RE: Drake fins, cheap but not chearful
You answered the charge very well, and I believe, very honestly. It's awfully hard to be 100%, especially since we all don't feel the same and have the same needs.
Nevertheless, the finless option, as mentioned by others above, does have a significant degree of merit to warrant serious consideration. It should be noted that the buyer's strength in negotiating a buying decision doesn't necessarily include easy alternatives. With immediately local retailers in a small area, I'm sure that some room to move might be very possible. Yet, in remote locations (with no local shops), especially in cases where you might not be a regular customer, the chances of agreeing to less than production package can be quite a bit tougher.
Maybe brands should mix the game up, particularly with high end models. In other words, formally promote a balance between the "board only option" and complete packages. That way retailers could realistically balance their order requirements without being stuck with product (fins and/or straps) that some folks don't want. Looking at your side of the spectrum, the company can better know and address how to organize and plan subcontractor fin manufacture.
If one was to consider the positive side of the game, and it was found that the company did make the best fin, I'm sure others, even outside the company's mainstream just might want your product. Thereby opening the door to a more premium pricing schedule. Folks always pay more for the best.