Are Jungle Pants a Rip Off? November 06, 2015
I’ve launched EyeGee’s Jungle Pants online a bit less than a year ago. Mostly, your feedback has been great. Many times I felt humbled and overwhelmed by how people responded.
But recently, there’s been an increase of negative comments. Not from customers but from people who see my paid adverts on Facebook. Is it because I’ve changed my ad targeting? Is it the moon? Or maybe life just wanted me to write this post…
Here are some of those comments:
“These are just like Thai fisherman pants. Nothing new, been around for years.”
“Pants like these cost 4$ on a good day in Thailand.”
“Just like Thai fisherman pants, they are great and I have been wearing them for years. They cost around 5 to 10 dollars. These must be Australian made, right?”
“I just bought 6 pair of pants just like these in Siem Reap Cambodia for 15 bucks at the local market”
So, let’s start…
Saying that Jungle Pants are “just like” fisherman pants is a bit like saying that Levis is “just like” jeans or a Toyota is “just like” a car. I’ve never claimed that this was my original design. The information about the origin of Thai pants has been on my info page all along.
And yes, you can get Thai pants at a local market for 3 or 4 bucks. Even less if they’re made out of rayon. The truth is, I can’t compete with the guy at the market. Nor do I try to.
He buys those pants in bulk, and then resells them with a tiny margin. He doesn’t have to worry about web design, hosting, bandwidth, credit card commissions, transfer fees, and a whole bunch of other costs involved with running an online business. That same guy would be charging triple if he was selling those pants online.
More importantly, what they sell at those markets is simply not the same product. I don’t just buy a large quantity of fisherman pants and resell them for a large profit.
Jungle Pants are made exclusively for me, in small production series. Dying, printing, sewing… I use the best suppliers that I can find, and I pay them more than what they normally charge.
One reason I do that is to get the best quality they can produce. Another reason is that I’d like to move closer to the idea of “fair trade”, and make sure that no one in my supply chain is taken advantage of.
And then there's the "personal touch".
Just painting the logo takes me about 20 minutes on average. I inspect every pair of pants, clean any loose pieces of string or dust, and fold them nicely. Any business consultant would tell you that’s just not how you do things if you want to make things “scalable”.
Well, the very reason I left the corporate world is to get away from that kind of mentality.
What drives me is offering a nice product and developing a meaningful brand. Not “maximizing profit”. I used to make as much money in a single day working in IT consulting as I now make in two weeks, and that’s when I’m doing well. And I’m not complaining. I love my life. I hope I never have to go back. But I don’t do this to get rich.
And one last point…
There's more to physical objects than just their functional value; they are more than just things. They are also symbols. They embody certain values, perceptions, and emotions.
What I’m trying to do with my brand is inspire people to be healthier, spend more time outdoors, be in tune with nature and their own core. Some people will recognize that message and will resonate with it, others won’t. That’s fine. Some are going to prefer the generic fisherman pants sold on Ebay and Alibaba. That’s fine, too.
So, are Jungle Pants worth the price?
I sincerely believe that they are. But ultimately, it's the market that will decide. What really matters is what you think.
So I’d like to hear from you.
Do you agree or disagree? And those of you who own my pants… Please, tell me… Are they worth it or not? I want your honest opinion.
Please comment on EJP Facebook page.