Cover by Annie Rodrigue

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May 2007

May 2007 - Music



  • Industry News:
    Industry Announcements for May 2007
  • Healthy Green Artists:
    Solvents and Cleaners
  • EMG News:
    News for May
  • Wombat Droppings:
    Dealing with Art Directors
  • Behind the Art:
    Life Models and References Used in Art
  • Myths and Symbols:
    Harmony of the Spheres


  • Pricing Stuff
  • Musings on Music


  • Fiction: Kokopelli's Flute
  • Fiction: Twenty-first Century Siren


  • Book: Sing the Light
  • Website: Wholesale Toners

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  • Wholesale Toners
    Website Review
    by Ellen Million

    Don't be fooled by the no-frills, sparse-looking webpage at Wholesale Toners. Their page may lack bells and whistles, but the search engine works just fine, and their value as an ink supply source is unrivaled.

    I'm always on the lookout for a good deal on ink, and this place is it. Their prices are highly competitive, and their shipping is at-cost. The shopping cart doesn't accurately calculate shipping outside of the contiguous US states (or account for oversized), but a friendly representative will get back with you promptly about any extra shipping costs before your order is billed.

    They only ship FedEx or UPS, which means shipping is pricey to Alaska, but they always try to cut me deals when they can, and get me the best rate possible.

    Pricing aside, I will continue to go back to this business for one thing: their customer service.

    I can call these folks on a Sunday afternoon, and speak with an actual real person without having to wade through impersonal menus. He remembers my name and details, from order to order, and asks about my older Epson and how it's treating me. Any problems that come up with my order are dealt with immediately, and if these guys say "I'll call back with a quote within an hour," by little green tree gods, they call back within an hour. Which is more than I can say for most companies I deal with. (I've been trying to get PCMall to return my calls or e-mails for five months now...)

    My order is almost always out the very day I order, complete with an email with my tracking.

    Their service on problems is just as good. I had half an Epson cartridge go bad, and when I mentioned this on the phone placing another order (not really hoping for much help - I was sure I'd have to take it up with Epson), they promptly offered to credit the difference of half the cartridge on that order. They asked me to send the bad cartridge back, but slow mail was fine, and they were happy to give me my credit before they even received the cartridge back - a level of trust you rarely find in companies these days.

    Their lackluster webpage design is purposeful - they are interested in completely ad-free, graphics-low, slow-connection friendly browsing at great speeds. It's a pleasant change from the bigger-better-glitzier trend in most shopping sites!

    Their major published goals are for privacy, and they consider ads to be an invasion of that privacy.

    They also state: Our philosophy is pretty simple, if we need to sell our customers' personal data in order to enhance our profit, then we probably are NOT operating our core business correctly. We choose to focus on building a solid company with sound business principles and not rely on intruding on someone's privacy. We are so determined to protect your privacy, it became an integral part of our company policy.

    The only drawback I've run into is that they don't currently stock the extra-large cartridges for the Epson 4000. I mentioned this to them, and they knew exactly what I was talking about and had an excellent reason for not carrying them. They were unable to stock these particular cartridges without being one of Epson's preferred retailers, something that they are looking into. Their only hesitation is over the possible requirement to also sell the Epson printers, which is a different kettle of fish than they wanted to get involved in. (And hey, I can understand that!)

    Wholesale Toners is staffed with folks who definitely know which end of an ink cartridge goes into the printer, have principles I can relate to, and I highly recommend them.

    Ellen Million has always had a passion for projects. Visit her site for prints and embarrassing archives.

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