$3.50 flat-rate shipping to U.S. ($5.00 for large orders) The 14% discount is now permanent

There are 1250+ products posted on this site.
Orders are shipped in 4-5 days.  Please click here to read about shipping times.


Sale 14% off
The proprietor is now semi-retired and in the
process of selling off the remaining stock.
The site is projected to close in 2025 or later.


Beads Customer Service Helpful Articles*

New Items

Beads by Color

Smooth Shapes

Faceted Shapes

Misc. Categories:







Glass Pearls




Large Hole


Terms of Sale

Quantity Discounts

Customer FAQ

About Shipping Delays

Bead Types


What's a Fair Price for Beads?

Advice for eBay Buyers

Selling Your Jewelry

Create Your Own Website

How to Install a Shopping Cart

How to Accept Credit-Card Payments on Your Website

Printing Postage from the Internet

How to Email Your Customers

How I Take My Photos

Understanding JPGs and Other Image File Formats

Selecting a Camera

A Caution About Jewelry Cable

Semiprecious Beads, the Moral Dilemma

Gallery of Customers' Designs

* Articles are revised periodically.  Between revisions,
information may go out of date.


If you are expecting an email from me and don't receive it, please check your
spam folder.  Many of my messages seem to get caught in spam filters.


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Why shop at Purebeads?

Interesting selection of beads

Reasonable prices (not the lowest, but definitely not the highest) (1)

No "premium" pricing (I do not put a higher markup on desirable beads) (2)

Attractive, easy-to-navigate site

Good, clear pictures with detailed descriptions (3)

Defects clearly described and compensated for (4)

Good customer service; all emails are answered

10% discount on orders of $100 or more

15% discount on orders of $200 or more

Flat-rate shipping of $3.50 on U.S. orders up to $500
(international customers pay actual shipping costs)

Reasonably fast shipping, depending on sales volume (5)

Many payment options (major credit cards, PayPal, money order)

No restocking fee for returns made within 30 days


(1) My prices on some beads, such as the regular table-cut beads, are the lowest retail prices on the internet.

(2) If some beads on my site have unusually high prices, it's because my suppliers used premium pricing, and I decided to get the beads even though they were over-priced.  I apply markups in a range of percentages, and I never exceed that range -- except on those rare occasions when I get a good deal on quality beads.  In such instances, I will apply average prices.  Also, Sometimes I may buy a group of similar beads and sell them at an averaged price.

(3) To see a full description of a particular bead, click on the bead name or the picture.  A larger picture is always available on the product's page.

(4) When some beads in a batch are defective, I lower the price or (in the case of very expensive beads) I examine the beads individually and eliminate the defective beads.

(5) I ship 2-3 business days after an order is place, and sometimes 4 or 5 days if I just sent out a mailing or I'm holding a sale.  In most cases you will have your beads within a week.  To read more, please click here.


Important note about viewing pictures on the internet:

AOL and many other dial-up services (especially those that advertise themselves as fast or "accelerated") use graphics compression to make pictures and web graphics load more quickly.  Compression, however, causes pictures and web graphics to look blurry.  If all of the graphics you see on the internet look slightly blurry, please contact your internet service-provider to find out how to turn graphics compression off.  If you don't turn graphics compression off, you won't be able to appreciate the quality of the pictures on this site.


Privacy Notice:

No private information that is given to Purebeads by customers (such as their names or addresses) will ever be sold or shared with any other company.  Furthermore, Purebeads does not have access to your credit-card information.  Payments are processed immediately by a credit-cart processing firm, and that information is never given to Purebeads; nor is it stored on this web site.  If this site were to be hacked, your credit-card information would be safe.


News & Announcements

November, 2020

Two minor changes at Purebeads

As of late October, 2020, I have switched online postage companies, so my labels will look more commercial.  The new company is Pirate Ship (pirateship.com) and I recommend them to anyone who needs to print package labels at home.  They charge no fees, but you can't print stamps or send regular mail with their service (only packages).  I will also be using USPS insurance for Priority packages.  In the past, I used a private package-insurance company for all shipments.

Despite being 70 and having a fair number of health issues, I keep chugging along.  My sales are low because Google stopped listing my site in searches (apparently because my site is not professionally designed, and because my traffic is low), but I am determined to sell off my remaining products.  If I am in good health once the beads start to get low, I may restock and remain in business after 2025.

February, 2020

Did you send me an email?

On February 15, 2020 I accidentally deleted an email from a customer about an 8mm bead I might have (I saw "8mm" in the text before I deleted it).  I get a huge amount of spam via my web site, and sometimes when I am sifting through it, I am too quick to hit the Delete button.  If you sent me a message and didn't get an answer, please try again.  Sorry.

February, 2019

What is happening at Purebeads

Unlike most internet sellers, I have always been honest with my customers.  I have already revealed that my business has been slumping since 2012, for several reasons:  The whole bead business started slumping then, and competition from China has increased (eBay especially now carries more Chinese beads than Czech beads).  However, another reason my business is slumping is that my ranking in Google searches has dropped.  From 2002 to 2015, my site ranked highly for dozens of search terms, such as "Czech beads", "glass beads", "faceted beads", "bicone beads", "baroque beads", "pink beads", "blue beads", "green beads", etc.  But when I checked Google in 2017, my site ranked highly for only one term ("givre beads").  Today, my site doesn't rank highly for any terms.  Clearly, Google has changed the way it ranks sites, but there are other reasons:  I may not be using SEO terms correctly, and my site is not "cell phone friendly" (there are undoubtedly more reasons).  In addition, Google knows how much traffic a site is getting, and if traffic drops, they rank the site lower -- which creates a downward spiral in which the site keeps sinking.  That's what has happened to my site.

So what am I going to do?  I'm looking into fixing the problems on the site, but that will take time.  I have no plans to close the site since I still have a large inventory.  Actually, this situation will accrue to the benefit of my customers, since I expect to put my beads on sale more often.  I am now a senior citizen collecting Social Security; and as long as I can make even a little money from the site, I will keep it open.

Postal shipping rates have gone up

I learned this month that the post office's shipping rates have gone up substantially this year, 20% or even more.  Most alarmingly, the post office now charges different first-class rates depending on the geographic zone (just like they do for parcel post packages).  That was never the case before.  Previous to this, first-class rates were the same no matter how far the package was going.  Thus, a 6 oz. package to California now costs 20% more than it did last year, and a similar package to Florida costs 10% more.

One year ago I increased my flat shipping rate to $3.50 from $3.00.  That rate does not cover my shipping costs.  If I increase it to $4, I believe I will lose sales.  The only thing that I can do is to offer lower discounts when I put my products on sale.  Because my sales have been slow, for the last few months I have been offering 20% off.  I have now dropped that to 15% off.

By the way, I believe that there is a law in place that says that the post office cannot raise rates faster than the rate of inflation, so I don't know how the post office is getting away with these price increases.

February, 2018

Flat-rate shipping fee has gone up 50

Sadly, I have had to raise my flat-rate shipping fee for U.S. customers by 50.  When I first instituted flat-rate shipping many years ago, I was losing about $1 per order.  Now I am losing about $2 per order (on average; my estimates).  Given that I am putting my beads on sale more often, I can't afford to lose so much on shipping.  Because the postal service has been in financial trouble for almost a decade, they continue to raise their rates every year.  For example, it used to cost me a dollar to mail a 4-oz. package (more than a decade ago); now it costs me $3.65.  A one-pound flat-rate box used to cost about $5; now it costs $8.

November, 2017

What's happening at Purebeads?

As I stated a year ago, the bead business has been in a slump since about 2012.  One of my suppliers went out of business; another stopped ordering beads (to concentrate on other products); and a third discontinued all their old bead styles and switched to cheaper beads.  It took me a while to figure out what was going on, but it goes something like this:  In 2011, the U.S. postal service (for reasons I'll never understand) made deals with the postal services of several Far East countries to give them lower postage to the U.S.  Consequently, the U.S. market has been flooded with cheap Chinese beads since 2012.  This has caused many bead suppliers and sellers to go out of business.  I chose to take early retirement in 2012, but I am keeping the business open because it makes me some extra money in addition to my Social Security check.  However, my business suffered an additional hit in 2016 and 2017 when my site disappeared from most Google searches.  Google is always fooling around with their search algorithms, and there is nothing I can do about that.  However, I have no immediate plans to close the business.

March, 2017

International shipping rates continue to skyrocket

The cost of shipping packages to international customers continues to climb, and the reason is fairly simple.  The U.S. Postal Service has been in dire financial straights for at least five years, and Congress refuses to legislate a fix.  There is a law on the books which says that domestic postal rates cannot go up faster than the rate of inflation.  However, the Postal Service can hike international rates all they want, and that's what they've been doing.  A customer from 2013 recently contacted me about the cost of shipping.  In 2013, she purchased 12 ounces of beads, and they cost $13.50 to ship.  I had to tell her that the same amount of beads would cost $23.60 to ship today.

Sadly, I am unable to offer a flat-rate shipping rate to foreign customers because there are additional expenses associated with international orders specifically, higher credit-card fees and package insurance fees.  I cannot afford to lose money on shipping too.

October, 2016

The bead business is in a slump

The bead business is in a slump, and it didn't become clear to me just how much of a slump until just recently.  For me, the slump started in mid-2012.  Ironically, the recession which started in 2008 didn't affect my business that much, so I'm not sure why the slump started in 2012, although I have my suspicions.  In 2011, the U.S. Postal Service signed agreements with the postal services of China, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia which gave them reduced postage rates to the U.S.  That break in postal rates, combined with subsidies which the Chinese government is known to make to its manufacturing companies, created a flood of Chinese beads in the United States, most of them selling on eBay (eBay was part of these agreements, although I don't know why the U.S. Postal Service would give an advantage to just one American company).  Consequently, there are now beads selling on eBay at prices that are lower than the wholesale prices that I pay for beads from the Czech Republic.

This influx of Chinese beads is putting American bead wholesalers out of business.  One supplier, York Beads, closed its doors a couple years ago.  Another supplier just announced that they are not going out of business, but they won't be selling beads any more.  My main supplier the supplier which provided about 75% of the beads on my site is discontinuing their ENTIRE older bead stock.  They have switched almost entirely to beads in ordinary shapes with artificial coatings, which are cheaper to make.  (The problem with artificial coatings is that the colors fade with time.)  Because bead wholesalers in the U.S. are in such dire straights, I have an opportunity to buy up the older stock of these companies at reduced prices but I can't because my own sales are down and I don't have any money.

Purebeads is not going out of business, but I frankly don't know what the future holds for the bead business in general.

March, 2016

Many beads going out of stock

I learned this month that my main supplier is discontinuing many of the bead styles that have sold well for me. This includes the best-selling 12mm polished rectangles and ovals, and also the rosebud faceted beads. I quizzed the supplier about this, and they say that some styles may come back on the market at a later date. In some cases, they say that only some colors are being discontinued. It is quite confusing. What I am told depends on who I am talking to at the supplier.

However, I feel that I should inform my customers. Below is a list of beads which may eventually go out of stock. In some cases, the supplier has a large stock of the beads remaining, so they won't go out of stock immediately. Indeed, it may be a couple years before all the beads disappear from my site, but in other cases the beads may disappear much sooner.

Table-cut beads:
12mm polished rectangles (usually with picasso coating on the edges)
12mm polished ovals (usually with picasso coating on the edges)
9mm polished ovals with a raised diamond (with picasso coating on the edges)

Faceted beads:
6mm and 8mm "rosebud" shaped beads
6mm "renaissance" shaped beads
6mm faceted pony beads

Smooth beads:
2x4mm rondelles
6mm rondelles (possibly only some colors)
6mm bicones
6mm and 8mm 3-cut round beads
8x13mm trumpet flowers

(Note:  Since posting this, my main supplier has set up a page listing all the items that are going out of stock, and that page includes almost everything they sell.  They claim that they aren't going out of business, so I don't know what's going on.)

November, 2015

Payment procedures have changed

I have just upgraded to PayPal Advanced from PayPal Standard.  For the last three years I have been using only PayPal Standard.  PayPal Standard would allow customers to pay with their credit or debit cards, but the customer had to pay on PayPal's site, which was confusing.  With PayPal Advanced, credit- and debit-card customers will pay directly on my site.  PayPal will still be processing the payment, but the procedure that customers go through will be more transparent and logical.

When you enter your credit-card number on my site, that number will be communicated to PayPal via a secure connection (as indicated by "https:" in the address).  Credit-card numbers are not saved on this website, so you don't have to worry that your credit-card number will be stolen if the site is hacked (which isn't likely anyway).  Never at any point in the payment process am I given access to your credit-card information.  That information goes directly to PayPal, and I never see it.

Mystery beads

In the last few months, I have been buying samples of Chinese crystal beads.  Those samples will be sold on my site as Mystery beads.  Chinese crystal beads are more perfect than Czech fire-polished beads, but are less perfect than Czech Preciosa-brand crystal beads.  However, they are substantially cheaper than Preciosa beads, so you will get a good deal for the $3 you spend for each lot of Mystery beads.  (I will choose the color you get.)

April, 2015

No more pearls

Glass pearls have become the bane of my existence in recent years.  It was about three years ago (right after I bought a huge amount of them) that I noticed that pearls sometimes fade as they sit in the box.  At first I thought it was a fluke, limited to only some pearls; but then I realized it was happening to any pearl which had any blue in it, which included blue, aqua, teal, lavender and purple.  Then, recently, I noticed that rosy pinks turn to peachy pinks as they sit in the box (peachy pinks are less popular than rosy pinks).  That was the last straw:  NO MORE PEARLS.  I may continue to get pearls in metallic colors, but I am not certain of that.

In the early days of my business, pearls were an "easy buy".  They sold fairly well, and they weren't very expensive.  As recently as four years ago, I was still trying to stock pearls in every color of the rainbow.  But as the warnings on my site about fading have increased, they have started selling slowly, to the point where I am now worried that I will end up with a huge stock of unsellable beads.  The solution to that will be to discount the prices.  Gradually, over the next few months, I will be applying discounts to any pearls that have changed color.  The fact that I am phasing out the pearls means that I'll be able to focus on more interesting beads.

For those who don't know, pearls are synthetically coated meaning that they have polymer-based coatings which contain dyes (and dyes can fade).  Colored glass is different:  Metals are added to the glass, which give the glass color.  Thus, "cobalt blue" actually has cobalt in it.  Colored glass will never fade.  Thus, my focus will be on buying beads that are made of colored glass.  There are some synthetic coatings which seem to hold their color, and I may continue to buy those beads, but not pearls.

Purebeads has moved

As you know, Purebeads is a home-based business.  I have now moved three times since I opened in 2002.  The moves are always for personal reasons:  The first move was to be closer to my aging mother, who has since died.  The last two moves were to get away from neighbors I didn't like.  Hopefully, things will turn out better where I am now.

January, 2015

Your opinion is needed!

I am thinking of widening the shopping cart so that four columns of products run down the center instead of three.  That might be a problem for customers with older monitors and customers who order from a cell phone.  If a wider cart would be a problem for you, please let me know.

December, 2014

New beads, some with close-up photos

Sales are always slow during December because beads are not a gift item, so I spent most of the month posting new beads.  For the most part, the beads are fairly ordinary -- that's because many of them are job-lot beads that I bought many years ago.  But there's another reason:  When I buy new beads, I will often post the most spectacular beads first, and then leave the less spectacular beads for later.  Nonetheless, they are new, and some customers will like them.

Towards the end of posting all those beads, it occurred to me that my new camera gives me the capability to post truly close close-ups of the beads, so I will be doing that from now on.

New photographic technique

A few months ago I bought a new camera for the business.  Unlike the first three cameras I owned, the new camera is not a point-and-shoot camera with a small sensor.  Rather, it is a "mirrorless" camera with a large sensor.  Working with a large-sensor camera has been an eye-opener.  The large size of the sensor makes it somewhat harder to get my pictures in focus.  However, the large sensor doesn't require as much light to take the photos, and the color reproduction is better.

For most of the time I've been in business, I have photographed the beads in ambient daylight from a window.  For reasons which I won't go into, my new camera doesn't do very well using ambient daylight (some pictures come out looking soft or fuzzy), so I've switched to using lamps with daylight-balanced bulbs in them.  I used lamps once before, but I used them in conjunction with a cloth "light box" which was supposed to diffuse the lamp light.  But the box didn't work very well, and all the beads ended up with two bright spots on them (reflections of the lamps shining through the cloth).  Recently, however, I discovered that if I used the lamps without the light box, the spots on the beads look much smaller, meaning that less of the beads are obscured by light reflections.

Discovering that two lamps is all I need to take my photos has been a revelation.  What had been a difficult and finicky process in front of a window has now become a simple matter of turning on the lamps and snapping away.  I can do it any time of the day (because I don't have to wait for the sun to come out), and the pictures that I am getting are the best that I have ever gotten.  It is so much easier now to take photos that I find myself doing it more often and the pictures look better than ever.

To give you an idea of the difference between my new photographic technique (using lamps) and my old one (using light from the window), here is a comparison of two beads that are almost identical (the beads on the right have more blue in them):

Photographed at the window   Photographed with lamps

The photograph on the left doesn't show the colors well, and each bead has a large light reflection on it from the window.  The photograph on the right shows the colors better, and each bead has just two, small light reflections from the lamps, so that more of the bead shows.  Neither picture, in my opinion, is perfect, but the picture on the right gives you a better idea of what the beads actually look like

August, 2014

Finally, new beads!

In late August, I finally started to post new beads, and I will continue to post new beads in September.

I have stopped indicating which beads are new and which are older styles that are being restocked.  My shopping cart, as much as I love it, cannot automatically indicate which styles are new, and doing it manually was too much work.  If you go to the home page of my shopping cart and do not recognize the beads at the top, it means that they are probably new.

Finally, a new camera!

For the last twelve years I have been using Canon point-and-shoot cameras with small sensors to take my product photos.  The problems with these camera were legion:  The color accuracy was not good; I always had to have bright light to take photos; and the resolution (the number of pixels captured) was not high enough to have sharp crops.  The poor color accuracy was particularly annoying.  Aqua beads would come out looking blue; blue and red beads would be the wrong shade of blue or red; and yellow beads would look greenish or wouldn't have the color saturation that the actual beads had.

So I looked for a camera that has good color accuracy, and I found out something very interesting:  Camera manufacturers purposely make the colors inaccurate so that pictures taken outside will look more attractive!  Among other things, they design cameras so that aqua-colored skies will come out looking blue.  All the major manufacturers Canon, Nikon, Sony do this.  However, I found a brand Samsung where they do this to a lesser extent.  I found a Samsung camera with good color accuracy and a large sensor which was at the end of its product cycle (meaning that it was cheap), and I bought that camera (the model number is NX1100).  The camera has a couple bugs in it, but the bugs only affect about one out of twenty photos, so I decided to keep it.  I have already started using it, and the colors in my photos are much more accurate.

The low-light capability of this camera is so good that I don't have to wait for sunny days to take my pictures.  In fact, I have discovered that I can take perfectly good pictures by using a lamp with a daylight-balanced bulb in it.  With my old camera, one bulb, no matter how bright, wasn't enough to take good pictures.  This means that I can take pictures at night, which will be a huge convenience for me.

So will you notice a difference?  Not likely.  The colors of the beads will be more accurate, but you won't notice that because you don't know what the colors should be.  Also, I had become very good at pulling good pictures out of my old Canon camera.  Overall, I think you'll find that the new pictures look slightly better, but the difference won't appear huge to you.

Even so, I am delighted to have this new camera.  Unlike a Nikon camera that I purchased in the spring (and then returned), it has no annoying glitches.  The way it operates is straight-forward and easy.  I am very pleased.

September, 2013

New payment procedure

For more than a decade I have used a payment service called PayPal Pro.  In addition to paying 2.9% of every purchase to PayPal, plus a 30 transaction fee, I have also been paying $30 a month for the Pro service.  I recently learned that PayPal has a similar service called PayPal Advanced which has a monthly fee of only $5.  However, when I applied for the Advanced service, I was declined.  I have one unpaid debt on my credit record (long story), which is apparently why they declined me.  (Having been a customer in good standing for 14 years, you would think that they would approve my application based on that alone.  Frankly, I don't know why PayPal does credit checks at all, since they do not extend credit with any of these services.)  After being declined, I decided that I really wanted to save that $30 a month, so I downgraded to their Standard service.  If and when I clear up my credit, I'll upgrade to the Advanced service.

The Standard service allows a customer to pay with either PayPal or a credit or a debit card.  However, the checkout process is confusing.  You will fill out your address on my site, and then you will be taken to the PayPal site where you will see the screen below.  If you are paying with a card, you must click the link indicated by the red arrow, and that will take you to a screen where you can fill in your credit-card details.  Furthermore, you cannot use your own PayPal debit card to pay (they expect you to use your PayPal account directly); and the address-verification process is more aggressive with PayPal Standard, so the address you type in must be absolutely correct.

July, 2013

Shipping cost for large international orders is coming down

One year ago I changed my shipping policy for international customers so that they were paying the actual shipping cost (please see the July, 2012 entry below for the reasons).  Then, in January, the U.S. Postal Service raised international postage rates by a whopping 40%.  My charge for shipping $200 worth of beads to an international customer went from $20 to $27 overnight, and the cost of shipping $400 worth of beads increased to more than $60.  Well, I recently learned about a little-known flat-rate box being offered by the postal service which holds more merchandise than the original small flat-rate box, and for the same amount of postage.  I can now ship up to $380 worth of beads (more if the beads are mostly small, and less if the beads are mostly large) for $29.  That's quite an improvement over what I was charging before.

New shipping option:  the padded flat-rate envelope

The postal service recently came out with a padded flat-rate envelope.  Instead of being made of paper with a bubble lining (as most bubble mailers are), it is entirely plastic.  The postage amount is only 45 cents more than a small flat-rate box, but it holds more beads.  Since I am charging my U.S. customers a flat $3 for shipping, I will start to use this new envelope for orders which are too large to fit into the small flat-rate box.  Previously I had to use my own boxes, and the postage was much higher.  (In other words, this new envelope will save me money, not you; but I still want you to know about it.)  I haven't used one of these new envelopes yet, but I estimate that I can get up to $400 worth of beads in one (a small flate-rate box will hold only about $250 worth).  The beads will have less protection than they have in a box; but then, I am already mailing all of my small orders in bubble mailers, so that's nothing new (beads aren't very breakable).  I will, of course, compensate any customer who receives broken beads.

January, 2013

International postal rates have gone up

As many of you may know, the U.S. Postal Service has been having financial problems.  This became very evident when, on January 27th, they increased the cost of a small Priority International flat-rate box from $16.95 to $23.95.  That is an increase of $7.00, an astonishing amount!  That is the largest increase I have ever seen for any class of mail from one year to the next.  I assume they made this increase because the cost of flying mail to other countries is prohibitive.  If that's not the reason, I don't know what is.

Previously I had been charging $19.00 to ship $100 worth of beads to other countries, and $20.00 to ship $200 worth of beads to other countries (the extra $2 and $3 covered insurance and other shipping costs).  If I continue to use flat-rate boxes, I'll have to increase those charges to $26.00 and $27.00, which is unacceptable.  Fortunately, the cost of First Class mail to other countries (as opposed to Priority mail) remains reasonable (although those prices have gone up too).  However, if I send packages by First Class mail, I won't be able to use the Priority boxes supplied by the post office.  Consequently, I have started using bubble mailers for shipments of $100 or less (which means that the beads won't be as well protected).  Eventually I will buy my own boxes.

The new rates will be $18.00 for $100 worth of beads (approximately one pound) and $25.00 for $200 worth of beads (approximately two pounds).  The price for larger amounts will also go up.  I am sorry for the necessary increases.

September, 2012

I have applied for Social Security benefits;
What does that mean for the business?

I recently turned 62.  I knew that meant I was eligible for early Social Security retirement benefits.  I had heard that if I started collecting at age 62, my benefit rate would be lower, so I decided not to apply.  However, sales have not been good since the economic downturn started in 2008.  Buying all the beads I want has been difficult, and paying my rent every month has been difficult.  A friend in the neighborhood convinced me that I should apply for benefits, so I did.

So what does it mean for the business?  Fortunately, it means mostly good things.  My monthly benefit check will cover my rent and my utilities, so I won't have to worry about my security any more.  The money that I would've spent on rent will now be spent on other things, including beads, so the number of products on my site will increase.  Also, I'll be able to buy a better camera and make better pictures.  I may also, at the age of 62, finally learn how to drive.  This is an exciting time for me.

The only bad thing is that I probably won't hold as many sales.  In almost all cases, I held sales to raise my rent or pay off debts.  The need to raise money won't be so urgent now.  I'll still hold at least one sale a year, possibly two.  However, you can always get 10% off by buying $100 worth of beads, and 15% off by buying $200 worth of beads.

It's also possible that I won't be sending out so many mailings.  My monthly mailings (in which I announce new products) were always timed to my rental payments, but now I don't need to do that.  I may choose to simply post the new beads when I have the time, and let my customers find them whenever they decide to visit the site.

August, 2012

Beads from the 1980's

In the 1980's I was a jewelry designer, just like my current customers are.  I started out designing in New York, and then I moved to Providence, RI (where my mother lived), and I continued designing there.  (So that makes two times that I moved to be close to my mother:  in the early 1980's and in 2007.  My mother wasn't particularly thrilled to have me around on either occasion.)  However, when I decided to move to Arizona in the mid-1980's, I put all my beads in two boxes and stored them in my mother's attic.  Well, I've just started going through those boxes.  What I found surprised me.  I have many more beads from that period than I thought I had, and I also have many completed necklaces that I never sold (I thought I sold them all, but I didn't).

I've decided that there is nothing for me to do but to sell off that old stock.  Some beads I have in such a large quantity that I will post them on my site like any other bead.  Those beads that I have in small quantities will be sold as Mystery beads.  I will create a new category to sell my finished jewelry.

My beads from the 1980's are much more eclectic than the beads I am selling now.  I used semi-precious beads, glass beads, ceramic beads, and wood beads.  I also used seed beads, which I do not sell now.  The ceramic beads were particularly nice.  They came in bags with little slips of paper in them that said "Made in Japan".  (I thought the Japanese made only seed beads.)

Anyway, if you would like to get some of these older beads, be sure to buy some lots of Mystery beads.

July, 2012

Restocking fee for beads returned after 30 days

On July 30th I received beads back from a customer, some of which were purchased 60 days prior, some of which were purchased in 2011, and some of which were purchased in 2010.  (At the time, my return policy had a limit of 30 days.)  Because of the work involved in processing refunds (I must count all the beads that are returned), I have decided that it is not unreasonable for me to charge a restocking fee for returns over 30 days.  Thus, for items returned between 31 and 90 days after shipping, I reserve the right to charge a restocking fee of 15%.  For items returned after 90 days, you will get only a scolding.  (And you'll also have to send me money to get the beads shipped back to you.)  There will never be a restocking fee if you return beads within 30 days.

New shipping calculator; international
Customers now pay actual shipping costs

There are extra expenses associated with international orders, and because of that I have altered my cart to charge international customers the actual cost of shipping.  At this time the shopping cart is not programmed perfectly, so there is a possibility that some customers will be over-charged.  If that happens, a refund will be issued.

The new shipping calculator has one little quirk:  You now must go part-way through the checkout process to see what your shipping cost will be.

An order weighing 8 oz. will cost $10 to ship ($6 for Canadian customers).  An order weighing one pound will cost $19 to ship ($15 for Canadian customers).  An order weighing two pounds will cost $20 to ship ($16 for Canadian customers).  However, starting at 3 pounds, the shipping cost really sky-rockets that's because a larger and much more expensive flat-rate box is required.  For example, a 5-pound box will cost $60 to ship ($42 for Canadian customers), and a 12-pound box will cost $80 to ship ($65 for Canadian customers).  (A 12-pound order will contain about $1,000 worth of beads.)

It grieves me to charge my customers so much, but the cost of international shipping has gone through the roof.  If I don't charge my international customers the actual cost of shipping, I will have to pay money out of my own pocket.

Shipping to U.S. customers will remain at a flat $3.00.

June, 2012

Duplicate payment problem fixed

In the last several months there have been about five instances when I received two payments for an order.  What usually happens is this:  As the last step in the order process, the customer clicks "Confirm" to place her order, and my site then gets stuck on the "Please Wait" prompt.  The customer then clicks "Confirm" one more time, and I end up receiving two payments.  For the order-confirmation page to appear, my site must hear back from the payment-processing site that the payment went through.  If it doesn't, then my site remains stuck on "Please Wait".  I have now installed a fix which will show the order-confirmation page even if there is a communication problem with the other site.  In the vast majority of cases, the payment will have gone through without a hitch.  You should receive an order-confirmation email from my site.  If you don't, please contact me.  (But before you do, check to make sure that the order-confirmation email didn't go into your Spam folder.)

May, 2012

Date format fixed

A customer complained to me about the European date format that my shopping cart was using (DD/MM/YY), and I told her that I couldn't change it because the shopping cart publisher was in England.  But then I investigated the matter, and found that it was changeable.  The date format that you will see on the site and in your orders is now the American format:  MM/DD/YY or MM/DD/YYYY.

April, 2012

Good Night, Sweet Darling

Shortly after moving, my darling cat Tillie came down sick with end-stage renal disease and had to be put to sleep.  This was a sweet, dear, unassuming animal who didn't have a mean bone in her body, and I feel totally alone now.  She used to sleep in the boxes of beads during good times.  I am completely heart-broken.

Price-per-bead won't be marked on baggies

For the last year or two I was marking the price-per-bead on at least some of the baggies of beads that I sent out.  My baggie labels say "___ cents per bead" at the bottom, and I was filling in the amount when I could calculate it quickly in my head.  However, the amount that I filled in wasn't usually accurate.  It didn't factor in discounts or the cost of shipping.  For this reason, I've decided to leave it blank.  I am going to let my customers decide what the beads cost them, and to fill in their own amount.

February, 2012

Purebeads is moving

Since Purebeads is an online store, my physical location doesn't really matter to my customers.  However, sometime during March I will be closing the store while I move to another location (within a mile from my current location).  The store won't actually be closed; rather, I'll put up an announcement that orders can be placed but won't be filled until the move is over.

The benefit of moving just a short distance is that I can move in several short steps.  When I moved from NYC, I had to close up for a month, and my business never completely recovered from that.

August, 2011

Fewer new bead postings

For quite a while now I have been posting 25-30 new bead styles per month, but I am going to have to cut back to 15-20 new styles per month.  Since the economy tanked in late 2008, sales have been somewhat slow, and I don't always have the money to buy so many new beads.  In 2010 I received an inheritance that I put towards beads, but that has run out.  Even my suppliers don't post so many new bead styles, so I feel justified in making this change.  15-20 new styles each month is 200 styles a year, which is pretty good.  Old styles which I restock will be in additional to any new styles that I stock.

There is an additional reason why I am cutting back.  In order to post 30 new styles each month, I have to buy small quantities of many styles.  From now on I am going to buy larger quantities of each style so that they won't run out as quickly.  Thus, each bead style will be available for a longer time.  (That will be good news when the style is really nice, though not all of them are.)

International shipping rates have gone up

For all international customers, including Canadians, I have had to raise my shipping rates.  (Up until recently I was charging a promotional rate to Canadians, but I cannot do that any longer.)  International orders cost me more money and time than U.S. orders do.  The credit-card fees are higher, and the shipping insurance is higher.  Also, it takes me longer to pack the orders because a special label is required that has a customs form on it which takes time to fill out.  In addition, all international packages over 13 oz. have to be brought dirctly to the post office, meaning that I can't just drop them in a mailbox.  For all these reasons, I've decided that I have to charge the actual cost of shipping to my international customers.

Canadians will be charged a flat $12, and then I will refund the excess if the actual cost of shipping is less by a dollar or more.  To other international customers, I will charge a flat $19, and then I will refund the excess if the actual cost of shipping is less by a dollar or more.  For example, let's say that you place a very small order and pay $19 for shipping, but it costs me only $8 to ship your order, I will refund $8 to you.  But if you place a large order which costs $18.50 to ship, there will be no refund.  Canadian customers especially are likely to get refunds if their orders are not too big.  If the cost of shipping exceeds $12 (for Canadians) or $19 (for other international customers), I will absorb the extra shipping cost.

Please note that the amount of postage on the package does not represent the entire shipping cost.  To the postage amount I will add 50 if your order is shipped in a bubble mailer, plus $1 to $3 for private shipping insurance (depending on how big your order is).  Thus, if the postage on your package says $8.50, the actual cost of shipping could be $10.00 or more.

(This entry was updated with new information in 2012.)

May, 2011

Pictures may change slightly

In late May, my old CRT monitor died, and I started using an LCD monitor.  LCD monitors, generally, are brighter than CRT monitors, and as a result, I find myself making the pictures a little darker than before.  Also, to my eye, the pictures need less sharpening than they did before, so I am sharpening them a little less.  Consequently, if you use a CRT monitor, the new pictures may look a little darker and a little less crisp than the old pictures look.  However, the difference is small, and you may not notice anything.

Switching to an LCD monitor also showed me that many of the pictures that looked great on my CRT monitor look washed-out on the new monitor.  If you have an LCD monitor and feel that my pictures look washed out, the reason is that they were optimized for a CRT monitor.

February, 2011

Price reduced on 2mm x 4mm rondels

My pricing formulae have changed over the years, and as a consequence the prices of the 2mm x 4mm rondels are coming down.  They were always a little too expensive.  Right now, most of them are priced at $3.00 per 100.  By the end of February, I will have reduced all of those to $2.80, and some of them to $2.60.  (Whether they are priced at $2.60 or $2.80 depends on whether I had enough money to buy them in bulk the last time I ordered them.)  Some of the more expensive colors, such as the metallic colors, will not be reduced.

January, 2011

Everything is back to normal!

About 80% of the beads from the old shopping cart have been transferred to the new cart at www.purebeads.com/catalogue/.  The remaining old stock will be transferred during February and March.  Also, in January I posted new beads for the first time in several months.  New beads will no longer appear on their own "What's New" page.  Rather, they will be posted on the home page of the new cart (that is where you can find this month's new beads).

Reviews are gone

My new shopping cart had a review feature which allowed customers to post reviews of individual products.  However, in the many months that the new cart has been up and running, not one person posted a review.  I finally concluded that beads are not the kind of product that many people will want to review.  Thus, I have turned off the review feature entirely.  If you have comments about a particular bead style that you want other people to see, let me know and I will put your comments in the description field.

Wish lists not coming

I have decided not to upgrade to the new version of the shopping cart (at least, not yet), so I won't have the wish-list feature in my shopping cart any time soon.  Sorry.



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