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Vass distributorships, globalization, protectionism, etc...

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by aportnoy, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. VMan

    VMan Well-Known Member

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    Obviously the StyleForum is largely a population of deal seekers. How many of us regularily pay full retail for high-end labels such as Kiton?

    We aren't Bergdorf's target market at all. For the most part, we are the sorts that shop the end of season clearance sales at BG and similar stores (note that I am making a generalization, as I'm sure several members here can afford to shop at full retail).

    In an opposite vein, BG's target customer - the man who can walk in and purchase a few pairs of shoes at $1400 and not really think much about it - isn't going to spend their time scouring internet forums looking for deals, then spend several hours contacting various sources to track down the specific shoes he wants.

    Two unrelated markets, as I see it.

    I have no personal interest in this discussion at all, I'm not taking anyone's side, and I highly doubt I would ever consider purchasing a pair of Vass shoes. I just wanted to bring up a point for consideration.
     
  2. Fuuma

    Fuuma Well-Known Member

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    Somebody should change the title of the thread to "frustrated yuppies foaming at the mouth". I might look like I'm trying to insult you but I just wanted to mention that with the quite high level of respect I see on discussions concerning important subjects, like the war in Irak, I'm appalled to see how ad hominem attacks fly once we're discussing deals on shoes. Just look at how Tiger02 is actually involved in a very complex and surely highly emotional situation over there and manages to answer in measured, respectful tones when challenged on his beliefs and what he dedicates his life to. Maybe we could all learn a little from that...
     
  3. odoreater

    odoreater Well-Known Member

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    Obviously the StyleForum is largely a population of deal seekers. How many of us regularily pay full retail for high-end labels such as Kiton?

    We aren't Bergdorf's target market at all. For the most part, we are the sorts that shop the end of season clearance sales at BG and similar stores (note that I am making a generalization, as I'm sure several members here can afford to shop at full retail).

    In an opposite vein, BG's target customer - the man who can walk in and purchase a few pairs of shoes at $1400 and not really think much about it - isn't going to spend their time scouring internet forums looking for deals, then spend several hours contacting various sources to track down the specific shoes he wants.

    Two unrelated markets, as I see it.

    I have no personal interest in this discussion at all, I'm not taking anyone's side, and I highly doubt I would ever consider purchasing a pair of Vass shoes. I just wanted to bring up a point for consideration.


    I have no personal interest in this discussion at all either (because I would never dish out $550 or $1500 for Vass shoes), but what you are saying is not entirely accurate. By allowing an influx of the same shoe at cheaper prices it lowers the market value of the Vass shoe bought from BG once it is in the hands of the buyer. In other words, once it is discovered that the shoe is not as exclusive as the buyer thought it would be at $1500 because others are wearing the same shoe at $550, he loses the value he and other in the marketplace placed on that exclusivity. People buy $1500 shoes because they value the fact that not many other people out there will be wearing the same shoes, but when he shows up at the office and some guy is wearing the same shoes because he was able to afford them at $550, the value to the BG buyer is lessened.
     
  4. VMan

    VMan Well-Known Member

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    I have no personal interest in this discussion at all either (because I would never dish out $550 or $1500 for Vass shoes), but what you are saying is not entirely accurate. By allowing an influx of the same shoe at cheaper prices it lowers the market value of the Vass shoe bought from BG once it is in the hands of the buyer. In other words, once it is discovered that the shoe is not as exclusive as the buyer thought it would be at $1500 because others are wearing the same shoe at $550, he loses the value he and other in the marketplace placed on that exclusivity. People buy $1500 shoes because they value the fact that not many other people out there will be wearing the same shoes, but when he shows up at the office and some guy is wearing the same shoes because he was able to afford them at $550, the value to the BG buyer is lessened.

    I guess the point I was trying to make is that the majority of consumers didn't know about the deal w/ the German seller. It was only the SF types that did, and the majority of us aren't going to be purchasing $1400 shoes at full retail, thus there isn't too much direct overlap in the market.

    We are the types that will always find some way to purchase an item of clothing for a fairly considerable discount. I'm not sure exactly the point I was trying to make (or if I'm making sense - rough night last night), but there's dozens of debatable points within this single topic. Truth be told, if we all have time to argue about $1400 shoes on the internet, perhaps we need to take a step back and look at what is important.

    I do hear what you are saying about the lower prices potentially damaging the brand image - always an important consideration when planning a marketing strategy.
     
  5. Mike C.

    Mike C. Well-Known Member

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    All arguments aside here, given the quality of the product Vass produces, do any of you really think they are worth as little as $550? Name me one other maker that charges this price for a comprable product.

    Vass at $550 was an anomoly, sort of like Jantzen at $40.
     
  6. odoreater

    odoreater Well-Known Member

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    All arguments aside here, given the quality of the product Vass produces, do any of you really think they are worth as little as $550? Name me one other maker that charges this price for a comprable product.

    Vass at $550 was an anomoly, sort of like Jantzen at $40.


    Well, I guess I would only say that they are only worth what people are willing to pay for them, so to some people they are worth $550, but not worth $1400, while to others they are worth $1400. You can't really say what something is "worth" by comparing it in quality to other things because there are other factors that go into what something is worth other than just he quality. If quality were the only factor, then an Armani suit would be worth $200 and sold at Macys. [​IMG]
     
  7. pejsek

    pejsek Well-Known Member

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    It's always nice to see posts from shoefan and A. Harris.
    I must admit I'm also just a bit surprised that so many posters here seem to have finished law school without making the acquaintance of Ian Mcneil, Stewart Macaulay, or basic theories of relational contracting. The Vass-BG deal seems really unexceptional--the sort of thing that is replicated every single day in all sorts of commercial settings.
    I'm an extreme bargain hunter myself--I feel like a big spender when I go to Last Call and hunt for the 75% off tags--but that doesn't cause me to turn a blind eye to commercial necessity. It's great that Vass has been able to establish a retail presence here in the US and it's only natural that part of the bargain is that BG doesn't want to be undercut by someone who's not making an investment of time, resources, etc.
    Please don't fret; remember, there's always another great bargain heading down the road!
     
  8. odoreater

    odoreater Well-Known Member

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    It's always nice to see posts from shoefan and A. Harris.
    I must admit I'm also just a bit surprised that so many posters here seem to have finished law school without making the acquaintance of Ian Mcneil, Stewart Macaulay, or basic theories of relational contracting. The Vass-BG deal seems really unexceptional--the sort of thing that is replicated every single day in all sorts of commercial settings.
    I'm an extreme bargain hunter myself--I feel like a big spender when I go to Last Call and hunt for the 75% off tags--but that doesn't cause me to turn a blind eye to commercial necessity. It's great that Vass has been able to establish a retail presence here in the US and it's only natural that part of the bargain is that BG doesn't want to be undercut by someone who's not making an investment of time, resources, etc.
    Please don't fret; remember, there's always another great bargain heading down the road!


    We're too busy worrying about the Uniform Commercial Code and Blackstones Commentary on Property in law school to read economic theory. [​IMG] Though, I'm not sure that there's any correlation between what side people fall on on this issue and whether they are lawyers.
     
  9. Teacher

    Teacher Well-Known Member

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    We're too busy worrying about the Uniform Commercial Code and Blackstones Commentary on Property in law school to read economic theory. [​IMG] Though, I'm not sure that there's any correlation between what side people fall on on this issue and whether they are lawyers.

    I think he was implying that some of the legal-inspired comments here were made by people who aren't familiar with actual law. Hey, it happens all the time. In fact, it's illegal to...oh nevermind!
     
  10. odoreater

    odoreater Well-Known Member

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    I think he was implying that some of the legal-inspired comments here were made by people who aren't familiar with actual law. Hey, it happens all the time. In fact, it's illegal to...oh nevermind!

    Gotcha. [​IMG]
     
  11. Charley

    Charley Well-Known Member

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    I have no personal interest in this discussion at all either (because I would never dish out $550 or $1500 for Vass shoes), but what you are saying is not entirely accurate. By allowing an influx of the same shoe at cheaper prices it lowers the market value of the Vass shoe bought from BG once it is in the hands of the buyer. In other words, once it is discovered that the shoe is not as exclusive as the buyer thought it would be at $1500 because others are wearing the same shoe at $550, he loses the value he and other in the marketplace placed on that exclusivity. People buy $1500 shoes because they value the fact that not many other people out there will be wearing the same shoes, but when he shows up at the office and some guy is wearing the same shoes because he was able to afford them at $550, the value to the BG buyer is lessened.

    The other side of the discussion is that the Vass shoe is a $650 or so shoe everywhere else - except in the US. That is what it is worth in the rest of the world. How is the value / quality increased by having the sale registered through BG? Vass is getting the same from all the sales. There is not a different product being offered - except that reportedly the better looking shoes are not available at BG.
     
  12. odoreater

    odoreater Well-Known Member

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    The other side of the discussion is that the Vass shoe is a $650 or so shoe everywhere else - except in the US. That is what it is worth in the rest of the world. How is the value / quality increased by having the sale registered through BG? Vass is getting the same from all the sales. There is not a different product being offered - except that reportedly the better looking shoes are not available at BG.

    I've never run into someone who lives in Europe at my office, that' how.

    There's value in exclusivity (this is seperate from the inherent value of the shoe judged by its quality). I put value in the fact that I'm the only mug in my office that's wearing $1500 shoes, when someone else shows up with the same shoes, now that exclusivity loses value. If the shoes are available for $550 somewhere else, that increases the likelihood that someone at my office will show up with the same shoes on, which decreases the value of the exclusivity that I purchased along with the shoes at BG.
     
  13. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    I objected to someone trumpeting the fact that these shoes could be had in Germany at a different, lower price than what they were available at B-G. I didn't call that person greedy or oppressive which is what the two Vass reps subsequently were called.

    I made it clear that I was speaking as a member, not a moderator. Nevertheless, as a moderator (and LA GUY reiterated this)- it's our duty to dispel ad hominem attacks. Calling someone a blabbermouth does not equate to calling someone else greedy and unethical in my book. Nevertheless, I used connotative language in the heat of the moment, and apologized for this.

    I also apologized for editing a member's post. A member who called me a loose cannon from whom the administrator wanted to distance himself. This after 4 years of volunteer work with no compensation for this Forum. I think a significant number of members, particularly those who know me personally, would also deem this more a more egregious charge that simply terming someone a blabbermouth.

    All I did when I edited Tomasso's post was add my own reply, I didn't change his response.
     
  14. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    This charge is incorrect and unfair Tom. The only time I edited anyone's post deliberately was to copy Jill and Chuck's gifs, and they though it was all in good fun.
     
  15. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Well-Known Member

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    I was going to post here, but then i thought about the upside for me and decided to say nothing.
     
  16. jay allen

    jay allen Well-Known Member

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    Just read this thread from beginning to end......phew! I can't remember many of the details at this point, and I must admit that I know nothing about high end shoes.......but I'm left with one impression. These freakin' shoes must be amazing!! The last time a conflict of this magnitude erupted it involved some chick named Helen.
     
  17. j

    j Well-Known Member

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    What a depressing thread. A few notes:

    I was not trying to "distance myself from Steve". I wanted him to clarify that the forum doesn't take an official position, and that his suggestion of "excoriation" was not a proclamation from a moderator, but rather (I am guessing) an attempt to suggest that maybe the pigpile on his personal friends Andrew Harris and Gabor wasn't really warranted, and that he was surprised no one was blaming whoever (I'm still not sure) brought the German source out in the open. I don't see how encouraging people to keep their sources secret would have helped defend his friends, which from what I can tell was his main purpose in this thread. Therefore, I think a lot of people took his comments the wrong way.

    Further, I wasn't around to see this editing of posts, but I have a feeling it was the same thing I have done myself accidentally before, especially in a hurry - moderators have the 'edit' and 'quote' buttons right next to each other on every post, and it's pretty easy if you're not paying attention to hit edit and go through a whole response before realizing you just edited your reply into someone else's post on accident.

    As for the topic, I still don't have much of an opinion. Of course I want people to get the best deals, but I also want to see Andrew (and Gabor), who have contributed greatly to the knowledge on the forum, profit properly from all their work bringing Vass to the states.
     
  18. tiger02

    tiger02 Well-Known Member

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    This charge is incorrect and unfair Tom. The only time I edited anyone's post deliberately was to copy Jill and Chuck's gifs, and they though it was all in good fun.
    Steve, I keed, I keed. Things have gotten way too hot here, I should have realized I wouldn't be dispelling it. Love you like a brother, man.

    Tom
     
  19. SGladwell

    SGladwell Well-Known Member

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    There's value in exclusivity (this is seperate from the inherent value of the shoe judged by its quality).

    If exclusivity is your goal, isn't it more exclusive to be able to say "you can't get these shoes in the US; I bought mine in Europe" than "I bought them at Bergdorf down the street?"

    Point being, if your interest really lies in keeping them exclusive, then perversely enough you want Andrew and Gabor to fail in their attempt to bring them here. I think most of us would either like to see them succeed or at worst are indifferent about it, but just think they need to realize that in the modern world large scale price differences between markets are going to be worked around, whether distributors want them to be or not and whether or not they have pieces of paper in their hands giving them exclusive rights to sell in national markets that just don't exist in the world of Mail/Entourage, VOIP, Visa, and DHL.
     
  20. johnapril

    johnapril Well-Known Member

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    I wore my one pair of Vass boots yesterday. I don't need another pair. One is wonderful. One is enough.
     

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