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 your bowl 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. I won’t refund shipping and insurance, just the cost of the bowl. No returns after 25 days.
In my many years of selling singing bowls I’ve never had a return because the bowl was damaged. I’m a believer in bullet proof packing and the bowls really aren’t terribly fragile anyway. If a bowl did show up busted, I’d replace it and eat the freight, too.
Sets are different. If you buy a set from me and want to return it I will charge a 25% restocking fee for the hassle. It takes a lot of work and attention to assemble a set. Bowls over $1000 are also subject to a restocking fee of 10%. However, unlike the sets restocking fee, that is not written in stone.
Mailing address for returns: PO Box 3971 Santa Cruz, CA 95063 USA
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 Nepal 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.
I can prepare a certificate for any bowl sold off of the website. Certificates include photographs, dimensions, musical qualities, estimated age, description and state of preservation plus playing and listening instructions. Certificates cost $10 per bowl.