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  1. #1
    JollyPopper's Avatar
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    Is Futaba Losing Money?

    Futaba recently reduced their price on their R617FS receiver by half. Are they losing money on each one they sell or was it originally grossly overpriced?
    \"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; In practice, there is\"

    Intolerance is not to be tolerated

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    I think suppliers like Hobby King has forced many products to reduce the MSRP pricing !!!
    \"IF YOU HAVE TOO MANY AIRPLANES -FLY BOLDLY AND REDUCE YOUR NUMBER\"

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by JollyPopper View Post
    Futaba recently reduced their price on their R617FS receiver by half. Are they losing money on each one they sell or was it originally grossly overpriced?
    Hi JollyPopper ,

    I would guess that the reason has nothing to do with what any other retailer is doing , and more to do with trying to counter what ALL retailers are feeling , namely the pinch of an economy that is not exactly prospering at the moment . Regular folks ARE financially pinched and not $pending like they did some years ago on hobby toys . Futaba likely saw the sales #s down a bit , and in a bit of "Price VS economy correction" , has dropped the prices . Remember a couple of years ago when Horizion slashed a lot of their prices , especially on the ARFs ? That was the beginning of all the RC companies seeing the sales decline and trying to price around it .....

    Course , in Futaba's case , the entire hobby could go bankrupt ans still they would carry on building the industrial controls that are the mainstay of their business ...

  4. #4
    RCU Forum Manager/Admin RCKen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by init4fun View Post
    Course , in Futaba's case , the entire hobby could go bankrupt ans still they would carry on building the industrial controls that are the mainstay of their business ...
    Ding ding ding ding, we have a winner!!!

    Futaba makes the lion's share of their money away from the hobby industry in industrial controls and designs. They could quit making RC completely and still stay in business without any problems at all!!!

    Ken
    The take off is optional, but the landing is MANDATORY!!
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  5. #5

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    I don't think their receivers were grossly over priced but I do think they were priced to recover the cost of developing the proprietary chip sets needed to make the FASST system work. One thing I have noticed is that some Asian companies, probably the same ones who make the chips for Futaba, appear to be selling knock off receivers. The lack of respect by these companies for patent and copyrights could have a serious backlash on technological development by the major players like Futaba and JR in the future.

    If these companies continue to sell clones and knock offs right off of the same assembly lines that the proprietary stuff comes from the big guys just may throw in the towel if it becomes unprofitable. That would be bad since none of the companies who are selling the clones are capable of, or even interested in developing new technologies in RC.
    RC Aircraft/ Three Laws Safe.

  6. #6

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    Futaba is not losing money they would not sell anything so low it would hurt them. My bet is the 617 receivers that have been around for 7-8 years are on the way out and they
    are unloading them for a little over cost so as not to get stuck with a large inventory.
    Ira d

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    It's simple. They aren't worth as much now as they were when they came out. Newer stuff with more features is out now, so the consumers want the competitors' products more or even want Futaba's newer items more. When it was the hot new thing they could get more for it and so they did. That made it worthwhile to invest in the R&D to make a reliable 2.4ghz receiver, unlike Spektrum in the early days. Now it's worth less, so they sell it for less.
    No kid, I said break ground and fly into the wind!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
    It's simple. They aren't worth as much now as they were when they came out. Newer stuff with more features is out now, so the consumers want the competitors' products more or even want Futaba's newer items more. When it was the hot new thing they could get more for it and so they did. That made it worthwhile to invest in the R&D to make a reliable 2.4ghz receiver, unlike Spektrum in the early days. Now it's worth less, so they sell it for less.
    True dat.. Specktrum turned out some half cooked stuff when they first came out. I bought a DX-6 within a month of their introduction and soon found out that the AR 6000 receivers were screwed up. I have since trashed the whole setup and all of the receivers but I did buy a DX-7s which I actually like.

    Futaba has always been high reliability and also expensive but worth it. I still have a 72 MHZ Futaba transmitter that I use for two of my older planes and it works as good as ever. It's funny when I go to the field I don't have to wait for a frequency pin. In a few years I'll probably get a newFutaba system. You know the old saying, you get what you pay for and that is especially true with the radio system.
    RC Aircraft/ Three Laws Safe.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by JollyPopper View Post
    Futaba recently reduced their price on their R617FS receiver by half. Are they losing money on each one they sell or was it originally grossly overpriced?
    Plainly overpriced. Price setting is not a cost issue, it is a marketing decision. I purchased 4 receivers in December with the coupons, discounts, free delivery etc. I paid less than $33.00 each. Of course they were out of stock, and I got them a couple of weeks ago... Many companies manufacture part of their items in China. Even Nikon is there now. If you get a break or not will depend of what the market will bear, and also of the pricing strategy the company might have at a point in time.

    Gerry

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by ira d View Post
    Futaba is not losing money they would not sell anything so low it would hurt them. My bet is the 617 receivers that have been around for 7-8 years are on the way out and they
    are unloading them for a little over cost so as not to get stuck with a large inventory.
    +1

    My guess would be Futaba is focusing on S.Bus
    Steve Blayney

    P-47 Thunderbolt Brotherhood #111



  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by spinkgi View Post
    +1

    My guess would be Futaba is focusing on S.Bus
    Ding! Ding! Ding! Right you are! Of course I am guessing, but that is the future (S.Bus and Telemetry)... They will push the new technology while they can still make a lot a money:-) This is good because if it is adopted widely, the prices of new technologies goes down because the competition will do the same (lower prices to bring more people to the new technology).

    For those of us that do not need the new technology, Futaba receivers for less than $35 is always good news:-)

    Gerry

  12. #12

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    if you look at flagship TX's t he 18MZ you could see where they arn't loseing much .. they have a big fanboy fan club who'm buy the product and only the product ..

    i think they probably make the high'st profit margin so i doubt they would lose money on anything,

    nothing wrong with them just saying they have some big money items and the most expensive RX's across the bord i just can't see them loseing money ... with the amount of masses that like them

  13. #13

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    Inventory reduction nothing more.

  14. #14

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    Those of you who think that any manufacturer's stuff is overpriced can solve the problem very quickly- don't buy it. Buy stuff from the company that isn't overpriced. That'll teach them.

    Oh wait, there's just one problem. Quality receivers from all the reputable manufacturers are about the same price for the same number of channels. Hmm. They must all be overpriced. So you should buy the junky stuff from China, the Orange receivers that go for about $10. Yay China! They care about the American consumer and price their goods how they really should be! HobbyKing to the rescue!

    But oh wait, no! Your plane just mysteriously went down because that junky cheap receiver stopped working. Now you've just learned the value of quality control at the manufacturing level and a warranty policy that encourages good products that work the first time. So maybe Futaba isn't actually ripping you off after all, are they?

    The simple fact about electronics is that the retail price is easily 10 times what it costs to manufacturer the item. That conversation has been going on since the '70's at least. But then there is R&D to pay for, marketing, warranty, and quality control, not to mention rigorous selection and testing of components bought from other manufacturers. If a bad pallet of 5 cent capacitors makes it way into a manufacturing batch, a rash of failures follows. A reputable company like Futaba pays an employee good money to test samples from every batch of capacitors to keep that from happening. Do you really think that the kids working in the sweatshop who make those Orange RX's do that? Then there is the cost of having a good service department, which isn't cheap or easy. So yes, you can buy knock off receivers where a company has reverse engineered the Futaba design and done enough tweaks to keep from getting sued and then cut every corner possible to reduce the price. But I won't, and I don't think you should either.
    No kid, I said break ground and fly into the wind!

  15. #15
    acerc's Avatar
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    How can anyone on here complain about the prices, it is disposable money no matter what level you are at. If you can't afford it you should not be here, but then again I guess those of us whom can, should support those whom can't, spread the wealth I suppose.
    Robert
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    We have a lake just to the west of our field. It is full of two things , alligators and airplanes using all manner of garbage radio systems . To the best of my knowledge there are few or actually no Futaba systems soaking in the lake . I could be wrong but I doubt it .
    I fly Futaba , always have , always will . If you want to go diving for off brand, cheap receivers or servos , please let me know .

  17. #17
    DavidAgar's Avatar
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    They also changed Countries that they are made in, that might have something to do with it. Dave
    If the screw ain\'t loose then things ain\'t normal.

    Dave Agar
    AMA#97144

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by topspin View Post
    True dat.. Specktrum turned out some half cooked stuff when they first came out. I bought a DX-6 within a month of their introduction and soon found out that the AR 6000 receivers were screwed up. I have since trashed the whole setup and all of the receivers but I did buy a DX-7s which I actually like.

    Futaba has always been high reliability and also expensive but worth it. I still have a 72 MHZ Futaba transmitter that I use for two of my older planes and it works as good as ever. It's funny when I go to the field I don't have to wait for a frequency pin. In a few years I'll probably get a newFutaba system. You know the old saying, you get what you pay for and that is especially true with the radio system.
    Yeah I remembered when Futaba released some half-baked stuff too..!!! One guys Futaba FAAST 2.4 GHz transmitter was working 3 different Futaba equipped 2.4 models at the field, it was worse than 72 MHz all on the same frequency...!!!
    \"I ran out of ideas and altitude at the same time...\"

    \"The Beatings will continue until Morale Improves..!!!\"

  19. #19

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    Yen is down against the dollar. Lessens the bleeding from our coffers...

  20. #20

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    I just think that it's funny that you can get a Futaba FAAST 7 channel receiver for $40.00, but the FAAST 4 channel receiver is still $100.00.

  21. #21

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    The futaba r17 receivers are now $69.98 In the new tower talk.

  22. #22

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    When I saw that they dropped the price to $39.00 I bought three. I then called a friend who works for Hobbico and asked if they plan on discontinuing the FASST protocol. He told me no, they just found a cheaper way to produce them. Now they have made in China on them. I'm very happy with Futaba and still have a 606 in one of my planes. I've always been reluctant to use a knock off and I appreciate the lower pricing.

  23. #23

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    I do remember crashing a couple of planes becuse my Futaba transmitter did not have airplane recognition. After that I put a number on the tail of each plane that corresonded to the transmitter memory. I have a collection of 72 MHZ receivers in a box someplace that include Futaba, Hitec, and Berg. The little 7 channel Berg receivers are probably the best 72 MHZ receivers ever made.

    In any case I agree with all above. I have cheap planes and I have expensive ones but they all have high end radio gear in them.
    RC Aircraft/ Three Laws Safe.

  24. #24

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    If your radio was pre computer era I can see that as a pain. An older friend of mine just loves to build planes. Up until a couple of years ago everything was on 72 and had it's own radio. Now he has the 6EX. I program his planes for him and he's happy. I started in the hobby in 2007 when Spektrum first came out. I went with Futaba because the club I joined had mostly Futaba, and I was able to get help. That was the best move I could have made. The only problem I ever had was with an early 6EX. I went to start the plane and saw that nothing was moving. I took off the wing and saw the lights blinking on the reciever. I sent it in to Tower and they fixed it under warranty. Since then, never an issue. I now use an 8FG Super and love it.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by hemiflyer1 View Post
    The futaba r17 receivers are now $69.98 In the new tower talk.
    Still $40 online at Tower.
    RC_Fanatic -- Club Saito member #807


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