Many people get confused when it comes to pricing and what makes a uniform cost more or less. I put together the three main points that affect cost.
Brand – Many of the bigger brands have massive advertising costs as well as high factory reject rates. High advertising costs are self-explanatory, but what many people do not realize is that the major brands in sports do not actually manufacture their own products; instead, they outsource their products to the cheapest bidding OEM factory and hope for the best. The result of this is a lot of cheap products with high rejection rates. High rejection rates mean that the big brands have to add an additional buffer into what you pay. A product that costs $5 to make ends up costing you $150 because you are paying for all those neat commercials you see on TV and all the bad products that did not make it to the shelves. When it comes to custom uniforms, the result is more or less the same, even though the brand’s cost nay be a little higher than their stock prices because it is custom made and not mass produced. If you want to get the most value for your dollar, find a brand that actually manufactures their own products and does not spend millions of dollars on advertising. This will eliminate a lot of unnecessary costs and allow you to get the best bang for the buck.
Manufacturing process – Mass produced uniforms vs. Custom uniforms is one of the more confusing elements of uniform selection. Both products have their place so it’s important to know which one is best for you at different times. Mass produced uniforms usually come from China; They are cheap with limited selection and average to poor quality materials. These uniforms are best when you either have a limited amount of money, just want something to practice in, or if you have a large league and need to outfit a lot of kids. Custom uniforms are made when you order with infinite design capabilities and high quality fabrics. These uniforms are much more expensive because quite frankly, they just cost a lot more to make. Custom uniforms are for the serious athlete and coaches, who want to stand out and make an impact every time they play. There is no shame in going cheap, but keep in mind in most prestigious leagues and travel tournaments, you will not be taken seriously until you look the part.
Distribution channel – There are factories and there are re-sellers and there are pros and cons to both. If you know what you want and like to get the most for your money, you will want to talk to a factory representative. Re-sellers tend to carry a lot of brands, but they have no control over factory production or when you will receive your uniforms. Also, since they will need to get a cut of the pie their prices will be a little higher. Factory reps only carry their brand, so you better make sure you like that brand. Assuming you do like the brand you can be assured they have direct control over production, delivery date, and price, this is the best route to take.
This should clarify why uniforms have such a vast difference in prices and which direction you will take with your next purchase.
By: Todd Marinshaw