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Getting out of hand

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing. Gear Classifieds
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Re: Getting out of hand

Postby Dave B » Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:19 am

lordhelmut wrote:And if these companies do unload most of their inventory during their massive sales, where do the profits come from? Sorry, I'm almost completely ignorant how retail works, but I do know that nobody should pay 680$ for a jacket. If labor costs are in fact increasing, but they are still selling most of their stuff at wholesale prices during their sales, where do the profits come from?


I'd be very surprised if the cost to produce such jackets was anywhere above 25% of retail.

Even unloading it at 50% is profit and all the schmucks who pay full price is super profit.

The original $680, I think, is an additional product value in the fact that Patagonia has a good "green" image so the people who live to 20,000 square foot home and drivie Prius' can feel they're helping the world while still maintaining the highest degree of mountain fashion and snobery.

EDIT - uh oh, It seems total thread derailment may be eminent.
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Re: Getting out of hand

Postby lordhelmut » Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:35 am

Some helpful retail clerk at Montbell one time told me they charge that much due to their "lifetime guarantee/return policy", the 1% for the Planet they are involved with and due to the simple fact that they are Patagonia. Montbell is "cheaper" cause they don't have the same guarantee.

Still, 680$ for nylon, stiches and some waterproofing layers? Thats a mortgage and/or twice the average car payment! Do I want to get a ski pass this year or spend it all on a jacket? You'll have a sick jacket, but you won't have any pants, or long underwear, or gas to get to the mountains you don't have a pass to anyway. Great idea!

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Re: Getting out of hand

Postby SurfNTurf » Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:36 am

I work one or two nights a week at an outdoor retailer, mostly for the discount, and shop outlets and clearance (discount still applies on top). I've bought most of my gear recently for 70-80 percent off. So, maybe see if Patagonia is hiring then keep an eye on the Web specials? :lol:

The downside is I look like I'm sponsored, or more likely a poser fanboy.

Marketers do a great job of convincing us we NEED these types of shells, and anyone dropping a few dozen grand for a Himalayan peak probably won't bat an eyelash at a $1,000 shell they "must have" to survive. Especially when there's so much jargon and misunderstood information when it comes to shells and other outdoor equipment.
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Re: Getting out of hand

Postby lordhelmut » Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:39 am

SurfNTurf wrote:I work one or two nights a week at an outdoor retailer, mostly for the discount, and shop outlets and clearance (discount still applies on top). I've bought most of my gear recently for 70-80 percent off. So, maybe see if Patagonia is hiring then keep an eye on the Web specials? :lol:

The downside is I look like I'm sponsored, or more likely a poser fanboy.

Marketers do a great job of convincing us we NEED these types of shells, and anyone dropping a few dozen grand for a Himalayan peak probably won't bat an eyelash at a $1,000 shell they "must have" to survive. Especially when there's so much jargon and misunderstood information when it comes to shells and other outdoor equipment.


In the description, use the words "dialed in", "super", "bomber", "durable, high denier pro shell", "Athlete Tested" and throw the word "stoked" in there somewhere, and every Broville jackass across the country will take their dad's AMEX and buy it.

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Re: Getting out of hand

Postby Cruiser » Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:54 am

I'll admit that ~$700 is right at the high end of the spectrum for a ski/mountaineering jacket. But if you consider what a quality suit jacket or top coat can cost then $700 starts to seem a little more in line. I get that most of us aren't the target demographic for companies like Gucci, Armani, Burberry, and the like. Still, there's plenty of folks who are and they are the ones who will look at the upper end Patagucci or Arc'teryx jackets and pull the trigger without remorse in preparation for their next heli-ski trip to AK.
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Re: Getting out of hand

Postby djkest » Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:56 am

Patagonia wrote:Progressive and stealth, our new 3-layer PowSlayer Jacket – fully featured and made with Gore-Tex® Pro fabric – is the pinnacle in waterproof/breathable performance for slaying pow lines in any conditions.


Patagonia wrote:Ambassador-driven and tested on every level, this fully dialed jacket gives you complete stormproof performance for riding big and deep pow lines. It’s made with extremely lightweight yet durable, 3-layer GORE-TEX® Pro nylon fabric for the pinnacle of waterproof/breathable protection. Three-layer reinforcements toughen high-wear areas, and a DWR (durable water repellent) finish prevents wet-out in soggy conditions. The helmet-compatible, two-way-adjustable fixed hood has a laminated visor for optimal visibility, and our Touch Point System™ embeds cord locks in the hood and hem to eliminate loose ends. Watertight, coated zippers, installed with our Slim Zip technology, reduce weight and bulk; pit zips quickly release heat. The design of the sleek, low-profile powderskirt ensures a trustworthy seal for moments of ragdoll inspiration or snorkel deep sessions. Pockets: two drop-in cargos, one chest, one bicep for your pass, and an internal stash pocket for your media device.


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Re: Getting out of hand

Postby plantmandan » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:01 am

It's that price because, apparently, there are people out there willing to pay it. You can't blame Patagonia for that.

Personally, I'd rather take a month long road trip to Bishop and Joshua Tree for the same price.

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Re: Getting out of hand

Postby ztop » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:15 am

Be sure to notice there's a convenient drop-down so you can order 10 at a time!

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Re: Getting out of hand

Postby screeman57 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:18 am

MonGoose wrote:
It's called Capitalism.


Actually, what's being described here is called Consumerism.
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Re: Getting out of hand

Postby prestone818 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:21 am

These companies make huge profits on their products. Just like apple and your iphones and ieverything you use.

Re: Getting out of hand

Postby Zambo » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:26 am

lordhelmut wrote:I guess what I'm really asking is, despite increasing labor costs overseas and standard yearly inflation, what is the main difference between a pro shell made from Arcteryx to Patagonia to Marmot to North Face? Are they charging for a logo or is the craftsmanship really all that more spectacular? I've heard from credible mountaineers that using Frogg Toggs for 20$ are sufficient enough for them in the summer months, and they just get a new pair when they breakdown. I've seen expert skiers and boarders ride around the mountains in the dead of winter in Carharts.

And if these companies do unload most of their inventory during their massive sales, where do the profits come from? Sorry, I'm almost completely ignorant how retail works, but I do know that nobody should pay 680$ for a jacket. If labor costs are in fact increasing, but they are still selling most of their stuff at wholesale prices during their sales, where do the profits come from?


Good questions Brian. I have wondered this for years, and never gotten a good answer from anyone!

Essentially, I have always wondered what (if any) tangible differences are there between the top brands. Undoubtedly people can ramble on about branding, consumerism, image, perceptions, etc. I have no doubt in my mind that these play a huge role in brand like Arx and Patagonia charging high prices.

But is that all of it? Does the name alone warran the extra hundreds of dollars? It can't be the only difference, can it?

I would love to hear about the craftsmanship/production which supposedly sets apart the top brands. It would be cool to hear one of the product engineers try to defend a $600 Arcteryx shell against a comparable North Face for half the price. It is materials, stitching, better machines they are made on (??) or what? No question that all retail is marked up 100% of cost, but what exactly are physical the differences in the products that warrant such high prices?

Like I said, I've never really seen anyone be able to answer that question in a satisfying way....
Last edited by Zambo on Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Getting out of hand

Postby coloradokevin » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:26 am

The prices that companies are starting to charge for outdoor gear is a bit disgusting. I worked in this industry approximately 13 years ago, and even back then the wholesale to retail markup was 100% (if the store bought it for $200, it was sold for $400). The prices were bad back then, but they're just absurd these days.

But, the shop I worked at was in central Ohio. It was a damn fine mountaineering shop that was located quite some distance from the nearest mountains. It seemed that our business was supported by yuppies. Soccer moms would come in and buy $1,500 worth of goretex clothing to go to their kid's soccer games, and a lot of them would do so because they "heard Goretex was warm". Even after you'd explain the layering concept to them, they'd still buy the most expensive Goretex they could find.

The shop I used to work at eventually went under, after 30 years in business. It's hard to support a full-on mountaineering shop in that region, and I think that the prices finally got to the point that people weren't shopping there enough once the recession hit.

Personally, I'm not buying a $680 Patagonia shell, or a $1,000 Arc shell anytime soon!

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