Why don’t you show prices?

Product announcements discuss features, but never prices. Why not?

03/04/2011


Dear Control Engineering: When I read new product announcements or technology articles, you spend lots of time discussing functions and features, but how can I evaluate the value of a product if you don’t give the price?

It’s true that we don’t normally list prices when we discuss products. I won’t say it’s never happened, but mentioning a price is exceedingly rare.

There are many reasons for that. Here are a few:

1. Many products have too complex a price structure to make it practical. Often items have too many configuration options for us to list them all.

2. Information in our magazine and on our Website has too long a life. You can read a product release from several years ago on our site, and unless you’re paying close attention to the date, you might not realize how old it is. Since then, the price may have changed, which could be more or less depending on the technology.

3. Information in our magazine and on our Website can be read anywhere in the world. Pricing for all products is not the same in all global markets.

4. Perhaps the most compelling reason that we don’t list prices is that the manufacturers don’t want us to. Take a look at a typical issue of Control Engineering and see how many ads list products with prices. There are some that do it routinely, such as AutomationDirect and Omega, but these are generally for items that are less than $1,000 and sold directly to users with little or no special configuration. Products that are more complex are typically sold through more complex distribution channels, including company salespeople, regional distributors or rep organizations. Such groups like to have control over pricing, and if we publish numbers, that can confuse the issue. Some customers may receive preferential discounts, unique configurations, or other services bundled with the hardware, and there’s no way we can reflect that.

The best advice is to consult your supplier.

Peter Welander, pwelander@cfemedia.com



The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Robotic integration and cloud connections; SCADA and cybersecurity; Motor efficiency standards; Open- and closed-loop control; Augmented reality
Controller programming; Safety networks; Enclosure design; Power quality; Safety integrity levels; Increasing process efficiency
Additive manufacturing benefits; HMI and sensor tips; System integrator advice; Innovations from the industry
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This article collection contains several articles on how automation and controls are helping human-machine interface (HMI) hardware and software advance.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me