This morning, I noticed a posting in the “Reprographics Group” on LinkedIn, which, apparently, has something to do with demand/supply and prices for wide-format printers. I’ve not edited this person’s posting; you’ll notice that the use of the English language and phrasing is unusual, but that could well be because the person who posted it is not very fluent in English, which is very understandable for people to whom English is a second (or third, or fourth) language. (I’m not so fluent in English, and English is my first language!)
Here’s what this poster said:
Wide Format Printer Market - Prices Dropping
Hello, the word fro here in China and the reason the your prices are dropping is that the Chinese have stopped buying. There are two reasons for this, Customs is going through a major personnel changeover causing containers to be held up in the ports of Shenzhen and Hong Kong. This will be reflected in brokers lowering their prices or not buying from you at all. The Wide Format Printer Market is crashing, not good news for many of us. Your brokers are going through a very tough time at the moment and will be having a difficult time just staying in business and keeping their doors open. In addition the 1,500 HP 5500s that I bought from Tom McNew last year have hit the market place through Shenzhen and Xinjua (bad decision on my customer's part) and the big buy made from Federal Express two months ago have both saturated the marketplace. That is the report for over here in China. I would like to hear about your experiences in the United States. Bob Aspland in China.
Joel’s further comments:
Most reprographers in the U.S. know Tom McNew, the owner of Digital ES, Inc., based in Oklahoma. Tom has long been involved in the purchase and sale of used reprographics equipment. In short, he’s a very credible guy. Perhaps he’ll comment on what the poster said. If he, in fact, sold 1,500 HP DesignJet 5500’s in China last year, that’s great. Younger reprographers might not even know the HP 5500 DesignJet (it’s an older model, for sure.)
Everything I’ve read the past year indicates that the wide-format printer market is not, as the poster put it, “crashing”; at least not here in the U.S. But, if there are customs issues in China, that could have a negative affect on import into, and distribution in and around, China, but that sounds like a very temporary problem. But, who am I to say anything about the Chinese market for wide-format equipment. A couple of years ago, one of my friends at OCE said that China is still very much a diazo market; those in China that do purchase wide-format toner-based systems use them as copiers, rather than as “plotters.” And, none of that had much to do with wide-format ink-jet.
Reprographers in the U.S., in the U.K. and in Europe; have you seen prices for wide-format ink-jet printers crashing recently? Prices dropping?