December 13, 2011, 7:00 pm
Tough crowd, eh?
I'll kick off with quality. My displays are made by the same factory that Valeo (the French automotive giant supplying major OEMs) use. The factory and its QA processes are ISO9001:2008 certified, which in plain English means that they can make the same things again and again, reliably. -that display isn't
Quality is important for legal reasons. By being able to prove that the displays are quality items, I can have them Type-Approved. By law, any electrical item that you permanently fit to your car has to be Type-Approved, else you invalidate the Type Approval of your vehicle. (section 63 of the construction and use regs; criminal offence) What's more important though is that the test checks that it isn't going to interfere with the electronic systems inside your car. (remember that your anti-lock brakes, stability control, traction control etc all use vehicle speed data) Its nice to know that you're legal too, and that your car is not going to catch fire one night. The SpeedView *is* Type Approved. -that display isn't
Whilst we're discussing legalities, I've liaised with VOSA to check all the intricacies of how and where you must fit it for it to be MOT legal, and sufficient as the *only* speedometer fitted to a new car presented for the more stringent IVA test. The details matter and they're included in both the instructions and the design of the device. I've also paid my import taxes. (you are going to pay the VAT, aren't you - that brings the price to 46 quid already) -at the absolute best, that seller doesn't know the law
Not all components and designs are created equal, and not all kits are complete. It has LEDs inside, but are they 5,500 nits brightness or 500 nits? This matters, their spec sheet doesn't say, and it probably hasn't been tested either. Can you see a raised area around the display, to hide the one on the dashboard from your eyes whilst driving? (really, you only want to be able to see the reflection on the screen, not both the source and the reflection) It records your maximum speed. What a fantastic idea, don't you think? 71 sir? Oh dear sir. Where are the wiring connectors? I supply the wire clips, and not just naff ones but 3M wire clips. Ditto the self-adhesive dashboard mountings, also 3M. (hook and loop, so that you can remove it) Supplying a complete kit, and using quality sundries, isn't free.
Last but not least support - I'm here, in the UK, available to talk and advise in your living room. I stock in the UK, so you can get what you want when you want; I sell in the UK, so that you're covered by all the buyer protection laws; I offer a warranty on the product that's worth the paper its written on; and the instructions I write/advice I give are offered in plain English. -you get none of that buying from a kid in a flat in HK
I can appreciate that you don't want forum members to get ripped off, and I honestly tip my hat to you for that.
However, I think what you've actually helped show is that the absolute cheapest that you can buy a piece of untested, illegal to use, product, in a kit that is incomplete with zero support, zero buyer protection, and no warranty, is £46. Maybe £38 if you don't pay your dues. (thanks, us honest small businesses really appreciate it)
I'm offering a quality, tested, legal, complete kit, intelligently specified and designed, fully supported, and warranted. I'm offering it [b]at a loss[/b] to the first two people to try it out, in exchange for the how-to.
You could also buy the same thing from Valeo:
RRP is north of £100, the instructions have been badly translated from Chinglish to French to English, and they don't provide any product support. There are sellers selling off stock that they just can't sell (funny that) as low as £85 inc P&P if you look around.
Take your pick - illegal Chinese tat that may or may not set your car on fire for £46; surplus stock of (what I believe to be) a discontinued but quality legal product from a European OEM but with no after-sales support for £85+, or the exact same quality product, less the fancy branding for £40 from an enthusiast.
Granted, the £40 is not a permanent price - I was hoping to run a group buy for the forums in the new year at £60 inc p&p - and that £14 difference buys a whole world of quality. It also pays for the discount I gave the first two gurus, it'll make a contribution to your forum, and just about keeps the office lights on. (the units sold for £69.99 buy my dinner)