For jewellery makers, buying good-looking beads made of specific materials can get expensive. However, many beadaholics can get great looking beads by buying wholesale. The internet certainly
makes this easier, with many places available to get more beads for cheaper prices.
The first tip for buying beads wholesale is always that you save more buy buying more. Generally, the more beads in the set, the more you save per bead. Obviously, if you plan on using only a few of a specific bead, this isn't always an option. But when sellers are trying to get rid of a product, they generally package it in large quantities and mark the price of the individual piece way down. This is a great way to get a lot of savings on a large quantity of beads.
Wholesale beads can be purchased in different lots—a specific type of bead, by color, or by bead style. Mixed lots can also be a boon, as you may find many interesting beads among the pile. In general, mixed lots are sold by the gross of 144 beads, and contain beads of every style and color. A prospective buyer needs to review carefully the details before buying a mixed lot; however, to make sure they are getting a bargain instead of a box of beads they can't use. If you want to buy wholesale but don't want to go all the way out there, a mixed lot of beads of a specific color is also a great find, as you can find several different types of beads for one color, so you can keep to whatever theme you were making while trying different things.
When buying wholesale, a buyer needs to keep in mind the type of material the beads are made of when considering if the seller is offering a fair price. Crystal and gemstone beads will be sold for higher prices than beads made out of glass. Handmade glass beads will sell for higher prices than regular glass beads. Manufacturer also plays a factor in price, as Swarovski crystal beads will obviously sell for a higher price than other brand-name crystal beads.
A great place to buy wholesale beads is on eBay—they even have a complete guide on the subject. They have their wholesale beads listed in specific categories—bead material, bead color, and style. There are other places on the internet where a jewelry maker can find wholesale beads—Google search is another great place if you are just looking for the lowest price available. Some craft stores will even put up their overstock of beads wholesale near the end of a season, just to get rid of them.
For those that are lucky enough to be near a craft store, one should also keep an eye on coupons and sales. Most craft stores switch out their stock after a specific season, and there can be great sales where you can pick up bead sets for relatively cheap if you go on the right day. While you can find cheaper beads sold on the internet, a craft store is a great place because you can see and feel what the specific beads are like.
While buying wholesale is just like buying beads regularly, only cheaper, one should hesitate before buying all the beads cheap. Wholesale beads are there because they didn't sell for regular price, so one should always double check that you actually want the bead before splurging.