Selling Beads Online, Sapphire for September & More
 

This month is how to sell beads online and September's gem, sapphire.  Scroll down, or click one of the links below on the html version to go to a certain section.   If you weren't mailed this newsletter enter your e-mail address here to receive next month's newsletter


How to Sell Beads Online
Sapphire: September's Gemstone
Genuine Imitation Amber

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How to Sell Beads Online  
Selling beads online is easy.  Much easier than selling from a bricks & mortar shop or a trade show.  Also, because beads are small and relatively light, they are an ideal product to trade online.  You can sell them by the strand, in batches of loose beads, or strung together as necklaces or bracelets.  It all depends on your supply, if you can get a lot, then strand or loose will sell faster online.  Here are my top ten tips selling beads online:

 

  1. Make sure your heading is catchy and descriptive.  The heading is the first thing that catches the eye of a potential buyer when selling on auctions.  Unless the heading is good a buyer wonít even get as far as looking at your auction.  Especially with so much competition these days.  Go through eBay and note good selling titles for similar beads you want to sell.
  2. Make a good photo.  The main thing an online buyer has to go is the photograph Ė good pictures sell!  Get in close, crop hard, enhance the contrast, and reduce to about 400 pixels wide.  Although many have broadband these days, too large an image will put off buyers with a dial-up connection.  If your camera wonít focus close enough to fill the frame with your beads, then shoot from further away and crop with an image editing program.  One of the fastest and easiest to use is ACDSee - not as sophisticated as Photoshop, but much cheaper and simpler to use.  To down load for under $50 go to http://www.acdsystems.com/.  To find out how to take good pictures go to one of our old newsletters here.
  3. Get the price right.  If you are selling on auctions, then many other sellers force you to set your minimum bid at a competitive price.  With too high a price you wonít get any bids.  Check successful sales of similar beads to give you a guide.
  4. Work out your best strategy selling on eBay.  This will depend on what site youíre selling on.  In the US eBay increased fees make a preference to sell on 7-day auctions.  Where on their UK site I favor 10-day listings because they cover two weekends (when most buyers are online), and donít cost any more.  eBay gallery pictures can be expensive if you have a lot of listings, but I think the increased exposure more than covers it.
  5. Good contact between you and the buyer is important.  Answer e-mails fast (within 24-hours most of the time), and send out prompt letters to winners, non-payers, and problem customers.  Make as much clear on the actual action as you can to save unnecessary letters.  Especially shipping prices and payment options.
  6. Offer Paypal as a payment option.  Paypal is simple once set up, fast, and economical.  Itís also the best way for buyers to pay internationally.  And make sure you do offer sales to international buyers Ė thereís no disadvantage with a wider catchment.
  7. Donít just rely on eBay auctions.  One tip worth more than your computer system is to establish an eBay store Ė easy and cheap to do.  Then just put your best sellers on auction and everything in the store, relying on links from the auctions to bring sales to your store.  Works a treat and saves you a packet in eBay bills.  And the more stores you have, the more you will sell.  If youíre selling a lot, consider a MarketWorks store too.  This is linked to your auction sales and encourages extra add-on purchases outside of eBay. And for high-volume sellers, Miva offer the best online store software Ė get the store for free by signing a hosting contract with someone like NetNation at http://www.netnation.com. Because of less competition you should also sell at a higher price in your store. The MrBead store is a Miva.
  8. Donít loose out on postage & packing!  Itís not a rip off to charge buyers more postage & packing than the mail costs you.  Consider all the time it takes to sort and mail orders, apart from purchasing materials and the actual packing.  If itís a business, someone has to pay for this time.  I bet your bank charges you more for a simple letter than most sellers charge to mail a string of beads.  Also, eBay doesn't take a commission from your shipping charges.
  9. Donít try to do everything yourself.  Sign-up to an auction management system like MarketWorks Adviser at http://www.channeladvisor.com/mw  (the best) or Andale at http://www.andale.com/.  Any fees incurred will be more than covered by the increased sales you have more time to make.  Many of these management systems list automatically, send personalized winner letters, combine shipping on multiple wins and automate feedback.
  10. Find a good bead supplier like MrBead at http://www.mrbead.com Ė click the wholesale link to see what you can save. MrBead gives up to 40% off for re-sellers, see here. Buying in bulk will allow you a larger mark-up on sales.  Always buy more than you need because you don't want to loose future sales if you can't get any more the same.  It's a lot of work photographing and listing new items, rather than relisting older beads.  However, to keep sales rolling, you do need to keep adding fresh stock to your inventory too.       top of page
     

 

Sapphire: September's Gemstone

Sapphire is the birthstone for September, and is chemically and structurally the same as ruby, an aluminum oxide.  However, where rubies are only red, sapphires come in every color but red: blue, golden yellow, reddish-orange, or violet.  The most valuable sapphires have a vivid royal blue color. Some sapphires do change their colors between blue and violet depending on the light.

 

Sapphires are extremely durable, only diamonds are harder.  Sapphires are generally cut into cushions, rounded rectangle or oval shapes. However, fancy sapphires may be triangles, squares, marquises, pear shapes, cabochon cut, or smooth domes.  Sapphire is the anniversary stone for the 5th and 45th years of marriage.    

                               

Dark blue and lilac sapphire is said to enhance ones creativity while guarding against distraction. It is also good for sexual relationships because it tends create deep bonding between people and brings loyalty.  

Light blue sapphire is the inspiration stone. It helps to bring new thoughts and makes one feel excited and full.

Green sapphire brings a lucky sense to ones life for it allows things to run smoothly.  
Orange works on a totally different level by not allowing you to deceive yourself. It makes you look at things in their basic form without distorting it to conform to what you want it to be. Brings true knowledge - a good stone for students, teachers, writers and researchers.   

Pink sapphire allows one to surrender to another for the good of the all.

White sapphire helps you take care of yourself and to tend to your personal needs. Yellow sapphire connects you to the total you with all of your inner knowledge. It also helps you to see what you do not know so you can look for an answer,  rather than believing you already know the answer.

 

Blue chalcedony can look similar to sapphire at a fraction of the cost.  Although a very fine-grained variety of quartz. It has a waxy luster with a compact fibrous structure. Natural chalcedony is usually grayish blue and sometimes with hints of pink, however it can be color enhanced to light blue. It is said that chalcedony was used as a sacred stone by the Native Americas, promoting stability within the ceremonial activities of the tribe. Chalcedony is thought to augment emotional balance, vitality, stamina, endurance, kindness, charity and friendliness. It also supposedly alleviates hostilities, irritability and melancholy.    
 

For our Chalcedony click MrBead or MrBead.co.uk

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Genuine Imitation Amber
A young couple was on honeymoon in California, enjoying the weather and walking along the boardwalks with all of the small shops. In one they found a case with a sign saying "Genuine Imitation" next to a display of beautiful necklaces. The wife looked through the selection and found one that she really loved. It was a bit pricey, but the husband wanted to buy his bride a memento of the honeymoon trip so they left the store with an amber colored necklace of carved beads.

The necklace was a favorite and she wore it on many occasions, always thinking of their honeymoon when she did. After 20+ years the necklace finally broke. She took it to her local jeweler to ask if he could restring it. He said that it should not be a problem and took out his loop to look at the beads. While still examining the necklace he asked if she would be willing to sell it and offered her $1,000. She very indignantly said "No - it was a gift from my husband, and anyway why would you pay $1,000 for imitation beads?" The jeweler did not answer, but did restring the necklace as she requested.

When she returned home, her husband was just as surprised as she was at the jewelers' offer. He was planning a business trip to New York City and told his wife that he would take the necklace along and see if one of the famous jewelry stores there would appraise it. The jeweler there promptly asked if he wanted to sell the piece and offered him $3,000 for it. The husband said, "Please tell me what is going on, why would you offer me $3,000 for a necklace made up of genuine imitation beads? I don't understand" To which the jeweler replied "You have never looked at these beads with a loop, have you?"  "Of course not, why would we?" replied the husband. The jeweler then went on to explain that the beads were actually carved amber, not imitation anything, and that each of the beads was inscribed: To Josephine from Napoleon 18xx.

 

Story as told by Paul Harvey on "The Rest of the Story" and Cynthia Rutledge.     

 

To see all our amber click MrBead.com or MrBead.co.uk

Special 15% Offer!
Sample any of our beads with a 15% discount in our MrBead bead store, just key in "amber" at the checkout (without the inverted commas) and click "Redeem Coupon".   Cannot be used with any other coupon.

Offer valid until 4th September only - so act now! Only for use in our store at the checkout and not valid with any other offers. 

To see our bead store at MrBead click MrBead.com or MrBead.co.uk

 

      
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