by Rita Juhlin.
(Private Stock Jewelry)
I thought it would be kind of fun to find out what the biggest or most common Pet-Peeve is among Home Based Jewelers.
I have two.
My first Pet-Peeve is extra charges for a small order of jewelry supplies online.
If you walk into a store and buy a five dollar item you don’t have to fork over another 4 or 5 dollars because you didn’t spend 35.00.
When you shop on-line you probably pay for shipping on a smaller order; so what’s the deal? What do you think about this?
Brick and mortar stores have way more overhead, paying for employees, building expenses, insurance; the list goes on.
So what is the reasoning behind charging extra for small orders? Am I inconveniencing a on-line store for placing a small order?
My second Pet-Peeve is on-line stores boasting “wholesale-wholesale-wholesale”.
I’m a shopper and tight with money so I compare a lot. I look at pricing in a structured way, make lists of what I want, and search the web for the best price, comparing apples to apples.
What I have found is that there is a very broad range of pricing for exactly the same item; and most of those claiming wholesale pricing. There ought to be a law!
Here is one example; Sterling Silver wire: an on-line wholesale only store price was around 19.00 an ounce; a retail on-line shop was just under 17.00 an ounce and I walked into a store locally and the price was 18.00 and I didn’t have to pay shipping.
No price break for a large order either on the wholesale only store. It pays to shop around!
I asked the wholesale only online store owner and the answer I got was, “well, we don’t sell at market price – we only sell by what we paid for it plus our mark up”.
I do understand about marketing on-line and popular key words; but I think we all need to be a bit skeptical if we think we are really getting a “wholesale” price.
So, home-based jewelers, what are your pet peeves?
Please leave a comment below to share them!
Home Based Jeweler’s Showcase
Jewelry Business Pet-Peeve
by: Bev Carlson
I really don’t let it bother me with people who charge more for what ever reason, I just don’t buy from them.
If possible, I try to support my local bead shop (though it is not always possible). They often will give a discount (give them your tax ID and they know you are serious)
Giving free shipping is one of the best perks you can give a customer. And it is usually less than a percentage discount.
Lack of good customer service it my biggest pet-peeve. That costs you nothing to give!
Purchasing Precious metals
by: Jamie Santellano
I agree with Bev on the pricing. It gets tricky because you as the customer don’t know what the seller is buying the product for in the first place and those prices can fluctuate depending on the dealer.
I buy some of my supplies from a business out in Canada and their prices are good and so are their products. The downside is that there is a Vat tax and shipping can be outrageous, so I pick and choose when I buy from them and only when I know I can’t find what I need locally.
I buy a lot of sterling silver wire for my chainmail and sheet for my hand wrought work, and silver has gone up in price. I think the last time I checked it was between $20-$22 an oz plus the fashion charge (for them to make the wire), which can bring up the price to around $24 dollars. I gather the different price breaks on silver has to deal with it’s fluctuation in price when your supplier buys it. There are many factors that play into the price ranges.
I would suggest buying more than what you need when you can especially when it goes down in price so that you have stock on hand, and check back often, so that you build your inventory. Then you might have a large enough quantity to last when it does go up in price.
I hope this helps.
Missing my point
I’m sorry, I guess I wasn’t clear. The point of my pet peeve is that so many on line people are claiming wholesale pricing and they are far from wholesalers. Claiming is the key word here.
I buy wire at about 20 to 30 oz at a time. A two dollar difference is $40.00 to $60.00. Claiming wholesale only pricing is just plain wrong.
Buying beads locally, I won’t pay $40.00 for lapis coin beads for example, when I can buy them for $20.00 or less, on-line. Glad you guys have more money than I do.
Here’s one of my pet-peeves:
When shows and festivals don’t limit the number of jewelry booths for the event. They’re just happy to take the booth fee of anyone and everyone who wants to set up there – and never mind having a good balance of vendors.
Even worse is when those show promoters are evasive or untruthful when you ask them how many other jewelers will be there.
My pet peeve
Great topic, Rita! I get tired of people who think I want to fix their old, broken jewelry for free. I love to create and design jewelry, but fixing people’s jewelry (that i didn’t make) does NOT sound like fun to me, and I surely wouldn’t do it for free. 😉
My Pet Peeve
One of my pet peeves is when I’m doing a craft show and have an unfriendly or just plain rude vendor next to me. At one show, when I arrived I found the vendor next to me was already set up. She had her table a good TWO FEET over onto my space! It was too late to complain, since she was all set up, so I let it slide and squeezed into my now 8 ft space. But, as Karma would have it, my sales were great that day – hers: not so good.
Jewelry business Pet-Peeve
by: Bev Carlson
Anita, I think it was more than Karma that you sold more than your rude neighbor. She was probably a bit rude to potential customers too.
have you checked out other shopping venues?
The last time I visited artbeads.com there was no shipping charge, regardless of the size of the order, and these are the best prices I have found among all stores I have visited.
Wholesale – NOT! And bead supplies who compete!
I share your pet peeve for stores (on and off-line) that claim wholesale pricing! I do a lot of comparison shopping so I typically know what the going wholesale rate is for commodity items.
I’d love to support the local bead stores but they aren’t in a position to provide me with the pricing levels I’d need.
Another similar issue that really gets me is bead suppliers who compete by selling jewelry. You should be in one business or another. Reputable companies don’t compete with their customers. This includes that very large supplier in Oregon who stocks tons of “junk” jewelry.
Thanks for letting me vent! LOL
Sharon of Rose of Sharon Jewelry
by: Rita Juhlin
Hey Sharon, I’m with on that too!!
by: Lisa Kewish
I’m fine with doing a show with a plethora of jewelers…IF ALL THE JEWELERS WERE THE ACTUAL ARTISANS. And it bothers me when other jewelers are bugged.
Well… my reasoning comes from three years of metalsmithing classes…instructor shows a technique…and when 30 people all go off and come up with 30 different ways to “artify” that technique…AND NO TWO ARE THE SAME… no competition.
I would LOVE to do a craft fair where it was ONLY jewelers….
NO NO NO NO “BS” jewelers. “BS” meaning buy and sell. THAT annoys me. I can not compete with buy/sell individuals. And I become extremely angry when I’m setting up across from XXXXXX with the goods made in far away lands and cost 1/4 of what I am doing….and the craft fair is being marketed otherwise.
ooh…makes my blood boil!
yes, i definately agree about the people wanting you to fix their old clapped out bits of rubbish jewellery for free.
in the UK, people are very tight with money. i once had a guy pick up a freshwater pearl and sterling silver very very embelished cha cha bracelet that took me days to make and looked at the pricetag (£75), chucked it back n the table and said “that price, and its only handmade.”
My pint is, people dont appreciate how much the components cost, and how much time goes into making it!!
phew, thats better, thanks!
Would you take…..
My biggest Pet-Peeve is when a customer will come into my booth and ask if I would take for example 1/2 or 3/4 of the price of an item! I feel that is just so rude. What would they say to their boss if they told them they weren’t going to pay them $20 an hour this week, they only get $10 an hour. I did tactfully say this to a customer and she said that she was sorry and didn’t mean to be rude. They just want something for nothing.
I also agree with the point of promoters of art and craft shows just packing in the jewelry and then the jewelry dollars to go around just aren’t there. I have done many shows and I have only found one promoter that only allows 8% jewelry in her shows. Castleberry Fairs is the most honest company to work for. They also do the advertising that most promoters skimp or don’t do any. Unfortunatly I am unable to go to the Northeast from Florida anymore. Thats my 2 cents.
I’d love to know who the Canadian supplier is that you mention. I live in Canada and find one of the most difficult things is that most suppliers with a good selection are in the U.S. This means not only higher shipping charges (and free shipping deals don’t apply when it’s going outside the U.S.), but we sometimes get charged duty, which is very difficult to predict or calculate in advance.
If you can help by providing a name, that would be great!
Making me think,…
I’ve enjoyed reading the comments here as it’s been making me think about how to make my business better, so I don’t do any of the things mentioned in this pet peeve discussion.
As a jewelry designer – I too get frustrated with shows who haven’t disclosed that most of the booths will really be jewelry booths – at least if they were to disclose this before hand you could plan/prepare so you could do your best to shine above the others.
I also have another site where I make handmade jewelry findings and components (earring wires, etc.) and I wanted to do free shipping like I did with my handcrafted jewelry site, but with orders as low as $4.50 for 3 pair of earring wires, it just wasn’t cost effective, so I placed a low ($2.95) shipping fee in hopes this would just cover things and not stop people from purchasing – no matter what the amount is they decide to spend. I too find that some sites say wholesale – and yet I too can search and find lower prices for the same items. Learning from this, I try to provide the great customer service (that’s fee like someone mentioned above) as well as really good quality findings so that my clients get the best of both worlds and they’ll come back even if I’m a few cents more than another store.
Overall I think my biggest pet peeve is when people purchase handmade items and then they don’t take care of them – they throw them into their jewelry box and they’re all tangled up with everything else and then they yank stuff apart quickly and wonder why their items don’t stay nice or why they have a tendancy to get tangled up,………??? Duh!!!
Anyway -thanks for the discussion – it’s been fun to read.
Cheers and happy creating!!
Shel’s Jewelry Supplies on Etsy
my pet peeve
i’m with you guys on the fair entries. i get really frustrated when people claim to be selling “handmade” jewelry and its just crap they’ve boughten from some overseas company that is poor quality and cheap. i know that people like buying less-expensive stuff, but it seems so insulting to spend that much time making beautiful things and to get outsold by those vendors.
i also get frustrated when i need to buy beads/supplies and the quantities are not very workable with my needs. for example, i may need 6 or 8 or something, but i have to get lots of small quantities (2 per package at a higher price), or order a massive package and then hope i’ll be able to use the rest. very frustrating.
Boy can I ever relate…
I sure can relate to many of the pet peeves that have been brought up in this forum. I know that several of my local craft shows do limit the number of jewelry vendors but many do not and all day long I hear from people at the show “seems like all there is here is jewelry”. I do appreciate the show organizers who at least make an effort not to put 2 jewelry vendors right next to each other.
I think my biggest peeve is people who want nice handcrafted jewelry for K-Mart prices. I try to keep my prices as reasonable as I can, especially in today’s economy, but at the same time, I refuse to give my things away.
One comment about the jewelry repair requests. I have one lady who I know through my job (she is a rep who often comes into our office). She has asked me a number of times to repair pieces of jewelry and often to “re-make” the piece. I have done 3 such repairs for her (one was a Silpada necklace) and each time I have added beads or components and changed the look of the original piece. Each time she has loved what I did to her old jewelry and she is now one of my best customers – buying my pieces. So in this case, fixing her broken jewelry has led to several sales of my designs.
Hey Sue, I ship a lot of stones to Canada. My policy is the same for Canada as the US. I don’t stock many findings; mostly cabochons and focal beads. These products can get fairly heavy sometimes.
My standard policy is: no penalty for small orders; free shipping for orders over $25.00 and shipping charges are never over $4.25.
I have found this works for me and for my customers. Being a small.com I can’t offer free shipping for everything, but as I grow maybe someday I can.
I agree with the comments about too many jewelry booths at craft shows. I just did a 3 day show and there were 9 people selling jewelry and there was only 20 booths! What really irked me was that they put 3 of us right next to each other!!
Another peeve is when you get someone in your booth asking if you will give them a “discount” if they buy 2 rings, bracelets, or earrings. Hello….this is not a garage sale or flea market!!! A friend of mine who hand turns beautiful wooden pens had the booth next to me. A lady was all set to buy one until he told her the price, which was $35 and already discounted for the show. She said it was too much money so he came right out and told her that she wasn’t at Walmart. I had to chuckle at that one. 🙂
Hi, my pet peeve also relates to craft fairs/shows, where the entrance fee is high, and they claim it is “juried” for artists who make their own work only. However, it turns out that a good percentage of the booths are “buy and sell” junk, which is priced very low and usually these booths get the best spots. Why does this game exist? Why do the promoters pretend they are encouraging artists? Ugh. After a lot of trial and error, I have come to avoid these shows. Sigh.
My Pet Peeve
by: Silvered Leaf
I love bead shows! There are 3 to 4 yearly bead shows where I live and I attend every one of them. Its where I spend the majority of my investment money and increase my supplies and find the cool beads that are not offered online or are too expensive elsewhere. One of my biggest pet peeves is the dishonesty I see at bead shows with some vendors. Not all, just a select few do this. Misleading product descriptions or just plain lying about the items they are selling can really tick me off.
I can look at chain or metal beads and findings and tell if its 100% sterling silver, or just some metalized plastic or plated. When vendors label their products as Sterling silver and you know it isn’t, well… that just frosts my shorts. Or when some list their pearls as Akoya with a corresponding price tag, and you know they are just run of the mill freshwater pearls… I get a little peeved.
I’ve been making jewelry for a long time so I can usually tell the difference, but not everyone can. Taking advantage of unsuspecting fellow jewelry designers is reason enough for me to boycott those vendors.
I don’t mind paying for tutorials that are actually designed by the person selling them but it really gets my goat when I see a new tutorial for a pattern that I’ve just seen in one of my magazines.
My upset is not as much for myself (now) as for people who are where I was … I couldn’t afford the magazines and did not realize that I could use my precious pennies to purchase the magazine for seven to fourteen dollars instead of paying twelve to fifteen for a single pattern.
Not to mention that I think that absolutely should not be legal!!!
Canadian prices vs. US prices
What gets me is that I live in Canada and it is cheaper to buy from the States not only for the price of the beads but also for the shipping costs. How is it that some stores can charge a very reasonable shipping cost while other stores are ridiculously high? It doesn’t make sense.
by: Rita Juhlin
Not to mention the hundreds of free tutorials on the internet!!
I’ve always wondered about all those tuts that are being sold now that have been around so long. It is rare to see something new and or different.
Thanks Millie – I have bookmarked your site. I’m not in the market for cabochons or focal beads right now – more for findings – but appreciate your free shipping policy. It’s great that you offer the same deal to Canadians.
Art Fair Un FAIRness
I actually had a not for profit group set up a wall displaying their group’s objectives behind my booth at an outdoor show. I was bothered by it, but they set up long before I got there, so I did not speak up.
Then, a big wind blast kicked up, and the wall landed on my head. Did I mention that I have a bad back?
Firefighters from another booth came by and checked me out to see if I were ok. The people at the booth didn’t appologize, didn’t give me any contact info for their main office or anything.
I asked for their contact info and told them to take down their wall. I told the promoter that I was pissed. My back and head felt better after a week, but my lesson was to speak up and make a BIG deal over unfair things up front. It is worth it!!!
by: paula hisel
i’m reading all of your comments and agreeing, and i can’t help but think if we all banded together, we could find a way to change these things.
does anyone know if there are any groups or ways for artisans/small business owners to go about making changes like these?
My pet peeve is juried craft fairs that have vendors from silpada and lia Sophia. I work very hard on making my jewelry and I get customers asking me if my stuff is handmade. I just look at them in awe. You are at a craft fair not a mall jewelry store.
Pet Peeves – oh boy!
I’ve come across some common ones over the last several years. One has to do with repairs! Of course I charge them but I’m not doing it anymore just be nice to my co-workers. Unfortunately you cannot say No to your boss! She asked me to repair a broken necklace she had bought in Mexico. I took it to my local bead shop and told them my story. They took pity on me and only charged me a small fee so I wouldn’t have to ask my boss for the money. I guess it never occurred to her that I would charge for something like that. She never offered to pay me either! No more jewelry repairs ever!!! As for craft shows, I always make it a point to visit the show before-hand and smoke out all the fakes – and believe me, even though the ones claimed to be “juried” still have them at every show. If I see those kind of vendors I will never do the show. I have found I’ve done better at some “street shows” than at Juried “art” shows where I paid too much money. So it pays to do your research, for sure.
Street Fair Problems
by: Cindy C
I’ve been doing a local street fair for 3 years because it’s only 5 miles from home and it’s been a good way to get my name/jewelry in front of local people. While street fairs are not my favorite way of selling my jewelry (rain worries, heat, dirt, etc), I try to set up a nice booth and show off my jewelry. The promoters of this street fair stated in their literature that craft vendors would all be on one end of the street and the food and flea market vendors would all be on the other end of the street with musical performers dividing the two in the middle. Seemed fair to me.
This year, I arrived at 6 AM to set up my display since the fair opened at 8 AM. At 7:50 AM, a large “lunch truck” pulled in the space directly opposite me, flipped on their massive generator outside the truck, and set up shop selling sandwiches, fries, etc.
By 9:30 AM, I had a massive headache from the noise and the generator fumes. I had to yell at my customers all day long — normal conversation was impossible. People would actually hold their ears, comment on the noise, and leave the area (without buying)! And my ears rang for days afterwards.
I did complain to one of the promoters that day, but she shrugged her shoulders and said she couldn’t do anything about it since everyone was already set up.
I told her that if the same thing happened next year, I would immediately pack up my booth and go home! I followed all the rules they listed on the application form. Promoters need to stick by the rules they list on their literature too!