BSD, what's up?

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BrianAZ

BSD, what's up?

Post by BrianAZ »

Mark Balogh seems to be "the man" when it comes to sailing packages for folding kayaks, but getting in touch with him is, well, a PITA. I've emailed him several times, gotten some responses, but then he just kinda seems to disappear again...

I'm trying to get a Batwing/BOSS package for my Long Haul, anyone got any tips?

Or have one for sail??? :lol:

Alm

Post by Alm »

One-man operation, nobody to delegate his duties to when he has to take care of family or other non-business issues. This was what he told me couple of months ago, and apparently this is how he operates. Too bad for business - any serious competitor could've easily overtaken this share of market. But seems like due to low numbers nobody is willing to.

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chrstjrn
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Post by chrstjrn »

He makes a real quality item. Also, when you DO make contact, his service and educated advice is simply excellent.

Try the telephone. Keep trying it.
Chris T.
Klymit Packraft
In storage in the US:
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind
'64 Klepper T12
Early '90s Old Town Canoe
Previous:
'04 Pakboat Puffin II
'05 Swift (prototype)
'84 Hobie 16.

BrianAZ

Post by BrianAZ »

Well, here goes :)

I just had a very pleasant talk with Sam (Samantha I'm guessing?) at BSD, and placed an order for an Expedition rig with BOSS for my Long Haul MK 1. She couldn't give me a firm delivery time but was clear that it would be at least a few months, and was very knowledgeable and helpful about their sails and options, colors, etc.

I only wish I'd have picked up the @%&$ phone months ago! :oops: I might be sailing my LH already! :lol:

If/when it arrives I'll be so thrilled I promise I'll borrow a digital camera and post some pics of the whole setup! 8)

Thanks for the phone advice Chris :wink:

mje
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Location: Southeast Michigan

Post by mje »

Alm wrote:One-man operation, nobody to delegate his duties to when he has to take care of family or other non-business issues. This was what he told me couple of months ago, and apparently this is how he operates. Too bad for business - any serious competitor could've easily overtaken this share of market. But seems like due to low numbers nobody is willing to.
Actually, more than one has tried. One former supplier of his told him he wanted a piece of the business- or he'd compete with him directly and drive him out of business. This was a major setback to Mark, as he had to come up with a new supplier, and it created a huge backlog. But he survived- and the competitor went out of business. It's pretty hard to make a product as high quality as BSD's, sell it for what he charges, and make money doing it.
Michael Edelman
FoldingKayaks.org Webmaster

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chrstjrn
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Location: Kansai, Japan

Post by chrstjrn »

I notice that Mark responds quickly over on Bagboater. Ralph Hoehn (the US Pouch distributer) is similar. I think it is because Bagboater comes directly to their mailboxes, whereas they would have to reach out to come here. Mark just posted to Bagboater a day or two ago. I don't post to Bagboater any more because it is such a spam magnet, but I still lurk there.

So Mark is around, and he's doing business. We just have to use slightly more traditional methods of communication-- the telephone. Not such a big deal, once you get down to it.
Chris T.
Klymit Packraft
In storage in the US:
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind
'64 Klepper T12
Early '90s Old Town Canoe
Previous:
'04 Pakboat Puffin II
'05 Swift (prototype)
'84 Hobie 16.

Alm

Post by Alm »

mje wrote:One former supplier of his told him he wanted a piece of the business- or he'd compete with him directly and drive him out of business. This was a major setback to Mark, as he had to come up with a new supplier, and it created a huge backlog. But he survived- and the competitor went out of business. It's pretty hard to make a product as high quality as BSD's, sell it for what he charges, and make money doing it.
It's hard to make money with the quantities that he is producing monthly or quarterly. When people are waiting almost a year for a complete rig, (and it doesn't look like there are zillions of them on water), I wonder how he can recover manufacturing expenses and materials costs at all. Good product can be made in numbers too - up to the limits of the existing demand, anyway. At this point it is mostly manufacturing, - most of his R&D has been completed years ago. Either there is not much to improve now (this is possible), or he doesn't have time for improvements (possible too), or he is spending a lot of time, trying to come up with some improvements even though there is no desperate need (the product is in demand as it is, and no competition) - this is possible too, some people are like that. But, eventually, changes in parts and materials of his rigs are rather infrequent.

As to the supplier/competitor - except for a new FC upwind rig (and they haven't supplied Mark with materials or parts, AFAIK), I haven't seen anything even close. He had and still has a problem with supply of urethane-covered nylon for amas - or with a manufacturer. I vaguely recall something that Voyager used to make them under his design. But Voyager is still out there with floatation bags etc.
Mark just posted to Bagboater a day or two ago.
Precisely at that time he eventually returned my last emails (repeat transmission of what was sent over a month ago). Don't count on telephone too much, btw - if he is not "around", you'll have to talk to answering machine (and the machine won't call you back, naturally, until he re-appears again). I tried telephone when got tired of waiting for a rig few years ago.

aklinz

Defence of Mark Balogh

Post by aklinz »

I too, have had problems getting a hold of Mark via E-Mail. But when I needed advice on installing my BOSS/Batwing 32 on my Feathercraft K1, the phone worked best. Almost always got ahold of Sam; very helpful and knowledgeable. Keep at it! (It is worth it!) I wish communications were better, but at the end of the day, Mark Balogh's product is just so superior, it is second to none! You won't be disappointed.

Andrew Klinzmann

John Monroe

Post by John Monroe »

Aklinz does the Balogh AMA's spin around on the AKA to follow wave action. I had someone ask me this question and I couldn't answer it. If so could a big wave spin the AMA's upside down?

John

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chrstjrn
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Location: Kansai, Japan

Post by chrstjrn »

To answer John: no, the amas are in a fixed attitude.

To agree with Andrew: as difficult as it is to get ahold of Mark B., when you do he is encyclopedic in his helpfulness. I also had the experience that when I broke a piece of my rig (uhh... splintered the leeboard, actually), he was super-quick to ship a replacement to me.
Chris T.
Klymit Packraft
In storage in the US:
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind
'64 Klepper T12
Early '90s Old Town Canoe
Previous:
'04 Pakboat Puffin II
'05 Swift (prototype)
'84 Hobie 16.

BrianAZ

Post by BrianAZ »

Since this thread recently became active again, and I started it, just FYI... I haven't received my BSD sail package yet, haven't heard a peep from Mark.

I'm still excited at the idea of having it, and haven't lost faith, yet...

But having put $300 down as a deposit, after a year of waiting, an update wouldn't hurt my feelings... :roll:

Alm

Post by Alm »

BrianAZ wrote:Since this thread recently became active again, and I started it, just FYI... I haven't received my BSD sail package yet, haven't heard a peep from Mark.

I'm still excited at the idea of having it, and haven't lost faith, yet...

But having put $300 down as a deposit, after a year of waiting, an update wouldn't hurt my feelings...
This issue appears to be permanent. Phone him. Don't rely on email. I don't know why, but emails sent to him are rarely answered. Or send an email with a heading "ONE YEAR OLD ORDER". Dealing with email spam or educationg prospective customers that are not sure what they want and if they want anything at all - is one thing, and a customer waiting for his order is another.

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chrstjrn
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Posts: 1724
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:47 pm
Location: Kansai, Japan

Post by chrstjrn »

I second ALM. I had a similar experience to yours, although I think it was around 8 or 11 months that I waited. The lack of updates was really disturbing. I would say that communication is not Mark's strong point, but that wouldn't be exactly fair because he is so good when you DO make contact.
Chris T.
Klymit Packraft
In storage in the US:
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind
'64 Klepper T12
Early '90s Old Town Canoe
Previous:
'04 Pakboat Puffin II
'05 Swift (prototype)
'84 Hobie 16.

BrianAZ

Post by BrianAZ »

That's reassuring, at least I'm not alone :) I'll give him a call...

Alm

Post by Alm »

My total time for a full rig was about 12 months. After 11 months of waiting (no updates), I sent email with the heading "11 months old order", and immediately got a reply of the kind that sorry, production//suppliers/materials etc etc problems (poor administration wasn't in the plea, though I suspect this is the main problem), your order is almost ready and will be shipped soon. After another 3-5 weeks (don't remember) it was indeed shipped.

On another occasion when I needed just a couple of parts (had to switch from one folder to another), it arrived in a month.

His expertise in these products is outstanding, agreed.

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