Oct 18, 2005, 8:06 AM
We have a HUGE new selection of bead strands up on the walls.
Most are new arrivals over the past few weeks. Others are "new" again, from boxes we had stored. Most are really, really stunning!
There are new colors and types of jaspers, and old favorites. There are many new sizes and shapes.
We are continuing to incrase the bracelet strands, our approx 6" strands of beads so you can increase your variety at a lower price.
We've added short strands of many new higher- end items. We've been concentrating on our $12-14 strands with bracelet strand prices in the $4-8 range, but have started to add in higher-end beads usually in the larger sizes -- tubes, coins, and rounds. These are the beads in Mookite, Ocean Jasper, etc that you might want as part of a necklance, but don't need a whole $30-$40 strand.
We also got some stunning material in, but the matching beads were scattered across several strands. Sometimes, in materials like Mookite, Crazy Lace, Ocean Jasper, or similar, certain beads and colors stand out, and go together. We've been cutting apart, and matching beads in short strands of 5-6 beads, so you can get your centerpiece accents in a more closely matchng pattern or color, and fill in with similar beads.
This can increase the look of your piece without increasing the costs -- and even keeping the costs down by half or more.
These strands are limited, and we make them as we have the time, and yes, there is a pricing differential involved. As an example, we cut and matched up some tree-agate oval tubes, matching the amounts and types of greens/whites. The strands are 5 beads, just long enough for a nice bracelet, or accent on a necklace, but the colors and patterns are much more coordinated. Some strands were priced at $10 (one at $8), and others at $14 or $15. Obviously, the $8 strand had some "issues", and the $15 strands were drop-dead stunning.
These strands were made from a mix of 10 strands, and are pretty nice (they are selling briskly).
This is an idea we will keep up as time allows, "high grading" short strands for higher end bracelets and accents.
You will pay more per bead, but you won't be paying anything for lower-grade, unused beads that end up sitting in your stash forever. Rather than 11 beads on a strand for $2 each, you might get 5 beads for $3 each. The 5 beads you get you use, and are a higher overall grade than the 11 beads you would have gotten, but you don't have 6 low-grade, unused beads sitting around, and you saved $7 in the cost of making that item you REALLY wanted.
Just a word on pricing: It's not all about price, or per-bead pricing, or quantity discounts. People get caught up in getting 10 strands for $2 each, rather than one strand for $8. Sure, it's a great deal _IF_ you will actually use those 10 strands. If you don't, you've spent an additional $12 that just sits, that you COULD HAVE USED for buying beads you really wanted or needed. If the average beader added up all the "extras" in their stashes that are just sitting (some were "great deals"), the money/value could have been -- could be -- used for beads that inspire you and will be used (hence, our Bead Exchange).
Costs are lower for everyone -- distributors, retailers, customers -- buying or selling in bulk. Most of the work -- such as finding the good beads -- is passed on down the chain to the end users. But, the cheaper the costs at the front (less work done grading/sorting beads) the HIGHER THE _HIDDEN_ COST TO YOU!! A $2 strand may seem like a great deal, but not if you have to buy 10 of them or if there are only 1 or 2 beads on the stand you can use.
We don't compete on price. Everyone else is competing on price, and you usually get what you pay for. We offer the BEST VALUE for your money, and that is what is important.
We select most of our gemstone strands and centerpiece beads. We grade and price fairly, not average a price over a whole lot of mixed grade stones. We can offer advice on coordinating stones or other beads, and advise you on problems you might have with specific stones or mixtures. We can help you put your creation together, and DON'T CHARGE for crimping or finishing help.
Our regular customers get higher value, and actually end up saving money over mail order -- so they tell us.
Finally -- Sales. We get asked if we have sales, and the answer is no. Sales cost money. A sale is how a company clears out slower moving items to free up cash to put into better moving items. The items sold, are often sold at a loss. That loss is made up (or was covered) by selling the items at a higher price. A company cannot stay in business selling items at a loss, so a company that is always running sales is buying lower-cost (lower grade?) merchandise and simply selling it at a good markup. The quality of the items (unless they are overstocks or real close outs), is suspect. In order to run sales, you have to have higher prices the rest of the time. We price our items fairly, and offer discounts to regular customers, larger purchasers, and such. We have a frequent beader card, a save-your-reciepts program, and such. The more you shop with us, the more you save. This is a _REAL_ discount, and real savings based on your business with us, not some arbitrary pricing. Even if you only use one or items on a regular basis, we can often save you money over "sales" and keep those items available for you. Our pre-paid silver certificates can save you money on your Bali Sterling purchases. You can lock in a lower price, and pick up the items you need, WHEN YOU NEED THEM. You don't have to play the quantity game and figure out what you need ahead of time. This is something mail order simply cannot do for you.
PUGDOG's Rock & Bead Shop
Pittsburgh, PA 15217