One of the things I've wanted Velo Orange to stand for is elegant and understated products. That means small logos, or even no logos. You might have noticed that we don't put our name on our racks, leather products, etc. So it's interesting that a couple of customers have commented that they'd prefer to see our logo on various products. Is the Velo Orange name becoming a status symbol like a Patagonia, Hermes, or Manolo Blahnik tag? I hope not, or maybe that would be a good thing? Hmmm...
We've recently ordered our 27oz stainless steel water bottles without logos. Well actually there is still a tiny logo near the base. The company that makes them insisted. We'll have the 18oz bottles sans logos in a month or two. These are still the greatest water bottles I've used. I don't know a single person who has tried them and gone back to plastic bottles. We use them as off bike bottles too--the environmental impact of disposable plastic water bottles is staggering.
Speaking of the water bottles, you may have noticed that the prices are a little higher. The manufacturer instituted a "minimum advertised price policy". That means the won't sell them to retailers, like VO, if they list the price below their set minimum on their web sites. Personally I think that policy stinks, but I love the bottles so we decided to go along with it. The prices are still well below "suggested retail".
Actually I've been catching a lot of, umm, guff recently, not from customers, but from distributors and competitors because our prices are too low. A well known competitor told me that "I'm making him look like he's ripping off his customers." Two distributors have made pointed remarks about how unhappy they are with our prices.
Now I've always thought that we should base our prices on what we think is a fair profit, not on what others charge. We have a brick and mortar store just like everyone else. We buy and warehouse stock. We are not a "virtual" business.
One solution to this silliness is to import more products directly. We need to grow to do this. But when we do we can challenge the importers and distributors on pricing. And that's good for everyone.
Annette always jokes that I'm just an old hippy socialist. I always though I made a pretty good capitalist.
17 July, 2007
Posted by Velo Orange at 6:49:00 PM