Larger denomination chips more expensive

Granadol

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I am noticing a trend while I search for my ideal chips. I often see larger denomination chips being more expensive than the smaller ones. I would expect that each chip is made the same and the only difference is the inlay amount. What am I missing?
 

BearMetal

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It's kind of an inverse bell curve. Chips at the lower end, such as $0.10 chips, $0.25 chips and $0.50 chips are typically as expensive as some of the higher end chips.

On the extreme high end, you'll find different molds also cause the price to go up. For example some sets that might be reverse hat and cane (RHC) in the lower denominations and switch to inverted hat and cane (43mm IHC) above a certain amount.

So, between scarcity of the chip, the mold it's produced on, and it's condition, the middle chips like $5/$25 tend to be less expensive. But overall, it's supply and demand. I've paid $300 for a rack of $0.25 chips and I've paid $100 for a rack of $25 chips.
 

wolfpack

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supply

when looking at casino chips there are just far fewer 100 that 1 or 5 etc.
 

Granadol

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Does the chip being a frac add any more or less to it’s cost?

BtW: I am super impressed by the knowledge and transparency to this hobby in this forum. You seem to be a great group of folks. Thank you all for your responses.
 

CrazyEddie

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The cost to manufacture chips is roughly the same regardless of the denomination. There are some economies of scale such that the more chips of a single denomination the manufacturer makes, the cheaper each one is, but those are small effects relative to the basic cost of labor and materials per chip, which are essentially the same no matter what the chip's denomination is.

The reason that fracs and high value chips are more expensive on the hobby market than workhorse chips like ones and fives and twenty-fives is simply that there's fewer of them available, because casinos ordered fewer of them, and so fewer of them made it onto the hobby market. Fewer available means higher prices. Supply and demand.

Edit: Chips with more complicated spot patterns are modestly more expensive to manufacture, because there is extra labor involved in cutting out the inserts (the "spots"), cutting out the holes in the chip blanks where the inserts will go, and placing the inserts into the holes. It's mostly a manual process, hence more complicated spot designs means more labor which means higher cost. Prices on CPC custom chips with complicated spot patterns reflect this extra cost. However, for casino chips that are now on the hobby market, the cost to manufacture the chip is completely unrelated to the price you'll have to pay to convince someone who has a chip you like to sell it to you. That's purely down to availability. Chips today sell for many times what it cost the casinos to buy them from the manufacturer.
 
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jja412

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Fracs are very rare in casinos. Usually just used at some table games - (think Blackjack), and are pretty protected by the house and the dealers. They are hard to harvest, so they cost more.
 

mtl mile end

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The cost to manufacture chips is roughly the same regardless of the denomination. There are some economies of scale such that the more chips of a single denomination the manufacturer makes, the cheaper each one is, but those are small effects relative to the basic cost of labor and materials per chip, which are essentially the same no matter what the chip's denomination is.

The reason that fracs and high value chips are more expensive on the hobby market than workhorse chips like ones and fives and twenty-fives is simply that there's fewer of them available, because casinos ordered fewer of them, and so fewer of them made it onto the hobby market. Fewer available means higher prices. Supply and demand.

Edit: Chips with more complicated spot patterns are modestly more expensive to manufacture, because there is extra labor involved in cutting out the inserts (the "spots"), cutting out the holes in the chip blanks where the inserts will go, and placing the inserts into the holes. It's mostly a manual process, hence more complicated spot designs means more labor which means higher cost. Prices on CPC custom chips with complicated spot patterns reflect this extra cost. However, for casino chips that are now on the hobby market, the cost to manufacture the chip is completely unrelated to the price you'll have to pay to convince someone who has a chip you like to sell it to you. That's purely down to availability. Chips today sell for many times what it cost the casinos to buy them from the manufacturer.
Informative and complete answer as usual, except the "more complicated spot patterns are modestly more expensive to manufacture" part. Complicated spot patterns at Classic Poker Chips for example, can turn a $1.04 solid blank into a $2.43 Level 5 blank or a $4.17 level 11 blank.
http://www.classicpokerchips.com/pokerchips/realclay/edgespots.htm
 

moose

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A casino might spread its chip order out something like this

.25 2000
$1 30000
$5 40000
$25 10000
$100 5000
$500 2000
$1000 1000

So simple supply and demand makes the highest and lowest chips more expensive when that casino closes and its chips come back on the market via the Chiproom.
 

Eriks

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Informative and complete answer as usual, except the "more complicated spot patterns are modestly more expensive to manufacture" part. Complicated spot patterns at Classic Poker Chips for example, can turn a $1.04 solid blank into a $2.43 Level 5 blank or a $4.17 level 11 blank.
http://www.classicpokerchips.com/pokerchips/realclay/edgespots.htm
That isn’t the case with casinos ordering from GPI. As I understand it, complicated edgespots does not change the cost in those cases. Could be wrong though
 

Colquhoun

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Its not just casino sets that have less supply...for home game sets, most people buy less of the higher denoms than the lowers too.
 

Marius L

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That isn’t the case with casinos ordering from GPI. As I understand it, complicated edgespots does not change the cost in those cases. Could be wrong though

Correct. For GPI complicated spots are not what drives the price, but the number of different colors on each chip does.

For example:

8v chip with same color on all spots (2 colors total)

Versus

212 spotted chip with 2 different colors on the two spots (3 colors total)

The 212 chip will cost more.

The price when buying directly from GPI is still much lower than what we are all happy to pay for chips regardless how many colors they have though. The difference in price is very small accross the board, especially when compared to CPC where the price is highly dependent on spots/color combos.
 

CrazyEddie

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Correct. For GPI complicated spots are not what drives the price, but the number of different colors on each chip does.

I suspect but don't know that this is probably due to better automation at GPI vs. CPC. David Spragg and others have remarked on this at times. If so, it's likely that GPI's costs don't increase as much when there's more spots, because they have more and better equipment to make the process of punching out blanks, punching out inserts, and laying the inserts in the blanks more efficient.

I also suspect that it's due to GPI being better capitalized, meaning not only can they afford that equipment, but they can also afford to use price-discrimination-based pricing. That's a fancy way of saying that they charge the customer based on what the customer is willing to pay, rather than charging based on what it costs the company. Casinos are willing to pay more for more colors but not for complicated spot patterns (I presume) so GPI charges them more for more colors but not for oddball patterns.

again, pure speculation on my part
 

Ben8257

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Even seems to ring true in the fantasy lines as well. Yes when released every chip cost the same from my understanding. But with most home games being lower stakes the manufacturers did not make as many high denom chips.

Example, I built a set of Paulson 05 CDI chips, I believe they are considered to be the most produced fantasy line ever. But finding the $1000 chips can be a night mare and definitely cost more than the lower denoms. Why though? If they came out in 05 many people were playing tournaments in the home scene at the time, in a T10k set the T1000 is easily considered the work horse chip, so why wouldn't they have made possibly more than say the $500?

At the time of manufacturing many were still playing T2k based tourneys, starting with a T5 chip was normal in many of they games I was playing at the time, therefore the T1000 didn't hit the table until color ups or rebuys. Many bought far fewer chips as often they were not needed or far less were needed. Somewhere in between it became the new norm for casinos to start tourneys with a T25 based T10k orientation. Today we are seeing another transformation into the T100 based tourney (which BTW I find halarious as it it just the original T1 structure from years past but people like extra zeros to feel like they are playing higher stakes!) So years later these sets that were produced years ago for a different format people are finding themselves in need of chips that where not in high demand at the time and therefore manufacturers made less. Boom, yet again another supply issue driving up prices of the chips that are available.

Maybe I'm wrong and believe me folks around here will be happy to inform me if I am, but that's my take on the situation.

Fellow Chipper Ben
 

moose

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I suspect but don't know that this is probably due to better automation at GPI vs. CPC. David Spragg and others have remarked on this at times. If so, it's likely that GPI's costs don't increase as much when there's more spots, because they have more and better equipment to make the process of punching out blanks, punching out inserts, and laying the inserts in the blanks more efficient.

I also suspect that it's due to GPI being better capitalized, meaning not only can they afford that equipment, but they can also afford to use price-discrimination-based pricing. That's a fancy way of saying that they charge the customer based on what the customer is willing to pay, rather than charging based on what it costs the company. Casinos are willing to pay more for more colors but not for complicated spot patterns (I presume) so GPI charges them more for more colors but not for oddball patterns.

again, pure speculation on my part

GPI makes the chips in Mexico. So it is probably not anything to do with automation, just more Mexicans per chip ratio.
 

72o

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The discrepancy for higher denom Paulsons has been discussed above. Supply and demand.

For CPC, as mentioned above too, just picture some poor person who has to manually add the little pieces of clay for the edge spots, once the edge spots are cut from the chip blank, per chip across hundreds of chips. A lot of labor hours go into those higher level spots and if you use more colors, then that person needs to spend the extra time making sure the colors are correct and in the correct order on the chip.

Also I just like to post this image:

mfgchip.jpg
 

LinkyBabe

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GPI makes the chips in Mexico. So it is probably not anything to do with automation, just more Mexicans per chip ratio.
We've totally been going about trying to get new chips from GPI the wrong way. Has anyone tried getting a job in the factory? I'm sure most here would work there for free while discreetly making custom orders... what could go wrong?
 
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