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Thread: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

  1. #1

    Default Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    Long Post Advisory: Do Not Read this post unless you want to, well it's not that long, no it's not long at all, or is it?

    HI
    A while ago, at a Laser Show, the presenter guy thing showed us a green 'lab laser' that could burn through a piece of cardboard, I was so impressed and when I got home, I immediately started looking at how much these cost. Then I stumbled accross Wicked Lasers, and man, I couldn't believe my eyes, I mean a laser that can pop a balloon, Wow
    That was like a year ago, but since over the last few months, joining all these kind of forums and stuff, I found out that there are many companies that offer lasers like that.
    Now I wanted to know, why are Wicked Lasers so expensive? If you compare to others, they are at least $150 for the same thing (in higher power only though).

    OK
    An X-Series 125 from Nova Lasers is only $299
    http://www.novalasers.com/NOVAstore/...3&idproduct=88

    An Alpha Series 125 from Nova Lasers is only $369 and that has other cool things on it too, looks stronger
    http://www.novalasers.com/NOVAstore/...7&idproduct=53

    A Viper 125mW from Dragon Lasers is only $299
    http://www.dragonlasers.com/viper

    An Optotronics PPL 125, okay but this is like a 100% duty cycle laser is amazingly less than a Wicked at $489
    http://www.dragonlasers.com/viper

    And a 125mW Fusion from WL is $500, with a Evo 125 at $550
    http://www.wickedlasers.com/lasers/E...ries-55-3.html

    So what is up with WL, what makes them think they can charge so much more.
    The Spyder is another whole thing I mean, check:

    Dragon Laser Hulk 200-300mW is $849
    http://www.dragonlasers.com/hulk

    Optotronics RPL 260 is $1079
    http://www.optotronics.com/r-lithium-ion.php

    And Nova Series 250 is $1000
    http://www.novalasers.com/NOVAstore/...4&idproduct=54

    Guess What a Spyder GX is a whopping $1699
    http://www.wickedlasers.com/lasers/S..._GX-26-21.html

    Now for that price you can get a:

    Nova Series 325mW and save $100
    http://www.novalasers.com/NOVAstore/...4&idproduct=56

    Optotronics RPL-325 and save $50
    http://www.optotronics.com/r-lithium-ion.php

    So now I ask you again, who the flip do Wicked Lasers think they are, what makes them so much better? What are these other companies like, is there just something dodgy about them or do Wicked Lasers just market better??

    Once again sorry for the long post, I just don't understand why they charge so much more...
    Thanks
    Jonno

  2. #2

    Shrug Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    First off, I don't own a WLaser but do own a few lasers myself ranging from 5mw on up to 100mw.

    It seems that they have very high prices for a few reasons. I believe they do check their lasers more than many other vender's before they ship them out. But the biggest reason I personally see is they have inflated the prices so that massive discounts can be setup. They also do something called "Wicked Bucks" where you earn $ (wicked bucks) towards items they sell by using their forum and by forwarding online clicks to their website. Basically to help promote their products using their loyal fans, haha.

    Beyond that, they do seem to have a high level of quality, but figure all the prices you see on the site are super inflated because of the built in kickbacks.

    Personally I just couldn't pay the $ they were asking for a 100mw greenie, so I purchased mine on ebay from a reputable seller for HALF the cost and have been VERY happy with the purchase. Now I'm looking for a VERY powerful red laser module (100mw-250mw).

    Anyone else have anything to add to this?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    Yeah, and for $1,389.00 one can get a LaserGlow Hercules-300. The specs on that thing are just incredible.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    I see.
    Oh yeah, thats the name, Hercules, I was looking for that, but I couldn't remember the name.
    tropmonky, why don't you make a Laser from a DVD Diode, as far as I know, they average at around 150mw?

    Jonno

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    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    Once upon a time, electronic calculators started at $200.00. The initial cost was to cover R&D and tooling.

    HID technology is relatively new to the public but the prices are now dropping. One can buy one for less that a hundred dollars now.

    Once something becomes mass produced by many competitors, the price has to come down or that company will go out of business - unless, of course, they continue to advance "cutting edge"

  6. #6

    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    You are paying for name brand and coolness. functionality on the other hand doens't always work out to match the price.

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    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    well i owned a 60mw wicked laser,now i regret selling it,they just seem to be so well made and the beam was flawless.it also popped ballons.but i did not use it for that.i used it for work.saying that i do own a 120mw i got of ebay about a year ago.and i have to be honest and say its holding out pretty well.oh and this one will burn your skin,but" disclaimer" not recommend . i do think its a lottery if you buy a cheap one.
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    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    Well, my EnVee 100 is also very well made, high quality etc ... and about half the price of anything from WL. And LucentOptics have great service whereas WL have been found wanting I am told.
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    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    Quote Originally Posted by 7histology View Post
    Well, my EnVee 100 is also very well made, high quality etc ... and about half the price of anything from WL. And LucentOptics have great service whereas WL have been found wanting I am told.
    +1
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    Flashaholic* SenKat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    I do not own any wicked products - the only Wicked laser I ever owned was purchased second hand from ebay - it was a CNI styled Nexus 95mw. That was a nice laser, and I regret ever selling it to continue my quest for more power ! I fell in love with the CNI styled lasers at that point - and I see no reason other than greed for Wicked's products to be priced as high as they are - their "Sonar" description even states that they SCAVENGE the Blu-ray diode from existing optical equipment in order to make the Sonar - why would I pay $2,000.00 for a "tossed together" product ? I can either make my own, or buy one pre-made on ebay from Huerrsciences for around $350.00 last I checked is what folks are b idding up his blu-ray/Dorcy mod pointers. The amount of mark up is ludicrous to say the least. There was recently a not posted by Wicked, asking people to leave out the "issues" part of posting on their forum - and to contact them directly instead of airing their dirty laundry. Check out their forum to see what I mean. I DO understand when a company pleases someone - that their happy customers stand behind them, defend them, and love them without exception - after all, I love NOVA Lasers specifically for that reason - they have GREAT products, and stellar service. I see why folks can love Wicked - I am not among them, as I have not purchased from them since I found the other companies selling competitive products, and not from Wicked. I am saving up my "Wicked Bucks" to buy one of their lasers - as I cannot justify spending that much of MY money on a product that is reported to be inferior in many ways.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    Thanks Senkat
    I kind of thought that.
    It seems like Nova Lasers sell some quality stuff. I like the Alpha Series. Good Prices too
    I have seen on Laser Community, I've been there for a year or so now.
    Thanks
    Jonno

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    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    As I posted about this subject before, it's easy to sum up why with one simple word; GREED!
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    Not greed. The price is set at what the market will bear. In fact, I applaud them!

    People are willing to pay for the Wicked LASERs. Consequently, they can charge the higher prices. Whether that price is justified, is immaterial...

    Simple supply and demand.

    -- Chuck Knight

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    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    Quote Originally Posted by chuck View Post
    Not greed. The price is set at what the market will bear. In fact, I applaud them!

    People are willing to pay for the Wicked LASERs. Consequently, they can charge the higher prices. Whether that price is justified, is immaterial...

    Simple supply and demand.

    -- Chuck Knight
    So that is why Gasoline is high right now too then, using your theory. It's what the market will bear, I think NOT in both cases.....it's still GREED.
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    Flashaholic* SenKat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    I agree with both points, it is a mixture of greed, and of market demand. As we see more companies offering quality products, we will see the prices become more competitive !

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    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    Exactly!... it's greed! Take BMW for example. They shouldn't exist to make as much profit as they can, based on people's free choice to buy or not. They should be there only to make me happy, and make as little profit as possible to stay in business. How dare they!

    I just don't get it... you know... people trying to make money.
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    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bimmerboy View Post
    Exactly!... it's greed! Take BMW for example. They shouldn't exist to make as much profit as they can, based on people's free choice to buy or not. They should be there only to make me happy, and make as little profit as possible to stay in business. How dare they!

    I just don't get it... you know... people trying to make money.
    Too funny, I wouldn't compare my BMW against a Ford; not even in the same league. BUT a WL compared against one sold by say Nova or others that sell CNI's is different. OK so wl makes their own now, so they claim; still pretty much a cni laser, except for the lower quality level.

    The Chinese are great at copying other products, they call them knock-offs; difference here is instead of a better price, they actually increased the price while lowering the quality. The whole thing is actually kind of funny to me, kind of reminds me of fleabay and how people will out bid each other to just win the bid, and in a lot of cases they simply could have gotten it cheaper elsewhere, and much safer too. I'm sure WL laughs each week when they do their bank deposits, I would.
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    Flashaholic* Bimmerboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    pic - Although I'd say your reply doesn't have a heck of a lot to do with the "greed" issue, in and of themselves, I agree with your points... all except for the very last sentence.

    You make it sound as if WL is doing something slimy, sneaky, etc. Ultimately, the implication is bad. Bad, bad, greedy WL... hey, they're Wicked, right? "Laughing all the way to the bank", somewhat insultingly implies WL thinks everyone who buys their product is stupid, and they're just exploiting the sucker born every minute principle. I do have a different take on it.

    Is WL the highest quality? No. Does WL offer the lowest price for what you get? No. But that's for the more educated consumer to know. What Wicked has done, in essence, is to bring a recognizable brand name to the green laser market. And the name does get around. I've personally heard people who know nothing about lasers, say the name "Wicked Lasers". It's catchy. They've also managed to get some degree of visibility through major channels (think: PC Mag, etc.).

    Blah blah blah, long story short, they had a plan, took some risks, made a few correct moves, developed a brand, raised more awareness of green lasers to the masses than any another brand, and in the process helped competition to flourish to the point where the market now offers 30mW +, "bang for the buck" greenies for less than $30 USD.

    This is bad? This is what sooo many people call "greed"? What of all the people that buy WL's? Are they all just idiots? The way I see it, not everyone has the freakin' time to learn all about lasers. The average person sees WL advertised somewhere, thinks it's cool, and buys one. Done deal, to mutual benefit... the seller gets paid accordingly to how cool the person thinks a green laser is, and what it's worth to him... another way of saying "what the market will bear".

    To be quite blunt, Marxist class envy-speak is getting quite a bit tired by now, isn't it? Let's not beat around the bush, and call it straight, eh?

    Edit: BTW, what Bimmer ya' got?... hehe.
    Last edited by Bimmerboy; 06-16-2007 at 11:05 PM. Reason: typo correction
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    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    Quote Originally Posted by picrthis View Post
    So that is why Gasoline is high right now too then, using your theory. It's what the market will bear, I think NOT in both cases.....it's still GREED.
    Actually, there are several forces involved in the price of gasoline, not the least of which is the shortsighted nature of some politicians who have hindered the building of refineries, our refusal to drill for domestic sources, our near total dependence on middle eastern oil (political instability in the region affects production), our own government interference in the free market, etc. But, I'm not going to debate that...it's not relevant to this discussion.

    The relevant part is, that people have not significantly (if at all) reduced their consumption of gasoline. In fact, its sale has increased in the more recent weeks, despite the higher price.

    Much as I hate to say it (especially just having put $50 in my tank) we, as consumers, have decided that the higher price of gasoline is acceptable. We may complain about it, but we are still willing to pay it. The market *is* such that this price has not curtailed gasoline usage.

    Same goes for Wicked LASERs. While some of us may not like it, WL has created a niche market for themselves, built a brand, and has a successful business based around selling LASERs at prices that are higher than their competitors.

    It's not always the best thing, to be the lowest bidder.

    I'll say it again, BRAVO for them. They're providing a decent product (not complete junk), at a higher price than comparable units, and their customers are HAPPY to pay it. Something they're doing, must be right...

    WOW...maybe I need to copy their business plan!

    -- Chuck Knight

  20. #20
    Flashaholic nero_design's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.



    Wicked were one of the VERY first companies to offer such low prices for lasers. I found them when searching around in this forum here on CPF. Wicked also have a fairly loyal fanbase for their products, most being 'hobby-laserists' but they supply millitary and commercial interests whilst also selling similar products (*not the millitary ones) to the public.

    As for pricing, Wicked often kept their pricing below that of the other manufacturers for a LONG time (years). Many of the other sellers of green lasers were "modding" their lasers to get them to output higher figures and the resulting "Modded/tweaked" lasers would be short-lived and prone to power fluctuations and self-destruction. Wicked gained a quick name for themselves by using OEM diodes (unmodded and therefore more stable and far longer lived) which was tough for the other manufacturers to beat for a long while.

    Recently, the competitors dropped their prices which usually resulted in a drop from Wicked to undercut them although this was usually aimed only at suppliers trying to undercut in the first place. Many of these sellers would (and still do) make little profit in order to grab sales from Wicked. Wicked in the meanwhile had been building their own manufacturing facility and now produce their own lasers rather than buy units and diodes from CNI like almost all the other laser sellers were doing.

    The Spyder is waterproof. That's a pretty big deal all by itself. Beautifully made (in my opinion) for a portable self contained laser. It's SO LIGHT and very compact as well. Something that the competition is certainly not.
    The first incarnation of the Spyders was rather amazing in it's day (about a year or two ago) and it was machined from a solid brass slug. Today's Spyder MK2 is so light that I thought the box was empty when it arrived. The quality of build, diode and function is really very nice.

    I've dealt with many other suppliers and the simple fact remains that there's a LOT of garbage being passed on for merchandise and most of the suppliers have little or no after-sales service. Wicked have generated a nice reputation for themselves based on their product and their customer support. Some of the other suppliers ignored my original laser enquieries and others lied to me about their lasers capabilities. Some of the people I communicated with actually ignored my polite questions and I was buying for a legitimate use and application at the time.

    Plenty of suppliers can (and will) sell you a 10mW lasers and stick a <50mW sticker on the laser unit. This is dishonest but technically they're not lying because the unit is still under 50mW (as stated). But I prefer to get exactly what I pay for and if there's an issue, I expect it to be dealt with. Many people forget that laser diodes are unfortunately prone to a high level of defective production (same as solar panels) and that many sellers simply don't care if you 'bought a dud'... that's why aftersales service is so important with these devices.: There's always a probablility that your unit may possess a defect and therefore, for the high dollars involved, you want to get the output stated plus immediate replacement i the unit shows any signs of defects.

    There's a couple of GOOD suppliers you mentioned on your list - and a few not-so-good ones as well.... but each product (even with the same outputs) has pros and cons. Do your research before buying. And DON'T buy on EBay unless you trust the seller... some are even trying to sell off lasers using Wicked's product names but are in no way affiliated. This attests to the name od the company and how it's products are perceived by others.
    Regards,

    MARCO
    _____________________________________________


    My Laser Of Choice: http://www.pbase.com/nero_design/spyder2

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    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    As usual we'd trefer it if politics were to be left out of this discussion. Thanx and carry on ...
    bernhard
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    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    Isn't Nero_design the mod on Laser Community?
    It's here and it's cool!! even thought it mode hops
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    Flashaholic picrthis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    Yes he is, hence his long post.
    Last edited by picrthis; 06-18-2007 at 09:19 PM.
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    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    picrthis ... name calling and ad hominem attacks are not welcome on CPF. Please edit your post accordingly.
    Thank you.
    bernhard
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  25. #25

    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    I've seen lots of folks on the WL forums claim to receive underpowered or defective lasers. I don't own any high powered lasers but would be curious to know who Nero thinks has worse QC or customer service than WL (this is not to say WL has poor QC or customer service, but he plainly stated that others are worse).

    So far the main benefit to WL is that the Spyder is apparently waterproof. Please rase your hand if you have the burning desire to take your 200mw green laser under water?

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    Flashaholic nero_design's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    Quote Originally Posted by jellyfish414
    Please rase your hand if you have the burning desire to take your 200mw green laser under water?
    Actually, I like the fact that fog-juice, water vapour, dust, dirt/lint & other airbourne residue cannot penetrate the Spyder casing. A few people have tested the Spyders underwater and the 30mW Blue Spyder is absolutely ideal (both in output and in wavelength) for scuba and snorkelling with fish and squid/octopus. Even if you're not an underwater photographer, an underwater laser is quite a useful tool. If you use lasers with no set duty cycle, the odds are that you will end up running them clamped to apparatus in a room filled with atmos (fog/smoke etc) and eventually, a film will build up on the aperture of the laser so there's logical benefits as well.

    /Actually, WL is known very well for it's customer service. It's the reason I started buying from them myself. The only person I personally saw rejected by that service was a scammer who was trying to get a free laser after his original was delivered. I'm sure that this sort of situation would be the bane of any seller too. Folks, I came here to CPF to find out about lasers years ago. I modded my first laser from instructions I found here and I learned a bit about the new green DPSS portables which have only surfaced in recent years. I found Wicked Lasers through here as well.

    /I've been asked to moderate a number of laser forums but politely declined the others due to prior commitments. Perhaps if I had accepted them all, I wouldn't be accused of bias "cheerleading"?
    Regards,

    MARCO
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    Flashaholic* SenKat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    I believe the original question that started this thread has long ago been answered, hasn't it ? This thread will only degrade further into mud-slinging, name calling, and even more erroneous facts and claims if left open much longer. Sorry, I know my post doesn't do much to contribute, but to sum it all up - Wicked is more expensive because they are still paying off their R&D team, their marketing folks, and the people are willing to pay the price for the lasers that Wicked sells. That is pretty much it.

    My $.02 (U.S.)

  28. #28

    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    Yeah, my question has been answered, let's lock/close the thread...
    Jonno
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    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    I can understand the desire to have this thread locked, but the long term experience shows that there will be others just like it, so we will leave it open as long as it remains "civil". For now.

    Unfortunately WL do polarize the laserist community to an extend that has disrupted this place more than we can tolerate.

    bernhard
    There is a type of perfection that transcends the quest for lumens. Buying a $250 1-cell light for "lum factor" is like buying a $250 single malt Scotch for the alcohol content.
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    Default Re: Why are Wicked Lasers so much more expensive? - longish post, sort of.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiessling View Post
    picrthis ... name calling and ad hominem attacks are not welcome on CPF. Please edit your post accordingly.
    Thank you.
    bernhard
    Ahhh a phrase in Latin huh? Didn't think anyone used phrases like that anymore......glad senorship is still alive and well.
    Fenix TK12, TK15, TK21-U2, Olight M20S, M21 Maelstrom G5, X7 Spark SL6-800CW/740NW, SL5-220CW/190NW/210CW/180OW Xeno CUBE Model #E11 V7 XPG/XML CW/NW Skilhunt Defier X3 ZL SC600, Scorpion v2 w/Turbo Head CW/NW Nitecore TM11 CW/NW, TM26, EC25W/CW

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