Frequently Asked Questions...

Is this original Asian art?
How is this Asian art mounted?
How much is shipping?
How long will it take to get my Asian art?
If my Asian art arrives damaged, what happens?
If my Asian art is lost in shipping, what happens?
What payment types do you accept?

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You can ask questions about our service, shipping issues, custom Chinese calligraphy, or anything else you might want to know.


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The number one question:

Is this Original Art or Prints?

With very few exceptions, the art that we sell is completely hand-painted (the exceptions are partial prints that are carefully declared as such). This hand-painted art is created by talented artists from various places in China. About 90% of the art we sell comes from artists that Sandy (my business partner) or I have a personal relationship with. We have met the artists, and watched them work. Sometimes we have paintings commissioned exclusively for Oriental Outpost, and several artists in China depend on us for the majority of their household income.

I know that is seems strange that you can buy original art for less than the price of a print from us, but it's true! China is an inexpensive place to live, Sandy and I usually make less than $1000 per month, but that is enough to live comfortably here.

The artist's life is a simple one as well. Artists in China do not drive BMWs and live in mansions (I don't even own or drive a car in China myself). Therefore, the price of art is very reasonable in China.

When you buy art from me, you are usually getting a better deal than if you came to China yourself, and bought the same art at one of the art galleries here. We don't have a lot of overhead, so the prices that we offer are fine for the artists and us.

This is the definition of original art from Artlex

Original Art - Any work considered to be an authentic example of the works of an artist, rather than a reproduction or imitation. The term excludes works produced "in the studio of" an artist, because that usually means that it was made by others, even if under the artist's influence or at his direction.

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How is this art mounted? What is the process?

Example of an Asian Calligraphy Art Painting

After you unroll your painting, this is what it will look like. Note the silk brocade border which you can use as matting when you frame your Asian art.

See the step-by-step process of how our Chinese artwork is mounted.

We always buy un-mounted art. This means the watercolor art is on thin "xuan" paper (most people call this "rice paper") but has no backing and no silk border/matting. We then take the art back to our studio in Beijing where Sandy and I have found a very good mounter and wall scroll builder. The painting is then mounted by hand to a thick backing (which is really just a few more sheets of laminated rice paper). Also, a two to three inch wide silk brocade border/matting is added around the painting. Then some key line tape is applied around the outside edge and is also used to define the line between the edge of the painting and the silk border. There is a lot more to this process, but what counts is the pleasing appearance of the finished product which is ready for framing when it arrives at your door.

Scrolls are made in a similar way with the addition of the top frame and rigging as well as the wooden scroll roller at the bottom.

The exceptions are paintings from our collections of Philosophy Art, Charcoal Art, and Gouache Folk Art which are done on thick paper, and are sold without being mounted with a silk border.

I usually don't buy art that has already been mounted because I have no control over the quality of the mounting. Quality of Chinese-style mounting can vary a lot. I have finally found a mounter whose work is consistently good, and who understands my demands for quality. I exclusively use this mounter who is located in Beijing because I want to give you the absolute best quality and presentation of your artwork.

Sandy or I personally sort the paintings and exclude ones with unacceptable flaws in either the painting or the mounting. We are probably more picky than you in this area, but this virtually guarantees that you are going to get a high quality piece of art. Artwork that does not pass inspection either ends up being sold to hotel gift shops in Beijing, or listed for sale in our Bargain Bin.

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Shipping

How much is shipping?

Special $9.80 worldwide flat rate shipping

The cost varies depending on the item. Scrolls are heavier, and therefore cost a little more. Some of the smaller pieces can be sent at a special "letter rate" and cost a lot less.

Our shipping rates are based on the average actual costs to package and ship each type of art (rates listed in U.S. Dollars)...

Paintings under 14" (such as 13" philosophy art & modern art) $9.80
Paintings between 14"-18" overall $12.80
Paintings between 18"- 22" overall $13.80
Scrolls less than 36" long & paintings between 22"-26" overall $15.80
Scrolls more than 36" long & paintings over 26" overall $16.80

These rates apply to almost anywhere in the world.

Rates above apply to your first item...
If you buy additional items, shipping and export taxes are just $3.80 for each additional item.

We pay for your shipping after your 4th item: No additional shipping & handling is charged after your 4th item on the same order!
So your 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th... ...100th item are shipped free!

We ship Asian art to the following countries on an almost daily basis:

USA, Canada, Australia, Scotland, England, North Ireland, Spain, Japan, Singapore, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Denmark, New Zealand, Thailand, Sweden, Finland, and Norway
(Listed in order of volume of Asian art shipments)

Click here to see the full list of countries that we ship to.

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How long does it take?

For items in our San Diego, USA gallery:
Delivery is about 2-3 business days to anywhere in the USA via Priority Mail, and 2 weeks to most other countries via First Class International (faster services are available to non-USA customers at additional cost).

Note that custom calligraphy wall scrolls and portraits are made in China (and sometimes Japan) take 4+ weeks for delivery with non-rush service. This is because they must first be made completely by hand custom for you. Then take 2 weeks for air mail from Beijing, China.

Delivery time frames for in-stock Asian Artwork items

These are average delivery times.
Customs holds, postal misrouting, and other circumstances occasionally cause delays.

Postal Service Level USA USA Canada CAN Rest of world... GB AU EU
Standard Air MailN/A5-14 days2-3 weeks
Priority Mail2-3 days3-8 days10-14 days
EMS (Express Mail)1-2 days2-5 days5-12 days

Delivery time frames for custom calligraphy

 Service LevelWorldwide
Chinese
Calligraphy
Standard4-5 weeks
Rush17-21 days
Japanese
Calligraphy
Standard6-7 weeks
Rush3-5 weeks

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My art was damaged in shipping, now what?

I really hate it when this happens - I feel very bad about it, but I'm glad it doesn't happen very often.

This is usually limited to slight damage such as a small wrinkle or in the worst case, a crease. This is often the result of mishandling in the a U.S. Postal Service (We've had almost no cases of damage in Western Europe and the UK)

If this happens to you, DON'T WORRY, I will take care of you.

Usually, small wrinkles can be taken out with a warm clothing iron on a flat surface. If you are going to have your art framed, a good professional framer knows how to make such wrinkles disappear. I will give you a discount on any future purchases as a token to make up for the hassle.

If the damage is beyond repair, I will offer you a replacement painting of the same style and by the same artist (if possible) which will be sent to you at my expense and I will give you a discount on a future purchase. If you prefer, or if a replacement is not available, I will give you a full refund. If the artwork is particularly valuable, I may ask for is a digital picture or photo of the damage to aid my efforts to make a claim with the local post office where we originally shipped the artwork from.

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I think my Art is Lost, now what?

Luckily this is rare. We've had 5 lost parcels in the last two years (out of more than 2000 shipments - so better than 99.7% arrived safely).

Don't worry, I will take care of you.

Once we reach the three-week-mark, I will start to make inquiries at China Post (The Chinese Postal Service) or the USPS (depending on where your order was shipped from).


I can sometimes get a date that the package was handed off to your local postal service. If there is no date, that might mean that the package has been mishandled by the postal service. If this happens, I will offer you a replacement painting of the same style and by the same artist which will be sent to you at my expense and I will give you a discount on a future purchase. If you prefer, or if a replacement is not available, I will give you a full refund.

In our 10 years of doing business from China, we've lost only 2 packages shipped from Beijing to Western Europe, The United Kingdom, Australia, or Canada.

I don't know why, but ever since 9/11, the U.S. Postal Service is the worst offender: Of the 12 lost packages in the last 2 years, eight were bound for the USA, two bound for South Africa, and two bound for Indonesia.

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Payment Methods

What type of payments do you accept?

1. We use an SSL certificate issued by GeoTrust that can manage up to 256-bit encryption (very secure).
We accept: Use a major credit card shown here including debit cards with the "Visa" or "MasterCard" logo.


Here are other payment methods that we gladly accept:

2. Paypal  

3. Money Orders or Cashiers Checks This can be sent to our payment address in California (provided when you checkout) instead of sending it to China (We do this to make it much faster for you if you are in North America). Our Asian artwork is usually shipped within 48 hours of the receipt of your payment. Please note that your money order payment must be drawn on U.S. Dollars.
USA customers: Money Orders from the U.S. Post Office are best.
International: We prefer postal money orders. Canada Post, Japan Post, and Australia Post money orders work great.


If you wish to use any of the following methods, simply checkout using the "Money Order Option". After completing the checkout process, you will need to manually complete your payment. Email us if you need any help...

4. Western Union - If you live in a country where you don't have access to anything else, and you really want some artwork from us, you can use standard Western Union. This seems to be the choice to those living in the Middle East, and also parts of Eastern Europe. At about $12 per transaction, I think the cost is high, but if it is the only way, I gladly accept it. Please contact me after you have send the money to give me the Western Union payment details.

5. Personal Checks - I want to say no, but if you must pay by personal check, you can send it to the payment address that I have set up in California. Expect the standard delay as I wait for your check to clear the bank, unless you are an established customer.

6. Small Children - We no longer accept small children in lieu of payment for Asian art due to international law. (not to be taken seriously)

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Still have questions?

Post your questions about Asian Art or our service here