I just paid $20 for a pad of vellum (Borden & Riley #90 Sheer Trace Vellum, 9×12 inches, 50 sheets) at Sam Flax in midtown Manhattan. Why? Because I received the materials list for a class 46 hours before it starts, and I haven’t got the time to take the trip to the art stores downtown in the next two days. So Sam Flax it was, and whatever Sam Flax wanted, I paid. Apparently, they want $4.50 over the list price (other stores, like Blick and Utrecht, charge less than the manufacturer’s list price of $15.54—respectively, $12.39 or for a comparable product, $13.99).
I want to support the little guy. I understand that mom & pop shops can’t offer the same pricing that chain stores dealing in much larger volumes. But it’s not like their staff were any less aggressively apathetic. (Three customers waited to checkout as a staff member giftwrapped something, while three other staff stood around; one of them clipped his fingernails. Gross!)
I dislike being so negative, but not as much as my distaste for feeling ripped off. I’ve learned my lesson.