Those of you who have met me at shows know that I sell little bags of beads. I'm constantly asked where I get my products from and how I can sell them at such a great price.
What I do is purchase huge closeout lots. A "lot" is simply a term for a specific grouping of product. The lots I purchase are usually boxes full of...stuff. I get the good, the bad, and the ugly!
Some of the things I get are not readily usable. For example, they could be chokers with peeling metal, or bracelets with stickers on them that fall off. I absolutely hate throwing things away, so I often put a lot of ugly in one bag, and not only does the person get a great deal (often well below what's it worth), but I get the ugly out of the way easily. The thing is, there's always someone out there who can do something creative with these things. The necklaces are so cheap that they can use the leather or silk string and just toss the hardware, or the stickers can be taken off and the spaces filled with resin and collage images. The sky's the limit. I sell my bags of product in bins, and I've relabeled the "stringing supplies & misc." container as the "Creativity Bin." And you know what? It really sparks people! I love hearing the ideas they think of.
I spend lots of time just sorting beads. I'll watch some of my favorite seventies or eighties shows (Starsky & Hutch, Miami Vice) and put beads in bags for hours. It's very relaxing and fun.
Here's a great example of a sorting project that took three days. I bought a huge box (70 lbs) of vintage German cabochons, glass gems, and round...uh...beads without holes. It's taken me months to get through the sorting, but when I was finished, I had a lot of really great (and unusual) items. I also have five pounds of round...uh...beads without holes. [grin]
Sadly, I won't get any new lots until early next year, so there's not a lot of sorting for me to do at the moment. There will be, though!
Don't forget, my blog is moving! I'm posting at both places for now, but eventually it will be located solely here. Thanks!