XPS discriminates against non US customers - RC Groups
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Oct 15, 2007, 01:55 AM
The Revegetator
Chris F's Avatar

XPS discriminates against non US customers

Because Jim Drew has deleted about four threads in his XPS forum, I would like other people to at least hear why XPS customers and potential customers are upset with Jim Drew. It would seem that emotions are running high because of Jimís decision to charge the rest of the world 25% more than his own country, the US.

Here is my story, which explains why I'm unhappy with Jim.

I bought myself a new radio, the Multiplex Evo 9, and planned to convert it to 2.4 GHz using an Xtreme Link module with an 8ch Rx. These are supposed to be a very good product and the specs look good too. The price is also good and they are available through the XPS website for USD $199.00. At the time they were out of stock, but there was a date set when they would be available again. I waited patiently for a couple of weeks, checking the XPS website occasionally to see if they had re-stocked early, and looked around the site to see if there was any other information. A couple of days before the modules were supposed to be in stock I stumbled across a thread in the XPS forum here on RCG about Australians not being able to buy through the XPS website anymore because a distributor (Model Engines) had been chosen and XPS products would be available in Australian Hobby Shops. Great I thought! I'll be able to buy one at my LHS. Then the wait began. My LHS weren't getting them in for a few weeks and nobody knew how much they would cost. If I were still interested I would still be waiting as the Evo modules are still not available here, and to make things worse, Jim has decided that anyone outside the US will pay an extra 25%. We have lost the choice of buying through his website for the great price Americans pay, and I have no way of getting an XPS Evo module even if I still wanted one.

The deleted threads were getting posts from New Zealand, Sweden, Malaysia, Holland, Russia and even some upset Americans. The Europeans are reported to be paying even more than Australians.

What started out as a simple purchase has turned into a complete mess, and Jim is trying to sweep it under the carpet. I'm sure there will be a few other disgruntled posts to follow up on this.
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Oct 15, 2007, 03:10 AM
The reviewer
XJet's Avatar
I'm not a JD groupie (as you'll all well-know) but I think what this boils down to is that XPS is JD's product and he can do what he damned well pleases with its pricing and distribution.

Now you, I, and most of those outside the USA who might have considered buying XPS may not agree with the way he's changed horses mid-stream in respect to international distribution -- but it *is* his choice to do so.

However, all is not lost.

Keep your eyes open for a new product announcement before (or shortly after) Christmas.

Look out for a new entrant into the 2.4GHz market with a product that is everything XPS claimed it was going to be (but has yet to become) -- and some. It will (so I'm told) be sold from a single online sales source at a price that is lower than JD's current US prices but which is consistent across the globe (apart from shipping costs I guess). The source code and engineering details will be lodged in escrow to ensure that there's a guarantee of ongoing support for those who commit to the product.

I strongly suspect that JD will be then faced with the option of either losing most of the non-US market or pissing off those companies who have signed up to get exclusive distribution rights in return for the right to sell at rather high prices (compared to the US ones).

Whichever way it turns out, it's got to be good news for consumers -- unless your outside the USA and have already heavily invested in XPS, in which case you'll be paying quite a bit more for your RC gear because you're locked into a less feature-laden product (XPS) and paying over the odds to simply line a distributor's pocket.
Oct 15, 2007, 03:27 AM
<- Balsa flies better ->
wolw's Avatar
Fortunately I was not in a situation that I was about buy a new system but I like to keep an look out for what to come.

As far as I've figured it out, XPS is out of the question mostly by its high price in Europe. Its features is nice enough, but now word is out that the Chinese manufacturers are in the works with the same features and maybe just as good at half the price that I would have to pay for a XPS system in Europe. Not to mention that you can't have one Rx, right now I've got six which of one is unused.

Peter, this time my whining won't be deleted
Oct 15, 2007, 03:32 AM
<- Balsa flies better ->
wolw's Avatar
You should be paying no more than 25% above our online price. That is the pricing policy that has been set. We are having discussions with Model Engines and Graupner about this to make sure this occurs. Considering we have a vastly superior product, our sales will not be affected by the Chinese clones. Even Spektrum's product is better than those.
No, it shows that our technology is far superior and costs substantially more because of this.
I guess Jim's crystal ball is better than mine

We'll see


Dang, my backup of posts is filling my harddrive ....... had to get rid of some
Last edited by wolw; Oct 15, 2007 at 03:39 AM. Reason: irony added
Oct 15, 2007, 03:55 AM
Registered User
CrashingDutchman's Avatar
Ok, I am in... After seeing another thread being deleted, I posted a message that said "Don't bother to post here, this thread will be deleted anyway". My message was -surprise, surprise- deleted quickly (should have waited for Jim to go offline before posting).

Edit: Please also have a look at this thread (as long as it exists), it gives alink to a place where you can report complaints about threads being deleted:

Edit2: Before the thread is being deleted:

Anyway, I think it is good to have a post where we can share and compare prices for the various available systems from XPS. This will not be a complete list, if you have additions/changes, please let me know here or by pm and I will update this post.

Prices are based on currencies used in respective countries/regions (exchange rates from http://www.xe.com):
US$ to Euro conversion: US$ price * 1.41
US$ to AU$ conversion: US$ price * 1.10

*) Not (yet) available or price currently unknown to me

Prices mentioned are from websites of manufacturer or importer/distributor:
- USA: Xtreme Power Systems
- Australia: Various suppliers, see post #11 from ChrisF to find LHS with best price
- New Zealand: See post #11 from ChrisF
- Europe: Graupner
Last edited by CrashingDutchman; Oct 15, 2007 at 05:46 AM.
Oct 15, 2007, 04:03 AM
Registered User
CrashingDutchman's Avatar
Isn't it funny that Jim has repeatedly said that we wouldn't pay 25% more than his online prices, but that the Graupner prices are higher than his online prices, without the 40% difference for the exchange rate from US$ to Euro.
Oct 15, 2007, 04:08 AM
Registered User
CrashingDutchman's Avatar
Originally Posted by XJet
Look out for a new entrant into the 2.4GHz market with a product that is everything XPS claimed it was going to be (but has yet to become) -- and some.
Will it have telemetry? Range similar to XPS?
Oct 15, 2007, 04:14 AM
<- Balsa flies better ->
wolw's Avatar
From Graupners site:

MXP Evo 8ch combo: € 219
MPX Evo 10ch combo: € 239

Last edited by wolw; Oct 15, 2007 at 05:03 AM. Reason: edited for clarity
Oct 15, 2007, 04:26 AM
Registered User
CrashingDutchman's Avatar

I have updated prices, but only in the Europe column. I prefer to keep the US prices from XPS website, Europe prices from European websites (Graupner at this time) and Australian prices from Australian (New-Zealand?) websites.

Oct 15, 2007, 04:34 AM
<- Balsa flies better ->
wolw's Avatar
Good idea. Let's keep the original regional price.

Just edited my post to avoid confusion.

Oct 15, 2007, 04:40 AM
The Revegetator
Chris F's Avatar
Well I'm glad this thread has started off on a good note. I don't see any point in whinging so let's stay positive. XJet is right about Jim Drew being able to do what he likes and there is nothing that we can do to stop him. One thing we all agree on though is that we think he has made a grave mistake and that a better cheaper system is on the way so that's great news.

One thing I think is worthwhile though is to document the arrogant way that Jim Drew conducted himself with us in the posts he deleted and Peter has already posted a couple. Although Jim Drew said the threads were deleted because of off topic posts, I think it was more because he doesn't want negative feedback concerning his business practices in the forums he pays for. That's fair enough, so if we have any more of his arrogant posts we will post them here so others can see if they want to support a man with this attitude.

Here is most of my list that was posted in a couple of the deleted threads showing some Australasian stores and prices. Feel free CrashingDutchman to add them to your list.

Rojís Hobbies (Melb Aust)

Module & 8ch Rx combo suit Hitec/Futaba $295.00
Module & 10ch Rx combo suit JR Radios $330.00
Module & 10ch Rx combo suit Hitec/Futaba $330.00
Receiver 8Ch $140.00
Receiver 10ch $170.00

R/C Headquarters (Melb Aust)

Module & 8ch Rx combo suit Hitec/Futaba $292.00
Module & 10ch Rx combo suit JR Radios $324.00
Module & 10ch Rx combo suit Hitec/Futaba $324.00
Receiver 8Ch $135.00
Receiver 10ch $171.00
Module for Hitec/Futaba $189.00
Module for JR Radios $216.00

Budget Hobbies (Capalaba, Qld Aust)
Module & 10ch Rx combo suit JR Radios $339.00

Watts Up Hobbies (Hastings NZ)

Module & 8ch Rx combo suit Hitec/Futaba NZ $369/AUD $316.33
Receiver 8Ch NZ $149/AUD $127.73
Last edited by Chris F; Oct 15, 2007 at 06:27 AM.
Oct 15, 2007, 04:51 AM
<- Balsa flies better ->
wolw's Avatar
O'boy what a chunk of posts to sift through, this one is real good though:

We have stated that the retal price for our products can not exceed 25% of the US retail. If they do, we will simple stop selling to these people and open up direct sales again. It's as simple as that.
Oct 15, 2007, 05:08 AM
The Revegetator
Chris F's Avatar
It would be much better for everyone if he just "opened up direct sales again. It's as simple as that". It's always so simple to Jim .

Anyway I'm much more interested in the product that XJet mentions and all the other systems mentioned here that will be on offer soon.

In the posts I saw in the last deleted thread that XPS would be selling through some US based Hobby Shops with no on-line presence. If we can find out the contact details for these stores I can't see why they wouldn't sell overseas. Jim might find he has some unexpected global distributors .
Last edited by Chris F; Oct 15, 2007 at 05:13 AM.
Oct 15, 2007, 05:49 AM
Registered User
CrashingDutchman's Avatar
I have updated my post (#5) with the prices Chris mentioned above. Also, I added products available in NZ.

If anyone sees errors or missing items, please post here.
Oct 15, 2007, 06:44 AM
Registered User
Face it: XPS is already a very simple, straight-forward single antenna single frequency design. Everything was done by XPS to keep it as cheap as possible in production and development (and to claim the exact opposite in this forum)

I wonder why pilots do not look for a more reliable and better design - instead they seem to look for a even cheaper chinese one.

Think of all the money you've spend for your planes and helicopters already - is it worth taking any chances? Do you really want to "test fly" once again all this cheap stuff? A single crash can be much more expensive than all the savings you made.

just a thought

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