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Date: 31 Jul 2007 15:44:32
From: y_p_w
Subject: ACF espresso cups revisited
So - a few years back I noted that I ordered several #10 moka brown
and white ACF espresso cups/saucer from Crossroads Espresso for $40/
dozen. I had verified by email that they were made by ACF before
buying. It was a great price and I was looking to buy more in the
future. Their photo looked more like their #8 (machiatto) model, but
I was OK with the shape (my Italian coworkers liked them). When it
did come time to order again (latte and more espresso cups), they
hadn't changed their catalog numbers or the images on their website/
catalog. They did change their supplier to some cheap Asian knockoff
without changing the price. Later on, they had changed their wording
to "These are not ACF or Nuova Point cups". The cups are actually
fairly durable and decent for knockoffs. However - the way they
changed their supplier without changing their sales copy soured me on
ordering from them again.

This past weekend I got a set of six ACF #8 moka brown cups/saucers at
Great Infusions in Santa Cruz, Calfiornia for $31.50+tax. They also
had other shapes, colors, and sizes to choose from. I was passing
through town to the Boardwalk and on the way to Monterey and was
planning on visiting their retail operation if I had time. I relayed
my story about a "great price" I used to get for ACF cups to the clerk
(may have been the owner or manager). Apparently he had heard the
story before, and knew I was referring to Crossroads Espresso. For an
in-store sale, he even opened the box and checked for obvious flaws.
I know commercial espresso cups tend to have uneven finish, scratches,
etc, so this was a nice touch.

I've since checked Crossroads Espresso, and they're identifying their
cups as "Made in Italy", but with a price of $69/dozen. I would guess
their were getting flak about their lower-quality knockoff and
determined that their customers were willing to pay more for better
quality.





 
Date: 02 Aug 2007 18:22:39
From: Flasherly
Subject: Re: ACF espresso cups revisited
On Jul 31, 8:25 pm, "Jack Denver" <nunuv...@netscape.net > wrote:
> Given the deterioration in the dollar, you'd expect European imports to cost
> 50% or 60% more than they did a few years ago.

Since the 2000 peak of 1,527 in the S&P 500, it wasn't eclipsed until
May 30. Because of weakness in our currency, investors from
Switzerland, Canada and "Euroland" who put money in the S&P 500 at the
peak in 2000 and now want to sell and exchange currencies are still
down 26 percent, 27 percent and 28 percent, respectively. Although
declination is 16 percent on a trade-weighted basis since January
2002, projections for the euro replacing the dollar, for some (cited
by Jeffrey Frankel and Menzie Chinn economists at Harvard University
and University of Wisconsin, respectively -1), could (conceivably -2)
occur within a decade.

(-1) http://www.kansascity.com/business/story/211684.html

--
(-2) Further 'contingencies' aka 'things that go bump'.

1. Iraq- $600B, estimates exceed $2T. See discounting WW III in Iran.

2. Real Estate - see biggest bubble in history. See 2009.

3. Foreigners - $2.5T domestic ownership. See help application form
for $1T annual borrowing.

4. Next big Beijing bubble. See correctional crash.

5. Borders too broad for Homeland Security. See next 9/11.

6. Pension hedge funds for risque retirees. See doing the boogie-
woogie.

7. $100 on the barrel. See my new SUV.

8. Diversified global reserves. See #3.

9. $9T debt interests. See defense budget.

10. Social Security entitlements. See 44% tax increase entitlement,
$8T pharmamedical's unfunded sicko windfalls, or whichever goes broke
first before no later than 2027.

11. Zero tolerance for savings. Congratulations, see #6.

--
Paul Farrell, Marketwatch reporter.
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/you-pick-20-tipping-points/stor...{DF996C81-774A-4D3E-87D0-5743138A9AF3}&siteid=yahoomy



 
Date: 31 Jul 2007 21:04:51
From: y_p_w
Subject: Re: ACF espresso cups revisited
On Jul 31, 5:25 pm, "Jack Denver" <nunuv...@netscape.net > wrote:
> Given the deterioration in the dollar, you'd expect European imports to cost
> 50% or 60% more than they did a few years ago.

You'd think so. I just didn't like what I saw from Crossroads
Espresso, and apparently others thought they got a raw deal. If
you've ordered a catalog item in the past and the same photos and ad
copy are used, you'd think nothing has changed. The price may have
been too good to be true, but I thought maybe they still maintained a
volume discount. At least they maintained the

I know there's no way we're going to find new ACF espresso cup/saucer
sets for $40/dozen. And Crossroads seems to have brought them back at
a higher price consistent with the poor exchange rate.

Strangely enough, I bought a "9 cup" Bialetti Moka Express moka pot
for $30 (at Peet's Coffee) for the company picnic; I also used my own
propane camping stove. One of my coworkers attending the picnic is
based in Europe and appreciated the pot. He asked about the price,
and (crunching the exchange rates in his head) he said it probably
would have been more expensive in Europe. Apparently it's being
priced very competitively for sale in the US.



  
Date: 02 Aug 2007 14:43:40
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: ACF espresso cups revisited
In Europe, retail purchases have a high "VAT" tax plus discounting is not as
common. Also , the manufacturers try to eat some of the exchange rate
differences so that they can keep US prices relatively stable, overpricing
goods when US$ is high and underpricing them (a little) when it is low.

Moka is sort of a special case because it has been in production for what
seems like forever - you can pay full retail for "genuine" Bialetti with the
mustatche man logo on the outside or pay less for the identical item not
stamped but with the "ABC" (Alfonso Bialetti of Crusinallo) casting mark
under the lid or even less for some cheap knock off made elsewhere.

"y_p_w" <y_p_w@hotmail.com > wrote in message
news:1185941091.089772.5540@j4g2000prf.googlegroups.com...
> On Jul 31, 5:25 pm, "Jack Denver" <nunuv...@netscape.net> wrote:
>> Given the deterioration in the dollar, you'd expect European imports to
>> cost
>> 50% or 60% more than they did a few years ago.
>
> You'd think so. I just didn't like what I saw from Crossroads
> Espresso, and apparently others thought they got a raw deal. If
> you've ordered a catalog item in the past and the same photos and ad
> copy are used, you'd think nothing has changed. The price may have
> been too good to be true, but I thought maybe they still maintained a
> volume discount. At least they maintained the
>
> I know there's no way we're going to find new ACF espresso cup/saucer
> sets for $40/dozen. And Crossroads seems to have brought them back at
> a higher price consistent with the poor exchange rate.
>
> Strangely enough, I bought a "9 cup" Bialetti Moka Express moka pot
> for $30 (at Peet's Coffee) for the company picnic; I also used my own
> propane camping stove. One of my coworkers attending the picnic is
> based in Europe and appreciated the pot. He asked about the price,
> and (crunching the exchange rates in his head) he said it probably
> would have been more expensive in Europe. Apparently it's being
> priced very competitively for sale in the US.
>




 
Date: 31 Jul 2007 20:25:13
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: ACF espresso cups revisited
Given the deterioration in the dollar, you'd expect European imports to cost
50% or 60% more than they did a few years ago.


"y_p_w" <y_p_w@hotmail.com > wrote in message
news:1185921872.242166.217740@z24g2000prh.googlegroups.com...
> So - a few years back I noted that I ordered several #10 moka brown
> and white ACF espresso cups/saucer from Crossroads Espresso for $40/
> dozen. I had verified by email that they were made by ACF before
> buying. It was a great price and I was looking to buy more in the
> future. Their photo looked more like their #8 (machiatto) model, but
> I was OK with the shape (my Italian coworkers liked them). When it
> did come time to order again (latte and more espresso cups), they
> hadn't changed their catalog numbers or the images on their website/
> catalog. They did change their supplier to some cheap Asian knockoff
> without changing the price. Later on, they had changed their wording
> to "These are not ACF or Nuova Point cups". The cups are actually
> fairly durable and decent for knockoffs. However - the way they
> changed their supplier without changing their sales copy soured me on
> ordering from them again.
>
> This past weekend I got a set of six ACF #8 moka brown cups/saucers at
> Great Infusions in Santa Cruz, Calfiornia for $31.50+tax. They also
> had other shapes, colors, and sizes to choose from. I was passing
> through town to the Boardwalk and on the way to Monterey and was
> planning on visiting their retail operation if I had time. I relayed
> my story about a "great price" I used to get for ACF cups to the clerk
> (may have been the owner or manager). Apparently he had heard the
> story before, and knew I was referring to Crossroads Espresso. For an
> in-store sale, he even opened the box and checked for obvious flaws.
> I know commercial espresso cups tend to have uneven finish, scratches,
> etc, so this was a nice touch.
>
> I've since checked Crossroads Espresso, and they're identifying their
> cups as "Made in Italy", but with a price of $69/dozen. I would guess
> their were getting flak about their lower-quality knockoff and
> determined that their customers were willing to pay more for better
> quality.
>