Bags vs. Tubes vs. Hanks
Grams vs.Ounces

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 they're fine.

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 you?)

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).

Answers to some Frequently Asked Questions
Notes about our beads
Czech? Japanese? Antique? Color? Consistency?
Bags vs Tubes vs Hanks
You are here
How many beads / bag?
(Carol actually counted 'em)
Lots more than in tubes!

Back to
Seed beads, Ponys, Delicious, Bugles, Pressed Glass, Lampwork
Glass & Bead terminology
Numbering System diagrams
Only do this once per session. (Or you'll have multiple copies)
Welcome Page
Catalog, Gallery, Beadcats, Lore, News
Catalog Main Index
Books&Videos, Supplies, Seed, Bugle, Pressed & Lampwork Beads