Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Buddy can you spare a shakuhachi?"

Part II in a continuing series of articles about shakuhachi and the enduring economic crisis

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about forward looking shakuhachi makers and dealers who were offering time payments on shakuhachi: Shakuhachi Prices: "Do you take unemployment checks?"

In the article I made special mention of the late Tom Deaver and his efforts to make Bei Shu shakuhachi available to customers the world over through time payments. Sadly with Tom now gone it is safe to say that no individual maker has a written policy in English on this practice if they do offer it.

In the past couple of days I noticed that Mejiro is offering time payments on shakuhachi for overseas customers. They have had an in-store policy for lay-away sales, but have never extended it to online overseas customers. Their no returns policy for their time payment plan might be reason for caution, but it does show some adaptation to the times in which we live.

As much of a pain in the ass it is to do bookkeeping on time-payments, and further complicating a maker's or dealer's life, having written and advertised payment plan policies only seems like good business sense for people who want to increase shakuhachi sales and cash flow.

It seems to be a preferable alternative to sitting on a lot of expensive inventory and hoping things wiil just "turn around."

Another thing I've noticed on Mejiro's site is that their recent additions of used shakuhachi seem to me starting at a prices about 10-percent lower than previously instruments of about the same grade. Just an observation, there, but something to ponder.

I don't think Darwin's theory ever actually said "only the strongest survive" but it most certainly explained that the most adaptable survive — and, in fact, thrive.

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