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Vendor Marketing What - What Consumers Believe

Discussion in 'Oud as Investment' started by Al Shareef Oudh, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. Nicolas

    Nicolas Oud Mystic

    It is still quite early in my oud journey, but I have bought samples or bottles from most artisans here and from other sources too, both on the higher or lower ends, so can reflect already a bit.

    What interests me more is...

    First the facts: geographical location (as specfic as possible), species of tresss, age of trees, cultivated or wild, year of distillation, distillation methods, soaked or not and for how long, etc.

    I liked to cross check my subjective experiences with facts so as to understand more and more.

    If I ever learn people vendors lie on them, it is likely I will first write to them to inquire and try to cross check info from ohter sources, and then cut relationship with them if it confirms, as Truth is a core moral and spiritual value for me and people who abuse it make in my eyes a serious offense to the world.

    This said, I do like stories too. I am a storyteller as well (it is notable part of my freelance portfolio - playwright, sometimes scenarios, essayist etc. - but I do other things as well) so I relate to the deforming mirror of a subjective voice. In the present case, I need the story to have some relevant refraction and echo with what my experience will be, so I am most interested in the descriptive / evocative part of the oud experience itself, not in the "yeti hunt" or the grandfather's who was a sensualist rajas' friends and who kept oils in a secret treasure chet just discovered or other mythologies evoked by @jensz. Like @Oudamberlove but of course with less experience, I start to get a feel for the different ways vendors evoke their products, etc.

    What is crucial for me is that it is not utter maketing bullshit, in our age where "storytelling" has become a negative term becasue of the marketing abuses. Here too, abuse will keep me away from vendors.

    Stories remain a good way for me to get a first feel about an oil from a distance and it is likely what will decide me to chosse a sample over another (especially as I tend to prefer bigger samples when I try things out because I like to wear and explore them many times before getting a full feel).

    Also, I have remarked that the worst oils I have gotten so far (from vendors outside of here) and the mediocre/ not-really-interesting ones come from vendors who do not take the effort to write in depth descriptive stories. I don't think it is only a coincidence (but it might be)

    Finally, I am very receptive about the energetic, medicinal, spiritual and psychoactive properties of oud, so I enjoy getting info about this too... or at least hints: hence, I am particularly interested also in descriptions of projection, sillage, duration on skin, "oudiness", "oomphiness" etc. because they do give hints on that regard (as do other elements of the "stories" and reviews by others - which are also crucial for me but have been discussed in the previous posts of the thread)

    An oil that smells pretty, or even surprising and complex, but that "does nothing to me" regarding these properties has little interest and value to me. and I have a couple of excellent ouds (quality wise) here that I would never buy in full bottle just for that reason.

    I am an olfactory gourmet and I genuinely love the olfactory explorations of ouds, but I also have an archive of many hundreds (I don't count) of other high quality cured esssntial oils that give me olfactory bliss on their own or in the way I blend them and that do also provoke intersting things energetically, so waht I am really looking in oud is a distinctive quality in that regard.... and all the info I get get my hands on beofre ordering samples.

    Also the vendors's info & stories (and other reviews I have read) will serve after the experience for comparison as I save everything in a database and compare vendor's info with my personal subjective notes.

    So I actually find it a very useful tool - when the info as some relevance - for learning / expanding knowledge.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018
    okonos, jensz, Rasoul Salehi and 5 others like this.
  2. Edward Muller

    Edward Muller True Ouddict

    Marketing oud is not that different from luxury skin care products though - they all have an elaborate story which may or may not be true.
    Like several other esteemed members have mentioned already, at the end of the day, it's the oil's scent description, origin (not how it was acquired), and sometimes age that matters.

    On a separate matter along the same line, if it wasn't for various Forums, I would have never picked up EO's 'attack' on other artisans. I would have thought he was targeting other not so reputable vendors that sell cheap oil passing off as quality ones - like the example here regarding Zazen, I didn't have a clue it was related to AA's Kanzen. Just sharing my view as an 'outsider'.
    Not trying to defend EO or anything but if you look at his marketing style, it is quite American - where they compare brands saying how much better it is, at least he's not naming anyone in particular. Besides most of his oils delivers, so at the end of the day, I am not too fussed - but that's probably because I am not in the distillation game.
    But back to the original topic - If we are getting into something new, especially things of high value, say... anti-aging eye serum - most of us will go do research prior to making a purchase... unless a sales person sneaks up on you lol. The same should apply to oud... besides we can do that in the comfort of our own home, with a pool of resources that's readily accessible... and no real sense of urgency... unless the marketing text is so well written that it makes you think if you don't purchase within the next 5 mins, it's going to be gone forever... (that's also quite an impressive skill no?)
    Anyway, this is how I found the ouddict forum, its library of oud knowledge and the many amazing oils from the resident artisans.

    my 2 cents!
    jensz, Rasoul Salehi, Habz786 and 2 others like this.
  3. Mgalalz

    Mgalalz Oud Fan

    Hello Sir
    I am not talking about any oud vendor by the way-
    I am talking in abstract and business integrity terms

    I am talking about a specific issue my dear
    So you got for example some oud or attar vendor interfering that their oil is not the one you have at home.

    How can they know?
    That is my question about investing-
    If you advertise as an investment- than you shouldnt interfere in later- selling.

    Contrary to being advertised as -for investment-
    Several vendors actually say its sold out when its not- making the product seem unattainable and that you as a person will earn money buying it-
    Only to be surprised 7 months later with the same oil being released -sometimes under other names- and alas, your investment is a 10- year long journey where you will be stuck with the oil .

    When you try to sell it 10 years later- this same vendor will start saying this oil might not be authentic- specially if it is a very expensive oil-Maybe coz they want to sell their expensive ones?

    Is this normal business practice??

    Also, how about some person tracking another on ebay- happened to me personally from some attar vendor WHO IS NOT on this forum and not EO - claiming the product i am selling is falsr till i prove otherwise- and even with me paying them huge sums over the years- the only reason being that i bought it not from them-

    Is is normal to get your ebay shared on a page of a vendor asking you publicly to explain where you bought your oil ??

    I am sorry, but it is NONE of their business where i did.- no questions asked -period.
    There is no scenario where i should be in the corner defending myself in the face of any vendor.

    Vendors need to act professionaly - i am asking does Roja Dove run in the markets checking for the authenticity of Rojas??
    He just gives choices- buy from me or i am not responsible thats it-

    Trying to control the second hand attar market by vendors is NOT going to happen- period.

    I hope you understand my point and frustration now

    Thank you-
    Rasoul Salehi, Joe King and Rai Munir like this.
  4. Edward Muller

    Edward Muller True Ouddict

    Sorry I was responding to the original post question. My apologies!
    I can't personally relate to your situation since I buy oud oil for personal enjoyment, and as an investment for the future as an heirloom (but a lot can go wrong such as me using the oil up or my children won't appreciate oud as much as I do) ie I have no intention to resell unless I make a blind purchase that I hate (luckily hasn't happened yet)
    BUT I can understand your frustration - and no it is not ethical business practices if they can verify what you have is indeed genuine.
    Playing the devil’s advocate though - from a consumers angle, if I were to purchase from a third party other than the vendor, and the value is significant, I would want a peace of mind. It is not the case (for me at least) for perfume and EDT (I would never buy Roja perfume from a third party, unless he/she has a good track record, given the value is quite high.) for oud oil I would happily buy from various members here because of what I mentioned above (history) as well as an educated ’blind trust’.

    But back to your case, I would be infuriated too if the vendor actively say what I bought from them and now reselling is not genuine - from their point of view though, their reputation could also be on the line. What if one of their customers decanted the oil and replaced something else in the original bottle? They would have no way to verify that. So no they have no business in actively discrediting you - and if they are not confident in verifying remotely, they should just have a diplomatic answer. The choice should really up to the end buyer .

    I remember seeing third party vendors using the invoice from the original vendor as a proof. Maybe that might help ?
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
    Joe King, Mgalalz and Rai Munir like this.
  5. Rai Munir

    Rai Munir Musk Man

    Vendor- Marketing-Consumer: This is a complex triangle. 2017 witnessed below standard marketing, and absolutely nonsensical maneuvering for financial gain. Though none accept it but 'monetary benefit' was all that had been the major focus. Oud oil was propagated as the best item for investment. Oud oil was 'made' legend, and it is a comic tragedy those legends are even present today, but in private. Reselling was made dubious, rather a diabolical activity. But, this 2018 has brushed away all taboos.

    Oud market is very limited, but it is limited for the vendors present at forums. Not more than 5 to 7 hundred potential customers. Fear of losing even a few ones is painful. Thus some tactics were exercised to let one's hegemony continue. Now all over! Of course, it has to happen.

    Now Oud oil is no more 'investment'. While multi-bottles had been sold to individuals that these bottles would turn to be liquid black diamonds. But, alas, when those oils were posted for reselling, dwarfish giants leaped out of the drapery of decency to make reselling suspicious. Price is what we all know now. Once it was sky touching. Though NOT BAD, but the funniest thing WAS and IS when one says 'it's our greatness we are offering oils on such price', and posed as if charity is being offered. Redundant and absurd. Now it has decreased, though not fully eliminated. By the way, such abominable and synthetic behaviour is nonexistent in synthetic perfume markets. What a great quality those perfume brands exhibit.

    Market is quite open now. This Forum has done its job, and done in a perfect way. The reselling we see here was not that easy a piece of work. Now, I suppose, none buy bottles for future reselling:Roflmao:. Thank goodness. Now Oud is to enjoy, not to resell.

    I hope this continue forever. This Forum is absolutely a democratic place. Equality is evident. I am fully convinced that the Forum/s ought to be consumer-oriented. And the wearers ought to feel free to express their findings. It is not necessary that some big names are destined to launch the best oils, and the rest are not. Big illusion. Wearers can drag out one/s from the mental morass of this delusion. What else is the objective of the Forum/s? If vendors master the circumstances, there would always be some dark, murky and grey area.

    Thank goodness, 2018 has unveiled the realities, and the ones still masked will be visible soon. Members do count. Thanks to this Forum.

    Arsalan, jensz, peter4ptv and 7 others like this.
  6. Edward Muller

    Edward Muller True Ouddict

    Very well said!
    Can I say besides learning about oud here, I also get to learn about arranging train of thoughts and expressing them ?
    jensz likes this.
  7. Rai Munir

    Rai Munir Musk Man

    Respected Edward Muller, I really apologize if I could not express myself well. I am not a native speaker. So please, overlook any disorder in my post. But I reread your post and enjoyed the syntactic pattern.:praying:
    jensz and Rasoul Salehi like this.
  8. Edward Muller

    Edward Muller True Ouddict

    I have so much to learn from you! I thought my post was disorderly you are too kind and modest !
    jensz and Rasoul Salehi like this.
  9. Habz786

    Habz786 Resident Artisan & Forum Co-Founder

    Some people like to write a story, some like to read one. Nothing wrong in doing so as long as the storys dont involve slander.

    I personally prefer the aroma to do the talking, as it speaks more than a thousand words or any story for me.

    Lets accept everyone is unique, even though we may not see eye to eye we can remain respectful, truthful and show good conduct.

    Thats how communities flourish and excel....

    Thats why Ouddict is where it is today :thumbsup:
    jensz, Rasoul Salehi, Mgalalz and 3 others like this.
  10. Mgalalz

    Mgalalz Oud Fan

    My dear friend

    I had the invoice and would willingly show anyone that- when selling them oils, but if you list on ebay and the buyer doesnt ask for proof this oil is authentic- what business does the vendor have in the transaction.

    The thing with that one sale was that i didnt buy it from ouddict or from the vendor.

    I traded it with a friend for some oud oils-so i didnt have an invoice-

    Every vendor from AlShareef’s brother Samad to Ensar’s Adam Coburn know me- and would say how much i paid in oils if asked in private.

    I sold and bought several times and this happened only once- so i didnt sell this vendor’s item- but i also wont buy from them anymore and wont even recommend to anyone- so the loser is the vendor in the end who lost 5-6 regular customers.

    And i was frustrated- now i am cool :p
    I buy directly from vendors and dont sell anymore.- lol- just to enjoy the stuff

    Best my dear
    Edward Muller and Rai Munir like this.
  11. Kabir Attars

    Kabir Attars OudSufi

    I like the back stories and descriptions the vendors put on there products it makes them unique, and it helps me decide wether I will purchase or not. But I find that ofactory descriptions are subjective and not objective.
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
    Ouddict and Oudamberlove like this.
  12. Oudamberlove

    Oudamberlove Member

    And at times, a combination of both objective and subjective, which are my favorites, because after all, we do perceive oud differently at different times, so if a vendor describes an oil with a combination of both perspectives, it is a fuller picture.
    Ashfaque, Ouddict and Kabir Attars like this.
  13. Kabir Attars

    Kabir Attars OudSufi

    So true
  14. Ashfaque

    Ashfaque Analogue Oud

    I prefer the followings in the product description
    - a brief sentence (or two) on the raw materials used - species, geographic location, chip grade, etc
    - 1-2 sentences on the distillation method used
    - notes breakdown over time on skin in terms other naturals, daily items (food, spices, books, etc.).
    - I get a bit frustrated if I see odour description only in terms of other oud oils - many won't or can't access those other oils for various reasons.

    AFAIK, no one does it: adding the information on temperature, humidity and skin condition (dry/very dry/oily) during application will be a great tool to make a more informed decision. Those I find play a very important role in how the oil changes - sometimes quite different.
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
    Ouddict, Oudamberlove and Grega like this.
  15. okonos

    okonos Whats this Oud About?

    Hi all. I agree with a lot of what's been said. As well as yield, I'd also be interested in more information regarding the ethics of specific ouds and woods. So whether the wood is wild, wild-growing on owned land, or plantation; the nature of the infection ie natural or innoculated, and if the latter, whether it is with synthetic chemicals or not; whether it is old stock or new, with a date of harvest; further history, if known, of the harvest and tree itself, for example if one infected limb was taken but the tree continues to live, with photos of this. That's a lot of information, but it would all be interesting, would further 'personalise' each product, and would help inform purchase decisions.
    Oudamberlove and Ouddict like this.
  16. Chiheisen_Horizon

    Chiheisen_Horizon Whats this Oud About?

    market all you want, if your stories sell;leading to your products being sold but does not reflect the story , falls to a grey area. BE HONEST with your ingredients ! those doing shortcut , please read this =p
    Ouddict and Joe King like this.

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