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Questions About Beading.

Q: I'm new to beading, and I'm in the process of trying to start a small business making jewelry. Can anyone tell me some good sources to buy beads wholesale - preferrably from places that don't require a tax ID #? I plan to get a tax ID # soon, but don't have one yet. Also, I am not sure how to price jewelry. Can anyone give me some ideas on how much to charge? I would appreciate any tips that anyone can give me for "getting started" on my business adventure.

A: Most true wholesalers require a tax ID. Some require more, such as a store front or some other evidence that you represent a retail operation, and are not just looking to get a good price on beads. There are many other bead sellers that call themselves "wholesale" and do not have any restrictions on who they sell to. I find their use of the word "wholesale" to be ornamental only. So, take the time to check prices. As to the business end of things - 'The Crafts Report' is a good source of information. From what I have learned, there are two ways to price items: 1) The cost of producing the item, plus the profit desired. OR 2) Perceived value. Currently, department stores are selling a few beads spaced out on a piece of clear plastic string for an average of $14.00. This is clearly a case of perceived value. Know how much your pieces cost you. Take the time to understand the marketplace. Jewelry is a competitive business. People need to know why they should buy from you rather than purchase a $3.00 necklace from 'Wal-Mart'. Understand, and then communicate your niche - it will usually not be because you are cheaper than everyone else. It generally has to be something else - quality, uniqueness, vision, clever use of color, etc...