Thursday, August 12, 2010

sheep: how do you lure them in?

i am engineer. to my eyes, all women's bags and shoes look the same. i'm not talking about a red bag versus a black one. my poor brain almost exploded looking at a catalog in bloomingdale's with seemingly identical bags ranging in price from $300 to $3,000. i looked really hard for something different but didn't see anything. i decided to do a hands-on investigation, by picking up a bag and comparing it to another ten times as expensive. instead of finding blast-proof coating, emp-resistive lining or diamonds lining the zipper, the $3,000 bag had the same crap that made the normal (albeit still overpriced) bag.

the same applies to shoes. ridiculously expensive shoes. a month's salary pair of shoes. i mean a couple of pieces of leather with a week's labor? but, of course, i forgot that those people cater to sheep. yes, you lady, with the criminally expensive footwear, you're a sheep. bags, shoes, etc, etc. but what really got me thinking was this: how do you lure the sheep in? allow me to explain: when i buy a normal car, i pay for material, labor and r&d. when i buy a sports car, add some prestige. when i buy an exotic, i buy all the above, plus the name. but basically, the is usually parts, labor and r&d. simple. the same applies to software: labor, overhead and the perceived value (how much roi it will bring me).

so back to luring the sheep: if the bag i produce costs me $50, how the fuck do i determine its selling price? surely $2,000 was not arrived at using the methodology used for cars and software (unless i want a 4,000% margin). so from my hands-on investigation, i've arrived at the following conclusion: i pull the number out of my ass. i understand that quality costs money, but for fuck's sake, unless it contains some exotic materials (like radiation protection), a bag will not cost more than $100 to mass produce. so for all you sheep out there: not only are you blindly following other misguided souls, you're paying prices pulled out of an ass.

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