Sunday, April 24, 2011

Buyer Beware

We all get the e mails that appear in our inboxes in the middle of the night offering us great products direct from China (or other foreign nations) at lower prices than ever thought before. Most of us ignore these come-ons but recently one group of e mails crossed the line. The tag line says “Supply Pilkington Low E Glass” and the body of the e mail gives the impression that you can get Pilkington Low E (making you jump to the assumption it is the legendary Energy Advantage Low E they are hawking) direct from China and this company instead of from the actual manufacturer in the U.S. Basically this is the classic misrepresentation that has been festering for years but continues to get bolder as people get more desperate to move products. Bottom line here is buyer beware. Good companies don’t just allow fly by nighters take their products and promote them, especially against their own operations. And quite frankly if it sounds too good to be true (and is rife with typos and mis-spellings) it absolutely is. There are legitimate companies in China in our industry and believe me those companies don’t have to resort to spam-like emails with misrepresentations to get business.


-- As noted briefly last week, Guardian has filled the position that is being vacated by the retirement of Russ Ebeid. Scott Thomsen will be the guy and I think he’ll bring an energy and passion to that job that will really be fun to watch. It continues to be a very different world and I have no doubt a year from now our industry will really look a ton different that is for sure.

-- The ABI held serve again this month and encouraging news is really the solidification of the performance of the West. Could the end of the frustrations out there be near?

-- On the flip side, those who have followed me know I am an alarmist when it comes to gasoline prices- and once again I am playing the role of Chicken Little… but this time, I really believe the sky is falling. Gas is already flown past $4 per gallon and it’s not even Memorial Day or the summer driving season. One analyst is predicting $6 a gallon gas. That would be very ugly.

-- (a site you should bookmark and check at least daily) had a great link to a story from Toronto last week talking about how glass as a building product is shifting. It’s a frustrating story with some inaccurate statements but it does send a message that we have to continue to educate the masses about our products. Because if we don’t, we will be replaced by other materials.

-- So the “tree in the forest” that I mentioned last week finally “formally” fell and a press release was issued that the UGC was sold to an affiliate of Sun Capital. Someone posted a comment on my blog saying it was getting the legal stuff taken care of, but that holds no water when so many maneuvers were underway already. Now let’s hope the new owners quickly make good on the payments owed to contracted employees that were not paid while the company was struggling. Outside of that, I think I’ll hold my tongue- for now- shocking I know- but still waaaay too much emotion there for me.

-- FUN FACT: The guy who won the Boston Marathon last week did it in 2 Hours and 3 minutes. He was MOVING! So much so, to run that fast, that long is comparable to turning your treadmill to 12.1 and running on that for 2 hours. 12.1! Try it- it shows you the pure speed involved. Simply crazy fast.

-- I buried myself yet again with the wonderful editor (Jenni Chase) of this fine publication. When I abused Denver and Washington in posts last week, I received an e mail letting me know that those were HER favorite teams. I had no idea going in obviously. Oh well… so if you see my next story is on the “life of useless cullet” you know she is exacting her revenge.

LINKS of the WEEK:

-- This one is just a great quick read because you will laugh at the comical nature of it. A flight crew notices a “suspicious” material in a bathroom of their plane… uh oh, wonder what it is?

-- School district looking to find sponsors for everything- including textbooks… yep just a matter of time before my kids bring home an English book brought to you by Acme Plumbing.

-- Just so much wrong and going on with the story. School secretary that has a X rated past and the 14 year old! That blew the whistle. And then it takes a life of its own. Unreal.

VIDEO of the WEEK:

From my sister Marcie the queen of all retail… very cool prank video that I am guessing many retail clothing stores would LOVE to play to get back at customers…. But of course this takes big planning and execution. Good stuff…

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