Disappearing products

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hamstergbert

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Disappearing products
« on: October 11, 2017, 11:20 »
As time goes on I find myself becoming more and more cross at the way that products I like keep disappearing.  Not the everyday things like food and such where tastes change, seasonal suitability changes, costs force a rethink etc., they are annoying enough, but the occurrence in more durable items are especially frustrating and in most cases the alternatives if any are somehow disappointingly inadequate.

What do I mean?  A few examples.

Mrs HGB and I were lucky years ago to be given a Villaware espresso machine as a ruby wedding present.  It was brilliant, produced excellent drinks and there was a most satisfying involvement in driving the thing.  A few months ago it went to join the choir invisible, but to my disgust I found no trace now of villaware or the machine so had to get a most unsatisfying alternative..    That's one.

Our wonderful old Zanussi washer/drier went pop and emitted pungent black smoke a couple of months ago.  Think it was about 15 years old so it owed us nothing.  Repair would have been problematic, time consuming, and if successful would have left us with a repaired 15 year old machine waiting for the next thing to break.  The model is no longer made so had to settle for spending an arm and a leg on a modern machine.  All very well and more programs, bells and whistles than soft Mick, but much less effective than the old one which had a 1600 spin (new is 1200 with 1400 extra speed selectable if you remember each time), very little control of temperature for those occasions when you really do want molten lava in there, and just generally a smug sort of "I'll decide" air about it.  Also after just a few months it has now developed a fault in the LED displays.  Great.   That's another annoying forced switch of machine.

In clothing, the old green Regatta outdoors trousers were a favourite. Great pockets everywhere including many with zips, and a useful knee pocket.  Wonderful given many of my current responsibilities for reasons I won't bore you with.   Two pairs left and getting thin and with faded patches at the knees in both.  They don't make 'em anymore.  Ho Hum.   Other manufacturers make similar things although without anything like as many pockets, but the killer is that although they offer blues various, black, beige, versions, none of them offer the greens which is what I actually want.  Why ever not? That's three.

Bought some slippers for Mrs HGB  soon after I started being the one that shops for stuff like that.   Clarks, 'eskimo snow' in beige.  Fur lined.  Lovely and keep her feet warm, smart too although far from cheap.   Loved 'em.  When they got worn tatty, replaced with exact same slipper but in black.  Just the job.   When it came to replacing MiL's slippers had no hesitation in getting her some too, this time in wine red.  Another satisfied customer.   Couple of years on, Mrs HGBs are again getting a little careworn, but can I get replacements? Can I heck as like.  Discontinued by Clarks it seems, with just a few wine red ones sizes 2 or 3 (!) left in a corner of their warehouse somewhere, no good at all.  That's four.

Cars?  Some of us old dinosaurs would like a CD player - I haven't an iPhone to link if I want a bit of the old music.  And if I should get a puncture, I don't want an emergency repair and reinflation kit (assuming I could fathom out how to use the ruddy thing) I would prefer a spare wheel (a space saver would do) so jack up, swing the brace, wheel off, spare on and on my way.

Tellies?  Most seem geared towards linking to a broadband internet connection to stream stuff these days.  Why should I pay for something that has that facility which for us is totally unnecessary?



Apologies for the rant but I am starting to get paranoid - think there's someone up a tree with binoculars and any time they spot me apparently liking a product they ensure the manufacturers discontinue it!   If they invent a time machine I'd hop back and stock up!

I'm reminded of the old NAAFI manager joke - "You're the twentieth person I've had to tell today - we aint got it cos there aint no call for it!"


Grrrrrr.
I've turned into my granddad.....
The Dales - probably fingerprint marks where God's hand touched the world

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lettice

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Re: Disappearing products
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2017, 11:51 »
Clarks Eskimo slippers are available in many colours and sizes on Amazon, ebay, shoetique, Charles Kinkard, Jacamo and many more online stores.

Perhaps you should look at tyhe Villaware website http://www.villaware.com


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Goosegirl

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Re: Disappearing products
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2017, 13:17 »
Green trousers - try an angling or gun-shooter's shop. My OH shoots rifles and has various types of green ones with pockets and zips, plus they're warm and some are also waterproof. Barbour may have some but they're not cheap.
Slippers - wish I'd known yesterday as we have a quality shoe shop in town and saw some Nordic ones (that might be the brand name too?) that were about £50. M&S also have some nice ones. Clark's aren't what they were and I don't go there now.
I too hate paying for additional gadgets that I don't need, don't want or haven't a clue about. I just want something that does the job for me and, if it has an extra gizmo I find useful, that's a bonus.
Nothing is made to last these days and if something goes wrong it costs an arm and a leg to fix it. Car headlights are one of the worst and yes - no spare tyres unless you buy one separately like we did.
Is it just a means of making lots of revenue or is it due to the throw-away society we are fast becoming? 
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hamstergbert

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Re: Disappearing products
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2017, 14:26 »
Clarks Eskimo slippers are available in many colours and sizes on Amazon, ebay, shoetique, Charles Kinkard, Jacamo and many more online stores.

Perhaps you should look at tyhe Villaware website http://www.villaware.com

Like I said, they only have residual stocks of sizes 3 or 4 at all of those outlets and only those in just the red ones - no black, no brown, no other sizes.  They are a discontinued line!

Villaware no longer make the model we want, or apparently any other espresso machines actually.

Kind of the point of my original post!

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Christine

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Re: Disappearing products
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2017, 14:55 »
hamstergbert you just don't understand these modern ways. Make it cheap and sell us more and more often is the motto of the modern world. You're getting to be an old hamstergbert. ;)

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JayG

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Re: Disappearing products
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2017, 15:43 »
Companies place a high value on brand identity, but it doesn't mean much to me any more - as an example Whirlpool Corporation own Indesit, Hotpoint, Ariston and Creda amongst others, so your new Hotpoint washing machine, fridge or whatever which you bought because you owned one for years and it was great, could easily be more or less an Indesit made in Italy (or indeed almost anywhere!)

http://hubys.co.uk/news-information/2/who-really-makes-your-washing-machine

As for cars, which on the whole have become gratifyingly reliable, and until a few years ago very similar to drive, I now worry whether merely turning the key will even start an unfamiliar car (mostly not), and then work out how to release the (increasingly electric) handbrake.

No worries at all about what to do in the event of a puncture if I can't even get it off my drive!  :lol:
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hamstergbert

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Re: Disappearing products
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2017, 16:01 »
..... You're getting to be an old hamstergbert. ;)

feeling it.


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Aidy

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Re: Disappearing products
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2017, 16:48 »


In clothing, the old green Regatta outdoors trousers were a favourite. Great pockets everywhere including many with zips, and a useful knee pocket.

I can put onto suppliers who supply lots of trousers with lots of zips (bondage straps, safty pins etc)  ;)
Punk isn't dead...it's underground where it belongs. If it comes to the surface it's no longer punk...it's Green Day!

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rogerbodger

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Re: Disappearing products
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2017, 18:49 »
HGB, may I join your rant please?

Senseo is my preferred coffee maker, however Tesco have stopped stocking the pods. I contacted Douwe Egberts to find that most of the supermarkets are "delisting", Amazon is one source and after a holiday in France in the summer  it seems that all of the supermarkets there are another option (and cheaper than here unless you factor in the travel costs) - a good excuse for a short trip across the channel, I might even consider stocking up on wine whilst there, it would be rude not to ;)

I've noticed that Tesco have been dropping a number of items, including many of their own label items. I don't know if this is part of a plan to compete with the likes of Lidl who have a more limited choice, do they realise that people like choice and that's why they shop there. Add to this their lack of interest / action when I pointed out certain items were several months out of date (yes, I did mean months), it took them 3 weeks to remove from the shelves. They seem to move items around a lot more than the other stores, the combination of not finding things and items no longer stocked I'm spending a lot less with them each week. I'm slowly heading elsewhere, I just haven't decided which elsewhere that is as yet.

My local B&Q had a refit not so long ago, I struggle to find anything there now to the extent that I try to avoid going there.

Perhaps I'm just getting less tolerant as I get older  :mad:

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AlaninCarlisle

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Re: Disappearing products
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2017, 20:00 »
Sanderson's Throat Specific mixture. Worked like a magic charm if you lost your voice through a throat infection

Correction. Just checked on Amazon. It might have disappeared from normal retail outlets bu Good Old Amazon have it in stock
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 20:05 by AlaninCarlisle »

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al78

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Re: Disappearing products
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2017, 23:23 »
Nothing is made to last these days and if something goes wrong it costs an arm and a leg to fix it. Car headlights are one of the worst and yes - no spare tyres unless you buy one separately like we did.
Is it just a means of making lots of revenue or is it due to the throw-away society we are fast becoming?

It is part of the essence of neo-liberal capitalism. Companies are out to make as much money as possible. One way they do this is to externalise costs as much as possible, for example, employing labor as cheaply as possible and skimping on employment rights when they can get away with it. When you buy a product that seems to be dirt cheap, you are not paying the full price, someone somewhere else is pitching in indirectly. Secondly, you have the principal of obsolescence. One way this works is companies continuously develop new versions of products, then advertise in a way that makes people feel inferior, or missing out if they don't have the latest and greatest model. This preys on the human instinct to belong to a social group, if everyone else is buying the latest this, that and the other, they feel they must buy it as well to continue feeling a sense of belonging to their peer group. The other way this works is that products are deliberately designed to have a limited life. That life span has to be short enough to keep people buying new products, but long enough that people don't lost faith in the brand and go elsewhere. The side effects of all this are more consumption, more trashing of places to mine and refine the raw materials needed for manufacture, more exploitation of cheap labor in poorer countries, more pollution of air and water (in the poorer countries where the factories are located, so the privileged wealthy nations don't have to deal with the pollution), more trash throw out and finding its way into fragile ecosystems. This movie http://storyofstuff.org/movies/story-of-stuff/ goes into more detail.

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greenjay

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Re: Disappearing products
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2017, 09:05 »
agreed, so much is keeping up with the jones.
the only way companies can do this is either shortening the life span or offer all new dancing versions.
when my last fridge packed up bought another from a big outlet the girl on the till tried to sell insurance.
she claimed the life expectancy was 3 years. my dad has the same fridge that my grandmother had. she has been dead over 30 years. they don't make them like that any more!!

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hamstergbert

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Re: Disappearing products
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2017, 11:59 »
Further to the Clarks 'eskimo snow' slippers thing - as mentioned above they are discontinued and the only remaining stocks appear to be a very few reds in sizes 3 or 4 only.   So how come having checked and confirmed non-availability on amazon does the traditional resultant bombardment of ads result in one site I use showing me no less than EIGHT separate amazon ads for these slippers (showing the tan ones which are 100% stock out everywhere) before I got bored and stopped scrolling down and counting - and the allotment site too is perpetuating the same behaviour.

I always thought it was one of the big sins of retail to try and drum up demand that you then can't satisfy!
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 12:00 by hamstergbert »

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DanielCoffey

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Re: Disappearing products
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2017, 16:18 »
It is frustrating, isn't it. I remember a similar exercise when Craghoppers stopped stocking my wife's favourite spring/autumn top. I found one in a camping shop and oh boy were they pleased to sell it!

Sometimes, however, these trials can have a happy outcome. A few years back I used to shop online for my elderly MiL who, like many "little old ladies" had settled on one very specific brand and shade of eye shadow - a sort of cornflower blue, you know the one. She went through it pretty quick too as it was a cheap, low quality one. It had got to the point where even discount stores had run out and only the odd one turned up on eBay around ten years past the use by date. I got a couple for her and once those were gone, all that was left were a few "part-used" ones. Yes, USED cosmetics. No way was I buying those for her.

Well I took a chance and ordered her four similar colours in two close shades, matt and with some sheen from a professional cosmetic company who supplied fashion models along with a couple of long handled eyeshadow brushes. After a little uncertainty she loved them! They lasted really well, the colour was amazing and, because they were "professional", she felt special when wearing it.

When she went into a care home and the staff helped her with her makeup in the morning, they told me that she really enjoyed using them and told all and sundry how much she loved them. It kept her going and gave her a reason to look forward to the rest of the day.

I know it is really frustrating when items that have been stalwarts are discontinued but perhaps there is something else even better out there for you. Perhaps you could take an old pair of the trousers to a local tailor and discuss having something bespoke made? Likewise with the slippers?

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hamstergbert

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Re: Disappearing products
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2017, 08:33 »
...I know it is really frustrating when items that have been stalwarts are discontinued but perhaps there is something else even better out there for you. Perhaps you could take an old pair of the trousers to a local tailor and discuss having something bespoke made? Likewise with the slippers?

Theoretically there is no real reason why the rather more available blue trousers in a similar shape should not do the job instead of going down the probably rather expensive tailoring route.  I suspect at least part of my hankering to replace like with like stems from a nostalgia for the days when I was free to take my regatta green trousers over the hills and far away, dalesway, coast to coast, pennine way, west highland etc....   

At some subconscious level I probably expect that getting trousers from 20 years ago might magically also deliver a bit of lost youth tucked away in the knee pocket!

As for getting slippers specially made....  last time I bought bespoke casual footwear was in the sixties and I think they cost me something like 24 Singapore dollars (about three quid if memory serves) and were quite the stylish footwear to sport when watching the sun rise over Bugis Street.....

Where's a time machine when you need one.

(Christine was clearly right)


 

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