Monday, December 05, 2005

Pricing for Chinese Go equipment

For the main section of this post, I'll be sharing with you my research on the prices of Go equipment from China. Peterium (9k) had piqued my interest when he commented about how cheap Yunzi stones were in China in response to one of my earlier posts.

One of my coworkers returned a favor by canvassing prices for Go equipment while she was in the city of Shenzen. I had asked her to look for items which were equivalent to what Yellow Mountain Imports was offering on eBay.

The third column of the table below gives you an idea of what these sets would go for if you were to buy them at retail (some discounted) in Shenzen, China. They have been converted to US$ and, for simplicity, all prices were rounded-up to the nearest $5 increment. The fourth column shows the starting bids that they have recently been offered at.

The fifth column shows the average winning bids to date since November 15th. These have begun trending downwards; the early-adopters paid notably more.

Important Note: Most of the winning bids for Item 5 on eBay were
for the smaller 13cm and 14cm gobans. YM Imports only recently
began auctioning-off the 15cm gobans.

The pricing data that my coworker collected comes close to those of one online retailer in China, 361Shop (link in Chinese), which offers similar items. You can use Google Language Tools to investigate for yourself and a currency calculator to convert Chinese Yuan to US$.

Another online shop is (My thanks to Peterium for the URL!)

All of these items are made of local materials and were exclusively manufactured in China. They will, understandibly, not match the quality that you would get for Japanese manufactured items and the stones are not the labor-intensive slate-and-shell.

Other Costs To Consider
Keep in mind that, if a typical person from the US had the easy opportunity to buy directly from China, the following additional costs would be incurred:
  • 3% credit-card fee for foreign currency transactions
  • Shipping costs ranging from $40 to $90 for surface freight from China depending on the contents. Shipping for a table Go set from Japan to California costs $70 by surface and $145 by air. The costs from China would be comparable.
So, let's assume that you don't have the convenience of an upcoming business or family trip to China and that you could order from an online retailer like 361Shop. Your total cost for a Go set like the one I had bought (Item 2) could come to about $204, including shipping and your credit-card processing fee. The package would arrive in about 7 weeks via surface freight.

That's roughly $52 more than the total cost for my winning bid and, assuming no snafus, my merchandise should arrive under two weeks.

In the case of a 15cm floor Go set (Item 5), the final cost would be about $388. I think that co-blogger frankiii got a good deal at a Buy-It-Now price of $300 and didn't have to put up with the hassle of bidding. The last 14cm (not 15cm) Kaya floor Go set that I was monitoring sold for $326 (excluding shipping). These had been bid-up to more than $400 previously.

There's more coming up in the next posts. The merchandise has yet to arrive and I'll be sharing with you some ideas that might help with your bidding.

In Other News

Big Basin Redwoods State Park

ChiyoChan is away for the entire week as she and the entire 5th grade are at Outdoor Ed; 5-days in the Santa Cruz mountains (heated cabins) where they'll be going on hikes and learning more about California's environment. I saw her off on Monday morning and, like a typical over-protective parent, will probably be worrying every day until my 10-year-old gets back.


At 8:28 AM, December 06, 2005, Anonymous erislover said...

Banana slugs??

At 8:42 AM, December 06, 2005, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

Not my alma mater but you gotta appreciate the humor of UCSC.

Go Slugs!

At 11:41 AM, December 06, 2005, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

WOW! One Yellow Mountain Imports kaya table set just sold this afternoon for $100! That'll put more downward pressure on the bids.

The bamboo sets are now selling in the low $70s!


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