In the current challenging economic climate, it is evident that an increasing number of individuals prioritise price above all other factors when making purchasing decisions. This prevalence of price comparison is mainly due to the simplicity of comparing numbers, which often leads consumers to overlook the hidden costs associated with their choices.
Conversely, people often struggle to evaluate and comprehend other aspects associated with the purchasing decision, such as the specifications of the machines being considered, the value and availability of reliable backup support, as well as the availability of spare parts. Consequently, this lack of understanding often results in consumers focusing solely on price comparisons.
There are numerous methods of acquiring machines, such as importing directly from China, purchasing from local storage, or buying from AM.CO.ZA company, or engaging with other local dealers. Let’s examine and contrast all these options before delving into the specifics.
Option 1: Buying from a factory in China
There are two primary methods of buying equipment from Chima:
China Import: This involves contacting dealers affiliated with the factory and purchasing from them directly without using intermediaries.
Local Import: In this approach, factories collaborate with logistic companies to pre-ship and stock goods in local warehouses here in South Africa. This still allows you to purchase from a Chinese company but you collect your items from a local warehouse.
Option 2: Buy from AM.CO.ZA
AM.CO.ZA is a South African company founded in 2013, specialising in CNC machines, printing machines, and various fabrication machines and solutions. The company provides a proper warranty and has a dedicated service team in place. With a spacious 6000sqm facility, it offers storage for machinery and spare parts, a service centre, and a training facility. In addition to its standard deals, AM.CO.ZA recently introduced a new concept called “Voetstoots Sales”, which allows customers to purchase products “as is”, without warranty or service, at a significantly discounted price.
A comparison table:
|Buy from China
To explain in detail, let’s start with the price and consider the hidden costs and risks involved.
In China, purchasing products is often cheaper due to lower production costs and increased economies-of-scale. However, there is a common misunderstanding that buyers are directly dealing with the factories. In reality, they are usually working with export companies that act as intermediaries between the factories and the buyers.
Export is a completely separate industry in China, and these companies typically have English-speaking staff to facilitate communication with international customers. Even if you visit a factory in China, an agent might guide you to an affiliated manufacturer.
First-time buyers, or those who are not well-versed in the process, should be cautious, as there is a risk of being scammed or receiving sub-standard products. To minimise these risks, it is advisable to conduct research on potential suppliers, request product samples, and consider employing a reputable sourcing agent or third-party quality control service to ensure a smooth and successful transaction.
When considering the hidden costs associated with purchasing direct from China, it’s important to be aware that they can often be surprising. Many purchases include shipping, often using terms like CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight), which means your product will arrive in a major city like Durban or Johannesburg, depending on the final destination.
However, it’s not as simple as just going to collect the shipment. You’ll likely need to hire a clearing agency to handle the customs process. Additionally, an agent may already be attached to the shipment and will contact you for further services.
For LCL (Less than Container Load) shipping, where you share a container with other merchants, you may be faced with additional charges such as Unpacking Fee, Documentation Fee, Custom Duty, and VAT. Finally, you will also need to pay for the shipping cost to get your product from the port to your location.
When considering local imports, it’s important to understand that while the term “local” might imply something different, in this context, it refers to products from China that have already been shipped to South Africa and are ready for purchase.
In China, export companies focus on shipping products to various destinations, including South Africa. To save on shipping costs, they often use FCL (Full Container Load) instead of LCL (Less than Container Load) shipping. By working with logistics companies, the machines are stored in South Africa, waiting for buyers.
Buying local imports can be less risky because you have the opportunity to inspect the machines before making a payment. Additionally, the machines are generally of higher quality due to this inspection process. If you decide to buy a local import, ensure that you pay into a local bank account rather than a Chinese company directly. This way, if any unfortunate events occur after the payment, you may have some level of protection under South African law and could potentially recover your money.
However, in both cases, there is one important thing to consider, these machines often come without any installation assistance, there is no or limited warranty, and there is usually no, or limited, technical support offered.
On the other hand, purchasing from AM.CO.ZA comes with no risk, the prices are clear from the outset, all costs are explicitly included and, in addition to this, you can save significantly by opting for its Voetstoots deals.
So, what is Voetstoots?
Voetstoots is a uniquely South African term that comes from Afrikaans, and simply means “as is.” In the context of Voetstoots sales from AM.CO.ZA, it means that you are purchasing the machines “as is,” without any warranty or expectations of service. This is for those clients wo feel confident enough in their capabilities to be able to do away with these extra offerings. This sales strategy from AM.CO.ZA is a direct response to the competition from China imports and Local imports, offering an alternative option for buyers seeking to save money without the added risks associated with those other options.
Since the warranty and services are no longer included in the sales package, which typically account for a substantial part of the machinery cost, AM.CO.ZA will offer a considerable discount on its Voetstoots deals.
Let’s look at warranties and services.
A warranty is not just a simple promise; it’s a legally binding agreement. As you can imagine, enforcing a warranty from either a China Import or Local Import can be impractical. In contrast, AM.CO.ZA provides its clients with warranties on various machines and their subsystems. By giving up the warranty, essentially making it a “Voetstoots” deal, you will notice that the price from AM.CO.ZA is competitive with China or Local imports, and in some cases even lower, as most of its machines also come from China. The cost difference is mainly due to local responsibility, like the warranty. By eliminating this factor, there’s no reason to choose China or Local Import over AM.CO.ZA .
In the area of service, let’s delve into the differences between China Import, Local Import, and Voetstoots deals. When it comes to imported machines, you may be wondering what kind of service you’ll receive.
It’s highly unlikely that the factory will send a technician to your doorstep to help with installation of the machine. However, you might find some comfort in the fact that someone could guide you through the process via WhatsApp. And let’s not forget the unsung heroes of the machine world – freelance technicians who can set up your machine and provide you with the necessary training.
Now, since you’ll be paying for these freelance technicians, it’s only fair to consider them as an option for any machine, regardless of its origin. So, let’s put them aside for a moment and focus on the core differences between China Import, Local Import, and AM.CO.ZA Voetstoots deals.
In the area of Voetstoots deals, the principle of a discounted price comes without the safety net of a warranty or service. To be more specific, the cost of service is what makes this option more budget-friendly. Since AM.CO.ZA began its business in 2013, a range of resources has been made available to assist customers, free-of-charge. Allow me to provide you with a few examples:
YouTube Channel: Achievement Matters – A veritable library of nearly 1000 videos showcasing the inner workings of machines, their benefits to your business, and interviews and case studies.
YouTube Channel: CNC Tools – A collection of specialised problem-solving videos from the front lines of technicians at work.
CNCU.CO.ZA – A vast digital repository of all software, drivers, manuals, and tools for all machines and equipment from AM.CO.ZA. Boasting over 200GB of data, this resource is freely downloadable without any registration or restrictions.
SoftwareTraining.co.za – A video collection of software usage, step-by-step guides, and tips and tricks, covering almost all software used by AM.CO.ZA. This includes customer short-cuts designed to improve productivity. This is the very software you’ll find yourself using.
SortIT.CO.ZA – A collection of videos for machine installation, maintenance, and problem-solving.
In conclusion, the services you will receive from imported machines mainly involve remote assistance, but don’t discount the local freelance technicians who can lend a hand in setting up and training. And for Voetstoots deals, do not worry about the lack of warranty or service. With the range of resources at your fingertips, you’ll be well-equipped to achieve the required levels of productivity.
For imports, you may receive remote assistance from someone in a different time zone who might not speak your language, but only for a limited time. On the other hand, our Voetstoots deals offer time-tested resources and reliable training materials, as well as a dependable source for spare parts. And in both scenarios, local freelance technicians can step in to help with setup and training, for an extra fee.
And last, let’s discuss why software matters so much.
When you purchase a machine, you might assume you’ll be using it most of the time, but in reality, the creative process is more time-consuming. A top-notch software option not only streamlines the machine production process but also cuts down on training time and unlocks a plethora of machine functions. In essence, it’s the key to a headache-free experience.
The software you’ll receive from China Import or Local Import machines is often pirated, but let’s face it, no one really cares. The real issue lies in its user-unfriendliness. You’ll likely be limited to the functions taught by the trainer, unable to explore, experiment, or tweak settings without causing chaos and being unable to restore order. In this scenario, the machine and software reign supreme, leaving you to serve them dutifully and cautiously.
In contrast, the software options from AM.CO.ZA are meticulously designed and developed in Europe and the USA, boasting intuitive interfaces and ease-of-use. These software choices are regularly updated, and comprehensive training videos can be found on the SoftwareTraining.co.za website, ensuring a smooth, enjoyable and productive experience.
You might wonder why you can’t just use AM.CO.ZA software with your imported machine. Sometimes it works, but more often, it doesn’t. Industry software relies on the interface between the software and hardware, commonly referred to as firmware or drivers. Without the proper drivers to bridge the gap, you’ll be unable to produce a workable file for the machine or control it directly. The drivers supplied with AM.CO.ZA software are specifically designed for the machines they work with.
If you need user-friendly software with readily available tutorials, frequent updates, and a community of local users who have achieved business success using the software, you should consider purchasing your machines and software from AM.CO.ZA.
Often when someone decides to import a machine directly from China, or purchase from a pre-imported source, the deciding factor is simple – price. Or more specifically, a cheap price. No matter if you are a first-time buyer who has no idea of the importance of warranty and services, or a repeat buyer, who already fully understands the machines and, as a result the warranty and services are less important, you focus on one thing: the lowest price.
With the advent of Voetstoots deals from AM.CO.ZA, you now have a superior alternative to acquire a machine that has a solid market presence, accompanied by a wealth of support materials and readily available spare parts, all at a competitive price, thanks to the exclusion of warranty and service obligations. However, if you want the warranty and the service and technical support, it is still available, but at the standard price.
Is this the start of a price war?
Not at all. Firstly, AM.CO.ZA has already distinguished itself as the most competitively priced machine supplier among South African-based machinery companies. Thus, there is no need for it to engage in a self-defeating price war. Secondly, the removal of warranty and service obligations serves as a cost-saving measure, which still provides a fair price for to the machine itself.
You may be asking yourself what the purpose of the Voetstoots deals is. Simply put, it is to save the client money at the end of the day, for those clients where price is more important. At the same time it increases our market share. In addition, it provides a valuable source of clients for the freelance service technicians. This truly becomes a win-win situation for everyone.
The China Imports and Local Imports, by the numbers, are not significant enough to pose a major threat to AM.CO.ZA‘s business. Also, regardless of how low AM.CO.ZA positions its prices, some clients will continue to buy directly from China. This loss of market share in Southern Africa has little impact on Chinese factories. The real impact is on other South African-based businesses competing with AM.CO.ZA .
Given these circumstances, there must be a deeper motivation behind the introduction of Voetstoots deals.
Knowledge is power, and education illuminates the path to a brighter future. In this the 10th year of AM.CO.ZA’s machinery business, a new venture of education is starting, named Ambitious Academy.
Ambitious Academy has a straightforward goal: to nurture more students into the machinery industry, whether they begin with cutting-edge machines and methods or join the Industry 4.0 revolution. By allowing more educated young people to join the job market, we are laying the foundation for a prosperous future. Freelancing is an ideal starting point for a career in either direction – production or technical, as it is both accessible and highly motivating. Consequently, Voetstoots deals are not just a sales strategy, but also a means of creating job opportunities for our future graduates.
Inclosing, take Voetstoots deals not China Imports and Local Imports, there should be no doubt.
AM.CO.ZA is a conglomerate consisting of companies that specialise in Computer Numerical Control (CNC) and printing machines. The group is spearheaded by Advanced Machinery (Pty) Ltd., which was established in 2013 and boasts a sprawling 6000 sqm headquarters situated in Sunnyrock, a suburb of Germiston, in close proximity to the neighbouring areas of Bedfordview and Edenvale.