Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/12/05

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Subject: [Leica] Konica Prices vs. Leica Prices
From: Bill Erfurth <>
Date: Sun, 5 Dec 1999 15:21:16 -0800 (PST)

OK gang.  It's time once again for REALITY 101.

Point #1--If you think $1,600 (US) is a lot of money
for the HEXAR RF, just wait until you see what Leica
is going to charge for it's competitive model.  I'll
give you a hint...your wife had better be proficient
at CPR because you are going to need it after you see
Leica's price.  And, for those of you with short
memories, wasn't the M6 (non TTL model) was selling
for $1,995 at this time last year.

Point #2--If we want to talk about gouging...let's
look at the M6.  This product has been around for 15
years or so.  If I were to make a guess at the "true
cost" for manufacturing the M6 (without any "funny
accounting" numbers added) I would say that it is
somewhere between $200 & $250 (US).  If you think I am
wrong, tell me how else Leica can stay in business.

Point #3--Let us look at the price of lenses for a
minute.  All of these prices are based on a current
B&H add.

28f2,8 lens:  Leica $1,800.  Konica $1,120.  Is the
Leica lens worth paying 50% ($680) more for...does it
give you 50% better pictures.

50f2 lens:  Leica $895.  Konica $560.  Is the Leica
lens worth paying 60% ($335) more for...does it give
you 60% better pictures?

90f2,8 lens:  Leica $1,145.  Konica $720.  Is the
Leica lens worth paying 60% ($425) more for...does the
90mm give your 60% better pictures?

Now, you can bet your Bippie that as Leica sees the
potential of it's market share slipping away, you will
see prices "drop like a rock" if they haven't started
to already.  If I was in the market for a Leica
product, I would wait until January when, in my
opinion, you will most likely be able to save 20%.

You see, Leica has put itself in the position where it
can only react to what competitive companies do (i.e.
cut prices).  This is because Leica marketing and 
public relations are totally ineffective and unable to
mount an aggressive sales, marketing and PR campaign. 
And, management has refused, for what ever reason, to
bring in the necessary outside help to rectify the

To compound their existing problems, Leica is, in
reality, starting to lose dealers.  Unless something
is done quickly, this trend is going to accelerate at
an ever increasing pace as small to medium size
dealers find they can no longer rely on the used Leica
sales to justify carrying the Leica line.  More and
more, upper income people who are Leica's customers,
are turning to EBAY and other Internet sources to
dispose of their old equipment.  They know that no
matter what they  get for it on EBAY, it will be more
than what a dealer will offer them.

End or REALITY 101....for now.



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