Oh how times and prices have changed!

Discussion in 'Repros' started by johnwayne, Jan 17, 2018.

  1. johnwayne

    johnwayne Active Member

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    Thought you all might like to see these - I rediscovered them recently and note the envelope they came in is dated 1986, very early in the life of ELC! The pics are just plain photo prints as if ELC A2.jpg Gary might have just gone to his local chemist/pharmacy with his roll of film in hand!!
     
  2. dujardin

    dujardin Well-Known Member

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    i need a time traveller machine
     
  3. CBI

    CBI Well-Known Member

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    I remember!
     
  4. johnwayne

    johnwayne Active Member

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    Made for very trim waisted types! Also included was little squares of the Antique Seal and mid brown leathers.
     
  5. Silver Surfer

    Silver Surfer Well-Known Member

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  6. MikeyB-17

    MikeyB-17 Well-Known Member

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    He’s only half the man he used to be....
     
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  7. Silver Surfer

    Silver Surfer Well-Known Member

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    hahhahaha, funny shit.
     
  8. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    What's really, really interesting is actually how much they've shot up in price over just the last 10 years. An ELC house HH A-2 in that time has gone from 387 quid to 750 which is a 94% increase. Mind you in fairness to ELC they're not the only ones, for example Aero's Real Deal has skyrocketed over the same period up 93% too. Bloody ridiculous.
     
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  9. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    In the same period our Horsehide has gone up 200% mainly, I assume, due to the number of other firms using Horsehide today, the market from raw hides is getting wider and wider

    Shearling doubled in a year during about 10/12 years ago when the Chinese started buy it.

    When we first started making Horsehide jackets we were the only maker using the leather, finding any in a Europe Tannery was impossible

    The biggest rise in manufacturing costs is caused by emails. In the 1980s a sale took maybe 10 minutes on a friendly phone call, now a 100+ emails is far from unusual.
    For the last five years we have two staff members who do virtually nothing but deal withcustomer's emails and another three that sometimes spend half their week at a laptop.
    20 odd years ago this was all done by one person and we were making more jackets per year than we are now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
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  10. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    So Ken the reason why the price of an Aero A-2 has virtually doubled over the last decade is due to a doubling in the price of horsehide and increased time on the computer from 2007 to 2017?

    I'm just interested as the prices for your goatskin A-2s has also risen by the same amount in that time too. I did a search over at the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis indices in relation to leather production costs and import price for finished hides. Interestingly the production costs largely dropped in the period from 2007 until 2017 and import prices seemed to experience a slight rise. Now I know it might be different for you guys and these were general figures but it was interesting to see trending at least from a US market perspective. Obviously it could be very different for the UK.

    I was also interested to see how much prices had risen for other high end UK leather product manufacturers so had a look at the prices for Church's and found that one of their signatures the Consul had risen from £290 in August 2007 to £450 in August 2017 so a rise over the period of 55%. A pair of handsome Loake Burford boots in that time rose 75% from £139.95 to £245. I know that you'll probably say this is an unfair comparison because it's footwear but I found it interesting.

    I still think that a rise which is a just a smidge short of doubling in price over a 10 year period is absolutely crazy for whatever the reason.
     
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  11. dmar836

    dmar836 Well-Known Member

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    Smithy, look how Kelso's prices went up in half that time -120%+. All from someone who's "mission statement" was to create an affordable option. Of course a Greek company dealing in a world market but... if calling out, fair is fair. I don't know about sales vs service costs but from being a bit of a "maker"-type, I wouldn't be able to do it for less. What about people having to provide for their families? Health care, retirement... I always ask if I could work for what I expect others to work for.
    People are a fickle pain as well. Even I had a member request I make them a wool 6-panel ball cap. When quoted $35, he said money was short, maybe later.
    Things are not always what they appear.
    Dave
     
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  12. dmar836

    dmar836 Well-Known Member

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    Btw that $35 represented $8.75/hr. That's less than minimum wage in much of the US. Yet we complain about outsourcing for cheap labor or expect economies of scale from small operations. I have always been fascinated with criticism of business. To many a business is automatically this entity that gets everything for next to nothing, pays no taxes, does little work, sits back, and charges way too much.
    Consider a bartering system, an interesting system. What would YOU, any member, bring to the table to trade for say a new A2? How many hours of labor or cost of good would it take and how would you value it? Not criticizing but I have had some interesting myopic pub conversations that go unresolved. It's always the other guy.
     
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  13. Persimmon

    Persimmon Well-Known Member

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    Is their not a further option to consider. The customers requirement on wanting their jackets now using the retailers premium leather types.
    Not just plain old seal horsehide anymore but give me that “Warhorse” leather please etc etc.

    Aero, Eastman, Goodwear and Bill Kelso have all upped their game in the last 5-10 years re leather types to satisfy us customers to make those jackets look grainy, old, 1944 in a box etc etc
     
  14. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    Smithy

    I doubt that leather production costs refers to Horsehide and the surge in Worldwide demand for Horsehide
    Also, I should have added that since returning to Aero in 2012 we've brought wages back up to a level where I can look at myself in the mirror in the morning.
    Despite being based in an area where wages have been traditionally very low for decades, the lowest paid person working at Aero is currently on £10 a hour, the best machinists are on considerably more, no interns working their socks of on the vague promise of a job or a good entry on their CV, nobody on Zero Hours or anyother employee scam.
    UK Goverment target for 2020 is to raise the living wage to £9 an hour, not the legal minimum wage £9 an hour is their target for the living wage. (Minimum Wage in the UK is currently £7.83 an hour)

    Can all or even any of the above firms match this commitment to their staff well being?
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
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  15. m444uk

    m444uk Active Member

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    The consumer price index inflation calculator includes leather goods in the basket of goods and services. £137 GBP in 1986 is the equivalent to circa £375 and £182 over the last decade(2006-2016)

    The adult minimum wage is £7.50 ($10.40) hr.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
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  16. unclegrumpy

    unclegrumpy Well-Known Member

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    Somewhere I still might have some similar paperwork from a couple of years later when I ordered 4 jackets...maybe 5...for myself and a several friends. One thing you have to factor in, is while these jackets were some of the best in their day, they are not really comparable to Eastman's current line. The details are far superior now, the leathers are much closer to originals in feel and thickness, and the colors are better...so much better...that "mid brown" was sort of orange in some lighting conditions and the "seal" sometimes dang close to black. Plus the finishes on the leather had a modern toughness to them...meaning they did not tend to wear the same as originals or what is sold now.

    I have really enjoyed reading all the comments and analysis on the price side of things, but wanted to bring up it is not a fair apples to apples comparison on the product side. As a matter of fact, while I think those early jackets quenched a major thirst at the time, they left us all wanting for something better...and better...and maybe still better today....so much so that I don't think it would be worth a trip back in time to get one....though maybe going back for a few other things or preempt a blunder or two....hmmm, that could easily be a "yes" :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
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  17. Tommy

    Tommy Member

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    40
    I don't need to tell you Ken, how much them company has improved since you can back. But I like the refreshing honesty about exactly how much your paying your staff. Also I know the borders are probably one of the more expensive areas of Scotland, but compare to where I'm living cost of living is more reasonable. So that £10 an hour would further than it would say in South East England and be worth more in real terms. I'm on the Railways and wages are pretty much the same across the country. I know because under my previous company I looked into a transfer to either Scotland or Wales. Unfourtunately we changed employers, so the option of a transfer disappeared. Which is a shame because my rent, etc would of been a lot cheaper than here.

    I've seen it a few times on The Fedora Lounge, whereby your staff have directly gone out of their way to address a problem and in the case where someone hasn't even come back to you to make this complaint first, still take this on in a good natured way. And obviously your an active member here and don't just discuss your own products. We (Repoduction and Vintage Leather Jacket buyers) are after all a fairly small community, even outside of this forum.

    I'm glad to see my view Aero are ethical employer reinforced. I also believe Eastman are as well.

    Am I happy with the way prices have gone up so noticeably with every manufacturer over the last few years vs income. No. But I can see the bigger picture- inflation, wages, raw materials. If the governments kept a better, fair reign on the economy and the market wasn't flooded by lower quality imports it might help as well.

    Sooner or later I'll be in the position to go through with my plan to get a new Half Belt through Aero and a Military Repro through Eastman.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  18. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    Ken,

    I applaud you on doing the right thing and paying your employees a fair and respectable wage. That's a great thing and I don't begrudge you that at all.

    And I'm not just having a go at you, I'd say the same thing to Gary if he popped up here. I love Aero and ELC products and am lucky enough to own some but I think it is sad and shocking that the prices for some of the military repros and especially A-2s have shot up at such a meteoric rate over the last ten years. Still pricing is obviously your prerogative and I have to believe you when you say that these increases are purely due to the costs of production. It's a shame though as there seem to be quite a few of us older guard for whom the latest prices are now getting beyond the point of being justifiable in terms of purchasing.

    I like to support ethical business and those who go out of their way for their customers and I personally have sung Aero's praises both here and on other fora and even with mates and acquaintances. I wouldn't mind buying my next A-2 new from Aero (a Real Deal as I've always liked it and a mate has one which I've always fancied) but I just cannot justify dropping nearly 600 quid (plus tax and duties) when I have two young kids and a family. I can actually afford it but mentally to me it's just too much now for what I think an A-2 is worth and my wife - quite rightly - would do her nut at me for spending that much on a leather jacket.

    But whilst a new Aero A-2 is past my price tolerance threshold now, I wouldn't bat an eyelid at buying some more of your tweed trousers as they are absolutely brilliant here in the serious minus temps we get. Although I'm now keeping my fingers crossed that the price of tweed doesn't go stratospheric.

    Cheers,

    Tim
     
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  19. dmar836

    dmar836 Well-Known Member

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    Tim,
    You sum that up well. It's difficult to realize that what we love and is common to us are actually luxury items. Pure and simple. If my wife or a teen child showed me a website with a $1000 purse, pair of jeans, or(gulp) jacket I would say, "What, are you a movie star now?!" The thing is, there are such fashion garments that are of no better quality or any more bespoke than any other yet have a "name". Many act as if that's normal. I hope the best for all the makers here but I do applaud you for not being impulsive about jackets!
    Dave
     
  20. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    1,198
    Location:
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    The problem is I have been terribly impulsive in the past as I'm pretty impulsive by nature, the last time being 2013 when I was on a bit of a Korean War buzz and I bought four B-15Cs. I wasn't particularly popular with the better half when she found out!
     
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