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Evergoods CPL24 and MPL30 Kickstarter

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by ballistic, Jul 11, 2017.

  1. yugotprblms

    yugotprblms Loaded Pockets

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    They talked to 4 factories in October of 2016, 3/4 a year ahead of kickstarter. How early should they have gone? Then the factory that they decided was doable wanted them to change their patterns. Why should they have to do that? And then, even after submitting changes, the factory itself said they didn't think they could deliver the quality that was desired. Who fell short in this situation?

    I don't see how anyone could expect a fledgling company to do much more than they already did. It looks like they talked to US factories WELL ahead of time. They have a price point that at least one was able to do. They even submitted changes to their patterns that they deemed acceptable, and then the factory itself had to back out. You can always argue that more could have been done, but I don't think that's reasonable to ask that from a brand new company with very limited funds.

    But when you look at the speed the factories over in Southern Asia are pumping out samples for them, or the quality they are doing it with (an Instagram story thing of theirs said as much), I have to wonder how US manufacturing can be defended here, or how EVERGOODS can be "blamed" for not finding the right partner.

    I'm sure it's obvious, but if asked, I would 100% say keep all the features and go with a high quality overseas factory instead.


    EDIT: Spelling and grammar
     
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  2. fresh eddie fresh
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    fresh eddie fresh Loaded Pockets

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    I used to work in retail, specifically clothing and footwear. Even when you are ordering from companies at the retail level from distributors utilizing overseas factories, orders are placed around six months in advance, it is just the way things go. The process takes a very long time, and that is after the patterns and materials have been spec'ed and sourced. You are ordering next season's stuff almost as soon as the current season's products arrive.

    These guys have been involved in the production and manufacture of clothing and equipment for years, they are very good at what they do. I'm not sure if Kickstarter was the right vehicle for this project. It forced them to sell a product without having any stock (and more importantly, no final cost info for the stock). They are the first to admit they mis-calculated... traditionally people get a loan (or investors) then they manufacture their product and calculate a price based on their cost. Going with Kickstarter, they were forced to calculate the specs and final cost while the product was still in the prototype stage, and as we can see, some factors that effect price (or features) cannot be predicted until you begin production.

    I will reiterate, Jack is a great guy, the bags will likely be amazing wherever they are made, but they miscalculated and are unable to deliver the product they promised at the price they promised. It isn't the end of the world, they are doing what they can to fix it. Like I said, they are being really cool about it and very transparent about the whole thing, extremely fair, and honest. If you want to blame this situation on American workers, then please be my guest. I simply don't agree. If you promise a six pack of Pepsi to someone and they end up with Coke because the store is out of stock, or because you can't afford Pepsi you do not blame the store, if you know what I mean. Some people will drink the Coke and some people will return the Coke. We are all different.

    I think your brand loyalty to Evergoods is admirable... I wish you a wonderful evening.
     
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  3. fresh eddie fresh
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    fresh eddie fresh Loaded Pockets

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    P.S. Let me point out that you also mentioned US manufacturing as something that adds value to the product, in two if the four reasons you listed in this post. If the material they sourced was made in the US (which I believe it was) then #2 would fall into that category as well, making only design and cost of prototyping labor (which was done in the US by American workers) the only point left...
     
  4. greenwasabi

    greenwasabi Loaded Pockets

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    i agree with your first point. from the consumer's perspective, they funded a project based off of a specific design, material, and manufacturing origin (these were Evergoods main marketing points). it is not the consumer's issue if one of Evergoods' vendor backed out on a contract. Evergoods holds full responsibility here

    i disagree with your second point. from Evergoods' perspective, they contracted a vendor to deliver a product based on a specific design, material, timeframe, at an agreed upon price point... say $100 / bag for examples sake. if Evergoods asked Vendor B to drop price to $90 / bag, then yes, Evergoods is at fault again. taking Jack (or whoever wrote the post) at his word, he decided to eat his own margin and work with $100 / bag

    Vendor B then came to say they can not execute on the contract at the agreed upon $100. this is absolutely the vendor's issue. same logic. it should not be Evergoods' issue if their current manufacturing capability is unable to create the product, or create it at the scale and yield needed. or if i re-cast Vendor B as some faceless Chinese manufacturing firm, would there not be chorus of "should have gone with made in USA man!" or "what else do you expect from made in China"?

    i find it difficult to understand how Vendor B can escape responsibility in this situation (taking Evergoods at their word)

    also, i do not know of many consumer goods company using cost-based pricing (i think that is what you were advocating). consumer goods companies i am familiar with usually start with customer segmentation, then market price points, then design the product, manufacturing, and marketing decisions around that... which in turns drives the business case and ultimately the financing method. from what Evergoods has shared, it seems their actions were reflective of price-based costing thus ending with the margin erosion problem

    speaking of financing method, i actually think Kickstarter is the only likely method for this type of activity. most banks would find Evergoods too risky to underwrite (no existing capital structure, competitive market, no cash) and VC firms will not fund Evergoods as exit options are limited (maybe get bought by Patagonia or something)

     
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  5. fresh eddie fresh
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    fresh eddie fresh Loaded Pockets

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    I do agree it was dishonest to quote one price and ask for another on the factory's end, just to get the business... I guess that is why insurance companies and project managers ask for two quotes when estimating.
     
  6. yugotprblms

    yugotprblms Loaded Pockets

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    Right on. It's good to have that kind of perspective, as I have 0 experience in any field related to this kind of stuff. If you know more than I about how the industry works (which you likely do) then I can't really argue with that.

    I wonder how a fledgling company with little capital can survive anymore, when there are others doing Kickstarter. It seems like it could be used as a sort of proving grounds, with investors actually paying attention after a campaign. Again, totally hypothesizing on my part.

    I do think your analogy is a bit wrong though. I would say it's more like promising a 6 pack of Pepsi from a certain group of venders, hearing from a few vendors that it is doable at a certain price (which is agreed to), then the vendor you went with backs out down the road. So the only option is to get a 6 pack from another group of vendors that people tend to associate with poorer quality, due to a correlation rather than causal relationship.

    I don't know if I would call it brand loyalty though, but maybe I'm just taking a trip down denial river. They seem like a company founded on great principles by good guys, with great pack designs, who tried to make a certain aspect work, and it failed due to circumstances out of their control. Sure, they could have gone through the steps you outlined, and maybe that really is what they should have done, but I don't know how much you can expect a brand new start up to go through. So that's probably why I defend their choices.

    US Manufacturing was a promise, one of their core tenets, so I get how people were attracted to it. In the grand scheme of things (which to me, is getting a quality pack with a cool design), it just seems like more of a nicety than anything else. I am still seeing it as the domestic factory failing to be competitive.

    And yeah, that's probably true. I think it's an artificial value though, as two packs that are indistinguishable, aside from country of manufacture, should have the same value. Being made in the US doesn't automatically make the product better.
     
  7. fresh eddie fresh
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    fresh eddie fresh Loaded Pockets

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    I think the difference in quality between a lot of goods made in US vs offshore is closing due to automation. A CNC machine in China doesn't do any different a job than a CNC machine in the US. The only difference I can usually tell is materials. A perfect example, I have a pile of BOGear Bullpups, I really love those bags, but the Subbie has a totally different feel to it. Less structured and feels more flimsy (even with my MacGuyver'ed frame sheet in it). Made in Australia vs made in Vietnam should not make a difference, but it does in this particular case. Perhaps with Evergoods it won't matter as much since they already sourced the materials. I guess only time will tell.

    I basically like spending my money where I know someone is making a living wage, and if I can, try and support a semi-local community. It is getting harder and harder with some products, but it is easy to do with bags if I try hard enough. :)
     
  8. yugotprblms

    yugotprblms Loaded Pockets

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    Oh yeah, if the materials are not the same, then of course the bags will feel different. But that's just another variable. If all things are the same (materials, design, build quality, or whatever else), then country of manufacture means nothing to the final product.

    I do get all the points about buying local for sure though, and agree to an extent. I just don't really agree with "propping up" a factory or goods or service or whatever, even though it is not as competitive as others, just because it's a domestic or local thing. If I can buy a product from a local company for a similar price as I could get on Amazon or something, then I would probably prefer local. But if the price difference is exorbitant, I will likely go Amazon. I'm sure there's a huge philosophical discussion to be had on that topic, but it comes down to getting bang for my buck in that case.
     
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  9. fresh eddie fresh
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    fresh eddie fresh Loaded Pockets

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    ...there it is in a nutshell. We can all shop at Walmart or Amazon to save a dollar here and there because "competitive" often means marking prices down just enough to get an edge and eliminate competition (and that is perfectly fine, it is your money, after all). I personally feel that it is worth it to spend a couple extra dollars and pay attention to where I spend my money if I feel it is better for the big picture. Of course, I do not expect everyone to agree with me or share my values, but that is where they lie. I have literally a closet overflowing with bags, it is a matter of want over need for me, so I can afford to be choosy. :)
     
  10. yugotprblms

    yugotprblms Loaded Pockets

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    Yeah, that's entirely understandable to me. If I had more of a disposable income, I would probably prioritize domestic goods. But if it's a choice between a bag with a real neat design that's made in another country, and one with a design I'm not as much of a fan of that happens to be made here, I'll go with design.