Spoiler Alert: It’s Cheap Crap. You knew that, right?
“Why Don’t You Make Stretch / Tie on Jewelry, it’s so easy to put on?”
Customers ask this question all the time and give me tons of reason why they like it. It’s not that I haven’t been tempted. But my darn conscious just won’t let me.
If you don’t really care and don’t want to know why, scroll down to the GREAT STORY below.
I always reply, but thought I would take the time to explain:
- Yes. I know it’s popular right now.
- Yes, I am probably losing sales because of it.
- Yes, it is easy to make a knot and glue it.
- Yes, that can be made and sold so cheaply
- Yes, they can be mass produced
- Yes, it is easy to put on.
- Yes, it costs less time and trouble to make.
- NO, I am not going to do it.
Elastic is a whole lot cheaper than the Soft Touch Premium beading wire I use at $354.00 per spool, and because elastic stretches, you don’t even have to make different sizes! Elastic string may be suitable for inexpensive manmade beads like plastic, glass, crystal, pewter, perhaps even some silver. However, linen, elastic, etc., should NEVER be used with genuine gemstone beads.
THIS IS WHY:
Gemstone material is mined in the earth, dug up as big boulders. The rough material is sent to a stone manufacturer, who rough shapes them, then has them polished, and finally drilled by hand. They must use pneumatic tools and diamond drill bits, because the holes can’t be made with ordinary drills. They are just too hard. They are STONE. As most beaders know, the better the stone, the smaller the hole. Manufacturers don’t want to lose any more weight (karats) of the quality material then they have too, because its SOLD by weight (karats). They will drill inexpensive material larger, of course 🙂
Now, here’s why I don’t use stretchy string. Most gemstone beads are rough drilled by hand! (by very poor people in very poor countries, for a ridiculously small wage) Which is why they are drilled so badly…but that’s another story altogether. The holes are ragged, and not smooth inside or on the outer edges like manmade material. It would cost too much in time and labor to have every bead smoothed out and is only done with the most expensive beads.
When strung, those little buggers have edges like sharp little razor blades!!
Sharp and ragged! The beads, being round, spin on the string, and eventually just cut right through. If your item was inexpensive, or made of plastic, wood, crystal or glass, this might not bother you. If you paid for genuine stones in sterling silver, or gold, you are going to be………at least annoyed.
I have a GREAT STORY of some amazing marketing and advertising for you.
Have you seen those “make a wish items” that have a couple of beads and are strung on linen? The advertising says they are supposed to “fall off ” after a while and you will get your wish. You did know that what a manufacturer “tells” you about his product is called advertising, right??? Now, don’t get mad at me …. yet….
That came about because of this “beading craze” where everyone wanted to get on the band wagon and make a quick killing on “handmade beaded jewelry”, without investing a fortune. Just beads and string. What could go wrong???
So, we had a plethora of amateur beaders and jewelry makers putting stuff on strings and selling them by the hundreds….and they found out what real jewelers have always known… that if you put real stones on elastic, silk, or linen, it eats through the cord LIKE A KNIFE and the bracelet falls off. And all those customers got angry….
All these dozens of well known websites, (who shall remain nameless although they should be ashamed of themselves), had a problem. They had a bunch of angry customers, and a ton of inventory to sell.
What to do????
You’re going to love this.
They got together and decided to tell their customers they were SUPPOSED to fall off.
NOT KIDDING. That way they don’t have an angry customer when their bracelet breaks and falls off in a few weeks, they have a happy customer who thinks it means their wishes have come true……! And people bought it!!! Yes. We are that gullible.
A piece of crap that was made by manufactures that knew ahead of time that the inappropriate materials they used would fail, found a way to get YOU to buy it anyway, and like it!
And THAT my friends, is the power of Targeted Marketing.
EVERY single item eventually falls off EVERY single person that buys one, usually in less than 90 days, and everyone is happy. Except you if you read this article.
AAWWWWW… are you sad? Did you think your wish came true? My Bad.