(I apologize if I'm coming across as overly preachy. As a software developer, piracy/counterfeiting have a big impact on my profession, so I have strong feelings on the subject.)
Originally Posted by hydrogen_wv
If those jackets are worth $129
Maybe they're only worth $129 to you, but not to Spyder. If nobody felt the clothing was worth two or three times that, they wouldn't sell any and would have to cut prices. Clearly they feel their current prices are justified.
Also keep in mind that while the raw materials and assembly may not add up to anywhere near the retail price, there are a lot of other expenses involved in the whole design/manufacturing/marketing/retail chain. You have to look at their overall operating costs to get some idea of how much profit they're really making, not just how much a particular high-end piece of gear sells for and what you think the markup is over the manufacturing cost.
|what makes them any different than buying a different name brand with similar quality and price?
It's different from buying a different brand because Spyder spent a lot of money up front to develop their (copyrighted and/or patented) designs, and spends a lot of money advertising them, etc. The people making the counterfeit clothing are benefiting from Spyder's engineering/design/marketing work without Spyder being compensated. Doing this is illegal (although China has been notoriously bad at enforcing this sort of thing except in the most blatant cases.) If doing that wasn't illegal, there would be far less incentive for anyone to invent or design anything, because it would be nearly impossible to profit meaningfully from anything that couldn't be maintained as a trade secret.
In more pedantic terms -- if everyone bought the knockoffs instead of the real thing, Spyder would go out of business. If they were forced to cut their prices to where they were competitive with the counterfeiters, they would not make enough money to support their business.
Maybe a different way of looking at it is that there is no way for a "fair" competitor to match their level of product quality/desirability at a significantly lower price point. The only way someone could afford to sell that clothing at ~$100 retail is if they had no costs besides materials and manufacturing. That's how the counterfeiters are operating, but you can't sustain that -- someone has to be paying for the other costs, and a profit margin (at least in a free market system.)
|If the people wouldn't buy them in the first place due to price, Spyder isn't losing any money... In fact, they are gaining recognition if anything because more people are around sporting their logo. I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing.
This is, to me, the same sort of questionable logic that leads people to say it's okay to download pirated movies/music/software from the 'net because "they wouldn't have paid for it anyway" or "<insert company here> charges too much for it". If Spyder wanted to flood the market with cheap products with their logo on them, they would do exactly that. I suspect that, to them, having high-end cachet is perceived as being more valuable in the long run. Even if they are wrong -- it's their business, and they get to choose how to run it.
It's a free market; the supplier sets the price and you can choose to pay it or not. Nobody is putting a gun to your head and forcing you to buy the latest and greatest (and most expensive) ski clothing you can find. If there is nobody out there who wants to pay the price, the supplier will have to lower it if they want to make any money. If they are making money at what seems to you to be an unreasonably high price, then you either value your money more than the people who are paying that price, or the people paying that price value the goods more than you do.