Ladies, just quick reminder that I am placing an order on Monday, the 15th with FMG...remember the more that gets ordered the cheaper the prices.
Beads and Blessings
As a self-proclaimed "goddess of thrift," I have a good list of who is cheapest for what things.
Artbeads and Fusion beads both have free shipping and no minimums. They offer a lot of products that you can buy individually, like if you want only 1 or 2 crystals in a bunch of different colors, or only a few headpins or jumprings. Great for small orders. Fusion has more artsy, multi-media-type items. Art beads has a bigger selection of swarovski.
Beads and pieces sells wholesale to the public. Very good prices on organic beads like shell, bone, wood and horn. Reasonable shipping.
Beadaholique has a good selection of findings, chain and gemstones at good prices with reasonable shipping. They have frequent sales with free shipping or a percentage off.
Monsterslayer has very good prices on metal beads, findings, wire, etc.
The Ring Lord has the BEST prices for jump rings if you are into chainmaille etc. Many different kinds/colors of metal in a zillion sizes. They are in canada, so shipping is expensive--about $10-$15, so if you only order $10 worth of stuff, its not worth it.
FMG has the biggest selection of anyone. Their prices are hit and miss. Sometimes great, sometimes not. I've found many great prices on stone and glass beads. Sterling is not a deal, though. Be sure to order at least 15 things to get the first tier discount. $5 shipping.
Hope that helps.
I've just "discovered" a bead supplier who was referred by a good friend of mine. It's firstname.lastname@example.org. Not only is she friendly, she's quick with communication, goes out of her way to make sure your order is perfect, she ships very quickly (I got my order three days after placing).... her prices are really good, too. I think she may be an LBS there in Tennessee-Land...I'll have to ask. Anyway, she's worth a look!
Ha! I believe that's Cindy from Cindy's Crafts in Elizabethton, TN. I live really really close to them!! LOL!!! Her bead store is the first bead store I EVER set foot in!!!!! Small world!
Ruthie:There is also Fusionbeads.com. They always have free shipping with no minimun order and you can sometimes get a discount code if you are on their mailing list.
I am not a huge fan of buying anything but seed beads by mail order, since so very often the reality doesn't live up to the picture on line, but for tools and supplies, on-line is definitely the way to go. For me, Fusionbeads.com is the best place for round seed beads - and now they are carrying what looks to be the full line of Miyuki drops, slices, cubes, and triangles. While Artbeads has a similar breadth in their catalog, I don't like their package quantity, or their packaging for that matter. Fusion sells in 13 gram tubes, but Artbeads seedbeads come in 8 gram baggies that are heat sealed and if you aren't careful when cutting open the baggie, you'll damage the flimsy ziplock. Gram for gram, Fusion is a better deal.
I have bought "gem" stone beads from FMG, and they are rarely the quality advertised - what they refer to as "AAA" is usually "B" at best. Their prices for supplies is good when you can put together a nice sized order, and they sell Delicas in larger gram quantities than anyone else, and there are colors that seem to be exclusive to FMG, too.
Just my $.02, adjusted for inflation.
Please see my projects at Stoneheart Beads
I like www.inmcrystal.com because they have a huge selection and their prices are less expensive then Artbeads and Fusion. On the downside, they do have minimum package quantities and they charge for shipping although it's $2 for 1st Class if your order is under $50. They also have a 20% coupon right now which makes their prices dirt cheap. The coupon code is BEADS310 if anyone is interested.
Snow's Little Beadroom is great. Wish i was down there to do some shopping. Fran is so nice.
she has a great price on FIreline too.
Hey,everyone.Thank you all so much for the wealth of information.I've made a nice list to print-out and refer to as necessary.My financial situation wasn't so great before & it's unfortunate,but it's actually worsened since I'd written that 1st post.Beading,wire-work,&jewelry making has become one of the few pleasures in my life,so I'm not letting it go-never!:)Being a bit melodramatic,but you folks all seem to share that love & it comes through in your posts & generosity in sharing your information & time-so,many thanks!
Blessings to all & happy beading!-Dess/Guinevere(okay,Guinevere Modesste Engel :)
You do know, Fran is only a phone call away=) When I am not in AZ, I call Fran and she Whatever I need ships out with in a day(as a rule). I get it the same week. And I save money even after the postage.
She can match beads better than anyone I have ever met.
She's not wholesale, but darn close to it.
Blessed are those who can Give, without remembering
and Take with out Forgetting
I only use Fire Mountain when I have at least a $100 to spend, otherwise having to pay for both shipping and handling really bugs me, they do have the most comprehensive selection of any of the websites for one stop shopping, although thier gemstones aren't that good.
www.beadsonsale.com nice selection of gemstones
www.artbeads.com good selection in most areas
www.fusionbeads.com comprehensive inventory, you can finds lots of things here
www.ringsandthings.com see above
www.Limabeads.com chain, gemstones, CZ
www.beadinpath.com I've used all these websites with no problems, I can usually find whatever I'm looking for at at least one of them. Oh, I hear that www.bluemud.com is the best place for Swarovskis.
Are you buying beading magazines? They will tell you where the designers got thier supplies, they also generally provide the web addresses for those suppliers in the back of the magazine. Get a little notebook start cutting out ads, and noting the web addressses of items that appeal to you and your style of beading - whenever you have a few minutes check out one of websites and write a critique. Always start with a small order to check out thier shipping policies and quality.