What should I call them?

You just got a windfall of crafting supplies. A friend of a friend knows you craft and a bag or box of goodies has found its way to your workshop. But, what to do when the mystery items are unmarked or the labels are suspicious in their validity?

Such a dilemma came up for a crafter on one of the major craft forums. She had purchased some lovely beads on eBay and now that they were in her hands she was not sure of their authenticity. The beads were beautiful and the price wasn’t too bad whether the beads were ‘real’ or not. The crafter wondered if she should only use the beads for friends and family or if she could use the beads in her commercial pieces.

The consensus of the group was that she should go ahead and make the jewelry and label the items in such a way to identify those components she was sure of and to list the mystery beads as ____-like or something vague like assorted stone beads. The price should be set based upon the other components and the overall piece and not as if the mystery beads were indeed authentic.

When a customer asks about the mystery beads, the crafter can simply say that without professional testing she can not verify the authenticity of the beads and will not sell them as such. Done right, the buyer might see the purchase as something of a lark. They obviously liked the piece enough to ask about it and the mystery beads add a bit of fun to the purchase – did they just buy the Hope diamond or a piece of glass?

Everyone is happy and the crafter doesn’t have to worry about selling something as more than it truly is and the customer knows the beads are suspect but can still be happy with their purchase.

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