Before you drop a comment so full of expletives that even a sailor would blush, it’s important to understand who decides when Miller’s prices increase and why. We’ll explain what exactly is going on and whether it’s best to wait on a new tool or buy now before the price increases.
First thing: IOC is not the one increasing the prices. You can call up our customer service and tell them exactly where to stick it, but ultimately all you’ll do is make them cry. This is because Miller essentially controls the lowest price their machines can go. When they raise prices, everyone is required to follow. No matter where you look, on May 3rd, Miller’s prices will be up.
So why is Miller raising their prices? Price increases happen almost every year to match the economy's inflation. But this year is an extreme case that goes well beyond inflation. While there are multiple issues at play, here are the main causes:
The Chips Are Down
It’s important to know that Miller’s equipment is almost completely fabricated in Wisconsin. But there’s a few small, but vital parts that come from other areas of the world. And one of those is the microchip used on virtually every machine Miller makes—The same chips going through a massive shortage. If you’ve heard about car assembly lines shutting down or video game consoles selling for extreme prices, it’s the exact same issue.
The reason why Miller doesn’t fabricate their chips in the US is because they can’t. With this type of chip, the world’s supply comes almost exclusively from Taiwan. Cellphones, computers, cars, welders: They all need these chips. When problems arise with manufacturing them, every company begins competing, sky rocketing the cost.
While chips are the biggest bottle neck, a number of raw resource supply chains are being strained right now. Most experts attribute this to the skyrocketing number of home improvement and other DIA projects brought on by the pandemic.
What Is Being Done?
You’ve probably already wondered “Why isn’t anyone else making these chips?” That, my friends, is the million dollar question. The US and other countries have begun looking into manufacturing chips domestically, but that will take time and money. And until then, Miller still needs to continue making machines with the chips it can get. So while the price increase is to cover a shortage right now, there’s a 99.9% chance that Miller will have to keep the price increases permanently.
What to Know
Every Miller machine, piece of equipment or safety gear is going up in price (besides a few heavy-duty, industrial welding machines). However, two key machines are going to be hit more than most. The Miller Multimatic 200 and Multimatic 220 will see price increases of 8-9%. We cannot stress enough that if you’ve been thinking about getting either of these machines, you NEED to act before May 3rd. Both are popular favorites in the welding community, with an impressive array of features and some of the most reliable performance you can get with a multiprocess machine.
As we mentioned, it’s not just welding machines. Safety gear, plasma cutters and equipment are also increasing in price. If you’ve been eyeballing a new Miller helmet, it might be time to pull the trigger.
Miller isn’t the only brand that will increase its prices. Some already have (like ESAB), while others are following suit. Most manufacturers have also halted their rebate programs for a while, although ESAB has continued their Burn and Earn—which currently includes the ESAB Miniarc Rogue ES 180i.
The good news is that IOC has some great promotions beyond rebates set by the manufacturers. For instance, IOC’s loyalty program basically gives you free money on anything you buy. If you’ve been holding out for a Miller machine, the smartest thing you can do is act now before the prices increase. Make sure you go with Welding Supplies from IOC to get the best prices, service and customer benefits.