If you’ve been buying from local suppliers and are interested in exploring different sources, this post will get you started.
Here are some online options to consider and a list of 2017-18 jewelry specific trade shows.
Buying Wholesale Jewelry Supplies Online
Many of you are probably already buying your jewelry supplies online. Shopping online for wholesale supplies can be tricky because when you’re buying in bulk, you want to see and touch the items before ordering. But with so many cheap jewelry supply sites out there, it’s better to shop at sites run by bigger distributors and manufacturers. Here are a list of sites based on popularity (Alexa rankings) that you can compare pricing and quantity minimums on.
Most online options provide a good collection of basic supplies like beads, chains etc. For the more speciality supplies, consider attending one of the trade shows listed later in this post.
This is the biggest wholesale supply site out there – they connect you directly to manufacturers in China. This is not a jewelry specific site but there is a jewelry category. There are two sites – Alibaba and Alibaba Wholesale. Alibaba has higher minimum quantities so pricing is low. Alibaba Wholesale caters to smaller businesses – minimum quantities are lower but prices are a bit higher.
These sites are overwhelming in terms of the number of products on the site. It’ll take you some time to find what you need. Also, since most of them are overseas factories, this means that you may have to deal with import duties.
But if you find a supplier you like, the difference in prices can be well worth it.
This is similar to Alibaba in that they source from Chinese factories. However, this is a store (not a marketplace like Alibaba is). So you are dealing with Panda as an online wholesaler who sells products from multiple Chinese factories. Similar to Alibaba, PandaWhole targets medium to large wholesale orders while Pandahall caters to small to medium volumes (still at very competitive prices).
And again, their listings can be overwhelming but the savings can make it worth your while.
This is a popular US based wholesale supply destination. They have an easy to use site and a pricing system where they let you buy different quantity levels at different price points. And their site is categorized well.
They also cater to higher quantity orders through their Platinum Partner’s Program where you can get additional discounts on top of the wholesale pricing.
Jewelry Supply has been around for over 25 years. They are US based too and they have an easy to navigate site. Their collection includes wholesale everything jewelry-related including tools, beads, Swarovski crystal, gemstones, chains, metals, etc. And they sell display and packaging products too. If you’re looking for ideas on new products to make, there is a section with tutorials where they walk you through how to make different types of jewelry.
As their about page says “we remain committed to supporting anyone who has ever picked up a piece of metal and made something wearable”. They have a great collection of findings, beads, packaging, tools and everything else you may need along your journey as a jewelry maker. They also have a great selection of in-person classes in their New Mexico location and also online courses on Craftsy.
There are many jewelry trade shows out there – jewelers.org has a great show listing page here. Most of these shows sell wholesale supplies as well as finished jewelry. We picked a few of them to feature here but if you’re looking for shows near you, take a look at listing page. Another way to find these shows is to Google “jewelry trade shows near me” and you should see listings, if there are any.
MJSA is an association of jewelry makers, designers and suppliers. They hold a regular trade expo with a huge floor of global suppliers wholesaling different types of jewelry supplies including tools, equipment, metals, findings, chains, gemstones, and even some finished jewelry for store owners.
Their next expo is on March 11-13, 2018 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York. Non-members can attend with a minimal entrance fee. Click here for the list of exhibitors to see if this is right for you.
This is one of the the largest and longest running series of simultaneous shows targeted for wholesale and retail buyers. The trade show kicks off every first quarter of the year at the Tucson Convention Center in Arizona and runs for two weeks.
The next trade show is scheduled for January 27- February 11, 2018. More about this show here.
The Gem and Lapidary Wholesalers organizes a series of trade shows all year round across the US. This show focuses on wholesaling gems and minerals. You can register here to attend. They have a lot of shows so check if their site to see have one near you.
This show is in a small town 250 miles north of Tucson and is held before the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, This show runs for 2 months (Jan-Feb) and focuses on gems and minerals too. Over 3000 vendors exhibit here so it is HUGE!. Their site says that since this is a small town with lower costs, products here are cheaper than other shows.
There are ten other smaller shows happening during this timeframe in the same location so check out these shows while you’re there: Desert Gardens Show, QIA Pow Wow, Prospector’s Panorama, and the Tyson Wells Show. All focused on gems and minerals.
Here is the schedule for 2018.
AKS Gem has been organizing and managing jewelry wholesale events for more than 35 years. Their shows feature a variety of finished jewelry and supplies. Thes shows are also open to the public but wholesale pricing is only for those with seller permits. You can view their 2017-18 schedule here.
They have a big one in Las Vegas in June each year. They claim to be the largest jewelry trade show in the US selling everything from finished pieces to wholesale supplies and tools. Their Vegas about page has some impressive stats: 2300 exhibitors and 23000+ retailers in attendance.
The last one in Vegas just finished in June. The next one in Tucson is on Jan 31, 2018 – this one overlaps with the Tucson Gem and Mineral show.
In general, if you’re buying in smaller quantities of jewelry making supplies, buying from businesses in your home country is better because you don’t have to deal with duties or face communication hurdles.
If you’ve had success with other websites or trade shows, comment and let us know what you like about them. Have you used any of the above sites?