Chess is a game that requires a special set of pieces and board to play. The pieces and board are usually larger than those used in other board games, and this size difference requires more materials and effort to manufacture. As a result, chess sets tend to be more expensive than other board games. The most expensive sets feature rare types of wood, intricate carvings, and hand finishes that add to the cost.
The law of diminishing returns applies here as it does in other areas. It takes more material, time, and effort to make a larger chess set than a smaller one, so larger sets tend to be more expensive than their smaller counterparts. Manufacturers in India often sell wholesale to retailers, who then add their own markup to the price. Personally, I have found that buying directly from Indian manufacturers can be more affordable than buying from retailers.
When it comes to wooden chess sets, I usually go directly to the manufacturer if they offer the set I want. Collectors are often willing to pay a premium for extravagant and unique sets. When shopping for chess sets online, I have noticed that there is a wide range of prices available. I usually look for sets that meet my budget while still offering an acceptable level of quality.
For example, I own a set from House of Staunton that is designed like the original Staunton 1849 championship set. Although the design is the same as another store's cheaper set, the weight, quality, and finish are much higher in the HoS set. At the other end of the spectrum is an extravagant chess table made with 925 silver Jaguar heads and two 12mm HT emeralds at each corner. Weighing over 2400 pounds, this table is truly a sight to behold! Plastic chess sets are generally cheaper than wooden boards made with premium wood.
Artistic sets with fine details also tend to be more expensive due to the extra effort required to make them. In conclusion, there is a wide range of prices available for chess sets depending on size, materials used, and level of detail. Collectors are often willing to pay a premium for unique and extravagant sets, while those on a budget can find acceptable quality at lower prices.