My $380 shoes and why American manufacturing may not be dead
Recently, seemingly against all logic and reason, I purchased a pair of $380 shoes. I had a gift certificate which helped a little, and I purchased them in tax free New Hampshire which helped a little more. But the brunt of this purchase was taken by yours truly. Now here’s the sentence you didn’t expect: these shoes were a tremendous value.
Those of you who know me personally know I have no fashion sense whatsoever. I cannot recognize which brand names are in or out and I am usually a decade away from whatever is hip. So why such a purchase? One word: quality.
I realize you think the shoe salesman took old Pete for a Kansas City Shuffle, tricking me into buying the priciest shoe in the store. (It was actually the third priciest shoe in the store BTW.) But truly, this brand of shoes will literally last me ten years. (And since I am always a decade behind in fashion anyway this is the ideal fit for me.) They’re real leather, hand stitched and most important to the point of this blog, made in the USA.
Less than a year ago at the same store I purchased a pair of $85 shoes made in another country. (I won’t say which but you can guess.) And these “cheaper” shoes are already falling apart. So you tell me, if I have to buy a new pair of these cheap sleds every year, which pair is really the better deal?
I’ve bought Wal-mart screw drivers and literally bent the metal on them. Not bent the metal Uri Gellar style, I mean bent the metal trying to turn a screw. The “price” of the screwdriver was terrific. But was there any real value when it cannot do the job it was made for? Ever bought a $65 DVD player that breaks after a 6 months?
America is not going to win in the cheap sandals price war. But if manufactures can convince consumers that high quality and high price is actually a bargain, American manufacturing has a chance. It’s not easy, but I hope this blog will help.