Update: Backordered Minelab GPX-4500's


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Hello All,

I know I have a huge backorder list like many other dealers have at this time for the Minelab GPX-4500's. I just had a couple arrive today, but I want to give you an update on what is going on. I just got off the phone with Minelab USA in Las Vegas. At time time, Minelab has over 1,000 GPX-4500's on backorder! :blink: Minelab USA, Inc has over 400 units now on backorder, while Minelab Australia has almost twice that amount.

Minelab is sending out the GPX-4500's in batches, so you might not get all your backorder in one shot. They are breaking them up, so all dealers that have them on backorder are getting 1-2 each arrival.

Many dealers are getting customers to pre-pay. At this time I'm not asking customers to pre-pay, but if you want a 100% guarantee you're going to get one with the best bundle package anyone can offer, I will ask for you to pre-pay. I can't wait around for days waiting to hear back from customers. I will call, but if I don't hear back I have to move on to the next customer on the backorder list. Just way too many people trying to get a hold of these units right now.

Minelab USA has elliminated over 100 dealers here in the US. Letters have been sent out to the unfortunate dealers that didn't meet the minimum order requirement.

If you have any questions, please give us a call, or you can shoot us over an email at - auplacers@yahoo.com

P.S. Minelab did mention "Rob's Detector Sales" and "AZO" are TOP 10 US Dealers! ;) Congrats Cuz!

Thanks,

Rob Allison

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This is disturbing to me. Minelab yanking the dealerships from folks who do less then 10 grand a year in sales. Now there are 100 plus X dealers who have no reason to recommend a

Minelab product. 100 plus X dealers who no longer will train or support Minelab owners.

But thats not all Minelab is moving from Ireland to Malaysia. Could that be part of the backorder problem?

The bean counters have taken over!

nvchris

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Hey Guys,

Montana - It's hard to believe Minelab projected a small market this year. However, it makes pefect sense with the bad ecomony, but then again the price of gold per ounce is very high! Most of those dealers that got eliminated were only selling 1-2 detectors the entire year and most of them didn't train, advertise or give any type of service that would warranty Minelab to keep them on board.

NV Chris - Minelab gave many of these dealers opportunities to order more units, but most of them didn't. Eliminating 100 dealers that didn't do $10,000 in sales with 100 new dealers that will do $10,000 + in sales makes perfect business sense. Geographically Minelab can only have so many dealers in an area, so they couldn't keep all the original dealers that were not selling and add another 100 onboard.

I can tell you personally I know of two guys that couldn't get Minelab Dealerships (outside of Arizona) because there was another dealer in the area. These guys are very knowledgeable and might get a chance to prove to Minelab their experience and field services will make then good additions to the Minelab Team.

Wyndham - You might be right, but I think there is more involved than just price. I personally think there is a big ... big difference between the White's TDI and GPX-4500. One major reason there are over 1,000 GPX-4500 on backorder currently. I honestly can't keep the GPX-4500's in stock, the minute they arrive they are shipped out to customers that have been waiting. None of these customers even question the $4,500 price. I've even had a few customers that are still waiting offer more money than the selling price to get one before another customer.

Minelab is just so much further along than any of the US manufactures. It's a shame, I would love to put my money into an American PI, but nothing in my opinion even come close.

Take care,

Rob Allison

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Just curious, why do you think it is that no other manufacturer has stepped up to compete with minelab? Is it a patent issue? I'm no engineer but I would think it wouldn't be that hard for a prominent detector company like White's to bring a product like the TDI up to par, or at least close, to what minelab offers. Is there an older minelab model that is comparable to TDI performance?

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Rob. I do agree with Minelab USA cutting out some of the dealerships. Many of those guys only got the dealerships so them and a couple of freinds could get a new detector at dealer price. Many had no intention of really being dealers. It just seemed funny that Minelab cut them for not selling enough detectors and Minelab can't keep the remaining dealers supplied . I'm loving my 4500 now that the bugs are worked out. It sounds like the later ones are pretty much trouble free. Maybe the Malaysians will do a better job of quality control? I braved the heat and scratched these little ones out of the scorching ground today.---Bob

post-100-1247880289_thumb.jpg

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Hey Montana,

I just received my GPX-4500 control box back from Minelab USA. Bill stated they done the upgrade along with replacing a few other components. Playing around here at the house with it and it seems much more stable than before.

Congrats on your new nuggets!

Rob Allison

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Very true Bob,

Two years ago a local "dealer" asked me if I wanted a new detector at dealer cost. And if I could show him how to use them.

Rob,

I guess what gets me is the Mom and Pop multi line dealers that have been promoting Minelab products since their introduction that are getting tossed under the

bus. Dozens of them in fly over country where coin and relic hunting dominates and the Minelab line is the $ high end.

I was told by Minelab (last year) that any new dealers will be required to have a "brick and mortar" store front, carry and demo the full line of detectors.

How Minelab promotes the conflicting concept of territories and internet sales only the future will tell.

nvchris

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The patent issue is probably the main one. In my opinion the US patent office has a lot to answer for because some of the ML patent claims and patents themselves should never have been granted as they are prior art. ML has a very aggressive patent policy that is designed not only to protect their existing technology but technology and ideas that yet do not have or yet can't implement! Some of these patents in my opinion are purely to squash competition and if ML was able too they would patent metal detecting and metal detectors!

All of this is a major disincentive to others trying to develop a competitive product particularly to small players because you have to spend so much time reviewing ML patents to see if what you are doing could be subject to challenge or continually ask others skilled in the art to give their opinions on a particular ML patent or claims. These opinions often differ because ML patents are often written in a way that is subject to wide interpretation. However there are ways around this,one being open source which is the way we are going to go with our detector if it ever goes commercial.

For further details see: Bugwhiskers post:Jul 13 2009, 08:18 PM

http://goldprospecting.invisionplus.net/?m...;showtopic=3986

all the best,

doug

DAMN,

That's a lot of detectors, and a bigger sum of money. I suppose it shows just how popular they are. Just imagine if someone had an alternative like a qed.

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Doug. There is a simple way around patents. Base your company in a country like Pakistan who regularly thumb their noses at patents and sell counterfeit everything on the world market. They seem to be immune to any and all patent laws. For this reason , patents need not be an issue if one were to produce an exact duplicate of a 4500. I'm sure you have freinds who are smart enough to figure out what parts are needed.----Bob

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It's interesting because there's a lot of demand right now for the two top end ML detectors around the world.

The current lack of available GPX-4500 & SD2200V2 detectors appears to be due to a new gold strike in Africa/Somalia. Many nationals from the region have been scouring Europe, the US and Australia to snap up every detector available (from the two models above). I have no idea if they're selling them onto their fellow countrymen at inflated prices or if they are being deployed directly into the gold bearing regions. But even smaller outlets and stores are being approached (in person) on a weekly basis for this purpose. Ask around... many seem to have a similar story to tell. It seems to have caught everyone off guard since it's a unique situation.

If Whites want to produce something new that can potentially compete, they may have to approach the technology from a different angle to avoid Patent related complications... something I hear they may have run foul on in the past on more than one occasion. Most existing Patents are based on earlier works. I'm sure that Fisher may have a lot of the earlier Patents relating to detecting because they were operating in the 1800s. Anything that is significantly more advanced or shows an improved way of performance can be Patented. Sometimes new Patents are based on earlier works (derivatives) and sometimes they are entirely new works altogether. A good example is Canon Cameras which owned the Patent to their Optical Image Stabilizer lenses (lens based). In order for other manufacturers to compete, they were forced to team up and Patent their own "Anti-Shake" systems which were chip-based and used a vibrating internal frame rather than a lens-based stabilizer.

Companies based overseas (eg China) may not sell their products in other countries like Australia if Patents apply or if the items are unlawful duplicates or "bootleg fakes".

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It apears to me ML is implementing a smoke and mirrors marketing strategy. Demand is down world wide do to the economy. Used products are at bargain prices and continue to slip. Minelab is desperate and feels the need to artificially restrict supply of the top line detectors in order to make the appearance that these detectors are actually worth the exorbonate prices they are asking. My guess is they are trying to sellout and want there huge inventory to appear as if it is worth something, maybe they are even looking for a loan and cooking the books in this way will help. Trouble is money is tight right now and there aren't many suckers out left out there, let alone lenders that are easily dooped. Buyers and lenders beware. :unsure:

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Or the Hot Spot in Africa has a direct conduit from ML @ a better $$$. No facts, just a guess. Just remember the 49er gold rush with shovels, etc. Gold can bring out interesting things in us mere mortals.

Reply to my super TDI idea, would be to find a patent that looks like an interesting path and buy it(non ML), integrate it into a super TDI and get a sweet market spot, but this is all sideline logic and make swiss cheese look solid. :blink:

Wyndham

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Hey Guys,

I'm going to tell you what I know from the dealer’s eyes. Normally at this time of the year (summer), sales slowdown big time. However, this year has been very different. I'm getting tons of calls and emails from customers in Mexico, Africa, Dubai and several other smaller countries. I've never gotten this many International inquiries since I have been a Minelab dealer.

I also had a customer call from Australia that seen the recent forum post. He said there is also a huge demand for high end Minelab's cause many Aussie's this year got a huge Stimulus check, much bigger than they have ever received before. This customer mentioned up to $6,000 Australian dollars. I'm not sure how true this is, but this is the second person that told me this within the last couple of weeks.

NV Chris - Yes, all new dealers will have to have a storefront location. This will eliminate all the smaller dealers that are trying to operate out of their homes. Dealers such as myself are Grandfathered in due the years as a dealer and amount of sales we done annually.

Talk with you later,

Rob Allison

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I've never gotten this many International inquiries since I have been a Minelab dealer.

That's exactly what I've observed here in Australia. It's certainly out of the ordinary. A friend of mine was after a GPX and (as an alternative) an SD2200v2 ...and he's called every store around the country without finding a single unit for sale. He's probably going to have to settle for a second hand unit until things return to normal. He said he didn't want to go on the back-order lists because they were already so long that he felt he wouldn't be able to get a detector in time for his next trip.

I also had a customer call from Australia that seen the recent forum post. He said there is also a huge demand for high end Minelab's cause many Aussie's this year got a huge Stimulus check, much bigger than they have ever received before. This customer mentioned up to $6,000 Australian dollars. I'm not sure how true this is, but this is the second person that told me this within the last couple of weeks.

I'll confirm that rumor. Any of us who did our tax returns for the previous year received a stimulus payment (designed to stimulate the economy through spending). The payment is $900 per citizen and many have spent their payments on metal detectors. Some upgraded and other purchased new units with their payment ...which was nicknamed "RuddBux" (our Prime Minister is Kevin Rudd). I don't know of higher payments but perhaps they exist through some other form of rebate.

NV Chris - Yes, all new dealers will have to have a storefront location. This will eliminate all the smaller dealers that are trying to operate out of their homes.
Interesting. Any other online dealers present on the forum? I wonder what the purpose of this decision is?
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Wyndum and Dutchman. There does seem to be something fishy going on. If the rumors of new gold areas in Dubai, China, and Somalia are true, Any PI or even VLF would work fine until these patches get really pounded. We all know that any decent gold detector will find plenty of gold on a virgin patch. You don't need the latest and greatest to find gold on new patches so the demand for used detectors should also be going through the roof but it doesn't seem to be happening. It seems a poor Somalian would be thrilled to have a beat up old gold bug since one nugget could equal the average yearly income there. TDI's and Infiniums should also be in great demand. These fellows in those countries have to be aware they don't need the best to find lots of gold in these new locations. I would say the shortage of new Minelabs might be more due to poor planning and manufacturing plans than overall demand.----Bob

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Wyndum and Dutchman. There does seem to be something fishy going on. If the rumors of new gold areas in Dubai, China, and Somalia are true, Any PI or even VLF would work fine until these patches get really pounded. ..... I would say the shortage of new Minelabs might be more due to poor planning and manufacturing plans than overall demand.----Bob

No, I've seen some of these people myself. It's hard to say if there's something shady going on over there but the demand for just the top two high-end detectors from these people is astounding. I don't know anything about the soil types there but you should know that many of these parts of the world go through "fads" where they become highly charged over something just like this. And they'll go to any lengths to feed this fad as long as it lasts. There's certainly nothing untoward going on..the phenomenon is real and not manufactured. And the same people are hitting all the suppliers around the world - usually in person. As for VLF's, the people I've seen appear to be very much aware of which detectors are the cream-of-the-crop. And they all want "maximum depth" so VLFs are out. But they don't want second hand detectors and they only want the latest. It's amazing stuff to watch. They're really keen to get more too! If the market availability dictated price, I'm sure a few people would profit nicely on this if they could bump up prices. Fortunately, that doesn't happen here. Last time there was a shortage (Mongolia goldfield related), I heard people say that it was a single component that held things up. I've had a few friends tell me they were offered really serious money to go to Mongolia to find gold for the local companies. They passed on the offers because of the danger involved with the remote location.

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Montana

I am with you on this one. It doesn't seem to make sense in todays economy, especially with no real appreciatable demand alternative recovery equipment and on the used detectors. If it was true that there is a modern day gold rush, then prices on all gold recovery supplies would be going up. What about dredges and other recovery systems. Demand for the top of the line only $5,000.00 metal detector, sorta fles in the face of common sense.

I do know that a large part of any manufactures balance sheet (Asset side) is inventory. You can put a value on inventory and credit the asset side of your balance sheet. If the inventory number is good enough, it can have a substantial effect on your debt to equity ratio. Your debt to equity ratio is the first number looked at by buyers and lenders in order to justify value of the company as a whole. Just some accounting 101 basics. Taking a hit on a large inventory value could spell big trouble and insolvency for some manufactures in todays economy. Some loans and debt may even be called in if your debt/equity ratio is under a certain amount. Not a very desirable prospect for a cash starved company. But at some point you have to take the hit and drift back to reality. :huh:

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Gold in Dubai! :lol: Dubai is a sand dune on the beach with over priced hotels and a corrupt goverment.. If theirs much gold there its in the local banks. if its in the beach sand its fine and far out of the reach of a detector. Actually guys according to a reliable source the hold on the Minelabs is a matter of quailty control. nothing more,their having to replace a single switch. AzNuggetBob

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Az nuggetbob. I would bet you are right. Sounds much more believable than the other explainations. I have no doubts that there is a big demand for the 4500s , but it's hard to believe that it's far out stripping supply. If there were fantastic new patches showing up all over the world, any decent gold machine would be in demand. If these guys are smart enough to read that the GPXs are great detectors, they have also read that a 2200 or a 3500, or an extreme aren't far behind in the gold finding department and would serve their purposes just fine. Rather than wait for weeks or months for an available 4500, they would be much farther ahead to get a used detector and be out there swinging. They wouldn't be sitting on the sidelines watching their neighbors fill their pockets with gold while they are waiting for their turn on the waiting list. I fully agree that the real problem is a production or quality control issue, and they (Minelab) have taken a potentially bad situation and turned it around to make it look like everyone on earth has just got to have a 4500. Clever, but deceptive. It sounds like they took some tricks out of the Oil companies bag . Create a percieved shortage of supply to justify high prices and increased demand. If you think you can't get something , you want it even more.----Bob

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