We've had a lot of questions of how and why we price SnapPads the way we do. The short answer is..."it's complicated!". If you're interested in the longer answer, we provide all the details in this blog post.
Initially, $149.95 for 6 SnapPads may sound like a lot, but lets breakdown the process to see where that number comes from.
We Use High Quality, Recycled Rubber
It's important to note that tires are among the largest and most problematic sources of waste due to their volume, durability and chemical composition. In 2015, over 167.8 million tires were sold in the USA.
Once a tire has reached the end of its life, there are several options depending on its original use. Retreading, burning for fuel, or being broken down into 'rubber tire crumb' to be used as an ingredient for new product are the main options.
For SnapPads, we use recycled tire crumb to make our product. And only the highest quality tire crumb will do! Here's how that works:
- Once a tire reaches the recycling plant, it is first shredded to expose the steel and tire cord also known as fluff (yes your tires have this).
- The steel material is magnetically separated and the fluff is meticulously removed until only rubber remains.
- The crumb is repeatedly broken down until the pieces are a uniform size that can pass through a screen less than 1/4".
- When the crumb passes quality control and is confirmed as No.1 grade, it is packaged and trucked to our manufacturing plant.
Once it reaches our plant in Mishawaka, Indiana, it's again checked for quality and consistency prior to production.
We Are a Low Volume Producer
Great! We've got recycled rubber. What now?
Currently we have a single cavity SnapPad mold, which means we make every SnapPad one at a time.
We decided to keep production this way for two reasons: first, because we are a small company with a brand new, niche product, so it doesn't make sense to have a bulk manufacturing operation. And secondly, to ensure a consistent, high quality product.
The recycled rubber crumb now takes a trip through our tumbler to add the high strength resin that bonds SnapPad. The rubber itself can be thought of as a 'filler' as it can no longer be melted down to form a new product.
The thoroughly coated rubber resin mixture is then added to our preheated mold. The mold, which is over 300 degrees F, is where the magic happens: over 100+ tons of pressure is applied and 7 minutes of time passes to ensure all the resin has been fully bonded to the rubber.
Next, a worker removes and thoroughly inspects the infant SnapPad for any visible defects or inconsistencies. If it passes, the pad is then placed on a pallet to cool at room temperature for several hours.
Finally, the SnapPad is checked one more time for quality prior to packaging. There, it waits to be shipped off UPS ground to it's new owner (which currently is taking less than a day).
All Shipping Is Free
When we first started selling SnapPads, we made the decision to not charge extra for shipping to our online customers (within the continental US). This obviously creates challenges in pricing the product because shipping for SnapPads can be expensive and is not the same for every address! In fact all carriers charge a variety of fuel surcharges and residential delivery fees which we never pass on to the customer.
As such, we had to be sure our price allowed us to sell SnapPads online without extra shipping charges but also ensure we weren't losing money with every order.
The Other Stuff
On top of manufacturing and shipping, there's our other typical business expenses that have to be paid in order to make and a sell a product like SnapPad.
For instance, we needed to apply for a provisional patent in both the US and Canada before we could start selling SnapPads. Also, the development and up-keep of our online store comes with both up front and ongoing fees as well.
Plus there's the basics like packaging and taxes that all have to be taken care of too!
The raw rubber material is our base cost, however, as you can see, the majority of the price stems from the time and equipment required to breakdown, sort, filter, transport, check and produce your SnapPad.
In addition, because we are new to the market and don't produce in bulk, we don't have the sort of volume that allows us to lower the cost of production quite yet.
Finally, our decision to offer free shipping means we have to be careful not to lose money on our online orders. If our shipping costs get too large, we either have to start charging for shipping, or go out of business. Not our favourite options!
As you may know, Origen RV Accessories is a small, family-run, startup company. There were a lot of considerations when it came to our pricing model (as you can see!) and we believe we've settled on a price that allows us to grow while delivering value for all of our wonderful customers.
We are definitely aware of concerns and feedback, which is why we regularly engage in customer surveys. In our most recent survey, over 83% of our past customers agreed SnapPads provided above average value for the price they paid, which suggests we're on the right track!
As we move forward, we'll continue to look for ways to provide value to our customers, both new and existing. If you have any other questions about our pricing, please don't hesitate to contact us.