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Old 02-12-2009, 05:32 PM   #1
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Default Rip-off, Bargain or Learning Tool? - Guide to the Curio Shop - DELUXE Update! - Educational material!

It seems like Arte is the man we love to hate. "Rip-off! Con artist!" they say of him. Does Arte really overcharge all the time on everything? Read on to find out!

First, a few basics:

Items: The Curio Shop offers 12 items for sale at a time, and they change every hour. These items may be:

1-W-shop items. These are the majority of his offerings.

2-Curio Shop Only (CSO) items. These include the retired items from the Cat and Country themes, a few items from the Science and Medieval themes, and a hodgepodge of No-Theme CSO. Pictures and prices are found in the WIGEV.

(WIGEV) Curio Shop Only Items - Webkinz Insider Wiki

And last but not least:

3-Rares: ...but that's for another Guide.

Levels: There are 7 levels of friendship with Arte. On level 7, Arte will tell you the time of the next special deal, and of the next Rare. You do not get a better price for being on a higher level. Complete information is found in Arte's Preferred Customer Primer by Justin:
http://www.webkinzinsider.com/forum/f136/artes-preferred-customers-primer-4041/
At level 1, Arte explains the workings of the Curio Shop. As you go up in levels, he reveals a bit more. By level 4, Arte is giving us very useful advice:

Click the image to open in full size.

Prices: Arte's prices fluctuate up and down! Sometimes they go as high as 20% over the regular price, but never more than 20%. But he also often reduces his prices by 10%, 15%, or 20%. Every hour, there is either a Regular Sale or a Special Sale. When he has a Special Sale on, one price will be either 30% or 40% off. The Special Sale hour occurs randomly, 6 to 10 times a day. Every hour, you have a 1:3 chance of a Special Sale.

Regular Sale:


Click the image to open in full size.

I have chosen a Regular Sale randomly, and taken screenshots of the items on offer. Here is Arte inviting us in, and here are his 12 items for this particular hour:

Click the image to open in full size.



The Goalie Mask Shelf is 64 kc. The regular price of this item is 75 kc. 75 minus 64 = 11 kc off. Do you know how to turn this into a percentage? Without a calculator? It's 15% off. (11 divided by 75 and multiplied by 100)

Next item: Winter Feast Dining Table, 456 kc. You can open the W-shop window on top of the Curio Shop and check the regular price, which is 480 kc. Curio price is 5% off the regular price.

3-Kinzville Academy Plaque 55 kc. Again, a quick check in the W-shop gives us the regular price: 50 kc. This time, Arte is charging 10% more than the W-shop.

4-Funky Girl Dining Table: 333, a 5% reduction.

5-Basketball Dreams Wallpaper: 275, same price as the W-shop.

6-Night Stand 144, 15% more.

7-Wise Wizard Bookshelves 383, a 15% reduction.

8-Park Bench 214, 5% off.

9-Konnichiwa Coffee Table 264, 15% off.

10-White Daisies 44, 10% off.

11-Rocking World Tour Playset 200, 20% off. This hour's best buy!

12-Scoreboard Television808, 5% off.

If we tally them, we see that Arte offered 9 items at a price lower than the W-shop, one the same, and 2 at a higher price.

Another hour will give different results, and I was curious to see if these proportions would hold, so I analysed a dozen random sale times as above. Here are the results:

Click the image to open in full size.

Out of a total of 144 items, Arte overcharged on 69 items, and charged the same or less than W-shop on 75 items. That's 48% overcharged, and 52% undercharged or the same price. Do you like Arte better now?

Spoiler: show
Here is another one: 12 different random sales:
We see that 64 items are over-priced, and 80 items are the same or under-priced.

Click the image to open in full size.


Let's look at a Special Sale:


Click the image to open in full size.

Special Sales: About one third of the time, Arte offers one or sometimes two items at special sale prices of 30% or 40% off the regular price. The trick is in spotting the sale item. Let's look at them systematically.

Click the image to open in full size.



Glass-Topped Dining Table, 935: This is 10% over the reg price of 850.

Toy Dump Truck, 40: the same price as in the W-shop.

Maroon Hoody at 24 kc is 40% off the regular price of 40 kc. We found our Special Sale!

Click the image to open in full size.

And so on, we could check the % off the rest of the items if we wanted to. Today's special sale is a small item, but often Arte will offer a fridge, TV or other big-ticket item at 30% or 40% off, a sizeable saving!

When, oh when? Because the sales are identical in the Asian, European and North American accounts, it is possible to predict the sales. The Asian day starts 14 hours before the North American day and therefore we get a 14-hour heads-up. Details of the special items reduced by 30% or 40% are announced in The Rare Tracking Thread, along with the Rares. Look for a stickered blue thread in the Rare and CSO Items Forum.

The sales are first announced in the Asian time zone in post #1:

Click the image to open in full size.



And the American/European accounts are in post #2:

Click the image to open in full size.





Note that since all time zones are now synchronised, the items will be the same.

Now that you know what the thread looks like, go check it out; make a shopping plan, and save yourself a bundle of cash!
http://www.webkinzinsider.com/forum/f139/rare-tracking-thread-553259/#post16366012

Oh yes, and have fun!

Parents: There is a lot more to the Curio Shop than meets the eye. It's a complex learning tool to practice math skills and shopping skills, while having fun. I'll explain: The Curio Shop can be used as a tool to reinforce school lessons on math, especially percentages and estimates, but many others too. Your imagination is the limit.

Suggested tasks:

1-Make your child "earn" their time in the arcade by first computing the % off of the 12 items in the Curio Shop!

2-Subtractions: The less advanced student can subtract the sale price from the regular price for you to enter in your calculator ( don't tell them that the calculator can subtract).

3-Your child can estimate what the % off might be, then calculate it on your calculator (or by hand) and see how close the estimate was.

4-Reading: For the pre-schooler and first-grader, reading is everywhere. Cuddle your child and look at the item for sale. Practice reading the item descriptions on the screen. Hint: start with the word "the". You read, but every time the word "the" comes up, let your child say it, and give him/her a hug.

This is also a great opportunity to discuss budgeting, comparison shopping, and the difference between needs and wants, with your children.

_______________________

UPDATE: THE DELUXE SCREEN


Since the introduction of the Deluxe accounts in May 2009, there is now a new screen in the Curio Shop. Only Deluxe members will be able to see and click on this golden DELUXE tab below the Gem Hunt:

Click the image to open in full size.

When a Deluxe member enters the Curio Shop, Arte gives either the old level-specific greeting, or the new Deluxe one: "Well, if it isn't one of my extra special customers. Welcome to the Curio Shop." (he will alternate between the two). Click on the spoiler to see the old greetings for all levels (from Justin's Customer Primer):
Spoiler: show

Level 1: First time shopper in Arte's shop, shows you how it works.
Level 2: Arte says: "Welcome to the Curio Shop. Hope you find what you're looking for."
Level 3: Arte says: "Welcome back. See if you can find a bargain today."
Level 4: Arte says: "Hey, welcome back, if you see something you like, let me know."
Level 5: Arte says: "Good to see you again. Have fun shopping."
Level 6: Arte says: "Ahh, one of my favorite customers. Let's see what I can do for you."
Level 7: Arte says: "There you are! Always great to see you, my shop is your shop." (Shows you a sign that tells you what time the rare item will show up)



The Deluxe customer can open the new Deluxe screen and Arte will contine his sales pitch: "Check out my extra special stock, only available to extra special customers like you!"

Click the image to open in full size.

There are twelve sales items in the new screen, and once per day a guaranteed RARE will also be offered at an announced time.

For the regular non-deluxe customer, things remain unchanged: 12 items for sale every hour, a RARE at the announced time, sometimes two rares, sometimes none.

For the deluxe customer, there are now 24 items offered every hour instead of 12. As before, half will be overpriced, half will be reduced or regular price. There is also a guaranteed RARE once a day in the Deluxe screen.

There is a serious problem with this new feature: Arte announces the same Sales and Rares to both types of accounts, without specifying whether the Sale/Rare are deluxe or not. Regular members have the frustration of being told that a Sale or a Rare is offered, but they don't see it... and Arte doesn't specify... Let's hope that GANZ fixes this programming oversight soon.

Last edited by Webberlily; 04-20-2010 at 04:30 PM..
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Old 02-12-2009, 05:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: Rip-off, Bargain or Learning Tool? - Guide to the Curio Shop

Excellent presentation of the information Webberlily! Thanks for doing this.
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Old 02-12-2009, 05:51 PM   #3
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Default Re: Rip-off, Bargain or Learning Tool? - Guide to the Curio Shop

Great job Webberlily. This is a very helpful thread.
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Old 02-12-2009, 05:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: Rip-off, Bargain or Learning Tool? - Guide to the Curio Shop

Awesome guide Webberlily!!! That dawg can't fool you Love the parent tips at the end
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Old 02-12-2009, 05:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: Rip-off, Bargain or Learning Tool? - Guide to the Curio Shop

Thanks Jolyn, Theresa and Angel!

Last edited by AnthonysMommy; 07-11-2009 at 12:07 AM.. Reason: removing shell
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Old 02-12-2009, 06:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: Rip-off, Bargain or Learning Tool? - Guide to the Curio Shop

Great guide Webberlily!!!
Thanks so much for putting it together.
I know it took a lot of time and hard work.
We all appreciate it and all of your updates SO much!!!
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Old 02-12-2009, 06:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: Rip-off, Bargain or Learning Tool? - Guide to the Curio Shop

Wow Webberlily you did an amazing job. I love how detailed your information and spreadsheets and such are. The parent tips are great also. Thanks for working so hard to put this all together, I know it took a lot of time. So many will benefit from this that don't understand how it all works Great job!
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Old 02-12-2009, 09:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: Rip-off, Bargain or Learning Tool? - Guide to the Curio Shop

Webberlily this is a great help. You did a awesome job. Thanks so much.
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: Rip-off, Bargain or Learning Tool? - Guide to the Curio Shop

Thanks footie, reya and vickie, you are all very kind! I thought if people understood how the CS works, they might appreciate it better. So often we dislike what we don't understand. Like me and dicekinz...

Last edited by Webberlily; 04-07-2009 at 10:27 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: Rip-off, Bargain or Learning Tool? - Guide to the Curio Shop

What a GREAT TOOL - and I love the special reminders for parents -
WW CAN be a great learning tool for many of life's little lessons as well as practical skills,
IF we use it - I wonder how many parents realize that there is so much more than on online "game" -
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