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Thread: I'll be a Mule from the UK...

  1. #1

    I'll be a Mule from the UK...

    All,

    I'll be traveling to the UK on business the 14-21st. I'm planning on picking up an Extreme upgrade for my Emag while there, and am willing to grab: Extreme kits, modules, and ACEs (not sure if these are available) while there.

    If you live in the DC area and need anything let me know. I'll pick it up and save you the shipping charge.

    RobAGD will vouch for my honesty - I think

    -Calvin

  2. #2
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    Contrary to popular belief they are not selling the extremes or parts yet in Europe. The ones you see here on the forum are part of our Beta Test Program and have been provided to specific people for specific reasons. For example the guys in Norway got the guns because of cold weather testing that they could do.

    The more demanding you guys get that products be perfect out of the box, and for that matter you want a nice box too, the longer it takes. Don't tell me you want superbolts and then complain we put them out to soon.

    AGD

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    Tom, maybe it's just me, I kinda dig the plain white box.
    Potatoboy!

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    I LOVE YOU Tater!!

    AGD

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    I LOVE YOU Tater!!
    what a kodak moment

  6. #6
    AGDRules Guest

    ya

    Lets see... a box with all the specals... or a gun which we cant wait to be released... I really coudlnt care about a box you could send me it in plastic wrap! hehe

  7. #7
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    Actually, I'd prefer a box that sings your name when you open it for the first time. Just imagine opening your new gun for the first time and being greeted by that. Think thats possible Tom?

  8. #8
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    Ouch!

    I am not posting this to cause problems, but because it truly concerns me.

    Quoted from Tom Kaye:
    The more demanding you guys get that products be perfect out of the box, and for that matter you want a nice box too, the longer it takes. Don't tell me you want superbolts and then complain we put them out to soon.
    Now, I love AGD and their products (the older ones), but for a company to first listen to its customers when they say they want a new product (and new products are basic good business) but then when THEY release it before it is ready and it has WAY too many problems they blame customer complaints on the CUSTOMERS…. Come on…. Talk about the height of denial…..

    And I don’t think demanding that a product be perfect out of the box is a bad thing. We demand that of almost every other “high end” product we purchase, and for good reason. When I buy a product I demand it be what I thought I was buying, and if that means it WORKS and works correctly, so be it… and if it doesn’t, I return it and demand one that is correct or my money back. I don’t want excuses, I don’t want promises. The promises were already made when I purchased the product… were they delivered?

    Let’s be a little realistic please. If any other CEO made an open statement like that, their shares would drop and most likely they would be out of a job… and fast. Their competitors would also take that statement and run with it…. And for good reason, it is bad PR, bad business, and a bad way of thinking. AGD claims they purchased AO to listen to its people, to get feedback, and to get comments about their products and paintball in general… I hope you ARE listening.

    You are in essence saying that “Quality” is only as good as the customers “let” you make it, and that if your products fall short for ANY reason, it is the fault of the customers and not AGD… after all, THEY made you release it before it was truly ready. Oh, that is a good one….

    Now, as for packaging…

    FACT… it takes NO longer to have good looking packaging than it does to have a good product…. actually, it takes LESS time. And they are usually done at the same time by two different teams. So if you release a product, you DID have time for packaging design, promotion design, etc. since those things are done at the same time as the final development of the product and first production run (or slightly before). That would shoot the “good looking box slowing down product” theory out of the water.

    There is simply no viable reason NOT to have good looking packaging (even more so for $1400 products). The only reasons I can think of for NOT having good looking packaging are that AGD just does not care, does not have the money, or does not realize the value of good packaging (which in itself indices a problem).. but to blame it on making the product release date longer (and directly making that a customer fault), come on… that is just not true.

    Tom, please…. You make some great products, no doubt, but statements like that just don’t wash…..

    www.ShartleyCustoms.com
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    Taters are always good with catsup.... hmmhmhmm.
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    Good to know that somone of Tom's status seeks "relief" from a sport he helped create. A sport now ruled by a single patent.

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    I don't understand this obsession with the appearance of a box. a BOX for crying out loud!

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    I agree CaPoEiRa, its a box who cares its the stuff inside that matters.

  12. #12
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    CaPoEiRa
    The obsession with packaging is about basic product presentation and marketing. It also shows a bit about the company that sells the product. And that is very important when selling items over $5.

    There are many GOOD reasons why a little extra care should be given to packaging design.. but not ONE good reason to keep an expensive product in a simple white box and wrapped in bubble wrap. Not one.

    Any first year marketing and sales student can tell you all about the importance of visuals, and they will outsell “brand loyalty” any day of the week…. Even more so with Paintball since we have already seen here on AO that with Paintball that phrase (brand loyalty) only truly applies to zealots. The majority of the marketplace will buy what they “think” is the best, what “looks” the best, what is packaged the best, and what is “marketed” the best. And even more when the product actually does what it is suppose to. This is simple business.

    Now take an expensive product with MAJOR amounts of hype, and sell it in a crappy box, and THEN have the product have a high failure rate….. you have a recipe for disaster. No ifs, ands, or buts.

    I hope that people don’t think that those complaining about this are “dissing” AGD, because they are not. But when AGD buys AO so they can use it as a sounding board and measuring stick, it would be in their best interest to listen… and that means to those who know what they are talking about.. even if it may show that AGD is not doing something correctly (or not the most effectively).

    I for one do not HATE AGD, I love their Markers, but I will not turn a blind eye for the sake of “Praise the All Mighty AGD”…. What would that actually help? Nothing. Only by being honest and calling it like it is, will AGD benefit from owning this forum.

    And there are MANY reasons why products either “make it” or “don’t” and product packaging is part of those reasons. It is an accumulative effect of many factors, and to disregard any one (or several) parts of the equation is a bad idea… no matter how “popular” your product is on your own forum. There is a HUGE world out there and trust me, AGD does not stay in business because its forum members buy its products….. it is weather the general public does.. and to the general public, packaging IS important.

    I hope this helps in some way…. We are not trying to be a problem, but attempting to correct one.

  13. #13

    Thanks for the update Tom...

    Tom,

    I got the impression that the Extremes were being sold because AGD Europe is advertising them at their web-site. I had checked their online store, and they're listed - I didn't see a note saying they were out of stock, but that may be my fault.

    Regarding the packaging debate and other things. I'll say that I'm fine with a plan white box - but know the Extreme is targeted at the Angel crowd. For what ever problems WDP has with their engineering, the marketing dept is TOP-NOTCH.

    Unfortunately, AGD will have to compete with the type of "polish" to the end product (fancy packaging - and manual) to a certain extent. When people pay a $1000 plus for a marker, they are looking for the WDP experience - multimedia if you will

    Shartley I do agree with some of your points, I think AGD has been accused in the past of being "engineering" oriented. (Great for us!) In a larger business there is room/money for a parallel marketing group, but that may not be the case with their business. (nitch market) Since they are attempting to move to the next level in that area - it's taking a little while longer to ramp up. I'm sure WPD put a lot of time and/or money into their marketing plan/base - but now I bet since the basics are set, it runs a lot more quickly.

    I do feel your pain - I can't wait for the Extremes.

    -Calvin

  14. #14
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    i say leave the box for now, put it in the same white box with foam rubber cut to the gun size. Now perhaps a nice sticker on top of the box would be nice (say a pic of the product you are buying). But there is no reason to wig out as long as it is packed safely and works!


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    Anyone else think shartley suffers from a god complex? Maybe we should let him run the company.

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    i agree with shartley he posted that quote before i could but i dont care about the box i could see how if it was going to a paintball shop then yes the box is important but if your sellin it to your magaholics then just give them a plain white box

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    and I'll still say it again, a box is a box is a box..and so on and so forth. I do agree that the video/manual could be improved upon but that's about it...but since I'm not a marketing and sales student what would I know!

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    Anyone else think shartley suffers from a god complex? Maybe we should let him run the company.
    And what does that have to do with any issue(s) brought up?

    You want to attack issues, fine.. have at it. But I don’t see you even attempting to contribute in a constructive manner to ANY of the issues brought up in this thread…. not at all. You think little jabs like that bother me? Do you know anything about me? Or is this simply because I stand up and say what I feel and back it up with actual knowledge, first hand experience, and logical/rational debate… even if it is against the “feel good” crowd?

    How about this, focus on what was said, make a logical and rational argument on the issues and topics discussed, and leave your personal “diagnoses” of people out of it. You will end up looking more like the intelligent person I am sure you actually are.

    My posts although they may say things people may not want to hear, are NOT disrespectful, attacks on anyone, or personal “jabs”. I would appreciate it if others would keep theirs the same. I don’t feel badly towards anyone who does not share my opinions, beliefs, or statements… such is life. But I am mature enough to know it is NOT a personal thing, and I don’t make it into one.

    Thank you.

  19. #19
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    Ok lets stick to the issue and stop the personal attacks. Opinions you don't like? Well ignore them or intelligently debate the points.

    Me? Do I hear a Box design contest brewing?


    AGD, where we are so good we can do it with only ONE tube!

    cphilip.com

  20. #20
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    shartley -
    I say this because everytime there is an issue we are graced with your longwinded holier-than-thou speeches.

    I don't add anything to this debate because I could care less about the box it comes in. I do my purchasing online and the box will be a scarce memory about 3 seconds after the package arrives on my doorstep.

    Do you know how much it costs to produce a pack of cigarettes? About half a cent. Do you know where the other 6 dollars goes on that pack? Taxes and marketing! I don't want to pay any more for my paintball equipment to quell the moaning of a few people that feel AGD isn't "sparkley" enough!

    And as far as this "personal attack" goes - deal with it. People make personal attacks on this board every day. If you think you are special, I've got a bridge to sell you.

    ~Fred

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    CaPoEiRa
    I hope you did not take my comments as an insult in any way toward you.. they were not. I can understand your position and opinions on the “box” issue… and that is fine. However, you did bring up a good point, you are NOT a sales and marketing student…. I don’t even think you are associated with the process in any way, are you?

    This is also NOT a slam, but a relevant fact. The same as I am NOT an Airsmith.. and because of this I would never begin to try to explain WHY things are done the way they are with Markers (on a mechanical level)… it is just beyond my scope of knowledge. However, I could sit here all day and argue about it (mechanical stuff), but realize that any points I would make would simply be irrelevant since I don’t really know the subject matter.

    Would that make ME irrelevant? No. Would that make my feelings irrelevant? No. But it would make my points of argument a bit groundless and I can assure you that if I took those stands (mechanical) in the “technical” forum, I would be hung out to dry.

    Simply put, a box is not just a box. It is wonderful that you don’t care about those things, but the average person does. And when you are selling your product to the general public, it is only smart to do what has been proven to be the effective way…. No matter what a few loyal customers think. How about this? Would you NOT buy the product if it was in a nice box? Well, I can assure you that sitting on a shelf in a store, that box DOES matter…. If it was your company would you want to chance the loss in sales that could be easily avoided by good packaging, or sit and complain that everyone else is just silly and doesn’t “get it”…… Who would truly be silly then?

    It is all about business… and many times personal opinions have to be set aside to make the smart business move and decision.

    I hope this explains it a bit better, and again, I was never intending to insult you…

  22. #22
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    Having to make a box purty is catering to marketing drones... but yeah it can help a bit. Typical AGD buyer is in-the-know and doesn't need a fru-fru picture on the box to tell them what's inside. "Yuck, that LS-1 engine came in an ugly crate. I don't want it..." Those who do need that already got a Spyder or Angel to begin with.

    Screw the purty box for now, gimme Level 10! Aesthetics are fine and all after all the important cool stuff that actually does something for your gun comes out - not until then.

  23. #23
    forget youalll, i want it in bubble wrap in a brown paper bag!

  24. #24
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    Wow - miscue, where the heck have you been? I haven't seen you post in the longest time!

    ~Fred

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    Originally posted by liigod
    forget youalll, i want it in bubble wrap in a brown paper bag!
    Word up!

  26. #26
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    Originally posted by MagDog68
    Wow - miscue, where the heck have you been? I haven't seen you post in the longest time!

    ~Fred
    I've been around. Just been really busy with school and social life stuff... (Yep, I have a social life)

  27. #27
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    Originally posted by shartley
    Simply put, a box is not just a box. It is wonderful that you don’t care about those things, but the average person does. And when you are selling your product to the general public, it is only smart to do what has been proven to be the effective way…. No matter what a few loyal customers think. How about this? Would you NOT buy the product if it was in a nice box? Well, I can assure you that sitting on a shelf in a store, that box DOES matter…. If it was your company would you want to chance the loss in sales that could be easily avoided by good packaging, or sit and complain that everyone else is just silly and doesn’t “get it”…… Who would truly be silly then?
    Shartley, while I'm not involved with Marketing or Sales anymore, I think the box issue isn't as revelant for AGD E-mag, but would be much more important for the Superbolt or I-frame.

    My reasoning behind this, is the markers are on display without packaging on racks, and the boxes aren't seen until the purchasing time. While Markers are different from firearms, they are normaly sold the same way.

    When's the last time you saw a firearm package on display? Firearms and markers should be what is being compared against in sales methods. Firearm boxes (I've only bought Shotguns, so I don't know about handguns.) are very plain, simple boxes that are very much like the AGD box I got, down to the reclosabilty and foam inserts. Winchester hasn't changed their boxes for years.

    As for things that hang where the customer can touch them, ie. non-marker items over 5 bucks. Everything you said hangs true about the packaging (well, because you're right) You might even be right about the Markers packaging, but I disagree.
    Shaun Nelson --- old, fat, slow.... did I mention lazy? I ate all the pies
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  28. #28
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    Good point. I don't remember ever seeing a bunch of boxes on display at a tourny or at a store. The gun itself is on display. Upon purchase, they throw it in a box... you don't see it until it's sold.

  29. #29
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    Well I suggest you go look at the Angel forum here and see the stink they make about the pretty box. Do we care? Maybe not. Could we be suseptable on some level? I think perhaps we could be but our Ego's will not allow us to admit it. That Angel box is one pretty box. Now a Cocker box ain't much and they sell anyway. Go figure.

  30. #30
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    bofh
    Great post.. thanks.

    You bring up some good points. For longarms the packaging is a bit different than for sidearms (in most cases). And that would actually make my point even stronger if comparing Paintball Markers to sidearms.

    You are correct, in the stores when looking at (let’s say a Beretta95F) you will see it displayed in the glass case with NO box (but sometimes even IN the box open to display the entire package). Now, when you BUY it, the dealer will pull it from the case and bring it out back, put it in its box and bring it all to you (assuming you have gone through the appropriate time frame laws). What you will get is a VERY nice plastic case with Beretta seals stamped into the case, fully locking, nice foam padding custom cut for the handgun as well as 2 clips (and many times they come WITH the gun).. and all for about $600. (the last I checked…. It has been a while, so please do not hold me to that price.) And how much does the E-Mag cost? Can you pick one up for $600 and simply buy paintballs and fire it? No?

    So I guess the point I would make is that it is the overall impression of the product form ads you see, reviews you read, how it looks on the wall or in a display case, AND what you get it in along with any collateral stuff….. it is ALL important. And I have talked to dealers who verify this, and admitted that they sold certain products (to include markers) that once the company changed its packaging, it simply sold better… hard to argue with that.

    When a company is trying to sell quality, it should continue from its actual product, its marketing, and all the way through to the packaging and collateral materials they give with it.

    Take rings for example… go look at them in a display case.. pick out a $100 ring. Ask them to package it. You MAY get a white cardboard box with cotton in it.. or you MAY get a nice box with hinge, velvet of similar lining, etc. Now look at a $2,000 ring, and ask them to package it for you….. What do you think you will get? See my point? It is a part of the process. It may not be the ONLY thing that made you pick the product, but I am sure you would feel odd to pay that much for a nice ring and get it in a white cardboard box.. at least I would.

    Watches are the same. Heck.. just about ANY high ticket item is the same (sorry Miscue, you can not compare engines to other products, it is not an accurate comparison).

    I guess it is all about what you want to project to your buying market. And what makes us buy a product has a lot to do with perceptions and things most people don’t even think about… but a smart company WILL.

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