9 pages later and I see that obviously this is an interesting topic, not only for me.
But between all the noise (as usual on kiteforum) lets get down to the main discussion points here:
Inflation is justifiable up to maybe 3 percent, but not 22% (450 to 550 USD in one year)
Labour costs in China have gone up, yes, but please be real, we are talking a few percent of the total retail price. A Bar incl. lines will cost approx. 180 USD incl. material, labour and even shipping when produced at a small volume. Im not pulling numbers out of the air - if you look at what a bar costs to a distributor and at what margin he then sells it to a retailer (which btw is the same for many products except textiles - even larger marings) you can do the reverse math easily.
Just take an iphone as a comparison. A product that needs loads more R&D and high tech than a bar and is produced in China. What does it retail for now, around 650USD unsubsidised? True cost of production (not incl. R&D) was estimated around 190USD back in 2010 (http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/new
... t-usd18751) Two years later the production cost is even lower due to produced volume, improved production system, less faulty units, etc.
Of course the iphone is sold in millions and a bar is sold in maybe hundred thousands, but can you really compare R&D and material costs and tell me with a straight face, the bars are not overpriced?
How does a company like switch make a profit
Easy, because the cost of a bar is no where near what the big brands want you to believe. You dont really think they are making a loss, do you?
Make your own
Thats not the point here. What I wrote was that this affects the sport negatively since you wont expect from a newcomer to build his own bar! Start mountainbiking? Sure build your own bike first. Yeah right.
Justifiable increase due to many new features
As I wrote before, now a selling point is "durable plastic" instead of aluminium or similar metals, effectively bringing down production cost. Thats the new feature you are paying for... errr wait a second, how does that work as a plus for the consumer here?!?
So then, are you willing to pay 620 USD for 2014 bars? Thats what we are looking at right now if the trend keeps up.