General Question

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Would sneakers be more expensive if they weren't made by slave labor?

Asked by The_Compassionate_Heretic (14611points) May 21st, 2009 from iPhone
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

14 Answers

ru2bz46's avatar

Yes. Labor is part of the cost of creating the product. The higher the labor cost, the higher the retail price.

_bob's avatar

Probably. It’d depend on their price elasticity.

Tobotron's avatar

well I know when I used to work at Puma when I was younger that they never paid more than £1–3 wholesale per pair of trainers aka sneakers…so the markup is clearly insane!

tinyfaery's avatar

No. The amount it costs to produce the shoes is miniscule compared to what they cost. Companies could pay everyone minimum wage, charge the same price, and still make a HUGE profit, just not as much. Greedy bastards.

ru2bz46's avatar

Just because they could, doesn’t mean they would. Greedy bastards.

_bob's avatar

@tinyfaery, @ru2bz46

Supply and demand, fellas. Don’t like the price, don’t buy the shoes.

ru2bz46's avatar

I don’t wear sneakers. They charge too much for them. My demand is low.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m not complaining about price, I just answered the question. I pay $45 bucks for my Chucks. That’s not much at all.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I remember paying near $100.00 for running sneakers back in the late 80’s but pay less than that now for Vans or Converse so maybe the price of sneakers is determined more by what the market is willing to shell out than by fluctuations in foreign labor?

cwilbur's avatar

The price always has more to do with what the market is willing to pay than the materials costs—but the price has to be enough to cover materials and labor.

Suppose the shoes were made by American labor instead of by foreign labor, and all other costs were the same. This would probably add at least $20 to the price of a pair of shoes. Would you pay $20 more for a pair of shoes, just because they were American made? Do you think everyone would?

dynamicduo's avatar

Well, their profit would be lowered slightly by paying minimum wage. I doubt they would actually raise the prices because that would make it clear that they were a money grubbing company and their brand would likely suffer significantly. Then again, if every company had to abandon low wage labour, they could ALL raise their prices a bit, even though there are laws against such things.

Darwin's avatar

Well, I pay 29.95 or less for my Chucks because I wait until they go on sale.

My other shoes are made in Germany. I don’t think they have slave labor there any longer. That ended I think in 1945.

Tobotron's avatar

Ultimately the final price of the item is based on what the market will bear, (I suddenly remembered my project management lol) people will think your product is rip off if your selling the same thing at a lower price even if it legit, many businesses have failed because of this undercutting…so no they wouldn’t be more expensive if they weren’t made with ‘slave labor’ but no doubt the companies would then label them as ‘fair trade sneakers’ and thus find a way to recoup their margins by selling at yet a higher price than their counterparts…its Capitalism people sad to say this is how it works.

BookReader's avatar

…i’m making an off the wall approach…NO…NO…NO…

…if we personally made the shoes and got paid a decent wage for our contribution, then not only could we buy the shoes, but we could do other stuff- like go on vacation, get a nice healthcare package, pay some overlooked bills, on and on and on…

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