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Old 04-09-2021, 17:32   #1
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The great impeller scam.

I now have a box of some 20 macerator pumps that require impellers. The problem is the cost of the impeller is 50-70 percent the cost of a new complete pump. The production cost for an impeller (after the mold is made) Is a fraction of a dollar but as with printer ink its a closed market. I can buy impellers for outboards for a few dollars but Jabsco Johnson etc always use strange sizes so they can sell you a "kit" OEM. Its a shame they couldn't be happy with a few hundred percent profit. Add to this silly shipping costs and what you are left with is a lot of perfectly good DC motors sitting in boxes going rusty. I also have various other pumps in the same condition. The scrap man will come round soon I hope.
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Old 04-09-2021, 18:23   #2
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Re: The great impeller scam.

Well, if this is an area of concern, there are many wastewater system designs that don't involve a macerator pump.


Otherwise, niche product, parts available but expensive and hard to make at home, not enough volume for an aftermarket to materialize, my outrage-o-meter is hitting about a 3.6 on a scale of 1 to 10 on this one, sorry. Nobody's getting rich selling macerator pump impellers.
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Old 04-09-2021, 18:39   #3
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Re: The great impeller scam.

It’s a $150 macerator. My first one lasted 20 years. A sail is $3000. Perspective is useful.
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Old 04-09-2021, 18:42   #4
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Re: The great impeller scam.

Think its more about product support imagine if brake pads for your car were 300 Dollars and you had to fit them yourself. I now use the half price Chinese imported pumps so who loses out in the end ?
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Old 05-09-2021, 06:49   #5
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Re: The great impeller scam.

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Think its more about product support imagine if brake pads for your car were 300 Dollars and you had to fit them yourself. I now use the half price Chinese imported pumps so who loses out in the end ?
Imagine that instead of the over 1 billion cars on the road there were only a few thousand. Then, in fact I would fully expect brake pads to cost $300.

Scale economies in both production and distribution are a very real thing. You're going to be continually disappointed if you keep comparing any boat piece to a similar car piece, that's just the way the world works when there are orders of magnitude more cars. Or maybe not, you can always start the company that blows apart the macerator impeller cartel and makes millions
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Old 05-09-2021, 08:06   #6
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Re: The great impeller scam.

Please post a picture of a good macerator pump impeller.
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Old 05-09-2021, 09:59   #7
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Re: The great impeller scam.

But....If they have to put an impeller in the original unit, why would that one cost so much less than the replacement? If the cost on the original was $2.00 as part of the original build, the replacement should cost around $5.00, as it comes off the same production line.

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Old 05-09-2021, 10:10   #8
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Re: The great impeller scam.

Where are you shopping?

If you look here: https://www.pumpagents.com/JabscoPumps/18590-2094.html

The pump costs $250 and the impeller 10% of that.

Seems ok to me.


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That's my macerator pump. I've replaced the impeller perhaps twice in 12 years, and both times due to my own stupidity attempting to pump out with the discharge sea cock closed. I can't say that I can complain.


Another matter is the dissolving screws. But Jabsco issued an upgrade at reasonable cost to deal with that, which I duly did.
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Old 05-09-2021, 10:36   #9
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Re: The great impeller scam.

What is it made of?


How critical is the material?


Can you pay a kid to make you some with a 3d printer?
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Old 05-09-2021, 11:01   #10
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Re: The great impeller scam.

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But....If they have to put an impeller in the original unit, why would that one cost so much less than the replacement? If the cost on the original was $2.00 as part of the original build, the replacement should cost around $5.00, as it comes off the same production line.

Again, scale economies. It costs money to keep stock for a separate sku, put it on a catalog, ship it, deal with customer service for it... all to make what, $1.50 in profit? If I can make $1.50 in profit off 500,000 brake pads every year, it's worth my while. Making $150 off of 100 orders of macerator impellers per year...well that's a tough way to make a living. Much easier to make $50 off 100 new macerators knowing it's not worth it for anyone to get into the standalone impeller business.

That's life when it comes to boats, and again if you think it's not based on fundamentals then you've got a huge opportunity to destroy the incumbents with your business model. I think actually putting the business model to paper, however, would disabuse anyone of that notion pretty quick.
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Old 05-09-2021, 11:22   #11
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Re: The great impeller scam.

Well, my daughter's Audi RS5 needed new front brakes and it cost $3,500, so not all cars are better than boats. (Audi uses a soft metal for rotors and new brake pads require new rotors and the RS5 has giant rotors)
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Old 05-09-2021, 13:04   #12
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Re: The great impeller scam.

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Well, my daughter's Audi RS5 needed new front brakes and it cost $3,500, so not all cars are better than boats. (Audi uses a soft metal for rotors and new brake pads require new rotors and the RS5 has giant rotors)
If your daughter drives anything like my wife, 0-60 in 8 seconds, 60-0 in 3 seconds, you would need new pads monthly...
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Old 05-09-2021, 13:15   #13
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Re: The great impeller scam.

If your overboard discharge system needs a pump, ditch your macerator type and replace it with a diaphragm type. You won't need to revisit the issue gain. Macerator pumps can't be run dry, diaphragm pumps can. Macerator pumps have metal blades that rust, foul, and break. Diaphragm pumps don't rust or foul, and the rubber diaphragms last upwards of 15 years.
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Old 05-09-2021, 14:18   #14
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Re: The great impeller scam.

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Well, my daughter's Audi RS5 needed new front brakes and it cost $3,500, so not all cars are better than boats. (Audi uses a soft metal for rotors and new brake pads require new rotors and the RS5 has giant rotors)

The cost to replace the standard "surface coated brakes" on a Porsche Cayenne Turbo is $11,095.10. That includes pads, rotors, sensors, anti-rattle clips, bolts and tax. Does not include labor.


The replacement cost of those parts in full carbon ceramic is $32,206.74.
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Old 05-09-2021, 15:54   #15
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Re: The great impeller scam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Utahsailor View Post
Well, my daughter's Audi RS5 needed new front brakes and it cost $3,500, so not all cars are better than boats. (Audi uses a soft metal for rotors and new brake pads require new rotors and the RS5 has giant rotors)


You need to go to a speed shop, works for my Audi
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