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 Post subject: Are ABS pack manufacturers asking 'unethical' prices?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:32 pm 
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so besides the weight addition the real drawback to ABS/airbag packs is the insane prices.

i recently learned that motorcycle airbag vests and jackets are considerably cheaper - in the $400-700 range rather than the $700-$1200 commanded by snowsports avy bags.

http://www.bikebone.com/page/BBSC/CTGY/AT

any thoughts? any real justification for this?

personally i'd love to see someone come into the market with a $400-$500 pack and force the others to come down in price. unfortunately companies usually look at the highest price they can possibly charge and then add five bucks....maybe we should start pestering the moto companies to make a shred pack in a reasonable price range...

are there simply not enough backcountry users to generate that type of economic dynamic where a company tries to undercut the market and take all shares?


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 Post subject: Re: Are ABS pack manufacturers asking 'unethical' prices?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:09 pm 
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Location: Stockton, CA
My thoughts: That jacket would probably not provide much 'float' for avalanche conditions because it would just make you a puffy ball, whereas the ABS packs provide a significant bubble that offers float and protection for your head and can be deflated to give you a larger air pocket when you come to rest from an avalanche when potentially buried. That jacket may help with impact, but you need to stay on top. When airbags first came out they were like $15-20k I heard. Maybe I'll buy one at the end of this season if the snow doesn't come...then I'll have one at that $500 mark you speak of.


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 Post subject: Re: Are ABS pack manufacturers asking 'unethical' prices?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:12 pm 
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i'm not talking about using a motorcycle vest instead of an airbag pack to survive an avalanche... that would be retarded.


i am just saying, they are pretty much the same tech. why should an inflatable backpack cost twice as much as an inflatable vest?


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 Post subject: Re: Are ABS pack manufacturers asking 'unethical' prices?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:27 pm 
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Location: Stockton, CA
probably has more to do with size of container to inflate the airbag.


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 Post subject: Re: Are ABS pack manufacturers asking 'unethical' prices?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:01 pm 
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Location: Colorado
No, I doubt it. There is a lot of competition with these packs right now, I am sure the prices are reasonable, otherwise someone would offer a pack at a lower price in an effort to corner the market.
The fact is, that the market for these packs is much smaller than for the vests which you mention, and the economies of scale are smaller, so the retail prices will have to be higher.

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 Post subject: Re: Are ABS pack manufacturers asking 'unethical' prices?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:58 pm 
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i guess i'm wondering if the market is even big enough that someone would undercut price if it was possible.

i guess i'm also wondering if we get hosed on prices just because snow sports are largely an expensive lifestyle choice.

the economies of scale makes sense for sure.


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 Post subject: Re: Are ABS pack manufacturers asking 'unethical' prices?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:41 pm 
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ShredLife wrote:
i guess i'm wondering if the market is even big enough that someone would undercut price if it was possible.

i guess i'm also wondering if we get hosed on prices just because snow sports are largely an expensive lifestyle choice.

the economies of scale makes sense for sure.


I have worked in the outdoor industry, believe me, we are not getting hosed on pricing. Things cost what they do, and the prices are reasonable. No one is getting super wealthy off of making outdoor sports gear, especially not on the hard goods side.
Prices are set based on the cost of R and D, and manufacturing, distribution, and marketing costs; with an allowance (hopefully) for a bit of profit after the expenses are paid. Prices are not set based on a perceived notion of what someone might be willing to pay.

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 Post subject: Re: Are ABS pack manufacturers asking 'unethical' prices?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:23 pm 
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Every once and a while I'll see an avy pack on sale online.
For Black Friday/Cyber Monday Backcountry.com was selling BCA bags for like 30% off. That put the Float 30 at like $480 and the Float 36 at like $550.
I think the way to go is have the money saved up and spring for a deal only when you see one.

I'll bet you can score some sick deal late next summer, before the 2013's roll out. Mammut is coming into the market.

Remember two years ago; when you couldn't find one for less than a grand?

RE: Unethical - Nobody is forced to pay out the nose for one of these. Now if Silverton Mountain Resort waited until the hele pulled away and said, "Oh wait. You can't ride without an avy bag. BTW that guy over there sells them for 12 hundred bucks. . . He accepts paypal and cash." That would be unethical.


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 Post subject: Re: Are ABS pack manufacturers asking 'unethical' prices?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:54 am 
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The same has been said for beacons, but maybe they are just expensive products to develop and produce for such a small market.

You will see more brands licensing the technology, but using their own backpacks very soon. I'm not sure if this will make it any cheaper though.

Mammut is already has the RAS bags, as they bought Snowpulse. Dakine will follow this year with 25l and 40l ABS packs.
Image

Also North Face will join in, and BCA will come with something new very soon. And I hear rumours about Salomon too.

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 Post subject: Re: Are ABS pack manufacturers asking 'unethical' prices?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:41 pm 
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I dont think the costs are too high, its just alot of money.

There has gone quite some research into this and also the quality control needs to be top notch.

Like others say, when the volumes increase, the price goes down inevitably.


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 Post subject: Re: Are ABS pack manufacturers asking 'unethical' prices?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:25 am 
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i don't know too much about these abs packs but even if it only works once, isn't your life worth whatever it is they are charging?...


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 Post subject: Re: Are ABS pack manufacturers asking 'unethical' prices?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:11 am 
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If they are too expensive for you, then just do it the old fashioned way and avoid getting into avalanches in the first place. ABS is a great safety feature but if it alters your decision making, you are doing it wrong. They are not a "must have" device for backcountry travel and therefore they could charge five times the price and it wouldn't be unethical.


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 Post subject: Re: Are ABS pack manufacturers asking 'unethical' prices?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:14 am 
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It's just like any new product (lcd tv's, vcr's, iphones, etc...) when i first comes out. The price will drop, but these are worth the money as they are now from the videos I've seen, I really want one of these but think I'm gonna wait until next years stuff comes out. As the technology gets refined I think these will start to be the norm in the backcountry. This will add competition and lower prices. I want to look into that DaKine and Mammut pack.


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