An important note about 2011 Swan prices.
We're pleased to announce that 2010 was the best year ever for The Audio Insider (TAI). Thanks to all of you, we broke all sales records last year and we're continuing to expand in 2011!
We owe this achievement to our valued customers. Last year you took advantage of steady growth in Swan models with us, especially in the self-powered or studio monitor classes. As the new year develops, The Audio Insider will add at least half a dozen new models. Watch this space and our product pages for news as it happens!
The Audio Insider uses Internet-direct pricing, meaning that we buy in quantity and pass savings on to our customers, avoiding distribution costs, typical retail advertising, and the enormous burden of traditional dealer markups. We also resist passing price increases on for as long as we possibly can.
This month at CES Swan launched new annual pricing, some of it in response to new models (which we'll install at TAI over the next month) and some of it in response to three variables. We'd like to pass on this information, as well as our promise to you that we will continue to buffer our valued customers from the brunt of these increases.
- The cost of labor in areas we buy from, of which there is an actual shortage due to stepped up government projects, has skyrocketed of late. As a result, some vendors are closing shop while others must simply pay much more to glean sufficient expert work force. These costs have impacted us for months and we find we can no longer absorb all of them.
- Materials costs, especially veneers and custom paints, are also rising, some precipitously. In some rare cases we've seen a doubling of the costs for these special and rare finishes, and as with increased labor costs, we can no longer absorb 100% of these increases.
- Lastly, exchange rates floated somewhat in 2010 and combined with a falling dollar, will probably continue to do so. Even without the first two variables, this variable changes the cost of products over 2010.
As mentioned, TAI continues to absorb as many of these new costs as we possibly can, and customers will notice that we've red-lined many of our prices in the Swan Active Desktop Sound category. That's right, we're instituting 2010-like specials on nearly all self-powered Swan models, including the D1080MkII08, M200MkII, M2000MkIII, and T200b studio monitors and we'll hold them as long as possible.
As 2011 unfolds, we suspect we'll see incremental price increases in this category and others, but in response to a fabulous 2010 and a strong emerging 2011, we're committed to doing everything we can to save you money. It's our pledge to thousands of faithful, Internet-direct TAI customers over the last eight years.
Thank you all very much!
for The Audio Insider