain.

    So, thanks for those occasional few extra bucks guys. This forum is all about support- and that makes for a unique bunch of caffeinated addicts and a very special place to be...

  4. #4
    Flo
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    The sponsors of this site do a fantastic job. I have dealt with a few of them also and they are top notch. Three that especially come to mind are Greg Pullman, Chris (2mcm-Talk Coffee) and Renzo and Ofra of Di Bartoli fame.

    I have have also had great advice from other sponsors as well.

    I have to say that I still dont understand the certain auction site censorship, but hey, this is not my house and I dont make the rules yet Im happy to play by the rules set.

    Anyway, for any of you looking to puchase coffee toys, my advice is talk to a sponsor..they are more than just a tag on the sidebar.

  5. #5
    Flo
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Oh... Dennis...Im all for the support the Aussie guy, but the whole Telstra thing...wake up and smell the coffee man! *:P


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    Re: Sponsor Support

    I placed an order late Fri arvo with Coffee Parts and it was on my desk at work first thing Tues morn, and I was even advised Mon arvo that the package was sent and given the Aussie Post number to track it. Great service.

    Ordered some coffee bags, a Tamping mat and 300ml and 600ml stainless steel jugs.
    The 300ml will make it much easier for me to steam milk just for me which is what I do most the time. My Sunbeam jug is already becoming discoloured around the rim so the 600ml will eventually replace it and act as a backup.
    Very happy, thanks Pedro and team.

  7. #7
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Pedros stuff is great.
    Ive been using my first 300ml jug from him for 8 months now and no discolouration.

    Have since bought another and also have 2 x 600ml (which dont get used as often).

    Im lucky its only a half hour drive to Coffee Parts and no trouble at all if Im doing an errand nearby.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Quote Originally Posted by Flo link=1175668644/0#4 date=1175691625
    Oh... Dennis...Im all for the support the Aussie guy, but the whole Telstra thing...wake up and smell the coffee man! :P
    I know youre right Flo, but just cant help myself - am in therapy for it!
    Ditto comment re coffe parts - they are super quick!

  9. #9
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1175668644/0#0 date=1175668644

    When I bought my giotto I decided to purchase from Chris although able to get the machine cheaper elsewhere (this is the first he is hearing of this). *When I bought my gene from Serge, the same applied. *You see, rightly or wrongly, I have a thing about loyalty.*Its also about service both before and after the sale.

    *Anyone else share my feelings?
    I share your feelings but only up to a point. Greg Pullmans service was second to none with regards to communication before and after the sale of my tamper. Price was a consideration too and I looked around at other tampers and thought Gregs tampers were a reasonable price in comparison to other high end tampers. Having said that though, price will always be a factor, regardless of how nice or professional the seller is. I always consider price along with who Im buying a product from. Theres no way Id spend more on a product just because someone provided good after sales service and I had a sense of loyalty towards them (unless it was only a few $$. Im talking lots more $$). Its always a balance between the price of the product and the service the vendor is offering. Its quite altruistic to be loyal to a sponsor (or any other product vendor for that matter), but altruism doesnt make the world go round...its economics...and 3 cups of coffee a day. I prefer to help the little man in business (I worked for a family business for years and understand the way large companies muscle in) but If I can get an identical product much cheaper from one of the big boys Ill usually go with them, even if they provide RS after sales service....If I need that much help with a product once Ive bought it Ill either RTI or google it. Theres a forum for just about everything online :)

    See....
    www.mywidgethasasqueak.com


  10. #10
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Agree with you Saambo - I dont have money to burn so price is always part of the deciding factor. I think everyone likes a bargain and Im no different - both Chris and Serge will agree that I tried to negotiate the lowest possible price! ;)

    Oh, and ahh...the link you provided...doesnt work. Do you think you could provide some free support? :)

  11. #11
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1175668644/0#9 date=1175819513
    Agree with you Saambo - I dont have money to burn so price is always part of the deciding factor. I think everyone likes a bargain and Im no different - both Chris and Serge will agree that I tried to negotiate the lowest possible price! ;)

    Oh, and ahh...the link you provided...doesnt work. Do you think you could provide some free support? :)
    Being retired I agree with your "Money to burn" statement Dennis. I am taking the first step after Easter and am buying a grinder. I admit to shopping for the best price, but only among the site sponsors.

  12. #12
    TC
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Lowest possible price is a great concept...if you want to buy a box with questionable, if any, warranty support and nada after-sales service. You may not care about after-sales and warranty until it breaks....and then we get the call because your supplier and warranty have mysteriously vanished.

    Just a couple of weeks ago, a CS lurker offered 50% of what would be a fair sale price for a package of HX and grinder *::)....He received what I considered to be a most appropriate response (but which cannot be published here :P) in kind.... >:(

    Be aware that margins on this stuff are slim and we all try to offer very good deals and more importantly great service. We all need to make a living and its in your best interests if we stay in business to support the machinery you have purchased....Most sponsors will do their best to match or better any deal which actually exists...This means that you need to be able to prove it. Thanks to those CSers who at least give us a chance ;).

    2mcm

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    Re: Sponsor Support

    I will always support a sponsor if I can, and I am a fraid to say that I also have to put price into consideration.

    Saying that, my biggest gripe is when a newbie comes here looking for advise and states they have a certain budget and everybody tells them that they need to spend 50-100% more for something when there is something within their budget range that will do as good a job.

    Some of the worst for doing this are site sponsors. I understand that these people need to make a dollar and the more someone spends the better, BUT if a person has a limited income=limited budget than isnt it better to do what you can to work within that budget? Then, when they do want to upgrade or the time comes when they have more money to spend, you will be the first person they come back to.

    Loyalty works both ways and regardless of the size of someones wallet, if they feel pressured into spending more than they can afford, than they will go elsewhere.

  14. #14
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    I know what you mean about us telling newcomers to aim higher but I disagree that site sponsors do this more than the rest of us.

    For example, when I was negotiating with 2mcm (Talk Coffee) I was leaning towards a Silvia/Rocky combo and he was working along those lines and within that sort of budget.

    As it was though, I was still uneasy that I would be getting all I was looking for.
    It was me that asked Chris what the next level up would be for quality, robustness and all the other things I was looking for.
    Only then did he suggest the Expobar and Macap.

    Im sure he was more than pleased that I spent more, but I pushed him not the other way around.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    To play devils advocate *[smiley=evil.gif]
    Some people post questions about what equipment to buy within a certain budget, and have certain requirements that they want from this equipment.
    Sometimes these expectations simply cant be met by equipment that is within their budget, ie steaming milk for 10 drinks in a row with a single boiler machine, hence the recommendation to spend more to buy some equipment that will meet these expectations.
    If a sponsor supplies the gear that is within budget without taking into account the needs of the client and it doesnt perform, then said client is going to bad mouth the sponsor for supplying the wrong gear to them.
    Not intended to flame, just to offer another opinion *8-)

  16. #16
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Lucinda,

    Many members here and the site sponsors are well aware of the problems people will have with "budget" machines..... they just arent worth the pain and suffering, lack of support ( a BIG problem) and the waste of money which potentially could go towards a more suitable purchase.

    Society today wants everything - and we want it now rather than waiting until we can afford it - so we buy garbage, and then throw it away and buy a replacement item - also a piece of garbage with a short life.....

    With cheapo coffee machines the user will rapidly become disillusioned and quite likely give up! I know as I went down that path many, many years ago with a Krups, which from recollection cost nearly $1000- no support either.

    If people cant afford a reasonable espresso machine and grinder then I often recommend getting a good grinder and using a plunger - this will allow them to have great coffee whilst saving up for something worthwhile..... something all of us should do more often (and not just with coffee equipment)

  17. #17
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    To use a project analogy, to get what you want/need you should first list your requirements.
    You should then prioritise the list in order of importance.
    Sometimes splitting into "must haves" and "nice to haves" helps.

    A site sponsor would understand this part of the process, "requirements determination".

    The customer/end user needs to understand this too.

    Price is a requirement too, that also influences the prioritisation of the other needs/wants.

    Once the seller and buyer agree on the list, the seller can put forward suggested equipment options and discuss how closely it fits the list.

    The buyer always makes the final decision as to what they spend their money on.

    As JavaB said, a lot of people waste money on cheaper equipment.
    I spent a lot but dont see that Il need to spend any more.
    No upgradeitis for me.

    Ive always recommended spending a bit more since people started asking my advice on computers (Ive had one for almost 30 years).
    With computers, if you buy one that does more than you currently need, youll probably spend a year not fully utilising it, another year getting the most out of it and a third year outgrowing it.
    Then its time to upgrade to something better than you need right now, again.

    Espresso machines are a little different in that if you buy something like my Expobar first up, it may take you a while to get the hang of it, like the computer, and you will reach a point where you think youre using it as it deserves, a few of us may outgrow it but probably not because of quality or capacity issues in a home environment.
    Maybe for other reasons (strange need for a 4 group because another CS has a 3).

    I currently hardly ever push my Expobar to its limits and knowing them means I should be able to obviate any possible shortcoming.

    So in a nutshell, I will always recommend aiming higher to those who may not yet understand the implications of buying "cheap".


  18. #18
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    As Thundergod says above - there is a lot of similarity with the purchase of a coffee machine and a computer...

    I built my first computer 40+ years ago.... I know the hardware inside out..... I know the performance I want and can spec the machine to suit... I can then buy the components from wherever is cheapest and build by own system which I then maintain.....

    If I have friends or relatives who want a computer (as I dont wish to build / maintain theirs as well) I advise them to define what they need (and Im more than happy to help with that) and then go to a professional computer dealer - not some back yard elcheapo supplier which I would use....

    Why? Because I know they will have problems and need support. They need to pay for that support - and that is built into the somewhat elevated prices these places charge- Sure they will pay a bit more but they will have a well supported product which will last for years and years (or at least until Microsoft upgrade the software requiring new hardware!!!)

    Coffee machines are much the same. If you have had years and years of experience and know what you are doing then you can choose whatever you want (even refurbishing a commercial machine if that suits your needs).... but for most that isnt an option.

    Most potential purchasers have a vague idea of what they want which, with some help, can be crystallised into a requirement.....

    They then need to go to a trusted supplier who can advise them on the purchase and provide on-going quality support ( and this is where the site sponsors excel).. Sure they will possibly (probably) recommend something a bit better and more expensive than you originally thought - but there will be a good reason for that. Their prices might also be slightly higher (exactly the same as the computer example) but that buys you the ongoing support (which most will need).

    IMHO it is better to pay a little more, get something which is known to perform well, be reliable and be well supported.....

    After all isnt it better to have something on the bench which cost say $800 and is used all the time because it produces great coffee or have a $300 "bargain" which is buried at the back of the cupboard because it "never works properly"

  19. #19
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Some really interesting comments here folks - just reminds me that although we have a common interest, we are all very different.

    TG & JavaB - I cant resist...did your first computer happen to be an abacus? ;) Mine had a green screen and I was able to draw with a turtle!

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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1175668644/15#18 date=1175851230
    TG & JavaB - I cant resist...did your first computer happen to be an abacus? ;) Mine had a green screen and I was able to draw with a turtle!
    My first computer was based on a Signetics (philips) 2650 microprocessor ..... totally "home brew" even building the printed circuit boards myself.

    It had 4K of ram (eventually upgraded to 32k)..... a 1 K eprom with the bios, and after Id saved close to $1000- a 720k Micropolis drive as mass storage (had to write my own disk operating system)..... and yes, they are kilobytes..... megabytes were unheard of let alone gigabytes :o :o :o


    So nope - not an abacus..... but pretty close (way before TRS80s, and way way before the IBM PCs....)

  21. #21
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Mine was TRS80 clone.
    I waited until the "new" ones came out so it wasnt 4k but a HUGE 16k.
    Storage was cassette tape ie no hard drive.
    So JavaB beats me by miles (notice, not kilometres).

    I still have it in storage in my garage.

  22. #22
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Spot on Lucinda. Would a site sponsor recommend something they dont sell? eg if someone says their budget was $600 would they recommend a sunbeam 6910 (or saeco, breville etc) or try and talk them into a Silvia which they do sell but is more expensive. Sometimes, unconscientiously, vested interests take over.

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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Quote Originally Posted by barri link=1175668644/15#21 date=1176013456
    Spot on Lucinda. Would a site sponsor recommend something they dont sell?
    Neither would I expect them to.....

    Firstly there is the - "would a Holden dealer recommend a Ford if they thought it was a better match to the clients needs?" and the answer is obvious ::)

    But more importantly - I dont believe a responsible site sponsor should recommend a product which they:

    1. Dont have much knowledge of
    2, Dont know the support and maintenance arrangements
    3. Dont know if warranty support is good or bad
    4. Have no knowledge of the retailers who sell them..... (quality and support provided)
    5. Believe the potential purchaser may come back complaining is the purchase doesnt go well...
    6. Believe the potential purchaser will come back looking for freeby support when they cant get it from the retailer and or manufacturer of the item....

    Recommending a product under these circumstances would be very foolish- not only creating additional work (for no income) but could also damage the site sponsors good name.

    Sure site sponsors arent impartial - nor would I expect them to be. They have done their research
    and stock products of known quality, reliability and which they know they can support to a very high level.....

    If you want "cheap and cheerful" then thats your decision.... no one is going to force you to use a site sponsor.... you can use whoever you like - but if you do then you, and you alone, carry the can for ongoing support, spares, advice and assistance....

    You might get a diamond...... but you also might get a piece of cut glass which looks like a diamond - Just make sure you can tell the difference because, unlike a site sponsor, the retailer probably wont / cant / doesnt care..... after all they just want your money....

    And a fool and their money is easily parted ;) ::) ::)

  24. #24
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Well said, JavaB, our site sponsors have a vested interest --- and that happens to be to the benefit of all us potential customers.

    They can steer us away from the crap and into decent machines with which they are totally familiar. And customers also benefit from all the worthwhile knowledge they can impart about those machines.

    Since we are tripping down memory lane... My first computer:

    It was a Sega. No hard-drive, no floppies, no flash memory. Just a cassette for storage. I had to program the toy myself in BASIC, so I had to learn that awful language.

    A coma in line 27 of a 263-line code spelt death to the program.

    Under warranty, I upgraded the 32 KILObyte RAM to a massive, whopping 48 KILObytes.

    A colleague bought an Apple, with 128 KILObytes of RAM. I scoffed.
    "No-one is EVER going to need 128 kb of ram".

    Them were my famous last words, and the rest is history.

    My next stone-age computer had 512 Kb of ram, with twin floppy drives and cost close to $3000. I treated myself to a $450 10 meg hard drive for convenience.... Back then, RAM memory worked out at around $100 per megabyte.

    So were it to exist then --- 1 gig of RAM alone would have cost at the very least $100,000.

    -Robusto

  25. #25
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1175668644/15#23 date=1176017573

    Since we are tripping down memory lane... My first computer:

    It was a Sega. No hard-drive, no floppies, no flash memory. Just a cassette for storage. I had to program the toy myself in BASIC, so I had to learn that awful language.

    -Robusto
    Yep, they were the "Good old days :))

    One additional thing which I forgot to mention (and the lawyers in out group could possibly comment on this - just dont send me your bill ;))

    As site sponsors are "professionals" in the supply of coffee equipment - if they advised someone to purchase, for example, a "Kraps" coffee machine..... would that be regarded as providing consultancy to the person (even though no fees were paid for the service).

    If it is a consultancy, then the site sponsor is legally responsible for the veracity of the advice given. If the advice is proven to be wrong, then the provider can be sued for compensation....

    Not sure if that would apply as no fee was charged for the consultancy..... but in the litigious world we live in...... would a site sponsor want to take the risk???? :-/

  26. #26
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1175668644/15#23 date=1176017573
    Well said, JavaB, our site sponsors have a vested interest --- and that happens to be to the benefit of all us potential customers.

    They can steer us away from the crap and into decent machines with which they are totally familiar. And customers also benefit from all the worthwhile knowledge they can impart about those machines.
    As the silvia is the cheapest model the site sponsors sell does that mean that all others arent decent machines? I know thats a stupid question but my point is when people are trying to compare one "cheaper" model with another they dont get a balanced view from a site sponsor. There are some adequate alternatives out there


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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Quote Originally Posted by barri link=1175668644/15#25 date=1176020395

    As the silvia is the cheapest model the site sponsors sell does that mean that all others arent decent machines? I know thats a stupid question but my point is when people are trying to compare one "cheaper" model with another they dont get a balanced view from a site sponsor. There are some adequate alternatives out there
    Yes, there are..... but these are generally regarded (rightly or wrongly) as consumer items - and just like TVs.... go to ten different stores.... you will get ten different brand/models which are the best..... because each store operates on different profit margins per brand..... and they will even tweak TVs to produce a better or poorer picture depending on their "brand of choice" (My brother in law is in the "game")...

    So where does such a consumer go to get honest advice.... read Choice? , go by looks alone rather than quality of output..... about the only place is a site like this...... But will the chosen (generally by lowest price) consumer equipment vendor service the product, support it adequately.... even care....

    That the purchaser will find out - AFTER THE PURCHASE......

    Can a site sponsor help.... nope! In most cases they cant get supplies of these machines at anything like the wholesale price charged to the discounters.... they dont know the machines... they certainly dont know how good or otherwise support from the discounters will be.... So they cant help....

    You just have to "pays your money - and takes your chances" as they say... :-/ :-/

  28. #28
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Barri, we deign to call ourselves coffee snobs. We like to think that we rise above the common and the ordinary and search for the sublime.

    Many come to this site either unaware of that sublime potential. Or, believing it possible with anything labled a coffee machine (with 15 bars of power!)

    If a $150 Breville can make coffee, imagine what a $2200 fully automatic SAECO can thus do.

    I reiterate that the sponsors who sell real coffee machines do such people a service. The sponsors have to be iconoclasts, dispel the myths and tell some home truths about what brand of machine is capable of delivering on their expectation.

    Two years ago, at my first post here, I posed the question: Can one be a coffeesnob with a $70 IQ machine from Coles. I wrote "perhaps"

    Two machines later, I can catagorically say "no". That machine is broken beyond repair -- ring the importers for a broken pressure valve and they say theyve never heard of the machine. No parts, no service, not to mention ordinary coffee and steaming.

    To call myself a coffeesnob, I think I need something better.
    -Robusto


  29. #29
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    As you said JavaB the site sponsors have no knowledge of the consumer machines but have a great knowledge of the so called "better" machines and they can advise on those models but they cant provide users on a low budget an unbiased view on both. Case in point is the thread on silvia vs 6910 which was sarcastically renamed silvia vs 6910 vs the world. Sometimes they have been very quick to "put down" the 6910 which a lot of respected coffee snobs believe is an adequate machine.

    As long as the sponsors acknowledge their lack of knowledge of these consumer machines then I dont have a problem with them pushing their superior (and we all think they are) products but if they start to over generalize on machines they know little about then I will lose respect.

  30. #30
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    I dont think its my imagination....Im pretty sure Ive read postings from at least one sponsor (as do many members) saying something along the lines that its better to buy a good grinder and make coffee in a french press or stovetop than buy a not so good machine.

    Sounds like reasonable advice to me.

    I think the first electric grinder I bought cost $20 from a supermarket and it well and truly pulverised the stale coffee I was buying. On reflection, I never would have expected the supermarket staff to tell me I was wasting my money.

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    Re: Sponsor Support

    I didnt say they didnt give good advice but they tend to generalize on the consumer machines that they dont sell. Incidentally what is the definition of a not so good machine Dennis?

    My point is, if I want a high end machine I will definitely contact a site sponsor (wouldnt hesitate) but if I wanted a sub $700 machine then I feel their opinion of these lacks objectivity. As Lucinda says, they tend to want you to spend more.


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    Re: Sponsor Support

    I know this wont assist your argument, Bari, but I would think their opinion of a sub-$700 machine would be: Its not as good as one costing above $700. And they are probably right. ;)

    -Robusto


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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1175668644/30#31 date=1176029941
    I know this wont assist your argument, Bari, but I would think their opinion of a sub-$700 machine would be: Its not as good as one costing above $700. And they are probably right. ;)

    -Robusto
    Absolutely right Robusto (possible exception might be 6910 vs silvia - that argument has been done to death) but does this imply that a sub $700 machine isnt adequate and are they objective enough to comment?

  34. #34
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Barri,

    The selection of a suitable espresso machine (one that matches a specific persons needs) is a huge task.....

    To start with what do they like in the way of the coffee taste....

    - There are heaps who like (dare I say prefer) the taste of instant :-X :-/ - they are easily fixed....

    - Then those who like the flavour produced by over roasted stale pre-ground supermarket robusta (the beans - not the CS member)..... pretty much any machine with a pressurised PF will do (temperature stability etc not an issue)...

    - It then goes up from there.... supermarket beans, commercial roaster blends, fresh commercial blends and SO, home roasted.... and each will require a better machine for the best results......

    And this site is for CoffeeSnobs.... those who are aiming for coffee nirvana or who desire to be helped along the path to this end.... they want the best... they are Coffee geeks..... Sure some want a lesser machine whilst they save up for their dream machine.... but hopefully their goal is to get a dream machine - one day.....

    Now for those who dont want a dream machine now - or ever - they are looking at Coffee appliances - not really Coffee machines.... they need to purchase these from an appliance sales person - the same as their kettle, microwave etc..... Their needs are adequately met (except for training and support) by the myriad of discount sellers of this type of equipment.... And there is no need for site sponsors to know about, in any way promote or sell this type of "appliance"....

    But when you start talking real coffee machines - the ones in CS territory.... thats where our site sponsors come into their own..... and they provide the support which you just cant get out there in appliance land. The prices are higher as are the mark ups (to pay for the support)... and the quality is just so much higher..... and of course they are going to say they are better - because they are....

    Now as to your pet peeve the 6910 and whether it is an appliance or a machine... Sunbeam have done themselves - and people like you - a disservice. They are marketing it like an appliance, through the same bulk discount chains, not supplying specialist retailers and even including pressurised PFs...

    I am in no doubt it is a capable machine.... but because of the way Sunbeam have chosen to sell it - it is just another coffee appliance.....just another member of the Cafe Series. And because they wont do "the right thing" by specialist suppliers, you cant expect these suppliers to promote it in any way. The specialist dealers overheads are just way too high.... and because of the relatively small volume they would sell (compared to a large discount chain) their wholesale price (assuming Sunbeam would even supply them) would probably be greater than someone like Hardly Normals retail....

    The site sponsors are doing exactly what I would expect.... supplying Coffee Machines to CoffeeSnobs at good prices with fantastic support.... I neither expect them to sell- or recommend- coffee appliances.

  35. #35
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    And just to expand on an aspect of the Sunbeam/Specialist debate touched on by JB in an earlier post.....

    One or more of our sponsors have approached Sunbeam in an effort to gain "channel" status, which is what retail chains such as Hardly Normal are considered to be by manufacturers of appliances such as Sunbeam. The upshot of this exercise was a response by Sunbeam of complete disinterest, since Specialist retailers like our sponsors simply can not qualify for "channel" status because of their relatively low stock turnover, and therefore are ineligible to receive the same volume discounts that HN et al have access too. This then makes it impossible for specialist retailers to compete with the appliance chains.

    Given this extreme lack of interest by Sunbeam, I could hardly believe that our sponsors would then turn around and shout the wonders and virtues of Sunbeam appliances from the rooftops to the masses, and especially to the members of CoffeeSnobs. Our sponsors are, after all, specialist retailers who cater to the wants and needs of a very specific group of clients.... Us, CoffeeSnobs, CoffeeGeeks, Coffee Obsessives.... call us what you will within that descriptive framework.

    When its all said and done, its a very difficult ask to expect a sponsor to refine and distil the ethereal requirements outlined in a post on a website from someone you dont know, who may or may not live within easy access of a sponsors shop door, to a selection of hardware that is within the budget stated and still satisfy all of the so-called requirements and expectations detailed in the post.
    A lot of people simply do not know what is needed "in the real world" to achieve what they believe to be a basic set of criteria and nine times out of ten will need to be educated on just what is achievable within their stated budget, or what their budget needs to be if all their criteria are to be satisfied. As with most things, it ends up coming down to a compromise position..... Which criteria are you willing to sacrifice as opposed to how much you are willing to increase your budget. The fact that a large number of our members are very happy with their dealings with the site sponsors, says a great deal about just how good our sponsors are, given the tyranny of distance.

    I think the point is being missed or confused, in that when a sponsor is trying to educate a "newbie" on what the realities are with respect to their expectations versus stated budgets..... It is a learning process in fact, not an attempt to squeeze the potential client of every last dollar; that is not how good reputations are earned and retained, and all of our sponsors have very good reputations,

    Cheers,
    Mal.

  36. #36
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Its quite simple really.
    If you want to build a chook shed, then get your machinery from "Bunnies".
    If you wish to build some fine furniture then buy your gear from a specialist supplier.


  37. #37
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Whats happened to my last post here? There was a page 4 and now its gone. Has it been censored? If so this is unfortunate because I felt I made a valid point.

  38. #38
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Quote Originally Posted by barri link=1175668644/30#34 date=1176095321
    Whats happened to my last post here? There was a page 4 and now its gone. Has it been censored? If so this is unfortunate because I felt I made a valid point.
    Barri- all moved as the thread was seriously off topic and yet another relative merits of the 6910 thread- so thats where it went. If you check recent threads youll find it. I suggested that you were looking as I moved it....Now, if we could steer all further contributions back to the original topic??

  39. #39
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Found it, thanks but I didnt intend that to happen. I originally was referring to sponsor comments and advice.

  40. #40
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    I seemed to have opened up a can of worms with my post. I shall go and sit in the naughty chair soon enough.

    To add to this spirited debate, many people want to buy a coffee machine - not an appliance and they are looking for value for money or as JB has stated, they want something that can pump out good espresso coffee while they are saving for the more expensive fantasy machine. That is why they have become a member and asked us here on CS as we seem to be able to give good advice.

    For those who cannot afford the fantasy machine due to a limited budget thay want to know what is out there for the $$$ they are able to spend. Especially if they need to get a good grinder too.

    Even a basic set up (and I am taliking Italian made machines) is going to set most people back at the very least $850 - $1000. Since when has this amount of money not been a lot of money to the average person? Especially to a person who is just starting out and stilll not sure of the whole coffee making pallaver.

    I would just like to see people give a number of different alternatives on what set ups people can get. Those of us on limited budgets who still want a good *italian espresso machine and not a sunbeam, breville, krupps or whatever hardly normal has on special this month deserve to be given the best advice just as much as the member who has a few thousand dollars to spend. Regardless of the number of zeros, it is still a large investment.

    There are good sub $700 machines around, and they are italian made by reputable companies.

    FWIW, if I walked into a shop and was told to spend hundreds of dollars on a grinder and then drink plunger/french press coffee. Id be walking right out that door again with my money still in my pocket. I would rather be advised to buy x machine at $550 -$700 and than be sold a good quality handgrinder with the right advice on why it is the best way to use it, while saving up for the expensive burr grinder.


    Oh and I do have an idea for what I want as my next machine, I will probably be going to a site sponsor when I have the money together to buy it.

  41. #41
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    I think that this thread needs to lighten up.

    Since Dennis started it, its only fitting he step in to do that.

    -Robusto

  42. #42
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1175668644/30#38 date=1176101583
    I think that this thread needs to lighten up.

    Since Dennis started it, its only fitting he step in to do that.

    -Robusto
    When I grow up I want to be a sponsor - I am going to be an advice sponsor. For just a small fee (or maybe a big one) Ill tell you what to do, what to buy, where to go, what to wear, etc. and you will agree with me wholeheartedly...it will be very much like the Emperors new clothes...after all, you wouldnt want to feel silly having paid for my advice and then not take it now would you!

  43. #43
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Quote Originally Posted by lucinda link=1175668644/30#37 date=1176098393
    To add to this spirited debate, many people want to buy a coffee machine - not an appliance and they are looking for value for money or as JB has stated, they want something that can pump out good espresso coffee while they are saving for the more expensive fantasy machine. That is why they have become a member and asked us here on CS as we seem to be able to give good advice.

    For those who cannot afford the fantasy machine due to a limited budget thay want to know what is out there for the $$$ they are able to spend. Especially if they need to get a good grinder too.
    I would just like to see people give a number of different alternatives on what set ups people can get.

    .
    This is a VERY difficult one lucinda.....

    Most of us have had budget machines earlier on - and were very disappointedly with some or all of them. There are definitely good value for money machines out there..... but how do we know which ones? And are all machines of that particular brand/model good, or just a few - and because someone has posted here "I have an Xyz..... and it makes great coffee"- do we recommend that to all?

    Even Choice, (and the joke they called a coffee machine review) got it wrong - very wrong!! We (CS members collectively) have probably owned most machines at some stage or other..... and there is probably just as many who would say a model is great as would say the same model is poor.... even cr@p at making coffee.....

    If people like our site sponsors evaluated a range of machines.... then we would have some valid comparisons.... they do that for the machines which they sell..... but why would they do it for appliances which the discount shops sell?.... it would be a waste of their time!

    So as I dont know how good these various "value for money" machines are.... I dont feel comfortable recommending any.... and Im sure neither do our site sponsors..... For someone wanting such a machine its no good asking the retail discount houses either... from my experience they havent got a clue....... barely knowing a portafilter from a water filter ::)

    So where does a person get info? How do they decide in an informed way?.... and I really dont know the answer.

    This is the reason, unfortunately, people wanting machines on a budget have a very hard time..... where can they get the information?????

    FWIW, if I walked into a shop and was told to spend hundreds of dollars on a grinder and then drink plunger/french press coffee. Id be walking right out that door again with my money still in my pocket.
    Yeah, I know thats not what most want to hear... but its the only thing people like Mal and I (and lots of others) feel comfortable recommending.... We know that these will produce great coffee, coffee which we are more than happy to drink... and have no reservations recommending them to others... just like we dont have any reservations recommending site sponsors products... Why?- A plunger is unlikely to have problems and the higher end machines sold here have quality support so that if something does go "pear shaped" it will be fixed. The machines have been thoroughly evaluated, tested and found to be good.... They are even adjusted to ensure that the particular unit being shipped will perform correctly....

    Now how can we or the site sponsors (if they so chose - and I cant see why they would /should) recommend a "budget" machine without the same level of knowledge and confidence? I know we should be able to, but there just isnt the information available to allow us to make an informed recommendation.....

    I wish we could - I just dont know how!

  44. #44
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    I guess I am not expressing myself properly. I was never talking about a budget machine, but a good reliable Italian made entry level machine for a beginner user. Using this criteria, there are two that come immediately to mind - the Gaggia Classic (approx $550 - $600) and Miss Sylvia who sits on the $700 -$750 mark on the search I just did.

    I know one of the site sponsors sells the Classic, there is a pic of one on their site, so I am guessing they have some knowledge of the machine, and of the brand. There are a lot of site sponsors that also sell Miss Sylvia.

    Both of these machines can be teamed with a number of good quality burr grinders that have been around for awhile and have been tested and found too be very good value - The Gaggia MDF and the Iberital Challenge for about $300. Spend and extra $100 and you can get a rocky grinder.

    If the budget can only stretch to a machine - and lets face it, not everybody likes plunger coffee. A good quality hand grinder can be recommended while saving for an electric one.

    I would never expect a site sponsor to recommend the brands that Hardly Normal etc sells. I would expect them to have machines for all levels from novice to expert and to have a good range to fit with many diferent budgets.

    Who knows. Mr X who only spent $600 on a Gaggia Classic may win the lottery and decide he wants to upgrade to a $3000 Bezzera. Guess who will come to mind? That nice person who helped him out so much when he was low on the $$$ and could only afford that entry level machine.


  45. #45
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    lucinda....

    Sorry, I thought we were talking about "budget" machines.... the kind people want who only have a budget of a couple of hundred dollars....

    Both the machines you mention I would have no hesitation recommending (and I have done so).... they are both quality coffee machines.

    The problem comes with the cheaper ones - and Im sure there are some reasonable machines at that level - the Saeco Via Venezia (with normal baskets) is one which comes to mind.... and there must be others..... I just dont know of them or about them....

  46. #46
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    I see the problem as novices setting budgets and not to being aware of the need to also budget for a good grinder.

    Then a $700 budget becomes unrealistic when trying to match it to a want for good coffee.

    Even some of the ones that find sites such as this before spending their money are overcome by the pursuit of their new found passion and cant control the need to buy something new.

    Its only human, and we can only try to help.

    I see the same with some new karate students.
    They want to be the next Bruce Lee, tomorrow.

    They come to me (the expert) and some will realise its a longer road than they thought and reset their expectations, others will go ahead anyway and that lot will soon give it away after they realise that they dont know better than me and arent getting where they want to be as fast as they want.

    In the end its up to the individual to do their homework, evaluate where the information is coming from and then make their decision.

  47. #47
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1175668644/30#44 date=1176111518
    lucinda....

    Sorry, I thought we were talking about "budget" machines.... the kind people want who only have a budget of a couple of hundred dollars....

    Both the machines you mention I would have no hesitation recommending (and I have done so).... they are both quality coffee machines.

    The problem comes with the cheaper ones - and Im sure there are some reasonable machines at that level - the Saeco Via Venezia (with normal baskets) is one which comes to mind.... and there must be others..... I just dont know of them or about them....
    All- what I thought we were talking about in this thread was feedback for sponsors. Discussion on the relative merits of machines needs to be in the appropriate thread- which in this case would be the budget machines thread.... :-? It would be good if it could be limited to the appropriate thread.....Saves we mods moving them....

  48. #48
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    So 2mcm are you saying we cant go off topic in this section?




    P.S. Please support the sponsors, they do a great job.

  49. #49
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    Re: Sponsor Support

    Maybe this is good feedback for sponsors too...

    I did say that I will approach a sponsor when it comes time for me to upgrade...

  50. #50
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Sponsors - THEY RULE!!

    Yet again some kudos for our sponsors. Specifically Chris @ Talk Coffee
    We had a minor hiccup with the machine this week.
    I noticed the issue on Monday night, sent Chris an e-mail (late evening). He responded within 10 minutes. Told me to check a few things and let him know the results the next day.
    We did so, let him know on Tuesday.
    He got back to me on Tuesday with 2 options, both of which minimised the likelyhood of us being without a machine.
    In the end, we got the machine fixed within 3 days of making Chris aware of the problem.

    Pretty good, the service you get from these sponsor people.
    :)



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