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What Does It Cost To Sell A Bottle?

Discussion in 'Rising Phoenix' started by RisingPhoenix, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. RisingPhoenix

    RisingPhoenix Resident Artisan

    Posting this because I think it is pertinent to the community.

    This is a medical / business video that asks the question, “What does it cost you to treat a patient?” I think it’s relevant here for the community, and could be re-phrased as “What does it cost you to sell a bottle?”

    Not looking for controversy - am looking to educate :)

    Keep in mind that the average cost to acquire a new customer is around $200

  2. EJayB

    EJayB True Ouddict

    Very simple business reality that all business owners deal with . Overhead and volume of patients is not a good way to set price. Customer acquisition cost added to overhead
    Gives a more complete price reality as your cost should include customer acquisition. Customers don’t just show up and there is a minimum number of customers you need to break even , be profitable or be successful. As all business have to compete with other similar business’ price is always important as customers have choices where to spend there money. Free customer acquisition through social media and other free platforms sometimes make or break a business.
    I find you get out what you put in most of the time
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  3. Himalayan odyssey

    Himalayan odyssey Whats this Oud About?

    this is a good upload by you but i still feel that many folks especially some with aura of 'master perfumer' ( self created through social media hype ) don't necessarily justify the price which in my eyes seems exorbitant ( i have seen 1 g for $500/- or more ) but hey that's my personal 2 cents ….i am sure they must have done the math behind their price & they have a customer base who are willing to shell that much amount but just an observation ..!
    RisingPhoenix likes this.
  4. Andrew Salkin

    Andrew Salkin it's aboud time! Staff Member

    JK, in your case - you don't take insurance, correct? So this holds even more true for providers like this - direct primary, non-western practice (Accu, Chinese medicine, etc) medicine that in US isn't covered by most commercial or government insurances anyway. The only difference I see in the analogy is with an online store, you can "provide care" for more people in my states simply by the nature of e-commerce. Now with telehealth becoming popular (and CMS and insurers updating CPT codes), reimbursement is becoming more available for medical providers to expand their distance reach, but for someone practicing non-covered services or charging cash for care, then I'm certain the CPA is high. Your customers/patients need to be close enough to see you, interested in the type of care, ready/willing/able to pay, and in understanding about the value of the care - enough so to pay for your time. This way in the US, the best therapists (for example) don't take insurance. Because Medicare might pay 70 bucks for a 1 hour visit vs. 250 if a cash shop. Remember, no one is paying for a product in a vacuum - when I shop for Oud or sandalwood, im also paying for the vendors experience, expertise, and product, and profit margin (which in business should be 40-50%). I imagine it's nowhere near that for a lot of vendors after costs. If these guys charged less, they probably couldn't stay afloat.... Just my 2c
    RisingPhoenix likes this.
  5. Mr.P

    Mr.P Evoloudtionary Bioudlogist

    I think like diamonds the true cost is likely heavily obscured and the prices to retailers is often exploitative and not strictly pegged to wholesale cost and restraint on profit margins. Not taking potshots at any vendor but I feel like oud and (of late) sandalwood pricing is like diamonds - based on hype and exaggerated rarity.

    Sorry guys, but so much boasting, “Royal” “regal” “ultimate” “superior” just makes it all look sketchy.
  6. EJayB

    EJayB True Ouddict

    A lot has to do with cost of acquisition
    The big companies have expensive web management with cookies call back and solicit you just for looking at the site. Most new companies spend a ton of money on driving customer sales.
    I like the small guys or word of mouth sales, some of these big companies hire a full on sales team making big cash and commissions and they add that plus’s advertising and acquisition and next thing they tell you is
    “ we don’t make that much”
    “We all think we know until we get deep into something and then realize that there is a lot more to it than we thought”
    RisingPhoenix and Andrew Salkin like this.
  7. RisingPhoenix

    RisingPhoenix Resident Artisan

    I agree. There’s never going to be any single perfect answer. I’m just trying to get folks to see that the only factor in pricing - isn’t just the cost of materials. Lots of factors that businesses have to take into account.

    Hopefully this helps to get a more clear picture of the how’s and why’s” of a business model - and not just for Oud, but for all businesses we send our business to.
  8. RisingPhoenix

    RisingPhoenix Resident Artisan

    All good points to keep in mind when naming / branding / marketing products.

    Also a good time to point out - that I make some fantastic Sandalwood oils at a fraction of said prices you’re referring to ;) One of these days I’d be really curious for your thoughts on some of my Sandals, especially since you’ve had your nose on so diverse a Sandal collection.
    Mr.P and EJayB like this.
  9. Mr.P

    Mr.P Evoloudtionary Bioudlogist

    I’ve got a great collection and never spent more than $5 a gram. Don’t plan to, so oils that cost distillers more than this to produce, even if they are amazing, are not of interest to me. I have been sent samples of some very expensive old sandalwoods from 50 years ago or more. They were all just OK, smelled like they were mass produced by high temp steam - smooth but no character. Big disappointment.
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  10. EJayB

    EJayB True Ouddict

    I’m with you mrP !! I will spend a bit more and 5$ might be a bit low for today but surly no more then $ 10
    Habz sandalwood is amazing in that range
    I buy bulk of Indonesian pretty high quality small distillery and would gladly pass savings on to other oudicts if anyone wants some, next order will be here in early October.
    Tarik, Rai Munir and Arsalan like this.
  11. Rai Munir

    Rai Munir Musk Man

    Now options are there. Otherwise, the community kept acquiring at the price now considered high. So, I think this is just the matter of options.

    Oud, Sandal, Rose etc. havn't got some drastic chemical changes that suddenly the prices have visibly diminished.

    Prices are logical and justifiable or not is not important at all as the one who owns oils has a privilege to decide. But, it is not included in that privilege to maneuver to establish that the price I am offering is almost a gift. There is no gift in businesses.

    Sandal's price CAN BE (and it IS) $0.5 to 2/ gram. Pure and pure, but illegally distilled, if that is in India. And mostly a little bit above average. If contacts are there, one can get super duper oil at the same price. Exceptions are always there.

    Santal Royale 295/2.5 grams
    Aluhalaza: 250/2.5 grams
    Mysuru Santal: 150 /2.5 grams
    Celestial Gold: 150/2.5grams
    Shams: 100/2.5 grams
    Fawaz (might be Ceylon): 40/2.5 grams
    Kupang Indonesian: 158/3grams
    Mysore Deep Buttery: 103/3grams
    Mysore Resinous: 64/3grams
    Santal 95: 70/2.5grams
    Santal X: 85/2.5grams
    Kupang 98: 125/2.5grams
    Sultan Privee: 415/2.5grams

    And many more. Prices are different, but one sentence is common (or sentences connote the same sense) THIS IS THE BEST SANDAL I HAVE SMELT or YOU WILL SMELL. And each one is justified in pricing and description of their oils. I think it requires at least two to five years to know and then to say I WON'T BUY AT THE PRICE ABOVE $5.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
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  12. Rai Munir

    Rai Munir Musk Man

    Respected Edward jay Bullock, I have eyes on your Oud farm too:Roflmao:.
  13. Mr.P

    Mr.P Evoloudtionary Bioudlogist

    Actually I have spent $100 on 10ml. Don’t get to have much pleasure out of those oils though. Too little and too dear.
    Arsalan likes this.
  14. EJayB

    EJayB True Ouddict

    MrP what are your top 3? Sandalwood oils
    In that 3-6$ range?
    I use a lot of sandalwood and would really appreciate any advice on quality oil at a fair price. Must be legal source as I run a sustainable business
    Arsalan likes this.
  15. Arsalan

    Arsalan True Ouddict

    Please count me in! Really appreciate you being willing to share from your purchase...
    I’m curious what approximate quantity constitutes your bulk purchase, if you you are willing to share that info of course!
  16. EJayB

    EJayB True Ouddict

    I buy a kg at a time
    Arsalan likes this.
  17. Mr.P

    Mr.P Evoloudtionary Bioudlogist

    Please let me know if I can purchase some as well, thanks for offering.
  18. Mr.P

    Mr.P Evoloudtionary Bioudlogist

    I can’t point you to a source today, in part due to not looking very hard over the past 2 years. I have over the years acquired great oils and meh oils in the $2-6 range from White Lotus, Liberty Natural, RKSons, eden botanicals, and random risky eBay sales.

    my experience with sandalwood purchasing is irrelevant to anyone but myself because I’ve just accumulated stuff over the last 15 years...

    A summary of my experience: good sandalwood shows up every once and a while, and I always regret not stashing more because of the large gaps in being able to find it. As to the legality of the origin, only a handful of oils in my stash have any kind of pedigree that I trust. For most I have not idea what’s legally exported and what isn’t, or what was distilled from legally harvested timber, or plantations, or wild or...?

    I have one great oil with lots of documentation. Got it from WLA and it was distilled by Ramakant Harlaka in 2002 as part of a research project on the benefits of traditional extraction methods as opposed to the standard high temperature steam method that had taken over in India. It was slowly hydrodistilled from a single old tree legally felled under Tamil Nadu forest service supervision. Documentation and a very detailed gcms came with this, along with some narrative interpreting it which was really helpful (all from RAMADAN20 kant Harlaka’s labs). Of course this doesn’t help - it was 2002 and I bought maybe half a kilo of it for a ridiculously low price.

    I am pretty certain that if someone wants to reliably get super premium sandalwood in a single purchase, with little risk, you’d probably have to purchase it in a tiny bottle from one of the luxury oud sources.

    this is why I have zero problem with folks selling it at that price (while I myself will never pay it). I think it is totally fair to expect to pay a super high price for a certified gem of a material this sought after and this problematic. I am sure all our beloved vendors have to sample widely and have had to spend lots of resources to track down the beauties and eliminate the mediocre.

    I would NEVER consider selling the premium sandalwoods I’ve collected for less than $30 per gram, and if anyone wants a curated sandalwood collection with no fishing around, it’s nice that it is available at any price.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
  19. Mr.P

    Mr.P Evoloudtionary Bioudlogist

    Another top sandalwood (and I know this may not count for everyone): a New Caledonia Sandalwood absolute (not from spent wood like the crappy stuff) from eden for maybe $2/gram. Maybe I am not really picky, and the top note is just mediocre compared to good santalum album, but the heart and base of that oil... wow. getting only an ounce of that is one of my biggest regrets. It sounds crazy but they must have used some nice wood and treated it gently. It’s gone, so that is no use. I would love to see a sandalwood absolute from New Caledonia that was straight from heartwood that had not been previously distilled. Can any of you movers and shakers track that down? It shouldn’t be too pricey I think but the question is who’s making it, if anyone?
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
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  20. Mr.P

    Mr.P Evoloudtionary Bioudlogist

    7A59EF31-ADC4-499B-AE72-6347EB5428F0.jpeg This is the best of my personal reserve of sandalwood. This is the oil described above - those two bottles are topped off - barely any air bubble at all and haven’t been opened since they were decanted in 2002! I hope to give at least one of these to my child. Right now I’m nursing the last 10ml of a third of those bottles, which is not the first one I’ve finished off. They are 60ml bottles but hold a good bit more topped off. I am very curious how the aroma in those bottles compares to the aroma of the oil I have had open for the past 5 years ? It will be an interesting personal experiment when the time comes to crack one open!

    What this oil has is a really nice complex top note - subtle balanced maple, lactic and some faint androsterone / urine note weaving around the oily sandalwood fuzz. The smells to me like the vapor coming off gently heated Yamada matsu SA sandalwood slabs. The dry down is very prominent - this is an oil that has you glowing with sandalwood the next morning if you rub a drop or two on your arms in the evening.

    The last person I saw reselling this (I could tell it was the same by the identical scent and a perfect gcms match)was kgstiles.com at $50 per 2.5 ml. At the time my jaw dropped that the price had climbed so much (over 1000% markup)! Not an outlier - in fact this would be a bargain against the current market. Wonder if they have a personal stash they’d sell if the right offer was made?
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
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