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Price Gripe and a kudo!(16 posts)

Price Gripe and a kudo!dirthersh
Apr 5, 2002 10:14 AM
Maybe 10 years ago or so, Oakley decides to make sunglasses. They come up with a unique frame (s) which look really cool. Now I suppose the process to make these aren't that much different than the millions of other sunglasses on the market, except for the optical quality of the lenses. But because of this they decide to sell them for over $100 and people buy them, me included, although I got a pair of M frames at Costco for $50. I thought they would at least be unbreakable for the price, but no, the frames are only plastic and so what if the clarity of the lenses are 99.9% whatever. To be honest, I can't tell the difference looking thru Oakleys or Foster Grants.
I'm thinking they did the same with bicycle helmets. They add a few vents or change some and all of a sudden you've got a helmet for over $120 and the price keeps going up. No new high tech shell or innovation, just change the mold a bit. I guess they figured if they can do it with sunglasses, we can do it with helmets. Sometimes, I just don't see the justification of the cost. No wonder people seek out copies or bootleg mercandise.
Am I wrong to think they could sell some of this stuff for half and still make a ton of money.
On a more positive note this site is a great place for advice and help and for people like me to complain once and a while.
I feel so much better now..............
I think you're partly wrong,TJeanloz
Apr 5, 2002 10:33 AM
I felt the same way about sunglasses, until I was obliged to wear sunglasses from another manufacturer, and from then on, found it a relief to be back in Oakleys- the optics are that much better.

With helmets, R&D, certification, and insurance costs are high. I'm willing to bet that it costs Giro more to insure a Pneumo than a lower end helmet. Hundreds of hours are spent in R&D, as some of the tests are quite rigorous (as they should be). So, while production costs are probably quite low, total costs are probably somewhat higher.
PT Barnum said it best: "there's a sucker born........"Dave Hickey
Apr 5, 2002 10:40 AM
I'm putting myself in that catagory. They sell it for those prices because we buy them. I don't race, but I wouldn't think of having anything less than Dura Ace on my bikes. I have Giro Phuemo helmet, Castelli shorts, Oakley M frames, etc......... I'll be the first to admit, I feel better when I'm wearing/riding the best I can afford. My only justification is riding is a healthy way to spend my money and time. While my wife sometimes complains about my spending, she realizes I'm out riding instead of in bars and chasing woman.
PT Barnum said it best: "there's a sucker born........"dirthersh
Apr 5, 2002 10:44 AM
That reminds me of the time I was in a bar and met a women who wanted me to buy her a drink.......then a new Giro helmet and a pair of Oakleys. Talk about a bad day.
I'd probably marry her. (nm)Dave Hickey
Apr 5, 2002 10:49 AM
why i wear $15 sunglasses and $30 helmet, both on sale. nmJS Haiku Shop
Apr 5, 2002 10:43 AM
Most of these thingsdjg
Apr 5, 2002 10:56 AM
can be had at vastly reduced prices if you don't need the very latest model. The Giro Pneumo is pricey. The Boreas I got off the sale table at Performance was 40 bucks. Sunglasses, too, are often half price or so.

I think it cuts both ways. Consumers have alternatives to the latest model and color, and producers need to hit the big price-points on the fashionable models to cover r&d, other sunk costs getting new stuff to market, marketing failures (the ones that never took off), etc.
Well, if the Oakleys break...brider
Apr 5, 2002 10:59 AM
Go through their warranty dept and get a new frame. I went through about 5 sets of the M-frames (the old ones), each time getting a free replacement. Finally, I decided to upgrade to the Pro-M (one-piece frame), and they only charged me $20 for the upgrade. Well, when those came, they weren't totally aligned right (a slight twist to them), but I put up with it for a year. Finally (again) I'd had enough of the glasses sitting on my face crooked, so I called them up again. You guessed it -- free replacement frames. Their warranty department is great. Try doing THAT with your bootleg gear.
I still have a pair of the original Oakley Factory Pilots andBrooks
Apr 5, 2002 3:16 PM
the lifetime guaranty card. I have photocopied the card and sent the frames back once and number of years ago and got a free replacement. I don't know what they would do now if the broke. But then, I mostly use prescription insert Bolles now.

Not so simple economicsmr_spin
Apr 5, 2002 11:15 AM
They charge that much because they can get it. If people stopped buying, the price would probably fall. Or maybe not. The whole trick in pricing is not figuring out how to sell more, but how to maximize profit on the ones you do sell.

Let's say I can sell 10 Pneumo's at $160, which is $1600 in sales. I discover that I can also sell 15 at $150, which is $2250 in sales. Sell them at $150, right?

What if each one costs $140 to make? At $160 the profit is $20 per, or $200 for 10. At $150 the profit is $10 per, or $150 for 10. I make $50 more selling them for the higher price! Looks like you are going to pay $160.

I'm not trying to justify a $160 Pnemo. That's a ridiculous amount of money for a helmet. But I own one. I bought it on sale for $120. That's still high, but not totally out of line for a decent helmet. It does makes me wonder what the actual cost to the dealer is.

But keep in mind that while it may only cost $10 in materials (or whatever) to stamp out a helmet, there are a lot of other costs that get added in. Insurance is a big one, tooling is another huge cost (you can't just buy the stamping machine at Home Depot), advertising, R&D, testing, etc.
Apr 5, 2002 11:21 AM
"you-get-what-you-paid" formula works, but to a certain price level. Quality does increase with price, but after a certain point the difference disappears, and brand name costs come into play. Manufacturers pay pro athletes to use their products. You pay the cost, that is all to it.
If you want to wear a helmet to protect your head - you won't pay much, but if you want to have same sunglasses as Jan Ullrich, be prepared to part with a lot of cash.
I think there is no conspiracy here...
Buying into the Mojo and Hypeeschelon
Apr 5, 2002 11:27 AM
It doesn't cost that much money to put a few more vents on a helmet with flashier shell color or graphics. The amount of R and D that goes into a helmet with 20 vents or 10 doesn't matter that much. You are buying the "magic factor", "cool factor", or "image factor". Let's face it, if you were given the choice to use some house brand aluminum road bike with Shimano 105 components, and other cost-saving items that will do the "job" just, with a dorkey mellon helmet with a neon fabric cover on it, some sunglasses you got at McDonalds' "Mac Tonight (you know, the moon shaped head dude playin' the piano) sunglasses with your happy meal, and some trusty canvas work gloves with the fingers trimmed off from your local hardware store versus a Colnago C40 Dura Ace components (sorry for the Campy devotees), Giro Pneumo helmet, Oakley M-frames, Castelli team shorts and jersey, Pearl-Izumi everything would choose the first group?

Let's not kid ourselves here...the first group of no-name dork stuff would do just as good as the fancier group of stuff. Lance could kick all of our asses using the no-name stuff just as well...which is a testament to how much the fancier stuff really improves our performance.

It's all about buying into that "magical powers" thing that the boutique companies try to convey to us all. Besides claiming that buying and using these items containing "magical powers and qualities", the companies also "claim" our sorry-a55 lives of torture and daily 8 hour grinds deserve a brief respites of pure bliss by experiencing the pure joy of using their "magical life-changing" products.

I buy into this crap all the time. Looking at my nice cycling clothes and gear and my nice titanium bike looking all shiny and purty in the corner in my house makes me want to go ride. Just thinking about riding my bike in my fancy gear transports my mind that magical place where we all wish we could know, a place where the sun is shining at a perpetual high noon apex in the clear blue sky, with no wind to speak of, no suffocating humidity, and many many fine beautiful cycling babes who smile at the mere sight of in your color-coordinated team jersey, shorts, gloves, helmet, and your bike...kind of like losing yourself in a mid-summers day-dream of the things you would do and feel if you won the lottery jack pot. Ahhh.

We all need hope and inspiration in this world of flourescent lighting, and grey, bland cubicles, and corporate mergers and down-sizing. Getting laid at the bar on Friday nights may be a the primary goal in life for most people...but for many of us, getting to bed early on Friday and Saturday nights is important for many of us because we have a race to win on those days.

If you have the money and inspiration to buy that "magical stuff" do it. Don't think and think about it. Just do it. Don't let your life suck because you won't do things that won't make you happy.
Buying into the Mojo and Hypedirthersh
Apr 5, 2002 11:51 AM
How right you are eschelon. For years I did without the better bikes and equiptment even though I could afford it. I was always curious and envious so I slowely started to upgrade and "treat" myself. What did I find? I did baby my M frames till one day-maybe 4 years after I bought them- they broke inside the rubber sheath. I did my best to fix it, but it just didn't happen. I guess I liked them more than I thought but didn't, or couldn't at the time, afford to pay for a new pair. And even though I can't tell the difference in the optics, I still miss them. I really did feel better wearing them. So it was at Xmas when my wife asked me what I wanted I told her to get me a Giro Eclipse helmet. I had been wearing something that cost around $25 and didn't really look all that good. Again, I feel better wearing the Giro much more than the chepo. It fits better and the vents do work. Oh, and I bought myself a Airborne Zepplein last season too!
Just do it!
..........It still would be nice if they made them less expensive
ok but leather hairnets and raybans look much better in my book.colker
Apr 5, 2002 2:28 PM
are they that much dangerous to ride on? is a foam helmet totally crash safe?
LBS wants almost $400 for Rx Pro-M's.STEELYeyed
Apr 5, 2002 1:19 PM
LBS wants almost $400 for Rx Pro-M's.merckx56
Apr 6, 2002 8:58 AM
got a pair of rx oakley twentys. they are worth every penny!