Support Your Local Bead Store (Long)....

Q: I took this thread to heart, and reminded myself to stop by my local bead store today when I just needed some findings and a few beads to complete a project I'm working on. When there, I was reminded of one of the problems of dealing with a store versus retail bead shows and catalogs. It seems to me that shows and catalogs are true retail, whereas my two local (little) stores are more like double, or triple a retail price. I saw beads that I have bought for $4 a strand (for 20 beads) sold for 50 cents a bead.

A: Unless one has a very large cash flow to start a store, or a large loan is taken out, it is very expensive to set up a store. I got one order for beads by mail, and the $50.00 order cost me $129.00 to fill, as I had to buy by bulk from my distributor to get the colors I did not have in stock (only 2 colors out of about 9). So, before you sit puzzled over why the cost is higher in some bead stores, the owner may not be open if the prices are too low. For instance, to order 10 colors of transparent 11/0 Japanese beads, it would cost the store about $170.00. To double the price of the beads for retail, they would mark up to a total of $340.00. Now, the shipping was $10.00 - Each tube costs about 10 cents, tabs to mark tubes with price and color number are sometimes needed, etc., therefore, mark-up is actually less than 2 times cost. If I buy my beads at the 'Tucson Show' in Feb., where you can get great prices, I have spent airfare for a plane ticket or money for gas, and maintenance on a car to drive there, not to mention hotel costs, food costs, etc. Same for you. 'Promenade's' in Boulder did not carry 'Delicas'. The last time I shopped there (and I do mean LAST), I called ahead of time to check to make sure they did, because I needed a specific color to finish a project, but when I arrived they carried 'Toho Antiques' and labelled them as 'Delicas'... and on top of that, told me twice that they WERE 'Miyuki' brand 'Delicas', even though I can tell the difference a mile away. They are also incredibly expensive, and harbor the rudest employees/owner I've ever encountered anywhere. Good luck finding parking or facilities within a quarter mile of the store, and be prepared to be snubbed and insulted if you ever make it past the front door. I haven't seen anything in that shop that I couldn't find elsewhere for less (and I mean less hassle, not than less money).