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Discussion On A Variety Of Methods Used To Procure Beads.

Q: I have only purchased beads in bead shops. I have heard of others purchasing beads on the internet, and in catalogs. I would like to start a thread discussing what your experiences are as I am wanting to branch out, and take advantage of what the internet and catalogs have to offer. I have already been given a few names of catalogs from a helpful, fellow beader.

A: I have bought and sold many items on 'Ebay', and also 'Boxlot Auctions'. To answer your questions, finding out if a person is reputable is as easy as checking their feedback. This is no guarantee, but the best indicator you have. For info on quality of beads, read the description carefully, and look at the scans. If it sounds too good to be true, it just might be, although you can get some good deals. 'Ebay' has some FAQ's for new bidders, read them carefully. Also, if you have several catalogs, check prices. I have seen people pay 2 and 3 times or more for something that is listed in retail catalogs. I have been selling beads on 'Ebay' for a couple of years now, and my overall experience has been positive. There are occassionally people who just bid for things for a lark, and never intend to buy the item, but they are rare. 'Ebay' has standards of behavior for buyers and sellers, and enforces them. I would recommend 'Ebay' to you. As a seller, you should make sure that the item is described right, and that the scan shows the bead as it really looks. I always use the old adage that the customer is always right. As a buyer, I can only say that you should read carefully, and look at the scan carefully before you bid. I have had one bad experience with buying a beaded necklace package that I thought was going to be glass beads, when the auction description clearly said they were plastic. Now, I have a bunch of plastic beads, for which, I have no use whatsoever, but it was my fault for not reading the description well. I, too, have only had positive experiences with the beads I have purchased on 'eBay'. I find that there are several sellers that carry the types of beads I am looking for, so I have bookmarked their lists of auctions, and check them first. All sellers (and buyers) have feedback listed on them, which is easy to check before you bid. One other great source for buying beads is at large 'Gem and Jewelry' shows, if there are any near you. I have found the very best prices at these shows... it is very easy to compare shops, because there are so many vendors under one roof. They are particularly good for stone and precious metal beads, and these vendors often have unusual and upcoming styles for sale. If you have a tax re-sale number, many shows have a wholesale section. You can see what you are buying, and you have no shipping charges.