Over the years, Gunther, Meinhardt, and Kreidler (GMK) keycaps have been gaining traction as one of the best mechanical keyboard keycaps worldwide, owing to their functionality and quality.
However, there have been concerns among GMK’s fans regarding the costs of these popular mechanical keycaps. So, why are GMK keycaps so expensive? I embarked on a fact-finding mission about this, and this is what I discovered!
Why Are GMK Keycaps So Expensive?
1. Cherry Keycap Profile
GMK Keycaps come in a wide range of heights and shapes and are made in the highly regarded cherry profile.
This cherry profile stands out since it’s shorter and thicker than most standard keycap profiles available in the market.
Therefore, the size and quality of the GMK Keycaps make them a fan favorite since they’re ideal for typing and gaming.
If that’s not enough, their thick ABS plastic produces an excellent acoustic sound when typing, thus, increasing their prices.
It would be essential to point out that GMK keypads are the only ones in the market that incorporate a genuine cherry keycap profile.
2. Good Quality
Unlike its competitors, GMK makes its high-end keycaps from thick ABS plastic that doesn’t wear down quickly or develop a greasy shine after use.
In addition, the thick ABS plastic doesn’t warp easily, produces a better acoustic sound, has a better popping color, and has no imperfections.
GMK owns all of its keycaps’ tooling rights to cap it off, enabling it to manufacture its own genuine and high-quality keycap profiles.
Thus, the company charges more for its keycaps than its competitors since it supplies quality, durable, and genuine products.
Although these keypads are expensive, they offer a return on investment owing to their quality and durability.
3. Limited Edition Keycaps
Gunther, Meinhardt, and Kreidler constantly create new limited edition keycaps with unique designs to stay ahead of the pack.
Therefore, if you miss a particular sale by chance, you cannot place an order for the popular keycaps unless you await the next sale.
Alternatively, you can purchase the aftermarket GMK Keycaps, usually sold at ridiculously inflated prices, if you miss out on the sale.
This combination of unique designs and a limited purchasing window gives GMK the power to charge whatever price it wants for the keycaps.
4. High Manufacturing Costs
GMK hasn’t fully automated its keypad production line, unlike other manufacturing companies.
The company still uses the same production methods used in the 1980s, involving many hand-operated machines.
Therefore, GMK spends an enormous amount of money on paying for the human factor in its production process, increasing the prices of its keycaps.
5. Customer Barrier
After ordering GMK keycaps through a group buy, you must wait for at least six months before the set is delivered to your home.
Moreover, the keycaps company requires you to actively participate in GMK’s online community to know the new group buys that are coming out.
Thus, there are a couple of hoops that you must overcome to get the best quality keycaps for your gaming or typing needs.
GMK understands the demand that its keypads have in the market and the barriers and lengths its customers go through to get a hold of its products.
Thus, the company charges high prices for its keypads since it knows its customers will buy the product either way.
6. Aftermarket Flipping Costs
Since GMK keypads are sold for a limited time, the only other place you can purchase them after the purchase period is the aftermarket.
Some people purposefully sign up for different group buys with the sole intention of reselling the GMK keycaps at a profit.
Aftermarket forums such as geekhack and /r/menchmarket understand perfectly well that these keypad sets are rare to find.
This, in turn, makes them set the prices of the keypads ridiculously high, affecting their market prices. The aftermarket sellers make hundreds of dollars from a single keypad sale.
7. Additional Costs
It’s worth noting from the onset that all Gunther, Meinhardt, and Kreidler keycaps are manufactured in Germany.
The manufacturing company incurs certain extra costs when manufacturing the popular keypads, which, in turn, increases the prices of the GMK keypads.
Some of these extra costs that the Germany-based company incurs include EU wages, shipping, and environmental costs.
As you may have noted, the lofty prices of GMK keypads are determined by a combination of different market forces.
But, the good thing is that the keypads compensate for their high prices with functionality, uniqueness, quality, and durability.