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Wholesale companies selling to public

I recently went to the JA NY summer show and purchased some pearls and beads and both companies said they had Etsy stores. When I went home I went on the Pearl companies site and was shocked that they were selling the same exact pearls for the same price and some were less than what I paid. How are we supposed to make a profit when companies are selling directly to the public and are at a show solely for wholesale? BTW I purchased $3000 from the Pearl company and I contacted them 2 weeks ago with 3 different emails to question them an have not heard anything back). What are your guys thoughts?

Is it possible that their Etsy shop is a wholesale shop? It’s my understanding that Etsy has an entirely different section for its wholesale shops that’s not available to just anyone. You have to be approved to shop in the wholesale section. You can find out more here:

I don’t think so since I just put in their information and it popped up no
extra steps needed. But I will check out the Etsy wholesale section i
didn’t know they had that. Thank you

At the show, did you mention wholesale and give your resale number?
Anyway, here’s what I would do.
First find out what you can about the company by researching online. If possible, find out who’s in charge. Then call the boss to discuss this. However, don’t be angry, aggressive, or demanding. Make it a matter of “as an excellent customer of yours, I was just wondering…” (Possibly, your emails were kind of strong.)
If you felt satisfied by the prices you got at the show, then maybe it’s not such a big deal even if the same prices are on Etsy. Mostly jewelers and crafters buy on Etsy anyway.
I’d also want to verify the quality of the pearls and beads to make sure that they are what they’re supposed to be.
best wishes

Welcome to the new “Normal” in the jewelry business. I have been buying loose color, diamonds and finished jewelry for 40 years. I have watched as greed has crept into the equation we know as the relationship between retailer and wholesaler. Years ago, this was known as selling to “Privates” and was not tolerated. If we found our a supplier was selling to privates we cut them off and spread the word. Now, as I am looking at their merchandise they have the audacity to tell me straight out, that they sell directly to the public (MY CUSTOMERS). 9 out of ten engagement customers who walk into my store either have a printout or a series of saved pages from online stores, many of them wholesalers operating under different names or just dealing direct with no apologies. In my opinion, the jewelry business as it was will be unrecognizable in ten years. If I match prices, I can only make $500 on a one carat sale that netted me $2500 not that long ago. Our only profit center is repair and new construction /custom. The vendors that I continue with will sign a contract with me or we will not do business. Here is a copy

Pugh’s Designer Jewelers (PDJ) desires to enter into a buying agreement (contract) with __________________for the purpose of resale of purchased items in our store and through our website. This relationship is potentially mutually beneficial to both parties. PDJ’s relies on selling the items for a significant profit margin which in turn gives PDJ the ability to pay overhead and to buy more goods, perpetuating the relationship.
PDJ requires that _____________________ does their part to protect our profit margin. Furthermore, if _______________________ or their agents, sells directly to the public in any venue, be it brick and mortar, internet website, or mail order, this will constitute a breach of contract. If this is proven to be the case, ____________________ agrees to accept all remaining unsold merchandise to be returned by PDJ.
________________ will pay the wholesale cost that was paid for the returned merchandise at the time of original purchase, within 15 days. In addition, ________________ will pay $5000 in damages to PDJ, also within 15 days.

Kevin L. Pugh
Owner Pugh’s Designer Jewelers

________________________ Representative

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I too have lost many sales through the "fantastic"
internet. When I see or hear of a fellow who knows all the technical jargon, I ask him where did he learn of the colours & qualities? If he replies through the *** internet, I say either you put your trust in my experience or “have a good-life and good-bye!” I have no time with them!..;(
Gerry! from my Toronto IPhone @ EDT

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Good for you! I think you are right.

Very interesting debate and topic. I to have been on the receiving end of this sort of thing for a very different reason. Tooling and loose stones. Purchasing in a country (NZ) is a logistical nightmare if you continue on purely a local business basis. most of my suppliers here have started to sell to the general public. This makes it very hard for me to make any profit on materials and because some of my business is teaching and providing tools and consumables i loos money rather than make money when building tool kits. I have found that with a little bit of leg work i have been able to find the source of most of my needs. This means that i can get my materials for the same price as my suppliers. I have now been able to compete directly with my suppliers without the large capital investment that they need to make to keep things in stock. Yes if i want something it takes longer than a day for it to get here but savings and profit gain is not only worth it i can provide products at a lower and increase my margin rather than decreasing it. One example. A dental supply place here sells marathon motors. I wanted one and asked for a demo. They said if i wanted to try it i would have to buy it. At 1600.00 nzd each i was not in a position to take the risk. I did a bit of research found the manufacturer and purchased 4 for 160.00 nzd each. They are the same bit of kit. I was criticized by the company here by going over sea for my purchase and not supporting local companies but n this case the items are not made here so why should i feel guilty. This works for Gem Stones and metals as well. the first purchase is usually a bit of a risk and you need to take care but the risk is minimal when you are talking of the savings and potential profit margin in the end.

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Yes I understand what your saying, but this was at a wholesale large
Jewelry show so you’d think I would get the wholesale price and not be
paying the same as on their etay page. It doesn’t leave me much meat on the
bones. I still haven’t heard back from this company either which shows me
how they treat their customers.

I get ya

It would make me want to chew nails and is without a doubt a kick i the guts.

Finding a way of cutting them out of the loop in return and ending business ties while saving a profit margin is the goal.


You need to take your complaint to the show owners . Shows such as yours sell wholesale only and are to reflect that . In order to get into a wholesale show or the wholesale section you must show tax resale id or other proof you are a re seller or a designer, etc . I would file complaint with the show owners .

Lee Horowitz Gemologist Peru Blue Opal ltd miners-cutters-manufactuers

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Your only real weapon is your wallet. Buy from dealers that are only wholesale. This whole scenario is common now. I closed my store and became a jeweler by appointment and hand engraving to the trade because of this. It’s not going to change or go away so you better adapt.

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