How much do you spent ...

Discussion in 'General Flight Jacket Discussion' started by Thomas Koehle, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. colekwok

    colekwok Active Member

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    London UK
    Car manufacturers can keep the costs down mainly due to new and cheaper manufacturing methods. Carbon fibre is not that expensive to produce anymore, milling and machining precision parts is also plain easy and quick. A lot of factors like these simply cancel out the cost increase. As for the crazy price hike, I would first blame the Japanese makers, yes, they make exceptional jackets, but they are charging more than a JC jacket, which is absurd. As the popularity of repros and other leather jackets keep on increasing in Japan and the rest of Asia, makers would like to match their products (and prices) according to the Japanese ones. I hate to say this, but it is 'supply and demand'. The shopping psychology does not help as well, average consumers think higher price = better quality, so in order to put themselves onto the same level as the benchmarks (Japanese again!), they have to match their markings!

    If some of you live in big cities, try counting how many people are wearing 'Canada Goose' jackets these days. You will be amazed! By the way, their downs jackets costs on average as much as an ELC B-3. Just when you think our jackets are getting crazily expensive......

    This one here is 1grand....

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Norway
    I actually have a Canada Goose parka but here (arctic Norway) it's actually very useful and when we go up into the mountains to the family cottage/cabin where it can be sub -20/25 ambient it's a lifesaver. I thought they were overpriced until the first time I handled one and just how well they are made and how incredibly specced they are. Plus there's not too many clothing manufacturers who offer a lifetime warranty on a jacket. I'm a very big fan of mine but it's used in an environment it was designed for, I agree those people sashaying around cities like London in them are just daft and it's a complete waste of money in those sorts of climes.
     
  3. colekwok

    colekwok Active Member

    Messages:
    249
    Location:
    London UK
    I agree, yes, of course they are very well made (in Canada), if you are buying it for practical reasons, they are pretty much top of the range stuffs. I was considering buying one myself a few years back but decided against the idea (as I live within the London zone). But it looks like it is becoming a 'must have' fashion brand this year.
     
  4. MikeyB-17

    MikeyB-17 Well-Known Member

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    1,722
    Location:
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    My first ELC A-2 cost me £250 in 1997. I think I paid £450 for my Aero B-3 a few years later. I've not bought a new repro since, and although I should be a bit more solvent next year, and plan to treat myself to something, probably another B-3, no way am I paying 700+ quid for a new one. It's the second hand market for me.
     
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  5. CBI

    CBI Well-Known Member

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    3,480
    Yep, prices have gone way up but I have to say I am about "done". One more original, wearable A-2 would be nice and then, that's it, at least for leather. R

    Remember when Good Wear test jackets were $350!!!!!! woo hoo. Still have one of them
     
  6. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Norway
    When you boil it down it's actually very simple economics.

    Let presume that the above mentioned high end jacket makers haven't adjusted their profit margins (that's absolute bulldust but let's have a little suspension of disbelief and play along for a second), and let's be honest distribution costs haven't really changed, it's not like they're exporting container loads of the things to hard to reach places and then having to pay for cross country haulage which can be subject to price fluctuations. Many if not most order the jackets online or over the phone and the jackets are sent by courier company or postal services - hence no real rise there, if you're nice you charge this at cost as it's no skin off your nose, if you're slightly shrewd you place a slight upcharge on shipping so you're not only increasing your margin on item price but also on delivery costs as well.

    Have marketing costs increased dramatically over the last 10 years? No, if anything with digital and the accompanying social media marketing platforms they're probably increasing reach for a lower outlay, let's face it none of them are running extensive TVC or print campaigns.

    Which really leaves two main things, cost of materials and labour costs. Have either of these doubled from 2007 to today? Is the price of a horsehide skin double what you paid in 2007 and are you having to pay your workers double what you paid them in 2007 (if so then they're probably one of the fastest growing wage levels with a wage/salary increase higher than a big firm solicitor or barrister)? If the answer is yes to both then the doubling of price over the period is justified from a cost of production perspective. But if the answer to either or for that matter both is no then a not insignificant proportion of this increase is due to the profit margin being increased. That's not unethical but by the same token doubling your prices over such a period and in such a niche market could be argued to be optimistic at best and money-grubbing at worst.

    What's really surprising from this thread are the amount of members (who are these companies' main target demographic) who have said they've reached the limit and are only interested in the secondhand market now. Perhaps we're a very small minority but if I was one of these companies I would be worried by seeing that as that represents lost business and money.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  7. B-Man2

    B-Man2 Active Member

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    863
    As the costs of repro jackets continue to rise, many of us are now realizing that we can no longer financially continue to purchase tier one quality reproduction jackets in different variations as in past years.
    Ironically, original A2 jackets have now become a financially viable option to a high end reproduction jacket. In many cases the cost is less and in the right condition better value for your money.
    Oddly enough, we as a group were always the first to put our money down whenever the newest and latest version of a new A2 was released. Recognizing that we are a unique group in that respect, I can't imagine that a non collector would even begin to consider dropping $1,200-$1500 on a "leather jacket" just because it's the most accurate example of a WWII flight jacket available. We all understand the principals of "supply and demand". As more of us opt to purchase 2nd hand jackets because of increasing cost, surely reduction in demand will cause new sales to drop off. Manufacturers will have to consider cost saving production measures or run the risk of loosing sales. Those companies who recognize this in a timely manner will continue to flourish. Others will fall by the wayside.
    ( just my 2cents worth)

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    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  8. Skip

    Skip Active Member

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    849
    Location:
    Great Southern Land
    Likin' the way your thinkin' there Smithy

    I'd rather spend the money on an original, but there didn't seem to be very many tall lanky Americans around in the 30-40's, and even in the repro market they're as hard as hens teeth to find. Navy for some reason seems to make their jackets a little longer, maybe they got fed better on carriers. Some of us unusual measurement types have to wait till our hair turns grey before we find a secondhand one that fits, so if you want it you either hand over the cash or start searching' for the next up and coming Repro maker thats interested in the jacket detail. That's what I did when BK started up, I managed to get few decent jackets at a decent price, but now their prices are quite up there. I guess thats the problem with the amount of 'original' detail that we like in these jackets.

    Smithy, while you were in Melbourne mate, pity you didn't invest in a Ford XY GTHO, one just sold here here last month for..... wait for it, you sitting' down? $500000. Even outstripped a 959 Porsche. Thats the Oz muscle car market here at the moment, and there's no leather in that dude, actually its all vinyl and pretty basic interior, compared to your Bentley you wouldnt even think they're worth it. In fact if you shipped it to the other muscle car place on earth, USA, you'd be lucky to sell it for $5000-10000. Perceived value mate. its purely because those buyin' are cashed Australian post war baby boomers kids and they were watchin' 'em thrashing around the Bathurst circuit in the late 60 early 70's.
     
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  9. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    Skip that's so true about perceived value. And you watch the prices for those Aussie 60s/70s muscle cars go even more stratospheric now that local production has finished. Even things like mid 00s Monaro CV-8 Zs will really start to go up now in value I reckon with the end of the era of Aussie car production. It'll be interesting to watch the prices at the auctions over the next few years.
     
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  10. unclegrumpy

    unclegrumpy Well-Known Member

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    1,388
    The Ford XY GTHO is an interesting car to bring up on this Forum, because if you did not have to have an original one...which was rare to start with...you could recreate one at a fraction of the price. Might be a bit of a "mall jacket" compared to the real thing, but then again...sorry mates...the real thing is a wee bit of an odd duck...a four door Falcon muscle/super car?

    Besides the obvious trim and the left hand drive, an American Falcon four door from 1969 or 1970 looks pretty similar...and the performance parts like the 351 Cleveland, were all used on a number of different Fords from that era....with the American Mustang and Falcon being very closely related under the skin. The problem with finding a 1969 or 70 four door Falcon in the States is they were so dorky not many people saved them, but I bet one could be found with some patience....a rust free non running body with a six in it for under $1000...probably $500. Add $10 to $15K for a crate motor, some speed parts, and paint and there you go....might turn out pretty neat too. Could also save some money...skip the new paint and trim, and go for a Mad Max rat rod...that would be more "authentic"...remember boys Mel is half American...plus that would give you an excuse to get another jacket...black leather with lots of chains and tall pointy chrome studs!

    Anyway, I know the Falcon would not be the same, but then again that could be said about much of what we discuss here...the important thing is to have some fun.
     
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  11. CBI

    CBI Well-Known Member

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    I can tell you I think I know JC pretty well and even with the "high" prices, he is still not making a killing by any means. I know other premium makers have had/have issues as well in re making ends meet/being profitable enough to stay in business.
     
  12. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    Talking Aussie muscle, if you haven't already seen it Uncle, have a look at "Love the Beast" about Melbourne boy Eric Bana's XB Falcon, fun doco.

    I think JC's emergence on the scene may have inadvertently started this. Now before you think I'm having a go at JC, I'm actually not so hear me out before you bombard me with flak!

    JC started out and quickly made a name for himself (among many aficionados) as being the maker of the most authentic A-2 repros out there around the 2007 - 2008 (give or take a year or so) and the whole "1942 in a box" thing. He quickly ascertained as any new establishing business does, what his price point was based on his production costs and a margin based on what his customers were willing to pay for these very bespoke jackets made by a one-man operation with an almost OCD attention to detail. This was after a very early period where he was introducing himself to the market with the $300 and something jackets very early on and finding his feet in the market.

    Whether coincidence or not, the other big name A-2 makers prices seemed to rise at a great rate of knots once GW had established his price point in the market. Make of that what you will ;)
     
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  13. CBI

    CBI Well-Known Member

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    3,480
    I am extremely familiar with John's early years making repros. He was not making anything on those early "test" jackets and the materials were nothing like the quality he uses now. In order to have a business where he could offer consistent materials, his costs went WAAAAY up. Making one-offs is one thing, but to offer specific contacts and hides with consistent materials, he had to buy quantities of hide/materials from suppliers as if he were a large "retail" manufacturer. This was and still is an extremely expensive initial outlay for materials for a one man operation. His "large" orders are still small by large manufacturer standards so the materials cost more. In the past and still today I think John combines hide orders with other jacket makers in order for tanneries to mill the hides he requires without prices being through the roof. I don't think the idea of charging "what the market can bare" was even a consideration (if it ever came up) until the jackets were well over $1,000-1,200. Yes, its OK to talk about this w/o it being GW, ELC or any "bashing"
     
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  14. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Hi CBI,

    My comments in this discussion were more about how some of the existing makers (before JC arrived) who had jackets at relatively reasonable prices decided to suddenly raise their prices at frantic levels to the point where they had nearly doubled in a 10 year period. That smacks of opportunism for whatever reason rather than market factors.

    But that's a problem with pursuing aggressive pricing, it's a fine line between maximising your profit and alienating/losing a part of your existing customer base.

    At any rate it's interesting to hear how some have given up now on buying new high end repros (myself included) as this is a trend I think you'll see more of once the ceiling of what most punters will pay gets reached. It's basic economics, but if you keep aggressively increasing the price on a product or service over a relatively short period of time you eventually reach the point where brand loyalty, and perceived value becomes eroded.
     
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  15. CBI

    CBI Well-Known Member

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    3,480
    No worries, it seems everything is getting more expensive...............
     
  16. Skip

    Skip Active Member

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    849
    Location:
    Great Southern Land
    Exactly why I brought the topic up, sometimes perceived value enhances a price to levels that one would conclude to think as madness, but one thinks they're mad because one is not in the same shoes as the one willing to purchase at astronomical prices. I'm the kind that thinks its madness, and the bubble will deflate a little in time.

    Uncle: Yes, pretty much same car brought out here and made a legend almost overnight. Even normal Falcons as you say are going up due to the price of the HO, would you believe replica HO's made from a Falcon are now in the $70000 - $100000 league? My wife loves the HO, I keep trying to tell her its a brick with a big motor in it. She even subscribed to a magazine just to go in a draw to win a tribute HO. We've just finished our '72 Corvette which, like jackets, we overcapitalised on and is worth less than what we put into it; but the flip side of that is, its a keeper for us and is now as reliable and just as fast as a modern Corvette, and a real hoot when your in it. What price do you put on enjoyment?

    And yes the XB is a better looker, better car in my opinion (based on the Ford Torino Uncle), just doesn't have the Bathurst killing pedigree of the HO. The X series hardtops are another one on the rise, You might say the Goodwear Leather in the making, regarding people who desire them.

    As you say it doesn't matter what the subject is, jackets, cars, watches etc, perceived value seems to drive the desirable top end of the scale up and drag the more common variety up along with it.
     
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  17. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    947
    Location:
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    Off topic but Skip, I thought you might like this, my brother-in-law did the Targa NZ in an XB :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. unclegrumpy

    unclegrumpy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,388
    Skip, yes one of my friends had a red 1971 Torino 429cj that looked like the one below...that was a pretty rare car even then, mostly because it was just a tick or two too big...compared to a 1969 or 1970 Mustang Mach I, which several had...or wanted...and the juiced up 429 made it nose heavy and finicky to drive at low speeds in traffic. The last US based Falcons used this body too...maybe for a year or so, but only on base models.

    Liked looking at Bana's XB...makes a base model US Falcon Torino Frankenstein project appealing too...though I do like the thought of a 351c in a little four door Falcon. My uncle had an avocado green 1969 Falcon four door....with a six and a matching green interior...that would have been perfect to tear apart. Does remind me of my utter disappointment when he traded his baby blue 1963 Falcon Futura for it...that was a fun little car...two door...bucket seats...oh well...all now just memories.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Active Member

    Messages:
    236
    My kind of topic.........

    For years I motored for free, buying what's now called classic cars, keeping them for a few months (like folks round this parish with A-2s) and grading up, mostly MkII Jaguars, Thrift Shop customers will no doubt recall a pair of these sitting outside the shop in Falcon Road, I ended up with a proper 3.8 Coombes with every bell and whistle, shouldn't have parted with her for an Aston Martin Vantage but that was a massive earner as I bought and sold at just the right moment in the mid 80s, that cash went on the best car I'll ever own,
    1962AC.Cobra.JPG
    I can't say I treated her that well, she was an 1962 ex-US raced reputedly used at Riverside in her early days. We did a few rallies in her, the sheer power tore the suspension to bits on all but one event but we did win The Manx in 1993.
    When it rained I had to take the hood down to stay dry as water poured in across the top of the screen soaking a straight line across the driver and passengers legs. It was far drier without the hood
    I can't find any action pics but I've never sat in a scarier or quicker car, last I heard she was racing at The Neubugring. Meanwhile I now potter about in a Mini Countryman :>(
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017 at 12:54 PM
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  20. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    947
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    One of my dream cars Ken and I can't believe you got rid of it. They're worth a pretty penny now. I've only even seen one in the flesh at a show and what a beauty, louvred bonnet and all.

    I have a very big soft spot for British classic cars, they run in the family, Dad had them, Mum had them, my Mum's cousin was a racing car driver in the UK with Standard-Triumph in the 1960s (he's more like an uncle and still nuts about cars, and is still an impressive driver) and one of my best Christmas memories was always the arrival of one of my great uncles, "Buster" at my uncles farm for Christmas dins in a Bentley R Type. He would always shoot all the shingle from the drive over the front lawn which would drive my uncle apoplectic.

    My very first car was a 1969 Mini Cooper 998. After having a prang in it, I put a bigger head on it, swapped the 1 1/4 SUs for 1 1/2s, put extractors on it. She had 10'' Minilites, overriders, period BMC rosette racing sticker on the window, the whole kit and kaboodle and was an absolute looker and was a complete hoot to drive, and being the complete bloody idiot I was I went and sold her to a workmate for $NZ5,000 when I moved to Sydney after uni. I sunk all the money from my part time jobs at uni into that car and I wish I'd held onto her.

    Well this thread has well and truly gone off on a tangent but in a nice way.

    PS - Ken, I would've thought all you chaps at Aero must be all driving around in brand new Jags and Bentleys after all those price increases we've been talking about ;)

    Just joking...well giving you a friendly poke in the ribs anyway.

    Merry Christmas to you lot in Galashiels, you might charge like a wounded bull now for an A-2 but my Barnstormer you made is by far and away my favourite jacket :D
     
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