I'm very upset. Let me tell you why.

I'm mainly a home audio person; however, whenever someone in the family gets a new car its customary to at least replace the factory system with better aftermarket stuff. Anyway, my sister totalled her little Honda and so we took the stereo and speakers out before it went off to the junkyard. Well, in my haste, I forgot to take the wiring harness out that went with the CD player. Not the wiring harness adaptor, but the little device that plugs directly into the back of the unit. Anyway, upon realizing this all to late, I had to go get another. The dealer I bought it from said that I needed to contact the manufacturer since they didn't carry that part. I called up Clarion and they informed me that this little part, that was nothing more than 16 color coded 18 to 22 gauge wires terminated to a piece of plastic with thier own pins, was going to cost me $17.95 plus $7.95 shipping and handling. Personnaly, I was expecting $10 at the most, if not free. I've had driver stage vacuum tubes go bad in my tube amp and the manufacturer sent me one free of charge. And when they sent me the wrong one, they sent another one free of charge. Given the cost of materials for that little harness I was bit upset since I felt I had no choice and ultimately ordered the stupid thing. After ordering I decided to call up one of the local dealers to see what they could do, although I doubted they would be able to help any. The little punk kid who answered the phone put me on hold for a minute or so and then came back and informed me that "they didn't have them in stock, but could get me one for about $50." FIFTY DOLLARS FOR A F#!@*&$ HARNESS that's got less than a quarters worth of wire and a chunk of plastic that surely, no matter how elaborate the production method, couldn't cost more than a dollar. And furthermore, I don't see how a piece of plastic and wires that weigh less than 2oz could cost $8 to ship. The only reason I'm upset is because it seems like someone is marking things up ridicously to take advantage of people in specific situations. Anyway, that's what I'm upset over. Maybe its nothing and I should go do something else, but I'm still not very happy over it. I don't consider myself cheap or anything, but when something clearly cost so little to make and then its sold for such a mark-up I get upset. Anyway, I'll stop rambling.
Actually this price sounds about right. When I was doing engineering R&D for Motorola, a consumer products' D.M. (direct material cost) was spec'd to 10% of retail list price. So this is standard practice. D.M. of your harness was likely at least $1.79 for the wire, connector, pins & assembly labor. You could build it yourself for somewhat less, but probably not worthwhile depending upon what your time is worth. Would cost you even more considering the individual shipping charges of the individual pieces. $7.95 is also about right for a 1 pound UPS delivery charge. Interesting the amount of responses that your thread has generated though...
Angela - Often with large companies it is very difficult to get past the 'front line'. Of course you could fight, but I'd probably just end up taking the hit. Bob - you don't think a 900% mark-up is high... even if it's industry standard? Also, it would be difficult to make one of these without having access to a plastic cast. Finally, harnesses can't weigh more than a couple of ounces - $3.00 priority mail. Anyway, just my opinion.
The problem is that the practice you are complaining about is relatively standard in car audio. The manufacturers make interfaces and connectors that do not conform to any standards. This is done on purpose, the wacky connector can therefore only be gotten from the orig. manufacturer, who can charge an abnormally high price for it. Those of you who have BMW's know what I am talking about, the BMW trunk is hard wired for CD changer with a weird connection that can only be connected to the $500.00 factory-supplied unit, made by Alpine or Pioneer and which would cost only $200 if not for the connector. I always thought you could become rich if you spent the time to analzye the pin configs of these connectors and created your own adaptors.....so if you are really mad, get even. But I symphatize.
Ezmerelda.One thing you miss is the cost of processing an order.The 7.95 only offsets the cost it does not cover it.
What do you pay the picker the packer.Its not just the mail.The package the shipping materials.You are all missing the point.The cost of the mold to make it is in the thousands.
One more thing what do bombings and telling mothers to shut up have to do with audio dragon man.