As a person is greeted “by clothes”, a product is also characterized primarily by its price. What principles do we follow when buying a more expensive thing when there is a choice with inexpensive options?
- we want to receive a high-quality product with advantages;
- We hope that the thing is reliable and will last longer;
- we satisfy prestige, comfort, compliance with the status;
- buy as a gift that should not disappoint;
- the product has the desired characteristics to perform a special purpose.
The price of the same type of kitchen knives for sale in the marketplace can vary by 1000 times! (wb.ru “universal kitchen knife” price, ₽ from 89 to 91284) Is the same knife, which is so much more expensive, 1000 times better? Few categories of goods with such a range of prices!
In the emerging market, to which the Russian “international” belongs, sellers can be cunning, giving out frank cheap stuff for the likeness of a high-class product. If we talk about knives, please pay attention to their descriptions. It is beneficial for some people not to indicate specific characteristics, for example, steel grade, cutting edge hardness, sharpening level, names of polymeric materials. A lot of knives of Sino-European origin have Japanese names, and even the corresponding appearance, while enticing prices are 2-10 times cheaper than the originals. Real high-quality products do not require bright advertising, promotions and discounts, they have their own stable price and an open list of characteristics that guarantee certain consumer properties.
In Japan, by now, the market for knife products has long been formed, since it is historically based on traditional craft experience, passed down from generation to generation since the Middle Ages. In a small island country, there are about seventy enterprises that mass-produce knives for various purposes, most of which, of course, are kitchen knives. Large Japanese manufacturers have taken a strong position, already competing in the world market with a growing volume of exports. Will they, in conditions of such high competition, unreasonably raise prices for products? On the contrary, brands compete in the technological field in the field of mass consumer demand, reducing the cost of knives without losing the required level of quality. Therefore, the original prices of Japanese manufacturers are always reasonable and accurately calculated to increase availability. These brands value their reputation and will not wishful thinking, they make exhaustive descriptions of real functional characteristics, they take on extended warranties.
The price of a kitchen knife consists of:
- the cost of materials;
- remuneration of specialists;
- energy costs, depreciation;
- supplier’s markup.
In Japan, the internal reserves of iron ores have already been developed, all the necessary volume is imported and processed domestically, and the costs are compensated by high-tech steel production. Standard common alloys are AUS-8, AUS-10, VG-10, SK-5, SUS420. Laminated blades combine the properties of different steel grades, but require additional technological operations in the manufacture of the workpiece, and therefore are more expensive. In total, there are eight main stages in the knife production technology with their own details, limitations and equipment. The wages of the craftsmen are high, but it is covered by the efficiency of the staff, energy consumption, a well-established production system and compressed logistics. The marginal markup of producers in Japan is strictly limited and stable due to the patriarchal principles of the economy. The trade margin of a supplier depends on its representative status, method of sale, branch network and involved logistics schemes. TOJIRO is the official representative of Japanese brands and pursues their goals to increase the availability of products, therefore, makes a minimum trade margin.
On Wildberries, taking into account discounts, some models are sold cheaper than on tojiro.ru. In the TOJIRO store section, you can also see similar kitchen knives of Japanese brands with completely different prices. Here, for example, is a utility knife: the cheapest Fuji Cutlery = 1474 ₽, and the most expensive TOJIRO Flash FF-UT150 = 23132 ₽ ー the price is 15 times more! Why are they so different? The Fuji Cutlery TJ-14 station wagon has a 135 mm long blade made of SK-5 single-layer carbon steel, an inexpensive standard grade, which, nevertheless, allows hardening to a hardness of 57-58 HRC, and edge sharpening #3000, that is, for the minimum-optimal cutting ability according to the Japanese quality standard. At the same time, the main disadvantage of carbon steel is its lack of protection against corrosion. Knife handle of a simple shape, made of solid polypropylene, fastened with two rivets.
The TOJIRO FF-UT150 station wagon from the Flash series has a 150 mm blade ー functionally essential, but not essential. Its main difference is in the steel composition: the cutting edge is made of high-strength carbon alloy steel VG-10, and the outer lining is made of 37-layer corrosion-resistant Damascus. The result is a blade that has a charming appearance with a custom puff steel pattern and the highest cutting ability of a high-hardness edge of 62 HRC with a #10000 sharpening! The expressive handle has the strongest all-metal frame that will never break off the blade, and an equally reliable composite material frame with an ergonomic shape for a perfect grip. Here is the substantiation of the high cost: it is not a shame to present such a knife; functional advantage for professional versatile work; reliable design; beautiful design prestigious performance ー high quality is worth the money.
What is the price of Japanese kitchen knives? Different, but justified by the corresponding quality of execution. The choice is yours, buyer!