Route Guide - iPhone / Android - Partners - Forum - Photos - Deals - What's New - School of Rock
Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Outdoor "expensiveness" conspiracy
View Latest Posts in This Forum or All Forums
   Page 1 of 3.  1  2  3   Next>   Last>>
Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
 
 
By Peteoria
May 24, 2013

Ahh, the glory of the outdoors. But who may enjoy? To experience the outdoors wearing stylish Patagonia fashion is nearly to not experience the outdoors at all. For a two day trip outside, a Patagonia rep would recommend me purchasing several thousand dollars of things before I am "prepared" for the wilderness. Ask a bum and he'll just say you're already outdoors. The difference is that a bum hangs outside 100% of the time, while a Patogonia branded trip requires me to work for several weeks or months before I can get just 2 days off!

Thank goodness we have a Co-op called REI where members like you and me are owners and they are legally not allowed to run as a "for Profit" company, thus granted its cooperative status. In fact, all profits derived from the business legally must be used to benefit the shareholders (that's us!). Now I need only work 4 - 5 weeks to afford a reasonable trip instead of months with Patagonia clothing. OK so this is America, capitalist country, and it's ok to have several levels of quality in outdoor goods.

Ever heard of these guys? www.decathlon.com/

Decathlon is a for profit French REI. Their goods are super cheap, and the quality is comparable to REI. But if REI gives its profits back to its members like you and me, how can these Frenchies be beating us? Well, it looks like they were, and that they even tried to enter the US market. Keep in mind that Decathlon is the World's Largest Reseller of sporting goods. These guys have economies of scale like no other outdoor business & therefore can still reap a profit while undercutting places like REI & Patagonia.

So why did they fail in the US? Well, they first opened about 20 stores, and within the first two years, all but 6 got "rebranded?" Why would Decathlon, while trying to build it's market share sell it's pilot stores? hmmm..... Next within 5 years of opening, 100% of Decathlon stores were closed in the US. Today, Decathlon ships its goods to every major country in the WORLD, including Canada & Mexico, but they are banned from online sales in the US market. hmmm.... I thought our current economic theory is based on few barriers to entry & healthy competition. But if they aren't even allowed to ship their good here from the internet, I think we may need to reassess the theories that guide our nation's policy.

I believe the answer lies in the fact that our government wants the outdoor industry to be something preserved for the Elite. Inspired by the outdoors? Go to school, get up to your neck in debt, get a job to pay off the debt, and when you're too old to play around outside we'll take you on a driving tour to Mt. Rushmore.

Now, Patagonia doesn't compete with REI because they are designed for a more wealthy individual. That's fine. But REI has NO COMPETITORS! The first competition they get, Decathlon (the world's largest outdoor retailer), is outsed within a few years of entering the market.

Look at this, Sally Jewel, the ex-CEO of REI, has just been appointed by Obama. The same lady that had a "cooperative" (read: NOT FOR PROFIT) company drive out its competition. I thought the mission statement is something companies are supposed to follow:

REI's mission statement: REI is dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. REI cares about its customers and wants to offer the expert advice they need to enjoy the outdoors.

This sequence of events is doing anything but help get people outdoors.


You don't need money to go outside. Even a bum will agree that money will only buy you the indoors.


FLAG
By Brendan Blanchard
From Strafford, NH
May 24, 2013
Obi Wan Ryobi - Darth Vader Crag, Rumney NH

Interesting ideas, but a bit reachy.

The biggest flaw however is you didn't post from a new account and pseudonym. Now they will find you...


FLAG
By kennoyce
From Layton, UT
May 24, 2013
Climbing at the Gallery in Red Rocks

Peteoria wrote:
Ahh, the glory of the outdoors. But who may enjoy? To experience the outdoors wearing stylish Patagonia fashion is nearly to not experience the outdoors at all. For a two day trip outside, a Patagonia rep would recommend me purchasing several thousand dollars of things before I am "prepared" for the wilderness. Ask a bum and he'll just say you're already outdoors. The difference is that a bum hangs outside 100% of the time, while a Patogonia branded trip requires me to work for several weeks or months before I can get just 2 days off! Thank goodness we have a Co-op called REI where members like you and me are owners and they are legally not allowed to run as a "for Profit" company, thus granted its cooperative status. In fact, all profits derived from the business legally must be used to benefit the shareholders (that's us!). Now I need only work 4 - 5 weeks to afford a reasonable trip instead of months with Patagonia clothing. OK so this is America, capitalist country, and it's ok to have several levels of quality in outdoor goods. Ever heard of these guys? www.decathlon.com/ Decathlon is a for profit French REI. Their goods are super cheap, and the quality is comparable to REI. But if REI gives its profits back to its members like you and me, how can these Frenchies be beating us? Well, it looks like they were, and that they even tried to enter the US market. Keep in mind that Decathlon is the World's Largest Reseller of sporting goods. These guys have economies of scale like no other outdoor business & therefore can still reap a profit while undercutting places like REI & Patagonia. So why did they fail in the US? Well, they first opened about 20 stores, and within the first two years, all but 6 got "rebranded?" Why would Decathlon, while trying to build it's market share sell it's pilot stores? hmmm..... Next within 5 years of opening, 100% of Decathlon stores were closed in the US. Today, Decathlon ships its goods to every major country in the WORLD, including Canada & Mexico, but they are banned from online sales in the US market. hmmm.... I thought our current economic theory is based on few barriers to entry & healthy competition. But if they aren't even allowed to ship their good here from the internet, I think we may need to reassess the theories that guide our nation's policy. I believe the answer lies in the fact that our government wants the outdoor industry to be something preserved for the Elite. Inspired by the outdoors? Go to school, get up to your neck in debt, get a job to pay off the debt, and when you're too old to play around outside we'll take you on a driving tour to Mt. Rushmore. Now, Patagonia doesn't compete with REI because they are designed for a more wealthy individual. That's fine. But REI has NO COMPETITORS! The first competition they get, Decathlon (the world's largest outdoor retailer), is outsed within a few years of entering the market. Look at this, Sally Jewel, the ex-CEO of REI, has just been appointed by Obama. The same lady that had a "cooperative" (read: NOT FOR PROFIT) company drive out its competition. I thought the mission statement is something companies are supposed to follow: REI's mission statement: REI is dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. REI cares about its customers and wants to offer the expert advice they need to enjoy the outdoors. This sequence of events is doing anything but help get people outdoors. You don't need money to go outside. Even a bum will agree that money will only buy you the indoors.


Nothing like reading a good conspiracy theory to brighten up a slow Friday afternoon.


FLAG
By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
May 24, 2013
Me scaring years off my mom's life

Peteoria - I've been looking for advice on how to line my helmet with tinfoil. You seem like just the man to help me out.


FLAG
By Dave Bn
From Fort Collins, CO
May 24, 2013
Dreamweaver

Meh, who really gives a fuck?

I actually appreciate the surge of outdoor related clothing for two reasons.

1. It fuels innovation. I don't care if you average urban-mountaineer really needs a sub 10oz alpine shell. I'm pretty damn stoked at the quality that is achieved in the name of innovation though

2. Only idiots pay retail. Buying off season can easily yield 40-80% savings. The more the market is flooded with goods for those who don't need it the easier it is for the rest of us to score a deal.


FLAG
By Chuck Parks
From Atlanta, GA
May 24, 2013
Chuck in the final mellow section of Te Dum at the Near Trapps.

Patagonia and REI: The axis of corporate evil™. I love it!

Get ready to have your mind blown... they sell Patagonia stuff at REI. The conspiracy runs deeper than you think!


FLAG
By Peteoria
May 24, 2013

Dave,

I give a fuck, that's why I'm trying to create some honest discourse.

Where is this "surge" of outdoor retailers? and the "flood" of goods? Last time I went to an outdoor sports recycler, I noticed prices have doubled in the last few years. The Boulder Sports Recycler now practically sells consignment goods at retail prices precisely because there is a monopoly on average joe outdoor goods. REI has it, and it's wrong especially considering that we, as members, are the people they are legally entitled to serve.


FLAG
By Tom-onator
From This Galaxy
May 24, 2013
Tom-onator

Austin Baird wrote:
Peteoria - I've been looking for advice on how to line my helmet with tinfoil. You seem like just the man to help me out.

Sorry Petey, but Austin's comment is the funniest s*** I've ever read!


FLAG
 
By MC Poopypants
May 24, 2013
Dropping a deuce

It is completely obvious to anyone paying attention that our government and its policies are almost entirely controlled by big business. Far from a free market our economy is highly regulated and subsidized to give advantage to certain situations.

Why is it absurd to question these happenings? Because we have been trained by mass media to respond that way. Why are theories based on facts labeled conspiracies? Because it's the easiest way to dismiss unwanted discussion.

Despite excellent access to independent media the average American is less aware of what our government is doing than people of other countries because our main source of information is controlled by the same multi-national corporations that are writing the laws that regulate them.


FLAG
By Seth Eidemiller
May 24, 2013

Its been a few years since I've had a chance to check out Decathlon's stuff. Their proprietary brand stuff WAS cheap but you got what you paid for. They could have upped their game in the last few years though. It also seems like they sold other brand name stuff for the same MSRPs as everybody else.

I read a great piece recently about whining from amateur cyclists regarding prices too. Same story here. Pros drive innovation. If you want the same equipment expect to pay for it because there is nothing ground-breaking about the flailing that most of us do at our local crags. Or you could drop get a non-dry 10.5 mm rope for cheap and use quick draws with nylon and 70g carabiners, have just as much fun and not give a shit that your draws didn't cost $25 a piece.

Nobody has ever said that you must buy Patagonia or TNF to be able to use the outdoors. Many cheaper options exist. That's where you as a consumer make an informed choice.


FLAG
By Ed Rhine
May 24, 2013

Holy craptasticness... The government wants only rich people to be in the outdoors.. Really? I think that there are probably about 37 billion conspiracy theories that make more sense than this one.

First off, REI sets their prices off of the manufacturers recommended retail pricing (and can sell lower because they sell them by the truck load). Just so we are on the same page here. Patagonia, Black Diamond, TNF, Mountain Hardwear and all the rest shockingly set the prices for their goods. Stunner huh... mind blown. As mentioned above, unless you absolutely "need" that gadget, shirt, etc right now, there is no reason to pay full retail instead of going online.

As for competitors there are the mom and pop shops like Bent Gate, Wilderness Exchange, Neptune, etc and then the slew of large retailers including: Sports Authority, Eastern Mountain Sports, Bass Pro, Campmor, Gander Mtn, Cabellas, Backcountry.com and shit... even Wal-Mart. All of which have outdoor/camping sections with goods of varying quality and cost.

The cost of goods rises both with inflation and the demand that people are placing on them and the price they are willing to pay.

And of course the Outdoor Recycler in Boulder is going to be expensive! Just look at the town and location it's in. You want a good deal, dont buy something there, go up to summit county/leadville for the good deals at consignment shops.

No one dictates you need more that the clothes you wear to work to be outside and active. Obviously if you want to climb, you need gear or a bike if that's what you chose to do. The retailer/manufacturers do of course work this magical power called advertising to sell their product and make you want that new widget, but all you need to be in the outdoors if yourself and a sense of adventure.

Absolutely no conspiracy theory here at all... at all


FLAG
By Brendan Blanchard
From Strafford, NH
May 24, 2013
Obi Wan Ryobi - Darth Vader Crag, Rumney NH

Seth Eidemiller wrote:
Nobody has ever said that you must buy Patagonia or TNF to be able to use the outdoors.


In fact, I think the consensus is that you probably don't do anything outdoors if you own TNF ;)

To the OP - Our economy is as sideways and lobby oriented as possible. The money flows one way -- up. This isn't anything new, and an internet thread won't change a thing. Given the power and relative blending/anonimity effect of our legislative bodies, anyone who gets into a Senate/House/Chair etc seat and doesn't abuse/skew their power (which they can mostly without repercussions) is either a truly good person (we can rule that one out) or an idiot. It's the way it works.

Sorry to break your world with my cynicism.


FLAG
By Peteoria
May 24, 2013

some of you seem to be missing the point. REI is organized as a not-for-profit but it still acts in the same ethics as big biz. similar enough for Sally Jewel to become just another "revolving door" where evil regulates the amount of allowable evilness. Second, we can't make the choices we want because the companies that are actually trying to make affordable goods are being ousted by the big bad "not for profit / Co-op" wolf that embodies REI. Neptunes & bent gate don't make their own products. They merely resell other goods manufactured by slaves in Malaysia and attract customers by hiring people who are actually knowledgeable, while REI has its own brand and so does Decatlon.


FLAG
By Seth Eidemiller
May 24, 2013

I would bet that both REI and Decathlon use the same Malaysian factories as the companies that you have such a vendetta against.

Not sure that I get your message about Sally Jewel either. Would you rather have a Chevron executive in that position?


FLAG
By Thomas Beck
From Las Vegas, Nevada
May 24, 2013
beck on limestone

Peteoria,

I have to wonder how long you've "going outdoors" and using outdoor gear. I had a REI member number less than 1000. What does that tell you?
And REI has changed marketing focus (some would say quality control) over the years. REI, in climbing and other "fringe sports" has gone away from the smaller suppliers for whatever reason. The larger manufacturers have moved their production overseas. REI has gotten more powerful politically as you note.

It's business evolution.

There are ways around this commercialism, you complain about, if you search and are crafty. Sometimes it just sucks if you know about some product from Europe and it's not distributed in the US.

Beside an European road trip....There is always Mountain Equipment Co-op in Canada. They still have some integrity and principles.

Ordering internationally is more involved plus customs duties than buying domestically as you know. As an individual consumer, about that you could complain.


FLAG
By Eric G.
May 24, 2013

Peteoria wrote:
Today, Decathlon ships its goods to every major country in the WORLD, including Canada & Mexico, but they are banned from online sales in the US market.


How do you know online sales in US are banned? You believe the government is responsible--is there some law?

I couldn't find anything relevant.


FLAG
 
By rging
From Salt Lake City, Ut
May 24, 2013
CoR

Mike Oxlong wrote:
It is completely obvious to anyone paying attention that our government and its policies are almost entirely controlled by big business. Far from a free market our economy is highly regulated and subsidized to give advantage to certain situations. Why is it absurd to question these happenings? Because we have been trained by mass media to respond that way. Why are theories based on facts labeled conspiracies? Because it's the easiest way to dismiss unwanted discussion. Despite excellent access to independent media the average American is less aware of what our government is doing than people of other countries because our main source of information is controlled by the same multi-national corporations that are writing the laws that regulate them.


Bingo. The USA hasn't been free for decades. You are more oppressed than you know (is that a good thing?). Like you said Oxlong, its not the government, its called lobbying / bribery. THE US government is beyond corrupt fed by quasi capitalism.


FLAG
By Christian
From Casa do Cacete
May 24, 2013
Ooops...

"but they (Decathlon) are banned from online sales in the US market. "

Show me some proof of that, as opposed to the more reasonable assumption that they are voluntarily choosing to not participate in the US market.


FLAG
By Wannabe
May 24, 2013

I'll bite. Let's take a benchmark product and think this through. You specifically mentioned climbing so lets look at a generic ubiquitous climbing product: a wiregate carabiner. I can score a new *certified* carabiner for $4.93 right now without even trying. I think paying $5 for something that is supposed to save my life is pretty awesome. If you buy used-- and its not ice climbing season in Canada-- those 'biners can he had for about half that. Is $2.50 really an unreasonable price to pay for a *certified* carabiner? Where are you at on this Peteoria?

--Wannabe


FLAG
By Ian Stewart
May 24, 2013

Peteoria wrote:
Thank goodness we have a Co-op called REI where members like you and me are owners and they are legally not allowed to run as a "for Profit" company, thus granted its cooperative status. In fact, all profits derived from the business legally must be used to benefit the shareholders (that's us!).


That's not true. REI is a private business where you can buy a membership that gives you some benefits...that's it. The "co-op" term is a relic of how things used to be; you do not need to be a member to purchase from REI. REI does not share profits, which they certainly make, with members. It is the exact same as any other private company.

Non-profits don't give their CEOs million dollar bonuses for exceeding revenue goals: www.rei.com/content/dam/documents/pdf/Executive%20Compensati>>>

Peteoria wrote:
But REI has NO COMPETITORS!


Huh? How do you explain EVERY OTHER GEAR STORE that exists?


FLAG
By Jim Titt
From Germany
May 24, 2013

Having had the pleasure of buying at both REI and Decathlon in the past I canīt say the fate of either interests me in the least, I can buy better products at better prices elsewhere.
And as a European the concept of "freedom" in the USA is laughable.


FLAG
By Steven Groetken
From Durango, CO
May 24, 2013
On top of Hitchcock Pinnacle.

Hell I could get some Merrell running shoes at REI for $99 or go to the Decathlon store in merry ole' England and get them for only Ģ85!... Oh, but then there's that whole exchange rate on the piss poor dollar.


FLAG
By Tits McGee
From Boulder, CO
May 24, 2013
How I Send

I believe that the OP has his logic flipped. It is in the best interest of the gov't and the "Evil REI" type corps to keep the proliteriat/outdoorsy type folks chasing high end gear to keep us going outdoors and keeping us chasing a distraction. Meanwhile, intelligent people like everyone on mp are busy recreating and not focusing energy to change what is wrong with this country. It is the elite class that is controlling us, not the elite going outdoors. Duh!


FLAG
By Steve M
From MN
May 24, 2013

Brendan Blanchard wrote:
In fact, I think the consensus is that you probably don't do anything outdoors if you own TNF ;)


WTF Brendan, what do call that space between the parking lot and $tarbuck's front door? I call that outside and I see people wearing TNF there all the time.


FLAG
 
By robrobrobrob
May 24, 2013

This.

Tits McGee wrote:
I believe that the OP has his logic flipped. It is in the best interest of the gov't and the "Evil REI" type corps to keep the proliteriat/outdoorsy type folks chasing high end gear to keep us going outdoors and keeping us chasing a distraction. Meanwhile, intelligent people like everyone on mp are busy recreating and not focusing energy to change what is wrong with this country. It is the elite class that is controlling us, not the elite going outdoors. Duh!


FLAG
By MTKirk
From Billings, MT
May 24, 2013
Me on Supercrack

Jim Titt wrote:
And as a European the concept of "freedom" in the USA is laughable.


I live in the U.S. and It's been a long time since I believed there was anything "free" about this country. The capitalist elite (and their appointed stooges in government) control everything about our lives. The only thing they care about is maintaining their status at the top of the food chain. If it means the rest of the world has to eat and drink poison, breath toxic air, live in a pathologically violent and greedy society, and send our kids to mediocre schools to learn nothing but how to be mindless cogs in a broken machine....That's perfectly fine with them!

To the OP; yes REI and all other large corporations hire lobbyists to influence bureaucrats and elected officials, they do this to quash competition, minimize responsibility, and maximize profits. This is not only 100% legal, it is the essence of capitalism. Tax status means nothing, top executives are still compensated with outrageously high salaries and benefits. Some of the highest salaries in this country are paid to executives of "Non-Profit" hospitals. This of course is small potatoes compared to the nonsense that happens in the world of finance. If you want something to really get worked up over, look into the Federal Reserve Banking system. The average US citizen spends nearly half their working life paying interest on money that they did not receive, and that never really existed in the first place.


FLAG


Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
Page 1 of 3.  1  2  3   Next>   Last>>