FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: It says the item I would like to order is out of stock. Can I still order it?
A: Yes, you can. Just complete your order as usual. We'll place the statue or plaque on backorder for you. Your credit card will not be charged for the item while it is unavailable. We receive shipments from India 4 times each year. As soon as your item is back in stock it will be shipped to you and your credit card will be charged.
Q: Do you ship outside the continental US?
A: Yes, we ship to most countries via USPS Express Mail International or Priority Mail International. Recipients are responsible for paying Custom Duties and Taxes in the destination country.
Q: Do you have a retail store we can visit?
A: No, we are a mail order company only and have no show room; however, there are many stores that carry our products across the United States and even a few in Canada, Australia and Great Britain.
Q: How do you decide which statues to carry?
A: Many of our designs come from customer suggestions. We research all possible statue and plaque ideas, then we develop the ones that we think will appeal to the most people and/or will provide an otherwise unavailable image. Please feel free to send us by email or mail your ideas and images for new statues and plaques.
Q: How come there aren't more male deities?
A: We do carry more goddesses than gods, however we have been striving to provide more male deity images for the last decade and we plan to continue to do so in the future.
Q. Do you carry books and CDs too?
A: We try to carry a few really special books, CDs and other items. But our main mission has always been and will always be to benefit the Artisan community in Calcutta by offering you the statues they create.
Q. How do you price your statues?
A: We base our prices on cost of materials and labor. Our statues are made of a variety of materials, from sacred clay, to brass, to ResinPlus. We have a commitment to continually improving quality and selection. And there are the people. It costs Sacred Source money to give the Artisans and our staff here a living wage, but that's the only way we'd have it. Some of our statues are relatively easy to make and don't require a lot of expensive materials. Our Artisans are so talented and practiced that they can work quite quickly. We don't charge whatever the market will bear, just what we need to keep things operating.
Q: Do you really support fair trade?
A: Yes. For the last 33 years we have supported a village of Artisans in a safe, healthy, family-friendly, environment. These artisans would otherwise be performing back-breaking labor for little pay in one of India 's poorest cities. We pay above living wages plus bonuses, support festivals and religious observances, and do not use child labor. Also, for the last 33 years, bringing the artwork of these Indian artisans to westerners has provided jobs for a number of American workers here at the Gaia Center.
Q: Can I order by mail or pay by money order?
A: Yes. We produce a lovely printed catalog. We take orders by phone (800-290-6203 10am-6pm Monday-Friday EST), fax (434-823-7665), mail (PO Box 163 Crozet, VA 22932 ), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and secure online ordering on our internet website (www.sacredsource.com).
Q: Do you sell wholesale?
A: Yes we are happy to supply statuary for your retail store. Please call or email with your tax resale certificate information and we will send wholesale terms.
Q: Are you environmentally responsible? Why is there so much Styrofoam in my package?
A: Yes we are! We reduce, reuse, and recycle everything around here! We have a composting toilet, for goodness sake! It's not possible to ship statues without some kind of packing materials, but we try to minimize the impact on the environment in several ways. First, most of our statues are packed in India into boxes made of recycled and recyclable materials, either cardboard or styrofoam. Second, we pack each order into the smallest box and with the lightest materials that will get the statue to you unbroken (replacing a broken statue is a big waste of resources) to save on materials and fuel required. Third, we reuse packing materials whenever possible: especially boxes and packing peanuts. Shredded office paper (that has already been printed on both sides) is great for padding our mini statues. Finally, we purchase our packing supplies from a local manufacturer to reduce the amount of fuel needed to truck them to us. We are not using biodegradable packing peanuts at this time as we have found them to be unsatisfactory in several ways, including that they are made from highly allergenic food sources.
The styrofoam used to package many of our statues is recycled and has an interesting story. India has a culture where most "garbage" is naturally reused somewhere. For example, the evening meal is often eaten on leaf plates which are thrown out in the yard to be eaten by cows whose manure is then gathered and dried to be used as fuel for cooking the next evening meal. Watersellers use soft clay cups which can be thrown on the ground and return to dirt. Now introduce plastic bags into this "throw down" culture and you could have a major pollution problem. The people of India have solved it in this way. Our styrofoam comes from the respected trade of "rag-pickers" who gather and recycle plastic bags from all around the city. The plastic is melted down and blown into sheets. This accounts for the odd pock-marked texture of our styrofoam as opposed to the sintered pellet look of most American styrofoam. We look forward to the time that American technology offers us the choice of recycling plastic bags, styrofoam, and packing peanuts, thus "closing the loop."