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decent_espresso (original poster)

#1321: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Roxxlyn today mocked up the white marble on the front and back, on a (mostly) white machine.

They also indicate that a seam would likely not be visible, so they think they could make this easy for you to install.

They must do something magical to their stone products, as they've managed to make slate flexible (??!!?)

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decent_espresso (original poster)

#1322: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Clipping milk thermometer to steam wand?

Alfred has been working on a thermometer clip, which would attach to the steam wand.

The advantages are:
  • you don't have to keep putting the steam wand into the milk jug, and then taking it out
  • the thermometer could stay on, and would stop beeping as soon as you remove the milk jug
  • and be ready for the next milk steaming
  • can be easily removed for cleaning
  • we'd like this to work with the MEATER thermometer as well (though it's wider)
  • as well as for a wired-in temp probe we're working on
  • for automatic steam-stops-on-milk-temperature
At this point, this is just a work in progress, maybe something we'd offer, if it works well and there's interest.


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decent_espresso (original poster)

#1323: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

A crazy idea: what if you could return your purchases forever?

When I'm at a bookstore, thinking about buying a book, one thought always holds me back from buying it: when I'm done reading it, what will I do with this book?

I've always felt that the existence of an aftermarket (ie, used sales), drives the primary market (ie, new product sales).

What if Decent had a mechanism where any coffee accessory you bought from us, could be returned at any time in the future, if you no longer wanted it?

This is a crazy idea that mixes eBay/Amazon/Decent's business models, into one.

Here's how this could work:
  • you buy something from us (let's say, a milk thermometer),
  • two years later, you find that you don't use it
  • you login to our website, and indicate that you'd like to return this item
  • we tell you "no problem, let us find someone in your country who wants this"
  • we then automatically list this item at 50% off, on our website. Visitors to our website can see the discounted used items as an alternative to buying it new from us
  • when someone chooses that 50% discounted thermometer, we email you ask you to post it to that new person. You click a link to confirm you've done so.
  • when that new person confirms receipt your thermometer, we give you 100% store credit for your thermometer
  • guaranteed: for the thermometer buyer, if Decent can't get any of the used owners to send the thermometer within a few days, we send them a new thermometer instead.
Advantages of this idea:
  • you could buy things from Decent, knowing that if you end up not using it, even much much later, you'll be able to "pass it on" and get your money back (as store credit, though -- refunding small cash payments is, I think, too complicated)
  • much, much more ecological : only one postal mailing, directly to the new owner. Our current return system has you posting your item to us in at an address in your country, then it then gets re-posted to Decent HK, and then posted again to its new owner.
  • you don't get to return your product immediately : Decent has to go find a new home for it.
  • you have to pay to post the used item onto the other person, but then again, you have to post returns to us today, so this is no different.
  • uncertain what the used condition of the item might be. However, the sender is motivated to only sell good condition items, because otherwise they won't get the refund (if the new owner indicates the used item arrived and it's not in ok condition, the refund isn't granted)
  • only works in countries where Decent sells a lot. As 55% of our sales are USA-based, we'd trial this idea there.
I want to make clear that, at this stage, this is only an idea that we have, and not something that's anywhere near implementing.

But what would be really useful, is feedback, thoughts, pros and cons, discussion...



#1324: Post by flyingtoaster replying to decent_espresso »

-Lots of possibilities of abuse.
-Would have to raise prices. Ever bought a car battery?
-Cheapens the brand image. I don't want to pay $4k+ for something made who-knows-where that I know only cost 1/2 that to make.


#1325: Post by Jonk »

Agree about potential abuse. It could be the most difficult issue to solve (say a buyer recieves items in good condition but claims they're not, or that the items were not actually in the package) if there are unscrupulous sellers/buyers. I don't understand the other criticism, as a concept I think it's an appealing idea, just difficult to make foolproof for the customers.


#1326: Post by flyingtoaster replying to Jonk »

It sounds appealing at face value, but will increase cost to the company. The increased cost will manifest in a higher MSRP. As somebody who doesn't return products unless they are defective, I'm not interested in paying a higher upfront MSRP for a return policy I probably won't use.

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decent_espresso (original poster)

#1327: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Tamper box : foam no more!

We're working with German espresso-wood-specialists to make a new Decent Tamper (the Wiedecent tamper) with a nice wood handle.

When we arrived to the point to discuss packaging, Lukas at Wiedemann pointed out that they were committed to 100% plastic free. Our tamper packaging, sadly, has not been. I'd gotten lazy, and simply had our supplier design our tamper box: they chosen die-cut foam to safely hold the tamper, probably because it was what they were used to. It's something I was embarrassed about, and wanted to eventually get around to rectifying.

Wiedeman kindly shared their die-cut, folded cardboard design with us. We adapted it to the Wiedecent tamper. The sample arrive arrived today, and it looks great.

This was the only coffee accessory we sold that was packed in foam, so I'm really happy to be addressing that.

We're still a few months away from having this tamper ready. Making it work with wood, instead of a metal handle, required a redesign of the internals, but it's almost done.


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decent_espresso (original poster)

#1328: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

I recently wrote about how we're now offering a "forever warranty" for our espresso machines. After the two year free, included warranty on your Decent expires, you can choose to purchase a two year extension, where the same coverage just continues. And you can choose to renew, over and over, so that you'll never be without a functioning Decent Espresso machine. Details are here and everyone can sign up to be covered, even those with five year old machines.

The extended warranty also includes a "goodie pack" of items worth $100 that you can choose from, that tend to wear with time, or that we've improved. In June, for example, we'll have a new group head water distribution design, and that'll be available as part of the good pack.

The website has been improved to handle the complex reality, of used machines, replacements, gaps, multiple machines and all that. For those with one machine, we automatically assign your warranty extension to that serial #, but if you own several machines, we email you ask which machine you wanted covered.

And now, when you go to send us email, or login to your support page with us, you'll see what Decents you own, and their warranty coverage. I own quite a few machines, so I'm a good test case!


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decent_espresso (original poster)

#1329: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Laser Etched Latte Art

A few weeks ago we added the ability to customize your Decent when you order it.

One of the options is to have your cover laser etched with one of two patterns we've developed. The first order for this came in today, for a DE1XL going to a Golf Resort in Malaysia

The design features a two-high array of common latte art patterns.

We've never actually made a full machine like this before (just a DE1PRO prototype, with different patterns etched on each side) and it's taken us a lot of R&D time to find some patterns that laser etched well, and looked good.

We'll likely eventually offer a custom-laser-etch service, but we're a bit nervous doing so, as we've found, in our experiments, that most ideas don't look good, and so there's a lot of wastage, and time spent, to achieve something. Selling something that a customer ultimately doesn't like, is never a good idea.

We're also offering an "X-Ray vision" laser etch pattern, which is fairly subtle.


#1330: Post by luvmy40 »


I absolutely love that this thread continues to see hands on updates and personal attention from you!

FWIW, the DE1 is the only machine I would ever move to from my BDB. I'm not comparing the quality aspects. You have that category tied up in a nice little bundle. But from a feature view, the BDB just does what I need. The DE1 is definitely next level for anyone.

The possibility of the "Return Forever" deal just makes the DE1 even more appealing. I, like everyone else most likely, have a rather large pile of items that I though would be nice to use that rarely if ever do end up seeing any use.