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Dealing with old inventory

Was: Hagglers at your jewelry booth

...What do [you]... do with your inventory when it becomes three or
more years old? How do you deal with having resources tied up in
things that don't sell? 

I would love to hear more of what others have to say on this. I have
a lot of old inventory that is really not up to my current standards
and/or doesn’t fit in with my current jewelry lines and have been
struggling with what to do with it. I suppose I could go to some
effort and try to unload it on Ebay or discount it at a street fair
or something, but suspect that the time and effort would give me a
return similar to (or less than!) just sending it for scrap. On the
plus side, some of it is pure silver (metal clay), so I could melt it
down myself…

Thanks for your comments!
Mary Ellin D’Agostino

It depends. I usually sell all of my inlay work eventually. If it was
the design that didn’t sell I unmount the stone(s) and scrap it and
put the stones back in inventory to be sold or used again when I have
a better idea. If it was the stone and it was a big stone then I cut
into two smaller stones and put them into inventory. There are some
stones I found that are a hard sell when mounted in jewelry. One
example is Cobaltoan Calcite. It’s bright pink druzy. It gets a lot
of attention but few sales. The stone sells well as cabs so I sell
it to someone who will make a piece to sell. It’s kinda like the
fruit cake that gets re-gifted…

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Rocky Mountain Wonders
Colorado Springs, Colorado

One option, if you aren’t ashamed of the work, and could use the tax
deduction, might be to donate some of it to charity auctions, or for
a charity raffle. That would only take care of a few pieces though…

Beth in SC

I maybe should have added this to my comments on the hagglers thread,
but I have recently started dealing with this by dedicating a smaller
case to older items that I’d really like to move- at 50% off the
original price. And I’m talking about the real original price, not
some BS markup. It’s amazing how attractive those dogs can suddenly
become! And it sure beats melting them down! I don’t think it’s
affecting sales of full price stuff in my big case, and I always have
some bargains to steer the hagglers to. However, that group of stuff
is dwindling, so I don’t know how much longer I can dedicate a case to
them. I’m making fewer dogs than I used to!

Allan Mason

Donating you jewelry usually only allows you to deduct the cost of
materials. Before you do it consult a tax expert.


My understanding is that the only thing that is tax deductible in a
donation for charity is the wholesale cost of the materials. Labor is
not. I am very careful about who I donate to because I get too many
requests and I can not afford to give to all of them.

Melissa Stenstrom