Does this kind of stuff leave a bitter taste in anyone’s mouth anymore?
Maybe I’ve been reading too much on http://jdmphasis.blogspot.ca/ and his strict adherence to quality parts… But I can’t help but nod my head for every post I read of his. It just hits home for me – the first time I was ever in the market for car parts was for wheels for my Civic. I knew nothing about real and fake, I just knew I had a budget. When you’re on a budget for wheels – you’ll eventually come across Rota. Good ol’ Rota. It was when I inquired with a local shop that he kindly (and I truly mean that he was nice about it) talked me out of it and pushed me into my first set of WORK Emotion XT7’s. From that day forward, I saw the light. I saw the difference and I would never go back.
First of all, I’m no veteran to this scene – I am just an independent player in this sea of automotive enthusiasts – and just like many others, I just want to see cool as shit cars and good quality builds. I don’t dip my cup in the haterade punch bowl, and I am far from a keyboard warrior on forums trying to advocate what a real build is. I just think that when you’ve been immersed in the automotive culture for a period of time, you just naturally become somewhat jaded or calloused to what goes on in this pool. What I mean by this is that for some people (like myself), they just don’t care what goes on around them anymore unless it’s something unique or nicely put together. For others, (like the aforementioned keyboard warriors and haterade drinkers) it’s a matter of standing up for authentic parts only and ensuring that everyone who doesn’t have legitimate parts gets reprimanded. Everyone else falls in-between these two groups – legit, fake, they don’t really care.
You must be asking – what is he going on about now? I guess it’s sort of my way of ranting. I browse the forums, I visit blogs, I see a ton of social media content of cars that I know to cars halfway around the world. You see it all these days and there’s just no way of avoiding seeing the latest trend. What really makes me cringe is the stuff that you read on forums. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not posting this because I want to tell people how to spend their money or what to get for their car…
This is a thread on replica body kits. The reasoning at the bottom of the quote is what makes me cringe… Why would I pay $100 for a Snap-On wrench when I can pay $10 for one at Canadian Tire? There is absolutely no difference in quality. You are just paying for the name (sarcasm).
Do you know what bugs me the most about this phrase? “you are just paying for the name”? The fact that this comment is loaded with the assumption that the person saying it knows how the product was created and is telling you that there is no difference because they literally just slapped a different brand on it.
This is what I read: I wouldn’t want to spend money on a genuine diamond for my girlfriend if a cubic zirconia would would look good if properly made.
Does that make sense to anyone else? Would you buy your girlfriend a cubic zirconia and just tell her it’s a diamond because it looks good enough? If you answered yes, I hope she says no.
Note: Key difference is if you tell her it’s a cubic zirconia and she doesn’t care – then she’s a keeper.
If you have to ask, then it’s not worth it.
This was the last one I captured before I started to lose my faith in humanity. There’s a lot of contradiction going on here and more justification that really doesn’t make sense. Credit is due to the original company that creates the product – whether you believe in “laissez-faire” or not. The bitter truth about laissez-faire is that it endorses greed and the funny thing is that ironically, when talking about supporting companies that produce replica parts – it is essentially implying that creating parts for 1/3rd the cost is the way to go. That the cheap and more efficient way of doing things will produce more money and better results for the larger whole. The only truth about laissez-faire is that instead of creating competition between legitimate, and reputable companies – it forces them to have to compete with second-rate companies that just create copies.
In a world where innovation is king – margin is your next lifeline to surviving. If you are selling and not making margin, the disconnect is between your cost to create and your price to the customer. Companies like Greddy/Rocket Bunny, J’s Racing, Voltex, and the other big name players don’t just come up with designs out of thin air. The cost to think, design, test, and produce is not equal to the cost to copy. The “absolute ridiculous” margins that the original product is carrying is not even close to the absolute ridiculous margins your replica product is likely making. The only slashing that a replica company is doing is of the quality of the part you’re purchasing to help them make their ridiculous margins. I know what you’re thinking… “But the part I want is so expensive, Jason!” Yes, but you’re certainly not going to find a replica Amuse exhaust anywhere because you aren’t going to find a company that can copy it and make margin at the same time. (See how that works?)
At the end of the day, it hurts companies that innovate. The money that you are spending to purchase real parts go towards more innovation. The money that you are spending to purchase replica part go towards the ability to copy more. In a scene where everyone wants to “kill the game” each year, you’ll be less likely to do any “killing” with the same kit every other guy on Instagram has with no innovation. The only killing you’ll end up doing is to your ego and to everyone’s hearts (JDM EGO quote). So, the next time you’re thinking about buying a part but have a little less cash – pinch your pennies, have ramen dinners for a few nights/weeks/months… Buy the part that’s worth it, not the part that’s cheaper. You’ll save yourself from having to justify why you bought a fake part like those good ol’ un-named chaps I quoted above. Instead, you can wear the part proudly on your car and feel like a million bucks (because you can’t feel like a million bucks when you only spent a fraction of it on your replica piece).
Have a good day.