Most store front retailers sell their beads in tubes. They do
this because it's appealing, and it's effective marketing. But, beads in tubes
take up lots of space, because the beads can't pack very closely in the narrow
confines of the tube, and tubes the same length, can vary in diameter. This
drastically changes the number of beads that will fit inside the tube. We know
all about this, because we wholesale tubes to retail stores. Tubes are a pain
to store however. They're bulky, the lids pop off, and they don't fit (without
a lot of wasted space) in any of the convenient little chests of drawers, or
storage boxes, etc. that are on the market. But, if you've only got a few beads
Some store front retailers sell their beads in hanks.
Traditionally, Czech beads were always hanked. The touchy/feely appeal of
hanked beads is absolutely undeniable. Hanks also expand the space a given
number of beads take up because the loops fluff out and leave extra space in
between the loops. Hanks do pack more densely than tubes, however. On the other
hand, THERE IS NO STANDARD OF MEASURE FOR HANKS. It's really impossible to
compare hanks with anything unless you weigh them. Some hanks have 3 loops,
others may have 20. Some may be 3 inches long, others may be 10. You get the
idea. Even hanks from the same store may vary as much as 30% from one color to
the next. We've also found variation even within hanks of the same color.
That's why you'll never see weights printed on hanks. Hanks do pack more
efficiently than tubes, but they still take up a fair amount of room, and you
always have to have some kind of intermediate storage for the ones you cut off
the hank. Plus, there's no denying that hanks are claw candy for cats.
We sell almost all of our beads in bags. Our bag system evolved
from our travels. Small bags of beads pack more efficiently than tubes (which
spill their contents when the lids pop off in your luggage, and love to roll
off your meal tray in flight), or hanks, (which tangle and break unless they're
in bags). Bags just seem to make a lot more sense to us. We don't have to worry
about retail displays because we sell by mail order. And, we think efficient
packing is more important than making you think you're getting more beads than
you really are. And since we sell our beads (even those which are strung) in
ZipLoc® bags, there's no need to transfer the contents once the bag is
opened. You'll find you can get enormous quantities of beads packed and
organized in little plastic chests of drawers storage.
We sell our beads the same way they come to us, so most of our
beads are loose and sold by the gram. The rest of the world (including the
Japanese and French bead makers) use the metric system and sell their beads by
the kilo (1000 grams), so it's natural for us to resell them in grams.
How do you judge quantity, when other people sell by the ounce or
the hank? An ounce is about 28 grams, so remember this number if you want to
convert from ounces to grams. Our black size 14°s in a 20 gram bag sell for
$2.50. Another store sells theirs for $3.75 an ounce. That means their price
for 20 grams is $2.66. (But then you knew ours were cheaper all along, didn't
When we get beads on hanks, we sell them by the hank. However we
weigh them to make sure our hank packages are approximately equivalent in
weight to our loose bead packages in each bead and size category.
We've counted the beads in representative bags, in our most
popular sizes. The count for each size is given at the beginning of
that section, but there's also a quick reference chart in "How many beads/bag"
(see link below).
|Notes about our beads
Czech? Japanese? Antique? Color? Consistency?
|Bags vs Tubes vs Hanks
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|How many beads / bag?
(Carol actually counted 'em)
Lots more than in tubes!
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