Jan 14, 2005, 5:08 AM
Post #1 of 1
Many of you received our mailing, about our Bali supplier post tsunami. They are fine, most of Bali had little damage, but that is not the same for other parts of Indonesia. That part of the world will be recovering for years. They already had a tenuous infra structure, and most of it was shattered. Getting products in and out -- even from areas not directly hit -- will be affected by the relief and repair efforts for a long time.
A note about the Tsunami & Indonesia
While immediate charity relief and aid is essential, what any developing and/or recovering nation or region really needs is long-term economic investment, and outlets for their products. They need regular, repeat business, a steady income, and a means to grow. One-shot charity may start them off, or get them back on their feet, but it won't keep them there.
We, and you, are doing our parts in helping this region recover by purchasing REAL BALI sterling and beads.
Avoid imitations, and "Bali-like" beads. Make sure your supplier is buying from legitimate Balinese shops, with proper conditions. "Bali-like" does not go to support the Indonesian area, and help rebuild. That money goes to often large "sweat shops" in India, China, and other areas, and has pushed the effective prices of real Bali silver down, at a time when costs are going up. Purchasing imitation cast beads purpetuates the sweat shop model of business, and does little if anything to improve the lives of the people working, or living, in the area.
If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. If Bali sterling is selling for $.99 a gram wholesale in most places, a place with it for $.60 or the unbelievable $0.34 per gram, should be suspect.
When shopping for prices, look at the average prices across sellers. If a few seem way off, there is probably a reason. Yes, there will always be variability, but if 70% of all sellers have one price +/- a few pennies, and 20% are within 5 or 10 cents of that, if the other 5-10% are really skewd, you should ask "WHY?"
We import other items from Bali -- wood carvings, artwork, and such. We try to go through direct exporters, and buy from as close to the artists as we can.
Your support of these products from us, and other direct importers, does go to helping the region recover and grow, and give them long-term stability.
The few pennies more you spend on REAL BALI does more to help the region grow, than that $100 check you sent off to the red cross.
Both are needed now, but as the old wisdom imparts "Give a man a fish, and he eats today. Teach the man to fish and he eats every day. Buy the man's fish and he has a business and means to support his family."
In the long run, where and how you spend your dollars, or those few extra pennies, is what counts.
It counts for developing and recovering nations, and it counts for your Local Bead and Hobby shops.
As a parting thought... if you are willing to send that $50 or $100 check for disaster relief, isn't it worth an extra 10 cents per gram to actually really support that area develop economically so they don't need more charity?
Just some things to think about.
PUGDOG's Rock & Bead Shop
Pittsburgh, PA 15217