The economy is weird. Regular people with money pay 120$ for a pair of athletic shoes and 30$ for a shirt. The cost of materials and manufacturing is around 1/12-1/15 of the final retail amount. Now that I am an insider, I still shake my head sometimes at people who are willing to pay such exorbitant amounts for athletic goods. Though my conscience tells me that they are being ripped off, my job is dependent on the fact that people with high discretionary income (and some without) are willing to spend that money.
I don't pay for a lot of things. I get tons of stuff for free--and if I want to buy something I can always get it for cheap. Companies love it when you test out their stuff so you can tell regular people how great it is.
Even though I don't make a whole lot of money, the free stuff sure helps since it would be stuff I would spend my money on anyways if I had a different job. Let's just say it adds up to 2k a year worth of stuff.