We all know how the old saying goes … “You Get What You Pay For.”

By trying to save money on your PCB imports and settling for cheap PCB imports, you could actually end up paying more in the long run.

Unfortunately, the quality of cheap (i.e. lower than average pricing) imported Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) is often poor, bringing with it additional, unplanned costs.

  • Cheap Suppliers – All too often, developers look to lower the cost of a certain project by purchasing components from the cheapest supplier they can find. Sure, there is a reduction in cost initially, but eventually, the subpar quality of the project could compromise the entire business. Obviously, using inferior PCBs can be extremely harmful to your image and reputation.
  • Inferior Imported Components – Something else to consider is that many cheap imported components pose some type of hazard. For instances, to reduce the cost of development of PCBs, certain manufacturers will use metals and other components that are of inferior quality. The problem is that sometimes these are actually toxic, containing substances such as cadmium, mercury, and lead, which are known to be dangerous. To put developers at ease, you should always choose metals and components that are Restriction of Hazardous Substances compliant.
  • Testing Shortcuts – Reducing the cost of manufacturing is also accomplished by taking shortcuts with testing. Rather than rigorously test a new product, there are companies that only test overall functionality. Yes, this does show that a product will or will not work, but more important factors of the unit go untested.

The bottom line is that PCBs that are poorly crafted will cost you in the long run. Because of inferior products, several large corporations have been impacted in a negative way. Instead of spending money on quality, these companies believed they could cut corners, which produced a product that failed to meet customer satisfaction. Even for small devices, this can clearly harm the reputation of even established and respected companies.

As a prime example, a popular laptop brand was hurt because the built-in mouse had a poor design. After people purchased this laptop, it started to fail in just a matter of months. Even though a third-party vendor was responsible for developing the mouse, it was the laptop company that experienced negative feedback. Because the laptop included a cheap product in the design, the company was forced to choose a more reliable developer for a new mouse, which ended up costing much more than if a superior component had been chosen from the beginning.

This is just one example that shows how a cheap product or component can be damaging to a company’s reputation and good will.

In simple terms, if a product is designed poorly, it can easily and quickly ruin future sales. It can also discourage clients from using your technology, quickly spreading via word of mouth and other popular communication channels like social media.

Doing Things Right

Prior to purchasing any cheap imports in an effort to save on development costs, think about all of the ways your product, brand, and reputation could be affected. Regardless if manufacturing is poor, compliance and testing are ignored, or components are inferior, cheap PCBs could cost you more than just a financial loss.

In comparison, a superior product will boost sales, make customers happy, and build your brand to last.