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Old 01-16-2020, 10:36 AM   #1
MilzyZ34
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Why was Milzy Motorsports slow at developing parts and finishing projects?

Some of you may have noticed that Milzy Motorsports has taken longer than usual to complete projects and ship orders these last few years. I am now free to say why. It’s because of a lawsuit a customer filed in 2016 for an extremely large amount of money, which required a significant of attention, time, and finances to fight the case and protect all my other customers. I am finally now able to speak about this because I recently received the judgement for the hearing, which was ruled in my favor. I contended that the plaintiff was suing over damage that he himself had caused. Sure enough, the judge said that the plaintiff “failed to establish that the damage to the vehicle was inflicted while in Defendant Milzy’s possession.” The judge said how “troubled” he was about certain texts the plaintiff sent his own “expert” witness, evidence that the judge said “undermined the credibility of Plaintiff’s testimony.” The litigation tied up Milzy Motorsports' assets and my time for a seeming eternity, but justice was finally done. We have now filed a motion to sanction the plaintiff for frivolous conduct. I would love to go into more detail in this post, but I've been advised to keep it short and sweet, and let the facts speak for themselves, facts by the way which are public information should anyone choose to search for them. In the meantime, we are 100% open for business, unencumbered by any legal issues that would eat up unnecessary time and effort and capital, allowing me to instead spend this time, effort, and finances on getting work done faster, satisfying more customers, and finally having a little bit of money to re-invest into the business for research and development of new performance parts. I'm really looking forward to what happens now starting fresh for the new decade with a fresh perspective and a renewed vigor for my business. We've got a lot of new things in the works, and it should be very exciting.

We're working on a customer incentive program right now, and one thing I am going to do to make it up to anyone who has been waiting or had waited for way to long for their parts or project to get done, is to offer them a year membership to this incentive program free of charge. We're still working on the details, but this membership will include things like discounts on labor, discount on parts, access to pre-production runs, and we're also thinking about complimentary detailing services for any car we work on here that spends X dollars.

I hope this will begin to repair the reputation of my company which has been tarnished by this whole ordeal.
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Old 01-16-2020, 06:34 PM   #2
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I've watched over the years and honestly your best bet to try am's repair the reputation at this point will be the speed at which you finish the cars and group buy orders you have before taking on any further projects or builds. Those buyers have waited a year or more to get their orders, builds, cars back... if you're truly attempting to salvage a reputation, get that stuff finished first. Then work towards new items, group buys, e.t.c... just my 2 cents... i like your products but timelines honestly suck. You need to set deadlines and start meeting them or offer refunds, big discounts on current projects etc to get the shop back on track...
I honestly hope it works for you; you're one of 2 that still produce parts for this platform... good luck to you Mike!!
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:10 AM   #3
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I've watched over the years and honestly your best bet to try am's repair the reputation at this point will be the speed at which you finish the cars and group buy orders you have before taking on any further projects or builds. Those buyers have waited a year or more to get their orders, builds, cars back... if you're truly attempting to salvage a reputation, get that stuff finished first. Then work towards new items, group buys, e.t.c... just my 2 cents... i like your products but timelines honestly suck. You need to set deadlines and start meeting them or offer refunds, big discounts on current projects etc to get the shop back on track...
I honestly hope it works for you; you're one of 2 that still produce parts for this platform... good luck to you Mike!!


I hear you about the time-frame issues, and am well aware that is one problem we've suffered from, even prior to the recent legal issues, although these legal issues have just made the problem much worse. I am very much a perfectionist, and I won't let a vehicle leave here until everything is absolutely perfect. All it takes is one little part, maybe even a bolt, to hold up a whole project, and with a lot of these projects a large number of the parts are completely custom, only available because I designed the parts and make them in small batches.

I've actually done a lot of thinking over the past few months, brainstorming on ways to run the business a little differently, implement new policies, etc to help things run more smoothly.

The group buys may seem like a distraction from our purpose of getting the cars done we have here, but actually it's a step towards some of the things you mentioned. Lets take the header group buy for instance. Our headers are not cheap, mostly due to the limited quantities we build them at. Because of their high price, not many people buy them. When they do, the item is listed as non-refundable because we have to make atleast a few sets at once to make it financially worth it, and they also take a bit of time to get finished. Much of this time is the lead-time waiting on us to finish other fab projects currently in line. So now I'm getting the headers made on a more production-run basis. Instead of making them a few at once, or maybe 6 at once, we're having 25 sets made at once. This means making a larger financial investment, which in order to stay in business, I need to make a fair profit on. The purpose of the group buy though is to have customers offset this cost by purchasing headers in a pre-order, thus requiring less investment on my part, and therefor I can have less mark-up on the parts, which lowers the cost. The headers will also be one-piece mandrel bent, which will reduce the welding and fabrication time required, also reducing the cost and making them faster to reproduce. Furthermore after this group-buy is fulfilled, and once we get to where we have 10+ sets of these on the shelf at any moment, we can change the product from a non-refundable item to a refundable one.

So this is one example of a group-buy helping the issues you were talking about, and the other ones are similar stories. Reduced fab time, reduced cost, or more customer-friendly policies, or a combination of those things.

One of the big factors which control the speed of a project is money. There has to be profit. If a project takes longer than expected, I actually lose money very quickly, because I don't inherently get to charge extra for this extra time unless it's the result of the customer's car needing more work than expected. If I under-quoted a project, then that's on me. We're going to implement some new policies about entry paperwork and payment scheduling so that we can keep the incoming work and money flowing more smoothly, which should help things get done faster.

One thing we run into that slows things down is update requests, and also trouble with customers communicating in ways that aren't that effective at attaining their goal: asking me questions and getting answers. What we're doing to combat this is we first added a communication guideline page to help key customers in to things they may not know which could improve their communication process. We've also added a schedule section which outlines what we've accomplished over the last few weeks, and what we hope to achieve over the next month. We try to update this page about once every week or two (although I admit I have to update it as I have not had a chance to do so yet since I came back from holiday break last week). The hope here is that by offering the schedule this will eliminate the need to communicate what we're doing with every customer directly and individually, and instead let them update themselves. Another way we plan on reducing these update requests is to reduce the need for them altogether (atleast for most customers) by simply getting things done faster, which we talked about that. We've got some other ideas about this too, but we're gonna start with these and see what the outcome is so we can make adjustments.

Another thing we've been doing to help things move faster is to improve the facility. We've got more equipment now, I put in a new lift last year increasing our capacity. I upgraded every light fixture in the shop to LED's, make it much brighter and more efficient to get work done while also reducing the power bills. I resurrected my CMM machine a few months ago so we can now measure critical parts more easily without farming out this work. Last year I upgraded the electrical in the fab area to give us more versatility. Once things get flowing more like they should, I have even more plans for the future to keep making upgrades.

The other thing we're doing right now is find more qualified people to help us get work done. We're looking for people to fill positions like shop-helpers, mechanics, fabricator assistants, etc. We're gonna have to add more people slowly to allow the expansion without much growing pains, but I can tell you right now we are looking for 1 or 2 people immediately.
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Old 01-25-2020, 04:00 PM   #4
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Excuse are like A$$holes, everyone has one. Your legal troubles shouldn't be your other customers problem.

The group buys are overly optimistic that 10+ people are going to prepay for a high dollar part for a dead platform. But I guess that works well for you if you are taking non refundable deposits with no time line.

Too many failures to trust you with any type of a group buy. Maybe if it is on the shelf, but we all know that will never be the case with your rob Peter to pay Paul business model.l
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Old 01-30-2020, 10:34 AM   #5
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Excuse are like A$$holes, everyone has one. Your legal troubles shouldn't be your other customers problem.

The group buys are overly optimistic that 10+ people are going to prepay for a high dollar part for a dead platform. But I guess that works well for you if you are taking non refundable deposits with no time line.

Too many failures to trust you with any type of a group buy. Maybe if it is on the shelf, but we all know that will never be the case with your rob Peter to pay Paul business model.l
I'm not making excuses, I'm simply explaining how this happened. We call these things "reasons". In fact, I really haven't directly explained much, I've simply pointed to the existence of a public record, which exists and tells you an unedited version of the story, which I actually have no control over as that public record is posted on a government website. I'm not sure how it could be more objective than that.

I find it both hilarious and frustrating at the same time that you really have no idea what it is that happened, and yet you are convinced that whatever it was, that I handled it wrong. You probably can't even speculate as to what mistake if any I had made when I had according to you done it wrong.

Then you say my group buys are overly optimistic that 10+ people would put money down on something. Is this where we've ended up that finding 10 measly people to push some new product into existence is just simply too impossible of a feat to pull off. Wow.

Then you say " Too many failures to trust you with any type of a group buy." I'll skip the part where I tell you that's not a sentence, and simply ask this - what failures? I'm not sure how you define failure or more specifically failure of a group buy, but in my opinion, the first condition to having a failure of a group buy is the group buy itself must first exist. With that condition in mind, I cannot think of one failed group buy we've done over the years. We had some get delayed sure, but that's not a failure. We ended up pushing some forward with less people than we'd intended, but that is also not a failure.

In fact, since you brought it up, during these extremely tight and horrible times production wise for Milzy Motorsports, a couple years ago, Milzy Motorsports undertook the biggest single product project it has ever done, which was a group buy for the 4t65eHD 1" single chain gear sets we now make. If memory serves, MMS spent about $60,000 developing the new product and producing the first batch. We first set out to get about 6 guinea pigs, and were going to make a batch of 10 sets, but as we got further in, the production cost per unit was getting higher, so the only way to salvage any sort of a margin was to raise the batch from 10 sets to 20, so I went from 6 guinea pigs to 12 or 13, plus myself for the remainder and pushed this new cutting-edge product to testing and then to market. We now sell these gear sets for $2,000 per set. So what's the difference between a successful group buy like this one, and your pessimistic view of N-body group buys? One word - attitude. This platform isn't dead until people stop believing in it. It's like that movie from the 80's ... "If you build it, they will come". As long as people are still building and customizing Grand Am's, the platform is not dead, and my shop is pretty full up with N-body's right now, and there are many more times as many customers ordering parts to build their own in their own garages all over the country. Now that I have refocused my attention on the things that really matter to me, I'm developing a line of new products for these vehicles, and have many many more ideas which could become new products as well. If you don't like that is a good idea or think I'm wasting my time, then don't buy them. I really don't care.
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Old 02-04-2020, 06:58 AM   #6
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Good to see you're still around Milzy. I have to echo a little bit of what Phil said.

In today's day and age a lot of group buys are with vendors that have parts on the shelf and ready to ship. I'd challenge you to build stock in whatever you're going to offer before taking people's money. I don't think I've seen a group buy anywhere other than here where the item wasn't already manufactured and ready to ship.

It's a slippery slope and a business model that just doesn't fit with today's amazon.com world of 2-day and overnight shipping, 2-hour grocery delivery, etc. Doing it your way, even if you don't have any hiccups in production, opens you up to a high risk of missing deadlines and disappointing buyers. I know in practice, this is a way for you to mitigate financial risk, but that is business. Buyers expect the vendor to take on the burden and risk of holding parts in stock.
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Old 02-04-2020, 08:04 AM   #7
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Good to see you're still around Milzy. I have to echo a little bit of what Phil said.

In today's day and age a lot of group buys are with vendors that have parts on the shelf and ready to ship. I'd challenge you to build stock in whatever you're going to offer before taking people's money. I don't think I've seen a group buy anywhere other than here where the item wasn't already manufactured and ready to ship.
When I was in the Saturn scene not to long ago, the Saturn forums had group buys for specialized parts that had to meet a min people and had to be manufactured from scratch. However, the big difference is that the person holding the group buy had an established builder and already had everything in place to make and ship within a reasonable amount of time, usually within a month. They also had some failed group buys as the person manufacturing, which they no longer used, didn't produce. Group buys in this day and age with a dead platform is very risky for both parties.I think the big difference here is the reputation that Mike has made with no communication, lack of business practices has made a bad smell to a lot of loyal customers. You can't use a lawsuit to explain why you can't meet deadlines for group buys that should of never been in place until the lawsuit was complete. This gives false hope and even a worst taste and smell to people. The damage has been done for many of years even before the lawsuit. Need to prove himself over by starting from scratch and try to win those people back again.
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Old 02-05-2020, 11:25 AM   #8
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Good to see you're still around Milzy. I have to echo a little bit of what Phil said.

In today's day and age a lot of group buys are with vendors that have parts on the shelf and ready to ship. I'd challenge you to build stock in whatever you're going to offer before taking people's money. I don't think I've seen a group buy anywhere other than here where the item wasn't already manufactured and ready to ship.

It's a slippery slope and a business model that just doesn't fit with today's amazon.com world of 2-day and overnight shipping, 2-hour grocery delivery, etc. Doing it your way, even if you don't have any hiccups in production, opens you up to a high risk of missing deadlines and disappointing buyers. I know in practice, this is a way for you to mitigate financial risk, but that is business. Buyers expect the vendor to take on the burden and risk of holding parts in stock.
Tom Lopatka right? I think I remember selling you a Stage 2 package way back when.

As I have stated, the reason we're doing these group buys in the first place is either to improve the sales of an existing product, or to bring into production a whole new product. The headers are a product we've been selling for years, but due to their relatively high cost and the long lead-times, they simply don't sell very much. So the group buy is there to help push the quantities into the next level to lower costs and reduce lead times by taking something we currently label as a custom product, and let it evolve into something we'll keep on the shelf. Then we have the group buys on the new products, where we are trying to make a product which currently does not exist. We're doing this to set the initial cost of the item as low as possible by getting some pre-orders to help raise our initial batch production numbers, which has a pretty big effect on what the actual price will be of the item. This market is very budget-minded, prices have to be reasonable, or sales will be low.

So it sounds like your argument is asking why does the customer have to chip in on these group buys? Why can't Milzy Motorsports just pay for everything themselves? Well again I'm trying to keep costs down. Quantity dictates price. Every group buy I do, I am investing Milzy Motorsports money into. Some call it a risk, and it technically is, but it's one that I make an educated decision on. I have been running this business since 2002. I graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering in 2004, and have been doing this business ever since. What this means is I chose not to get a mechanical engineering job to continue running my own business. If I was only about making money, I would have just got an ME job, and I'd have a lot more money, but I enjoy what I do, and I like being involved in the entire process of designing, manufacturing, testing, and installing all the products we make, which I couldn't do working for someone else. So anyways, I've been in business now for just about 18 years, my entire adult life. Most businesses fail within the first couple years, not mine. Why is that? I tend to make good decisions and choices for the limited amount I can invest. So when I go into something like a group buy you guys say is "risky", it should actually be piece of mind for the guys involved in that group buy that I am right there with you, matching the investment you're making at the same time. The headers group buy I asked for 10 buyers. I can tell you right now, we're intending to make atleast 25 sets, which means I am buying more than half of the sets in the group buy, and that's if we get the 10 I was looking for. The less that Milzy Motorsports has to invest, the cheaper the price will end up being.

I did a group buy on camshafts back in 2004. This group buy got a new product that had never been made before to come to fruition. I ended up buying about 20 camshafts in addition to the ones the customer's ordered. I don't remember exactly when you placed your order Tom, but there is a chance that one of those 20 camshafts ended up in your engine way back when. My point is that a group buy can have lasting effects, benefiting customers long after the initial group buy ends.

Like I said, I've never had a failed group buy. In fact, I typically don't even take money on a group buy until everyone involved is ready to go. Where I mess up is not sticking to my guns when I set the quantities necessary.

The bottom line is that I'm not doing group buys to temporarily bump sales of one item. Instead I am trying to use the group buy to make permanent changes in that products' pricing and manufacturing process, thereby making it it easier to make and cheaper to make, while not sacrificing quality.
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Old 02-05-2020, 11:33 AM   #9
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When I was in the Saturn scene not to long ago, the Saturn forums had group buys for specialized parts that had to meet a min people and had to be manufactured from scratch. However, the big difference is that the person holding the group buy had an established builder and already had everything in place to make and ship within a reasonable amount of time, usually within a month. They also had some failed group buys as the person manufacturing, which they no longer used, didn't produce. Group buys in this day and age with a dead platform is very risky for both parties.I think the big difference here is the reputation that Mike has made with no communication, lack of business practices has made a bad smell to a lot of loyal customers. You can't use a lawsuit to explain why you can't meet deadlines for group buys that should of never been in place until the lawsuit was complete. This gives false hope and even a worst taste and smell to people. The damage has been done for many of years even before the lawsuit. Need to prove himself over by starting from scratch and try to win those people back again.
I'm not sure what you're saying about no communication. I have communicated with anyone who has asked for it. I even added a whole section to the website called Communication Guidelines to help people communicate more effectively, and I even went as far as to post my schedule on the website, which gets updated every week or so.

You said I should not have started a group buy while there is a lawsuit happening. That lawsuit lasted about 4 years. Do you expect me to just pause my business for 4 years? Should I not make efforts to improve and expand the business for those 4 years? Wouldn't neglecting this aspect of my business actually hurt my businesses current sales and also reduce it's future earnings, making it harder to fulfill the orders coming in?

I'm not the type to give up easily. I never have been. If I was, I would have folded this business up long ago, but I'm a fighter, and I'm stubborn, and when I say I'm gonna do something, I do it.
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Old 02-05-2020, 12:57 PM   #10
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I'm not sure what you're saying about no communication. I have communicated with anyone who has asked for it.
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Old 02-05-2020, 08:01 PM   #11
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I'm not sure what you're saying about no communication. I have communicated with anyone who has asked for it. I even added a whole section to the website called Communication Guidelines to help people communicate more effectively, and I even went as far as to post my schedule on the website, which gets updated every week or so.

You said I should not have started a group buy while there is a lawsuit happening. That lawsuit lasted about 4 years. Do you expect me to just pause my business for 4 years? Should I not make efforts to improve and expand the business for those 4 years? Wouldn't neglecting this aspect of my business actually hurt my businesses current sales and also reduce it's future earnings, making it harder to fulfill the orders coming in?

I'm not the type to give up easily. I never have been. If I was, I would have folded this business up long ago, but I'm a fighter, and I'm stubborn, and when I say I'm gonna do something, I do it.
A whole lot of people would say different. What about those that have been waiting for years for parts? What about the few that had to get their cars back by force or had to wait a long time. Granted, I have never done business with you and won't ever, but have read a lot of post and have seen a lot of unhappy, disgruntled, and very ticked of customers by your so called communication, business practices. If you know that you have a lawsuit going that is taking up all of your time, resources, money and everything else, then yes, it is stupid to get into something that YOU KNOW you won't complete in a timely manner and screw your customers. I'm not saying for you to quit, but do go blowing smoke up peoples rear and give excuses, just own up to it and try to recover the long time customers that you lost.
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Old 02-06-2020, 07:13 AM   #12
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Tom Lopatka right? I think I remember selling you a Stage 2 package way back when.
Hey. The car is still running somewhere in Michigan. I sold it in 2011 and it got picked up in 2016 with hardly 5k more miles by some boy racer who collects GAs and found me on FB.

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The headers are a product we've been selling for years, but due to their relatively high cost and the long lead-times, they simply don't sell very much. So the group buy is there to help push the quantities into the next level to lower costs and reduce lead times
The most reduced lead time is having it shipped day of or day after payment.

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Then we have the group buys on the new products, where we are trying to make a product which currently does not exist. We're doing this to set the initial cost of the item as low as possible by getting some pre-orders to help raise our initial batch production numbers, which has a pretty big effect on what the actual price will be of the item. This market is very budget-minded, prices have to be reasonable, or sales will be low.

So it sounds like your argument is asking why does the customer have to chip in on these group buys? Why can't Milzy Motorsports just pay for everything themselves? Well again I'm trying to keep costs down. Quantity dictates price. Every group buy I do, I am investing Milzy Motorsports money into. Some call it a risk, and it technically is, but it's one that I make an educated decision on. I have been running this business since 2002. I graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering in 2004, and have been doing this business ever since. What this means is I chose not to get a mechanical engineering job to continue running my own business. If I was only about making money, I would have just got an ME job, and I'd have a lot more money, but I enjoy what I do, and I like being involved in the entire process of designing, manufacturing, testing, and installing all the products we make, which I couldn't do working for someone else. So anyways, I've been in business now for just about 18 years, my entire adult life. Most businesses fail within the first couple years, not mine. Why is that? I tend to make good decisions and choices for the limited amount I can invest. So when I go into something like a group buy you guys say is "risky", it should actually be piece of mind for the guys involved in that group buy that I am right there with you, matching the investment you're making at the same time. The headers group buy I asked for 10 buyers. I can tell you right now, we're intending to make atleast 25 sets, which means I am buying more than half of the sets in the group buy, and that's if we get the 10 I was looking for.
The mentality here is almost there from a business perspective, but you shouldn't rely on people funding 10/25 header builds. I don't know your financial situation, how much (if) you're leveraging from the bank, your own pockets, or the MM LLC or the structure of all of it, but none of it should be on the consumer. That's precisely where you've gotten yourself in hot water in missing deadlines. If you miss an internal deadline that no one knows about, then your headers just hit the market in March instead of February, and no one is the wiser. Reasons, excuses (I don't care what you call them) don't matter. They're answers to a "why" question that no one is asking or cares to know. No one has sympathy for whatever is going on. The consumer could give a **** about force majeure, a broken leg, employees with coronavirus, or the bad taco you ate last night. The question any consumer asks is "when and how much?" Always under promise and over deliver. You've gotten those two mixed up based on everyone's comments.

Build 20, 30, 40, 100, (whatever) of a product to get to a manufacturing cost that 1) gets the selling price to where your consumer will pay for the goods at full freight and 2) also has appropriate margin you want if there is a group buy with a discount of whatever lowered price you set based on quantity, and 3) you know you'll sell so you're not holding the bag on 5 sets of headers in 2033.


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Originally Posted by MilzyZ34 View Post
The less that Milzy Motorsports has to invest, the cheaper the price will end up being.
Unless you're borrowing from a bank to fund each production and it's cheaper to "borrow" from the consumer, the latter of which shouldn't be done anyway unless you're also providing shares of MM for each group buyer, then this is a flawed statement. Money is money. The cost is the cost regardless of whose money is used. If you're borrowing to fund the builds, then yes, it will cost more in interest. If you're investing your own money then there's opportunity cost for that money to be used elsewhere but I'm not going to try and quantify it.

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I did a group buy on camshafts back in 2004. This group buy got a new product that had never been made before to come to fruition. I ended up buying about 20 camshafts in addition to the ones the customer's ordered. I don't remember exactly when you placed your order Tom, but there is a chance that one of those 20 camshafts ended up in your engine way back when. My point is that a group buy can have lasting effects, benefiting customers long after the initial group buy ends.
Mine was the first. Pre group buy I think.


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As I have stated, the reason we're doing these group buys in the first place is either to improve the sales of an existing product or to bring into production a whole new product.
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The bottom line is that I'm not doing group buys to temporarily bump sales of one item. Instead I am trying to use the group buy to make permanent changes in that products' pricing and manufacturing process, thereby making it it easier to make and cheaper to make, while not sacrificing quality.
Ehh....

Group buys are exactly temporary bumps in sales, so if you make 25 of your headers at Y price, and you have a group buy for 10 at a % off Y you and the group has agreed its a done deal. Now you've gotten 10 units out the door and you have 15 sitting on the rack ready to ship. I'm not all in your mind, but have you considered building and selling for Summit or Jegs or other sites and making them a middle man? Negotiate unit price at different mfg quantities that make sense for all parties and they can worry about the risk of warehousing. I'm not sure how keen they would be given the lack of enthusiasts on this platform.

If you want to change the engineering and manufacturing of a product that's on you to fund, not the consumer. No one in the automotive supplier world takes GM's/Ford's/FCA's money and says "I'll be back with something in 6 months." They 100% take the burden of coming up with new ideas and solutions (some which crash and burn, and that is sunk cost) that they then sell to the buyers. I am that buyer for GM. I negotiate deals like this all the time and any capital investment, R&D, testing, etc that my vendor needed to make to create more efficient manufacturing is on them because ultimately, they also sell to other OEMs (in your case other people/platforms), so why should I be burdened with funding that? That's not equitable for me for Johnny down the line to get one of the other 15 headers that he didn't have to "fund." The market is full of vendors that compete with one another for highest value at the lowest cost, and it's in their best interest to hit price points otherwise the pieces won't sell. I never expect to see new capital manufacturing costs or changes in the unit price. Some R&D, yes, if there is something new hitting the market then it's R&D cost of $X dividing by number of units. If we hit higher mfg than the original units, you bet I'm going to go back and negotiate that additional R&D cost out of the unit price, since the supplier already recouped it. I do expect mfg efficiency improvements, in which case I expect to see manufacturing cost (burden: lights, cycle times, etc) and labor reduced in my final purchased cost. Ultimately vendors need to figure out how to fund/reinvest from profits and margin to continually improve their mfg to stay competitive.

Your passion is there. I don't know more than you about your own business or the more boutique side of things other than it will be 5x more expensive than any high manufactur count OEM part. I don't really know anything more than what is said by you and others on here. But I can relate this to what I do know. The picture that is painted and the business model you are claiming is just something I wouldn't agree with based on what I read. MM should be funding and carrying stock of whatever items.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:39 AM   #13
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A whole lot of people would say different. What about those that have been waiting for years for parts? What about the few that had to get their cars back by force or had to wait a long time. Granted, I have never done business with you and won't ever, but have read a lot of post and have seen a lot of unhappy, disgruntled, and very ticked of customers by your so called communication, business practices. If you know that you have a lawsuit going that is taking up all of your time, resources, money and everything else, then yes, it is stupid to get into something that YOU KNOW you won't complete in a timely manner and screw your customers. I'm not saying for you to quit, but do go blowing smoke up peoples rear and give excuses, just own up to it and try to recover the long time customers that you lost.

Who had to get their car back by force?

I was in the middle of a $50,000 group buy/prototype project at a time when the lawsuit when from a nuisance to a major problem, and guess what, it got completed, as planned, 100% successful. Only difference might be it's for the W-body platform, not the N-body.

Please name the project/group buy that you say failed.
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:02 AM   #14
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Well thanks for bringing that to my attention, but for the record that video is a complete and utter farce.

1) There was no quoted deadline, this is a major project, with many custom over-the-top parts, and they take a while to get done. I never told him a date it would be done. I would go into details about the parts, but I think that would undermine what the guy is trying to do by bending the rules of the SCCA book. I would challenge anyone to provide written proof of any sort of a promised deadline or finish date for this project.

2) He did not pay in full, he still owes about $4k or so.

3) That video was posted October 25, 2019 is what it says. He says, " this is the now legal problem..." Seems like plenty of time for him to sue if that's what he's doing, and yet if you search the Montgomery County of Ohio website for court records that I pointed to earlier in this thread against Milzy Motorsports, guess what, NOTHING is on there about this guy. I have not received any paperwork, legal documents, or any other form of communication about this what so ever. He is blowing smoke and tying to hurt my reputation.

4) I did communicate with him, I just told him as I tell everyone that I do not text. I send out a copied and pasted text to anyone who texts me that says this

"We apologize for the inconvenience, but we do not reply to text messages. Please send an e-mail to mikem@milzymotorsports.com and we'd be more than happy to reply. Please bear in mind I'm sending this text to hundreds of people at the same time, so this influx of e-mails could affect response times. We also advise everyone to read the communication guidelines page posted on the website to achieve the desired communication with the least amount of effort."

5) When I told him my new fabricator is "allergic to the cold". I hope it's obvious to atleast everyone else that this was a joke. To my knowledge this isn't actually a real afflication that people can have. To counteract this problem, I actually built and installed a wood-burning stove in the shop this in December. I can't believe he thought I was serious when I said that.

There are many more incorrect things/lies in the video, but those are the big ones.

You guys should do your own research of the actual facts. I realize looking at a government website is boring, but trust me the story you'll find about the court case this thread started about is quite interesting/enlightening. While you're there you can satisfy your curiosity that this Beretta guy's supposed legal activity doesn't actually exist, and he's the one just blowing smoke.
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:21 AM   #15
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Tom,

I hear what you're saying, and I appreciate you writing out a well-thought-out and intelligent post.

I guess my main response to your post is that you have to keep in mind this is a limited market, and I have a limited amount of money to spend on new projects. I wish I could do them all out of pocket, but I just can't. Right now I am doing a couple really nice ones that I won't even mention until they're done. This is generally the way I like to do things. I was doing the group buy to simply lower the price and lead time. Is that unfair to the customer to ask them to chip in or ante up? I suppose that's up for debate, but keep in mind that the people in these group buys get cheaper pricing, probably even cheaper than what these will sell for after the group buy, and each person in on the group buy has been briefed/agreed to the terms of the group buy including the finish date even if no finish date was specified. I do not want anyone in a group buy who doesn't want to be there, and I don't collect money on any new group buys until we have enough people to satisfy the group buy.

I wish I could fund every project out of pocket, but the cost is so astronomical, because every product has to be purchased 20-100 pieces at a time. When I called Cometic back in 2004, they said they would only make headgaskets if I bought $10,000 of them up front. The radiators I'm working on need to be purchased 50 pieces at a time, and we make 4 different kinds of radiators. I do not have $80,000 to spend on just radiators. If I have to fund all these projects myself, it would mean spreading everything out over years and years, which would not be conducive to satisfying the need for parts now.

Trust me, I'm not a big fan of group buys, at all. They are kind of a big headache, but I'm just trying to cater to a market which is very much concerned about price, and I am trying to think outside the box on how to reduce that price.
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Old 02-08-2020, 01:15 PM   #16
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I guess its a good thing no one can sign up on here and dispute your claims.
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Old 02-09-2020, 09:29 AM   #17
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AaronGTR has made plenty of valid pointsAaronGTR has made plenty of valid points
My brother owns an auto shop. He buys stock and builds his own product and has it on shelves. He doesn't rely on group buys.
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Old 02-10-2020, 08:10 AM   #18
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xxbackhillxx has made plenty of valid pointsxxbackhillxx has made plenty of valid points
Honestly if you have to do these group buys I'd rethink the market segment you serve and move on from it if this is the only way to drum up new parts and buyers. I'd also rethink the financial situation. If after this long, approaching 2 decades, you're unable to take revenue and profits and re-invest into the business on your own something is being mismanaged. You should've expanded to the point now that you're not worrying about forum posts and you have employees managing your online presence. I'd expect a massive warehouse with thousands of parts stocked. Its been a boondoggle since production ended. And like I said it will only get worse and focusing on these dinosaur platforms is short sighted.

I strongly urge you to hop onto the late gen Mustang and Camaro forums. Those folks will throw down thousands for bolt ons and you won't have to worry about nickel and diming everything. Better still, get on the BMW forums and their older platforms are still very lively, and are still being driven, tracked on the weekends in some cases, and modded much more than all pre-2005 GM vehicles combined (including F bodies). You're less likely to end up holding the bag on parts in those segments, and you'll get much more margin. Look at what is being purchased at a high clip and attack that market. Honda Civics, WRXs and other like cars would be a bonanza for you.

Whenever a new model that is likely to be modded comes to market, go get someone nearby who purchased one and start reverse engineering performance parts. The first to market cleans up most of the time. The new Miata is itching for an aftermarket response since it's still relatively new.
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Old 02-10-2020, 10:44 AM   #19
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I guess its a good thing no one can sign up on here and dispute your claims.
A lot of the proof needed to prove my claims is the absence of evidence in his video.
There's a lot of things in that video, but you know what's missing? Proof. Sure he has lots of video snippets from various tv shows and movies, some of it kind of entertaining (I can't look at Charlie Day and not laugh), and yet no actual proof to go along with his accusations. Where is a picture of an e-mail where I say a finish date? It's not in there because it doesn't exist. He said "this is the now legal problem..." The wording suggests that at the time the video was made that immediately proceeding that, he is NOW pursuing legal solutions to his problem. Well it's been several months ... where is the paper-trail? All court operations have a paper-trail, and it is public record.

Here is the link for that ...
http://www.clerk.co.montgomery.oh.us/pro/

just type in "milzy" or "milzy motorsports" and the little security letters, and hit search.

guess what - no record of any court proceedings from this guy. If he ever filed anything, it would be on there. Is that not proof that he lied? I mean that's like the main theme of the video.

I'm not sure what sort of proof you'd like to see here. I have all the e-mails we've sent back and forth, but in order to conclude there is not an e-mail that exists about a finish date, you must know for certain that you've seen every single e-mail, and it's not in there. So if I showed you every single e-mail, I don't know how to prove to you that's all of them. On top of the fact that sharing a customer's e-mail conversations could be seen as invasion of privacy. It seems to me that a more direct way to answer this question is to put the burden of proof to the customer. If I did in-fact state a finish date, show some evidence of that.

Sharing his invoice/quote is also questionable, as to prove it's his, I'll have to tie it to him personally like showing you the e-mail where I attached it to him with a date stamp. Also the contents of the build list are supposed to remain secret from the governing bodies of his racing division, so posting this information publicly could start problems for me sharing info that's not supposed to be shared, and I don't really want to risk him not paying me the rest of the money because I let the cat out of the bag.

Other than that stuff, how should I go about proving that "my fabricator is allergic to the cold" is a joke and not a statement about his actual health?

By the way, you know what's funny to me is that this guy posts this video, and you guys take it as fact, without any proof what-so-ever, and the only demand for evidence comes directed to me after I defend myself against these horrendous allegations.
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Old 02-10-2020, 10:58 AM   #20
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Honestly if you have to do these group buys I'd rethink the market segment you serve and move on from it if this is the only way to drum up new parts and buyers. I'd also rethink the financial situation. If after this long, approaching 2 decades, you're unable to take revenue and profits and re-invest into the business on your own something is being mismanaged. You should've expanded to the point now that you're not worrying about forum posts and you have employees managing your online presence. I'd expect a massive warehouse with thousands of parts stocked. Its been a boondoggle since production ended. And like I said it will only get worse and focusing on these dinosaur platforms is short sighted.

I strongly urge you to hop onto the late gen Mustang and Camaro forums. Those folks will throw down thousands for bolt ons and you won't have to worry about nickel and diming everything. Better still, get on the BMW forums and their older platforms are still very lively, and are still being driven, tracked on the weekends in some cases, and modded much more than all pre-2005 GM vehicles combined (including F bodies). You're less likely to end up holding the bag on parts in those segments, and you'll get much more margin. Look at what is being purchased at a high clip and attack that market. Honda Civics, WRXs and other like cars would be a bonanza for you.

Whenever a new model that is likely to be modded comes to market, go get someone nearby who purchased one and start reverse engineering performance parts. The first to market cleans up most of the time. The new Miata is itching for an aftermarket response since it's still relatively new.
As I stated in the first post of this thread, this recent lawsuit is the main reason for any financial issues. Many tens of thousands of dollars were spent in dealing with this issue over the last 4 years. Money which I would have gladly spent elsewhere if I was free to do so.

I've wanted to expand into other markets for a while now, but have been very limited in what I can choose to invest in. It's like I can justify investing in things that people have purchased, like the 1" chain sets, but investing into a new platform without any new actual money in sight is too risky when I have to be that selective.

I appreciate your candor, and your ideas, and I do intend on offering our services to more platforms of vehicles, hopefully in the near future.
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