I think Conid's costs are high. I do understand it's a low-run product, but it's a lot of money.
Are you talking about Conid's production (and/or operational) costs, or Conid's list prices for its pens?
I suspect that even with production in the EU and associated wages and benefits (which I support 100%) there might be a way to reduce the price.
Personally, I don't care one way or the other about the manufacturer's profit margins†, and I don't mind if its pricing (with whatever margins) makes its product inaccessible or just uncompetitive. Given the ‘love’ many on this forum seems to have for Conid as a technically excellent, engineering-focused pen manufacturer, I'd love to see it refine its processes, so that it knows exactly what is in its production pipeline and precisely how long it takes from order to manufacture to dispatch, and commit to it.
"Our pens are precisely engineered machines, and so is our company. When we say 36 days lead time, we mean exactly that, based on our clear view of what is in the queue and how long it takes to make your pen. Barring catastrophic exceptions, such as destruction of our production facility or regional lockdown by the government in response to health threats, the lead time could only be shorter (if some orders in the queue ahead of yours get cancelled) but not longer. Nothing jumps the queue ahead of your order, and we don't promise anything we can't deliver. We've learnt from our past mistakes and we now understand where our weaknesses were, but we've fixed them now. Every estimate is calculated individually by an improved and tested algorithm, which we stand behind 100%." is the sort of attitude or face I want to see from such a firm. The high ink capacity or the patented aspects of the filling mechanism in terms of design are nothing if not matched by equally excellent manufacturing processes. There is nothing artisan or artistic about it; I'd buy from Santini Italia if I wanted individually crafted pieces of work with great European workmanship. (Santini and Katrina are responsive to boot when contacted, take my requests seriously and attend to them with care, and their customer service is stellar.)
I also don't think much of "premium" fountain pens that use JoWo or Bock nibs, but I do understand that Conid may not be in a position to produce its own nibs as well as it can pen bodies, so it would make sense for Conid to partner with a specialised, industrial-scale nib manufacturer that offer equal precision and consistency to match a well-engineered pens. If JoWo doesn't deliver on that, then it's up to Conid to kick its butt because it has a flow-on impact that jeopardises Conid's reputation. If I'm going to spend north of €400 on a fountain pen with a basic JoWo or Bock nib, I want to be dealing with a machine-like producer that won't let me down. Responding to customer queries within, say, 2 business days with useful information and without fail would simply be part of the firm's "programming" or DNA.
That's what I want to see.
† I do care about some retailers' profit margins. If it isn't worthwhile for a friendly retailer to deal with me commercially, because the margins are not high enough — much less if it's losing money because of "free" shipping or what-not — then that friendly relationship isn't really going to continue for very long, is it?
Edited by A Smug Dill, 24 February 2020 - 22:35.