Discussion in 'General' started by Mr.P, Aug 3, 2016.
@PERAL...truth. Thank you for your time and sharing.
You are a decent person no doubt bhanny. My apology if I make you conclude that your act is only based on a neurochemical reaction, as same as you conclude that I’m carrying some anti-vender agenda. By the way, my first ever post on BN was to defend a vender….and limbic system is not a primitive brain, it is one of the most complex connections in the brain involving multiple highly specialized cortical and subcortical regions in addition to the olfactory tract and the piriform cortex responsible for the sense of smell, for example the orbitofrontal cortex which is considered part of the system is involved in the cognitive process of decision-making.
Thanks Ammar. And my apologies back to you for assuming your agenda was anti-vendor. Likewise for the primitive comment, you clearly were talking the entire time about the complex limbic system.
I actually hope you and this forum know I actually love the science behind this and hope to talk more about this. I think it clearly is a part of this complex system. It seems you also have significant knowledge of the brain and its complexity. Sorry if I came across as minimizing that.
Thank you for your understanding...These are just thoughts not theories, otherwise I would publish it in a descent medical magazine rather than posting here LOL!
Ha! I will be 2nd author! The brain is amazing!
Interesting discussion, but what has some of this got to do with the price of Oud?
Shall I create a new thread where you can continue this topic?
This is the kind of stuff I like, nice pleasant discourse, no need for any bashing. When we're so passionate about a subject then emotions are bound to run amok, channeling them will only do us good as an Oud loving community. Ammar and Brian your particular musings have got me intrigued, a very good friend of mine is a neuroscientist, researching at Manchester university. When I get the time I will definitely open up this page in front of him and ask him for feedback, the emotive power of the olfactory system is truly astonishing.
Lol sorry ouddict, maybe it goes a way to explaining why we pay what we pay...?
No I dont think we need that as we are done at the moment. There is actually a thread related to this discussion if I recall.
Final thought before Ouddict get upset LOL!:
I’m a Radiologist who had special interest in neuroradiology with specific attention to the functional MRI (fMRI). It would be very interesting to see what lightened up in someone ouddict brain when they sniff their beloved oud, hated one, cultivated vs wild and on so, in comparison to the effect of oud on people with first exposure….hmmm, interesting.
IMO alone a lot of it does have to do with the price. Topics such as consumer preference, psychological factors, things they may compel a consumer to patronize any particular vendor, etc are intertwined throughout the conversation. These matters are the very etiology of what may determine price and how one sees them.
As a dumb bone doctor, all this neuroscience stuff is WAY over my head. I do however think that this has been an informative discussion. It exemplifies that there is a lot of passion regarding oud, and all that involves around it. That is mostly a good thing.
What my field has however seared in my brain, is 2 fundamental laws: 1)assume nothing and 2) trust no one. Therefore, I smell, see, assess, listen, experience and make my own judgements.
@Ammar that is very interesting point of view. i would also like to see this. maybe have a few test subjects lol. someone well versed in oud, someone who has never smelled oud before, someone who hasn't smelled good quality oud before, etc the results would be very interesting. great post.
Great discussion. I'm just catching up on it as I wasn't able to follow/participate in real time over the last few days due to work obligations. I definitely have some thoughts about this but maybe someone has already covered them. Can't wait to read it all.
I'm not upset... just biologically illiterate
There are some oils that I have purchased for under $150/3g, I would gladly trade 5 or 6 of those bottles for a single bottle of an oil that I really like. I consider a purchase based on the region first, distillation style second, quality and reviews third (age is included in this category), then cost is the last consideration. If it goes for four figures a bottle, then it's a sample size or pass. This applies to my present state of ouducation, experience, and income. If someone is new to oud, I would advise that person to try all varieties as their wallet will allow, then fine-tune their buying decisions as they gain more experience.
Now that WOULD be interesting.
Very interesting topic. It may be late to add my 2cents, but for what it's worth.... I mean this mostly as an academic discussion of how to approach "fairness", whether the concept applies, and what role competition has, using concepts from antitrust law.
Personally, I have a hard time applying the concept of fairness or unfairness to pricing for anything but the necessities. Yet broadly, it seems that "fairness" in pricing really refers to whether the seller's profit seems excessive. But "excessive" by what standard? To even begin to assess in an objective non-arbitrary way, you have to know the seller's cost for obtaining/distilling the oil (including unseen costs like distillations gone wrong, losses to customs, etc.), from which you can determine the seller's profit. Then, you have to see if there is competition, and compare the prices and profit margins of reasonably interchangeable oils. What if no one else is offering the same/similar item? What if, unless this seller did it at this price, you would never have the opportunity to purchase the item? What price would be fair?
Well, even assuming competition, it's hard to apply the concept of fair or unfair, which seems more to do with honesty than the functioning of a market; either the buyer wants and can afford the item, or he doesn't and can't. No seller is morally/ethically/otherwise obliged to sell for a price that he doesn't want to accept, and similarly no buyer has to buy an oil he can't afford or doesn't believe is worth it. Of course, oud oil serves a special purpose for many of us and we view it as a great aid to mental/spiritual wellbeing, so it may seem harsh to say (as I say to myself every day) "if you can't afford it don't buy it." But interestingly, new vendors have appeared to meet the demand for lower-priced, good-to-excellent quality, pure oud oil, that well-serve these mental/spiritual purposes, and all the vendors have at least one lower-priced offering, so there is pure, very nice oil to meet every taste and pocketbook. The new entrants routinely offering less pricey oils is a positive development that may serve as a check on pricing to the extent it is too high. (Some vendors seem to be motivated mostly by genuine love for fellow oud lovers more than out of profit motive. But rather than consider the others unfair, it seems more correct to refer to these oud-love vendors as particularly altruistic . . . and thank them for it! Whether it is sustainable is a different question. I hope it is! I also note that some of the higher-end vendors occasionally sell oils for less than they probably could, too.) So there are quite a few very nice oils at lower price points. Alternatively, one can buy smaller amounts of the more expensive ones from Adam and Imperial (thanks to these guys for that option); or one can arrange a split of the expensive ones. As for "excessive" profit, that can really only be judged in comparison with competition . . .
For many goods, price (and therefore profit margin) will be tested and limited by competition in the marketplace. I can imagine that competition could effectively regulate pricing in the lower- to mid-priced oud oils, because there is significant competition there (many oils to choose from), consumers who buy them are more likely cost-sensitive, and consumers can more readily determine which they prefer (there is more/better information, specifically, there will be more reviews, it may be easier to tell whether the cheaper oils are reasonably interchangeable with costlier ones, the risk of testing is lower, etc.). I am not sure the same market/competition mechanisms can operate effectively to regulate prices for the high-end oils. And actually, I may be wrong but know of only one online vendor who routinely sells very high end oils (say, $1,500+/3gr), so come to think of it, I don't see true competition in that sphere. As such, that vendor has great freedom in setting prices. I don't see that as fair or unfair, it's just how a market works. All I can say is that if there's little or no competition at that level, there is little reason for the prices to decrease . . . unless demand drops as a result of consumers deciding these oils are not worth their price, which doesn't have much to do with fairness but is instead an assessment of value, which, when it comes to artworks like oud oil, is subjective, and I note that the premium value of those oils seems to have been reinforced over time.
I hope this post isn't taken as a slight against anyone. I mean just to talk about pricing in a dispassionate almost academic way, so maybe this post is not only long, but ultimately rather boring.
Jensz- I think your post should be a sticky. Could not have been said any better. Very well done!
Agreed. Well written.
There is no way to make this post sticky I believe - I tried - but it is a really well balanced and thought out contribution to the discussion from Jensz as always.
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