Eddie Bauer Sport Shop

Eddie Bauer goes back to their roots (sort of):

Head over to the Eddie Bauer Sport Shop site and check out the lineup.

I like how they kept the old timey classic look to the items.  I put “sort of” in the heading when referring to them going back to their roots though because all the items I clicked on were “Imported” (not made in the USA).  I know all the reasons companies manufacture overseas.  My personal thought, and the way I run my companies, is that if someone in the US can make the product that meets my specifications, i’ll get it made here.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but i’ll gladly pay more for an item that is produced domestically if the quality at least can match its foreign made counterparts.




Scott July 14, 2012 at 12:38 am

Oh, American products generally exceed the quality of foreign made products. With a few exceptions, of course. The problem is cost. You can make something in china for less, generally a lot less. Which will make your company more money, an American made product selling at $500, or the china made version for $150? When a sale of either makes the exact same profit? Even if the quality of the American product is better, you’ll still be money ahead going to china. I’m a design engineer and I’ve had this exact problem, several times with several different companies. The only time we chose to go American we ended up scrapping the product because we didn’t sell any. Meanwhile our competitor copied the design in china and sold thousands.


dave w July 14, 2012 at 10:18 am

Oh,you could make it profitable, if you paid the Americans the same as the Chinese, and followed the chines environmental regulations and made it with chemicals and materials outlawed in America.
But i don’t think that’s going to happen, that’s why i endorse a 1000%tax on Chinese products.
The other problem is the markup system where a product that costs $10 to make is sold for $150 just because they figure thats what suckers will pay.


PJ July 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Material and labor costs aren’t the only thing that goes into the price so the mark up example isn’t really fair. That said those are generally among the easiest for management to cut down on considering how easy it is to outsource. There is a laundry list of reasons to revoke China’s most favored nation status but the reality is it ain’t gonna happen. Despite the human rights abuses and poor treatment of worker (comparative to the US) they have cheap unskilled labor which we want and we have lots of capital which they need.


dave w July 14, 2012 at 02:59 pm

They pretty much own everything now anyway.


dave w July 14, 2012 at 04:21 pm

did anyone else see the show about the apple plant in china? they have suicide nets on the building to catch workers before they splat on the sidewalk.


Scott July 14, 2012 at 11:01 pm

“Material and labor costs aren’t the only thing that goes into the price so the mark up example isn’t really fair.”-PJ

Exactly. For a product I released last year – at the quantities that were expected – a $150 MSRP item, it was $35 design expenses (my time and the time of those that helped me, designing, testing, etc), $15 to marketing (their time to advertise it and the cost of the advertising), $10 packaging and shipping. It took $60 to manufacture it in China, that makes $120 in fixed costs. If the vendor sells it at the most likely street price of $135, thats $15 profit, split between the vendor and my company. So, that’s $7.50 profit on a $150 item. 5%? Not exactly printing money there.

If I made it in America, the best quote to manufacture I got was $240. Add the $60 in fixed costs, and the $15 “profit”, you’re looking at a street price of $315. And that’s figuring you’d sell the same number of them. If I remember, however, at that price we’d only sell 1/3 of them, making the fixed costs somewhere around $120 (same total fixed price spread over less units) and increasing the profit level to about $40 (still gotta make money for the company), bringing the actual street price to about $400 or so. How many people would “buy American” if it costs 3x more than a comparable Chinese made version? Would you?


Scott July 14, 2012 at 11:05 pm

And another thing, sure, I suppose you “could” impose tariffs and the like to bring parity to the American made and imported items, but where is that money going? Not into the hands of the American working man, that’s for sure. It goes into the hands of the American government, and that’s not the same. Not the same at all. You going to pay 2x extra to the government just so American products can cost the same? That’s stupid. China doesn’t pay tariffs, you do. And don’t reply with the “if it cost more to buy Chinese (or Malaysian, or Indian, or Ethiopian, etc) products more companies would make their stuff in America” crap either. If it cost any more than it does now, then a lot of American companies would go out of business because no one would buy their stuff. That $150 price level that you figure the marketeers figure you “suckers” will pay is figured out before the project starts. They tell us engineers that people would buy X amount of some widget if it cost Y dollars, so I need to make it for Z. If I can’t make it for Z, then they don’t do the project. There is a point for everything that it goes from “gotta have it” to “that’s too much”. We go to China because we have to so we can stay in business.


dave w July 15, 2012 at 01:21 am

we go to china because we have regulated ourselves out of business, and everyone wants $50/hr, benifits, 367 days paid vacation etc etc.
If the government collected tariffs then they could give it to the guy whose job went to china in unemployment. I do make a point of buying anything other than Chinese whenever there is an alternative, with the exception of if its made in pakistan. Rarely is there much of a difference, of course most of the time its just another country in the same region. But really there needs to be an outsourcing tax, kids toys made of with toxins banned here isnt trying to stay in business, its just to make it cheaper and charge the same. And then there’s the dairy and pet food melanin (sp) stories of a few years back. I dont care where its made as long as its made to an acceptable standard and wont poison me. China cant do that.


Church July 14, 2012 at 01:15 pm

That…. Um… Didn’t make me want to buy their clothes…


Dave July 14, 2012 at 03:50 pm

How long do you really expect people to wear a clothing item? I’m not willing to spend a 30% premium to buy something with a made in U.S.A tag inside it especially when there is no difference in quality. The price is what matters most to me. If the difference is between $20 for a foreign made T-shirt and $30 for a U.S made T-shirt, I’m going with the $20 shirt all day every day.


Vhyrus July 14, 2012 at 08:23 pm

That thur is some fancy rich folk hunten ah reckon. Wut wit them fancy breed dahgs an their perty shootin irons. Alls ah need is mah coon hound rusty and mah ol mossberg an ah catch me sum dinner, yes sir!


Steven July 14, 2012 at 11:46 pm

Made in the USA doesn’t have to be more expensive. This Eddie Bauer hunting gear is way over priced, considering where it is made.

Take for example, Eddie Bauer’s “Mabton Flats” Vest for upland hunting. $199 and surely made in China or some other low wage country.


Compare to Filson’s “Tin Cloth Upland Hunting Vest” for $160. All of Filson’s gear is made in the U.S.A. and is damn near indestructible.



dave w July 15, 2012 at 01:28 am

i agree, and this is where the fancy thinking comes in. You can sell it for $160 or, have it made in china in an old lead/ asbestos and cadmium factory for less and then charge more for your premium brand name. Plus you can put it on special sale price for $160 and let people think they have a good deal.



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