The most important thing is that you are happy with your bowl. I do my best to clearly communicate a bowl’s characteristics. ‘WYSIWYG’ (what-you-see-is-what-you-get!). If for some reason you are not happy with any bowl you buy from a listing on the website feel free to return it soon after you buy it. You can trade it in or get a cash refund – so long as the bowl is in the same shape I sold it to you. We won’t refund shipping and insurance, just the cost of the bowl. No returns after 25 days. If you paid using a credit card and receive a refund the credit card companies charge us about 4%. Same ~4% with PayPal, they used to refund their charges but no longer do. For small returns, under $250, we’ll absorb the cost. For larger ones we may deduct 4%.
Sets and custom selected bowls are different. They are subject to a 25% restocking fee for the time invested in working with your request. It takes a lot of work and attention to assemble a set.
All merchandise on orders over $1000 are subject to a restocking fee of 10%.
Shipments to outside the US are subject to an additional 5% fee plus any charges we have to pay for receiving the merchandise back.
On refunds in currency other than $USD currency exchange charges will accrue to the customer.
There is no refund on certificates, the cost of those is primarily labor.
Mallets and accessories are subject to the same rules as above. We will not accept accessories that have evidence of use. If a stick or wand has score marks on it, it is yours.
Mailing address for returns: PO Box 3971 Santa Cruz, CA 95063 USA. Send returns via priority mail insured for the proper amount. For UPS or Fed-Ex returns: 1146 Soquel Ave. Unit 3971 Santa Cruz, CA 95062 USA
In my many years of selling singing bowls I’ve had only a couple of returns because of damage. I’m a believer in bullet proof packing and the bowls really aren’t terribly fragile anyway. Still occasionally one gets run over by a forklift. If a bowl or ringer does show up broken, I’d replace it and pay the additional shipping cost. Please send photos of the packaging and the damage. I may need the merchandise plus the box and all the packaging back, depending on the way the insurance claim goes.
Say you’ve had a bowl for a while and for some reason you want something different. You can return the bowl (or bowls) to us for credit towards others. The bowl does need to be in the same condition – so if you’ve been polishing it you can’t send it back. We will credit you against the cost of other bowls as follows:
90% credit for bowls traded in up to 90 days of purchase
75% credit 3 months to one year
50% credit over one year
If for some reason you refuse to accept a package (other than for visible damage – see those policies above) we will treat it as a return. You are entitled to a refund, however it will be less than your original payment. First of all shipping will not be refunded. If the carrier charges additional shipping for returning the package to us we will also deduct hat amount from the refund. Finally we will charge a “this is a hassle” fee of 10% (aka a “restocking fee”). Custom assembled sets will have 25% deducted.
Each singing bowl you purchase from Best Singing Bowls comes with a printed sticker on the bottom with a unique identifying number. My database has the weight of the bowl to a 1 gram level of accuracy for identification along with dimensions, at least for bowls I have brought back from the Himalayas since 1996.
My intention is to only sell old bowls on this website. I’ve been at this a long time and I like to believe I can’t be fooled. That being said, I cannot guarantee a minimum age on the bowls. There simply isn’t the documentation to support this. Even verbally my suppliers are unwilling to provide this for me unequivocally. I am confident no bowl I sell is less than 50 years old, made within living memory, as no source has documented a traditional brass bowl manufacturer operating in that time in the Himalayas. There is a type of Jambati bowl that was made into the Sixties and a Thadobati that might be even newer but they have a distinctive look and so are easy to avoid. India is a bit tougher as there have been “traditional” bowl makers operating in the last half of the 20th century. That being said, I doubt any bowl I sell is less than 50 years old and the vast majority are significantly older than that. Some experts will identify all the bowls I sell as 19th century or before based on standard dating criterion. I am happy to have the support of their opinion but I am not comfortable including this in my guarantee. Please see the section on dating bowls for more information on this topic.
I have a history of working with quality assurance and trying to make sure consumers get proper information. For instance I lobbied for the first organic food labeling legislation in California in 1979. During the Clinton administration I was heavily involved in organic regulatory issues to the point of meeting with my congressman and submitting a detailed technical response to the controversial proposed USDA organic regulations which would have included irradiated foods, genetically modified organisms and toxic sewage sludge in the definition of USDA “organic’. I also helped set standards for the organic cotton industry as a founder of one of the first organic clothing companies “Maggie’s”.
Nepali and Indian industry have been responding to the demand for high quality bowls with better and better new material. They are also responding to the high prices of antiques with the time honored craft of making “replicas”. Genuine antiques have distinguishing characteristics which are apparent to highly experienced professionals while the difference may not be as clear to the general public. As with any market where there are fakes, misrepresentations and lazy sellers, pedigree can be the difference between a claim a bowl is old and it actually being old. When you buy from Best Singing Bowls you get the benefit of a decades old supply chain.
We can prepare a certificate for any bowl sold off of the website for a fee of $12. They are delivered electronically in the form of a PDF file.
History: Assessment of age and place of manufacture with reasoning supporting the estimates.
Physical characteristics including singing bowl type, dimensions (width, height, rim size and weight), state of preservation and thickness
Appearance: Artwork description, state of preservation, special features and coloration.
Sonic characteristics: Fundamental frequency in Hz, note and octave designation for fundamental frequency and overtones, subjective impression, playing characteristics with mallets, leather ringers and wooden ringers.
Playing and listening instructions.
Year of sale.