Bead Devil #1
Feb 5, 2005, 7:35 AM
Post #1 of 1
I'm reposting it here, since the about.com host took a hissy fit, and deleted all my posts, in a tantrum "Its' MY FORUM!" <sigh> really.... <sigh>
LBS vs Mail Order
I wasn't sure where to put this, it might belong in purgatory, since it's always roasting, but since it's something we do to ourselves, it belongs in this forums Second Level of Hell.
I also posted this to http://beadbanter.com so if you want to reply in a more moderated environment you can.
This is a perpetual discussion. I just read a bunch of posts/threads from the past few months on it, and this question was never really asked/answered.
Why do you want an LBS if you aren't willing to support one?
People bitch and moan there is no LBS, but then when there is, they B&M that the prices are too high, and don't support them.
So.... I don't understand.
I've seen local designers that SHOULD be supporting the LBS come in only when they get into trouble, then complain that the prices are too high and bad mouth the store from then on. If their negative advertising causes the store to close, then who will bail them out next time?
How many times have you ordered from a catalog, only to get in something not at all like what you wanted?
Have you ever wanted to match something up against a certain color, or style, or have a selection of things to choose from without having to buy it all first? That is what your bead shops do for you, and you should support them! It's a service they give, but it does cost money.
If you go to the bead shop and buy a strand of gemstones you *might* have been able to buy one _LIKE_ for half the price, isn't there something to getting EXACTLY what you wanted for that piece? When you go to a show, and rummage through the strands, do you just close your eyes and pick one, or do you actively select the one you like best? Mail order is like closing your eyes and letting someone else do the picking for you.
If someone actually suggested that to you, you'd balk and gag, and argue over your creative freedoms -- but it's *EXACTLY* what you do every time you mail order, or don't go in to actually select your beads.
Even with Bali. Real Bali is hand made. Different batches from the same manufacturer might be made by different people, or with differetn madrels. They will not be exactly the same. How can you tell what you are getting from a photograph of ONE item, that might have been taken a year or more ago?
Just some thoughts. I mail order only things I use in bulk, and which are manufactured and the same. Other things I _NEED_ to select by sight, or I'm not living up to my own creativity -- I'm letting some stock clerk do that for me.
Just an opinion, and a bit of a fume on how important it really is to support your LBS or craft shop -- they *really* do support you. But they *NEED* your dollars, and that is pretty much the only support that matters to them. Every thing else is just fluff.
Oh! You'll drive 2 hours to go to a new bead shop, and spend all that gas and time, and maybe a lunch or dinner out, but you'll *NOT* buy from them because they charge 10% more for something you could buy on-line???
I really am missing something!!
Please, this thread is not for the same "But I need the best price so I can make a living" argument. That's a cop out. When all is said and done, and you support the LBS, and they support you, your costs may not really be that much different, and because they are working for you, the materials you get may be better and your profits may go up through higher sales, or higher dollars per sale. But you'll (most people) will never know.
Did you ever think that it's not the prices at the LBS are too high, but the prices on-line are too low? And that is the problem? The prices on-line do not reflect the real costs of doing business. They just skim the cream, so real businesses get forced out, and eventually there are no sources? It's a lot easier to work anonymously from a store room, or garage, than it is to commit to having a store front, and visibile inventory.
Anyway. I said my piece. It's just so frustrating to see people complaining about both sides of an issue, when they are really in control of it. (Second level of bead hell?)
The Bead Devil