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The long journey of your amulet

By the time you finally have your amulet, it has come quite a long way – and this does not only refer to the mailing route from Thailand to your home.

Unlike other goods amulets cannot be ordered from a central supplier in any number desired. Each amulet has its own history of creation, its own time.

This is where you can follow your amulet’s journey.

 

1. What is it that we order?

Before we expand our range of amulets or re-stock our supplies, we collect every piece of information relevant to the order process of our amulets and statues.

This includes:

 

2. How do we order?

thai amulet transport
Thai amulets on their way to Germany.

Two of our employees get in touch with specialist suppliers that we have become friends with by phone to find out about availability of individual items and to negotiate their prices. Due to the time difference this happens mainly during the night and in the early morning hours.

If monks create new series of amulets or statues by pre-order only, we have to pay in advance – immediately. This means that we often pre-finance large amounts of money four to six months before the amulets and/or statues are delivered to us.

As soon as we have decided on certain items, we send an order list to our office in Thailand.

 

3. In Thailand

Employees in Thailand then forward the orders to the respective suppliers or temples and instruct payment in Thailand.

If amulets are not available, our “amulet scouts” go on search missions. Our employees help with the search as well.

 

4. „Tour of the temples“

At the same time another employee starts to tour various temples to “purchase” any available amulets directly. During this job an employee can travel between 800 and 1.000 kilometres.

 

Thai-Amulet-Fair Importer
The long journey of your Thai amulets.

5. Administration and organisation in Thailand

Our Thai office monitors the goods received and verifies the authenticity of the amulets that do not come directly from a temple.

Then, old amulet settings are removed and the amulets are sorted and catalogued according to their setting. Later they are forwarded to the creator of amulet settings to obtain a new setting.

 

6. With a new setting

Once all available amulets of our order have arrived at our office in Thailand, have been verified and prepared for the creator of amulet settings, one of our employees takes them to our various partners and our gold- and silversmith.

Amulets are set by hand only. With several hundred amulets in a single purchase round this may take between 5 and 7 business days.

 

7. The consecration of amulets

After the amulets with their new settings have been collected they are checked once again to prevent mix-ups. Then they are sorted.

Amulets that do not come directly from a temple or arsom, are prepared for consecration. They are taken to the venerable Luang Pho Thongbai in the wat which is 1.5 hours by car away. There they are consecrated for 9 days and 9 nights. During this time, the monk performing the consecration overexerts himself: He hardly eats, drinks or sleeps …

After consecration we collect the amulets. To thank the monk for the consecration we present him with articles of daily life as well as with an appropriate financial contribution.

A monk consecrating amulets for a business or an individual over several days is something very special. We can only do this because we have excellent connections to this particular monk.

We appreciate that a consecration is hard work. This is why we donate a certain amount of for each amulet, even though the monk himself would never ask for a donation or any other form of payment.

 

8. Preparation for the journey

On the day after the consecration each amulet is wrapped individually in bubble wrap. Then, between 10 and 20 amulets (depending on size and materials) are collectively wrapped in bubble wrap once again.

These packages are then put into a cardboard box lined with the consecrated cloth of a monk and then prepared for dispatch.

 

9. Export

In order to export statues from Thailand we have to apply for an export permit in Bangkok, which is about 250 kilometres away. One of our employees takes the statues, applications and photos of the statues to Bangkok to apply for the export permit in person.

After about a week he can collect the statues and the export permit. This means he has to travel about 1.000 kilometres by car (two return trips between Nakhon Ratchasima and Bangkok), which takes at least two business days, before the statues can be prepared for dispatch.

After this everything is dispatched.

 

10. Transport

Thai amulets by air cargo
Thai amulets are shipped in Thailand.

Our offices in both Nakhon Ratchasima and in Germany closely monitor the transport of our goods online.

The goods are sent by land from Nakhon Ratchasima to Bangkok. From there they travel by air to Frankfurt/Main.

Because we are direct importers, the goods (in most cases) travel immediately to the internal customs office in Cologne, after they have been cleared by the customs office in Frankfurt.

 

11. Import

The customs clearance at the internal customs office (approximately 30 km away) can only be after a customs declaration for import has been filed. These documents have to be prepared beforehand, which takes about one hour.

Altogether, customs clearance takes between two and three hours (including travel time). An import sales tax of 19 % and a customs duty of 4 to 12 % applies to each import.

 

12. Delivery control

Once the amulets are in our office in Cologne, they are unpacked and checked for completeness, transport damage and once again for authenticity. Then we register each item in our stock list. Depending on the amount of amulets, this takes between one and two business days.

 

13. Pictures of the individual amulets

After this, we take photos of each product. For this, we use a Canon EOS 7D camera with a 60 mm close-up lens, special daylight photo lamps with a total power of 5.000 to 6.000 Watts as well as special ring flashes.

By using a close-up lens even a small unevenness on the setting of an amulet becomes visible – something which could not be seen by the naked eye. This means that our customers can view every tiny detail of an amulet before ordering.

It takes about 15 to 30 minutes to photograph each amulet.

 

14. Image processing

After this, the images have to be processed with Photoshop CS5, a software specifically designed for photographers and web designers. First the size of the image and the file is reduced from approximately 29 megabytes per file to approximately 100 KB.

Then sharpness and colours are corrected to obtain maximum colour fidelity. Compromising reflections and light reflexes are removed (if possible) or at least reduced. The last step is to add a clearly visible copyright note to each photo. This copyright note is also embedded in each photo file. Image processing takes between 10 and 30 minutes per photo.

 

15. The stories of the amulets

While the pictures are taken, another employee writes the descriptions of the individual items. For this, we draw on information and photos from our own database. This takes about 30 minutes per item.

Particularly costly in terms of time is a description or profile of an amulet from a monk who does not yet feature in our database.

For this, we have to do research which can be costly in terms of both time and money. In this process we draw on media that are generally available as well as connections to suppliers, monks and temples that we know to obtain the required information. A lot of phone calls to Thailand might be necessary to obtain background information about the new amulets.

On average, this in-depth-research takes 4 to 6 hours, which can be spread out over several days or even weeks. This is a lot of effort but an amulet without a background is only half an amulet to us.

 

16. Proofreading and translation of the product descriptions into English

Once the product descriptions are finished, they are forwarded to our translator. She proofreads the descriptions and translates them into English. Depending on the length of the description and available text modules this takes between 15 and 90 minutes per product description.

 

17. Upload to the shop

As soon as we have all descriptions and images we upload the item to our online shop (20 to 30 minutes of work per item) and activate it. From this moment on the new Thai amulets and statues are available to buy from our shop.

 

18. Would you like to buy something?

After placing your order you automatically receive an invoice. As soon as we have received your payment we fulfill your order. During this process, we once again check all items for possible damage. Then we wrap and dispatch your order.

 

19. Finally there!

A few days later your postman will deliver the package containing your precious and original Thai amulet.

 

20. Conclusion: Idealism

It may take between 30 and 40 days from the day an order is placed to the day your amulet finally arrives at your home. During this time, at least 10 people work for your new Thai amulet.

On its journey to your doorstep it travels about 10.000 kilometres.

This enormous effort cannot be viewed or valued in economic terms only – if we did so we would have to charge much more for our amulets.

Thai amulets are our passion and our vocation – it is idealism and love for our job that makes us eschew neither effort nor money to make these unique treasures from Thailand as well as knowledgable background information available to you.

Now you have learned how your Thai amulet finds its way to you. Is there anything else you would like to know? Please feel free to ask us.

 

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