Monday, 14 April 2014

Should I destash?

It's that time again -- a day when I go window shopping for beads and it ends up with the should-I-destash-or-not dallying that I do every now and then. As a hobbyist, I can't just buy beads all the time. Not selling anything, destashing it one of the ways I finance my bead addiction.

I've thought about doing something drastic and sell beads I've kept for some time and never used, mainly as a way to focus on the type of beads I love the most and build up a stash of beads that work well together, not just look pretty on their own. Out with the aqua fired agate rounds and rosequartz, in with the stone picasso beads and aged seeds.

It can feel so good to destash. Out with the old, in with the new. It's both a physical and mental spring cleaning. While keeping most of the stash (it's big), it's still a bit like creating a clean slate, a new start.

So why don't I destash? It's often a matter of doubting there's an interest and buying and a matter of time as it means you have to take photos, set prices, consider making bead soups or not, posting it online -- and then once the orders come you have all the administration around that. Putting the order together, letting the person know if someone else just bought that bead, wait for payment, buy stamps (which isn't that easy when living in the countryside with no bus lines and no driver's licence) and package everything. Last time I did a big destash I made a whole set of blog posts, as you can still see as I haven't taken the blog down.

I mean, it's fun too as you get money and more space for new beads. It's just that I want to feel certain it's worth all the work.

The one side I don't like about destashing is calculating the price -- and, yes, I know that with my education it should be super easy. I just hate the idea of overpricing and feel worried no one is going to buy unless I sell it cheap. Now you might say "well, why don't you go the auction route and let the buyers set the price"? But I don't feel confident that I'd get enough bidders interested -- or indeed that there'd be more than one or two finding my auctions.

One thing I've thought about is making lots -- everything from cheap bead lots to "premium style" with more expensive beads and supplies -- as it keeps the amount of work down a bit. But then I run into the problem of combining lots and making interesting mixes that'll attract buyers. I don't want to end up with people not buying because they just want one piece or two in a lot.

Unfortunately, the last three or four times I've thought about destashing I've gotten stuck in those kind of thoughts and never got around to destash. Now I feel like I can't let that happen again. I should take a day to just sit down a cull beads. Go through every box, jar and bag. Really ask myself if I should hang on to that or that bead/finding/cord. Yes, you might find that it was a good thing to save one day, but some beads will just work their way to the bottom of the stash and stay there forever unless you sell them or give them away.

Fingers crossed I get further than this old verbal rehash this time...


  1. If you have any beady friends in your area you could do a bead swap with them. Or, you could put together some beads in little kit type things and coordinate a blog hop. Or just a giveaway.

    I have a lot of beads that I know I'm most likely never going to use up (mainly from having to buy by the strand/hank) and I've encountered this same problem. I know those extra beads will have to go at some point, and I know they will go, but it's the how that I always get stuck on. So far I personally think it would be really fun to put together some beads and organize some sort of blog hop with them. Or trade with other bloggers/beaders.

    1. Oh, I like in the countryside so it'd probably be hard to find beaders that nearby. At least I don't know any local beaders (though there is a beadshop in a small town just north of the province border).

      I love doing giveaways, especially putting toghether a soup/mix, and it'd be fun to make a huge one, but sadly it's a money issue too. Postage is expensive and I'd prefer getting some money in that paying to cut down on the bead stash. Being unemployed, bead expenses are on one hand the thing that keeps me happy in a negative situation, but on the other hand luxury expenses that should be kept at a minimum.

      But it could be an option to do, say, one giveaway, and then sell the rest. Combine money-making with the joy of giving.

      Trading/swapping would also be fun. I love BSBP for that reason. I used to swap and trade more before, when I was active in forums, places where it was easy to find others to swap or trade with.

      I've thought about something along your lines too. It could be an interesting challenge, if one has enough beads, to gather together in a little group and then let everyone create a small kit for the others and then you'd send them out according to a schedule. Say person 1 sends in january, person 2 in february etc. Then it could be like a monthly challenge to use the bead soup or just an inspiring gift with no pressure to make anything. (Actually it started as a thought of a challenge, that the group members would sent just one component, but a slightly unusual one to challenge the others. Like something from the hardware store, a special fabric swatch, a silk carrier rod, a brand new bead type, a cool new material. But then I never got beyond thinking about it as I know several beaders who find it too hard to use new or uncoventional materials, they get stumped instead of inspired, and that would take the joy away from the whole thing.)

  2. Sounds like destashing is as much of a hassle as selling regularly :( Not sure I could part with most of my stash. Like you I am just a hobbyist, but I try to keep my buying in check (yes, I know, so hard to do with all the delicious beads out there LOL).

    1. I try too, but sometimes you can't fight an addiction! *lol* In my case it's basically a combination of hoarding genes and that I've had to buy larger quantities that need of some beads I just had to have. And then you can throw in some wrong buys and change in taste (some beads I'm thinking of destashing has been in my possession since I began beading in 2006).

      One thing about destashing compared to sellingregularly is that you don't have what sellers/shop owners have -- routine. So that's probably what adds to the hassle. And of cause it's a matter of scale too. First time I destashed it was just a handful of packages, but the second time I had more stuff and more buyers. This time I think the "hassle" I'm mostly thinking about is finding buyers as I'm no longer on the bead forums and, which is more of a problem today, I'm not on Facebook. So I feel further away from potential buyers, like it'll be harder to attract them to a destash.

      I should point out that generally I do enjoy buying and selling -- heck, that's why I studied business admin as a teen! -- but I guess we all have those days when everything feels like big obstacles and you just see the problems, not the possibilities.

  3. Well, I suppose it depends on just how big your stash is. Can you see yourself using the beads, or is it just holding on to them in case you might need them?

    1. One can never have too many beads. ;-) As you point out, it really is a matter of sitting down and be true to oneself: Am I actually going to use these beads or is it better to hand them over to someone who will use them? Especially the impulse buys and newbie buys that I've held on to for years because I've thought them might come in handy in the future, but which haven't been used yet.

      Guess it's also partially a question of whether I've settled for a style that'll last, making it less and less likely that I'll use some of my old beads (fired agates are a great example), or is it possible that I'll return to a type of bead I don't like that much today in the near future?

  4. Instead of destashing small amounts of beads, you could try and make larger lots of beads. I'm sure there are people who want to buy a stash of beads. Some people like stone beads, others prefer seeds. Just make a heap of the semiprecious ones, and go on with the other ones. Ask your sister for help.Then sell them through your blog or an auction site. Or take them to a (baklucke)loppis announcing the sale on your Swedish blog. Now is the time to get rid of the old and open for a new period of your life. Anna


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