Is it ethical not to sell replacement tips?

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by rhythmdevils, Jun 6, 2020.

  1. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    They obviously wear out and are easily lost. And they’re so cheap I just can’t fathom how a company would refuse to sell replacement tips.

    the Brainwavz B400 is the only one I know of not to sell extra tips but they’re so mainstream I’m sure it’s more widespread.
     
  2. DrForBin

    DrForBin Friend

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    hello,
    no
     
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  3. robot zombie

    robot zombie Friend

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    I mean, I don't know about unethical. But it is a little bit dick mode. It's their choice whether or not they want to offer them. Just like it's my choice whether or not I want to buy the product.

    I guess there's a potential case if replacement tips are the norm. In that event, many buyers might be led to assume that there must be tips available, and may not have been happy to find out the hard way. But even then, you can't say they actually misrepresented the value. Technically it would be the buyers who placed more value on it than it actually had for them.

    Just because the demand for them is obvious doesn't make it any less true that no product manufacturer can really expected to cover every possible situation in real world use. Stripped bare, if we wanted to hold them to an ethical line on that, then there is an infinite number of things we must also hold them to. In an ideal world, maybe this would be possible. But really, is it always the case that every cheap, easily replaceable part for products are made available by the supplier?

    Basically, a business is not ethically beholden to meet a customer's demands for value, because the customer already asserts their demands with money, and sometimes outcry. That's what we have that for. It would be different if what you were getting was actually misrepresented as something else. Otherwise, I don't see where there's a real point of entitlement. It's just a really nice thing to have. And maybe something that should always be offered, to keep customers. But not for the sake of all that is right and good lol.

    Seems straightforward enough. But that's still up to them to do, or not do and accept the consequences - do the risk/benefit on loss %'s on either side of that and make a decision. Who knows what factors they have in mind? I do know that if there is a large customer base who wants them, a 3rd party might come around and make some. Or if it came down to it the original manufacturer may double back and provide them if it is known that enough people actually want some. Say, if they were to become beloved and be granted more cycles than other products.

    But if there's only say, a couple of smaller runs before they're superseded, maybe that's just not in the cards. If they're doing a set amount of runs and that's it, they may only have one go to make enough replacements anyway. And then after that they lose access - that can happen to. And then come situations where maybe they tried to provide them but just didn't have enough, and now can no longer get more for themselves. Should they be punished for that?

    I mean, they have to try and predict how many to have on hand and do them as cheaply as they can, so as few lower-quantity runs as possible. Basically the question is how many replacements need to be made to the total number of units intended to sell across the run life. It's a bit loose and if they're wrong they might lose out on them by having too many left. What if too few people end up losing them with that particular model? Maybe with some, it makes sense not to offer them retail, but instead just retain a few for support cases that reach out, you know? You gotta ask, are they even standing to sell enough units for a significant number of people to even lose them and need those replacements?

    There are ways to come up upside down on that. I know I'd prefer they provide them, even if they mark up for profit AND "solvency integrity." But I don't see any moral dilemma in there. It's more a question of what good business practices and customer relations are, isn't it? To me it's just a pricing game. It's easy for us to say "I would pay $10 more if they offered replacement tips, if needed." the reality is that it could still negatively affect sales for them. So in an ethical sense, who gets favored more? Customer or business?

    Hmmm... I guess we could go with the implication that they don't sell the replacement tips solely in order to get people who wind up liking the product to fork over the a much more costly full replacement if they lose em. But even then, the buyer isn't forced into the second purchase. It would be supremely annoying to find out that was the intent, but it's not like you can't just ditch it for another product. So if it's really that bad, the market sorts it out. No need for a wrist grab. It'll be death by public execution. Or it'll never really come up and nothing will ever happen :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
  4. assassin10000

    assassin10000 Rando

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    I wouldn't call it unethical.

    I will say it is annoying/disappointing.
     
  5. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    They’ve been sellling the HM400 for a long time. Its not a quick run. I think @robot zombie youre over-thinking it but I appreciate the thought in your reply.

    offering replacement tips isn’t the same as offering replacement parts. This is getting kind of hypothetical. There are no other parts.

    Iem tips are so easily lost and definitely wear out. And I’ve found out that the nozzle for the HM400 is fairly unique so that aftermarket tips may not fit.

    I’m not buying them because of this. A product that expensive rendered useless and not resellable with one lost tip. Fuck that.
     
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  6. pechelman

    pechelman Acquaintance

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    Would only be unethical imo if they designed the tips to disintegrate after a year and told you to buy new iems. It is however a pretty shitty thing to do in not providing support so I'd do exactly what you said and just not give them your business. Vote with your dollar and let them know.
     
  7. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    And I think that is exactly the correct response.
     
  8. MichaeLeroy

    MichaeLeroy Facebook Friend

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    When I buy IEMs, my general expectation is that I should be able to replace and roll tips. Tips are a consumable component of the system and the products lifetime and usability ought not be hampered by a lack of access to tips. So for IEMs to be fit for use as intended, the consumer should have reasonable access to replacement tips, ideally from 3rd party vendors as well as the manufacturer. If it is easy to get off the shelf replacements, an IEM maker could satisfy their obligations in this regard by indicating which generally available tips fit their product. So I do think that making replacement tips difficult to obtain enters the shallow end of the bad ethics swamp. It's not a human rights violation but is a violation of good business practices and consumer expectations.
     
  9. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    I guess we have to debate the definition of ethics now. Oh geeze not going there here.

    definitely not a human rights violation. But it’s terrible business practice.

    I agree that not only should the manufacturer offer replacement tips basically forever, they should have a list of aftermarket tips that fit.

    hifiman walks all over Brainwavs here. Not only do they offer replacement tips to anybody, it’s a huge package of all different kinds of tips. Basically they want the iem’s to wind up sounding good to you. Thank you hifiman.
     
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