Well, I’ll tell you, it’s now theirs, too. The situation you
described to me with this vendor is inexcusable. They lied, they’re
surly, and they’re stupid. And, I’m guessing that they overcharged
you for the stuff, bleeding dye or no.
No matter the price, instinct has to tell you that the colour is
"creatively" manipulated, and not organic. Sea Bamboo is usually sold
by weight, literally for pennies/gram. How many pennies will depend,
in part, on where a particular vendor is on the food chain.Wholesale
is relative. If something is sold by the strand which is also sold by
weight, I try to get them to weigh it out so I have a means of
comparison. (It can be helpful to bring your own pocket scale and
calculator with you to the shows, too, when the vendors are busy
with customers.) Bead vendors are not going to self- censor dyed or
manufactured material if there is a market for it (We had that thread
on glass “cherry quartz” a few weeks ago, e.g.) but they have an
ethical responsibility to represent it as such. Then it’s your
decision (and your responsibility to represent it honestly to your
customer).You don’t say how long you have been making jewelry, or how
seriously, but if you keep going to gem shows you will become
familiar with -and to - the vendors, building your relationships.
Comparison shop, ask questions, make notes, and “teach your eyes”.
Experience will inform instinct. The old adage “If it looks too good
to be true, it is…” is, sadly, a fundamental law of the universe.
I don’t usually work with material like that, it’s so obviously
dyed, but I do a lot of custom design and this is what the client
wanted at the time.It’s become very popular with the exploding
population of ‘beaders’ because the colour is seductive, and, for
relatively little money, it gives you a lot of “look”. But it should
be identified and priced accordingly. It’s all over the place, and I
cringe when I see it being sold as “red coral” with weighty price
tags in stores like Saks and Neiman’s. One of my clients showed me a
photo from an issue of Town and Country magazine of a necklace
composed of alternating branches of red sea bamboo and “shards” of
rock crystal. It was, of course, described as red coral, along with
its metaphysical, healing properties. Price: $1100. - Get outa
town! (or Town and Country as the case may be…!)
I got my problem beads from a vendor I’ve dealt with for many years.
Vendors aren’t always the source of production (some are) and I felt
it was important to show them the problem, not just describe it. As a
result, I got an uncontested refund, and they got a loyal customer’s
continued business. I suggest you take the beads, plus the
dye-stained towel (as I did) to the next busy show that they do, and
politely but firmly insist that they refund your money. Do not back
down. If they are stupid enough to give you an attitude and risk a
scene in front of a table-full of customers, simply take it to the
show management. A little dramatic, perhaps, but if they’re stupid
enough to treat you this badly, it may be worth seeing if they’re
stupid enough to risk public embarassment.
(In fact, here’s an idea: It may be more efficient, and effective,
to take it directly to the show management first, and ask them to
assist you to “settle” the situation. They should either summon the
vendor to the show office or accompany you to the booth.)
And, frankly, I would seriously consider contacting the management
of those shows you mentioned and alert them to the situation you
described.Why take the trouble?, you may ask: We are no longer
talking about a defective lot of dyed beads, we are now dealing with
a self confessed liar and sleaze. Bad enough that they sold you
unusable goods, but they handed you a ridiculous story when you
complained the first time, then became hostile and insulting when
confronted a second time -snearingly refusing to rectify the
situation. They are a liabilty to their clientele and to the
industry, and they’re behavior diminishes the credibility of the
events who represent them. All for a stupid string of beads.(There’s
that word again. Redundant, but accurate.)
Times are tough, and so is the competition. I don’t think the shows
you mention are hurting for (reputable) participants. Perhaps it’s
time for this vendor to consider a career change, perhaps in the
field of long-distance telephone service.
Who needs this?
You go, girl.
ps: Orchid is about the exchange of ideas, advice, and -
and sometimes that includes watching out for each other’s back. I
don’t recall seeing this vendor in my part of the country, or maybe
they just didn’t impress, but I, for one, am grateful for the