it's the ol' form vs function debate.
Everyone needs function, but some want more artistic form. And what one considers Art is personal.
Originally Posted by Francis Xavier
I'm just going to add this small tidbit in about ADA prices in regards to some items.
Some of the items, such as glassware and tools, are all handmade, and subject to extremely limited availability, even as a distributor. A lot of the specialty glassware only has a certain amount made per month, so if say we're talking about Cabochon Ruby, and if the craftsman can only make 50 Cabochon Rubies each month, then there's only going to be 50 for the whole world, including the three largest markets; Japan, China and India.
So for us in the States, on most of these items it requires a three month reservation on my part to obtain most of the glassware and tools. And we're not talking huge quantities here - we're talking 3 or 4 Cabochon Ruby's. So even in the case of cost for an item like that, we could throw as much money as we wanted at it, but it still wouldn't change that we can only get a hold of 3 or 4 at a time for the entire US.
In the end, you're talking about a very difficult item to make, to the quality it's made at, with expensive materials, expensive labor (Japanese labor for the most of the glassware, Super Jet, etc), and long time lines for a very limited world wide quantity.
You'd be surprised how many times even the seemingly simpler to make glassware, such as Pollen Glass Beetle 50, is just not available even at the source. It's not totally uncommon for there to be a good 4-5 month wait list on the most exclusive specialty items. The core of it all is, the manufacturing / crafting time is the same as it was in 2004, and demand is 10x higher than it was in 2004, with a saturated Japanese market and a rapidly expanding Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese and European market. Speaking of Cabochon Ruby, it took me two years to get one (well, mostly because I put my customers first in line), and I freakin import the stuff. 70 bucks is cheap for that when you think about it from that perspective anyway.
So in a way, I can see how elitism comes into play a little bit here. We're talking about items where there might be only 20 of them in the whole USA for an entire year, or something that 0.00000006% of the population owns.
Very cool insight from the internal workings of ADA.