You can buy them from European distributors in bulk for less than MSRP and sell them for the same price as thermoworks on amazon and still make a profit. The only reason they were going for $179 previously is because thermoworks was buying the thermometers from sellers and reporting them as counterfeit. Thus making it difficult for sellers to sell them which keeps supply low.
They have fraudulently filed copyright removals and counterfeit accusations on amazon multiple times for Thermapen listings that don't use the "thermoworks" name.
You can see that thermoworks does not own the Thermapen trademark.
Edit: apparently, you can't link to a trademark search directly, so you would need to go to the basic search and enter"Thermapen".
They are a distributor of the ETI Thermapen and nothing more except 'good friends' with the owners of ETI and that they have contributed design ideas to some versions of the Thermapen. Just as any distributor does. Note how they try to make it sound like they have some sort of ownership of the product, but the only thing they have ownership of is the Thermoworks name and a contract with ETI to be the sole US distributor.
What in their blog post makes you think they have the right to claim copyright infringement for someone selling a Thermapen they bought directly from ETI?
Sole distributorship means your company is the only one in a particular territory that the *manufacturer* will sell to directly - usually in exchange for KPIs around marketing, distribution and maybe service in addition to sales.
Anyone else can buy it in an outside territory - for example from another distributor or even from the manufacturer itself (strange things are known to happen when people's incentives are tied to sales targets) and sell it in your territory. While this is often called "grey channel" or "parallel imports", this is perfectly legal if the importer pays customs duty etc and invariably seems to happen if there is significant price differentiation between territories.
The way to combat grey channel is to price right across territories in a way that it's not worth anyone's while to do parallel imports.
As a consumer you may have some rights even with gray market, but it's not like a US court is going to be able to force a UK company to honor a warranty they never offered in the first place because they never sold directly into this market.
And if there is an official distributor, they suddenly need to start investigating where every customer got their widget from, because they can't afford to provide warranties on items they didn't get the original markup on
Honest question, I really don’t know
One side question: how do you manage the warranty? Presumably as the reseller you will need to handle the legal minimum warranty (how long is that in the US?) by shipping the article yourself back to the UK?
With the exception of specific types of products (cars) or situations where consumers are gravely at risk (recalls), there is no mandatory warranty in the US. Your only requirement as a reseller is to pass on any warranty from the manufacturer, and allow customers to read a written warranty before making a purchase.
It’s one of the reasons why Amazon takes such pains to make the questionable assertion that they are at arms length for every transaction. Fraudulent or grey market stuff often fails the fitness test.
The same crap used to happen with fake cameras and electronics in Manhattan. The stores would “go out of business” and reopen the next day under a new guise to avoid legal consequences. Now you just create a new merchant on Amazon.
But this looks more like the reseller is trying to wreak havoc with lawful competition sans an agreement with Amazon. They may not look kindly on it if they see what's happening. Competition where it's not being intentionally stifled is the business model.
If you, dear reader, had a sole distributor agreement with an OEM would you do what you could to protect your reputation and the brand?
Which law prohibits the distributor from selling thermometers that they own?
How come an agreement between ETI and Thermoworks have any legal power over anybody else?
You can always buy the product at retail, from another country, or directly from the manufacturer (if they will sell to you) and sell the product at retail.
The text of the blog post also says "Today ThermoWorks also operates its own product design studio in Utah where innovative professional thermometers and timers are created for both companies." so Thermoworks is more than a distributor. jjeaff's representation of the blog post is clearly incorrect and should only increase suspicion of the original accusation of fraud.
> The only reason they were going for $179 previously is because thermoworks was buying the thermometers from sellers and reporting them as counterfeit. Thus making it difficult for sellers to sell them which keeps supply low.
That’s a pretty severe accusation to throw around - have any proof to back it up?
For me the Thermapen is worth every penny to me. It's fast, accurate, and reliable. I know that if I pick it up it is going to work and that alone is worth a premium. I've also had good experiences with their customer service - they will replace or repair them with little or no hassle.
Yes they are expensive but my oldest Thermapen is at least 10 years old. If you keep an eye out it's not hard to get them 25% off or more.
People did make good BBQ for many years before digital thermometers existed, and without using meat thermometers! I suspect professional experts barbequing all day probably still don't use thermometers. They are have the same heat source many times, and know how it cooks and know how to judge the size of meat, because they've done it hundreds of times.
But yeah, for those of us who are less expert, a meat thermometer can get us much better results.
If you're a restaurant that is constantly smoking meat, you probably don't need a thermometer, but you probably have one. If you're an ordinary person, I would recommend a decent one at least. I have a thermapen. I don't regret buying it. If my fire dies and I don't feel like chopping more wood, or if I just put the brisket in the oven to finish overnight after it gets smoke, I can still know exactly when it's ready. I don't have to repeat the exact same process every time for a good result.
But a thermometer let's you transfer those skills much more easily to environments with varying conditions, It's especially common for professional cooks to be expected to cook in varying conditions.
It has to be a repeatable processes, especially if you are doing it commercially and you need to train other people. Temperature is a measurable thing vs look or feel which is subjective.
For some things accuracy is extra important, one or two degrees won't make or break a pork but but can greatly impact something like steak.
Amazon head 2M counterfeit items to destroy in 2020 only. What do you think how many counterfeit items were sold on Amazon in the last 10 years?
They joust found 10 billion items. Nothing to see here, the policy that you are referring to is working perfectly. These numbers are a tiny fraction. Right?
I think I paid $60 for one on Thermoworks's web site during what they said was a sale, and I generally don't regret it vs. the crummy experiences I've had with cheaper food thermometers.
So that we compare like for like, I’m assuming you paid $60 pretax. £55 is $77.65 at present, which seems in line with paying $60 on sale.
Like I get paying that much for lab or industrial use if it’s highly accurate/precise. But for cooking…nobody will taste the difference between 0.1 degrees. And I’m not even sure it’s that accurate. It looks like a 10$ thermometer and I doubt it’s much better than one for cooking.
So I bought a thermapen. I knew about them because I used to work in kitchens, and it's pretty much exclusively what we used there. After my experience with other thermometers, I can appreciate why.
It's expensive, but it's super reliable, pleasant to use, and lets me focus on other concerns as I'm cooking. Compared to my experience with other cheap thermometers which, last Thanksgiving, went something like "fuck, it died on me again, let me dig out my backup... fucking hell, that one's dead too"
I have at least 3 floating around that ran me $12ish dollars each on Amazon and use them daily.
I'll probably get another one when the cheap ones that I'm using annoy me one too many times.
If I’m ever cooking a recipe that is written in imperial units, I will convert them all to metric prior to starting. (This includes turning nearly all measures into grams—including and especially cups and spoons.)
My scale is easily changed. I pick it up, turn it over, and push a button. However, it is pretty difficult to change it by accident, and honestly, I just check the display before I weigh just to make sure.
And honestly, do you think that folks are sitting down with pen and paper if they need to convert? Nope. Google will do this work for you.
I'll also mention that it isn't worth it to weigh everything in the home kitchen. Small amounts - the ones you are using spoons for - are too light for the average kitchen scale, and the sensitive scales are expensive (and also have associations with dealing drugs, which turns some people off).
Having a button that changes it with a single press is actually an impediment to working quickly, and only introduces uncertainty and anxiety about the tool. Measuring temperature isn't like measuring weight - seconds matter. A moment of confusion could be enough to ruin a process, and a failure to notice the change in settings could create a dangerous situation. Nobody wants a button to see the wrong number.
Think of it like compile-time config. It's there, you can change it if you want, and everyone will have a preference, but if you need to change it often, you're not the target market.
In the rare consumer case in which you may be using foreign measurements you can change it once at the beginning of the recipe.
Shadow kitchens that make recipes for multiple different restaurants could have measurements in both.
To not have the button at all would make sense(compile time config), but if there are situations where you need to change it, those can come up as frequently as every time you use it
Every commercial kitchen complies with and is inspected for compliance with food handling regulations.
Any recipe in commercial use is written specifically for the kitchen in which it is made. One might even consider them a complete vertical unit: if the recipe is designed as a chain or franchise standard, the kitchen standard is designed in tandem to match.
You will not find a commercial kitchen in America using Celsius for anything.
If you don't want professional tools don't buy them.
Tablespoons (for example) are often equating to 10-25g which even the cheapest, nastiest 1g precision kitchen scales can handle with greater precision and repeatability than using an actual tablespoon
It’s only when measuring half teaspoon stuff where I’ll either just use a teaspoon or pull out precision scales—it all depends how important it is to be accurate with an ingredient.
Obviously, the main concern is with repeatability in baking. But for me the biggest benefit is being able to pour all ingredients directly into your bowl (sitting on scales) without dirtying up a pile of measuring cups and spoons.
Liquid measures by volume are mostly ok, since liquids vary hardly at all in density (for a given liquid).
Solid measures by volume are a joke. It’s easy to be off by 10% or more, depending on how fluffy or packed down your ingredient is. When you’re baking a loaf of bread, this is the difference between a soggy mass and a dry pile of crumbs.
No, because my own experience says otherwise. And this idea of accidental changing is hogwash, again because I've used this for years. Experience is worth a thousand opinions.
I can't use recipes that use cups and spoons. I don't own measuring spoons or measuring cups, and drinking cups and spoons from the cutlery drawer don't cut the mustard.
In addition to a thermapen, I have an instant-read infra-red thermometer. I use this to check the temperature of my pizza oven, before launching a pizza - I launch at 450C, which is way too hot for any contact thermometer.
Why would you ever switch it to F?
Feigned confusion aside, I love the absolute simplicity of the Thermapen. It does one thing, and does it good. Absolutely zero distractions, compared to the one you linked. You open it up, it switches on. You stick it into things, it tells you the temperature at the tip. What's not to love?
The extra 80-90$, presumably...
I suppose there's room in the market for a cheaper thermometer with the same features/performance as thermapen but it's probably not worth it to the manufacturers and re-sellers that could actually pull it off. The markup for the thermapen is not particularly shocking or worrisome. More importantly, the consumer is not getting "ripped off" at that price if it's a solid product that lasts for years and years.
I'm not sure what to think of their Amazon antics. They're aggressively keeping Amazon from selling thermapens so they can keep the price at a premium in the American market? It's not like I cam blame them. They just want to make a buck and not bend over for Amazon. Competitors, including Amazon Basics, are free to sell a product and eat Thermapen's lunch, but they don't. I expect because it's not worth it.
The old digital thermometers did the awhile but I think some of the new ones are pretty fast (and accurate).
Stanley, Black and Decker, Dewalt, Irwin, and Porter Cable are all tool brands made by the same company in the exact same factories. People have ran extensive "scientific" tests on job sites and on YouTube on the battery life between them. Everyone has a favorite that lasts the longest or is best under load. Aside from the metal contacts and plastic housing to make the batteries unique to each brand - they all contain batteries from the exact same two suppliers.
Do professionals use those brands? I'm sure passionate amateurs will use those brands (I have a drill from that list) - but pros?
I ask because I know a professional mechanic and I asked his favorite wrench brand, and he went off about various brands I didn't recognize.
Also, regarding your list, have you accounted for variability in quality within a product run?
Binning is a related topic.
There's a certain 20V compact leaf blower that I've seen branded as a DeWalt, Ryobi, and Milwaukee. I'm not sure about the motor or controller but the plastic casing is almost identical aside from the color and battery connector. It's also interesting to note that the B&D and the Porter-Cable 20V batteries are identical except for a plastic tab that prevents interoperability.
Most common type/size is the 18650, used in everything from drills, powerbanks, to Teslas. Second most common type is the 21700.
A "scientific" test isn't even necessary, just tear down the battery pack, see what cell they put in there, and read the spec sheet. The big 4 battery makers will sell you a whole range of batteries in that size with varying mAh/Amp.
Googling teardowns, I found a Black & Decker 1.5A MAX Lithium simply uses a bunch of Sanyo UR18650W2 (1500mAh rated at 18A) cells, while a teardown of a Dewalt pack shows they used the more expensive LG HB4s (1500mAh rated at 30A).
There literally no reason they can't use the better cells in the Black & Decker, other than they're building it to a cheaper price point. The fact that they're built in the same factory is besides the point.
I've used shitty thermometers trying to make candy. It sucks. If you want it to come out consistent, you need a good thermometer. One that lasts longer than a few months is always nice too. I dunno if a $150+ one is reasonable. But a quality thermometer helps for sure.
There are a ton of cooking thermometers on Amazon. A majority of them are awful. Either they’re woefully inaccurate, or they fail after only a few months of use. You only have to read the reviews (when they’re not completely gamed by the sellers) to see this.
So you can either a) buy cheap thermometers one after the other until you happen to hit on one that works or b) buy a quality product first time that professional chefs rave about.
Sure, you might get lucky with option a), but after two or three duds, option b) starts to look increasingly sane.
Thermopens just work. They do one thing & have been honed to do that one thing incredibly well. When you buy one, you know exactly what you’re getting & you know that the company will stand behind their product. WHat you’re buying is a combination of certainty & quality. Why shouldn’t they charge a premium for that?
Yes, we have cheaper thermometers. The difference is night and day. More than anything, it’s the speed with which it settles, but the unit is also calibrated, which gives us confidence. (I spent some time looking for a cheap alternative, but didn't find anything with consistently great reviews. I decided it was worth the extra money to buy less hassle, and I went with Thermoworks. No regrets!)
Edit: I read a bit more on this, and was mistaken. Here is my original explanation: Basically a vacuum pump to lower boiling temperature; this puts a ceiling on achievable temperature for water-rich foods.
Actually, nowadays it looks like it's just slow cooking vacuum-sealed food in a temperature-controlled water bath.
For pan searing, a quick and accurate thermometer doesn't actually make this much easier. I also have a Thermapen, but pan searing to a certain level of doneness is still a bit of an art because the final interior temperature after resting can be quite a bit different than the pull temperature due to residual heat at the edges of the meat. Even trying to get a consistent interior temperature using the same pan temperature (using a Control Freak induction cooktop) is difficult because the shape, thickness, and moisture content of meat can vary significantly. There's a few new gadgets that attempt to resolve this (e.g., this predictive thermometer with 8 sensors https://combustion.inc), but honestly having a lot of cooking experience is probably the best way to get a feel for when to remove the meat from the pan under rapid cooking conditions.
Of course, sous vide and reverse sear are completely different and while you can indeed get a precise temperature, those methods have their own trade-offs (namely, it's difficult to get as thick of a crust).
She loathes sous vide.
The nice thing about the Thermapen is that it reads so fast that it's easy to explore the temperature gradients in the food. It's a learning process, right? In my own cooking, I'm correlating the measurements with technique and results, and when I finally cook something well I can reliably repeat it.
(Full disclosure. I have the surface temperature version of the Thermapen and a 4-channel recording thermometer, and I've profiled the oven, the griddle, etc. :-) We now focus on improving other aspects of cooking, confident that temperature is handled.)
I was amazed when I discovered this. If you have a thick steak on a pan, knowing what the temperature gradient looks like inside is very valuable, compared to just knowing the temperature in the middle. Just slide your thermapen out slowly, and you can get a good reading on the gradient.
There's a $30 Thermapen (the Thermopop), for what it's worth; it reads in 3 seconds, versus low hundred milliseconds.
Pay for quality. It's cheaper in the long run.
Even the value of "brand" is diminishing: decent corps are bought and gutted all the time.
The Thermapen is rated at 3 seconds, which I imagine feels much better when you quickly want to get the temperature of a steak or something while preparing other components at the same time.
...and downvoted for speaking the truth. Yes, it's all marketing BS, a tiny "bead" type thermocouple probe has next to no thermal mass and reads as instantly as you'll ever need for cooking purposes. Go buy a cheap one yourself if you don't believe me.
Regardless, I don't think the self-righteousness is called for. "Downvoted for speaking the truth"? We're talking about thermometers.
Get the right influencer/review site on your side and it's all downhill from there.
ETA: the thermapen isn't the Wirecutter recommendation. They recommend the entry level, $35 thermoworks option. So that's the price point to compete with and the $100 thermapen is the quality mark to hit.
Well it's true that you may be able to get something of equal quality for less, paying $100 for a high quality thermometer then I can always return and have replaced for years on end isn't that bad of a deal.
I have alwaysp been bothered by this. There's the strange masculine trait of pointing out how cheap you got something or how much something costs as if it Is a significant amount of money when it's not.
We get it! You're cheap and you would rather buy a mountain of disposable crap than spend money on something handmade to last! You're so cool and thrifty!
Who gives a fuck how much you make. There are many people making way less and not because they are in any way inferior.
>"You're so cool and thrifty!"
I do not even want to say in public what I think about this.
Honestly, I was using speech to text while having a drink so my comment came off as kinda stupid.
On the other hand, there's a group of people who have fallen for the classic car salesman logic of "I'm actually SAVING money by spending more!" As if there's this epidemic of devices constantly failing, and they're the smartest people in the world for having come up with this novel idea about "spending more on quality." But being able to signal on social media about the nice things you have is an added bonus, so maybe there's something to it.
The vast majority of people admit they are spending more to get more - not to save money.
>As if there's this epidemic of devices constantly failing
As far as I've experienced: There is. Maybe not "epidemic", and maybe not "constantly", but you appear to be using exaggeration for effect.
>they're the smartest people in the world for having come up with this novel idea about "spending more on quality."
What's with the hostility toward these people you're envisioning? I've never seen this group of people who think spending more to get a higher quality product is genius and novel.
This sounds like the kind of business plan that breaks down once you consider returns and warranties. I see 3 possibilities, either
(1) you make it clear to your buyers that they are not buying from thermoworks US, and that they must notcontact them for support and that you will meet the guarantees that Thermoworks promise (two years according to their website?), and therefore you will have to ship items back and forth across the atlantic (or just send free replacements), eating into your profits.
(2) you don't make this clear, in which case Thermoworks US will receive "fraudulent" warranty claims (ie legitimate issues, but from people who did not buy from thermoworks). Maybe as the sole distributor in the US, thermoworks weren't even checking where people bought their thermometers from
(3) you don't give the same warranty as Thermoworks, in which case is this crystal clear to the consumer?
When I sold them, my listing made no mention of Thermoworks. So I felt no obligation to spend time clarifying that the products could not be returned to Thermoworks for warranty servicing. Just like Walmart doesn't make it clear to buyers that they cannot return their product to Target. But I did actually match the warranty length that Thermoworks offers. Though I don't think I ever got a warranty claim outside of the 30 days or so that Amazon allows customers to return an item.
Do you have anything, that supports this claim?
As for the high prices, tough luck. I'm America, when you buy something, you have the right to sell it at whatever price you want, for the most part.
As a consumer to other consumers, yes, but not as a business. Otherwise we wouldn't have things like MAP (minimum advertised price), which is enforceable by manufacturers. First-sale doctrine only covers so much.
Any business can buy any product off the shelf and resell it for whatever price they want.
MAP agreements typically don’t say anything about the selling price, they more typically govern marketing funds provided by the manufacturer. So, for example, Logitech might give my computer store $1,000 to feature their new mouse in my weekly newspaper circular, but only as long as I stick to MAP guidelines. If I don’t, they’ll rescind the advertising credit.
> jjeaff 2 hours ago [–]
> It happened to me. The name of the purchaser came up in a Google search as an employee of Thermoworks.
A disclaimer in his initial post would have been far more appropriate.
Not so much savvy consumer as much as it he is disgruntled former competitor.
I simply don't trust Amazon for certain purchases. I feel like it's actually made me trust brands more instead of commoditized products.
This is coming from someone who used to buy from Amazon over everyone else because it was so darn convenient.
After seeing all the horror stories and having friends receive counterfeit or obviously defective, returned, and resold as new items; I just can't trust them anymore. Especially for things that go in or on my body. Or my pets for that matter.
Never thought I'd see the day where I was choosing Harbor Freight for quality.
I basically only buy books from Amazon now, and even there I don’t think they make print-on-demand obvious enough, and I won’t buy print-on-demand if the book is otherwise available because I’ve gotten too many bad printings.
The last time I posted about it here people defended Amazon because of their return policies. Well, the printing errors aren’t always immediately obvious. One reference book o purchased was missing a page but had a duplicate of the previous page. When printing errors are obvious, I feel like either Amazon is trying to see if I’ll complain or they’re trying to get me to do their QC.
And even if they don’t make me return the bad one... waiting another day or two isn’t great. I’d rather wait three days knowing I have to wait three days than wait one day, have to contact Amazon, and wait one more day.
I have a kindle, and I love it, and I buy books for it. I have Prime mostly because when I was buying a lot it made sense and now I sometimes watch Prime Video. But anything else is just too much work to read through fake reviews and worry about counterfeits or used goods masquerading as new.
I suppose that category also includes safety critical items. Like batteries intended for weapon lights, or offroad recovery gear.
I have never had experiences like that with Amazon, but I have read stories on the internet. I believe Amazon making it easier to leave negative feedback than eBay is one reason this kind of nonsense is less common on Amazon.
Now I buy directly from Walmart if something's available there, because I have more confidence that their usual price controls are at work.
In fact, most of those beans are probably being drop-shipped from Wal Mart.
For items that Amazon is selling first-party, you can bet that they know exactly what all of the other major retailers are selling for, and they’ll be within pennies of their price, if not beating it.
The alternatives that more and more people seems to be preferring is specialty sites focusing on just one or two product categories or the manufacturer making it easier to buy directly from them.
I don't dismiss any of the concerns regarding Amazon and authenticity and quality. But I have yet to have it affect me after hundreds of purchases for many thousands of dollars.
Maybe it's just the kinds of things I buy. Maybe I don't notice the occasional knock off. Maybe I'm just naturally good at avoiding dark corners.
As a result I haven't changed my behaviour at all.
There is one product I've bought that I'm reasonably confident is a counterfeit based solely on the build quality, and unfortunately it's a Leviton GFCI plug . Not exactly something I want to risk to inferior quality control.
1 - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0037NXKY0
You could lose your global entry / TSA precheck privileges.
That’s likely. Many of the knock-offs are very convincing, especially if you don’t compare them side by side with the original.
Nowadays, most companies sell directly to consumers, shipping is fast enough and you generally get a genuine, updated and properly stored item.
I usually make the following choice:
For the item I want, is there a brand I trust, eg that designs and produces a high quality item, if possible locally? For example, I know some companies for speakers, kitchenwares and appliances that produce here in the EU (and I know people working there). I buy from them directly, since I care about not getting a fake.
Or, is every product just a rebranding of the same thing from one or two factories in China anyway?
If so, I go to amazon and buy one of the dozen identical trashware versions and accept that it will break. This bounds my willingness to spend.
This strategy works for me. Only choosing Amazon as seller of last resort has reduced my issues with products to zero.
Two weeks later I got an email from bladehq that they had been exploited and my credit card was now known to hackers.
So, fucked if you do, fucked if you don’t.
I bought a TV light strip doodad for $20. What arrived was an empty box. It shipped from the US, but they wanted me to ship it back to China. PayPal could not have cared less. They agreed I needed to send it back to China. I escalated very far up their chain. Nothing.
Apparently this is a common scam and PayPal does zero to help.
Jetpens for stationary. Technical books can be bought directly from the publishers. Microcenter for computer parts. Uline and Office Depot for office items.
Amazon has benefits from big brands who can police their stuff better than small brands. But smaller brands all seem to be complaining about Amazon these days, so I do try to buy direct I'd possible.
Unlike generic customer service, they used to solve problems.
Now they simply go through the motions of appearing to solve problems.
It’s really evident when a company’s customer service priorities change in this direction.
What problem were they unable to resolve?
I contacted Live Chat and they said:
* "I will add rush delivery notes for you"
* "we will do the rest for you with a rush delivery"
Then it was the Friday before Mother's Day and I got a notification the item will be delivered some time the following week.
I contacted Amazon Live Chat again:
* We never promised you a specific delivery date.
That's completely true, Amazon.
Turns out "I will add rush delivery notes for you" and "we will do a rush delivery" is a meaningless customer service thing you can say like, "your call is important to us".
This doesn't require taking any action to expedite the order or, failing that, telling the customer who is asking you about delivery for Mother's Day that they need to order a different product if they expect it to arrive in time.
So basically Amazon Customer Service is now no better or worse than any generic chat bot you can use to accomplish (or fail to accomplish) the same thing.
It's my own fault: if an item had no delivery date the week before Mother's Day, I should have canceled earlier.
On Amazon, I can see the seller's name at a glance and I can tell if it's the official seller. Buying it via Prime means I get free shipping and it often comes in the mail literally the next day (since I live in a major city with Amazon warehouses).
If something is wrong, I know I can just drop the package off at the UPS Store down the street to return it and the refund immediately shows up in my Amazon account without any hassle.
Buying directly from the manufacturer's web site, on the other hand, is a huge hassle. I have to create an account, enter my address and shipping info, and add my payment info (great, now my credit card info is stored in yet another place that could potentially be hacked), and the pay for the item. This whole checkout process is unique for every vendor web site, and when the item is shipped, I'm lucky if it arrives within two weeks, much less next day. Returning the item (if something is wrong with it) is also a huge hassle, and many third party vendors won't cover the return shipping costs, and may only replace the item for an identical one.
I've never once encountered a fraudulent product when ordering directly from an official manufacturer on Amazon Prime. That only ever happens when I buy from third party sellers or buy used products.
Also the majority of brands don't even sell directly, only through retailers like Amazon, Wal-Mart, or Target anyways.
I used to still use Amazon for research and reviews but now reviews are useless.
Now my biggest reason to visit Amazon is for price comparison and price history via camelcamcelcamel extension.
I also find Amazon prices with free shipping almost always end up being a tad higher than other places when you add in their shipping costs. ie item is $8, shipping is $4 at some competitor, where it will be $13 with free shipping at Amazon.
It's gotten to the point my wife and I pretty sure we are cancelling Prime and no longer shopping at Amazon.
Its now rare that I buy anything on Amazon that costs over $100 and I always cross shop for those things. Amazon is good at commodity items but not much else. If I'm buying a name brand product over $100 I won't buy it on Amazon because its most likely fake or has no warranty.
I really do not appreciate that Amazon has become Aliexpress in the last few years.
The video streaming service is the only thing keeping my Prime subscription active, and I'm hoping to drop it before the renewal date in July this year.
Not to mention that Chinese knock-off manufacturing has only gotten better over the last 5 years. Take a look at the Benchmade knife comparisons on youtube.
Sometimes this is because I simply can’t find what I want. More often, this is because the biggest benefit I gained from Amazon, namely the next day or two day shipping via Prime does not seem to be as common anymore.
Can't say I have the same experience from other ecommerce websites, brand ones or aggregated ones like BB or Newegg.
- Incredibly slow shipping
- Painful return processes
- 3rd party customer service that has no power to do anything
The fact that companies are paying / making me pay retail for logistics is the dumbest thing ever. The whole value of a "store" (i.e. a place that holds stuff) is the logistics and customer service. If you just want to be a manufacturer that's totally fine power to ya but then get your products to distributors and stores.
My philosophy is Avoid Amazon for everything at this point. The counterfeit is out of control
USA is a free market. Everyone is authorized all the time to sell every safe product. The term "authorized reseller" is a linguistic manipulation which benefits manufacturers at the expense of everyone else in society.
> We cannot vouch for the quality of products sold by unauthorized resellers, therefore, we cannot provide warranty or technical support on any products sold by unauthorized resellers.
This is not true in California. Manufacturers must honor the warranty on all products they originally sold in USA, no matter who later re-sold it. And for products they sold for >$99, they must provide technical documentation for 7 years. I wrote about this in .
One thing I've learned across all my many hobbies and in my professional life is that it's always worth the money to buy quality tools. They last longer, work better, and reduce the likelihood of error and failure in your work. There's a reason I don't buy junk, and I thought I could get away with it at first with cooking and learned the hard way not to. Now I have a Thermapen Mk4 along with other proper cooking tools, and it's massively upped my game and simplified the task of pulling off complex recipes.
1. start with a cheap tool
2. use it until it breaks or until you can't tolerate its shortcomings anymore
3. use what you learned from #2 to research and purchase a high quality tool
if you never get to #2, then you didn't really need anything more than the cheap tool for this particular use case
Some products take years to get to #2, they just are really poor at what they do and you don't even realize that they are terrible until you see someone with a better version.
Examples: Toasters, Knives, Cars, Chairs, Mobile Devices
Having said that, there are sometimes cases where the cheap item does the job perfectly well, and for you, the cheap toaster might be that.
1. Do research to understand your options
2. Purchase a mid-grade but not garbage quality version of whatever tool you need.
3. If you find out you use it often or that it has any annoying shortcomings, go back and buy the highest quality version you can afford and gift the mid-grade one to a friend who might need an upgrade from their average/low quality option from the box store.
This is how I ended up with a lot of Tekton hand tools and after I got more serious about racing cars and doing work on cars I upgraded to Hazet, Wiha, Wera, Nepros, Mitutoyo, Engineer, and Asahi tools. But at no point did I just go to Harbor Freight and fill up my trunk with random quality junk made in China ready for the landfill. I was then able to pass on the Tekton stuff to friends in need as I replaced it with higher end German/Japanese made tools and it's still more than capable of getting the job done even if it's not the utmost design in terms of speed or ergonomics for doing that particular work. All of the mid-grade stuff I've owned along the way has been reliable enough to last until I gifted it onward, or to stay in use up until now (and beyond).
There's WAY WAY WAY too much disposable quality drek on the market at bottom barrel scraping prices that people buy and then just throw away and buy another cheap one, thinking that the lifespan of a pan should be 2 years, that you should just buy a new set of cheap knives when the old ones don't cut well anymore, or that it's normal for an adjustable wrench or ratchet to eventually have the gears strip their teeth out.
I'm fortunate to be able to afford to buy twice and I'm nice enough to pass along my tools to others, but if you can learn anything from me, it's that it's worth not buying the absolute bottom barrel stuff in the first place. It's all garbage and in so many little ways adds to cognitive load and stress in your life, especially when trying to do hobbies you're supposed to enjoy, and it's just not worth it. It's actively bad for your life and it's catastrophically bad for the environment. If you can, buy it once and buy it for life. If you can't, buy it twice, and make sure the first option was at least good enough you could pass it along instead of throwing it away.
I use mine for bbq, meats, egg based sauces, baking, and probably a few other things that I didn't plan on using it for when i bought it.
What other tools have you spent a little extra on to get quality, if you don't mind me asking :)
Tips for inexpensive but quality kitchen tools:
The iSi basics silicone spatula is the best spatula that you could ever use, and is like $11 on Amazon. Get the larger version.
Don’t buy non-stick pans. Get cast iron and/or carbon steel, learn how to use it, and you’ll get non-toxic non-stick performance in a pan that you can give your grandkids when you die. Carbon steel is always inexpensive, and with cast iron the price goes up to have a nicer finish but is quite usable even at $25.
At this point, pretty much everything. It's on my on-going todo list to write an article for my site about it since I added a cooking section awhile back. I found a community that's apparently been around a long time in Chowhound and that exposed me to a lot of the details, and I bought some representative cheaper items to experiment with and I learned a lot. Among other things I learned why gas is better than electric for a stovetop and the shortcomings of induction electric burners, which I had previously thought were marvelous. During the course of 2020 I really took cooking seriously and decided to go all-out, enrolled in online culinary school in my free time and learned how to do all the things I had previously neglected. I'm not a pro cook, this is just for at home, but with new techniques and new understanding of what is available it became really obvious what the shortcomings of my tools were and where it was making certain recipes I wanted to try impossible or massively more difficult.
The short version of what I would probably write is that your priority order for paying for quality should be pretty much:
4. Anything else that is exposed to heat
5. Everything else
The most interesting thing I discovered though is that quality is more about materials and construction than price, and a lot of the best stuff is actually really affordable if you buy through restaurant supply houses instead of on Amazon or similar. Additionally, many of the best quality products aren't sold in the US for odd reasons, especially in Cookware, or at least are hard to come by. Personally I ended up with a pretty eclectic collection of cookware because cookware sets might get you where you need to go, but are never going to be optimal for each item.
For instance I found that for doing a lot of stocks and soups, a disc-bottom stock pot (Fessler is my preferred brand there) was significant better than other options because it made heat control easier to prevent burning the soup and made it heat so evenly it didn't require constant stirring. But by the same token when I wanted a good saucepan, clad stainless steel is better than all other options, and for a skillet it's hard to beat single-piece construction carbon steel or cast iron, although the 7-layer clad stuff is close. For a dutch oven nothing beats enameled cast iron. In my opinion for disc-bottoms, Fessler is the good stuff, for clad it's All-Clad or Demeyere, for cast iron it should be Field or Lodge, for enameled cast iron it should be La Creuset or Staub, and for carbon steel I'm a huge fan of Solidteknics.
Unfortunately, no cookware set is going to be this exact, so it's better to buy one piece at a time and focus on the most essential and most used pieces. I think everybody should have a really high quality 2 qt saucier or saucepan, a good skillet, and a dutch oven, and a stock pot. You can get everything else over time if you find you need it.
Knives are kind of similar, don't buy a set, buy individual knives. Everybody could honestly get by with just two good knives if they take care of them, a chef's knife or gyuko of some kind and some kind of paring or utility/petty knife. With knives there's a lot to learn but some of the good starters are really reasonably priced and are honestly good enough you may be fine with them for the rest of your life. You really can't go wrong with Tojiro VG10 knives if you want stainless steel or the Dao Vu knives if you want carbon steel and are okay taking care of it. Both are very reasonable, like under $100 for a knife (typical high-end knives are > $300). There's certainly reasons to buy something more, but honestly these are what I use as "daily beaters" in my kitchen and I only have one more expensive knife and while it's fantastic, I use the Tojiro just as much if not more. What I definitely recommend against is buying expensive sets you find at Williams-Sonoma or whatever, because they're very much not worth what you paid for them, even if they're decent.
In any case, once you buy quality stuff you really do need to take care of it properly. I have a calendar reminder once a month on a Saturday to do "kitchen maintenance" which is when I do things like treat my Boos cutting board with mineral oil and wax, oven season the carbon steel and cast iron pans, and deep clean all the clad stainless steel stuff with barkeeper's friend or white vinegar, and sharpen my knives, among other things. Other than that, day to day, you should do research on how to take care of things. Cast iron isn't really as finnicky as people make it out to be, for instance, and if you take care of it properly it's really amazing to cook with, knives are easy to care for properly as well. For the most part the main thing is most of the quality stuff is intended to be hand washed, not go in a dishwasher, or if it's dishwasher safe you should still rinse and wipe it dry afterwards to ensure it doesn't leave any caustic residues from the dishwasher.
The long version of this is something I'll write some day maybe.
I brew beer, roast coffee, smoke meat, bake, etc. and accuracy is really important to me. I've gone through so many thermometers before I got this.
My breaking point was when I owned 3 random ones from Amazon and they all gave me different readings, and they weren't even linearly different either -- like at 140ºF it would be 15-20º apart and at boiling it was 5-10º, so it was impossible to infer the true temp. I tossed a batch of beer down the sink out of frustration because of this.
You've commented multiple times and only once disclaimed that you were a former competitor to Thermoworks trying to sell the thermapen also.
You are poisoning this conversation. PUT A DISCLAIMER IN YOUR COMMENTS.
Maybe you could argue "well, that's the reward [Brand] gets from insanely successful organic marketing and/or being first to market", which I suppose has some merit, but I don't think it's inherently unethical to market at brands in that context.
Great products as well.
The warning banner mentioned in the first paragraph doesn't appear to be on the Thermoworks website anymore. However, it looks like you still can't buy a Thermapen on Amazon.
My impression is that it used to be that it was only this hard to discover sources for obscenely high end products. Now it's the case for anything that isn't ultra-cheap garbage.
I also have a ThemoWorks/ETI ChefAlarm, and the difference in read time between the two are very apparent.
For the HN angle, my understanding on how these devices get such a fast reading is to have a decent calibration of the thermal mass of the probe tip, some reasonably quick and precisely timed readings and then using some math to interpolate the exponential curve to predict what the probe temperature is. After a few seconds thermal equilibrium is reached, but it is likely you've already been looking at something close to the final value.
 after doodling on paper, not sure it is necessary to know the thermal mass of the probe. Time to do some experiments!
The speed compared to most other thermometers is that that is uses a thermocouple vs a thermistor. The cheaper ThermoPop uses a thermistor and takes about twice as long to get a reading.
The first week I got my thermapen I made and drank so much tea I was getting high from caffeine. Then came endless number of over baked chickens; still a folklore in my house the winter where chicken was plenty and oven always roaring.
My kids use it to assess how cooked chicken nuggets are. I even wrapped it in foil once to check automatic transmission fluid temp in a pinch (don't tell my wife). It reads as fast as it claims. It works consistently and without fail.
Though the Amazon "review of thermometers" still list the thermopen as a top pick is is unavailable to buy . They removed the thermo-pop which works quite well.
maybe its SEO? But there it is.
I bought a Thermapen back when they were new. It was Good! It measured temperature fast.
Then it broke, and I bought a cheap one.
And it’s basically completely the same. Actually more reliable - the thermapen stopped turning on reliably when I pulled the needle out.
This doesn’t mean it’s Ok what Amazon are doing, or for companies to rip them off. But I don’t think most people (any people?) need to spend that much money on a thermometer anymore.
I'm sure there are cheaper brands which are just as good, but Thermapen has brand recognition among home chefs. (Probably mostly due to America's Test Kitchen's endorsement of it.)
Made some really good money until my Amazon prime account got banned.
Amazon was built on dropshipping.
It's the same damn thing.
Every bookseller on Amazon and eBay buys their books from one of 4 major publisher.