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Where is National getting their CSP pricing scheme

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  • Where is National getting their CSP pricing scheme

    How does BSA National come-up with their current Council Shoulder Patch (CSP) pricing scheme? (Crests to my Canadian Scouting friends)

    Why am I asking? Cause the price of Maines two CSPs have gone through the roof in the past year compared to years before. Pine Tree Councils CSP is fully embroidered and costs $4.50. Katahdin Area Councils CSP is NOT fully embroidered $5.45more than the PTC one!

    These are two of the most expensive CSPs in the council scout shop, which is run by national. Some of the others run as low as $2.50.

    I have also spoken to a local store that is an authorized BSA supplier and has PTC & KAC CSPs on hand. They, too, are not pleased with the sudden spike in CSP prices and have seen their scouting business drop-off. Apparently, Im not the only CSP trader who is not happy with the spike in prices.

    So, where is National coming up with their pricing scheme? Theres no logic here. Why do I think that?

    Heres a quick example. If you go to Stadri Patches, an authorized BSA supplier, they post right on their website what they charge scout groups to have patches made:

    Prices are based on the average size of the patch. Thats found by measuring the width, adding the height and dividing by two. Your average CSP is roughly 5 inches by 2 inches. 5 + 2 = 7, 7 / 2 = 3.5 inches.

    For simplicity sake, lets assume the prices posted are the prices BSA National pays. They might receive a discount for all I knowand if they pay more than theyre not doing their homework nor putting the request out to bid to several authorized embroidery companies. Lets assume they only order 300 at a time (most likely they order more). Looking at the chart, it costs them $1.05 per patch to make-up 300 Katahdin Area Council CSP and $1.15 to make-up 300 Pine Tree Council CSP. Thats a pretty hefty mark-up from national on these two: $3.35 for the PTC and $4.30 for the KAC.

    Since a Scout is suppose to be Thrifty, I guess Im done CSP trading for a while. I cant afford to spend that kind of money to what seems like lining the pockets of National.

    I welcome any insight on the logic (or illogic) of Nationals CSP pricing scheme.

  • #2
    Same people who decided to jack the price on the new neckerchiefs? I'm not talking about special issue, the regular styles, these should be able to be produced at the same price or cheaper than a CSP.


    • #3
      Wow, our CSP has been $6.50 and up since 2006...


      • #4
        jhankins and prairie,

        It's not so much that they've gone up in price, which seems to be the greedy norm for National lately. It's the lack of logic in how they went up in price. Both were $3.50 each just 18 months ago, the last time I bought some for trading. PTC's went through a design change at that time--the lighthouse now looks like Portland Headlight rather than just a black blob. KAC's hasn't changed in over 20 years.

        What I don't understand is that since a 100% embroidered patch costs slightly more to make then one that isn't 100% embroidered (again, for an example, see the price chart on Stadri's website), why is it that after they raised the prices on these two, it's the non-100% embroidered one that costs more? You'd think they'd use a straight mark-up on everything instead of a random amount. In the examples I gave, the mark-up on the PTC (100% embroidered) is roughly 300% while KAC's is roughly 400% over initial cost. You'd think both should be marked-up the same amount.

        Also wouldn't be easier in their pricing catalog to have two prices set for CSPs? One price for those not 100% embroidered and a slightly higher price for fully embroidered?

        (shrug) As I said in my original post, I don't understand their pricing scheme.


        • #5
          Just an idea ... are CSP prices set by the councils, not national? That certainly could explain the wide variance.


          • #6
            Another idea, some of those CSPs get sent to other national operated shops, ours has CSPs from all over, I'd rather see them from abutting councils. Maybe when they make ten times as many as a council can use it drives the cost low enough? Also guarantees that patch will have zilch collector interest.


            • #7
              If memory serves, CSPs are priced by the council. Been a while since I worked supply, but I beleive that is how it is done.

              Also a council can restrict CSPs as to who can sell them, again if memory serves. I know of 1 council that did not allow national to sell them, and I believe the scout shop bought them from the council to sell.


              • #8
                I think the biggest change in price in the last few years is the beloved National BSA licensing scheme. Companies are now having to pay thousands of dollars to become current with BSA to make products, and the production lines are passing on that annual cost to the consumer.


                • #9
                  ...make me remember fondly the old red/white city and state strips


                  • #10
                    I know that our current CSP is different from those that are available from national. They were also made by Raven and Assoc. I went into a council shop in upstate NY and got two from them. I was telling him that I should send him a trade for one of our new CSP's. He said why when I can just order them from national. I threw him for a loop when I told him that he could not get ours from national bc it was made elsewear. Maybe I will get back with him and talk trades. He also has some from a council that is no longer around. I may try to get some more of those.


                    • #11
                      While National Supply is probably the most expensive place to purchase supplies, your Council must be adding to the price so that they can make a share of the profit. Other than uniforms, literature, and standard patches (rank, merit badge, patrol emblems), my Council does not use National Supply division. Too expensive and rarely deliver on time.

                      The National licensing protocol is the biggest scam the BSA has run in a while. Every patch purchased from a licensed vendor by a local Council has a 9% fee added to it. That money is paid to National by the vendor. If a local Council chooses to go with unlicensed vendors, they can reduce their costs by 9%.

                      I'd suggest that you find the person that orders for your Council and have a conversation about using other vendors. You'll probably get a better product for cheaper.


                      • #12

                        Our council no longer has their own shop. They sold-out to National, so no choice and no way to convince them to do as you suggested. Again, my complaint is National's lack of rhyme and reason in their pricing scheme--why does a 100% embroidered patch that costs more to make cost less retail than one that isn't 100% embroidered?

                        I need to get up to Orono to the Katahdin Council Office, whose scout-shop is not nationally-run, and see if they charge $5.45 for a Katahdin CSP like the nationally run shop in my council or if it's actually less.


                        • #13
                          Again if memory serves, the local council decides the actual cost of their CSP, regardless of where it is sold. So ifa council picks $5, national sells it for $5. Also a council can restrict who sells it, i.e. with in geographical borders to ditributors, council office only, etc. Some councils refuse to allow national to sell their CSPs.