Discussion in 'General' started by Ouddict, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. PEARL

    PEARL Guerrilla

    "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist", Keyser Söze as Roger "Verbal" Kint
    "The greatest trick a marketing genius ever pulled is convincing the world that they're the best", Pearl

    As a marketing genius, you are supposed to say you're the best and you started everything; if you don't, how can you expect anybody else to. I see no fault, business never personal when it's business and there's no sentiment in business.

    Truth be told, the only thing any vendor here or there ever started was their business and afterwards some started running their mouths. People have been selling oud, sandalwood, rose, incense, musk, wood, etc. waayyy longer than any of us have been here. People have used the web as a platform to sell products longer than any oud vendor has used the web as a platform to sell product. It's not copying, it's one's chosen vocation or hobby, nothing more. If I say I started selling oud, bought it to the west, and some believe, winning. Even better when some repeat the lie. If I say I started selling and bought oud to the west and some doubt and talk about it the on boards, free publicity that keeps my name alive, winning.

    If I say that people copy me, my website, my style of marketing and some believe, winning. If some doubt and talk, free publicity, winning. If some vendors seemingly IMO dumb down their site to not appear anything like mine for fear of being seen as a copier by my believers, winning. In fact bi-winning, winning over here and winning over there. Some of the vendors travel from Vietnam to Assam, Pasadena to Medina, picteresque places that deliver an experience, if I was them I'd inundate my sight with those pics and lovely prose, and the last thing I'd be thinking about is another vendor claiming I copied them. The consumer wants that; it certainly won't hurt and is not hard to do. In fact, I'd set up my site so that anytime anyone searched oud, rose, incense, wood, etc. or any other vendor, this board, my site would show in the query results.

    If a vendor says this or that negatively about another vendor or somehow hurts another vendor and that vendor doesn't respond or right the wrong done to them, winning. If a vendor can talk another out of their game, winning. It's yours and if you won't, I won't, not again. Indeed the oils will talk, but there's nothing wrong with anyone talking too.

    Buying any luxury item such as oud is an experience, and consumers want an experience from pre-purchase shopping to packaging and fast delivery. Go to Brown & Co. and plop down 9k on a new Submariner Date and watch them put on the white gloves and break out a bottle of champagne before they bring out the beautiful green box, and if they want to give you the full experience they'll bring out the timepiece in its original clear plastic Rolex shipping case, that way you know no one else has touched it, then they'll set up the box, hang tags and all (By the way, its gone now but nice AP on whoever that was holding that chunk of wood, hahhahahahaha).

    But what do I know I'm biased in business, biased towards brilliance, success, longevity, and winning. If people want sandalwood, it's a complementary product to what I have and I can get it to sell, I'm selling it, winning. Likewise with rose, attars, mukhallats, incense, sprays, wood, etc, winning. Some are brilliant and use this forum as their own personal target market focus group, winning. The masses say we want value in oud, I diversify from my $2000+ oils and concentrate on what the consumer perceives to be higher value oils (that they likely make an even higher margin on, and most of it being near dreck), winning. Don't believe me, look at many of the recent releases, winning. When was the last time you've seen the release of a $2500> oil, long time as there's no reason, it's not what the mass market and boards are demanding. For those that still want those oils or a portion of them, I'm sure there still available.

    If you think it's charity and business men are sacrificing their margin to please you, it's not. There is no doubt that this board has had an impact on price, this is something I was going to address in the "Current Oud Scene" thread, but is apt here. There are only a few ways that oud price has stabilized where it has currently, based on demand for higher value oils.
    1.) Vendors are concentrating on lower priced, inferior quality oils that are perceived as higher value based on price and backed by brilliant, monster marketing campaigns that tout them as near equal to high quality oils. From what I've tried, many of the new oils are near dreck.
    2.) Vendors are lowering prices of higher quality oils by subsidizing the margin with lower priced, inferior quality, high margin, fast moving oils. Balancing profits.
    3.) Vendors are aligning their mission with demand for higher value oils and are changing their procurement method by getting wood several links closer to the jungle in the supply chain, instead of buying from collectors or some store on oud street in Vietnam. Buying from oud street or collectors is easier than dangerous jungle treks and getting closer to the jungle, but that ease comes at a higher price. Vendors who get closer to the jungle, going places that are potentially dangerous as evidence by the recent accounts of vendors here, are able to get high quality wood and make high quality oils for a reduced cost. The result is high quality oils on par with oils >$2500 oils, being sold at mid-range price, those are the ones that represent a truly higher value. Big recognition and respect for the vendors who are getting closer to the jungle and bringing high quality, truly high value oils to the market.
    4.) Scouring the distiller minefield in hopes of finding a decent oil that can be resold at a sweet spot, perceived high value price.
    5.) Lastly, remember the oud game is a dirty game, so there's theivery, deceit, backstabbing, stealing of oils, wood, etc, of that I'm sure despite not having concrete evidence. But, where there's smoke....

    Some will get it, some won't.
    Alkhadra, AbasFrag, EHV and 16 others like this.
  2. Ouddict

    Ouddict Technical Support

    Wow... @PEARL is back. Finally.
  3. Sproaty

    Sproaty Boudly

    @PEARL Post of the century :D I love reading your posts, always so thoughtful and intriguing
    firdaous, Ouddict and RisingPhoenix like this.
  4. kooolaid79

    kooolaid79 Junior Member

    Always a pleasure to read and learn from your write ups @PEARL. Your wisdom is always appreciated!
    firdaous, Ouddict and RisingPhoenix like this.
  5. firdaous

    firdaous Oud Kinamic

    @PEARL Benvenuti Al Pac :D
    Point 3 : Not really sure, IMO the major parts still getting their wood and oils from the Oud street somewhere in Asia or from well known and unscrupulous distillers there...
    Now next challenge for the consumer : training his nose to differentiate inferior and higher quality oils, hope that both are not mixing in the pot for higher margin :D
    Sproaty, RisingPhoenix and jalil like this.
  6. jalil

    jalil Oud bully Staff Member

    Of the big Pearl :D
    RisingPhoenix likes this.
  7. PEARL

    PEARL Guerrilla

    I never left, oud is a lifestyle and ouddict is a companion. The board and oud are doing well. Hindustan 1 and Keo are there. Bahadur and Shah Jahan are there. Hastakshar Kalakassi and Kanglei are there. Port Moresby and Sultan Sufyan are there. Jensz and Rivie are there. Rai Munir is there. HabzOud Alamin and Shams are there. KZ and 2088tea are there. Al-Hashimi Kanz and Tariq are there. LMK is there, Scent Legends too. P4ptv is there. Rasoul Salehi and Sproaty are there. JK also in GA from RPP is there. HOM, RBO and TO are there. Q8Mob is there. Some newer names in memeber and vendor are there as well. The guys I politic with nearly daily, who won't go away no matter how hard I try, who will share with me a masterpiece of design or their Quang Nam and won't give me their PM are there, to stay unfortunately. If I didn't mention some names it's either because I can't list them all or I meant to.
    Do it for the love...

  8. Faizal_p

    Faizal_p Resident Artisan

    Great post @PEARL, thought provoking and a great "shake up"of the forum.
    I think it absolutely vital for the consumer to constantly reevaluate the product, it's in their best interest.
    tyson, Rasoul Salehi, Habz786 and 4 others like this.
  9. Joe King

    Joe King AttitOud

    Sproaty and RisingPhoenix like this.
  10. Ouddict

    Ouddict Technical Support

    Yup... au contraire :Roflmao:

    He is definitely back. :)

    Looking forward to some genuinely interesting posts that only @PEARL knows how to craft. He has an inimitable style.
  11. AbasFrag

    AbasFrag Oud Burner

    Great post brother @PEARL
  12. Oudamberlove

    Oudamberlove Member

    .......and he’s firing on all 12 cylinders with twin turbos at full rpm:)
    Rai Munir likes this.
  13. Ouddict

    Ouddict Technical Support

  14. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

    @PEARL After chatting a bit I realise we agree more than we disagree, but when I first read the post, I was taken aback by all the talk of winning. :)
    I thought I'd offer a gentle counterpoint, in case others read things the same way I did.
    Sure, if business becomes too personal and pervaded by sentiment, that business is likely to fail,
    but I dislike the championing of impersonal business! I see too much of it, and in many ways it represents much of what is wrong with the direction we are heading in. 'Winning' is not the end to justify all means.
    As cutthroat as conducting business might get, if you 'lie', or 'hurt another', if you plagiarise or undermine the competition you should not be excused, and certainly not applauded. Then you are not just 'winning' or showing strong marketing, but in fact you are doing a disservice to your customer and to the industry.
    In a nutshell, immoral, dishonest, hurtful and disrespectful practices should not be given immunity or be disregarded simply because they were perpetrated under the cloak of 'business'.
    And this goes for all vendors. I often see Ensar singled out (and I can understand why), but I'm sure we've all been taken for a ride at least once in our oud journey by other vendors, and the truth is there is never one single guilty party.
    All vendors should be held to high standards.

    Also, I do understand the point that there is a level of complicity involved from customers; in part, some consumers have voluntarily surrendered the 'win' to the vendor. Only oudification can counter that to a degree, and that is the great thing about forums such as these, but in truth there is very little transparency in the oud world and gaining enough knowledge to safely sail the oud waters with any confidence is very hard!

    Further, I understand the point that each vendor should able to successfully market himself (fearlessly) and, if need be, protect himself from external attacks, but not all vendors are 'businessmen'.

    Not to forget the value mystique and exclusivity have on luxury items.
    I wonder if we were to strip oud of all its mystery if it would manage to maintain its luxury status.
    Personally, I find there is too much mystery to oud...

    I agree with most of your points regarding the current pricing of oud, but not with the above point.
    First, I'd like to know what you think is dreck :) :p
    Secondly, with regard to the true value of $2500 oud oils, I think the only way to fairly tackle the subject would be to conduct a blind sample test. Of course this would require men with the means to donate costly samples, and of course the corresponding generosity. It might even require courage to make such a donation, as a 2500$ oil might depreciate in face of such a valuation. Then one would need careful and impartial design of the test by a referee or referees. Dependable testers, a single format for testing and recording impressions, time limits on delivering findings, etc.
    However, by mixing a handful of unknown oud oils from different perceived values, and accumulating their scores from completely blind judgments, one could at least get a better snapshot regarding the oils' true olfactory values.

    I'm not so sure the consumer has seen the full benefit of this yet.

    All the more reason to be less tolerant of dishonesty and disrespect.
  15. Rasoul Salehi

    Rasoul Salehi Oud Fanatic

    So much to say but such a long post. I’ll try and post seperate entries to different subjects discussed above.
  16. Rai Munir

    Rai Munir Musk Man

    That's it!

    The rest will be done by the olfactory. Such tests have been made; therefore, price has been considered the Promethean unbound. Otherwise, every body is sensible enough to understand the rationale behind pricing and other matters, if any.
  17. Rai Munir

    Rai Munir Musk Man

    No Oud can be more fragrant than this piece of writing. This is not something crafted; it is revealed.

    Long live respected and dearest PEARL!
    Bryan-I likes this.
  18. PEARL

    PEARL Guerrilla

    @powdernose most excellent post. There's a message mixed in with my sarcasm and cynicism. Bad business practice is not winning and only exists where allowed; but if allowed, winning.

    I once composed a PM to Imperial Oud but I can't remember if I hit the send button. In the PM I told them not to reply, that I was thanking them for their conduct in allowing consumers to discuss oud without their interference. They show their product with no ulterior motive to bash, they answer questions when asked without offering any unsolicited "education" as if they know it all; it's called humility and professionalism. If I didn't hit the send button, I'm hitting it now, Jazak Allah Khayrun. When oils speak there is no need to put down another vendor or try to sway and debate consumer with what you believe is your superior Oud intelligence. It makes you look like you have an agenda or you're not too sure about your product, like you're trying to convince or dictate rather than share.

    Certain vendors have said, "If you have a problem with me, my product, don't buy from me, please go elsewhere". I always wondered why some didn't take that advice instead of griping about vendors ways. Frankly, I have associates that are cereal killers, Captain Crunch, Lucky Charms and Frosted Flakes, so I have no issue being around the most dubious of characters but they should know don't try it with me. However, If the behavior reaches me, bad character and bad business practices exceed quality of oud, I exercise personal responsibility instead of griping. In the case of a vendor, I speak my mind, vote with my dollar and cast my vote elsewhere.

    So, In a nutshell, immoral, dishonest, hurtful and disrespectful practices should not be given immunity or be disregarded simply because they were perpetrated under the cloak of 'business'. And, if you have any problem with seeing that being done to others or if you have a problem when it's done to you, vote with your dollar; until that happens those vendors will continue unabated, winning.

    In ourselves and others...
    bhanny, riviera274, Joe King and 7 others like this.
  19. Ouddict

    Ouddict Technical Support

    It feels like full circle to me... this forum had some really great pioneers that would not immediately come to mind but they include:

    @kooolaid79 @PEARL @bhanny

    Not many people know, but these guys were onboard with Ouddict from the first month or so and were our leading posters, not in terms of just quantity, but also quality. Heavy hitters so to speak.

    So I’m personally overjoyed to see them back on the forum and to me, to see these guys here, recalls the exciting early days of the forum when it’s future depended literally on 9-10 hard core members.

    Also have some BN veterans sniffing around is also great... like @EHV (Evogel), @Michael Perez and this @powdernose... not sure who you are but your name rings a bell...
  20. MzM

    MzM Oud King

    Agreed completely on Imperial Oud. Outstanding vendors with their professionalism and accessibility.
    bhanny and Rasoul Salehi like this.

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