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Pedals and Personal Ethics

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Snakeman1066, Sep 15, 2008.


  1. Well I got tired of a bunch of 9 volt power supplies and 9 volt batteries (too much to keep up with) and bought a Visual Sound 1 Spot to power my board. When i received the package today inside was a note from the company telling me thank you for purchasing their product (not unusual) but what caight my attention as i read further was the statemant saying a portion of my purchase would go to www.EngageHIVAIDS.com to help fight HIV/AIDS in Africa...

    so here is my question...would this persuade you to buy other products from them based on their charitable contributions?

    all i have ever tried was their Jeckyl and Hyde pedal (which i didn't much care for) as well as their H2O Liquid Blue Chorus (which I did like but, but ultimately found something better,... cheaper)

    so would you buy a product based on this? or would it be just an added bonus if you were already looking at purchasing their product?
     
  2. Smurf-o-Deth

    Smurf-o-Deth ¡No me gustan mis pantalones!

    Oct 2, 2007
    The state of denial.
    Unless those warm fuzzy feelings have killer tone, charitable contributions wouldn't even register a blip in my gear purchases. Good for them, though.
     
  3. DanielleMuscato

    DanielleMuscato

    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    I dislike it when products I want to buy say that they donate to this-or-that charity. For-profit companies have a financial incentive to donate money... and frankly, I have the same incentive (tax deductions).

    If I want to donate money, I'd rather donate it to where I want it to go, and decide how much to donate.

    I think of this along the same lines as paying taxes. It's a built-in, artificial rise in the free market price of a good, which has a negative effect on price equilibrium (and creates deadweight loss).

    Why would I choose to pay more for a product so that the seller can decide for me how to donate the difference, when I could just pay market price instead, and donate the difference, if I choose to, and to whomever I want?

    If a company advertises that they donate x amount to charity, it makes me *not* want to buy it.
     
  4. DanGouge

    DanGouge

    May 25, 2000
    Canada!
    And yet you must clearly be in the minority or no marketing department would ever trumpet such donations. This is the operation of the very same free market you alluded to before. Most companies are doing this because they believe it will make them a net profit (between the tax-deductions and the public goodwill).
     
  5. mikeboth

    mikeboth The last thing you'll ever see

    Jun 14, 2002
    Tallinn, Estonia
    Operator: prophecysound systems
    Nothing wrong with being a minority if the majority aren't clued-in (or don't care) about what is going on.

    I can't imagine any company raising their prices to incorporate a donation portion though. For all we know, 5c from the sale of a $200 product could be 'donated'. If the 'donation' isn't being used for marketing purposes (duh!), they could just do it and not tell anyone.
     
  6. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    In the natural-foods world it is common for products to trumpet charitable contributions. That customer base is especially attracted by that sort of thing, and it is a proven part of that marketing culture. Obviously effects are not natural foods, and we have every sort of cultural "leanings" here, so it's less directly relevant. But for those who are of the green/bleeding heart persuasion, it will be a pull. Zvex has advertised for years that his circuitboards are printed without toxic chemicals.
     
  7. DanielleMuscato

    DanielleMuscato

    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    Now, it's totally different if the product itself reflects a moral or ethical value - Free Trade, organic, non-toxic, no CFCs, etc. That's great and I encourage that.

    I think this thread is more talking about companies that simply donate a portion of sales proceeds to "x" charity, without changing the product, just as a way to get a corporate income tax deduction.
     
  8. mikeboth

    mikeboth The last thing you'll ever see

    Jun 14, 2002
    Tallinn, Estonia
    Operator: prophecysound systems
    Has he? Printed circuit board aren't actually 'printed', but I'm sure you know that. I thought he had 'PCBs' that were 'etched' via a CNC machine at one stage (i.e. the unwanted copper was machined away), but I can't see how it's possible to etch PCBs *without* using toxic chemicals / acid.
     
  9. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
    I have never felt the urge to purchase a Visual Sound pedal, but I will give them a look in the future because of this. So yes, I approve of things such as this.

    Unless the pedal contains high fuctose corn syrup, in which case I don't care if they donate directly to my bank account as I won't allow that **** in my house.
     
  10. DanielleMuscato

    DanielleMuscato

    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    I don't care about HFCS as much as hydrogenated oils, personally... to each his own :)
     
  11. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
    Hydrogenated oils are easy enough to avoid for me, HFCS seems to permeate everything at some point or another, including many "natural" products since the FDA gave their stamp of approval for such things just recently.

    Anywho, this discussion could easily get me banned so I'll stop. ;)
     
  12. Because you don't etch them at all!

    A world-class PCB manufacturing company not far from me uses a high vacuum deposition process, whereby the boards start as blank fibreglass and the copper is extremely accurately "deposited" onto the surface. They claim this process is enviro-friendly.


    My take on the issue at hand is to question the companies motives. Donations are often tax deductible which can make it an attractive, legal way to reduce tax liability while at the same time making your company look socially responsible - which is fine... BUT to do so by, in a sense, capitalising on the suffering of others is questionable. However, the customer will NEVER be able to determine whether that cart comes before the horse or not.

    The cynic in me also questions whether they actually cut into their profit margins to donate, or whether the margin stays the same and the retail price goes up!
     
  13. mikeboth

    mikeboth The last thing you'll ever see

    Jun 14, 2002
    Tallinn, Estonia
    Operator: prophecysound systems
    But I want to etch. :D

    And I'd be guessing that fancy-pants vacuum deposition process is more expensive than etching ...? :ninja:
     
  14. Hard to say. That company does charge a bit of a premium, but the results are spectacularly sexlishious. (hmmm... off to urban dictionary!)

    A friend of mine built a high spec mic preamp for testing/calibration purposes and instead of "tinning" the board he had the connections gold plated!!!!
     
  15. I recently bought a 1spot, and was happy to find out that the company gives a portion of income to an HIV charity. Of course, I know that they get some sort of deduction for charitable giving, and get some marketing spin from it, but couldn't it also be that they are doing something constructive in the world which they believe in via the means that they have to do so? It will make me more inclined to buy their stuff in the future if they have something I need/want.

    And of course those free market principles have been serving us well lately, haven't they, with the banks and all :rolleyes:

    Not that I'm promoting any particular alternative. Just saying...

    There are people who want to do good from their businesses. I say go for it!
    Steve
     
  16. hear-hear
     
  17. I think the real message is, ethically, that if we all buy dedcated power supplies we won't contribute more dead batteries to landfills.
     
  18. stflbn

    stflbn

    May 10, 2007
    Nashville
    agreed, however I also feel that many times people look for places to be irritated or offended anymore.

    You wanted the product... you got the product... at least they were open enough to let you know they were donating money to some charity 'they' believe in as a company.
     
  19. kevteop

    kevteop

    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    I (and my company) already donate to various charities, I'm not really bothered about my purchases creating some tiny charitable donation.

    I do try to buy from companies with good ethical standards though, and I avoid buying from companies who give donations to political parties I dislike.
     

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