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"Best" Kites are Over-Rated

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Postby vietkiter » Sat Apr 03, 2004 10:06 pm

Shopguy wrote: Im not sure when i said anything about defending the price of any kitebrand- Maybe you could point that out to me.
Now that I am sufficiently calm... happy to...
Shopguy wrote: "To produce a kite cheap, you find the cheapest materials to build your product, thats business."
This statement (as a comment to the initial post) implicitly associates expensive kite price with quality and the only way to "produce"[sell] a cheap kite is to use cheaper material... with the stupid conclusion that this must be why Best kites are so discounted. I simply point out that this can not be THE reason for Best discounted prices.
Shopguy wrote: ... take a breath and read before you reply!
Shop Guy.
Thanks for the advise... by the way, "think before reply" is highly recommended too.

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Postby pjc » Sat Apr 03, 2004 10:42 pm

Hey ShopGuy

Just because you're a pioneer doesn't entile you to the whole horizon.

'These companies created this market, it's not right for these low-priced newbies to poach it'.

That's nonesense man. Capitalism doesn't work like that. If you invent something patentable, then patent it. Otherwise, expect somebody else to copy the best parts of your business plan, and improve on the rest.

Personally I don't see the shops as adding a whole lot of value. I get my kite info from the internet and fellow kiters. I'd just as soon buy everything on-line (pre-Best, that's how I was buying anyway).

Sorry if this is hurting your personal finances, but don't expect me to shell out an additional $500 out of misguided loyalty. If I want a warm-fuzzy feeling I'll give that money to Oxfam, not you and Robbie Naish.

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Postby Shopguy » Sat Apr 03, 2004 11:25 pm


My point is not that they shouldnt join the market.
My point is that slamming the other brands because you want to buy a cheaper kite serves no purpose.
Just because a cheaper kite comes along doesnt mean dealers and other brands have been ripping you off in the past.
It took a lot of work and money to get the sport where it is. belive it or not.
They can poach the market as it is a free one. but not everyone has to like it.

My personal finances are fine as usual, working hard and getting by.
Sales are up sharply over 2003 for this time and thats a good thing.

- One simple statement sums up my feeling on the best issue-
I dont like the way they market thier kites.

Shop Guy

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Postby pjc » Sat Apr 03, 2004 11:54 pm


So if the marketing of Best is what bothers you, then why post stuff like "propritary materials that only they can use"? What proprietary materials exactly? You mean patented materials-- if so what's the patent number? Otherwise, you are saying Naish has a team of material scentists on their staff that has invented some special plastic that is only being used in Naish kites?

This "proprietary materials" business is bunk, just like a lot of other anti-Best stuff is bunk. When someone lies to me in order to get me to spend more money, that's what's called "ripping me off".

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Postby No Pump ReQuired » Sun Apr 04, 2004 1:12 am

vietkiter wrote:
Shopguy wrote: MATERIALS: Look into it, they are not the same! They may look the same and have similar properties, but The top companies have propritary materials that only they can use. To produce a kite cheap, you find the cheapest materials to build your product, thats business.
Shopguy, it's sad how much you like to parrot your distributor's bullshit for justifying their high wholesale prices. It's truely unfortunate for your family.

I'll use simple math (illustrative numbers): Assume a kite is contracted out of China for $400, wholesales for $800 and retails for $1200. Whether the "out of China" price is correct or not, it is clear that's the common starting point for all kite brands (no sourcing advantage, just a minimal scale advantage for the big brands... may be an advantage for Cabrinha with its own China factory... depending on its operational efficiency). For simplicity, let's assume the Chinese manufacturers are generous with only a 25% markup. That leaves $300 for total production cost. My guess is that sewing a kite together requires highend seamstress skills, not your apparel sewing skills, so labor/overhead/defects absorb 2/3 of this. So material alone is $100... not a lot of room to play with from a cost cutting standpoint! Assuming that on average, kite brands and retailers are at best marginally profitable, then the smart money would be on the guy trying figure out why the distribution network and marketing are absorbing all the markups... note... that's a $800 pie... which is a lot easier to rationalize.

Put another way, if Best kites were made of tissue paper, it would only be able to reduce price to $1100, which is not the case. Therefore, the Best model cannot be based on material science/cost cutting. Material diffentiation is primarily marketing (think Bayer aspirin vs. aspirin).

Wish I could make it clearer... but that's why some people can make money while others are losing their shirts.

Speaking as someone who makes a living from managing supply chain and distribution networks Vietkiter is spot on with his assesment of the current situation.

Materials have nothing to do with the end price , all the money is in the supply chain overheads.


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Postby Dax » Sun Apr 04, 2004 1:37 am

Shopguy -
How's this for slamming other companies:

"Firstly… all other manufactures say their kites do this or that, they depower better, turn better, etc.. well that’s bullshit…I have seen and used most brands and know that the kites in the Naish range are better than anything else." - Robby Naish

You can't blame Best for being a little aggressive when it comes to their marketing strategy. Because of their business model, they were an outsider from the beginning. They get banned from events, Kiteworld magazine, people are calling up schools that they list on their website and asking them to get themselves removed. Best responds by getting some press coverage of the whole thing, and insighting some retaliation on the forums.

Its a war, but who fired the first shot I can't say. I wouldn't call either side innocent though.

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Postby GraemeF » Sun Apr 04, 2004 2:06 am

At the risk of getting Mr Shogren stirred up to the point he has to give another set of kites away to irritate me, whilst seriously upsetting some thoroughly decent folk, I feel I have to correct the previous two posters and add my three happorth.

Materials are actually a key part of the cost in China. The reason almost the entire world has decended upon them is the essentially cheap labour, if you want to reduce your costs, you use cheaper materials.

Most materials are imported into China, in fact there is currently a shortage of Teijin material, which is a key product in kite production. At the moment, the worktables that usually produce Cabrinha kites are empty for lack of it.(This will only be very temporary, Cabrinha as most of you are aware is part of Neil Pryde, a very well respected manufacturer with good resourcing capability.)

Problem was the Japanese manufacturer wasn't making enough margin because in the greater scheme of things, kite production counts for the square root of diddly squat to these Giant material companies. So a cheaper production facility had to be found, but nobody told all the Chinese manufacturers in time, and only a few had the volume guarantees to get orders in on time.

A lot of kite companies do have proprietory formulated material (notably takoon, who have spent most on R&D in this area) but this has to be reserved long in advance of production and large quantities guaranteed, so sometimes in-house factory deals are cut.

Whilst this is all going on, and completely co-incidently, the Chinese economy has become overheated. There are severe power outages, some factorys are now on a three day week. The Chinese ain't telling anyone this (Its a "face" thing which always brings on denial over there), but if you care to study the serious financial press, you'll find some quite rightly concerned articles about the situation, since we've all become used to the delights of ever cheaper product from our industrious and economic friends.

So you might find a shortage of Chinese products generally, not to mention some prices increasing due to their ties to the weakening dollar (They use dollars to buy yen costed materials) and of course they are using the moment having secured this huge volume of the worlds manufacturing base.

So it could be Mr Shogren has chosen just the wrong moment to launch a volume price based business model, perhaps if he's quick, he can interest some more investors into buying it on the upswing, who knows...

Logic says get them quick while they're cheap, but I think I'd be inclined to be very certain there was stock available before I committed my plastic, and you simply cannot take the word of the well meaning chaps on here who have been given free kites.

And in answer to the question of why buy them at all, it is only because they are cheap, whatever you read, they are definitely not a patch on Naish, Cabrinha, Slingshot. and are unlikely to stand the test of time as well as those brands 2003 models.

Ask yourself how well they'd be selling if like E.H. kites they tried to start up through normal channels.

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Postby Shopguy » Sun Apr 04, 2004 2:19 am


I am not Robbie Naish so I cannot speak to what he says. He will of course be a bit biased toward a kite with his name on it.

You came right to the bottom line, who fired the first shot.
There is no doubt It was fired by Best with the :
"Retail shop bad, We good attitude"
The advertisement in Kite mags that was written to look like an editorial talking about how revolutionary thier business model was.
"buy best f*** the rest" etc etc.

This got hackels up in the industry and that is when they were asked not to attend a RETAIL SHOP SPONSORED event, which they crashed anyway.

If someone wants to be removed from your web site, remove them! Dont Cry about it. Some people do not want to be associated with Best, if they have been supported by another brand this makes sense.

These are the reasons I do not like thier way of doing business. They could have tried to come in on the merrits of the gear, but there is very little mention of it, rather its T and A and Cheap Prices. (Yes I know Sex Sells)

I dont like walmart, I dont like home Depot, I dont like American Jobs going overseas. I understand why these things happen, doesnt mean I have to like it.-

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Postby Shopguy » Sun Apr 04, 2004 2:34 am


Proprietary materials are materials that only one manufacture is allow to use. You don’t have to believe it if you choose not to.

If you don’t buy it you aren't being ripped off.

"just because your paranoid, don’t mean they aren’t watching you"

(thank you GraemeF)

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Postby Shayla » Sun Apr 04, 2004 3:48 am

Here, Here.

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