Climbing gear is over-priced!!!

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thewesleysummers

climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 7, 2014 - 11:33am PT
I am sick and tired of spending ridiculous amounts of money for gear that SHOULD be cheap!

http://rockclimbinglife.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/climbing-gear-is-a-rip-off/
jonnyrig

Trad climber
formerly known as hillrat
Apr 7, 2014 - 11:45am PT
Dude! so right.
I mean, have you SEEN the used gear prices on Ebay lately? OutRAGEous!

Now, if you wouldn't mind selling me some baby angles, beat up hexes, and a miscellaneous set of bail nuts for... say... $5 that would be outstanding.
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Apr 7, 2014 - 11:47am PT
Whoa, is this really THE Wesley Summers?
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Apr 7, 2014 - 12:36pm PT
OP... You have this on your(?) blog:

Newsflash: Every sweater that you own for climbing is made out of plastic. That’s right… You are paying cashmere prices for the same material as that disposable fork you’re eating your kale salad with. And how much plastic is used to make one sweater? About the size of a small apple! Stretched out into plastic thread, and woven by machine (or child in sweatshop) into that fancy sweater. Total cost of plastic? 79 cents. Total cost to you? $249.99. Stop the madness..

The fallacy in your argument is you have only included the cost of the bottle, $0.79 and you have presumed the labor is done by a child.

What proof do you have that child labor is used?

Are you trying to tell the world you can make the same article of clothing for $0.79 and a small child? It seems you have forgotten the investment in machinery that can easily run tens of thousands of dollars.

If you don't like the cost of gear you have three choices:

1. Make your own.
2. Take up bouldering on sunny days.
3. Quit climbing and take up something economical like fly fishing or Formula 1 racing.
BJ

climber
Apr 7, 2014 - 12:41pm PT
Whoa, is this really THE Wesley Summers?

I think so

Hey guys, my name is Wesley Summers. I have spent the last 3 years of my life exploring the vertical world, i.e., rock cilmbing! I first started what would be a life changing sport at my local indoor climbing gym. This is a place indoors where the walls mimic the natural features of the great outdoor cliffs such as Yosemite National Park. I quickly excelled at the sport and found myself instructing people on such things as Top Roping, Bouldering, Knot Tying, and Safety. Recently, I have further grown as a rock climber and have taken my sport to new heights: Outside! Words cannot express how great it is to be outdoors on the rocks and being an example and inspiration to the climbing community. I hope to continue to make everyone proud, and share my gift of rock climbing to the world!
thewesleysummers

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 7, 2014 - 12:43pm PT
Proof? The proof is in the pudding... check the tag on your gear... none of it is made in the USA. Why? Child labour!
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Apr 7, 2014 - 12:45pm PT
I just read all your posts.

I for one, don’t believe in climbing shoes.

What does that even mean?

Do you own a car? Do you calculate only the cost of the steel and rubber and wonder why the car costs so much?

Do you only look at the cost of a 2x4 and wonder why a house costs so much?

There is so much more involved than COGs when pricing a product, not the least of which is labor and needed technology.

Transcendentalism is an interesting essay topic for high school students but it fails miserably in the 21st century.

I think climbing may not be for you.
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Apr 7, 2014 - 12:47pm PT
Ihateplastic, don't forget the cost of chemical engineering R&D to develop suitable compounds that are collectively referred to as "plastic" and the manufacturing processes to manipulate those compounds into useful stuff, and to make it achievable on a large scale for a modest price.

Also, we have to look at not just the cost of producing the thing, but what we as consumers are willing to pay for it. Without that profit motive, why should the smart people who figured out how to make something useful with that lump of plastic actually do it? The alternative is we can just collect plastic bottles ourselves and figure out how to make a jacket out of it.

Or go to Iceland to harvest down off of eider ducks, or...

I prefer to spend my time making software tools and then pay money for the jackets I use. Ha ha, I was recently on the opposite side of the argument about mungeclimber paying for plumbing when I was advocating a DIY approach.
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Apr 7, 2014 - 12:50pm PT
check the tag on your gear... none of it is made in the USA.

Metolius cams- "Hand built, inspected and individually proof tested in Bend, Oregon"

Feathered Friends - "right here in Seattle, Washington" (some exceptions)

McHale Packs - 100% handmade in Washington.

American Apparel - "Made in Downtown LA"

Black Diamond Welterweight Gloves - Made in the USA

Flint and Tinder - "100% Made In America"

Filson - "Filson now has more Made in USA products than ever"

Outdoor Research Gradient Hat and Mentor Pants - Made in America

Browning Full Curl Merino Wool Base Layer - Made in America

REI Mojave Tech Long-Sleeve Shirt - Made in America

Orvis products - Many, many items Made in America

Duluth Trading - "We're 100% committed to domestically sourcing as many of our products as possible"



How many more examples would you like?
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Apr 7, 2014 - 12:53pm PT
Wesley summers you don't know sh#t, but it's cool you got time to tell the whole world about it.
overwatch

climber
Apr 7, 2014 - 12:55pm PT
Trolling up some activity for your blog? Maybe a spot for you on Naked and Afraid?
BJ

climber
Apr 7, 2014 - 01:01pm PT
Metolius cams- "Hand built, inspected and individually proof tested in Bend, Oregon"

Feathered Friends - "right here in Seattle, Washington" (some exceptions)

McHale Packs - 100% handmade in Washington.

By child labor?
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Apr 7, 2014 - 01:03pm PT
I can promise you Dan McHale ain't no kid!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 7, 2014 - 01:06pm PT
Geez, so what isn't over-priced? At least a nickle bag of crack is still a nickle, right?
BJ

climber
Apr 7, 2014 - 01:12pm PT
I would think that cams have only slightly over paced the CPI. Ropes, shoes, soft ware, niners and passive nuts have under paced the CPI
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Apr 7, 2014 - 01:16pm PT
Exactly why should climbing gear be cheap?
As nice as it would be if it were less expensive why do you think "it should be"?
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Apr 7, 2014 - 01:20pm PT
A good way to save money on gear is to bolt everything. With a rack of draws, you're good to go. Who wants to carry around large cams, anyway? Those things are heavy and awkward, not to mention expensive.
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Apr 7, 2014 - 01:23pm PT
Anyone want to go climbing with this guy with his Salvation Army sisal rope and Goodwill sourced climbing shoes?

Credit: Ihateplastic

Credit: Ihateplastic

philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Apr 7, 2014 - 01:24pm PT
I think Ferraris are overpriced Ferraris SHOULD be cheap.
blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
Apr 7, 2014 - 01:38pm PT
I would think that cams have only slightly over paced the CPI. Ropes, shoes, soft ware, niners and passive nuts have under paced the CPI

I bought my first cams about 20 years ago--I don't recall the precise amount I paid, but I'd be surprised if cam prices have over paced the CPI from then to now, even slightly.
Also consider that it's generally easy to get something like 20% off MSRP on most products. In the "old days" (different for all of us), you walked into your local mountaineering shop and paid full MSRP for almost everything.

I think almost all rock climbing products are less expensive in real dollars than they were 20 years ago (anywhere from "somewhat" to "a lot"). For time periods before that, I can't say, but I'd guess the trend from more expensive to less expensive is pretty much true as far back in time as we could go.

Also, I'm not always a huge fan or believer in the type of classical economics they teach us in high school, but it at least sometimes does seem to describe the way the world works. If it was easy to come in and undercut the established companies' prices, people would do it, and in some cases they have (think Mad Rock). This has likely lead to lower real (and even actual) prices in things like shoes, although La Sportiva seems to always try to push the price envelope.
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