Although the incident referred to hero is a minor one, at first sight appearing to be a simple matter of complaint, the principles covered —and suggested—by it are very important.
Two weeks ago an Agent came into my shop with some samples of tools, and I gave him an order for a 2 inch
Boiler Expander. He had a price list where the price was printed at $16.00 or $18.00, and the discount was 20 or 30
per cent, I forget which. But any way, I paid him $12.80 cash for it. When I was looking at it yesterday, I saw your
firm's name stamped on it. I have one of your catalogues, and when I looked at the price, I saw that you only asked
$5.60 for the same Expander. I was going to buy a good sized bill of tools this Fall when I repair my mill, but I don't want to be taken for a sucker, and won't buy any goods from a firm that allows these kind of games to be played.
While we regret this gentleman's unfortunate experience, we are unable to see how any responsibility for t h i s transaction rests upon us. Mr. C. says that he "Don't want to be taken for a sucker", and, while we sympathize with him in this negative desire, we must candidly admit that he seems to have some of the symptoms. He states that he has one of our catalogues ; if he had taken the small amount of pains necessary to look up the price of Expanders before buying of the agent, instead of after, he would have been about $7.00 in pocket.
We have no agents, and we do not gain from the above letter that the party selling this tool represented him-self as such. We sell tools to any one who pays for them, and when paid for they are no longer ours, nor have we any control over the buyer's action, so that if he chooses to sell them at one-half of what he paid, or four times theprice, we are —in either case— free from any responsibility.
And this sets us to thinking —Why is it that so many people will place more confidence in peripatetic hucksters cal-ling themselves "Agents" —in most cases total strangers —than in reliable business houses, whose commercial standing can almost always be quite easily ascertained ?
USE YOUR HEAD AS WELL AS YOUR HANDS.
To follow out the line of thought suggested by the foregoing article —Why is it that shop owners and tool users, generally, spend so little time in studying catalogues and trade literature ? Within the past ten or fifteen years there have been brought out more labor-saving devices and machines than for any fifty years previous. Trade catalogues now-a-days are full of suggestions that are helpful, and a manufacturer will surely find it difficult to "Keep in the procession" unless he constantly refers to these aids.
The old adage, "It isn't what a man Makes, but what he Saves that makes him rich", is just as true to-day as ever, and the manufacturer who would be successful must be constantly on the lookout for Tools, Machines and Devices that will save time, and enable him to compete with others in his line.
About six months ago Mr. Chas. Lewis, of the L. & A. Spring Co., Jack-son, Mich., was at our place, and while looking about the store, came across a Universal clamp drill, such as is shown in Fig. 422 of our Metal Workers' Tool Catalogue "A Book of Tools". He saw that it could be used to good advantage on many occasions in and about their plant, and bought one. Last week Mr. L. called upon us, and during a conversation
If a device like the Inserted Tooth Feed Roll ( pages 954 and 955) will in-crease the output of a machine from 10 to 50 per cent (and in many cases it certainly will), it is the best kind of economy to lay out money for such an
article —if you have the money to lay out.
Another example is offered in the Core Box Machine, which we illustrate
here. This is used in the construction of Patterns, Core Boxes, Pulley Bushings, etc., etc. It will groove a semi-circular Core Box (either straight or arched) perfectly true in a few minutes, where hours —and sometimes even days —are required to do the same work by hand Will cut from 1 to 20 inch diam., any length, with, across or on the end grain. Will form internal circle work on outside of patterns, making coves, or cut inside of round boss to fit exterior of pattern.
Our list price on this machine is $194.50 Weight, 1100 lbs.
There are hundreds of shops where this machine would pay for itself in less than a year's time, with the amount of money saved over the cost of hand work. On the other hand, we frankly admit that unless a shop owner has considerable use for such a machine, it would be unwise economy to purchase it.
In conclusion, we would earnestly call the attention of our readers to the many articles —new and old —in this catalogue designed for the purpose of doing work well and at the least expense in labor cost.
WHO PAYS THE BILLS?
We are in the market for a Hand Planer, Saw Table, Boring Machine and Power Grindstone. Please state full particulars and dimensions, together with best cash price. Do not send any agents, as we cannot meet or spend the time with them. Give full details by mail.
THE Dow CHEMICAL CO , Midland, Mich.
We note with interest your instructions in regard to not sending an agent. We don't send agents; it's expensive, and some one has to pay the expense, sometimes the manufacturer, but in the long run, we think, the consumer. The other day an order for machinery was given out in a small town in Ohio ; the order amounted to $1,661.45. We are credibly informed that agents of four-teen different concerns went to . this place to try and secure the order. The railroad, hotel and wage expense of these fourteen agents must have been at least $300.00 —perhaps even twice this amount. Who paid the bills ? We didn't pay any part of them. Who got. the order ? Modesty forbids.