On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, I hosted a destash event on my Facebook jewelry page. I not only discovered some tips about how to run one of these events, I also learned a bit about myself.
I have been collecting beads for around 25 years. At first I only bought beads at hobby shops like Michael’s or JoAnn. Later I discovered a delightfully funky bead and pawn shop on the nearby Yakima Indian Nation reservation. My jewelry designs were very basic in those days and I didn’t even know there was such a thing as artisan beads…and maybe that long ago there weren’t any. A lot of those beads are still hanging around in my studio (can we call them vintage now and charge more?).
Then I went through my gemstone and sterling silver stage. I still ogle gemstones, but they don’t seem to make their way into many of my designs right now.
Meanwhile I’m now grabbing artisan beads like they were popcorn and then I start getting interested in polymer clay, metalsmithing and enameling. I am very lucky to have a spare room as a studio, but suddenly there is not enough room in there. Hence the need to destash!
As I was sorting through beads to let go of, I felt a bit like an archaeologist, sifting through the layers of my development as a jewelry designer. I realized that those old beads had become an added stress in my life. Every time I opened a bead drawer and saw a pendant or string of beads that were 10 years old, I felt like I “should” use them or I was “obligated” somehow to not waste them. They were becoming an emotional burden that I didn’t need. And because every designer’s style is unique, what no longer fits for me, might be exactly what someone else needs. I discovered to my delight, that not only do I have more studio space after my destash, I also feel a sense of happy relief.
So if you to need to destash, I’ve got some tips that might help you to go about doing this.
It seems to work best if you offer a set of coordinating beads rather than just one type of bead. In my last destash, I worked in numbered “lots”. Most lots had a focal and some coordinating beads. I had the most success with lots that were priced at between $3-$15.
Including a coin in the photo, helps the viewer to gauge size. If the focal was on the expensive side, I offered it alone, but those didn’t seem to sell as well.
If I had a lot of one type of bead, I offered the whole group as one lot.
I sold my items at below cost. My goal was not to make a lot of money. I just wanted to clear space in my studio. I wanted the destash to be a good deal for my buyers, while helping me to recoup some of my monetary investment.
Offer to combine shipping. I learned this after my first destash. From now on I’ll post something like this, “Lot #19. $10 + $2.50 shipping USA, for the first
item, $1.00 additional items, invoiced though PayPal. Please comment SOLD or MINE if you want this
item. First come, first serve.”
Be sure to clearly state that the shipping rate only applies to your own country, (or within the EU). You can offer to ship elsewhere, but make the buyer aware that shipping will be adjusted to cover expenses.
Be sure to charge more to ship heavier items, such as books or weighty beads. On my comments for this lot, I said that I was charging $4 for shipping because the stones are quite heavy, but if it turned out to cost less that $4, I would adjust the price downward.
I pinned the following general policies to the top of my Facebook page and alerted all buyers to refer to it first.
I have also been a buyer at destash sales and you can really get some awesome deals. I noticed that one of my buyers on Tuesday and Wednesday, was destashing some of her own items on Thursday! And so, as we are all potential buyers, I want to alert you to the fact that on March 10th-14th, AJE will be hosting a destash event. There will be more details as we approach the date, but mark your calenders now. I’m looking forward to coming away with some bargains!
Have you ever participated in a destash event? What tips can you share? Keep the conversation going.