Buy fresh. Buy local.
Ok, so beads don’t lose their freshness the further they travel. But, it is nice to buy a bead from a local dealer and walk out with it rather than wait for it to arrive two weeks later!
I don’t have a local Ohm Beads dealer. Or even a “within two hours of me” dealer. Thankfully, Ohm have very active social media accounts, so I can get an idea of what beads look like in real life and how well they might fit into my combinations.
I’m lucky to have two Trollbeads dealers about ten minutes away. Both are small, don’t get new uniques often, tend to only have one (or occasionally two) examples of a production bead, and sometimes don’t get releases until months after the release date. But, it’s nice that they are just a short car ride away for those days that I want to see beads in person. My favourite local dealer was about 30 minutes away and had a much larger selection (and also carried the X Jewellery line). Sadly, they closed in early 2014.
Despite how close my current local dealers are, I haven’t used them as often as I could have. Or maybe as often as I should have, since I found out a few weeks ago that one is clearing out her Trollbeads. Soon enough I’ll be back to having one local dealer.
With the number of larger online dealers closing over the last year, and one of my local dealers also clearing out their stock, I’ve begun to wonder if I should stop in at my local dealers more often. But, there are several reasons I haven’t used my local dealers more:
- Originally I was focusing more on uniques, and you have to buy uniques where you can find them. With few uniques locally, I had a long list of online dealers that I checked when I was looking for something specific. That list of dealers has shrunk over the last year, but online stores are still usually the only place for me to find the uniques that I’m looking for.
- For a while, the exchange rate and free shipping made it more cost effective to shop with U.S. dealers. Now, even after factoring in our 13% sales tax, the price often works out to be the same, or even cheaper, if I shop locally for beads that I can find here.
My desire to shop locally is hindered by not being able to find what I want locally! Occasionally I’ve stumbled across a bead, like the lime green braid pictured above, but those instances are rare. In spite of that, I’m going to make an effort to buy locally, when I can. You know what they say: use it or lose it!
Do you shop local, or rely on online dealers to fill your bracelets?