Myth #1 “Nothing is made in Australia anymore” – A popular battle cry for indignant internet warriors and forum experts alike, but in reality there is plenty of manufacturing going on here… and it’s going on DESPITE the fact that consumers often don’t support it. And why the lack of support? Well some people just can’t pass up on saving a few dollars and others think that if two items look the same then they are the same. Either way, if something goes wrong with their “bargain” I can guarantee they’re going to hear…
Myth #2 “Oh well, you get what you pay for” – said to them in a preachy tone and with a knowing shrug… before their “bargain” is even fully dead at their feet.
But let’s face it, we’ve all had expensive stuff break on us too, which means that expense does NOT automatically equate to quality. And we’ve all bought expensive imported items as well, which means not all imports are cheap. Confused yet? It’s really not that complicated if you think of the word “cheap” as having a lot more to do with the way something is built rather than how much it costs.
Let me give you an example – a few years back we were approached by a China based company hoping to manufacture our bike racks for us. We figured we’d see what pricing they could come up with and ended up with two prices… one for a rack that “looked” exactly the same as ours and one for a rack that was exactly the same (in both appearance and quality).
At the time, that particular model cost us $293 to manufacture (no box/packaging etc… manufacture only). The Chinese cost for the exact same quality and appearance was $258 (no box/packaging etc… manufacture only) OR we could get a bike rack that looked exactly the same as ours, was packaged in a fancy, printed box and delivered to our door for $82 each. That’s eighty-two dollars. So now…
Myth #3 “If it is made in Australia it’s just ridiculously overpriced” – Not at all. Australian-made does not have to mean overpriced… it’s just what it costs.
Here at GripSport we make an all Australian product… we employ Aussies in our Aussie factory… we stipulate Australian made steel from Aussie manufacturers and suppliers who themselves employ Aussies in their Aussie factories. We get our powder coating and zinc plating done by other Aussie businesses who employ Aussies in their Aussie factories and the bottom line is… it costs what it costs.
But have another read of the example above (the Chinese prices for one of our racks) and so long as you remember how the word “cheap” has a lot more to do with the way something is built rather than how much it costs, you’ll see that “quality” actually costs about the same regardless of where it comes from.
A product made in China can be made and engineered every bit as well as products from anywhere else in the world… if the customer specifies that and is prepared to pay for it. The problem is, so many companies that get their products made in China are doing so for one reason and one reason only… price.
So no… the word “imported” doesn’t HAVE to mean cheap and/or poor quality, but a greedy business will make sure it does mean exactly that.