The Myth and Reality of Why a Product Costs What It Does

I’ve had customers write to me and post comments in forums referring to the MudSling rear fender saying “it took me a while to decide to pay £126.00 for a ‘bit of plastic’ when I bought my first MudSling. Certainly, the material can’t cost more than a few dollars.”

Why does a MudSling cost what it does, or any product for that matter?  For the customer not familiar with what goes into developing a product, a bit of education about what it takes to bring any product to market will put the selling price into perspective.

The price of a product reflects the cost of many things unseen by the consumer –  the months it took to conceive of and develop it, the trial and error of multiple prototypes made in the course of getting it to fit and look right;  the cost of  tooling and parts molding. Add to that the cost of fasteners, product identification, instructions design, packaging, advertising, and the cost of transport from the factory to us and distributors. The quantities in which it is produced also affects the price. The population of bikes in use, even for a popular model like the 1200GS, is relatively small and not everyone will want one either. Therefore, the quantity of an item that is made in each production run must be limited so as not to create excessive inventory over a long period of time. The price you pay factors in all the above plus a reasonable profit margin for dealers and the profit we need to make in order for the effort to have been worthwhile in the first place.

In short, riders derive a value from the design of  a product like the MudSling because it solves a problem identified by thousands of riders – the need to protect suspension and surrounding components from mud and rock, soiling and damage.  What you pay for the product is not the material from which it is formed, but the problem solving creativity and the months of effort spent by many people all along the development, production, and distribution process to bring the product to market and, eventually, to you and your bike. That is worth a lot more than a few dollars.When you buy a MudSling or any other product that suits your needs, feel good about supporting the team that brought it to you and know that it helps foster new products from which you can benefit in the future.

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