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Parts Fiche copies...

On Monday of this week, I placed an order with Pitney-Bowes for another box
of toner cartridges for the copier at my office.  The box contains six
cartridges, which typically last for 20-25,000 copies, and costs $790 plus
shipping & handling.  To date, I've already used two cartridges and am now
on the third (I've been removing it from the machine when I'm not copying
fiches) and because this is the first time I've had to order them, I did not
realize until now just how expensive these babies are.

To make matters worse, I received the quarterly billing statement from
Pitney-Bowes for our service contract in the mail yesterday and was stunned
to find a surcharge of $594.00 because we exceeded our copy allowance for
the quarter.  This has never happened before and is obviously the result of
my having spent hours in front of the copier making copies of the Ur-Q
service manuals and 200q and RS2 parts fiches for everyone.

And to top everything, this morning, I received a telephone call from a
Q-List member -- the third in as many weeks -- wanting to know if I had
mailed him a replacement for the Ur-Q package that was somehow relieved of a
portion of its contents while in transit.  I found it awkward to explain
that despite my best efforts, I haven't been able to get to the Post Office
to put a replacement copy in the mail -- unfortunately, the only hours
they're open are the same hours I'm working and thanks to the Unabomber, the
Post Office no longer accepts large packages from the mailboxes behind our
office building -- and I honestly couldn't tell him when I would be able to
take care of this.  Perhaps Saturday, if everything goes well...

Add to all this the cost of the copier paper, shipping boxes and tape, not
to mention the time I've spent responding to email inquiries, packing boxes
and hauling everything to the post office (see above) and it quickly becomes
clear this whole fiche thing has become a money-losing project for me.

Mind you, I don't have anything against a good money-losing project -- in
fact, I have a red one parked in my girlfriend's garage right now! -- but
illegally copying Audi's copyright material in order to distribute it to
others and lose money in the process doesn't have much appeal to me.  Go figure.

I considered having the copies printed elsewhere but after factoring in the
cost of the box and the postage, there wouldn't be enough profit left to
make it worth my while.  I also considered raising the prices but since 1)
there wasn't all that much interest in them at the present prices and 2)
I've already gotten flack about the prices being too high as it is, I really
doubt whether the market, miniscule as it is, is willing to bear this. (BTW,
I really am a better business person than all of the foregoing might
suggest.  In this case, though, my primary focus wasn't making money but
being a nice guy ... needless to say, I've learned my lesson.)

So, that's it then.  I apologize for wasting all this bandwith but I didn't
want to pull the plug on this without offering an explanation.  Once I
finish up with everything already in process, I'll still have eight copies
of the RS2 parts fiche; four copies of 200q parts fiche and two UK Ur-Q
service manual packages available.  If anyone's interested in buying any or
all of them, drop me a note.  (Although I've also copied most of the V8,
Coupe Quattro and 80/90 quattro parts fiches to paper, I won't be making any
of them available ... sorry.)
    _                _
   / |      _| o    | \       _| o   Jeffrey Goggin
  /__| | | / | | __ |  | | | / | |   audidudi@mindspring.com
 /   | |_| \_| |    |_/  |_| \_| |   http://people.delphi.com/audidudi