Finding Cheap Sources of Quality Beads

Was in one of my favorite discount stores (think a regional Ross Dress for Less) the other day and was looking at their great jewelry. Many of the department store brands (Liz Claiborne, Monet, and others) were there and the discount store had most of them priced for $6 or less, most were $2.99. But, over half of them were on color dot clearance. The store marks things with colored dots that discount items from 20 to 80 percent beyond their already great prices.

Discount on Top of Discount!

We were scrounging through the colored dot clearance pile and some of the pieces were priced at a dollar or lower. I kept mentioning to Mom, wow – this bead is expensive and there’s 3 of them on this bracelet. Oh, look at this glass rosette – I bet they’re more than a dollar a piece to buy and then there’s all these smaller beads on it too.

Yeah, there was some plastic klunky, junky stuff, but there was more good stuff than kiddie/kitshy stuff.

Quality Focal Beads, Cheap

If I were still beading, I would have definately been grabbing more than the 2 bracelets we finally ended up purchasing. I imagine many of you are like me in that you would rather get a set or two of a particular bead and make one item than dozens using the same components – just isn’t as fun. This is a great way to buy limited quanities without paying boutique prices for individual beads.

Number 1 Tip for Finding High Quality Beads for Less

Always prowl the baskets on department store jewelry counters.

My best score was a necklace-full of Swarovski beads and other loose beads for like a quarter because the strings/elastic had broken and I had to fish them out of the bottom of the basket. I learned that day it never hurts to negotiate and ask for a bargain no matter how fancy the store. They let me have anything that was loose in the bottom of the basket – I felt like I had found buried treasure that day. I was also lucky that I had a small baggie in my purse that day – I recommend all crafters should always carry one of those. 😉

Great Source of Table Filles & Premiums

Additionally, some of the pieces would have worked wonderful as table fillers and premiums. Many were the tiger tail and illusion necklaces with a few beads on them like many of you probably already make and sell.

So my advice is to keep on the lookout for the discount and the even damage bins.

The Place

And in case any of you are in the North-East GA, Upstate SC or Western NC area, do check out Burke’s Outlet – they have the coolest stuff!

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