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2.51 euro for a quick-link (the cheapest)? But this is not so different from just single chain link. Why such prices and not for a dime? enter image description here

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Because they can charge that much. I'm sure they can make them for 1/10th of that, but people (including myself) are willing to pay more, especially for the SRAM. –  Daniel R Hicks Jul 31 '13 at 11:10
    
@Daniel R Hicks, what is the difference in quality? –  Vorac Jul 31 '13 at 11:20
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Shop around. Online stores sometimes try to factor in the shipping cost into small parts making the price inflated. As for your LBS, I find that some charge high prices for commonly sold items (tubes, gloves, chains, water bottles, etc.) while other shops have really good prices small things, and have less sales on big ticket items. It depends on the philosophy of the shop. Some think they can make money from the stuff you buy every week, while others will build a relationship by giving you a good deal every week, in hopes they can make money off the big sale. –  Kibbee Jul 31 '13 at 12:57
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This is really more of an economics question, than a bicycling question... It's just hard to sell small, cheap items profitably. Most $1 or less items you see in any kind of store are the kind of thing you might buy more than one of at a time, buy repeatedly, and/or buy on impulse. A sub-$1 item that you need maybe one every year or two and probably need help picking out? Gotta add a bit to the price to make it worth it, or bundle it, like with a chain or toolkit or pack of several... Remember that shelf space in a store costs money, as does warehouse space for an online retailer. –  freiheit Jul 31 '13 at 20:35
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As mentioned in the comments, this questions is about economics more than cycling. –  jimirings Jul 31 '13 at 23:12
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There are two ways to price a product - Cost Plus or Value Add. To survive, Cost+ must be less than VA or you can only sell your product for less than it costs to make. If C+ is less than VA, you an sell at any price point between them. Too close to VA, you encourage competition, to close to C+, you forgo profit. Something like a master link, I can't imagine someone thinking "I know, I make master links, sell the 10% cheaper and get rich" - the market is too small, and too brand loyal....... So the only competition to master links is not using one......

If you don't use a Master link, you need a special tool (chain breaker), and skills to use it. The tool is about 10x the price of a master link - so you could buy the tool and not have to buy a master link, or you could just buy the master link - 10 times if needed. Most of us buy a hand full of master links and just use them as needed till gone, the $25 price tag is forgotten a long before the next $25 top up is needed, but if we run out, that $25 is well remembered reassembling a chain with a tool - as money very well spent......

I own a tool, and would not be without it, but always use a master link.........

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Nice condensation of the arguments in the comments, very understandable :) –  Vorac Aug 1 '13 at 7:59
    
It should be pointed out that many bike components are priced well above their manufacturing cost. Notably things like (brand name) shifters are priced well above what they cost to make and distribute. This happens because the market is relatively small and the competition fairly weak. –  Daniel R Hicks Aug 1 '13 at 11:20
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