What did it cost?

Bnana

Shohin
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When someone is interested in a hobby I can understand they want to know how much it will cost. Some hobbies have a high starting cost some start cheap and can be expensive if you want.
Bonsai can be very cheap, with simple plastic pots, a cat litter/bark mix, some wire and nursery or collected trees, and most of the tools you'll have anyway. It is easy and cheap to start and develop something, with time this can become a nice tree and more importantly a nice hobby. That is a different question than the price of a particular tree.
But it is good to understand that your tree won't look like the ones on internet that go for thousands of dollars, at least not for a long time.

Reef aquaria were already mentioned, that is a different level. You can start with bonsai for a few dollars and if you don't like it you quit. For a reef aquarium the starting costs are a lot higher, 500 dollars is a tight budget. A beginning bonsai hobbyist that is a very nice budget.
Of course you can buy expensive trees and pots, expensive soil, japanese fertilizer etc. and spend a lot of money, but you do not have to to enjoy growing bonsai.
 

leatherback

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I think that kind of thing is very rarely genuine....its like the "1-upper" mentality.
They will always say something like that....no matter what.
I do wonder about those types....known a few in my days. After a while its like, "dude, you do realize that no one believes anything you say, right...?"
In this case, he wanted to make me look bad (Groups app from my german club). Making me look silly for driging to bonsai plaza to collect a fatty trident. Stating I could have bought a better trident from him.

After he showed the picture of a telephonepole trident for 150E more expensive I decided to share my new tree and basically stated "including fuel and taking into account my time, this was still cheaper". It remained silent after that.
 

Carol 83

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Seems rude to me.
My parents taught us that it was bad manners to EVER ask anyone what they paid for something. Conversely, the first thing out of my husband's families mouth is "how much did that set you back?" :mad:
 

Forsoothe!

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I have a philosophy that I developed about inappropriate questions as a fisherman and mushroom hunter. People would say, "Where did you get those (bag of mushrooms or stringer of fish). I lied. They didn't have any understanding of how many fruitless trips one would have make, spending all the money, time, and energy developing an itinerary that would take you to one place after another where you get a couple here and one there for a full bag by the end of the day. It takes years and years and years. An old saw says, "10% of the fishermen catch 90% of the fish". It's understated. It's the same with mushrooms. You can't see underground or under the water, and it all looks alike and you have to actually do the legwork to find the good places and you have to fish in all the wrong places enough times to rule out the empty holes to be able to rule them out. Time and money over years and years. The questioner does not have the right to come along and obtain that info on the cheap. It is the product of earnest labor, -mine. So, with a straight face and a righteousness borne of considerable thought, I will send them to the other end of some forlorn God-forsaken empty nest on the other side of the county. Or the next county over. Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies.

When bonsai outsiders ask about the value of my trees I always change the direction of the conversation pointing out how small the market is and how individually identifiable most trees are, emphasizing how difficult they are to sell making it difficult to appraise them. I keep a low profile because I don't want to tempt people with a midnight shopping trip to my backyard. The truth is, it is very hard to put a $ value on anything because the market is small and mostly made up of hobbyists who won't pay more than a couple hundred for anything. Even at an art show that I do every year where I didn't sell anything for years and years and just had a club informational display to interest people in the art, when people ask whats that's worth, I say, "these are my babies, how much for your eldest daughter?" That has two points: I want people to feel this is a worthwhile hobby rather than an expensive possession collection pastime, and I'm selling the, "I can do that" attitude.

I feel that I have sufficiently skirted the OP question...
 

Woocash

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It is funny how guarded people are with money. If someone wants to know how much I paid for my boats, for example, then I tell them how much, where from and how I got it here. Then again, I very rarely buy a finished anything so unless I plan on making a buck or two, there’s no secret to be had. I get things cheap and put the work in to make them more valuable. A digression.

At the end of the day, money is only money. A lot of people love to flaunt that they have it. Too many cars, house that’s too big, flashy this, that and the other but if you asked them their net worth then they would be far more reticent to tell you outright. Saying that, I know a lot of middle of the road Joe bloggs folk who have next to nothing tangible, rented house, leased car etc but have to be seen to be doing well for themselves. It’s just the impression of wealth that matters, perhaps? A strange social yardstick to measure each other against when in reality, in my experience, often the more someone has, the worse a person they are.

Food, water, shelter. That’s all that matters, really.

I digress again...

With bonsai, I’d love to know much every tree is worth. It may be measured in different ways by different people, but it wouldn’t half be handy to know what is a good deal and what isn’t. I suppose I come at it from a middleman approach though, with the idea that 99% of my trees will likely end up in someone else’s hands one day (or on a compost pile). If I ever have a tree that someone wants to know how much I paid, the answer will likely be a pittance anyway, so I’m an open book. How much it is worth now may be a different story.
 

Trenthany

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I think those of us like myself and woocash don’t mind as much because we don’t have the years invested that many of you do nor the value in raw material. I know I’m blown away by prices at Wigart’s for some of the more finished material they sell so I have ballpark ideas on what the “value” of some of the trees I see are but “value is a proposition”, something is worth what someone will sell it for and what someone will buy it for. If I sell a tree for $5 it’s worth $5 if I sell it for $500k it’s worth $500k. Of course in such a niche market there isn’t a good resale value for stolen goods because they’re recognizable and so are the pots finished pieces are usually kept in.
 

Wulfskaar

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I've spent just over $100 in the last 9 months even though I don't have $1 worth of bonsai trees. I'll probably have to put in another couple hundred before 2021 is over for soil and a new tree or two from a nursery.

There are SO MANY hobbies I would LOVE to do, but just can't afford it (money and time). So so many.

This hobby, however, lets me do something for pretty cheaply and it doesn't eat up a lot of my time.
 

Trenthany

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I've spent just over $100 in the last 9 months even though I don't have $1 worth of bonsai trees. I'll probably have to put in another couple hundred before 2021 is over for soil and a new tree or two from a nursery.

There are SO MANY hobbies I would LOVE to do, but just can't afford it (money and time). So so many.

This hobby, however, lets me do something for pretty cheaply and it doesn't eat up a lot of my time.
Get enough plants and the urge to propagate and grow more and it will consume your time! In bursts at least. Lol
 

misfit11

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I don't feel that it's particularly rude to ask how much you paid for a tree. I don't do it myself but I'm not offended if people ask me. It's typically newcomers to the hobby that ask this question. They are trying to gauge how much a particular quality tree goes for so they can better understand the hobby itself.

That being said, I agree with what someone said earlier when they said, "If you have to ask how much it cost, you can't afford it".
 

Underdog

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If I searched for days and didn't find anything and then on the third year I found a cool tree. What is that worth?

If I dug it, brought it home and kept it alive transplanted it two or three times and now four years older, what is that worth?

Hard to put a value on some things. If I bring a nursery can home from the club show. Ask away:)
 

MrWunderful

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When you pay a lot of money for a developed tree with provenance, you are paying for time. If you dont want to pay 20k for a 60 yr old tree, then just get some seeds for close to nothing and grow it, keep it healthy water and train it for 60 years. Every single day.

Bet you will think its work the 20k then.
 

leatherback

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If someone wants to know how much I paid for my boats, for example, then I tell them how much, where from and how I got it here.
I prefer this over how some people suggest that you should people that are looking for help on a goose chase hunting their own tail.
 

Woocash

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Exacatically. We might not share where the location of a goldmine we discovered is, but in general, I like to help people save a step or two in time spent researching. It’s no skin off my nose to give any clues to my wealth (or lack thereof).

I’m not sure I subscribe to the “if you have to ask you can’t afford it” thing either. It depends who asks. Bill Gates might have no clue, but he could buy us each a Naka tree. Likewise, someone just starting in bonsai may have loadsa dosh, but not the confidence to buy an investment type specimen. It also depends on which tree is asked about...
 

leatherback

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“if you have to ask you can’t afford it” thing either.
Thank you. I like to use it as a joke. But not in seriousness.
Likewise, someone just starting in bonsai may have loadsa dosh, but not the confidence to buy an investment type specimen.
True

And.. Even if I COULD afford a 1K tree, it does not mean I understand what a 1K tree would look like.
I KNOW I have had discussions with the owner of bonsai plaza on getting me a nice japanese beach, 1-2 inch trunk from Japan in the 200E range. He first thought I was joking. Then he just was sad with my mis-conception of prices of such trees.
 

Woocash

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Thank you. I like to use it as a joke. But not in seriousness.

True

And.. Even if I COULD afford a 1K tree, it does not mean I understand what a 1K tree would look like.
I KNOW I have had discussions with the owner of bonsai plaza on getting me a nice japanese beach, 1-2 inch trunk from Japan in the 200E range. He first thought I was joking. Then he just was sad with my mis-conception of prices of such trees.
There you go. It’s not as if you’re bonsai novice either and that doesn’t seem like it should be outside the realms of possibility at that price. Should be. Saying that, I suppose anything from Japan will have a premium on it.
 

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