Fact Check: Has Balance Athletica been Increasing Its Prices?
Hello my lovelies!!
Hope everyone is having a wonderful mid-week! Today I’ll be diving into one of the discussions regarding one of our favorite (sometimes?...when they have enough stocks), instagram influencer brands: Balance Athletica. For a quick tl:dr for anyone who isn’t familiar with Balance Athletica (BA), BA was founded by Taylor Chamberlain-Dilk, an instagrammer, youtuber, and bikini competitor in 2018.
They dropped their first in July 27th 2018, and has since released a whopping 11 collections, with a 12th (the Kingdom Collection 3.0!) on the way in a week and a half on July 27th, 2020, exactly two years from their founding. BA has experienced incredible growth, consistently selling out many of their collections (anyone remember the terrifying of an Oasis launch?), but with their most recent launch, many are questioning whether the price of Balance Athletica is really worth the price, and believe that BA has been upping their prices of the past two years.
Being the data-obsessed mind that I am, I wanted to get the facts to support the hypothesis: Has Balance Athletica really been increasing its prices over the years?
Personally, I’ve always found BA to be more expensive than I really wanted to pay for a pair of leggings...my limit is usually around $50-60, unless I’m buying a pair of Lululemon’s that I’ll literally wear forever, whereas BA usually prices its leggings around the $70-$80 range. But for the sake of science! I’ve gathered all the prices for the women’s launches from their instagram stories, and for their older collections, stalking youtube reviews, and had some interesting findings on how Balance Athletica has been pricing their items.
First, I grouped all of their items into 6 subtypes: leggings, tops, bras, shorts, jackets and joggers. For each of these categories, I averaged the price of all the items in a subtype for each launch, and plotted the averages in the graph you see below. (e.g. In the Kingdom collection, they released the ascend pant for $75 and the og pant for $70, so the average plotted for leggings for the Kingdom collection would be $72.5).
Figure 1: Average Price per SubType over Time
Figure 2: Average Price Trends per SubType over Time
Both these graphs represent the same data, one with smoothed out trend lines, and the other with the exact averages. You can see when looking at Figure 1, that the prices of Jackets have fluctuated wildly across releases, with leggings bouncing between $70 and $75 up until the most recent releases.
When looking at the overall trend lines in Figure 2, interesting patterns emerge, but it is clear that the price of leggings has been increasing since their initial launch, whereas joggers have actually decreased in price (Select joggers used to be $85, now they are consistently $80), but shorts have continued an upward trend in price since they were first released in the Harmony collection.
I know that Balance Athletica has had repeated several items over their releases (they almost always release the OG Pant), so I wanted to see if particular items, not just their general subtypes, had increased in price. If they did, it makes very little sense to increase the price of a style that you’ve already released...unless you simply want to make more money. So, without a further ado, let’s take a closer look at the data!
Some leggings have only been released once so far, such as the Lux Pant (coming out as part of the Kingdom Collection 3.0), the Energy Pant, which was released as part of the Quartz collection, and the Select Pant, which was released as part of the Oasis Collection. However, there are some staples that we can see an increase in pricing: The OG Pant and Ascend Pant. Both of these pairs of leggings have undergone a $5 increase.
Taylor originally stated that the reason for increasing the price of the Oasis collection OG pant was that they were individually hand-dying each of the leggings to achieve the tie-dye effect. However, previously, in their Aura collection, Tie Dye OG leggings which were hand-dyed were also released, but with the price of $70 instead of $75.
As for the Ascend Pant, which they increased from $75 to $80 with this latest launch, I’m personally unclear why they would have increased the price, they are re-releasing patterns that they made before, so there isn’t as much work to do with design as they normally would with an all-new collection, and the material of the Ascend Pant isn’t changing, so there doesn’t seem to be a good excuse for the price increase.
Now for the shorts, Balance Athletica’s history with shorts is much shorter than their history with leggings, with the first shorts released in August 2019, and their most recent release to be the upcoming Kingdom 3.0 collection. As aforementioned, the general trend of the shorts pricing has been on the up-and-up, but you can see clearly above that even items that they’ve re-released with different patterns have been going up in price.
The Breeze Short and the OG Short increased in price from their original launch in the Harmony collection. The Breeze short went from $53 to $58, and the OG Short went from $53 to $55. Once again, the reasoning for the OG short increasing in price for the Oasis collection was the tie-dye nature, but I’m still skeptical. As for the Breeze short, I see no reason for the $5 increase as both releases were solid-color shorts.
Another notable increase is that between the Oasis and Kingdom 3.0, which, mind you, is only a span of 2 and half months, the price of the Rider short has increased from $58 to $60. It’s only an increase of $2, but once again...if the reasoning for the Rider and OG shorts to be priced higher because of the tie-dye nature of the fabric, why would a solid print that is easier to manufacture also be up-charged?
As for the new Rider Short Lux, they are making it out of a new fabric, with three-dimensional detailing in the pattern, so I’ll give them a pass for their price of $65, but I still find it pretty expensive for a pair of shorts. For context, you can get a pair of Lululemon shorts for roughly the same price, they usually retail around $58.
As for shirts, BA hasn’t re-released any of their shirts, so there isn’t any trend-line to look at, but if we generally look at this graph, it seems like Balance Athletica has remained pretty stable with their shirt release prices. However, something to note is that not all shirts are made equal, and they have different styling. For example, the Muse Tee is a straight-forward cropped t-shirt, whereas the Vista Top was a long-sleeve. I’ve never found myself particularly compelled to Balance Athletica shirts though, as they all seem to be straightforward designs, so it all depends on whether you think shelling out $40 to $55 for a basic tee/tank is worth it.
As for bra’s there haven’t been too many re-releases, but you can tell that the re-releases that they have done, like the Form Bra and Define Top have trended towards increasing in price by roughly $2 each. BA bras as of late do seem to come out to around $48 on average, with the Revive Bra having the most notable jump in price, from $48 to $52 between the Aura 2.0 and upcoming Kingdom 3.0 collection.
Jackets and Joggers
As for the remaining two categories, the only BA joggers released for women have been the Select Joggers, that have been the only BA product that has actually decreased in price, from $85 to $80, which you can see in Figure 1.
As for jackets and other outerwear, they vary widely in price, but the jackets that they have re-released, like the Essence Crew, Elevate Zip Crop and Elevate Zip Full have remained consistent over time.
So, what is the conclusion? Has Balance really be upping their prices? I would have to say YES, they have been steadily increasing prices by $2 - $5 each re-release of an old item. Is this ideal? I’m not one to bash on anyone’s business strategy and I don't know what additional costs they now have (larger warehouses, more employees...)so I leave it up to everyone if they are ok with the price adjustments of BA’s team, or not.
But, in terms of purely confirming or denying the claims that BA has been increasing its prices, I would rule them confirmed!
I hope this post was entertaining, it certainly was for me, especially given the amount of comments I've seen regarding Balance Athletica pricing, and I love data...so I really couldn't help myself in making this post!
If you find yourself struggling to pay those BA prices, check out this post, on dupes for BA:
and to keep checking back on the Amazon/AliExpress Dupe Lists:
Happy Hunting! Happy Shopping! Happy Saving!