Today, I was browsing for some equipment, in a store I don't normally shop, based in Hong Kong, DealExtreme. I stumbled upon an item that I not only paid $49 for from my US source, Gary Fong (at right), but I also paid $19 for a "tungsten" top of the device. Then, I run across the combined pair of items, seen below, for a sum total of $16.64, including shipping from Hong Kong! WHAT GIVES? Is this the same item?
Gary has his item identified as the Lightsphere. DealExtreme calls it "Lambency Flash Diffuser". Over 400 of them can be found on Ebay under the Lambency name (below).
The items appear identical, and are available in both clear and opaque versions.
So, the question arises - since it's doubtful that Gary Fong owns the manufacturing of these, and unknown if he actually developed the device, could it be that Gary found these on a trip, and has been importing them for under $8 from the same manufacturer as DealExtreme (and all the ebayers) have, and selling them at a 600%+ markup?
Or, instead, did Fong design and find off-shore manufacturing of the device, and now it's being knocked off by others, or, since Fong has developed a new, WhaleTail and is now selling the Lightsphere at a $10 discount off his $49 price (i.e. drawing down the production), is the plant continuing to churn out the product and selling them to other companies who are selling them now worldwide for a fraction of Fong's price?
I do know that others whom I trust have made purchases without any problems from DealExtreme, so I am not concerned (in this case) about doing business with them. However, really, what gives?
UPDATE: What gives, is that these guys are knocking off Gary's product, as he notes in the comments! (see below)
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