Click Here to check out part 1 if you missed it!
If you were into what the guys in the first round had to say, then check this out. It is round two with Jon from Eastern and Ted from Seshin. Two companies from different countries, product volumes, and styles of doing business. Check it out.
Name: What company do you run, and explain a little about it for those unaware:
Jon Byers, I own Eastern Bikes with my buddy, Mike.
Name and what company do you run, and explain a little about it for those unaware:
Ted from Seshin bike company. We are a small bmx company, founded in 2001 in Halifax NS Canada.
Seshin ShitHawk V.2
The lead testing law place in the United States that is coming into effect in about a month will really change the industry. Could you explain what this law is doing in easier to understand words?
I know I have seen about 20 articles and it’s hard to get a full understanding of this from those.
This is basically trying to protect kids under 12 from getting lead poisoning. It is difficult for the industry to have a full understanding, as the regulations seem to be changing on a regular basis.
In a nutshell, this new law lumps BMX in the kids market in the USA. Basically BMX and 24 inch bikes will have to clear some testing and certification in order to be sold in the USA as of Feb 10th 2009.
How will this affect you depending on where you are located?
Since we sell product in the USA, we are required to comply and so our manufacturers and we are having products tested.
This affects us in a big way. As we are a small brand, rising costs are not good for our bottom line.
When you first heard about this new law, what was your first though of the whole situation?
If a kid is chewing on a BMX pedal it’s more likely to get sick from dog shit or other germs than lead or phthalates. Besides, any kid over 3 or 4 gnawing on his bike has other problems… We’ve become a nation of sissies.
Eastern Deceptikon Stem
Is this a freaking joke? Since when is my bike a kids toy?????
If you could give us a rough estimate on how this testing will effect you on lets say, a shipment of frames? Or How about something a little smaller like handle bars?
We are required to have documentation stating those products are in compliance with the law.
From what Taiwan is telling us now, the cost should only be a few thousands dollars per year. I can’t give a breakdown right now, I’m still waiting on some pricing from Taiwan to come back via e-mail.
There has been a lot of talk of smaller brands going under from this, do you feel like that will actually happen or is the “gossip” getting to be a little overboard?
No, that’s way overboard.
I don’t think so, BMX is a hard place to make money these days. Competition is huge these days, and costs are rising all over the place.
From 2006-2007 I saw my shipping costs rise about 20%. I think this new law is just another hit, along with dollar shifting, higher shipping charges and higher material costs being even bigger issues. Non the less, it’s going to do nothing to make BMX better, or safer.
Seshin Chilko Bars
How will this affect your team, travel budgets, advertising, and extra things like helping people out with prizes for contests?
It won’t affect our spending in these areas.
Money is always tight, so nothing should change.
Do you feel like companies will start to make better quality products because of this, or will there start to be a decrease in quality due to less money?
No, I think most smaller BMX companies already want to make good products.
I don’t think the market will be pumped on Hi-ten frames! The costs must jump, as much as I hate to say it.
Will you be changing who makes your products overseas? Or if you are a U.S.A made brand changing the materials you work with?
No, we will continue to work with the same companies. If they can’t comply then we will work with them so they are in compliance. The USA is the biggest market and it is in their best interest to make sure their products meet the new standards.
I should be sticking with they same manufacturers, they are can provide all certification I need, that’s all I’m worried about, getting the testing done in a a decent amount of time. We will continue using our snakebite heat treated 4130 tubing on all frames and bars.
Will your brand have to bump up prices to cover the costs?
Yes, I don’t think many companies that can suck up the extra cost, maybe some huge brands, but certainly not the smaller ones.
Since the law only applies to the United States (as far as I am aware), does this mean you will be focusing on the rest of the world a little more to keep sales up?
No, we will continue to focus on all of our customers. Even Imre in Hungary.
Eastern Grim Reaper
As of Feb 9th 2009 we will not be selling to the USA until we are certified.
Do you feel that as time goes on, and companies are repetitively coming through with clean products the government will begin giving price breaks or even allowing them to skip the testing all together?
I don’t think the government knows what to do as evidenced by these new standards.
I don’t see that happening. Money talks.
Do you have any other words you would like to say about this “crisis”?
Yeah, people are already dying in the streets with the bad economy… just look out the window. This is not a crisis. Just get your shit tested, do your best to comply with the arriving changes in law and get the fuck on.
Kids! Stop using your bmx fork to eat your dinner. This could result in death, which is really why this law is in place. BMXers eating brake pad sandwiches, and using seat posts as straws. Grow up, stop eating your parts, BMX will be better for it.