Thread Number: 16344
Kirby Color Change before full makeover
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Post# 174409   3/22/2012 at 18:20 (2,937 days old) by pr-21 (Middletown, OH)        

pr-21's profile picture
I know we have had this conversation before, but I was hoping for a color change before the complete makeover. I think Kirby sales will suffer if they don't. You can't go back to people you tried to sell before with the same model, the salespeople get burnt out selling the same machine for more than a few years, also causing low sales. A color change would not be that difficult to do....

What does everyone else think?


Bud Mattingly

Post# 174414 , Reply# 1   3/22/2012 at 19:44 (2,937 days old) by williamr1248 (USA)        
Kirby color change before full makeover

I have thought the same thing but I have noticed with my cleaners, many people don't even know or notice the difference between machines or colors.
For example my family always had Air-Way, but neither my mother or grandmother would notice if the machine were a 1951 blue 66 or green 77 or 88.
They did know it was an Air-Way. I am thinking most people would be the same with a Kirby. A Kirby is a Kirby.
I did have an individual look at the machines one time and he only noticed (and was impressed) with the simple,elegant style of the Compact and was horrified at the Dyson. He was very good with all types of design and thought the Dyson looked like a cheap dress with too much trim. It made me laugh the way he explained the design. He knew NOTHING of vacuums and probably never used one.
I would think it would be nice for the sales staff to have new color trim and box to sell. I hope they go back to color matched tools and hose and get away from all grey tools.
I always hated it when Hoover quit making the matching handle color,cord color. It got so everything in the last 30 years was the same color handle,cord,base and tools no matter if it was the bottom or top of the line-same boring tool color.

Kind of like the new cars-every interior is either beige or grey.

Post# 174415 , Reply# 2   3/22/2012 at 19:49 (2,937 days old) by danemodsandy ()        
I Know....

....This is probably going to outrage Kirby fans, but I think Kirby is a brand with a limited future.

It is a large, complex, heavy machine, and today's typical consumer does not have the time or interest necessary to master it and use it to the fullest. And many are simply too lazy to deal with the sheer heft of the things.

If Kirby does not make its new machine far more user-friendly - meaning friendly to TODAY's users - I don't see the company prospering long-term. Kirby has traditionally been what I call a "maid's vacuum," meaning something extremely durable to survive in situations where a servant doesn't really care about the machine. Electroluxes used to be like this.

But there aren't any more maids for most of us, and people don't take long hours to clean any more, and those who are interested in cleaning don't necessarily want to bench-press their cleaner while they do it.

I also think that any company continuing to rely on home demonstration is going to encounter rougher and rougher times, for the simple reason that many people's "at-home" time is scarce and precious. Some DTD companies, like Amway and Avon and Longaberger, will be okay because their products can be introduced or demonstrated in the workplace, on breaks. But you can't very well demo a Kirby in the workplace, and that's where customers are spending much of their time nowadays.

Sorry, I think Kirby is seriously compromised unless they change with the times, and I believe the absurdly low selling prices for scarcely used Sentrias on eBay bear me out.

Post# 174430 , Reply# 3   3/22/2012 at 21:06 (2,937 days old) by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

The econonomic times are hurting sales for one. Another factor is the some (NOT ALL) of groups authorized to sell the machines with thier pushy and un-ethical sales practices and way over pricing the machines. Great vacuums but not worth thousands. I for one am a huge Kirby fan. My preference is for the pre G series. I for one am not overly impressed by the G Series design and not looking forward to the complete remake of the Kirby Vacuum. At the time My Heritage II no longer works to my level of satisfaction will be the day a central vacuum goes in and my love affair with Kirby will be over.

Post# 174437 , Reply# 4   3/22/2012 at 21:21 (2,937 days old) by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

Changing the color of the machine isn't going to help or hinder sales. When the new model doesn't do any more or perform better than the one you have what is the need for a new one. Besides you just paid out over 2 grand for the one you have 3 yrs ago. And was told then this is the last machine you will ever need to buy.

The G 3 and a Sentria couldn't vacuum any more dirt out of the plush carpet or upholstery here than my 1987 Heritage II. Rainbow tried as well and failed 5 yrs ago.

The true die hards are the ones that will buy the product available today. And stand by the classics they love. Those that are to busy to be bothered with it will sell it at yard sale or put it at the curb when the brush won't spin becouse it is broken and doesn't work. Then go out and buy a disposbale vacuum because to them it is just a thing and if the surface is clean they are happy.

Kirby needs to direct their attention at the authorized sales force and bring them into line and therefore restore there reputation.

Post# 174444 , Reply# 5   3/22/2012 at 22:10 (2,937 days old) by IL-Kirby-Fan ()        

I am a Kirby salesman. There are a lot of unethical salesmen and women and a lot of unethical distributors as well. I am very thankful to work for a wonderful distributor and our sales team isn't pushy or forceful in anyway. We of course want to promote and sell Kirbys but we are very careful about the manner in which we do that. I know I personally make sure it's very clear to the person whose home I am in that there is no obligation to buy anything but do ask that they watch the presentation with an open mind and ask any questions they have and give feed back. I tell them that at the end I will show them a price sheet and if they're not interested all they have to do is just say so. If they're not interested, afterward I will do the cleaning I said I would, thank them for their time and attention and I'll go on my way. More times than not people are very interested and all it comes down to is if they can afford it so we then discuss some options. The Kirby Company itself is a great company, and there are a lot of great distributors...but like with anythere, there are some bad seeds that give the rest a bad name.

But as far as a color change, I would love to see that happen. I think our customers would too. The particular office I work out of has some very loyal Kirby diehards as customers, they get all their bags, belts, shampoo, etc from us and just love the Kirby that they've invested in. I have found in a lot of demos the result in a sale that the people ask about "trade ups" for "when a newer model comes out". People do recognize a Kirby as an investment and think of it in terms of it being an important appliance in their home, and like with cars, people love to trade up for "the next best thing" so we do have a lot of repeat customers. Also, some people will like their new Kirby so much they'll contact us about buying a second one for another level of their home. Really as a salesman, you just have to be smart about your customers, don't just talk someone into buying it but sell to the people who appreciate what the product has to offer and it's great performance and durability.

As for the designs for the "next" Kirby...I can't say from the sketches really what I think of it, I will have to see it in front of me when it comes out to decide how I feel about it. While I admit I don't like to see a drastic change, I do have faith in the Kirby Co that they will create and produce a superior product. While functionality and performance may stay the same, the appearance is what has to "keep up with the times". Kirby has always had one of the best products on the market so really I don't so much feel like they need to "improve", just maintain. If that makes sense.

Well, just some thoughts on the subject. I am interested in what everyone else has to say. I love reading the Kirby posts.

Post# 174451 , Reply# 6   3/22/2012 at 23:38 (2,937 days old) by kirbyloverdan (Egg Harbor Twp . NJ aka HOOVERLOVERDAN ❤️)        
Sorry Sandy but

kirbyloverdan's profile picture
Kirby`s newest vacuum to be introduced after the inproved Sentria with the color

chage will be a change with the times greatly improved model . Kirby will always be

around and are going no where . I beleive when EVERY D2D manufacturer introduces a

a new and improved model they are always better than the model they replace . Just

because the companies don`t use metal that does not mean the Vacuum is junk . It`s

called a sign of the times . I own a Tristar DXL which I love but my new Tristar

MG3 is an awsome improvement .

Post# 174460 , Reply# 7   3/23/2012 at 00:14 (2,937 days old) by danemodsandy ()        

If Kirby does come up with a new model meeting the needs of today's consumers, that will be great. I still think the problem of the DTD sales paradigm remains - you just can't get as many in-home demos going today as you could in the past, because people aren't home as much, and when they finally DO get some downtime, the last thing they want is a salesperson - of any product - in the house. Kirby stores might be a good solution. Or they might not - Aerus is having some problems with theirs in this economy.

If you like your MG3 better than a CXL, more power to you. I'm a CXL owner, and I've tested the MG-3, and wouldn't have made the switch for the world. Suction wasn't remotely comparable.

Post# 174461 , Reply# 8   3/23/2012 at 00:25 (2,937 days old) by danemodsandy ()        

Perhaps I should also explain that I think the Sentria was doomed from the start because it was simply a new face on the same Kirby format - big, powerful, formidable upright. It's sure sleeker-looking than a 1950s Kirby, but it's essentially the same idea, and the time for that idea has passed.

Post# 174466 , Reply# 9   3/23/2012 at 01:01 (2,937 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Kirby,'Lux "stores"this was common in the Wash DC area.DTD was not common there-you went to the Kirby store for your demo-just walk in.Have been to the two stores that were in my area when I lived there-Forestville,MD and another Kirby Store in Suitland,Md.both gave nice demos and had various surfaces and items to try the machine out on-since it was the "Classic" at that time-the Suitland place put on a clever demo--"I am going to show you a Kirby Cleaning system that you can use to build a birdhouse--and clean up the mess"sure enough-he did just that-the Handy Butler jigsaw attachment cut the parts-and the sanding wheel sanded them.and yes-the machine cleaned up the sawdust.didn't buy though-but kicking myself to this day for not getting that cleaner.Electrolux had a walk in store in Forestivlle,Md-another store was in Downtown DC-knew a man that managed it-he sold machines to the various embassies!Their folks would just walk in,pay cash-many machines,bags, and attachments.The Kirby place even offered to drive me back to my apartment-I didn't have a car at that time.The "stores" were common in the big citys-sort of like the Oreck stores.
On the Kirby-I have heard more than one salesman remark that the Kirby is more appealing to MEN than the lady of the home.Men like the way you can change the parts and attchments-the things the Kirby can be made to do-like helping you build a birdhouse if you don't have any other tools.
I think what is dooming DTD items-their high prices-and you can buy vacuum cleaners at just about any store now-never mind they are cheap and made in China-for many folks it works and that is what appeals to them.and they don't mind buying another machine when the one bought a couple years ago breaks or its motor burns out.another thing about DTD machines----only ONE model to choose from for the most part-customers like CHOICES.

Post# 174471 , Reply# 10   3/23/2012 at 01:25 (2,937 days old) by danemodsandy ()        

I think another problem with DTD stuff is that the differential is being eliminated. For a while, DTD machines were usually metal, very often cast metal, and that was a big difference between DTD and mass-market stuff. Now, even expensive machines like the new TOL Luxes are plastic. Now, you know and I know that there's a big difference in Lux's plastic and TTI's plastic, but the average consumer doesn't know that. All they see is "Hmm. Plastic. Well, those machines down at Target are plastic, too, and a whole lot cheaper."

I think plastic for anything but small tools and seals and bumpers, etc., creates a cheapened perception for premium brands. I know that I personally could not possibly justify the current list price of a TriStar MG3, because of those plastic wands and tools - I'm accustomed to much longer-lived accessories, and I'm not willing to spend that kind of money for cheaper ones.

By the way, while I consider excess weight a problem for some DTD brands, that's something that could be at least partially overcome with intelligent design and alloys.

Post# 174475 , Reply# 11   3/23/2012 at 02:08 (2,937 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Weight on the vacuums-for men this may not be an issue-but for the lady that has to lug the machine up and down the stairs-than it is.She dosen't want to have to drive the forklift to bring the vacuum upstairs.
Yes,plastics-its true the quality of the plastic used in more expensive machines is far better and heavier than that in cheap ones.Flex the body or machine cover panels and you will see.the expensive vacuums have thicker plastic parts-but more weight-and more reinforcement "ribbing" on those parts.the cheap vacs have thin plastic-no reinforcement-and probably even "regrind" plastic that has been recycled from something else.when all is really said and done-a properly made plastic vacuum body can end up being as heavy as a metal one.I would also second the motion on the TriStar-(thats another bugaboo here-the name Compact should have been retained)Me and a freind sold Mg type compacts for a couple years-when you went into the customers house and said-"we would like to present our demo of the TriStar cleaning system"then the customer would look at you as if you had lobsters crawling out of your ears-so I would say to them-"this is a modern Compact for the most part-"did your Mother or Grandmother have one?"and then the customer could relate to what we were talking about.I honestly feel the old Compact Turbo-Nozzle" was better than the Lux design one.Its just too wide-the airflow of the machine just doesn't match up to that new nozzle-it would be better for a commercial vacuum using a higher CFM motor and 1.5" hose.Don't like the plastic wands either.The old style Compact metal ones were much better.and the Lux dust brush on the MG type machines-no adjustable speed to slow the motor down-the bristles get sucked into the brush opening.the old "gold Speckl" tool was better.and its larger opening could gulp down loose bits better than the narrow opening Lux brush.but the TriStars sold none the less.And miss the AmeTek motors the older machines had-actually MORE power-suction,airflow as measured on Baird guages and suction guages.and the old motors held up-the newer motors in the MG's last only a couple years.Like my TriStar-Compact CXL best.Its a good companion "pig" to my larger "pig" The NSS M1.

Post# 174532 , Reply# 12   3/23/2012 at 13:30 (2,936 days old) by joshdonnell ()        

NO one cares what you think !

Post# 174543 , Reply# 13   3/23/2012 at 14:09 (2,936 days old) by danemodsandy ()        

I don't know why you have decided to be that rude to me.

I think an apology is in order.

Post# 174545 , Reply# 14   3/23/2012 at 14:34 (2,936 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

I'm at work and extremely busy to have to stop what I'm doing to deal with childish nonsense.


Sandy -- I value what you say. You have lots to offer this site, and have become a regular poster with lots and lots of good things to say.


Josh -- you need to aplogize to Sandy. He does say a lot of things, good things, and I certainly care what he says. Your posts on the other hand are seldom more than one or a few sentences long. Please stop and think of your own contributions to this website before belittling someone else's.


This is going to be your one and only warning from me. Next time you cause trouble, you're gone.




PS -- thanks to the individual who marked josh's post as offensive!

This post was last edited 03/23/2012 at 19:05
Post# 174558 , Reply# 15   3/23/2012 at 16:00 (2,936 days old) by trebor ()        
This parallels a thread on...

the off topic forum.

The color change will not happen prior to the model changeover. The new model is scheduled to be inroduced in fall 2013. That means there would have to be TWO clearances of old stock prior to the new model. The time for it to really do any good is past. Would you like to pay $2000.00 + for a new color Kirby, only to have a subtsantially redesigned machine introduced before you have finished paying for it?

The other thread repeats in-depth many of the points made here about weight, versatility, and usability, and viabilty of the Kirby unit. Unfortunately, people here tend to be passionate about the Kirby, and view any attempt to interject a note of reality about it's appeal to today's homemakers as negative, or as bashing the machine.

Post# 174623 , Reply# 16   3/23/2012 at 22:45 (2,936 days old) by vac-o-matic (Saint Louis, Mo.)        
Thanks Fred!

I've really been biting my tongue on this one!

Post# 174631 , Reply# 17   3/23/2012 at 23:33 (2,936 days old) by IL-Kirby-Fan ()        

Ya know've given me something to think about. You may be right about the whole color change thing. It would make more sense for them not to release a color change. I still wish they could just because the Sentria has been the running model for so long, but I can understand if they don't.

Post# 174684 , Reply# 18   3/24/2012 at 10:03 (2,935 days old) by joshdonnell ()        
To sandy

I'm sorry for being rude!

Post# 174686 , Reply# 19   3/24/2012 at 10:22 (2,935 days old) by danemodsandy ()        

Apology accepted.

Now let's all move on.

Post# 174691 , Reply# 20   3/24/2012 at 11:05 (2,935 days old) by trebor ()        
The time to have released a color change...

would ideally have been about 2.5 years ago, enough time for the color to get 'old' before the model change.

Post# 174692 , Reply# 21   3/24/2012 at 11:06 (2,935 days old) by stricklybojack (Southern California)        
what did they do last time?

stricklybojack's profile picture
Seems we're in for an 'Ultimate Sentria', then 'Ultimate Sentria Diamond edition'...then the next gen model 'Avalier' or whatever. (Does a DTD vac Co. want 'lier' in the name of their product? hummm...)

Okay maybe not just that way. but more likely than not closer to, than further from, past model/version change-over schemes is my total guess. As a for profit concern it seems what enthusiasts like us want & what the 'suits' feel they need to do are more often than not two different things.

The owner of the company, Berkshire Hathaway is invest more & more in China i notice, don't know what that could mean if anything. also was the Consumers Report coverage a reach out by Kirby quietly saying they're ready for a more mainstream retail version of going-to-market? Especially now that Dyson & Miele have shown that high dollar Vacs can sell there in great volume? If so a new model may be designed to move further toward current mainstream design parameters, as mentioned above by others, light weight etc...hard tellin' not known says a buddy of mine.

Lastly, yes color please! amazing how drab such a pricey vac can be decked out & still sell, then again maybe there is something we don't know about why their customers buy this product in the first place.

Me? i acquired 3 Kirbys recently, a Heritage II, an Ultimate Diamond & a fairly recent Sentria (orange one) for on average a song ($100 total cost) off Craigslist. All await Spa treatment, consumables & manual reading before i go for my first test drive of these fine examples of vacuum muscle from middle America. Meaning no, i have never used any Kirby but couldn't pass up the deals i found! however to busy now & will have to wait until next winter for the pleasure.

Post# 174696 , Reply# 22   3/24/2012 at 12:12 (2,935 days old) by trebor ()        

This post has been removed by the member who posted it.

Post# 174706 , Reply# 23   3/24/2012 at 13:41 (2,935 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

gsheen's profile picture

Most know that I am not a great lover of the sentria, Funny as I have on in my collection, I prefer the legend11 shape. 


does anyone have any idea what the new kirby will look like. I have heard two rumours, one saying that they are going back to a less heavy more streamlined look like the legend II shape , the other saying that the machine will be more mainstream with built in attachments and much much more user friendly. 


Either way I think it will be a massive improvement over the current model ( my own opinion) and some thing to look forward to. despite the internad improvements , some weight saving and streamlining of the headlight unit not much has changed 19 years.


what do you guys know about the new model ? 

Post# 174708 , Reply# 24   3/24/2012 at 13:51 (2,935 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

gsheen's profile picture

Just to add I don't know when you guys got it but we got the g3 in 1993 in sa 

Post# 174715 , Reply# 25   3/24/2012 at 14:23 (2,935 days old) by trebor ()        
the G3 was intoduced in late 1989...

here in the US. The model posters show the date of introduction as 1990, which would have been late 1989.

There have been links posted to patent drawings which show a direct drive rug nozzle (minus belt lifter), with a port allowing direct connection of a hose, while still permitting complete removal of the nozzle for a hose connection, as well as an optional power nozzle kit. The bag is shown directly in the back, and it is removable, as is the handle, replaceable with a portable handle/bag/switch/cord assembly. Shampooer shows two brushes in the drawing. Air/dirt drawn through two ports below nozzle drive socket.

Looks nightmarish to me.

Post# 174718 , Reply# 26   3/24/2012 at 14:30 (2,935 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

gsheen's profile picture

In 1990 there was alot of change going on in SA IE becoming  a democratic country so I am not surprised it took longer to come here, also our beau of safety standards in those days took a long time to approve products , nowadays it takes about 3 months of paperwork as long as the appliance has already been certified by one of the major safety standards organisations 

Post# 174748 , Reply# 27   3/24/2012 at 20:07 (2,935 days old) by adambomb (Undisclosed )        

The Generation 3 wasn't released until May 1991

Post# 174756 , Reply# 28   3/25/2012 at 00:01 (2,935 days old) by Trebor ()        
Generation 3 was...

actually produced concurrently with the Legend II because 1)self propelled was an experiment. It was called Generation 3 'by Kirby' not Kirby Generation 3.and 2) The Legend II was preferred by some dealers, who did not like the new model. It was the only time, other than the R, (retail) and C series that two Kirby models were produced concurrently. The Legend II was only in production through 1990, so it was produced concurrently with the Generation 3 by Kirby in 1990. The official launch of the model may have been 1991, but in the past Kirby was not so strict about holding models back until the official launch. My parents bought a model 517 in June of 1956, which was supposedly 'impossible' but it happened.

Post# 253036 , Reply# 29   10/15/2013 at 20:45 (2,365 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture
I do remember seeing a Generation 3 brand new back in August of 1990, so you aren't far off... and yes, the Legend II had been produced concurrently as you say through the second half of the calendar year, and those last units even got out with the G3-styled attachments (same as in the export markets), but in maroon.


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