The largest part of the MSRP is the labour.
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The only people with accurate cost data would be actual cartridge manufacturers, and they undoubtedly regard such information as proprietary. No company shares product cost data on a public forum.
To what practical uses could you put such information? Offhand, I can only think of two:
1. You plan to manufacture cartridges yourself and are trying to develop your business model. (If that's the case, why would you expect help from companies you'd be competing with?)
2. You want to have a basis for griping about the prices of cartridges. (If that's the case, why should any cartridge manufacturer assist you?)
Trolling, are we...?
What are you referring to when you say "tiny needle" , is it the cantilever + tip, or only the tip?
The materials used might be as expensive as the skilled labor. The tips are frequently very precisley calibrated special shaped diamonds. The cantilever are usually a precious material as well in many high end carts, Ruby, Diamond, Boron etc. The the coils can be pure gold and magnets platinum. Sounds more like a good piece of fine jewelry than audio. Sometimes the bodies are gold or some other gemstone material. I don't know much using these rare and expensive parts really contributes to sound quality, but it helps to justify the very high prices some carts sell for. Mark up may be expensive as well, as it usually is ultimately buying retail. I am not griping I buy what I can afford and generally have no desire to get the more exotic and pricy ones. How others spend their money need not concern me.
Blueranger, Your price 'range' is wrong. Consider the custom, the VTA (tax), the dealers fees + the importer fees. With the price you mentioned we may be induced to transfer some (gift)money to the producer involved in order to keep him in life. More interesting is the question about the carts above,say, 4 K.The most of those are put together from parts which are bought from the suppliers. Even Allearts buy his cantilever/stylus combos from Gyger. But if he himself winds the wire on those small plates he is entiteld to ask what he likes for his cart. He actually does exactly that. My own problem is more about those, so called , 'precious stones'. As soon as you leave the shop and before you installed the cart in your tonearm you have already lost a fortune. Try to sell those stones on their own. You will be shocked. I want even mention those 'precious wood' kinds. Can you imagine the price difference between a small peace of ebony and bryere wood kind of $1500? Well the joke is: they share the same generator. I was always so focused on the French 'árt' to sell their products for ridiculous prices
that I totally forget about the Swiss. The Japanese are inscrutable for us in the West so I want mention Koetsus.
Here's the problem with the question.... you simply can't generalize like that. Very few companies (and none of the big ones) would ever calculate selling price cost up (i.e. calculate the cost of all components, labor, packaging, stocking/distribution, marketing, etc.). You look at the market price of either existing product that you intend to replace or competitor products.
You price according to what the market is willing to pay. A larger company will take advantage both of economy of scale and the pricing benefit of a strong name, but usually also carries larger overhead costs. A smaller, lesser known company, may need to operate on a smaller margin to be able to sell at market price.
Apbiii, This looks like a circular argument because 'sales price' and the 'market price' (not 'place') are the same.
The old classical economist like Ricardo, Smith, Marx, etc.
differentiated between the 'value in use' and the 'value in exchange' and even between the values and prices. But nobody got this 'theory of value' consistent. So we still use money value to value goods while nobody knows which value our money will have next year.
Blueranger assumed some connection between the 'çost of production' and the market prices and he is right to do so according to even the modern economic theory. BTW no buseness is possible without comparison between those two magnitudes. His argument is , if I understand him well, that the prices of carts (MC's in particular) lost any connection with the cost of production. The market place on the other hand is the same for the reach as well for the poor. We all know who can afford + 4 K carts. So it
should be obvious for whom such carts are produced. Those are called 'exclusive market segments' and are as such exception of the rule.