Originally Posted by DRMALIKIA
Yes money is the problem and they are sacrificing quality to get more money. I understand this is not produced in the United States, some poor bastard in a sweat shop, under the whip form his boss to get out 100 units a day, yada yada yada. Right now they are sacrificing product quality for mass production money. It is a world economy and world market so our dollar speaks just as loud as another countries. I personally would rather spend $200 dollars and have something that is high quality, well crafted, absolute minimal flaws. So they make fewer KM's, they are harder to get, but does that not make them more desirable? It would mean they do not sacrifice their principles, manufacturing, or skimp on their customers. Maybe think about it in this light, if they skimp on so many aspects of the stem, what else are they skimping on to save a buck and fatten their wallets? Lead based soldier? Toxic paint because it is cheaper? Makes you wonder.
Last I checked KM prices were not dropping because their quality was dropping. I run a business as I am sure a few of you do and with out quality service, product, widget or doodads, the customer will go buy from the other guy. Unless my next KM can be hand picked by the vendor and guaranteed not to have been used as someone's garden trowel, I will not be buying another one anytime soon. Even if it smokes great and makes sparks shoot out my ass, and gets my fiancee off from across the room! lol
Would that not be a great video, someone using their KM for choirs around the house? *SIGH* sorry.
The problem is that prices would increase as cosmetic quality does. For them to produce the volume of pipes they do now with each of them being perfect, you'd be talking $400+ for a single pipe. In order to continue production without dramatically increasing their prices, corners have to be cut somewhere, like it or not.
And, for what it's worth, I agree wholeheartedly with bpetruzzo. Every KM I've seen or handled has been absolutely beautiful. The visual flaws are usually few and very, very minor.