I was right about the electric smoker market being small. I looked up Masterbuilt. They are doing ~$80 million in revenue with only ~$3 million in net profit. This revenue is across the entire company (which includes their other product lines like grills etc). They are a small company with ~60-70 employees.
The bottom line is that they need to adjust their pricing in accordance with what they are offering. I think everyone agrees that $430 for a smoker with a 90 warranty is way too much. This does not compute in my mind. However, with such slim profit margins, they cant. They are boxed in.
So they are damn lucky there is enough niche demand to support current pricing levels, and that the market is small enough to not attract competitors. Otherwise I believe they would get smoked (excuse the pun).
Great bit of research, Mummel. I had no idea what their market share was and what their profit was. I agree that they have no business selling $300-$450 smokers with just a 90 day warranty. I get a 1 year warranty with an electric deep fryer. I get a 1 year warranty with a stainless steel cookware set!
If and when I decide to move up in the home smoker world, my electric smoker of choice will not be MES unless they increase their warranty periods to a minimum of one year. If I have the money I'm buying a Made in USA smoker anyway.