Magmod – When innovation becomes price gouging

I don’t often write overly negative articles about products but there are certain products I won’t buy out of principal.

When I picked up some new AD200’s I decided to have a look at the Magmod gear. Long story short, I decided to pull the pin. Let’s be clear, its not that I can’t afford it, and anyone who knows me will know that, it comes down to the simple idea that when I feel something is overpriced and price gouging, I won’t buy it.

The last time I avoided a product was Imagenomic Portraiture. Great product, ripoff pricing. The pricing of Portraiture itself isn’t the problem, it’s their idiotic approach that requires you to re-license the entire product to work with Photoshop and Lightroom individually etc. How stupid do you think consumers are? Creating a plugin is hardly the same level of effort required for the product itself but apparently for some companies, they see success as the opportunity to take advantage of consumers.

So where did Magmod go wrong for me? Let’s be clear, like Portraiture I don’t think it’s a bad product. I think it’s a good idea and I think it’s well executed. The crux of my issue with Magmod, is that I feel like they are price gouging consumers with an extremely overpriced product for the simple reason that they came to market first with a good idea.

Good business? No, having a good product doesn’t give you the opportunity to overprice your product. I think it breeds animosity awith your customers because they begrudgenly pay money and therefore you create customers that will not be loyal when something else comes along.

Adobe did a good job of this for many years. They priced their product so high that those who purchased it did so begrudgenly and those who didn’t felt their were justified in pirating it. In other words, not only did they have no loyalty, but they were prepared to break the law without feeling guilt.

So why do I say it’s overpriced? Let’s take the MagSphere as an example. It probably costs about $5-$6 to make. Priced at $30? Nope, $50. Let’s put some of this into context… On one side, we have the Magmod starter kit which includes a couple of pieces of rubber and plastic for $99, on the other side we have a Godox TT685F TTL/HSS Flash, which has more material, electronics, at the same price etc. I have no issue buying the Godox for that price, but the Magmod I have a hard time feeling like I’m not getting screwed.

Want more examples? Okay, here is an easy one: For $24.95 you can have the filter holder. For about $5 more you can have the Maggel kit. But buy the gel kit separately and you’ll pay $29.95. We know that they wouldn’t be including the gel kit at a loss so at worse, the cost of the gel kits are $5 and they hitting customers to the tune of $30, a 600% mark up?

And then they have the gall to ask you to pay another $30 for the wallet???

They have the right to price the way they want, but we as consumers also have the right to avoid their products. What frustrates me with companies like this is they are losing a big opportunity. By overpricing their product, they’re probably pricing themselves out of 60-80% of the market so whilst they are making money, their market is reduced. By reducing their markets, they have lost economy of scale, the ability to reduce the cost of their product through higher volumes, the ability to sell more etc. In other words, by reducing the price of their product, they’d probably make a whole lot more than they are now. So for now, Magmod, I will not buy your product. I may do so one day if I get it through a Black Friday sale, or somewhere about 30% cheaper (which is closer to the correct pricing) but that’s about the only chance.

Alternatively, I will wait for a competitor that doesn’t show disdain for its potential customers and I recommend other consumers do the same.

Published by

The Overrated Photographer

I am a forty something year old Melbourne based photographer covering a broad range of genre’s from sports to portraits and travel. My introduction into photography started with doing some kitesurfing photos, but with the arrival of my first daughter, my focus shifted to family and the vast majority of my photos are either family or street. I still try to get extreme sports when I am not kitesurfing myself. My current non-personal photography work is confined to charity and not-for-profit engagements where I am engaged in photography for a number charity events to give back to the community and help support fund raising for these organisations. These include the homeless and cancer events. I do not currently do any paid commercial work as I run a successful non-photography business and this allows me to explore my personal creativity with photography.

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