Not sure where I should post this, so I hope I'm in the right place. I was in my Tractor Supply store yesterday & while there I wanted to pick up one of those Cat.1 hitch pins. The kind that have a ring at top that folds over to keep the pin in place. I was expecting to pay about $4-5 bucks, but it would save me the drive to my Deere dealer. Anyway, I found the Cat 1 hinge pins & the shelf tag said they were Twenty Five cents each. Thinking that the price tag was wrong, I asked the man in the red vest & he confirmed that the .25 cents was the correct price. Needless to say I bought four of them & the bill came to $1.07 with the sales tax.
When I got home, I went to JD parts & looked up the very same hitch pin. The JD price was $6.67 each at my local dealer. If I had bought the pins at Deere, four of them would have cost me a whopping $26.68 for the four, compared to One dollar for the four at TSC. I also bought while at TSC a new pin to attach the top link to the implement. The price at TSC was $3.98 each. Checked the price at Deere parts,
PN# CH 11409 and the price was over $19. dollars.
On average, a new car dealer clears about 5-8 % gross profit on a new vehicle in the average sale. So if I've got the arithmetic right here, the mark up Deere places on a 25 cent item is more than 2,000 %. And on a $3.98 item the profit is around 500%. Now as everyone celebrates the annual Deere sales deals in April, all I can say is: Smile, bend over, here it comes again. So if you think your getting a bargain shelling out north of 15K for the brand new machine, you might want to consider one of those orange, blue or red & grey tractors. And now I see this other brand advertising called Mahindra or something like that. Is quality really reflected in the price? Is that 15K tractor so overpriced that quality is made meaningless & we are hypnotized into thinking that price reflects quality?
So what does Deere actually make on a tractor sale? 40-50-60 % these days. And with all the plastic fenders, made in china parts, & investment into the global market, the deflation of the dollar on the world market, etc., etc., is being covered by us who make every excuse we can to tell ourselves that we bleed green no matter what. Well at least the bleeding green part is exactly right.
I am all for a free market system & the capitalist system of business we have here. I think it is what has made us (in the past) a world leader. But where does this price gouging stop. If the price of a gallon of gas goes up two cents, the politicians demand congressional hearings. But then we sit back & just accept the prices we pay for other items. We can't even make the steel here to make the item we want to buy. The Govt. has forced us to shut down every industry, every coal mine, every steel mill. I'm not angered by the fact that JD needs to make a profit. I understand profit & cash flow. I ran my own business. What I can't stand is outright in your face take it or leave it attitude that all these companies now have. But on the other hand I understand it because of how we are crushing the corporations. And who are the corporations? Us, the people.
Speaking for myself here-I'm a fan of JD. However there are other companies out there that offer quality products as well. If I had to replace a tractor tomorrow or anything else made by JD, I probably would not buy JD as the replacement. When you consider initial cost & the ongoing cost of ownership, it may not be the good investment you think it is. Just my own observations on the subject.