We hope you now see how JUCA has always been able to
supply superior products at prices well
below the competition. We see it that they are sort of gouging you for
solutions to their past sins, and for supporting inefficient,
top-heavy corporate structures. We don't try to extract every
dollar from you. We HAVE considered raising our prices closer to
the "other guys" prices to get more credibility. Some people
would rather pay top dollar for products on the assumption
that in a free-market economy; that the best products will
necessarily be the most expensive. Over the years, there have been
occasional customers who WANTED a JUCA, but then decided to get a
more expensive (inferior) competing product, believing that.
Well, maybe we still live in Kansas, Dorothy, but we don't think
that way. If you really insist on paying more, then, as we
mentioned above, just give to your favorite
Church or charity in our name or yours. We'd be happier than
if you insisted on us raising our prices!
Sometimes customers get nervous when seeing our incredibly
good products at very low prices. They think that if our products
were really as good as they seem, we would be asking as much (or more!)
than the much higher prices competitors ask for their products.
There's nothing wrong with considering this. It suggests a healthy
skepticism, which shows caution and logic. Actually, if we were in
business exclusively for a profit motive, we have long known that
we could raise our prices a bunch!
There are actually a number of reasons for our low prices.
- Nearly all competing products (as well as almost all products of
ALL types that you buy as a consumer) go through the hands of a
variety of companies in the journey from the manufacturer to you.
A Jobber, a Distributor, a Dealer, and a Contractor, and maybe others,
usually all make a profit for storing or handling nearly everything you
buy. And usually there are freight costs every time it's moved,
and people have to be paid to put it on and take it off the various
shelves it visits.
We used to have that kind of distribution system. But JUCA now sees
all that as expensive foolishness. Why not ship a product
directly from the manufacturer to the end user? Or at most, through
a single Dealer or Contractor? Makes sense to us. WE make the same
amount, but there is a LOT less cost to the consumer. AND, it
allows direct communication between the final customer and us,
makimg possible a lot of customized choices that wouldn't otherwise
- Most other companies are terribly inefficient.
Whether in production, office, management or overhead, there
is often astounding waste. Who do you think pays for that? You
do, when you buy their products.
JUCA is a lean, mean, manufacturing machine. We DON'T have a
bunch of executives in shiny offices. At every stage of JUCA's
operation, we have refined our operation to be as efficient as
We have discovered that our customers are almost always too far
away to visit a showroom, so we eventually closed ours. That
sort of thing.
- Competitors also have massive advertising cost to be supported by
you, the customer. In the case of automobiles, around
$2,000 of the cost of every car sold is used for paying for those slick
TV and magazine commercials.
We'd rather save the two grand and do extra legwork when choosing
a car. But we can't, because the advertising cost is embedded in
the car's price. JUCA hasn't advertised (except one tiny time)
since 1981, until our InterNet presence began in 1997. We had
always relied primarily on word-of-mouth messages from happy (often
ecstatic) owners, to create new customers. (We are REALLY low-key!)
So we don't have to pass along the costs for huge advertising
budgets! Another peculiar thing about us is that we are pretty
sure we have NEVER approached or recriuted any dealers. All of
the nearly 500 dealers we have had approached us to become dealers!
- In the case of air-tight woodstove manufacturers, there are
other costs. Since air-tight products had created (during the 80s) such a
bad reputation for pollution and creosote production, the
government got into the picture. The EPA instituted strict
pollution limits for those products in 1988. This has caused
manufacturers of air-tight products to have to buy hundreds of
thousands of dollars of new equipment to do new manufacturing
procedures, and then to document the results to the government,
in very expensive testing.
JUCA only manufactures non-air-tight products. Our unique
design principles allow extremely high operating efficiency
while allowing the fire adequate oxygen to greatly reduce pollution
and creosote. Therefore, the EPA has specifically recognized and indicated
that their requirements do not apply to products like JUCAs.
See the EPA entry for more on this.
- We have never offered time payment options other than a
layaway program. This eliminates huge collection costs for the small
percentage of people who don't pay their obligations. Those costs
in other companies are paid for by the GOOD customers in higher prices.
- We don't currently use MasterCard or VISA cards.
We realize the advantages of Cards, but they charged us almost
5% when we took them. We had to consider increasing ALL our prices
$50 to cover the cost. (The government said that it would be
discrimination if we had
two different prices for cash and credit!) We decided not to
punish all customers for the benefit of the few who were used
to buying everything on plastic. We hope you understand.
- Finally, we aren't run by bean counters or anyone else who
ONLY cares about the bottom line. Sure, we want to (and need to)
make a reasonable profit. But for many years, we have known that
we could probably have sold just as many units with prices $500
or more above the prices we charge. We Know! In the
American system, we are supposed to gouge you for every dime we
could get out of you. Sorry to disappoint! That's
not our style. (You could always give the excess to charity!)
We actually suspect that we would have sold MORE units if we had
significantly increased our prices! People assume that a less
expensive product must be inferior, otherwise the manufacturer
would charge a higher price! Ah, the American free-enterprise system!
A bunch of weird birds, eh?
Of course, we must add the usual disclaimer regarding the possibility
that JUCA products' prices or specifications might change without notice.
We don't expect this to happen very often. Since 1973, we've only had
6 price increases ever, (in 1977, 1979, 1981, 1984, 1989 and 2000) and
the general dimensions and specifications
for the B-3(B) effectively haven't changed in that time.
Since each and every JUCA is custom built to fill an order, and they are
all built by humans and not robots, there ARE slight variations of
dimensions and such in every unit. The dimensions and specifications
we give are generally reasonably accurate. Think of it as contributing
to the character and uniqueness of your JUCA!
Since these products are all custom built to fill individual orders, as
with ALL custom built products from all suppliers, they are NOT later
returnable. When a product is specially built for an individual customer,
it generally may have no value at all to any other customer. For example,
the L-8 fireplace insert is custom built to the six dimensions that a
customer supplies. So, the unit built is unique! The diversity of
fireplaces that exist is amazing,
and I don't think we have ever gotten the same set of measurements yet
from any two customers! Each L-8 is designed and built for, and can
only fit in, THAT specific fireplace!
In the case of stock sized door sets, blowers, glass panels, and other
electrical parts which have not been used, IF such items are
to be accepted back, there must be written or e-mailed acknowledgement
from JUCA, and there will be a 20% restocking charge.
Finally, please remember that all JUCA units are designed and intended
to operate as NON-AIRTIGHT products. Recently, some towns and counties
have passed rules and laws, inspired mostly by the problematical
performance of airtight products and their pollution and creosote, that
restrict just what may be installed in houses there. In general,
JUCA units burn so very cleanly that they should be accepted almost
everywhere, but you should confirm that our non-airtight unit will be
accepted by local codes. By the way, our units should NOT have the
door gasketed or the glass gasketed or the draft slider control sealed
off. Those actions would seriously affect the NON-airtight operation
of the JUCA, and have the effect of converting it into an airtight
unit, which it is not. (There IS an exception to this: IF the
Outside Combustion Air Option is installed on a JUCA unit, then
THAT provides all the air for the fire, and gasketing, airtight doors,
and sealing our draft inlet IS allowable.) In past years, an occasional
customer has chosen to later gasket a JUCA's door (over our objections), and
has changed the operation so
much that it sometimes created huge amounts of creosote and pollution!
And the safety implications that these entail. Don't do it!
Our chance to grumble!
OK! We've made a really nice, really informative web site. So, we
think we've behaved very well, and therefore deserve one little chance
to complain. So here it is:
- It would seem that some people think 800 calls are totally free!
The fact that THEY are not charged for the call, seems to cause some
people to REALLY use it! In the middle of 1998, a customer finally bought a
JUCA after 237 calls on our 800 line (over a period of about
two years)! Just HIS phone calls cost us over $600! Since we have
planned our prices to allow a little over $100 profit on each unit,
we lost a BUNCH on that one. He was a very nice guy, but his half-hour-long
calls always included discussions about the weather, his family,
and generally the SAME questions he had asked two weeks earlier, and
four weeks earlier, and ... We KNOW the customer is always right,
AFTER he bought it, he called us 61 MORE times (so far), mostly to
read him various paragraphs in the Installation Instructions he had
in his hand!
We invite calls on all subjects related to JUCAs. That's why we have
had the 800 line for nearly 20 years. But, PLEASE, be considerate!
- Another (recent) man, only called us about 70 times (which cost us
about $270), with little intent of buying a JUCA. Nearly all of the
conversations included references that he was considering building
his OWN unit. He always asked design questions, and even wanted us
to supply him with our manufacturing blueprints, (for free of course!)
We think it was wrong of him to effectively steal all the engineering
that was very expensive and time-consuming for us to amass, and he even
did it on our dime! (In the past, when various people have tried
to steal the JUCA design, they have often made devices that either
weren't very efficient, or back-smoked ferociously, or were dangerous
to use, or all of the above! Unless someone truly understood all the
thermodynamics and physics and engineering involved, it seems
unlikely that they could make a decent knock-off of a JUCA.
As a recent addition to this note, we have been a little disappointed
with ourselves for not being able to fully keep up with the great
demand for JUCAs lately.
For a while we had considered offering plans to build one's
own JUCA. There seem to be
a lot of people who BELIEVE they are good weldors and good
fabricators. Many of them have applied to work for us! Many are
incredibly incompetent! If we would have hired them, they would
probably have made very unsafe products. We have similar concerns
about anyone who intends to try to make their own unit. We stopped
the idea of offering such plans because of these safety and
performance concerns. The only possible exception would be an
established welding shop that has the talent, skills and experience
to do a safe job, and that would only be to set up some
larger scale production arrangement.
- We are very easy going people, and sometimes people sort of try to
trick us into special discounts or otherwise special deals. I remember
just a couple years after we had started business, when we looked to
have traditional dealers and distributors, a guy from Montana called.
One of his first sentences was that he was building a sub-division of
1300 houses. He said he intended to heat all of them with JUCAs, and
so he wanted the best quantity price we could offer him. Our people
spent several days figuring the absolute lowest price possible, given
that very large order. (Our biggest order up to then was about 50 units
at one time). After being given that extreme price, he then said that
he wanted to check one out for a couple years before committing to them
all. When we told him that a SINGLE unit would have to be substantially
higher priced, he got all offended and hung up. We later checked him
out, and found that he lied a bunch to us. He was not only not building
1300 homes, he wasn't even building one, since he wasn't a contractor.
He was just trying to manipulate us. He figured out a way to trick
suppliers into giving him an absolute volume price, for a single
product for his own home. We're glad we didn't sell anything to him.
Even at retail!
That's all the venting we will do. Thanks for being tolerant of us!
The JUCA Home Page is at:
E-mail to: JUCA1@mb-soft.com