Sunday, August 22, 2010

Price Point

Anna:  I was out for a walk today and ended up swinging by The Bay in a nearby mall.  For those of you outside of Canada, The Bay is a department store that's a step up from Walmart.  They've been trying to re-brand themselves as higher end, but they're still a pretty basic department store.  One I don't normally shop at because I find it too expensive.

But this... this takes the cake.

I have a daughter that loves to drink tea and is acquiring a substantial collection of teapots and mugs.  So when I saw some mid-size teapots at the end of a table, I went for a closer look.

At first glance at the price tag, I thought for sure there was a mistake.  There was no way they'd have teapots that expensive just sitting on a table, and besides... this is The Bay.  Why would they have a single teapot priced to high?  A tea set, perhaps, but just the pot? 

On looking at the other pots, however, they all had the same price.  Then I saw the matching sugar bowl and creamer.

Yes, the price tag on that pot, which holds perhaps 6 cups, really does say $304.99, and the sugar bowl really does read $173.99.  I didn't take pictures of the others, since security might get a little nervous, but the matching creamer was just under $150.  There was a tiny plate of completely different pattern, about the size of a saucer, for $18.50.  Plates big enough for entrees ranged from almost $80 to about $100.  A salt shaker was priced at almost $40.  The pepper shaker didn't have a price, so I'm guessing they weren't being sold separately.  At that price, that band of gold on the bottom had better be real!

So why are these priced so high?  I have no idea.  Perhaps that's real silver around the edge, but that wouldn't be enough to explain it.  About the only thing I can think of is that it's Royal Daulton bone china.

As for why they were all on the table, there was a big 75% off sign above them.  Even at such a steep discount, we're still looking at over $75 for a teapot.

Now, I'm all for things being priced for quality.  I've seen a tiny tea set that included pot with lid plus 6 tiny handle-less cups that might have held a quarter cup of liquid each, at most.  The pot might have held 2, maybe 3, cups of tea.  The set came in a satin lined box with recessed spaces to hold all the pieces.  It was priced at $1000, and I felt it was worth every penny.  Why?  Because the entire set was hand carved out of a single block of jade.  BC jade, to be exact, with it's distinctive deep green colour.  It was being sold in a shop that specialized in rocks, minerals and fossils, many quite rare and fragile, and most of which were found by the geologist owner who also hand carved many of the finished pieces himself.

A far cry from a rather plain bone chine teapot at The Bay.

No surprise to find these on a clearance table! :-P

Friday, August 20, 2010

Still smoking.

Here's what our valley looks like today.

Still smokey...

A great improvement from yesterday, though we're still supposed to be smokey through Sunday.  I've heard that there are as many as 292 fires burning in BC.

Good morning...

Good morning...
Originally uploaded by amkb

The view from our 3rd floor window at about 2 am. Not sure what's going on. Perhaps we'll see something in the news tomorrow.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Where there's smoke...

Where there's smoke...
Originally uploaded by amkb

This is the view from off our balcony today. Edmonton is overcast with smoke from the forest fires in BC.

Downtown Edmonton

Update: Philippe took a photo with his Blackberry from his downtown office.