When we started this company back in 2013, I was an avid online shopper. But now that I own an online store, I am much more careful about what websites I purchase from. It's disappointing to see the direction online sales have taken lately, and it's something I think most customers aren't aware of.
You might notice that we try to emphasize the fact that we purchase all of our products direct from the manufacturers in Poland. We store every product we sell in our facility. We hand pack each order, inspecting the product to make sure it meets our quality standards. And the reason we advertise these practices is because this way of doing business online is very unusual.
We personally photograph every product we sell
Most online stores utilize drop shipping warehouses. They never actually see or touch the products they sell. They will pick items from a catalog and import a premade listing and photographs of the products. When a customer purchases the product, a computer program automatically sends the information to the drop shipping warehouse, which packs and ships the product direct to the customer. The online store which sold the product will never handle the product directly.
While this practice of selling products that you have never actually possessed seems inauthentic, it's even worse when a seller will take advantage of a customers to make money while contributing nothing. This NPR piece does a great job of explaining a practice that is becoming all too common.
You can listen to or read the full article here.
We don't agree with, support or condone these kind of sales. We will never participate in an agreement which would take advantage of our customers. We have had many websites request to sell our products in a drop shipping arrangement, and we always decline. Of course we could grow our business if we agreed, but it would be at a disservice to our customers if we did. The only wholesale agreements we enter into are with companies who purchase our products to be shipped to their location before reselling.
Fermenting Crocks packed and ready to ship in our own warehouse
So what does this mean for you, our customers? First, if you see our products sold on Ebay or Amazon, please be sure that the seller is listed as Stone Creek Trading. If not, you are most likely being charged more or will receive a counterfeit product. In almost every situation, you will always get the best price by buying direct from our website.
Secondly, be aware of your online shopping choices. Do your research and make sure you are purchasing the product direct from the company who makes or sells it. Check Amazon, Ebay and the companies website before you make a purchase to ensure that you aren't paying an inflated price that will actually be shipped from a different website with a lower cost.
If you managed to read this whole article, thank you! The subject of authentic, honest business practices is something I care passionately about and one of the core principles of our business. We want our customers to be aware and informed. And when you purchase a product from us, you are supporting this traditional way of doing business!