You Have Entered The Chamber of Horror (Stories)
Read at your own Risk
So, a majority of the detector sales are mail order for a number of reasons. The issue is, the new folks trying out our hobby for the first time get the WRONG Detector and even if they luck out and I am in agreement with their selection based on their needs, they don't know the first thing about it when they show up at my door. It's like buying a Piano via Amazon.... your going to need lessons and the way to enlightenment or understanding about how to best set up the tuning of your detector and understanding the lessons is best done Face to Face with a competent Tesoro Gold Star Dealer like Larry at Big Valley or myself at Trans Bay.
Unfortuntely, most folks that don't deal directly in a Face to Face environment or mail order without any phone or email support are doomed to failure. Unfortunately, the detector they got a good deal on, ends up being sold on Craig's List, the FREE Trading Post... in what condition; a Risky Venture. In some cases the detector had the equivalent of 100K miles on it with a bad board brought on by corrosiion, failed compoents or even unintentional abuse. We recently came across a White's XLT in good condition. Upon checking the warranty, Service Dept told us there were SIX DIFFERENT Folks that attempted to Register it!!! That's SIX Lost Sales to White's Electronics.
This Amazon Mentality with Metal Detectors fuels a Growing Secondary Market where detectors are sold at a fraction of their original price, usually at least 50% off but without ANY Help, so the dis-gruntled newest owner quickly dumps it again on Craig's List and each time it sells to the new owner, the Dealer and Manufacturer are hurt. In 2013 most all the Brands Suffered. White's Electronics, a Major Player lost over 500 Dealers due to a lack of walk in business. Now White's Electronics has taken over at least one Distributor Ship and Selling Direct to the Public. When this happens, the Manufacturer is hurting their exposure and unwittingly encouraging a growing secondary market of unwanted metal detectors.
Minelab Excalibur "misdetection"
Customer called wanting a Minelab Excalibur for Gold Prospecting. Larry advised him that the Minelab Excalibur was designed for lake hunting regular gold jewelry and coins, but not well suited for gold nuggets. That customer did not heed Larry's experience and expertise. One month later, Larry spotted a used Excalibur for sale on Craigslist from the customer who had not listened to him, which resulted in the guy owning the wrong metal detector for what he wanted to do.
Mail order detectors can be very expensive; The Power of Two (your local experts, Larry and Greg) are here to help you save money and time.
A cold November Friday.
Another customer was on his fourth choice of metal detectors, having order three via Amazon. All of them had good reviews, but when he got them, he was disappointed in various areas from performance to feel. So he decides to call for some expert advice, and after some discussion he was told: "Look, you HAVE to come into meet me and look at the various model recommendations. You need to feel them; note the balance in your own hands. Turn them on and see how they react to the various metals and targets, get an idea of how well they respond and react under various scenarios."
Well, he called back, made an appointment and after talking to a local expert (yes the Power of Two, Greg and Larry), he picked a model that has been very well received by our customers. He was also given proper training, which included things that may be just very typical of our own area, so that he could get the most out of his detector. Needless to say, this customer left beaming with confidence and satisfaction.
Hispanic gentleman paid a visit to Trans Bay. His cousin who lived in Mexico was finding gold nuggets with his metal detector (brand unknown). After 20 minutes of consultation it was clear that White's MXT PRO would be the best detector for this guy.
Here comes the "Moment of Truth"...
The potential customer BALKS and then comes clean. "I have called Kellyco in Florida and they said the best detector for me was one for over $1000.00 but was on sale for $325.00.... so they sold me the Viper!!! It's enroute." The only thing that could be said to this was:
"THEY GOT YOU!!!! How much was the final pkg cost?"
"$389.00", he sheepishly replied.
Answer to that:
"That detector just doesn't hunt in the mineral out west. They promote it because they make so much money since it costs them about $50.00 per unit from China. It is a preset monstrosity and its performance is terrible. But you'll find out the hard way."
The moral of this story: a sucker is born every minute.
But really, this is another crime.... sold to the customer without his best interest in mind, the only criterion was the potential profit from selling a customer such a machine. They make much more profit on this Chinese garbage than we can make on the truly professional units from White's, Minelab and Tesoro.
But another problem is why would this man take up valuable time with a professional after already ordering elsewhere, when he had no interest in buying the best detector for his needs. Using up a professional dealer's time after you've ordered from a mail order company is two-faced. Hopefully, he can send this unit back without suffering too much of the typical repacking and shipping costs and get the unit he needs from us, so that he can also have proper instruction in its use.
Caller: "My girlfriend ordered this MPX from that Kellyco in Florida. I'm not impressed with this detector. Quality is cheap and I tested it with a Silver Morgan Dollar which shows up like a pull tab on the screen. But what is even worse is that a 6 grain nugget shows up like a dime! Is this a piece of Sh#$%t?"
Response: "That is an imported unit from China. The cost is around $50.00 per unit and it is sold at an greatly inflated price. The name is specifically chosen to sound like White's MXT and thus confuse folks that are new to the hobby, who may think that what they are getting is like an MXT, and they order it by mistake.
I carry White's MXT metal detectors, and the difference is like night and day."
Caller: "Well, its too late to send this piece of Sh#$%t back, but I'll see you on Friday. My girlfriend ordered this out of ignorance and I don't want to hurt her feelings; I don't think she would notice the change."
Here we go again, this big box company is flooding the market with inferior quality machines that have model names apparently designed to sound similar thigh quality instruments like White's MXT. Notice MXT v. MPX (sounds similar huh).
The moral of this story: find an expert to help you pay attention to the details. Not just to help you learn how to detect, but to help you get the right unit to begin with.
Phone call for accessory.
"Hi, you carry metal detectors right? I am looking for a loop cover for my Fisher Gold Bug Pro, do you have that in stock?"
"Yes I do, but I can only keep enough in stock for my current customers only.... where did you buy your Gold Bug"
"I bought it at an Ebay Store. Uhh, I can't remember the name..."
"Well, I would advise you to contact the folks you purchased your detector from and get it from them as I maintain a small amount of covers in stock for my customers only."
"Well, I guess I won't be doing business with you."
The moral of this story: If you want to have a local store so that you can get what you want in a timely manner, you should be sure to give that shop your patronage. This customer was not a customer of his local dealer to begin with. He bought his detector mail order with free shipping, no doubt. But the moment he started ordering accessories, he was going to have to pay substantial shipping, usually $15.00 or more. So, he thought he could avoid the expensive shipping and get it immediately locally and save the $15.00 shipping. He learned the hard way that mail order detectors are expensive. And…. no training from the mail. By the way, did he purchase the best model for him?
Some will show off their mistakes. One of the detecting club members, Lee A., was showing off his newest mail order purchase from that Florida concern, some European PI claiming depth to 30 inches on boat anchor size targets. Very unimpressive, but not surprising, as this particular individual has continued to make the wrong decisions trying to get that edge over other members. He is paying the price and losing money on each mail order disaster he buys, only to have it to sell it on Craigslist. He's always the first to request a free donation from Larry but will not purchase anything from Larry. Anyhow, Club members loyal to Larry cut him off before he took up too much time.
Karen came to me disgusted with her 'Overstock.com' Sand Shark Metal Detector. This was not a Tesoro Sand Shark but a Chinese Import imposter. It is circular and water resistant. I've seen mail order hype houses put as much as a $895.00 retail on this and then lower the price to just over $300.00 to make you think you got a great deal. I've seen it on that Florida Web Site under the name Viper. Well, you wasted your hard earned money; detectors can be expensive without the enlightenment you need.
Unlike many products sold on Amazon and mail order sites, metal detectors in use need a certain skill level in order to be successful, and only dealers like Trans Bay and Big Valley can offer you that level of skill and understanding. If you do NOT have a Dealer close by that sees to know what he is talking about,
Karen got the same Viper advertised at $895.00 on sale for $325.00 but again under the name Sand Shark for $250.00. So she made the purchase thinking she saved additional money and better value.... Boy was she disappointed! Her complaint: too noisy over our beaches, which contain a lot of black sand. There was non-sto falling. And there was no depth penetration what-so-ever. I examined the detector and it air test really weak.... like 4". The receive coil was poorly designed, and passing my gold ring through the magnetic field revealed virtually no depth at minimum discrimination and maximum sensitivity. As the gold ring entered the central portion of the loop, the signal started to drop out. What a hopeless metal detector! A total foreign abomination.... and to think that one of the largest dotcom stores promotes this pile.