Thoughts on keycult no2 rev1 raises its price to $850?

Just shocked by the fact that keycult raises its no2 rev1 to a shocking $850 after last round of vickrey auction.

$850 for a keyboard. Keycult is trying to become the Gucci in keebs world.

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I can’t understand why in the goddamn you’d even want one of the Keycult boards. Like… what exactly are you paying for? I’m pretty sure that board costs a lot less than $600, and that was the STARTING PRICE. What do you get other than bragging rights, an empty wallet, and diminishing returns.

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Exactly that. Bragging rights and diminishing returns. But that’s the nature of this hobby honestly. You (and me) probably don’t understand it the same way my roommate is still happy with his stock G710+. I’ve made him try my boards. He went “yeah that does feel better” and then just left.

What I’m slightly concerned is that this skews aftermarket prices even higher. Keycult said their vickrey auction method is a way to set a fair “aftermarket” price for the board. But I’m not really sold. You can read their reasoning here

Say auction finishes at $800. Someone selling it after will bump it up again higher because clearly the board is no longer run therefore it then has a higher value.

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It’s a boutique board. Something you pay a lot for because of the details and finish and brand name. I certainly wouldn’t advise anyone to buy one that was short on money. Just like I wouldn’t advise someone buying a purse to look at a Louis Vuitton. Some people have extra money to spend and don’t mind. The downside is that someone is going to spend money they don’t have to buy this board. That’s sad, but it happens every day and it’s not Keycult’s fault. It’s not the community’s fault either. We’re all adults and we should know how to take responsibility for our choices.

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This is a community that not only condones but encourages compulsive behavior. I think hype, glorification, and outrageous price are essential part of its nature. Vendors and designers are just answering market demand.

Keycult earned their fame through hard work and timely innovation. But now there is a wave of new gasket mount keyboards coming and we’ll see price coming into play, leaving little time for Keycult to reap their just reward. I say let them enjoy their success while it lasts.

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What exactly did keycult innovate on? These look like pretty standard boards with a higher quality finish and some extra QC to me, I don’t see anything to justify the astronomical prices.

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What exactly did keycult innovate on? These look like pretty standard boards with a higher quality finish and some extra QC to me, I don’t see anything to justify the astronomical prices.

Their innovation is more in tasteful integration of multiple features seen before elsewhere, like fully isolated gasket mount and sandwich plate, that looks, feels, and sounds great as a whole. All too often, custom made keyboards that looks great on paper but has problems in use.

Craftsmanship to me is creating something that is greater as a whole than its parts. It’s much harder to do than most people think.

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I think just about everyone here brought up some really good points. To me I tend to favor @donpark’s opinion on it. Keycult managed to build a great reputation & huge hype train through very high quality, smart integration of ideals that had been floating around in isolated examples but not combined into one package, & limited numbers. No reason to get mad at them for making as much as they can while it’s rolling. Nobody is forcing anybody to buy a board for $800 & this is not gonna make all kits jump in price or anything crazy.

As for the number the itself, sure it’s a pretty penny for a keyboard, but obviously that is what the market will bear for it. The Vickrey auction is a great way to determine what the market will bear IMO. It’s not like the highest bidder gets the goods with it, so the fact that a Vickrey auction set an $800 price point means there were people willing to pay more than that. The other thing that comes to mind here is what @pixelpusher brought up. $800 is an eye watering number for a keyboard, but if someone has the extra money & wants to spend it on that who are we to judge? Also if someone is foolish enough to spend $800 they really don’t have just to get one, it is 100% nobody else’s but their own fault. Keycult &/or the community should not shoulder the blame for someone’s foolish spending.

At the end of the day it’s really up to the individual if such a board is worth so much money. The only thing to really know is you are well past the law of diminishing returns at that point. A Keycult no2 rev1 will feel no better than a $400 TKL with the same mounting mechanism built in the same way. It’s just gonna have a better finish & detailing. Whether that is worth the extra money or not is up to you. :thinking:

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Well put. It’s not for me, and I have a hard time imagining I would spend that much on any keyboard, but I guess if people want to dump their money on it that’s their choice.

What kind of rubs me the wrong way is the huge profits that they must be making on these things, a 150+% profit above their cost seems insane and charging people that much just because they’ll pay it seems kinda sucky to me.

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I don’t think I will ever spend this much on a board but the fact of the matter is that I have spent way more than this on multiple boards, so I can see some of the appeal in just buying one really nice board instead

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You’re not wrong & a part of me feels that way a little bit about this too. Unfortunately, there is no laws or rules against selling your product at a crazy high profit margin if you can. The ethics & morality of it could be debated ad nauseum, with many people taking many different stances on it. Although at the end of the day KC are well within their rights to do so & there are people willing to pay that much above their cost. So I kinda see the ethics debate of this as a argument waiting to happen, LOL!

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Yep, they’re free to do whatever they want and at the end of the day I’m not gonna buy it and that’s really all there is to it.

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Disclaimer: As a Keycult No.2 owner and a fanboy I have some bias but I will try to justify their cost.

For their first run of the No.2, they supposedly made less than $2k profit. (They stated that the person that won a free No.2 from Nathan Kim’s stream and sold it made more money than they did. And I believe the market price at that time was about $2k.) I believe there were 22 units of the original No.2 that were sold. So that would cap their profit at about $100 per unit. So I’m not sure where you’re getting “150% profit” from.

As for what they’ve innovated on, I would suggest looking at their tear-down video. But mainly the difference between a Keycult and a typical $400 TKL would be quality and design:

  • Their A stock is flawless and their B-stock would still be considered A-stock with most other manufacturers. Here’s some examples of b-stock: https://imgur.com/a/7d69Tk4.

  • Their boards also have incredibly tight tolerances. It was almost painful assembling the board because of how tight the parts fit together.

  • No.2 has a seam-less design with no visible screws. The complexity of manufacturing such a design would add a bit to the machining costs.

  • Another factor that contributes to the difference in cost would be the cost of materials. No.2 Rev1 will have a large slab of brass as the weight.

I think it’s easy to look a high price and easily come to the conclusion that they are price gouging. But I believe the people at Keycult wants to make a sustainable living from designing keyboards. I personally think that it’s awesome goal that only a few people in this community have been able to achieve.

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A few thoughts.

  • A full-size keyboard (and mouse!) are available on online and at physical retail for $40. Even the most cost-conscious members of this community will be spending multiples of that for any of the boards commonly discussed here, let alone the Keycults and TGRs of this world. Insanity is relative.
  • As the community grows, it seems inevitable to me that the market will segment into commodity, “prosumer”, and luxury segments, with decreasing marginal utility as we move up the food chain. Is that last little 5% of anodization quality worth the price, and are there enough buyers able to afford the associated premium? Increasingly, the market is answering “yes”.
  • It’s not obvious to me that any of this is a bad thing. If the market is big enough to support premium prices, it’s also likely big enough to support improved price/performance at lower price tiers, and I think that’s starting to happen already (kbd67, kbd8x MKII, Polaris come to mind).
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Forgive me if I’m wrong here, but I also read (I believe on the No. 2 rev1 page) that it is using a similar leaf-spring mount for its plate to the Thermal, which seems innovative as well in that the only other board I know of using that mount is, well, not out yet and a different form factor. (Note: not accusing them of stealing or anything. This all seems above-board as best I can tell)

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Just a small addition to this, that I didn’t see brought up anywhere. Design and time. Probably took them a while to get it right in software alone, not to mention the time and money it took to prototype stuff. All too often people overlook all the time and effort a designer puts forth to present something.

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People will always pay to be exclusive. I doubt the pricing is justified with marginal, if any, increase in quality. It’s definitely not proportionate. Capitalism at it’s finest example. It has us fooled that just because someone will throw their credit card at a luxury item, that somehow indicates its true worth. It doesn’t reflect worth to me. Just poor decision-making. And simply because someone has the cash to blow it doesn’t improve the quality of the decision. It’s not worth $600.

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Thank you. I wanted to add a similar comment but you put it into words nicely. Again, I think people should refrain from making comments before looking at the tear down video. They will see it’s not your typical TKL. I’m sure it took Keycult quite a bit of time, effort, and cost to acheive a seamless design.

Some people believe things should be given or sold to the community at cost. And there are some in community that are generous enough and have the means to do that. But that doesn’t mean that should be the standard. And just because that’s how things were usually done before doesn’t mean it should stay that way. It would be hard to attract new and innovative designers if they see that this hobby gives little reward for their work.

The hobby has and is continuing to explode this year which means there’s going to be changes and growing pains. And of course not everyone likes change. But I hope to have civil conversations about it which is one reason I really like KeebTalk despite its somewhat lack of traffic. Similar conversations elsewhere tend to dissolve into arguments.

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While I totally understand the sentiment and agree with you, if you get ticked off by the 150% markup (or whatever the percentage here is), I would advise looking into typical physical product retail markup… A 5-10 fold markup from production and transport costs is pretty common.

Say you go to the store and buy a shirt for £20, chances are the costs of production (materials, labour, fixed capital etc…) is less than £2. That’s just the way retail works I’m afraid.

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Keycult = Gucci / LV, no way! lol. It does not even have any brand history nor heritage,
(I do not know if Keycults are even made in China)
Its just plain artificial scarcity that made their boards price ramp up, nothing more.
I don’t know if it is even manipulated price making everyone believe it has value. Ripping off the next
person who would buy it. lol

Their keyboard designs are great but for $850. Keycult Rip off.

Rama is better in every single way than keycult imo.

If they are great designers and they do not have the capability to mass produce might as well collaborate with Rama’s foundry, rather than having artificial exclusivity/manipulated price making people believe their boards are really worth that much.

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