Local nurseries and "Bonsai"

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Local nurseries and "Bonsai"

Post  Hoo on Fri May 10, 2013 6:23 pm

I can't imagine I'm the only one who gets a bit perturbed by situations such as this...

I live in the US, in southeast PA. On lunch break/after work or on the rare occasion I have a bit of leisurly time I find myself making my rounds of the local nursery scene to say hello to some folks I know better than others, see what new inventory is out there, see if there's anything in poor health I can acquire for cheap/free and hunt for reasonably priced pots.

I've noticed a lot of mom & pop type nurseries are carrying bonsai pots now, more so than when I started getting into bonsai just a few years back. I've also noticed they seem to know absolutely nothing about bonsai and often treat these mass produced pots as some sort of cherished antique, worthy of an amount triple what they're asking. Half of them don't have any stamp at all mind you. When I find a place such as this where prices are abnormally high and the owners have 0 interest in discussing a more fair price, I make a mental note not to bother again and move on. (Side note: Why does American culture frown so highly upon negotiating/haggling over a fairer price??? Some people react as if I've insulted their most precious child when I offer a cash amount anything lower than that of the sticker price. People need to stop acting as if it is a personal insult).

Today I was out and stopped by a place I hadn't been since this past fall. They had a "Bonsai" section with a bunch of young dwarf conifers and poorly grafted maple whips. In this section they had about 10 bonsai pots, 2 of which I thought were nice enough to pay $15-20 for. They were identical, same size, no glaze, ovular, 3 holes, 1 stamp, and a sticker labeled “Made in Japan.” I selected one, walked to the owner and asked him if he would accept $20 for one. The pot was listed at $25.

His response was “Oh no, not a chance. That is made in Japan. Not some Chinese pot. That pot is over 40 years old.” (Priceless how he holds a pot listed for $25 at such high regards) I was pretty caught off guard so I was only able to politely say something about there being plenty of quality pots made in China. I then chuckled realizing it was a lost cause and walked back and placed it where I found it.

The pot had absolutely zero patina and had a nearly flawless sticker on the bottom reading “Made in Japan.” The pot had no chips, no wear no nothing. At least 40 years old… Yea.

It just kills me how people can speak on something they know absolutely nothing about. I don’t confess to know my pots. I simply saw the pot, thought it would make a decent cheap intermediate pot between training pot and display pot and made decided I’d be willing to part with no more than $20 to acquire it (I certainly didn’t need the pot, was just out making the rounds). Clearly it was not of the age he referred to. If it is worth more than $25 and I would have been purchasing it at a steal, then I guess I’m the fool. Either way, this situation as well as similar ones always leave a sour taste in my mouth and make me resent the ever growing mallsai bonsai phenomenon, amongst other things.

Rant over, sorry if I wasted your time.

Hoo
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Re: Local nurseries and "Bonsai"

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Fri May 10, 2013 7:59 pm

There are pots made in Japanese run factories in China, that are labeled "Made in Japan."

Billy M. Rhodes
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I 2nd that

Post  Maliea Chiem on Sun May 12, 2013 1:04 pm

I'm finding the same here in Maine. I often find seedlings in average bonsai pots w/ the price of $60-80!!
At one nursery, I bought 4 ficus benjinmana all together in a plastic pot for $7. They had a few like that. Next time I came in there was a "forest planting" those same $6 figs; in 100% kitty litter (I use ditonimyte clay too but mixed) $85!!!!
I think it's horrible they take advantage of ppl this way!!
Evil or Very Mad

Maliea Chiem
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Re: Local nurseries and "Bonsai"

Post  Todd Ellis on Sun May 12, 2013 1:14 pm

At a local privately owned nursery where I like to shop, one of their bonsai died. They had this tree for a few years but it eventually died. I spied the used pot on their for-sale shelf with no price tag. I took the 10" used Chinese mass manufactured pot to the owner to ask how much they wanted for it. She told me some inflated price $40 or $50; I told her no thanks "too much". She wanted to recoup her investment for losing the tree by gouging me. I try to avoid her whenever I'm at their nursery. I like the service her son provides and he will readily discount damaged nursery stock; so I deal with him mostly.

Todd Ellis
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Re: Local nurseries and "Bonsai"

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