Are these Indian chess pieces all the same?

teoulennon

I know that all these pieces come out of India and from only a few different manufacturers, but are the same style sets from different resellers actually different?

For example, look at the below sets from HOS and Royal Chess Mall - What justifies the higher price from a reseller like HOS? Do they get the same style pieces from more experienced carvers, thus better? Do they just have higher quality control with the pieces they sell? Are they from different manufacturers but just the same style?

Royal chess mall set

HOS set

It seems there are the same chess sets from different retailers like cb, royal chess mall, ChessNcrafts, Staunton castle, hos, chess empire, etc. for all different prices - what makes the more expensive sets different?

MCH818

There was a few recent threads about this topic. Here is a link to one that comes to mind. https://www.chess.com/forum/view/chess-equipment/how-much-is-that-knight-in-the-window. See my post #8.

HoS and OS are retailers. They pay someone else to manufacture sets for them and then they resell it for profit. CB is a direct manufacturer who I believe has always sold direct. SC and CE are manufacturers who produced sets for HoS, OS, and other resellers. SC and CE recently started to sell direct as well.

Generally the pricing from resellers are more expensive than direct manufacturers as there are more costs involved in resale. There are lots of import/export fees, taxes, and other costs that direct manufacturers do not need to pay. Manufacturers who sell direct are usually less expensive. However, there are still variables that impact costs when comparing between resellers and comparing between manufacturers. I think @Kimk10 complained about how HoS is significantly more expensive than other US resellers of the same product. I also complained about how the SC 3.75" 1849 set is only about $210 USD while a similar iteration from CB is $300 USD after a discount of 20%. Both SC and CB are in India and both manufacture the sets themselves. Why is CB more than the other from SC? I have no idea.

teoulennon
MCH818 wrote:

There was a few recent threads about this topic. Here is a link to one that comes to mind. https://www.chess.com/forum/view/chess-equipment/how-much-is-that-knight-in-the-window. See my post #8.

HoS and OS are retailers. They pay someone else to manufacture sets for them and then they resell it for profit. CB is a direct manufacturer who I believe has always sold direct. SC and CE are manufacturers who produced sets for HoS, OS, and other resellers. SC and CE recently started to sell direct as well.

Generally the pricing from resellers are more expensive than direct manufacturers as there are more costs involved in resale. There are lots of import/export fees, taxes, and other costs that direct manufacturers do not need to pay. Manufacturers who sell direct are usually less expensive. However, there are still variables that impact costs when comparing between resellers and comparing between manufacturers. I think @Kimk10 complained about how HoS is significantly more expensive than other US resellers of the same product. I also complained about how the SC 3.75" 1849 set is only about $210 USD while a similar iteration from CB is $300 USD after a discount of 20%. Both SC and CB are in India and both manufacture the sets themselves. Why is CB more than the other from SC? I have no idea.

Thanks that's helpful. I've always wondered if the same style pieces that cost more from other retailers were carved by different, more skilled artisans but it seems that's not the case - they're the same pieces. The other threads seem to dance around the issue and not answer it directly. Everyone seems to argue HOS & OS have better quality - which may be the case with their $1k sets, but not so with others like the one's I linked in my original post. Someone please let me know if this is incorrect, I don't have a problem paying a couple hundred more for the same set if the quality is superior.

manfred_scriba_ms07
MCH818 wrote:

There was a few recent threads about this topic. Here is a link to one that comes to mind. https://www.chess.com/forum/view/chess-equipment/how-much-is-that-knight-in-the-window. See my post #8.

HoS and OS are retailers. They pay someone else to manufacture sets for them and then they resell it for profit. CB is a direct manufacturer who I believe has always sold direct. SC and CE are manufacturers who produced sets for HoS, OS, and other resellers. SC and CE recently started to sell direct as well.

Generally the pricing from resellers are more expensive than direct manufacturers as there are more costs involved in resale. There are lots of import/export fees, taxes, and other costs that direct manufacturers do not need to pay. Manufacturers who sell direct are usually less expensive. However, there are still variables that impact costs when comparing between resellers and comparing between manufacturers. I think @Kimk10 complained about how HoS is significantly more expensive than other US resellers of the same product. I also complained about how the SC 3.75" 1849 set is only about $210 USD while a similar iteration from CB is $300 USD after a discount of 20%. Both SC and CB are in India and both manufacture the sets themselves. Why is CB more than the other from SC? I have no idea.

You're 100% correct with your observation. Apart from import duties etc., companies like HOS, TCS works with only reputed firms of Amritsar who pay their taxes and are well known. SC and Chess Empire used to work with HOS earlier but after seeing the success of CB, they decided to sell directly which means they don't work with HOS anymore since they are now HOS competitors, technically speaking. CB always runs deals & offers on their store, so their initial price after 20% off is always greater than their Indian counterparts, but actually, after using the offers they become the lowest. And then, they do offer the lowest price guarantee as well.

MCH818
teoulennon wrote:
 

Thanks that's helpful. I've always wondered if the same style pieces that cost more from other retailers were carved by different, more skilled artisans but it seems that's not the case - they're the same pieces. The other threads seem to dance around the issue and not answer it directly. Everyone seems to argue HOS & OS have better quality - which may be the case with their $1k sets, but not so with others like the one's I linked in my original post. Someone please let me know if this is incorrect, I don't have a problem paying a couple hundred more for the same set if the quality is superior.

In a lot of the cases, they are the same pieces. I believe the SC 3.5" Morphy set is the same as the one OS use to sell. SC is the carver for the OS set. However, the same cannot be said about the 1849 set offered by both CB and SC. I asked Mandeep if he made the set for CB and he said no. 

Also in terms of quality I would say there is no difference between the many of the different sets offered by HoS, OS, CB, and SC. I own one set from each of these companies and they are all the same quality wise. The prices of my sets range from $100 to $600. The SC 3.5" Morphy is the closest match to the OS 3.5" Cooke. The two are almost identical. The only difference in design is the knight and the bishop. The SC set was $200 and the OS set was $400. There is no difference in quality. I would say that the SC set has almost no issues with it. No dings, marks, burnt stuff, etc. It was perfect. The OS one was not as good in this regard. Of all of my sets the only one that stands out is Noj which has a superior finish. 

MCH818
manfred_scriba_ms07 wrote:
 

You're 100% correct with your observation. Apart from import duties etc., companies like HOS, TCS works with only reputed firms of Amritsar who pay their taxes and are well known. SC and Chess Empire used to work with HOS earlier but after seeing the success of CB, they decided to sell directly which means they don't work with HOS anymore since they are now HOS competitors, technically speaking. CB always runs deals & offers on their store, so their initial price after 20% off is always greater than their Indian counterparts, but actually, after using the offers they become the lowest. And then, they do offer the lowest price guarantee as well.

I agree with everything you said. The only one that I disagree is that CB does not always have the lowest prices. Their 3.75" 1849 set is not less than the SC 3.75" 1849 set. I bought the CB version which was $300 after discounts while the SC version is $210 everyday. I believe this is probably the exception rather than the rule.

manfred_scriba_ms07
MCH818 wrote:
manfred_scriba_ms07 wrote:
 

You're 100% correct with your observation. Apart from import duties etc., companies like HOS, TCS works with only reputed firms of Amritsar who pay their taxes and are well known. SC and Chess Empire used to work with HOS earlier but after seeing the success of CB, they decided to sell directly which means they don't work with HOS anymore since they are now HOS competitors, technically speaking. CB always runs deals & offers on their store, so their initial price after 20% off is always greater than their Indian counterparts, but actually, after using the offers they become the lowest. And then, they do offer the lowest price guarantee as well.

I agree with everything you said. The only one that I disagree is that CB does not always have the lowest prices. Their 3.75" 1849 set is not less than the SC 3.75" 1849 set. I bought the CB version which was $300 after discounts while the SC version is $210 everyday. I believe this is probably the exception rather than the rule.

You're right. I can see that the 1849 of CB is expensive then SC, but then you can contact CB for their lowest price guarantee policy. I hope they should adhere to that.

Regarding the carving of knights is concerned, FYI, Mandeep is now settled in Canada and his knights are being made by some unknown carvers. You never know if that carver also work for CB.

MCH818
manfred_scriba_ms07 wrote:
 

You're right. I can see that the 1849 of CB is expensive then SC, but then you can contact CB for their lowest price guarantee policy. I hope they should adhere to that.

Regarding the carving of knights is concerned, FYI, Mandeep is now settled in Canada and his knights are being made by some unknown carvers. You never know if that carver also work for CB.

Great idea about the lowest price guarantee. I really didn't think about that. Thanks! However, I am really burned out from this year. Everything is fine but work is a bit stressful and I just don't have the energy to argue with others. It took some convincing to get CB to replace a few problematic pieces in the first place. I just don't want to spend more time to fight with CB over their low price guarantee at this point. 

As for the knights, it could be but Mandeep was not really happy when I asked that question. I got the impression there might be some tension between those two companies. I really did not consider that before I asked. I really thought one was producing for the other because the sets are so similar.

manfred_scriba_ms07

Yeah, it must be true. SC was never a retailer and now competing with CB, these guys must have their own problems. Anyway, relax and enjoy chess. Cheers!

OFFICIALSTAUNTON

CB are not manufacturers 

But they have many small home based guys making stuff, it's more of a cottage industry if you will ..

Buying direct from India has it's positives for collectors , but there are of course those who prefer to buy from their own country trusting a well known brand, and house of Staunton and any company that has it's foundations with the likes of Frank C behind it are a very safe bet in regards to the majority of retail customers ... 

lighthouse
MCH818 wrote:
manfred_scriba_ms07 wrote:
 

You're right. I can see that the 1849 of CB is expensive then SC, but then you can contact CB for their lowest price guarantee policy. I hope they should adhere to that.

Regarding the carving of knights is concerned, FYI, Mandeep is now settled in Canada and his knights are being made by some unknown carvers. You never know if that carver also work for CB.

Great idea about the lowest price guarantee. I really didn't think about that. Thanks! However, I am really burned out from this year. Everything is fine but work is a bit stressful and I just don't have the energy to argue with others. It took some convincing to get CB to replace a few problematic pieces in the first place. I just don't want to spend more time to fight with CB over their low price guarantee at this point. 

As for the knights, it could be but Mandeep was not really happy when I asked that question. I got the impression there might be some tension between those two companies. I really did not consider that before I asked. I really thought one was producing for the other because the sets are so similar.

MCH818 very insensitive ? to ask a maker of chess set that pride him self on his chess set !

Would feel piss,,d of too

MCH818
lighthouse wrote:
MCH818 wrote:
manfred_scriba_ms07 wrote:
 

You're right. I can see that the 1849 of CB is expensive then SC, but then you can contact CB for their lowest price guarantee policy. I hope they should adhere to that.

Regarding the carving of knights is concerned, FYI, Mandeep is now settled in Canada and his knights are being made by some unknown carvers. You never know if that carver also work for CB.

Great idea about the lowest price guarantee. I really didn't think about that. Thanks! However, I am really burned out from this year. Everything is fine but work is a bit stressful and I just don't have the energy to argue with others. It took some convincing to get CB to replace a few problematic pieces in the first place. I just don't want to spend more time to fight with CB over their low price guarantee at this point. 

As for the knights, it could be but Mandeep was not really happy when I asked that question. I got the impression there might be some tension between those two companies. I really did not consider that before I asked. I really thought one was producing for the other because the sets are so similar.

MCH818 very insensitive ? to ask a maker of chess set that pride him self on his chess set !

Would feel piss,,d of too

Well I wouldn't be surprised if one made sets for the other or if one disliked the other as well. But yes I can see how that was insensitive. I did apologize to Mandeep. He continued to answer my emails so he must not have been that offended. 

MCH818
manfred_scriba_ms07 wrote:

Yeah, it must be true. SC was never a retailer and now competing with CB, these guys must have their own problems. Anyway, relax and enjoy chess. Cheers!

Agreed about SC and CB. I will definitely be focusing more on chess this weekend.

sound67

Prices sometimes seem arbitrary. For €200, ChessnCrafts e.g. offers a 4.5" antiqued boxwood and ebony 184 Staunton set which looks excellent; the antiquing is done in the Staunton Castle manner, not the CB just-orange-dye style: https://www.etsy.com/de/listing/895580972/reproduziert-1849-original-staunton?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=1849+staunton&ref=sr_gallery-1-7&organic_search_click=1&pro=1&frs=1

If I didn't already have two large 1849 sets (one by Royal Chess Mall, one by CB in glossy red lacquer), I would be tempted. 

manfred_scriba_ms07
sound67 wrote:

Prices sometimes seem arbitrary. For €200, ChessnCrafts e.g. offers a 4.5" antiqued boxwood and ebony 184 Staunton set which looks excellent; the antiquing is done in the Staunton Castle manner, not the CB just-orange-dye style: https://www.etsy.com/de/listing/895580972/reproduziert-1849-original-staunton?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=1849+staunton&ref=sr_gallery-1-7&organic_search_click=1&pro=1&frs=1

If I didn't already have two large 1849 sets (one by Royal Chess Mall, one by CB in glossy red lacquer), I would be tempted. 

Well priced, but too yellowish for my taste.

sound67

Not sure they are that yellow: Look at their other set:

https://www.etsy.com/de/listing/761035547/1849-original-staunton-muster-schach-set?ref=related-4&pro=1&frs=1