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Author Topic: Open Letter to Prothe  (Read 27956 times)

May 17, 2008, 04:05:40 pm

myke_w

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Open Letter to Prothe
« on: May 17, 2008, 04:05:40 pm »
I'm sure this will piss someone off but it's time somebody says it. Flame me if you want. And if another mod wants to delete my post, that's fine too.. I completely understand. I am also writing this on behalf a few others that have spoken to me about the subject I won't say their names, they can chime in if they feel like it.

So.

I'm sick and tired of people being misinformed about the stuff prothe is selling. I'm tired of the ambiguity (lack of brand).  Newbie engine builders are making the assumption that your parts as equally high quality as the big brands...

Prothe, are you saying your parts are of the same high quality as the real name brands we all know (Mahle, Kolbenschmidt, Elring, Reinz, etc)?

I'm ready to see full disclosure of brand and origin on your many parts sites.. I sell and buy known good brands for a real reason, because the companies invest the money in buying high quality components to make them. They have a reputation to protect. The product has a track record.

The fact that prothe's retail prices are lower than my cost is just damn disturbing. What is being left out?
Are Malaysian children in factories making these things for pennies a day?

So, How can your parts be so cheap? Are you just that good of a negotiator? Do you have no overhead? I don't think so.. Something doesn't add up here.

I'm a good negotiator and have NO overhead, that takes two variables away.. what's left? Where is the savings occurring?

Just one example:

This turbo on prothe's site ---299 bucks... new....    
http://www.volkswaparts.com/K03Turbo.htm

Really? How the hell is that? My cost on a new borg kkk k03 is twice that and then some.

MY COST is 632.82 - That's from an importer.. Like, first stop off the boat from Europe as in they had an order in with the factory to get the stuff.

If I mark it up 20% (standard for the industry on most parts) I end up having to charge $758

Lets reverse the equation..

Suppose prothe is marking up 20% on his 299 dollar turbo

That means he's only paying 240 bucks for it..

How could there be nearly a 400 dollar difference in cost on the same part?

Because it's not the same part... that's why..  

Now I'm sure folks are going to say "myke_w is tooting his own horn" about parts quality.  Trust me, I don't make a living selling parts.. I have a day job as a systems admin and I run a  vw audi shop after hours..  I make a good living and the parts this is more for fun.

I like selling parts to people here because I enjoy the process, I like talking to them on the phone, helping them do they job right etc.. I know a ***load about the topic and love to help people build their dreams.
I don't earn much from it AND I contribute a percentage of sales made to people here back to the GTD forum.. So it's my way of contributing to the future of the forum.  

I'm not going to cry if someone doesn't buy parts from me. I would just encourage scrutiny from any parts source.

Anyway..  I'm interested in hearing from prothe on the topic.

Enlighten us please..


Contact me for hard to find for idi and tdi parts


Reply #1May 17, 2008, 04:18:47 pm

RabbitGTDguy

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Open Letter to Prothe
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2008, 04:18:47 pm »
Kudos Myke... and I hope others chime in.

If I get the time and want to dig in the advanced search function, I'll find some information that reflects the quality of products that he has sold. I can think of a few turbo examples right off the top of my head, as well as nozzles, and pistons too don't to things as simple as junk seals, crap camplates, hydraulic heads, etc.

I feel it is insulting to this forum, the DIY'er and the newbies that are coming into this particular end of the VW hobby spectrum to be mislead by extremely low prices. Its good stuff psych wise...really reels you in, but that just does not add up. As an original founder of the GTD forum... I find it hard to read anything that he puts out.

Mods, I hope that you find Myke's comments reflective, constructive and relevent to the integrity of this forum. I think it is more than warranted and I myself have contacted Prothe several times regarding his product quality, origins, etc. The best advice that I can give to anyone in the end because of his lack of being up front and providing such info is that when something sounds "too good to be true" it probably is and you honestly "get what you pay for". I hate to have to dig deep into my pockets for quality stuff, but part of that is also the vendor and supplier as well that I would question in the end before I even take part in the sale. That comes through experience.

Again...kudos myke

Joe
1979 Rabbit mTDI crazy $*(\%& bunny...
1972 VW Westfalia
2009 VW Tiguan SE 2.0T (Wife's car)
2001 Audi TT 225 Quattro Roadster (something newer :) )

Reply #2May 17, 2008, 04:51:37 pm

duffer

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Open Letter to Prothe
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2008, 04:51:37 pm »
I'm glad someone had the courage to raise this issue.

   I'd like to hear from some of the people who've bought
   products from this vendor.

   The $189 turbo diesel pistons seem like a good deal,
   but not if they're of inferior quality.

   On the other hand, if some of the stuff is made in China,
   that fact alone doesn't necessarily render it poor quality.

   After all, Bosch injector nozzles appear to be all made
   in India, nowadays.

   All the consequences of "globalization", I suppose.

   Thanks for raising the issue, though.

Reply #3May 17, 2008, 05:33:48 pm

jtanguay

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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2008, 05:33:48 pm »
anyone expecting to pay those prices and get OEM quality parts is delusional.  you get what you pay for.  i don't think Prothe is denying that fact...  

what about the poor man or the guy scraping up pennies because he's in university/college, but wants to stand out and own a VW?  at least he can buy cheap replacement parts to get him by...

OEM stuff stands up to more than double, even triple in some cases the HP/torque.  very good for reliability, but a little bit overkill in some cases, where one just wants to squeeze that little bit extra life out of their engines.

i think we all need to just put a nail in this casket and let it be.  

you guys are probably going to put a sour taste into Prothe's mouth so much that he is too disgusted to return to this site.  his posts/comments are never negative, and he's never insinuated that his parts are of oem quality. just that he was trying to make cheap parts available to those who are willing to buy it.

i would look at the fact that there are still mk2's being driven around in China.  who the hell is making all of their parts  :wink:  :lol: you better believe that they're doing that in house, and doing it wayyyy cheaper.  who said communism is a bad thing???  :P


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Reply #4May 17, 2008, 06:02:27 pm

jasonsansfleece

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Open Letter to Prothe
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2008, 06:02:27 pm »
Its unfair to beat up on Prothe. We live in a world full of cheap Chinese junk and we are all guilty.
If you don't like what he sells then boycott Walmart, buy"made in USA", protest the IMF/World Bank and wise up

Reply #5May 17, 2008, 08:00:34 pm

RabbitGTDguy

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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2008, 08:00:34 pm »
I think what is more in question here is his not coming out and stating where his stuff comes from and backing it up. I have never seen that. All inquires about his pistons, nozzles, etc. in the past....NO reply.
Most vendors stand behind there stuff and will answer questions straightforward...Prothe...no. Never have had a response, and they have never been worded in an "ill" fashion that wouldn't reward a response as well. Until this point.

I think also that it is important that we question the quality of a product too. You do indeed get what you before *and I have never heard him say that*. I would hate for someone to think that it is even comparable.
I am not in favor of a forum like this to not have diversity but at the same time, I think every question for the most part deserves an answer and this isn't the first time. If there is nothing to hide, than why not answer the inquires and discussions such as this. Something just doesn't make sense.
Also, just give consideration to some of the "products" he claims that he is putting together to market to people and how ill thought out they are. Then, the turn around will be the feedback we give within these forums that will allow him to capitalize on it without having an understanding for it all himself. Isn't that putting the cart before the horse? Hmm...I'd question that I think.

I've said it in the thread I'm sure you guys have seen much of in the last week, and I'll say it again. I'll glady sit by and make sure I don't allow someone who has questionable product, motives and customer service skills and watch his train wreck occur eventually. I'll also make sure I do not contribute to anything that he will possibly capitalize on (and in so doing, bring in crap product from people who also deserve more...just in the name of saving the "all mighty buck") and keep it to more of an indvidual basis.

Please...you mention "protesting", "boycotting", etc. and this is part of that. I do my part...but lets just say oh um....it is what it is and let a sleeping dog lie...

Then nothing changes...

I think I'll advocate and do my part, do it right and do it once and in so doing, pay a little more for piece of mind in the end.

Thanks

Joe
1979 Rabbit mTDI crazy $*(\%& bunny...
1972 VW Westfalia
2009 VW Tiguan SE 2.0T (Wife's car)
2001 Audi TT 225 Quattro Roadster (something newer :) )

Reply #6May 17, 2008, 09:03:23 pm

rallydiesel

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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2008, 09:03:23 pm »
If you don't want his stuff don't buy it. I will buy certain products from him and others I would never buy. Use your own judgment.
2006 Jetta TDI - gtb1749v, Malone 2, Frank's Titan 2 cam, VR6 clutch....
1991 Jetta TD - sold :(
2001 Golf TDI - Son's
1981 Rabbit - BEW tdi swap project

"ONCE YOU GO CLACK, YOU NEVER GO BACK"

Reply #7May 17, 2008, 09:13:57 pm

prothe

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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2008, 09:13:57 pm »
I am here for diversity.  I'm trying to do something different.  I'm giving people a chioce.  I am not forcing anyone to buy anything from me.

myke_w is a vendor, too.  I'm not here to be a threat to anyone, but when I undercut some people's prices by 50%, I become a threat.  It's not my intention to be mean to anyone.  I'm sorry.  

If someone asks me about a particular product, I will answer some questions.  For example, I've sold a few hundred pistons without a failure. (to my knowledge).  I offer a 1 year warranty on my turbos.  I have had only one person take me up on that with my TDI turbos.  I've sold about 1000 fuel filters with one customer complaining.

I will not give you a list of all of my vendors that I have spent thousands of hours and tens of thousands of dollars creating.  Just like I don't ask you what the name and telephone number of your contact at KKK Turbos is.

Reply #8May 17, 2008, 10:43:46 pm

RabbitGTDguy

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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2008, 10:43:46 pm »
So...basically, you spout a lot about nothing. How do I know how many pistons you've sold? Want to prove that? Provide references of positive feedback then...

Eh...a lot of talk. Not much go. You've never answered any of those questions for me regarding any of that...even when I was "civil" if you want to put it that way.

You are what you are....and very interesting how you always deal in  big numbers.  I've sold "hundreds of pistons", "thousands of fuel filters", "thousands of hours and tens of thousands of dollars" creating vendors. Uh...ah...

Woo-Woo... to each his own. I'll def. make it a point to do the best I can to black list Prothe and his talk and product to anyone that I honestly know.
I'll be waiting for that train...

Joe
1979 Rabbit mTDI crazy $*(\%& bunny...
1972 VW Westfalia
2009 VW Tiguan SE 2.0T (Wife's car)
2001 Audi TT 225 Quattro Roadster (something newer :) )

Reply #9May 17, 2008, 11:21:49 pm

clbanman

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Open Letter to Prothe
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2008, 11:21:49 pm »
I haven't bought parts from either mike or prothe, so I would consider myself relatively unbiased.  I work in QA, so understand the importance of quality and also the fact that there is generally a relationship between cost and quality.  I just bought some parts for my VW online that cost me $9.00.  I could have paid $36 at a local jobber or $24 at a local retailer for the exact same part.  I have no knowledge of the supply chain for any of the three sources I looked at, don't care, and it's none of my business.  I looked at price, what I was getting, and what I valued the part at.  My car is a $1200 beater that I use for driving to work.  If it breaks down, I have another car or two that I can use while I fix it.  For me, price is more important than if I was buying parts for a car that was my family's only source of transportation.  Having said that, there are some items that I won't scrimp on and buy based on price.  Anything safety related I buy purely on my perception of the quality and the warranty offered.  Over the years I have been wrong, but generally this has led to me being satisfied with what I bought.  I wouldn't cheap out on engine rebuild parts for a car that I planned on keeping for the rest of my life or was racing, but I'm not going to spend thousands to rebuild an engine in a beater either.
     I find it interesting that the biggest objection to prothe's prices comes not from dissatisfied customers but from others.   I have also seen lot's of his postings as well as looking at his web site and eBay listings.  I do not recall him ever representing his products as necessarily being OEM quality or better, but presume that it's not complete junk either as there are a number of people that have posted regarding being satisfied with what they have bought from him.   If he was  clearly misrepresenting what he was selling I could agree with him being called out, but I don't think he owes you an explanation on his pricing or suppliers if you're not a customer.
     As far as feedback, his ebay rating is 98.6% positive on over 6600 transactions.  Not perfect but not indicative of a scam artist either.
Calvin
91 VW Golf 1.6NA 5spd

Reply #10May 17, 2008, 11:50:01 pm

fuslit

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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2008, 11:50:01 pm »
I went over a side conversation about this with Joe earlier this afternoon.

I think that people need to do their research as to what they are buying before they spend their hard earned money on something. The line from Tommy boy rings true to me in this respect.
Quote

Tommy: Because they know all they solda ya was a guaranteed piece of sh$t. That's all it is. Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time.


Right. Doesn't matter if it's got a warranty or not, if a piston fails early (i.e. not within spec) and that car is the way you get to work your down for at minimum a week, it's not something I can risk, I'd wager to guess the majority on this forum as well.

To Joe's point, about newbie's buying stuff that is not OEM quality I defended you (Prothe) by saying people that are buying pistons aren't 'newbies' in the sense that they have no idea what they are getting into mechanical wise. (as any mechanic worth his salt and who has to stand behind his work is most likely not going to buy a piston which is not OEM)

Still, to mislead people who are trying to save a dollar here or there into thinking they are going to get a product that has minimal failure is misleading. An um, unproven track record leaves a bit to be desired on the 'newbie' engine builder (such as myself).

I won't touch on your 1.6 tdi idea, as it may or may not be possible. But, clearly you are interested in learning and or bouncing unconventional ideas.

On your vendor side, While you may feel you need to (and I suppose are entitled) to 'protect' your vendor base I think it would only be fair to those buying your product that you 1) at least make an indication that it is not OEM in terms of supplier. or 2)  you should have someone on this forum who is in good standing do a variable comparison test between OEM and what you have.

For example, a stress test on an OEM Piston vrs one you sell. What is the point of failure, how badly did it fail, etc. That would be something that would help people make decisions that effect their wallet. I personally would rather spend a bit more up front and have something I know is going to last. Until the test results are in (And I'm not one who is knowledgeable on what the best way to do that would be) I am going to hold off on buying a sub-market priced product.

It goes to cover every product that I buy. (because I can at this point afford to) I'd rather pony up and buy from a reputable company who's products have a proven track record than one that has an unverifiable one (as of yet) Still, if you can verify point of failure on a cheaper alternative to OEM, people would be able to make the decision with a better sense of how far their money will get them.

Please don't take offense to what I've written as I do think that providing a cheaper alternative product is not in it's self a bad thing. (it's what drew me to vw's in the first place) But providing a product and not marking it as 'non-oem' is misleading at best and w/out a verifiable test behind it something I would be pretty pissed about if I bought a product thinking it was replacement for OEM and it failed prematurely.

Personally I am interested in seeing product comparison between oem and what you sell.

So, I guess pretend we're all from Missouri (the Show me state) and put up some pistons or a turbo (as they've been the parts in question) for verifiable destructive review and testing. I think it will get you farther than your current vague answers and side stepping.

-Todd

Edit: tommy boy had a swear which I didn't catch... (sorry)
'81 rabbit 4dr 1.6TD [project]
'98 jetta tdi [daily]

Reply #11May 18, 2008, 06:27:40 am

jtanguay

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« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2008, 06:27:40 am »
Quote
anyone expecting to pay those prices and get OEM quality parts is delusional. you get what you pay for. i don't think Prothe is denying that fact...


i don't think he needs to have any sort of warning on his site.  anyone thinking that the parts on his site are oem should be admitted asap.


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Reply #12May 18, 2008, 05:10:24 pm

rabbitman

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« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2008, 05:10:24 pm »
I say a guy can sell what he wants, BUT, I would really like to see an obvious statement saying whether it's oem or not. A real comparison would be nice also.
'82 Rabbit, I put on a euro vnt-15, 2.25" DP, 2.5" exhaust, the result.....it whistled.

I removed the turbo, made a toilet bowl 2.5" DP, the result....it was deafening. Now it has a homemade muffler up front and a thrush in the rear, the result.....less loud.
Watch: AGENDA, GRINDING AMERICA DOWN

Reply #13May 18, 2008, 06:53:13 pm

jtanguay

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« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2008, 06:53:13 pm »
okay now he has the vw oil return and high pressure lines to the turbo... soon we will see a turbo conversion kit available  :wink:

$20 for the turbo oil line vs how much for oem? about $150? damn... but it isn't OEM quality. it could possibly destroy my engine due to its inferior design and materials...  better get the vaseline just to be safe!  :twisted:  :roll:


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Reply #14May 18, 2008, 07:01:18 pm

RabbitGTDguy

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« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2008, 07:01:18 pm »
Argh... :twisted:
1979 Rabbit mTDI crazy $*(\%& bunny...
1972 VW Westfalia
2009 VW Tiguan SE 2.0T (Wife's car)
2001 Audi TT 225 Quattro Roadster (something newer :) )

 

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