Internet Wholesale Jewelry Distributors talk about their hot items and growing customer base
As multifaceted and complex as the wholesale jewelry industry can be, its allure and, to those who know its niches and properties, value can be just as great as the precious wares it sells. The intricate ins and outs of the wholesale jewelry market, combined with the high demand for its products, make it an exciting and rapidly-changing industry, especially for online jewelry wholesalers.
Because of the lightning-fast speed of online trading and the already volatile nature of the hard mineral market, prices can experience dramatic swings that send merchants on a rollercoaster ride with their inventory in hand. The unpredictable availability of, for instance, diamond, gold, and sterling silver jewelry is a fact of life for wholesale jewelry distributors.
That is why a number of online jewelry wholesalers are mixing up their authentic, “rock solid,” jewelry with high quality Cubic Zirconia, otherwise known as CZ. Most likely the best diamond substitute available today, CZ has been established as an affordable diamond replacement, as well as an important fashion staple itself.
Top U.S. jewelry wholesalers like Plum Island Silver Company, SilverSource.com and Goldfather’s Jewelry have been leading the way in servicing the growing online jewelry market.
“Part of our product line is CZ, because it allows merchandisers to offer a wider range of consumers something that is both affordable and good looking,” said Bill McClirk, president of Goldfather’s Jewelry in Las Vegas. “We have seen Zirconia bracelets, earrings and toe rings all do really well. These types of products have been getting ordered by both our catalog and website customers.”
McClirk’s wholesale jewelry firm was on the online jewelry scene early, having been online for more than 10 years at http://www.goldfathers.com. The site offers both traditional and modern birthstone product lines for each month in the calendar year. “People are now finding us through both the site and trade magazines,” he explained. “In the past, it would just be trade magazines producing sales prospects. Now, we get prospects from both sources.”
For the last several months, the industry veteran has seen his line of Birthstone Babies fly out of the warehouse. These decorative accessories for baby necklaces are available for girls and boys. A 30 unit mixed box for both genders cost $99, which should reap an estimated profit of $650.
“Oh man, do they sell fast,” explained McClirk, who has run the business with his wife, Patty, since 1983. “Everyone wants them, in terms of mothers, friends of the mother, grandmothers, aunts, you name it. We have been selling to gift shops, mall kiosks, swap meets and baby stores. They are ordering and reordering them. That is the best kind of feedback about a product, in my opinion, when the customer reorders it.”
In recent years, the precious stones market has grown rapidly, thanks in no small part to the help of the Internet. Though various jewelry retailers such as Ice.com, BlueNile.com and Jewelry.com have taken advantage of the burgeoning niche, jewelry wholesalers have jumped at this growth opportunity, actively entering into the opportunities connectivity offers wholesalers and leveraging the global power of the web.
“We have seen our web sales triple in the last three years,” said Richard Chen, ecommerce manager of Alamode Jewelry in Garden Grove, CA. “Over 85 percent of our sales are in rings. That is our major product line; and what makes it attractive to our retailer customers and their consumer customers is that we offer a great variety of rings. Some companies will only offer 1,000 or 2,000 products on their websites. But we offer more than 8,000. And we present them well online. The combination of selection and presentation gives us an edge.”
There is a prevailing misconception that the production of nearly all jewelry items sold in the States takes place overseas. But that is not the case, as jewelry artisanship has been a growing phenomenon in the American craftsperson community for the last 20 years. Because of the trend, there is an abundance of gorgeous homegrown product that can be taken to market.
“Eighty percent of the jewelry you see on our website is made in the U.S.A.,” said Nur Ahmed, president of Bellagio Jewelry in Los Angeles. “Many of our finer products are actually made nearby our warehouse location, within driving distance here in southern California. Our customers appreciate the American-made quality that you can find with the products at our website.”
A wide variety of exquisite earrings, necklaces, lariats and chokers can be discovered in the precious and semi precious stone categories at http://www.bellagiojewelry.com. Minimum orders at the site are $200, and have been growing month over month, Ahmed said. Meanwhile, he supplements his American-made product stock with a choice selection of imports from India.
“Our rhinestone bangles or bracelets are very popular with our retailer client audience,” Ahmed explained. “They are not cheaply-made imitations. Plus, we have the type of service it takes to keep customers coming back. If we get an order in the morning, it is out the door in the afternoon. If we get one in the late afternoon, the latest it leaves our warehouse is the next day. And I believe in a personal touch when it comes to the wholesale business. We honestly do not care if you call us 20 times before ordering. Getting it right is most important.”