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Size vs. Cost - Page 2

post #16 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by swiego View Post

See, I'm not sure I agree. A pound of hamburger... but we're not talking about hamburgers here. Please see the original post: I recognize that the JC Penney shirting is going to have tiny material costs, but for some of the clothing discussed on this site, the material cost is quite significant.
I first got to thinking of this when buying shell cordovan shoes. For many makes, they are significantly costlier (given the same design) for the upgrade to shell and unless there is some hanky-panky going on, I assume a good percentage of the delta derives directly from materials cost. Yet the 7US pair will cost the same as the 13US pair. A Kiton 180s suit? I assume that fabric costs more than hamburger meat and represents more than 1% of the suit cost. But 36S will cost the same as 48L. How about the finest Loro Piana cashmere storm system overcoat? S and XXL... same price. I completely understand why this would be for a $100 leather jacket from Wilson's Leather, or a $25 Van Heusen dress shirt, but I struggle with the same practice being followed at 25x those price points.
Then again, perhaps I shouldn't complain since I'm a bigger guy.

Price for the average and make up the loss(xxl) and gain(xs) from each end.

How is this so hard to understand?

You're suggesting:
XS-$8
M-$10
XXL-$12

Real world:
XS-$10
M-$10
XXL-$10

Either way you wind up with $30. The athletic 1% are subsidizing the fat ass 99%.
post #17 of 46
Lol Reborn think this through man. By your logic, McDs should charge same for single double and triple cheeseburgers since it all evens out. So question is why doesn't some maker come out offering lower prices for smaller sizes and thereby grab more of that market. My guess is not wanting to alienate bigger sizes and not wanting to make their customers feel too price conscious.
post #18 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post

Lol Reborn think this through man. By your logic, McDs should charge same for single double and triple cheeseburgers since it all evens out. So question is why doesn't some maker come out offering lower prices for smaller sizes and thereby grab more of that market. My guess is not wanting to alienate bigger sizes and not wanting to make their customers feel too price conscious.

It's like saying the people who use more ketchup on their fries should pay more then those who don't use any.

How much difference in material cost do you think there is between a S and a XL?
post #19 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicola View Post

It's like saying the people who use more ketchup on their fries should pay more then those who don't use any.
How much difference in material cost do you think there is between a S and a XL?

For a JC Penney sweater? A dollar or two.

For one of the highly sought after SF-approved Italian sweaters? Potentially $100 or more.
post #20 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by swiego View Post

For a JC Penney sweater? A dollar or two.
For one of the highly sought after SF-approved Italian sweaters? Potentially $100 or more.

or a size 30 v. 44 alligator belt.
post #21 of 46
I don't think you've seriously thought this through. Pricing is clearly more sophisticated than a reflection of actual material costs.

Moreover, there is example of this: tailors charge by the yard for suits and much taller larger members will have to pay (slightly) more for their materials.

On a macro level, the marginal difference in material costs is more than made up by not having to deal with the potential backlash of charging more for "plus" sizes. If you don't think so, I suggest you approach an airline and ask them to start charging for tickets based on passenger weight.
post #22 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by tatecloths View Post

I don't think you've seriously thought this through. Pricing is clearly more sophisticated than a reflection of actual material costs.
Moreover, there is example of this: tailors charge by the yard for suits and much taller larger members will have to pay (slightly) more for their materials.
On a macro level, the marginal difference in material costs is more than made up by not having to deal with the potential backlash of charging more for "plus" sizes. If you don't think so, I suggest you approach an airline and ask them to start charging for tickets based on passenger weight.

I wish airlines did. It costs an airline 30,000 per year for every extra pound they carry on each flight
post #23 of 46
you sound like you know a lot about business and retail in general. I will be subscribing an RSS feed to your posts for future economic topics.
post #24 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by tatecloths View Post

I don't think you've seriously thought this through. Pricing is clearly more sophisticated than a reflection of actual material costs.
Moreover, there is example of this: tailors charge by the yard for suits and much taller larger members will have to pay (slightly) more for their materials.
On a macro level, the marginal difference in material costs is more than made up by not having to deal with the potential backlash of charging more for "plus" sizes. If you don't think so, I suggest you approach an airline and ask them to start charging for tickets based on passenger weight.

^good post

Pricing is completely not dependent on actual cost.
It's based on how much someone is willing to pay.
Competition drives the price people are willing to pay down.

It really boils down to, how many people are going to stop buying from any brand that doesn't differentiate pricing based on size?
That number is really small. For the most part, people prefer simplicity in pricing.

For the lower quality/cost materials, the material cost is such a small part of the actual cost of the garment

Here's a short and incomplete list of the additional costs incurred in bringing that product to you
Fabric
Labor
Shipping
Packaging
Overhead for the factory
Opportunity cost of using that floor space to display and sell the product
The interest cost of holding X amount in inventory (unsold inventory sitting on a shelf or in the backroom is literally money sitting there depreciating in value faster than the rate of inflation, compare that to what you could make if you even let that money sit in an interest bearing savings account, those two things added together are the interest cost, the actual term eludes me for the time being)

Those additional costs for the product don't go away just because the material is more expensive. It just shifts the numbers around, but you'd be surprised how much all these additional costs add to the price of the product.

Not to mention, if you're picking the really expensive fabric for use in, say for example, a custom suit, I highly doubt you're going to care about saving $20 on a $1000+ suit.
You have enough money to buy such expensive and nice things, you stop caring about the cents and start focusing on the dollars.
post #25 of 46

Having customers realize that the manufacturer can make prices cheaper is not the mindset the manufacturer wants its customers to have.

post #26 of 46
You're thinking of this all wrong. Regardless of whether it's clothing from a low end or high end brand, almost everyone has thought of how to strategically get the most out of any material they buy.

Lots of companies employ strategy consultants to maximize the use of cloth and other materials. This is not like a tailor on saville row.... you don't bring him a 5 yard roll of cloth and he uses it to make YOUR suit and the rest if thrown out. If a piece of clothing is being designed, then each inch of cloth is being used to make whatever piece can possibly be made. Remember they are making hundreds of the design, so they can figure out how to strategically place the pieces to cut out of the roll of cloth (which they probably order thousands of yards of). Anything else is bad business and flat out stupid. This is not a hobby.that companies do out of the love. They are trying to make a dollar. It's sometimes hard to step back and look at reality when we're so caught up in a personal interest/hobby of clothing.

Besides that, unless we're talking about a truly truly bespoke or handmade experience, the material is a small part of the final cost. A lot of these brands charge a premium for brand, even if they make very good quality stuff.
post #27 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by swiego View Post

For a JC Penney sweater? A dollar or two.
For one of the highly sought after SF-approved Italian sweaters? Potentially $100 or more.

Not not really. But I see the people in charge of marketing for the Italian sweaters have done a good job. And yes, the reputation they have is most definitely marketing... marketing isn't just a tv commerical and a celebrity wearing your product.
post #28 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by saiyar1 View Post

Not not really. But I see the people in charge of marketing for the Italian sweaters have done a good job. And yes, the reputation they have is most definitely marketing... marketing isn't just a tv commerical and a celebrity wearing your product.

Then so has this forum, which is replete with statements about well-made clothing being expensive because they use "higher quality materials." But now these higher quality materials aren't really a factor in the cost? Which is it? When someone here says you have to pay a minimum $400 to get a good quality cashmere sweater, and how the $100 sweater will pill horribly, are they talking about the seams being the cause of the pilling? The label? The bag it shipped in? Or are they talking about the fabric? If so, is the fabric really that much more costly, or are the people on SF who insist that only a $400 sweater will last nothing but a bunch of uneducated liars?

Please, educate me, how much does the fabric cost?
post #29 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by swiego View Post


Please, educate me, how much does the fabric cost?

A typical retailer may price a suit with higher grade wool $500.00 or more above the price of a suit made from the "standard" fabric. The additional cost of that wool is most likely less than $50.00.

This is one of the major reasons I like to use a custom tailor who will quote a CTM price while I supply the fabric. I've had suits made from Fox Flannel, Huddersfield, Minnis, Harrington, and others. I don't believe I've ever paid more than about $250.00 per suit for the fabric, and in some cases it was less than $100.00.
post #30 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by swiego View Post

Then so has this forum, which is replete with statements about well-made clothing being expensive because they use "higher quality materials." But now these higher quality materials aren't really a factor in the cost? Which is it? When someone here says you have to pay a minimum $400 to get a good quality cashmere sweater, and how the $100 sweater will pill horribly, are they talking about the seams being the cause of the pilling? The label? The bag it shipped in? Or are they talking about the fabric? If so, is the fabric really that much more costly, or are the people on SF who insist that only a $400 sweater will last nothing but a bunch of uneducated liars?
Please, educate me, how much does the fabric cost?

These are a few reasons why that $400 sweater costs more than that $100
  • Craftsmanship (I have no idea what pilling is, but I suspect it has something to do with needing more skill to sew or use a more intricate and involved sewing method)
    If it takes more time, you pay extra. If it takes more skill, you pay extra.
  • Small overall quantities being manufactured (people usually go into business to make money, while the high quality sweater may only cost an extra $50 to make, they may need to charge an extra $300 to make a comparable profit)
    100,000 JC Penney sweaters manufactured x $50 profit each = $5,000,000 of profit
    1,000 High end sweaters manufactured x $300 profit each = $300,000 profit
    If they sold the high end sweater at $50 profit each, the business owners would only make a measly $50,000 (which really is chump change when you get into any sort of manufacturing)
  • The company's motto is selling luxury. Luxury is inherently linked to the price you pay for goods and also the rarity of said good. If Lamborghinis were suddenly to start selling for say $40,000, people would probably start thinking it wasn't a super luxury vehicle. If I can find this business case study, I'll post it up for those interested; it's about BMW and how they are starting to lose their previous "luxury" status. Long story short, BMW has had a hell of a time maintaining their luxury status with the very success of their company and their products, namely the 3 series. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry has a BMW 3 series car to the point where their status as a luxury car is really in question.

Ultimately, the $400 sweater costs $400 because that is the market price for that particular product. There are enough people out there who will buy a $400 sweater because SF approves of it, as a status symbol, etc. or even just because they have the money.

The beauty of a free market is that if you feel that $400 for a non-pilling sweater made with the finest cashmere is way too much money, then start up a company and sell that $400 sweater for $200, or even less.
I'm sure what you'll find is that you either won't be able to make a healthy profit off the sweaters, you'll have difficulty selling it as a high quality item/luxury, or you'll simply start feeling you should be paid more for your hard work and thus the price will raise.

PS This wasn't a long explanation; I could easily write a 10 page analysis on why a $400 sweater costs that much without even needing to rely on any sources and just using logical business concepts, some of which I've described.
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