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Literature on Steadicams holding value...


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#1 Ryan Brooks

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Posted 13 January 2015 - 11:51 PM

Hello all-

 

Looking to find a bit of literature on how and why steadicams are able to hold their value over the long run.  Anyone know where I might be able to look?  Thanks!

 

Ryan


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#2 Alan Rencher

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 12:21 AM

Hey Ryan, searching through the marketplace here on the forum is probably the best way to see a long history of used rig sales.
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#3 Ryan Brooks

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 12:27 AM

Thanks Alan!  I'll have to pull a few examples from there.  I also grabbed the thread that is talking about the oldest arms in use today.  All great stuff.  Is there anything from any manufacturers that talk about how well the rigs hold up over time or something similar?


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#4 Alan Rencher

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 12:32 AM

There are quite a few threads on that subject on the forum.

Here's a tip for easier searching: go to google and type, "site:steadicamforum.com keyword"

Replace the word "keyword" with what you want to search for, and don't include the quotes. Google with them perform a search of this site with your search terms. That works better than the built in search function.
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#5 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 12:48 AM

Hi Ryan,

 

You can't really rely on all manufacturers claims of how well a rig or piece of gear will hold their value and you can only find anecdotal evidence from owners. However, I'd take an operator's experience over anything else.

 

Something like a PRO arm holds it's value very very well as it's become the high bar by which all others are compared for the most part. You rarely see them for sale, when you do they sell immediately and they sell with probably the least loss or depreciation of almost any other item I've seen on here.  Preston follow focus is the same way largely fueled by not just their quality and reliability but they are on a waiting list for new pieces.  Bartech is the same way but I don't know if Jim is on a waiting list.  My XCS Ultimate 2 sold in two hours last week and had multiple buyers. I think I really under priced it as well. By comparison a Tiffen Clipper 24 I had way back took nine months to sell and a lot of price lowering with it to get it to move.

Look at the TB6 green screen monitor by XCS which was selling for the $15,000 dollar range forever and selling like hot cakes on the used market at nearly a new price. In a matter of months the then new line of high, bright and sharp color LED monitors blew the bottom out of the TB6 market and the last I looked used ones were maybe half price if that. A lot of ops still love them and probably have a handful stocked up to finish out their career with.

 

Someone who would have a very long and broad view of the used market is Derrick Whitehouse of Whitehouse Steadi Sales.  He is one of the few I know that has made a livelyhood out of selling used Steadi gear. http://www.shoots.co...Whitehouse.html

 

As Alan said you can look back and see for yourself what sells quick.

 

Robert


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#6 William Demeritt

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 03:36 AM

Robert hit the mark on a lot. One question for you Ryan: what are you trying to figure out? I'd be curious to know why you're pursuing such an interesting subject. 

 

Just spitballing: the value of gear is a bizarre mix of utility and reliability. Brand new gear carries the cost of brand new gear, and I can tell you that something like a PRO sled really isn't marked up that much from their total cost of manufacturing (custom parts and assembly time). I would imagine the same with XCS? Those parts leave the facility after QC, and the sled can "do the job". 

 

If we're looking at PRO sleds, I'll say this: I bought a PRO2 SD sled used as my first rig, and I still have some original parts on it. Other operators still have their original rigs. The durability of the product has proven itself, so the sled is still probably as valuable as a brand new sled (minus the whole "bought used" aspect expecting a discount on the premium of BRAND NEW).

 

I think rigs only lose their value when they don't necessarily facilitate the needs of a modern operator, such as buying a used EFP rig when you know you need/want an HD sled, maybe with 2 HD lines? However, amazing shots are still achieved every day with an old EFP rig, or a PRO 1, or a Tiffen Ultra. I believe that's why the Steadicam community often tells new operators to buy used; the fact you're getting a "discount" on a rig that "Does the job" is a leg up for making that initial investment. 

 

PRO Arms used to sell used VERY fast, and I think they do still sell VERY FAST. However, I believe the used sale price dropped on the arms recently because PRO dropped the pricing on new arms. 

 

I would imagine the cost increase goes from low cost to higher cost as follows: 

 

Low cost used: "old" sleds, sleds by defunct manufacturers, sleds with QC issues, or sleds from questionable companies (or became questionable).

Moderate cost used: "previous generation" by the manufacturer sleds, sleds a generation behind the current offering by that manufacturer, etc.

High cost used: "recent" or "current" generation by manufacturer sleds, sleds still actively being serviced by the manufacturer. 

 

When a manufacturer introduces a new sled, or someone introduces a new technology that is embraced, or someone introduces a cheaper iteration of new or current technology, the price drops very quickly. Like Robert said, the TB-6 used was once within 70-80% of the "brand new" price. Now, they sell at a fraction. PRO arms still sell instantly, but the price reflects the "used" percentage modifier on the "new" price.


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#7 Ryan Brooks

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 12:39 PM

Awesome!  Great information guys.  Really appreciate you guys taking the time to help me out. 

 

William to answer your question the best I can, I'm looking to upgrade my system.  In order to do that I have to take out a loan for the gear.  When talking to the bank and figuring out terms I discovered that I needed a certain length of loan to be able to keep paying my bills and make sure I can pay the loan amount even when times are slow.  In order to get that specific loan, they said any kind of literature or proof that shows that the system won't be completely obsolete in a year or two would help my case.  I thought the best place to turn would be to the experts.  This site is excellent and a wealth of information.  Thanks again!  Hope that kind of gives an idea of what I'm looking for.  You guys have already been a huge help already.


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#8 Nathan Chapman

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 08:52 PM

Below is research from when I was applying for my loan.
 
HOWEVER, my bank - and I would assume most banks - don't really care for this. They care for the general auction value of the item under security. For highly specialised filmmaking gear, you're looking at around 20% value (I was looking at the ~$30k Archer 2, the bank said it's "worth" $6k).

Best of luck!

 

41OT0Mo.png


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#9 Ryan Brooks

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 08:58 PM

Thanks Nathan! Its rough dealing with the bank. They just don't seem to understand. Thanks again for the info. It's appreciated.
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#10 Janice Arthur

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 10:08 AM

Ryan

Credit unions are, in my experience, easier to deal with often more one on one relationships. Leasing is also an option but consult a friend or relative for advice on the pitfalls of leasing.

The only details I know of leasing are u may not be able to use the gear as collateral and u should make sure u own the gear at the end of the lease.

Again lawyers and accountants and outside advice are worth the few hundred dollars they may cost u

Janice
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#11 Ryan Brooks

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 10:31 AM

Good calls Janice! Didn't think of Credit union. Have to look into that. Tried lease route, but even if I had a couple great years and tried to pay off early they said they would still charge rate of full term of lease. Thanks!
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