GRE Argument Essay 102

The following appeared in a memo from the new vice president of Sartorian, a company that manufactures men’s clothing.

“Five years ago, at a time when we had difficulties in obtaining reliable supplies of high-quality wool fabric, we discontinued production of our deluxe alpaca overcoats. Now that we have a new fabric supplier, we should resume production. This coat should sell very well: since we have not offered an alpaca overcoat for five years and since our major competitor no longer makes an alpaca overcoat, there will be pent-up customer demand. Also, since the price of most types of clothing has risen in each of the past five years, customers should be willing to pay significantly higher prices for alpaca overcoats than they did five years ago, and our company profits will increase.”

The vice president of a clothing manufacturing company asserts that they should resume the production of their deluxe alpaca coats, the production of which had been discontinued five years ago due to the non-availability of high quality wool fabric. The availability of a new fabric supplier is cited as the reason for this recommencement of production. The arguer utilizes two assumptions to conclude that the coats will sell very well in the market. The first assumption is that there would be a pent-up customer demand for alpaca coats in the market as neither they nor their major competitor has provided alpaca coats in the market in the recent past. The second assumption is that the customers would be willing to pay higher prices for alpaca coats as there has been a rise in the prices of clothing in the last five years. Despite the assumptions made by the arguer, the argument is fallacious in several respects.

The argument has been rendered weak due to unavailability of information related to the fabric supplier. As long as the cost and quality of the fabric being supplied by this supplier is not known, it would be erroneous to assume that the alpaca coats made from the material supplied by this fabric supplier would be of a good quality. Additionally, it is possible that the quality of the material being supplied would be good, but the supplier may not be able to meet the requirements of the company leading to problems during the production of the alpaca coats. Even if the supplier is able to meet the requirements of the company, there is no mention of the credentials of the supplier related to his trustworthiness and adherence to deadlines. Therefore, the contention that the production of alpaca coats can be resumed just because the company has found a new fabric supplier is largely fallacious.

The assumption that there would be a pent-up demand for alpaca coats in the market is inadequately supported by the evidence that has been provided by the arguer. It is likely that the production of alpaca coats had been stopped because they were no longer in demand and this would also explain why Sartorian’s major competitor has not produced alpaca coats in the past. Moreover, it is likely that alpaca coats have been replaced in the market by coats that are cheap, but of a better quality. Furthermore, it may be possible that alpaca coats are no longer in vogue and hence, there is a diminished demand for them in the market. Therefore, the assumption that there would be a pent-up demand for alpaca coats in the market could not be substantiated by the arguer due to lack of credible evidence in its support.

Finally, the assumption that people would be willing to pay a higher price for the alpaca coats is grossly unconvincing despite the fact that the prices of clothing are on the rise. In the past five years, it is likely that the people have got used to buying and using a different style of coat. The alpaca coats will have to face stiff opposition from such coats which would be having strong consumer support. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that people will discontinue the use of popular coats and spend a high amount in trying out the alpaca coats. Moreover, if the production of alpaca coats had been discontinued five years ago due to lack of consumer demand, then it is unlikely that this demand will rise overnight and that the people would be willing to buy these coats at a high price. Additionally, if the cost of the wool being supplied is very high, it is unlikely that the company would be able to accrue high profits from the sales of alpaca coats. Therefore, the assumption that the company will be able to rake in high profits from the sale of alpaca coats is unjustifiable.

In view of the above, it is evident that the argument is unpersuasive in its present form due to lack of substantial evidence that proves beyond doubt that the production of alpaca coats would indeed be a profitable venture for Sartorian.