Closeup of a Thai Tailor taking waist measurement

Sticker shock, and the Thai Tailor

Anyone who knows me well will know that a spur of the moment decision to fly to Thailand to catch up with one of my life long friends changed my life for the better. 

If you’ve been to Thailand you will agree that it’s a wonderfull place, a completely different culture, full of delightful surprises, great food, and ‘interesting’ encounters. I’d been travelling a lot at the time but mostly for work, this time was for myself, I needed a circuit breaker for a mental state that came with corporate burnout, and frankly from living in Sydney.

What has all this to do with sticker shock and Thai Tailors? I’m glad you asked.

On my first, spur of the moment, trip to Thailand beneath the bungalows where I was staying there was a Tailor shop. The kind of Tailor Shop you see all over the tourist areas of Thailand, in this case Phuket. 

In the window was a sign that read three shirts and a jacket for only $AU 100.00 (I can’t remember the exact Thai Baht pice so let’s use AUD equivalents and an approximate price for the sake of the story). 

At the time I was working in corporate IT, Managed Services, wearing suits to work, and enjoying it. I had a thing for Kenzo suits and Herringbone shirts. I loved the cut, the feel of the fabric, and I felt good wearing them, or at least it alleviated the 24×7 imposter syndrome that came with IT Management positions. So the idea that I could get three tailor made shirts and a jacket for a hundred bucks was appealing. 

I came back to Thailand a few weeks later for a longer trip. I brought a favourite jacket with me to use as a template. I went to see the Tailor to get measured up for my three shirts and a jacket. 

There were lots of measurements, the process was fun, we spent time picking out fabrics and colours then the time came to place the order and pay. That will be $AU 300 said the Thai Taylor.

What? Instant sticker shock. I mentioned the sign in the window. The Thai Taylor looked at me with a glint in his eye and said ‘oh, that, that’s just the sign in the window’.

I was a little miffed but it was not like I couldn’t afford it, I went ahead with it and it was still a good outcome. I got what I paid for, what was missing was the value (or perceived value) of paying for a brand like Kenzo and the quality that comes with it.

I’m reminded of this story often, especially when it comes to Website design and Online Marketing, and in Facebook and Instagram advertising. Offers that seem too good to be true, things like pay us nothing until your achieve your goal and the like.

Beware of the sign in the window.

About The Author