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Posted by on Sep 22, 2009 in Business Development | 0 comments

Why a $18 Shoe is Worth More Than a $200 Shoe

Searching for a new pair of pants at Urban Outfitters, I found myself buying a new pair of shoes instead. I bought the cheapest shoes in the store. They smelled like chemicals and looked like Keds, so why buy them?

I am somewhat of a shoe aficionado. I have a $200 pair of Campers in my closet beside my $18 UO Ked look-alikes. I’ve worn my Campers about four times in the past year. I wear my $18 Urban Outfitter shoes almost every day. Though they smell like chemicals, I’m not scared to wear them. I know that if the canvas rips, I can have another pair shipped to my house in the next couple of days. My $200 pair, however, well… if even a scratch marks the leather, I’d be devastated. I get $200 out of my $18 shoes, whereas just the opposite is true for my $200 pair of shoes.

Interested in buying the same shoe in a different color (maybe blue…), I went to UrbanOutfitters.com. Navigating through the hundreds of shoes takes too much time, so I chose the “most reviewed” filter. Out of the hundreds of shoes, there were my $18 Ked look-alikes at the top of the page. I don’t know how many pairs UO sells of the $18 shoes, but people like talking about them.

I too, like to talk about them. When I see some of my friends, I might try to slip my cheap-looking shoes into the conversation.

Yes, pricing probably has something to do with the reviews, but the fact that they are different is what makes them worth talking about. They stink, they are flimsy and they kind of hurt your feet. The actual materials and labor are worth $18, but the feeling of wearing them makes you want to tell someone or write about it.

The UO shoes are worth talking about because they are different, while accessible. Asics are amazing shoes (I’ve had mine for over three years), but no one wants to talk about them. They don’t dare to be different. It’s the $18 stinky shoes that make people to talk. You don’t need to be flashy or expensive to make a buzz; you need to be different and accessible.

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