To over pay or deal, a test of character (1 Viewer)


4 of a Kind
Nov 9, 2014
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Outlet Mall in San Marcos
Let's say you stumble on a nice batch of chips, some you want and others are surplus. They aren't so common these days - if you miss this opportunity you can't count on finding more if you are patient. The asking price is too high, meaning that other sales imply the price is 20% over market. Even so, there is a chance someone else will see the chips and just pay full price rather than dicker.

So what is a boy to do?

Snap them up, over pay but get the suckers in the house?

*** or ***

Make an offer and try to save a couple of hundred bucks. But it will be annoying if you lose out. Not an agonizing loss, just annoyance. {and keeping in mind that a $150 saved = one or two racks of something else fun }

What would you do?

yeah this question came up recently in an email thread with another member here who collects a particular set of hard-to-find chips. and he was overpaying by a bit more than 20% iirc. it was still unanimous in the emails - buy buy buy. $150 is insignificant compared to the satisfaction of adding onto or completing a set imo.
Of course, the "buy buy buy" mentality is what is driving the price of these chips up to "inflated" levels over the prior "inflated" levels.

My response to the Dr.: in my opinion, it depends entirely on the disposability of the disposable income being used to buy said chips. If you can easily afford it, buy, buy buy!

And if you have such deep pockets, this also means you're likely to be reselling them later at more reasonable prices to chippers who value the chips but have less money, which is good for the community. :)
For me it would somewhat depend on the exact chips being discussed, but for most of the chips for which this would even be a question, it's not a question. Buy. Seize the opportunity while it is available.

Something I've come to realize through chip (set) collecting is that rare chips are not a commodity. For example, say you buy some rare chips on eBay, but they go missing en route from the seller to you. Without getting into a big discussion about it, let's just assume that eBay or the seller refunds 100% of your money without any hassle. But are you happy? No, not really, because the chips are not replaceable. They're not just a widget where you can just try again tomorrow from a different seller. It might be months or years before the opportunity for those particular chips comes up again.

Money is just money. There's more of it out there, and if you're lucky enough (as I am) to have a job and some disposable income, then it's not the end of the world to overpay for something you really want. If the seller is asking more than you want to pay, and you make a lower offer, and in the meantime someone else comes along and buys them at the asking price, I can guarantee you will be far more miserable about that outcome than you would have been about overpaying. And if not, then you didn't REALLY want them that badly, after all :)

Edit after re-reading OP: For annoyance chips, I would let them go. I have enough nice chips now that I don't need to chase down every last set. But there are certain sets that I would snap-buy at (almost) any price.
The unwritten deal with the wife is poker stuff comes out of poker money, after she has her cut. I have better than 2K to spend at the moment, but I have to say that my eye is coming back to that custom octagon we saw this week. The danger in over spending the poker budget is it opens the door to a splurge purchase by my better half. I know she has her eyes on some pearls to match her birthday gift from last year - and they aren't even close to cheap.

I have plans to sell off most of my chips at bargain prices come January 2100 - just be patient.


PS and if I wanted these badly, this thread would exist. I have an eBay auction for something I want coming to a close next week and I am loading for a final seconds war. The chips in question are nice - I'd like to have about a third of them but the rest border on useless since I already have 600 $5 chips. Half of me would revel in the new additions and the other half wonders where do I put the junkers?
What would you do?


Great post and question. I have definitely done both -- pull the trigger and buy (even if at a higher price than others) -- or make an lower offer and end up missing out on something. Part of it depends on how much *I* like the chips, or their rarity, not just what the general consensus on 'the market' price is.

On the American Pickers tv show on History network, where they scour the country for old valuable items, they say something like "the time to buy something is when you see it" - especially for something rare or unique. I tend to think the same way for poker chips. One difference for me is that the Pickers are buying to resell at a profit, but that I'm mainly buying as a collector and planning to keep my chips for a long time.

I also *try* to justify to myself that it is worth to paying up for chips I really want, because it saves me the time and effort to have to find them later. Sure I can post a wanted ad for something, but there's no guarantee someone's even out there looking to sell those particular chips at the moment, so I may have to scour the wanted ads and eBay for months or years to find similar chips. But when someone posts a for sale ad, I know they are available to buy - right now! And those chips will be in my fingertips within a couple days or a week if I pull the trigger or win the bid!
Chaos Rock says you will always get most if not all your money back anyway on quality chips, and I think he is correct. If you wanr them BUY!
The thing about the "market' price on poker chips is that there are so few people in the world that are even interested. It's not like the chips you are looking at are being bought and sold every day with some kind of stable pricing. If the next guy is willing to pay the 20% more, that's how much their worth. But yeah, I recently expanded one of my sets after over a year of trying to find a decent deal. Way more than the original price I paid on the ones I have, but that's the way it is these days. Who knows if I overpaid or underpaid.

I paid, and I'm happy.
*** results ***

I took my chances and made an offer, saved a bit more than $100. Frankly was a little surprised it wasn't bought for full price by someone around here. Two racks of a chip that has been in demand lately. No confession until the chips arrive and I see if I got what I thought. The seller didn't a count, just showed a lot of pictures. It already expands a set I have but never taken pictures of before.

I presume I could shock everyone and say, "Save your money." but no one would believe it. Pull the trigger. If it's a double barrel shotgun pull both triggers.
I have friends that buy one time hookers for $500. They are back to square one, minutes later.

I paid $2500 for a rack of Olivia $25's. No regrets (esp since I got my money back by adding them to playable sets but still).

Always buy IMO unless you are talking severe money savings/rip off.
Nice pickup. When I read the OP I wondered if these were what I thought they were. I encountered the auction and had the very thoughts you did. Now I see the listing ended. Nice.
I'm still wondering what they are. When the dust settles and you have the chips in hand -- please post pics!
I must be the only nit in the house. I don't think I have overpaid for chips... ever. In fact, I try to avoid paying market value as much as possible. Granted I don't have any uber-rare sets, but I have several very nice sets. I guess it should be noted that hunting for value is a huge part of the fun for me.
I must be the only nit in the house. I don't think I have overpaid for chips... ever. In fact, I try to avoid paying market value as much as possible. Granted I don't have any uber-rare sets, but I have several very nice sets. I guess it should be noted that hunting for value is a huge part of the fun for me.

Considering the arsenal you've accumulated, your commitment to thriftiness is even more impressive IMO.
Pictures of my whole set of these when the extra ones arrive. I have a solid three table set with the additions, though I have not had a three table 1-2 game in years. Closest in the last year would have been a sixteen player game with $13,000 or so on the table. (and I didn't go home with any of it.)

I have dickered on chips that I wanted two or three times in the past. Every time they were purchased by someone else. FWIW.
Please, a show of hands from everyone who has:

1. Dickered in pricing to have only lost out (auction or offers).
2. Cried in your own pool of tears after believing you would get them.
3. Fell into major depression when said chips could not be obtained in the following months by another source.
3. Seppuku'd upon realization you should have paid the extra hundo, then found in own pool of blood.
4. Rushed to emergency room and lived to collect another day.

raise your hand.jpg

"I can't hear you......!!!!"

You always overpay when you're emotionally attached to something.

Tell yourself to calm down, set your limit, and then don't look back. The chip universe is endless. There will always be other chips / sets to buy.

The above is what I alway tell myself, but I don't always succeed in sticking to my guns.
Shaggy, was it an auction for 600+ chips in a clam shell / bird cage? 20 $500 and 10 $1000 chips tucked in the background? And a tag not listing the $1000 chips at all? If so, that was it!

Let's keep in mind that I viewed missing out on this as not an agonizing loss, just an annoyance. If these were on my list of things I need to complete sets there is no way I take the chance of losing them to dicker over a hundred bucks. These were more like Dezzer's Par a dice set where I wouldn't pay more than $1,000 and he is firm on $1,100.

In truth I would have paid full price for the 600+ chip set after my winning session Saturday night and the cancellation of the other auction I was watching for Sunday. But Saturday morning I really was on the knife edge of just posting the auction here rather than going for it myself.

And now they are headed into the black hole of my poker room where many chips enter and few ever leave -=- DrStrange
Absolutely. I sent a question to the seller regarding the condition of the rarer chips in the set. Poor listing for sure.
He is an experienced seller, but not so much with chip sets. I kind of expect the case and racks to be damaged in shipping and the chips to be loose and at risk. My experience is 80% failure for people shipping me chips + a case/racks/box. Even people who should know better.

Crossed fingers -=- DrStrange
Looks like my chips are shipped, here is what I expect to arrive: (pictures when they get here. As always when ordering a full set, I fear damage to the case, racks and chips. Please cross your fingers for me!)

Empress Casino:

200 $1 secondary?
200 $5
100 $25
100 $100
20 $500
10 $1,000
600 chip cheap plexi-glass clamshell plus racks (~$30 new?)
Opinions on what I should have paid? BIN price was $695

This value breakdowns seem ok to me:
$130/rack (you can't find the singles anywhere)
$25 case

Adds up to $695. Enjoy some classy shaped inlays.
I was buying primarily for the ones and the $500s / $1000s.

I have enough $5s already - 700 with these added in. (though I am in the camp you can't have too many $5s)

Combined set would be:
300 $1s all secondary
700 $5s mixed
200 $25s secondary
200 $100 primary
20 $500
10 $1,000
Total bank $48,800

That would host even a good sized $5/$10 game or a three table $1/$2 game


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