Saturday, July 18, 2009

Retail Stores versus Cut-Rate Internet Sites - What sets 1 Stop Bead Shop apart?

A note from our owner, Lisa Busch:

Retail stores are not here to and cannot compete with cut-rate internet sites. We offer a much higher value in being able to see and feel the quality, get qualified help and answers to your questions from friendly people you can trust and take classes - which is something you can't do from an anonymous website.

I have learned in this business that not all beads/findings are made alike, nor are all companies ones that I will do business with. For example, I found out that 1 silver supplier out of Afganistan is under investigation. I found that a little scary - wonder where that money is going...? I know that there are knock offs of Swarovski crystals out there, so it is important to know the source you are buying from. Silver and gold are particularly important to know your source. Early on, we bought from a "reputable" well-known company that we saw at all the shows. When the beads tarnished and wouldn't polish up, we discovered that what we had been sold was "tin" silver (less than .925). They sold it as sterling. We ate the loss on that and learned a valuable lesson. We ONLY buy our silver from reputable US companies that stand behind their product. I once called our primary supplier about a Bali silver bead that I was questioning, and he immediately sent it for testing. It came back .921 or something like that (close but not quite .925). He took them back and dealt w/ his Bali supplier (real Bali ONLY comes from Indonesia) about the consistency.

That's the kind of integrity that I feel my customers deserve and want - they know they can trust that what I sell them is what it says it is, to the best of my knowledge.

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