Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Things Mikey Often Wonders About.

What's Going On At Bullseye Glass

There are some times when an issue rattles around in my head causing me confusion and perplexion (most likely not a real word but it should fire Gary Brown up for a response...).
One that currently has me in a quandary is a somewhat new program instituted by Bullseye Glass.

It's a a new on-line educational program and they are inviting you to join. This program is made up of on-line video lessons.
The surprising thing to me about this recent trend from Bullseye (and their continuing injection into the retail market) is that they are charging $39 for this service.

Now, Bullseye and Fantasy In Glass have had a long, profitable, friendly and yes, at times, even contentious relationship going back almost thirty years. We were even one of only a handful of Bullseye dealers in Canada for more than a decade.

And while we are no longer a dealer and carry their products to a much lesser extent that we used to (see here) we have always had tremendous affection and respect for them as a quality manufacturer of glass and sundries, right down to the smallest item and detail (and I mean smallest- even their ziplock bags for documentation are the heaviest plastic ones I've ever seen). 

And the bulk of that goodwill they've generated over the years comes not just from producing such wonderful glass, but also from their continuing research in glass chemistry and fusing, and their willingness to share that with you, me and yes, even the competition.

So what's the quandary you ask?

Well, they have now begun to charge for knowledge.
Firstly, I understand that to produce a video (especially in the typical top-quality fashion that Bullseye will do it) does cost money. 

I also know that these costs have to be recouped somehow- such as through increasing the price of the product, or by the continuing generation of good will that people would support their product with greater sales over the competition.
But Bullseye surely recognizes that knowledge helps grow the field of glass, and hopefully endears those who come to glass, to make their purchases of that manufacturer.
That's why we were so supportive of Bullseye Glass (over Spectrum) for so many years when so few others were.

Bullseye is a manufacturer. 
They want to sell to me. 
They want me to invest in their inventory, and promote their product. 
They have a system of distributors who are supposed to carry their product more extensively, to support us the lowly retailer.

But today, we find distributors being allowed to fail in their obligations and now we see Bullseye shortcutting the supply chain and selling direct at retail. 
They want to sell to me and then they also want to sell to my customers at the same time.

And now they want to sell teaching directly to my customers.
I'm really not sure where this is going, hence the rattling in my head.

And hence the quandary...

The goal of our ongoing educational video series is to explore the full range of kiln-glass methods and cover the same lessons taught in regular Bullseye classes.

About Bullseye Kiln-glass Education Online

This is an open-ended series of online lessons appropriate for everyone from beginners to advanced kilnformers. Lessons are designed by Bullseye instructors to provide foundational skills, inspiration, and new leading-edge approaches to kiln-glass. Downloadable firing schedules, product lists, and helpful links are included.

How the program works

A 12-month membership is just $39. As a member, you'll enjoy immediate access to our complete library of online lessons to date. Each month we add a new video to the series at no additional charge. Lessons last about 10-15 minutes. View them as often as you like, from any location with Internet access.


Anonymous said...

Another quandry - how can the students interact with a video and ask the instructor their "perplexion" questions?

Anonymous said...

Hey Mikey....how about you start your own instructional video that can be sold on your site...and how about getting yourself your own small foundry and manufacture your own line of FIGSeye perplexed line of glass...let em eat cake!