December 4, 2001 6:55 AM   Subscribe has an interesting way of keeping their costs low. They do it "through mass production, and by putting the extensive assembly instructions and fact sheets ... online, rather than mailing them to you." I think that's a great idea. That way if they want to revise some part of the instructions, or add schematics or notes or ideas from people who might have experienced problems, they can allow all customers to see the new instructions without having to send recall notices or try to track exactly who owns their product. This gives a company the ability to hyperlink instructions with tons of additional information, as well as definitions and photographs. I really think all toy manufacturers should do this. It would also be great for furniture makers - Sauder and those places that make built-it-yourself desks and bookcases, etc. That way you could order that missing bolt or screw or broken piece of shelving directly from the manufacturer ...
posted by GatorDavid (3 comments total)
Wouldn't ALWAYS work. I worked at Ace Hardware for a while, and we didn't exactly have a printer to print up those instructions. That would be sooooooooooooo fun trying to build a Webber grill or a bench from hell where it has to be done just right while reading instructions from a computer screen. OH, wait, we didn't have the Internet at work, either. Practical for home use, maybe. For busiinesses like the one where i worked at, not right now.
Also: How is being online going to make ordering that missing bolt ANY different??? Call up or try to use the Internet, either way they're going to say you destroyed the threads of the bolt (it happens and i've tried to order that "missing bolt") so they don't give a rat's ass. of course, at that point, improvisation is fun!
posted by jmd82 at 7:17 AM on December 4, 2001

I thought that you were linking to a *real* build-your-own-spacecraft site. Like this MeFi fave (comments).

Then your idea would be more fitting:

...or add schematics or notes or ideas from people who might have experienced problems.

When the rocket guy experiences problems (how euphemistic) we can check his PDFs and learn how *not* to do it.
posted by zpousman at 8:32 AM on December 4, 2001

No way, man. The Rocket Guy's going to do it and the 12 Hooters Girls are going to drop their bottles of champagne in sheer terror at this god who stumbles out of the capsule and shakes his hands over his head.

I swear this guy is a Heinleinian dream come true. He'll do what DD harriman did and one better, living to tell the tale... and bed Hooters Girls.

Plus those models are cool. I want some but I'm a bit wary of that fly-by-night online purchasing thing they got going.
posted by rocketpup at 9:06 AM on December 4, 2001

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