Low price is the reason it's usually so bad, I think.

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Posted by Lauren on June 25, 2002 at 13:05:07:

In reply to: Local store vs online shopping...choices are good things to have! posted by Maureen on June 25, 2002 at 10:12:40:

: I would imagine most online vendors remain mystifies much as I am
: regarding how some of the small ethnic grocery stores can even
: henna powder at prices that allow them to sell it at $1.00 per 100
: grams. My math says that figures to $10.00 per kilo of henna powder.

It actually makes sense and explains the variation in usefulness even
between boxes of the same stuff. When we artists order henna, we
order a smallish amount, less than 1000 kilos usually, and have it
shipped over in a couple weeks at the outside. This is why the
shipping usually costs as much or more than the actual powder, but we
get it fresh and lovely.
Buying in huge quantities takes the price way, waaay down, and then
they ship it over by boat, which is the only way to move such a
quantity. Boats take bleedin' forever to arrive, especially when you
factor in time spent sitting somewhere waiting to be transferred to
the next boat or warehouse. I would guess that there's no
temperature control, either, so the henna spends a long time in
fluctuating temps before it can even think of showing up on your
grocer's shelf. Then, the boxes that were stored in the middle of
the shipment would be the most protected from heat and humidity, so
those would probably still be good while the stuff on the top of the
pile in the ship gets weathered, and the stuff on the top of the pile
in the warehouse also gets weathered.
Or I could be entirely wrong.


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