Ethical Connundrum May Be Solving Itself

Superfly Bonsai has acquired Meco Bonsai. I’m not sure what that means with respect to Roger Lehman still producing workstands. I have both a table-top turntable and a free-standing turntable (lift range from 25" to 46" useful!)

Last Summer, Meco Bonsai was selling a $750 “Hydro Cart” in Orlando. It combined a Harbor Freight lift table with an oversized tire anti-tip steering cart kit. According to Roger, the cart kit was Amish-made and could hold 900 pounds.

I already have a Harbor Freight lift cart which I use to lift and lower heavy pots; durable and works great. A web search gave me a $79 wagon kit with 10" wheels and an 800lb capacity. All I would need is someone to weld the two together.

And that was the ethical connundrum.

Roger told me once that he had people telling him how they were able to replicate his tables and that at least one person was selling these knock-offs. He wasn’t happy with this at all. Every time I think about his Hydro Cart I know I’ll never spend $750 on something where I already have half of the unit. But I like Roger, so I would have hated to go to a convention wheeling my knock-off and have Roger see me doing so. He’s a good guy.

Nothing against the owner of Superfly Bonsai. I wish him well. He’s in my Facebook friends list. But we are now one step removed from the creator of the Hydro Cart. I’m not creating something that Superfly created. The ethical connundrum I faced with Roger seems to be solving itself. But should I feel guilty about it?

By the way, Andrew at Superfly says that once he updates his web site, he plans “to maintain existing Meco pricing into the foreseeable future.” In business, the words “foreseeable future” typically means “Until I need to restock”. So keep an eye on Superfly Bonsai if you want to get any of the remaining Lehman-Built turntables and workstands.

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Great minds think alike… I’ve been looking as recently as this morning for something exactly like that in the picture but I can’t afford a 750$ price tag… and I don’t think you should feel guilty in anyway - one does what one can.

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Yes, that cart, but with 10-inch tires that are 4-inches wide (25cm x 10cm). It’s great for moving heavy trees from one bench to another. (Which I seem to do a lot)

Just did the Euro and Kg conversions. $358USD and 226lbs of lift is too expensive and too weak.
The current Harbor Freight Lift Cart is less than half the price and has more than twice the capacity.

I know shipping to Europe is impractical, but I thought you’d want a comparison.

I’m a make-it-myself kind of guy as well. I go through enough soil each year that I built a soil sifting table:


Hey Bill i was just wondering that u dont use ebay in the States,It is about 1000lbs btw…

Bill…I went up to SuperFly Bonsai this past Saturday…Andy had a 20% off sale, so picked up 7 bags of soil base materials. Roger is still working there, but now for Andy. The carts were also 20% off!

I did some math on Andy’s prices, recently on Facebook. I’m trying to add lava rock to my inventory. At Andy’s listed prices, I’m should probably be raising my prices and I stated as much. He said he was overhauling his web site one product line at a time and will be changing the prices of his soil components.

What components did you buy and what was the price?

Full disclosure: I have a small capacity backyard bonsai supply business. I make just enough to pay for the hobby. Andy’s supplies, product lines, and customer base far exceed anything I’m doing. I price my products on what I think the people of Louisiana are willing to pay and decide if that’s enough to make a profit.

Bill…During the sale the:

  • 13 liter bags of Black Lava were $36
  • 13 liter bags of hard Akadama were $24
  • 18 liter bags of pumice were $24

Stocked up to handle this and next years potting / repotting. I have about 25 liters of red lava in my shed, and 5 bags of hard Akadama, so am set for a few years…