January 28
Price Reductions on Showpieces

GKPI is rolling back prices by 25% to 40% on some of our largest tubes, artful lifters, and line laundry. This is not a temporary sale, it is an outright reduction. We thought we'd alert our Update readers first and also explain a bit about how this came about. (BTW- if you've bought one of these products in the past 60 days, call us and we'll give you a credit for the difference.)

Big Tube Tails - 60 and 100 foot - reduced 25%.

Here's a quick retail-economics lesson: Once we know what it costs us to make a product, we determine a wholesale price that allows us to make a bit when we sell to a store. The wholesale price basically determines the retail price as stores add in operating costs and some well-deserved profit of their own.

Shannon Foils in six different designs.

The problem is that with a couple of layers of mark-up, some products end up getting priced higher than folks like you are willing to pay. Stores don't buy them because they can't sell them at the higher retail price. But if we discount these pieces on our site, then the stores feel we are unfairly undercutting them. What to do??

Giant Streamer Flag - A HUGE 10 x 100 feet.

We've decided to shift a number of our more expensive items into an exclusive "Custom Division". That means that stores won't be carrying them which is ok for you because those stores haven't been offering them anyway. But by taking them out of the wholesale program, we can cut prices by about a third. Most items will be made-to-order rather than kept in inventory. And we'll still offer the stores a slight discount in case they need something for their beach show.

Rotating Laundry

Why do our prices sometimes seem higher than the mass produced kites from the big manufacturers? One obvious answer is volume. With GKPI, you are buying a limited-edition, individually-crafted kite, not a mass-produced factory unit.

But the big picture is more subtle than that. First, we pay our designers the highest commission in the industry -- because they deserve it. Second, we do custom work and deliver custom colors - at no added charge - in just two weeks. Even on our standard designs, you get an exclusive product that is made in limited numbers. And third, we're paying for an education program and travel to a lot of festivals to research new designs, preach safety, and show you how to manage your own flying better.

85 Square Foot Lifter in five different sail patterns.

Prestige products and limited edition runs are more expensive to make.

Let me put that another way. Have you bought a wedding dress lately?? Think it contains less fabric or less detail work than a 25 foot Gecko?? Think it is less dangerous than a big kite?? Well, maybe it is. But my point is that individually-crafted, limited edition stuff is more expensive...

Bouncing Baskets and Parachutes

The competitive marketplace has its quirks. As big firms move into the 'serious kite' market, we're forced to make changes in pricing and strategy. That's fine.

We have a good working relationship with most of the larger manufacturers. We admire what they do, respect their business ethic, and appreciate their contributions to the kite community. And they are the ones drawing beginners to the sport with entry-level products.

Of course, there are occasional exceptions. We don't like being copied outright. Our friends at one big company just introduced a product called the "bouncing ball" which is essentially the same size, shape, and design as our beach balls. And it is the same price too. But they aren't paying a commission to our designer. So maybe our stuff isn't so expensive after all...

Inflatable Elephants, Bears, Pigs, and Mice

The bottom line is that things are going well at Gomberg Kite Productions but we're working hard to keep them that way. Small companies can be more flexible and more responsive to the market. Like we said last week, we have the privilege of setting trends. So continue to look for innovative designs, new approaches, and guaranteed customer satisfaction when you call or email us.

Thanks for contributing to our success.

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