Prices going up soon! Increases coming in April!

A list of countries that we deliver to can be found here: Asian Art Delivery Countries.
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Gary
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Location: San Diego / Beijing

Prices going up soon! Increases coming in April!

Post by Gary » Mar 5, 2008 12:57 am

We don't want to, but prices are going to have to increase soon.

Reasons:
  • Thanks to George W. Bush's handling of the U.S. economy, the value of the Dollar is the weakest ever (he says this is a good thing, I say it's good for some, but bad for others - he also says he favors a "strong dollar" so, as usual, he's talking out of both sides of his mouth).
  • We are in "stagflation" in the USA - our cost of living is increasing, but our income is decreasing (Thanks W!).
  • In response to Washington's demands on China, the RMB (Chinese Yuan or CNY) has been somewhat "unpegged" from the U.S. Dollar (in mid-2005), and has been adjusting ever since.
This really affects us, as we buy artwork, and pay wages in RMB, but sell the artwork in USD. The result is we pay more, and make less.

This means several things:
  • The artwork, wages, transport, and our other costs have effectively increased by about 13.5% since mid-2005.
  • In that time, cost of living has increased by about 12-15% in the USA.
  • Also, the cost of living is skyrocketing in Beijing (location of our headquarters) as the Olympics approach (good old Capitalism is fully embedded in China, and means plenty of price gouging).
  • Our artwork is a real bargain for European, UK, Australian, and Canadian customers (as if it wasn't a bargain before). At least this is good for some people.
Here is a chart of the Chinese RMB against the U.S. Dollar for the last few years (notice the curve - this means, the rate at which things are getting worse, is getting worse).



In simple terms, the graph shows how our costs have increased since mid-2005.
In technical terms, it's an exponential increase in costs, with no end in sight.

I have just returned from an art-buying adventure, covering about 3000 miles within China to visit many of my artist-friends, and buy a lot of new artwork (about 1200 pieces). I am now in the process of slowly adjusting the prices on many items. I probably should have done this two years ago, but I just hate to increase prices. As of today, I am not even half-way done. So if you see a good deal, take it now - tomorrow, the price could be 5-20% higher.
Last edited by Gary on Dec 12, 2010 10:41 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Gary
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Posts: 6091
Joined: Oct 30, 2007 11:30 pm
Location: San Diego / Beijing

Backing off the price increases...

Post by Gary » May 18, 2008 11:36 am

Well, I've backed off a bit. We still want to make artwork as affordable as possible.

So, I've only adjusted prices on items that we were either breaking-even, or losing money on.

We partially pulled my two-year-old daughter out of daycare (2 days instead of 5), and have tightened our household budget in other ways. Hopefully we can weather this bad economic storm, and make the proper and fair adjustments later.

The fact that many websites are selling similar artwork for $275-$800 that I sell for $98-$248 should be enough to prove our sincerity.

Of course, it's hard for them to compete when we build our own, exhibition-quality, handmade silk wall scrolls, and all the artwork comes directly from the studios and homes of my artist-friends around China.

And, we're NOT going to reduce our quality to the "tourist-trash wall scrolls" level that they often sell on eBay, just to increase our profit margin.

If we go down, we'll go down knowing that we've offered the best artwork and wall scroll mounting for a more-than-fair price.

-Gary.

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