Sunday, May 13, 2007

Local retailer hawks “Internet Pricing”

There are certain occurrences in life that tend to represent "tipping points" in the human consciousness.

Without placing too much importance on it, William Waites, co-owner of Aboriginals Gallery, considers that the use of the term “internet pricing” by a local retailer may be one of those benchmarks.

When Aboriginals closed our physical gallery on Sanibel Island in Florida to operate exclusively online, we commented on how it allowed us to reduce our prices because we had reduced our overhead.

(As it turned out, the overhead reduction was not as dramatic as we had anticipated, what with other business costs replacing those that were eliminated or reduced. But that is another story.)

Generally, we have been able to reduce our prices by about 30% averagely across the board - before including special sales such as our recently ended April Foolishness reduction of 30 %.

Now, we hear that the concept of lower prices on the internet has permeated other merchants and businesses, including some with massive bricks and mortar cost structures. Hence, a local jeweler is running radio and television commercials claiming the prices in its stores are "internet prices."

So, I guess it is now indisputable common knowledge that the same items cost less when purchased via the internet.

This leaves the only impediments to internet shopping being the reliability of the seller and the suitability of the item when actually evaluated in hand.

We attempt to solve both the problems by pointing out that we have been in the tribal arts business since 1979, 28 years.

Over that time, with thousands of sales, we have had very few returns from people who did not want the item once they had it physically available for inspection.

Sometimes it has been a size problem. Sometimes a color problem. (Both size and color information have limitations on the internet.)

Occasionally it has been that an item purchased for display purposes that was not perceived to look right in the intended space when it was “tried on.”

To be fully candid, we also had one item returned when the purchaser located an “expert” who claimed the item was not what it was purported to be. We took it back with a full refund – our standard policy on authenticity issues when we are notified within 30 days.

We researched the challenge and found that it was debatable as to whether the attribution was 100% accurate or not.

Nevertheless, we accepted the return. No big deal. Just the way we are.

If you are looking for authentic, guaranteed tribal art – at “internet prices” – may we suggest a visit to our Web sites at,, and/or

We welcome your keen eye and your high standards.