Bella Moulding, very expensive on the west coast.

JRB

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Yesterday I received 16 feet of a moulding from Bella Moulding that has a length price of $2.00 per foot. My cost was $64.00 or a little over $10.00 per foot. I called them and they told me it was the shipping charges and they could do nothing about it. I solved the problem by pulling all their samples. I'm posting this to warn other framers who purchase from the opposite coast, check your shipping costs.

John
 

Ron Eggers

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That sounds more like $4/ft, John, but it's still a lot.

I get Bella delivered from Vicki Schober, which makes me really happy. But I got 30 feet of length sent UPS from Georgia last week and the shipping charge was the same as the moulding cost.

I won't do that again.

Unless you're getting boxes of moulding by common carrier, vendor delivery is not a luxury, it's a necessity.
 

JRB

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Ron, your right, I was so pissed off I didn't use my calculator or my brain. That still doubles the cost of the moulding. I don't have a clue who started Bella. The have a very nice line, however, they are now geographically undesirable.

John
 

Ron Eggers

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Yes, Bella is Jay Goltz's line and it is gorgeous and unique.

I'm not sure who's chopping or distributing it besides Vicki Schober.
 

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John,
I do not wish to raise you ire, but I must take issue with your initial post.
It's just the cost of shipping small orders of full length moulding (you did get 2-8' pieces?) a great distance. I don't know the answer, but it seems there should be some way to build known expense into the formula on specialty items such as Bella. Perhaps chop becomes more attractive an alternative for smaller orders.
Unfortunately, no two distributors work alike, and we as framers have to learn each's idiosyncrasies (IE. don't order 14' of Roma anything, you might get 1-10' and a 4' piece manufactured about a year apart and resemble each other only in profile (and that's not always certain)).
Ordering short lengths itself is a bit of an art, and the risks of disappointment are great, but knowing how each distributor works diminishes the risk.
You may wish to lambaste the carrier, but Bella only did as you asked.
 

GRYPHON 1

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Hmmmm. Just Thinking out loud here. Is it ok for wholesale moulding suppliers to open up retail frame shops which would compete directly with their own customers?
 

Warren Tucker

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On the rare occasions we need to order something like 16' of moulding, it's always for a specific job (otherwise we wouldn't order it.) We figure out how the moulding is going to be cut and ask the supplier to cut the moulding so we can get the frame/s out of it. Say, have them cut the the 8' pieces 3' and 5'. That way the moulding can go standard ups and the shipping is minimal. We've never had to pay a "packaging" charge. Every company we deal with says "sure, we'll ship you occasional small amounts." Warren
 

Ron Eggers

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Is it ok for wholesale moulding suppliers to open up retail frame shops which would compete directly with their own customers?
It's okay if it's acceptable to everyone involved. It's not illegal.

If you're thinking of Jay's retail establishment, Artist Framing Services, in Chicago, I think that pre-dates Bella Moulding by a lot.

If I had a retail framing company with over 100 employees and wanted to bring in a special line of moulding from, say, Italy and make it available through some select distributors - as well as use it in my own business - I wouldn't expect my retail or wholesale customers to have a problem with it. Actually, the 100 employees would have little to do with it, except that it would make it practical to import my own line of mouldings.

As long as you're thinking out loud, maybe you could be a little more specific in case I'm just guessing about your point.

[ 02-19-2004, 02:14 PM: Message edited by: Ron Eggers ]
 

GRYPHON 1

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Ron,

I never thought of this as a legal issue as much as it is an issue of integrity.

When ever a rumor would spread regarding LJ opening retail frameshops, framers screamed bloody murder. But a Chain of retail frameshops opens a wholesale moulding company and everyone is ok with it. I believe the reason framers are against a moulding company opening retail shops is the direct competition. And make no mistake I agree with them. In this case I think its clear that this same competition exists. So my question is why the double standard.

Don't select distributors sell his moulding which is still competition? :confused: Arquati sells mostly through select distributors. Is it ok for them to open retail stores?? If I am not mistaken this original post is about the high price a retail store paid for moulding direct from Bella.

p.s. I do not understand your reference to 100 employees. How does that pertain to this issue.

Phil~
 

Meghan MacMillan

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15 or more years ago I worked in a retail location owned by a moulding and supply distributor.

The owners original intention was never to be in retail. He acquired his first store more as a favor to a floundering but loyal customer of his. He bought that man out of his failing business and was able to turn it around. 5 years later he had bought two more existing businesses and started 2 from the ground up.

there were several local shops that did drop him as a vendor when he opened in competition with them. I can certainly see why, I might have in their shoes, but by doing so many of them lost their only free local delivery.

When I went back to that region to visit a friend last year I noticed that several of those shops were closed. Actually, a lot of shops of all sorts were closed up in that area, but that's another thread.
 

Bob Carter

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Hi Phil-Your point is well taken about the double standard. But this case doesn't fit the nationwide mold of a Larson.

Frankly, I think what Jay is doing is not only ethical, but smart.

I can say that because my closest store is about 1500 miles away. I'm sure if I was across town, I might think otherwise (probably not). My direct recourse would be to not buy the Bella line.

I guess I am just a free market kind of guy.
 

Ron Eggers

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Actually, the 100 employees would have little to do with it, except that it would make it practical to import my own line of mouldings.
It would be a lot easier to discuss this if you'd come right out and confirm that you're talking about Jay Goltz. Since this thread was/is about Bella Moulding, I'll assume you are.

Most of us, thankfully, do not face direct competition from Artist Frame Services. Jay has, I believe, one operation in Chicago, spread out into a couple of large buildings. I wouldn't call that a chain.

I'll give you this: There is a retail frame shop in Milwaukee that used to come up here with chop and length moulding. I was never completely comfortable with buying moulding from a retailer but, for the life of me, I can't imagine what my objection was.

They are two hours away and hardly a competitive threat to me.

I guess anyone who finds Jay to be a personal threat to their business will probably not buy Bella moulding. Or join Framer Select. Or read Jay's books or articles. Or take a class from him. Or . . .
 

GRYPHON 1

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Ron,

I do not really mean to single out Bella. It just happens this thread made me think about this issue which I have thought about many times befor. There are other retail companies that have done the same. International moulding is another company started by a owner of a retail chain. And they have been very succesful.

My focus is actually on the perception of the framers. Not what Bella is doing. Why is it percieved as bad, if a moulding wholesaler like myself opens retail stores, but not bad if a retailer opens a wholesale moulding company. Wholesale moulding companies are the ones that should be concerned more. In theory this is the most complete way to corner the framing market.

Jay is a very intelligent individual and has my respect. Is it possible he is on to something? Does he know something I don't know? Am I missing the boat? Has he proven that it is ok to control a portion of the market? Maybe International moulding knows what Jay knows!

It will be interesting to see where this Industry is 10 years from now.

What really made me think about this was a television program. The History channel had a program about the history of the Beer industry. Maybe some one else saw this? The similarities between that industry in the early days and ours now, are quite remarkable. Anheuiser Busch started out as a distributer and eventually owned most of the bars selling their product. This was an effect of competition.

Any way I just shared a little of how my brain makes me crazy sometimes. :D Please do not take this to seriously it is just something to think about.
 

po' framer

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Well, as long as we've completely frankenthreaded John's original post intent, no sense going back. In for a penny ...

You do raise an interesting point, Phil, about the vertical integration issue, and I'm reminded of the old saying about perception IS reality, regardless of what reality actually is. (And no, I'm not EVEN talking politics now! :eek: ) But the perception is that some people/companies are boogeymen, so whatever they do must be automatically bad. And some people or companies are considered to be good guys, so the perception is that whatever they do must be good, for some reason or another. Truth be known, there probably ins't a lot of conceptual difference except for the perception. And vertical integration can offer some efficiencies for customers as well as better control for the vending company.

As Ron mentions, we are free to express our opinions with our words and (lack of) orders. We've pretty much already done that with one of our local distributors who has built a large framing business for themselves, and that's in spite of free deliveries. Now I know that there's no such thing as a free delivery, but I guess I like to think that way about the convenience.

We're just beginning to rationalize the number of corners and lines we show. In our case, with Bella's mouldings, the decision we have to make about it involves all the philosophical things already discussed AFTER we evaluate the uniqueness of the line and the potential margins we should be able to receive.
 

Ron Eggers

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I have no idea what po'framer just said, but it's certainly possible I agree with him.

No doubt about it. If Larson-Juhl opened even a single retail outlet in my market, I would drop them without a second thought. Also, I would expect every other Grumbler and PPFA member, everywhere in the world, to drop them, as well, as a show of support. :D

Now if a retail competitor in my city, say, John Ranes, decided to start distributing a line of moulding, my course of action would be less obvious to me.

I probably wouldn't buy it. I'd always know that he was selling it in his shop, too, and getting a MUCH better price than me. And, while I enjoy the camaraderie and cooperative spirit between our businesses, I don't know that I'd care about contributing directly to the financial success of a local competitor.

But other than choosing not to buy it, I can't see where John distributing moulding to other framers would really concern me one-way-or-another.*

Call it a double standard, but I don't think it works both ways.

It's an interesting idea, Gryphon, and one I hadn't thought much about. Thanks for bringing it up, and I'm sorry if I thought you were picking on Bella.

Edit: *If I were a moulding distributor, especially one selling even a remotely similar line, THEN I might be concerned about a retailer, especially a very large one, moving into the moulding business.

[ 02-19-2004, 10:07 PM: Message edited by: Ron Eggers ]
 

GRYPHON 1

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WOW!

Very well put Po'framer! I believe you summed it up quite well. "Perception is reality" how very true. I will have to remind myself of that one.

p.s. Sorry about the frankenthread! ;)
 

JRB

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Thanks you guys, I really appreciate your total agreement with me that Bella is way to expensive on the west coast.


John
 

Ron Eggers

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John, just out of curiosity (none of my business, of course) but where is your Bella moulding shipped from?
 

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my $.02
Jay has figured out a way to buy an unique line of moulding at the best price possible (he probably buys the not so unique lines in much the same manner).
By distributing it nationally through distributors and directly he creates a conflict with perhaps .01% of the retail outlets (those within a 5 mile radius of his business), and those retailers probably choose to not handle Bella, but not as a business decision.
A large corporation with mutiple national distribution that has representation in a majority of the independent retail outlets and chain outlets would create conflict with perhaps 90% of their customer base should they decide to get into the retail business.

And therein lies the difference between a retailer going wholesale and vise versa, and it is a totally amoral decision either way. It might be good business or bad business but a decision to expand your business in any direction is not an ethical decision, nor does it make the decision make either good or evil.
 

Rick Granick

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Wally- Thank you for that very accurate and direct description of the situation. I think some grumblers were getting a bit confused.

I think the best answer to John Baker's original problem is to forget about this one-time exorbitant shipping charge as a learning experience (compare it to the cost of taking a class at the WCAF). Then, get into the habit of estimating the best cutting instructions for your needs on future orders of length. Although you are a number of zones away from Chicago no matter what you do, you will drastically cut the actual shipping amount by making your packages a "normal" size to the extent possible. So just figure some normal shipping factor (due to distance) into your cost on the Bellas and price them accordingly. You might find that using chop on these would be more efficient. With 5 or more chops you get a 7% discount. It's their look that sells them anyway, not the price factor.

:cool: Rick
 

Jill

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Sorry if I Appear confused but isn't Bella Moulding a Vicki Schober company? That's who I order mine from.
I also found for small quantity's chop may cost more but saves lots in shipping and a request for said chop to sent speedy again saves even more.
Beyond that I add anticipated high shipping costs into my cost for calculating retails.
Just my 2 cents worth for what it is worth.

Jill Hennes
Omro Gallery
 

JRB

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Ron, Chicago. Their sales rep came in yesterday and I gave him his samples back, problem solved. We didn't sell all that much of the Bella line anyway, so it's no big deal.

John
 

Sandie

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OK, and I am still confused. After reading everyone's post, frankenthread included, I still don't see why you are blaming Bella for your high shipping costs. I live at the other end of the continent (Maine) and I would never order 2 8'sticks from California or even Chicago_Only UPS makes out on that. Unless I was buying a truckload, a chop will always be cheaper from that distance. My prices for my distant vendors ( almost everyone) reflect a premium for chop and shipping. If people want to pay that for a special molding who am I to deny them?

As an aside, I must say I find it odd that I can and do sell Bella in Maine..especially the funky ones...but they are a hard sell in California. Go figure....

Sandie in Maine
 

Therese

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bella

I know this thread is about shipping, but you have gone in a different
direction. The problem with wholesalers acting as retailers and retailers acting as wholesalers is this, you as a retailer will never ever be able to bid a job and win. You the retailer will never be able to bid a job and price it lower the the wholesaler price. If you think the retail/whole sale shops don't bid jobs far from their 10 mile raidius, well then you haven't been paying attention. That is not a level playing field, but no one said life was fair.
This is my first time, I'm a grumble virgin, hope I did okay.:)
 

Kirstie

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I rarely stock east coast moulding, but when I do order something as a special order for one frame, I order it cut for UPS so that shipping is not an issue. I have sold three Bella giitter frams to date and believe me, every inch of scrap gets used, usually for a small mirror which sells quickly.
 

johnny

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Ron, Chicago. Their sales rep came in yesterday and I gave him his samples back, problem solved. We didn't sell all that much of the Bella line anyway, so it's no big deal.

John

They made me return mine :p I didn't put them up fast enough and so I didn't perform. I offered to pay for them at first too.

Nice mouldings. Wouldn't have been our best sellers but good specialties.... oh well.
 

Emibub

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Wow, I thought Ron was framing again until I saw this thread was started in 2004
 

Nancy W

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I show and sell Bella,I am also fully aware (note the Calif address) of my shipping costs. Bella is pricey stuff ,but it is so darn novel that I just gotta have it! It has created so much unmitigated creative buzz in my shop that there is no way I would pull my samples. Expenses be darned, if my clients love it they knuckle down and they 'go to wallet' and buy it. It is hilarious how wse agonize together and then they gotta have it! My clientele are all about novelty. Just having the samples around does the trick , they are distinctive and conversational. I have stitchers who ALTER their needleworks so that the sparklie frames will be suitable when they are finished.
I should say I that thus far have only sold chop. I join on sight. I do not relish the idea of such expensive short lengths hanging around. I sense a strategy change may be needed more than a removal of all your Bella samples that you purchased! If you wanna get really cranky call In line ovals for a big oval than write up your invoice then receive said oval only to find the shipping was $100. and that was not figured into the price to the client. We call that a hard learned lesson, but it is user failure..we didnt ask the right questions during the quote phase. Isnt being in busness so fun!! I wasn't feeling too STREET SMART at that point.

It hurts to be so caught off guard, but dust yourself off and muddle on. It costs what it costs, pass the pain on down the line for those who crave the nifty and unusual.
 

Kirstie

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Hey Nancy W,

Great post! A breath of fresh air.

Which Bella lines are popular for you besides the glitter? What else are you showing that catches the customer's eye? Do you have a web site?
 

Nancy W

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Hey Kirsti,

You know the animal stuff is fun too, but NOTHING is as silly and giggle producing as the glittery frames! Little kids love to play with the corner samples while Mommie concentrates and buys frames, an unexpected bonus! The pink is the runaway favorite with ALL girls under the age of 18, if they come into the shop with their mothers they beg for it, promise to eat peas and do homework etc..The enthusiasm is maximized by our little counter top four sided sample holder. it is right at eye level, and grab-able.
We sell them because we commiserate with our clients over the cost, " darn those Italians, they make great frames! I know they look like fun but they are genuinely expensive!" Surprisingly that does not put them off, they just become more interested! We draw their attention to the fact that you cannot see any glue nor blank spaces and the glitte ris really stuck on there good! Thats a good trick anyone who has ever done a glitter project can appreciate!
I have a brand spanking new and raw and no-good-yet web sight. Give me a month or three and then I will send you an address:)

Nancy

( Hey, Bella, or Jay,or Italians, if you are reading this ,the world needs a good emerald green glitter frame!! Purple too while you are at it.)
 

Shayla

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I'm glad this thread was brought back up. It's an interesting conversation.
I didn't realize it was an old one until Kathy mentioned it, and appreciate that she did.

Welcome to the Grumble, Therese. :)

This thread is a good reminder that we should always estimate shipping costs as accurately as we can, even if it means telling the customer we have to do some homework and will call them with the final quote. Plus, the points about not ordering small amounts of length from far away are worth noting. Sometimes it makes more sense to get a chop.

I well remember the time four years ago when I wanted two oversize mats from a company that had no delivery route in our area. It was sent from less than three hundred miles away, and I was shocked to see an eighty dollar shipping charge. Until that company finally came up with a better delivery system, I rarely chose their mats in oversize. And when I did, I'd tell the customer that it had that high shipping cost. That way, it was their choice whether to get it.
 

cjmst3k

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What really made me think about this was a television program. The History channel had a program about the history of the Beer industry. Maybe some one else saw this? The similarities between that industry in the early days and ours now, are quite remarkable. Anheuiser Busch started out as a distributer and eventually owned most of the bars selling their product. This was an effect of competition.

One thing to throw in the mix is that even at Busch Gardens which is practically next-door to their plant, they need to, by law, purchase their beer thru a distributor. They can't just have the beer delivered 0.5 miles directly from the plant and I'm assuming since they have to purchase it thru the distributor, they can't obtain it below wholesale. In effect this should make everyone's wholesale relatively the same. This comes from a beer-tasting at Busch Gardens last year.

If a moulding company opens a retail location and sells their product, it would be nice if they had the same requirements - that they pay the same for moulding as we do.

I'm a drummer and one of the cymbals I buy are Paiste brand. They're expensive... and I believe I can buy it directly from Paiste, or from a local store. If I buy it from Paiste, they sell at the "list" price which is significantly inflated. If I buy from a retail store, it's always sold less than list, like 20%-50% less, which is in effect "retail" price. If moulding companies sell directly to customers, it would be nice if they followed the same courtesy.
 

Baer Charlton

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interesting that even 5 years later.... the debate and gut reactions are still valid.

I'd really be interested to see Mr Carter's take on this now.
 

janetj1968

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Yesterday I received 16 feet of a moulding from Bella Moulding that has a length price of $2.00 per foot. My cost was $64.00 or a little over $10.00 per foot. I called them and they told me it was the shipping charges and they could do nothing about it. I solved the problem by pulling all their samples. I'm posting this to warn other framers who purchase from the opposite coast, check your shipping costs.

John

When you're dealing with shipping charges from another coast...you're much better off ordering chop. Unless I have multiple frames, its the way to go.

:) Now I didn't realize this was an old thread, either.

It really is beautiful stuff...and if you look at my icon picture...that's my 'squirley board'. It's where I keep all Bellas and other funky mouldings.
 

Rick Granick

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Hey, Chris, I play drums too. I could never just order a cymbal. I would have to play it in the shop, listen to it and get a feel for its response, overtones, etc. Once I was in a music shop in Glasgow and found a beautiful Zildjian Flat Ride that the shop owner said some rock guy bought then returned "because it wasn't loud enough". I wrapped it in a blanket and carried it home with me on the plane. Bet the customs agents don't see to many of those.
;) Rick
 

Cavalier

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We're in Maine and we've never had any problems with the charging of shipping from Bella, although we very rarely if ever purchase length from them, which might be the reason why we don't have any issues, but I digress. >.>

Ack -- sugar buzz. Co-worker brought in donuts today. Curse her.
 

Rick Granick

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I usually get my Bella chopped, but I must say they have one of the most reasonable shipping charges of any supplier I use.
:cool: Rick
 

Doug Gemmell

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Animals? I'll have to check those out.

We used "Fuzzy Zebra" from their Petting Zoo line on this. Yes it is fuzzy fabric. Don't stare at it too long or your eyes will start vibrating.
 

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cjmst3k

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Hey, Chris, I play drums too. I could never just order a cymbal. I would have to play it in the shop, listen to it and get a feel for its response, overtones, etc. Once I was in a music shop in Glasgow and found a beautiful Zildjian Flat Ride that the shop owner said some rock guy bought then returned "because it wasn't loud enough". I wrapped it in a blanket and carried it home with me on the plane. Bet the customs agents don't see to many of those.
;) Rick


(since this thread is completely franken-headed... game on!)

I'm surprised security didn't question bringing a big piece of metal which resembles a saw-blade on a plane!

Zildjian and Sabian's upper-end cymbals both use castings using copper tin and silver. Their methods will yield a different sound per cymbal, even when trying to make identical cymbals. I wouldn't recommend buying those sight-unseen, even when trying to replace a cracked identical one.

Paiste's upper-end Signature cymbals on the other hand uses bronze alloy in sheet form. The production seems a bit different, but Paste's Signatures are known to be much more identical to each-other because of the sheet form being more uniform than cast, and can be purchased sight-unseen because of the similarities. Of course, you would need to have one in-hand to know what the ordered one would sound like. :)


Here's a great How It's Made with Zildjian:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBEMeLAw7CI

Here's a factory tour of the Paiste factory:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7D1s8Kj8T6w
 
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