This post will be of interest to fellow jewelry designers, beaders, crafters etc. or those interesting in becoming same. In an earlier post I began this topic and I'm pleased to announce that I took the plunge and placed my first 'group buy' order the other day. In this case the buy group involved is a rather close knit collective of artisan jewelry designers and membership must be approved by the group owner or moderators. But once you're approved and are issued a membership ID, you gain access to the group's purchasing power meaning when current 'buys' go live, you can save 50% or in some cases acquire materials below wholesale.
My first group purchase was for jewelry wire and included a few troy ounces of argentium wire, a few troy ounces of sterling silver wire, some bronze wire, and brass wire. The pricing is the best I've seen recently and well below that offered at the main stream outlets. The only downside inherent in the group buy process is the fulfillment horizon. I won't receive my order for likely 7-10 weeks. This is because the buy remains open for one more week, then the buy hostess needs time to collate and submit the order, the wire supplier needs two weeks to process this large volume transaction, items will then be shipped to the buy hostess who finally sets about sorting and shipping to each individual participant.
The group purchase form of acquisition may not be for every one. In fact, in my own jewelry design business I can't always participate in this type of purchase scheme as sometimes I'm in immediate need of materials. When I'm urgently in need of items it is necessary to deal with my existing suppliers, most of whom offer easy online ordering, same day shipping and expedited courier delivery.
Today for example I placed another individual order with an Indonesian supplier of handmade Bali sterling silver and 24k vermeil components. These exquisitely handcrafted Bali beads and findings are the ornate touches I like to incorporate in many of my styles like the Summer Breezes Bracelet shown above. And I've not found any domestic Canadian or USA sources that can even come close to the factory direct pricing. Believe it or not, on a $400 shipment I pay only $22 in S&H with no duties or other taxes.
If you are interested in participating in group purchasing for jewelry materials drop me a line and I'll send some info by email. Until next time...