I have blogged before about being a fan of Tecovas Boots. This company stormed on the boot retail market in 2015 by contracting production of cowboy boots in Leon, Mexico, using slack bootmaking capacity abundant in the Bootmaking Capital of North America. Instead of operating…
…brick-and-mortar stores, or contracting with other boot retailers who would apply a significant mark-up in pricing, Tecovas sells directly to the consumer via a very well-designed website and back-end retail operation.
You can find high-quality commercially-made boots using five skins: calfskin leather, suede (roughout side of leather), teju lizard, ostrich, and caiman. Their consumer pricing ranges from 25% to 40% less than boots made by equivalent processes and production standards.
All well and good, and I was a fan of Tecovas’ business model, UNTIL they promoted non-boot products whose pricing is high and in one case, absolutely ridiculous.
Jeans: at $125/pair for denim jeans, the pricing is high. The pricing is high because while the denim is imported from Italy, the jeans are cut and sewn in the USA, and the company is paying a fair wage. Okay, I can live with that — and understand the price point decision.
Bags: Tecovas began offering leather duffle (carry-on) bags a couple years ago. With pricing from US$300 to $400, the bags are outside my willingness to pay. I really don’t need a leather duffle bag. A similarly-styled heavy-weight canvas bag with lots of pockets and storage from LA Police Gear at 1/3 the cost is actually better.
As a seasoned travel warrior, I never check luggage when I fly; it’s carry-on or don’t bring it. Fortunately as a guy who does not need to wear suits or dress clothes when he travels, a canvas carry-on is perfect to store wrinkle-free pants, shirts, underwear, socks, toiletries, and a pair or two of boots. Pockets galore keep me organized.
“What are they smoking?” category (i.e., “ridiculous department”): in late February 2019, Tecovas began selling a simple boot jack. You know, the thing you have on the floor to use to pull off your boots at the end of the day, or when changing clothes. I use a boot jack every day, often several times a day.
I probably own a half-dozen boot jacks, collected over time, such as the one pictured here (nabbed from Shepler’s website on March 5, 2019 — current pricing). I can’t remember paying more than $10 for a boot jack. Sturdy, well-built of wood, these things last a long time. And since you only use a boot jack in the bedroom (or in my case, my boot closet), a designer fancy-shmancy boot jack is, well, unnecessary to say the least.
So when Tecovas sent me a marketing email promoting their brand of boot jack, I “bit.” I opened the email and followed the link to their website. Then, my jaw dropped:I actually wrote to Tecovas and said, “You work so hard to make well-constructed boots affordable, yet the price point of $95 for a boot jack is ridiculous. This pricing is inconsistent with your company’s affordable-pricing marketing.”
No comment (yet) from the company. They’re probably sobering up (giggle.)
Life is short: know and appreciate value when you see it, and also know non-sensical pricing when there is no value at all.