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A comment on the price discussion
I think it’s slightly off topic and the subject should probably need its own thread because it’s a global phenomenon/challenge, it’s not specific for my business. I will however say this as the discussion was raised in our thread.
- Skoaktiebolaget has always been about excellent customer service and offering something unique. Sure, we have black cap toes and other staples, but the effort I put into creating new interpretations of styles and pushing the makers to bring in new materials is what gives us an edge. Often this process is encouraged and driven on by SF members, that’s why I love this community and the members here. Skoaktiebolaget has made new exiting materials available. The same goes for several new styles being introduced by our makers, designed by Skoaktiebolaget and the manufacturer in collaboration. I’m glad that this is being acknowledged by fellow SF members because I put in a lot of hard work to make it happen. I’m also very grateful towards our manufacturers, that they are willing to accommodate my ideas and requests, it is not something I take for granted. I am deeply appreciative of their good will and professionalism.
- As far as I know, none of the manufacturers we work with applies different pricing for different regions. Everyone is buying at the same rate. The only exception might be Edward Green (unconfirmed).
- Up until recently, none of our makers provided recommended retail price lists except Edward Green and Gaziano & Girlling. This in itself has caused problems with both overpricing and under pricing but most makers are now looking to distribute recommended retail price lists. We have people coming in to our shop trying out their size too, and then ordering online somewhere, it's just the way it is. Maybe we don't have the style they are looking for, maybe another retailer has a lower price, waddayagonnado?
- The US is one of few countries without some kind of national/federal VAT or GST system. The sales tax is governed by each state (I believe) and is therefore not applied when the goods enter the country. Thus, the only fee that is applied to orders from the EU to the US is an 8.5% customs fee. As an EU company I’m obliged to deduct VAT on any order shipped outside the EU. So basically you get a 10-15% “discount” by ordering from the EU to the US. I do recognize that this needs to be addressed in some way, but it’s up to the manufacturers to set up these rules, not me.
- For rules to have an effect there must be control and policing of these rules. The makers we work with are usually very small businesses (except EG). Setting up rules and policies and maintaining them takes a lot of energy and that’s why I think many of our makers have been hesitant to set up too many restrictions. But there are changes coming, and it will impact the way retailers are trading across regions.
Great post. I will add that a major reason your store is popular is that the prices are competitive. The efforts involved with getting new and original styles are appreciated, but definitely secondary in my opinion.
And with regard to the guy trying on shoes at someone's store and then ordering online; personally would not do it unless my size was out on the floor because I feel uncomfortable speaking to / wasting a sales associate's time if I'm almost certain I'm not buying. However, having said that, I definitely would not hold it against someone else.