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Price range for quality items

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I was just skimming 'Dressing for Success' and the guy writes about how one should pay more than $6 for a tie but no more than $15. These were the prices in the 70s. I was just wondering what today's prices would be if we were to follow this premise? Of course, with some brands, their price does not mean quality. But, lets take shoes for example. A shoe that costs $50 won't be of high quality. And, if you pay more, lets use $100 as a number, then this shoe will last you more than 2X the cheaper shoe. But, at some point, the higher priced shoe while still better will start give you diminishing returns. You might be paying 6X the price of a lower priced shoe, but the quality might only be 2.5X better. What do you think is the minimum to pay for the basics so that you will get a quality item, and what do you think is the threshold so that at some point, the price can't justify the quality? It seems like Allen Edmonds are the shoes that are a good start for shoes. They are more expensive than shoes like Kenneth Cole, but much more superior and give you better value over the long run.
post #2 of 6
Well first off you have to qualify that by determining whether we can only refer to full retail prices or not. For instance, I've bought 7-8 Kiton ties, but each one has cost me less than the Brooks Brothers tie I bought at full $52.50 retail several years ago. I'd never pay for than $50 for a tie, but I'd also never buy a tie that retailed for less than $50 either. It may be possible to find some way to factor time spent shopping around and bargain hunting into the cost, but on the same token I'm sure myself and others here actually enjoy the hunt and get utility from it, so it's hard to call that all a cost too.
post #3 of 6
According to the inflation calculator a $6-$15 range in 1978 US dollars would be the equivalent of a $17.40-$43.50 range in 2003 US dollars. You really aren't going to get a nicer tie at all if that's your range, of course. I agree with aybojs, you really need to set a basement retail price of at least $50 for ties (really more like $75), and of course never pay retail for them. I rarely pay more than $17.40 for a tie but rarely buy a tie that would retail for under $75. My most recent purchases were a Brooks Brothers tie for $1 (thrift) and a Drake's for about $17 (clearance).
post #4 of 6
I think the book is referring to retail prices, and thus I should as well when considering it. The concept of diminishing returns in this case is entirely subjective, because while one person might think a Kiton tie is well worth every penny of its mark-up and doesn't see a diminishing return, another might observe no difference and could not justify the extra cost. I would say that the minimum price to get a good pair of shoes is $250.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Yes, I was trying to refer the original retail price. Of course, everybody prefers to buy it on sale.
post #6 of 6
In his Gentleman book of two years ago, Roetzel states his opinion that a pair of bench-made shoes priced below $300 retail means compromises in the material or workmanship. So that's one place to set a divider for shoes. Will
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