Daily Wire Tip March 16: Handling Swarovski Crystals Beads

By on March 16, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
March 16, 2010


I bought a Swarovski crystal assortment in a store, when I got home I found out that almost 5 crystals broke due to mishandling (my mishandling) and the cashier placed the crystals in a mini zip bag, and I lost a lot. Do I  have the right to  add the prices of the crystals which have been destroyed to the customers’ ordered pieces that I’ve made? What’s the right thing that I should do?


Oooh, sounds like an expensive lesson learned here. Next time, take your time and make sure the baggie is zipped or taped closed and put it in your handbag! As for charging the customer for both your and the cashiers mistakes, personally I would not because it was not the fault of your customer and you want to build a returning relationship with them.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar

    Anne Cooke

    March 16, 2010 at 7:34 am

    You can charge anything you want although I suspect you will have some competition and your competitor’s probably already know and use safe handling methods and will be charging accordingly. As with everything else, why pay more if you don’t have to?

  2. avatar


    March 16, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Doh! I have had similar things happen to me but they were 100% my fault. I once made a piece that I named “The million dollar bracelet”. I called it that as a joke, because after I smashed about as many crystals as I used and went through so much wire my scrap bag doubled in size it wasn’t resaleable. By the time I was finished I couldn’t charge enough for the item to cover my materials and labor. So I gave it away as a present and it made a nice story!
    Doh! Lesson learned :) Practice new designs with the cheapie materials and take good care of your expensive ones!

  3. avatar

    Casey Willson

    March 16, 2010 at 9:44 am

    I agree. I’ve made some expensive mistakes myself. The best news is that the cost does come off as an expense on your Schedule C business expenses for your taxes. A little consolation.

  4. avatar


    March 16, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Oh dear, that has got to hurt. Crystals add up quickly and make a dent in the pocket book for sure. And, unfortunately, in your case it hurts double bad because it’s your cost to be swallowed. It in no way affects your customer since it all occurred on your end.
    Mark it off as a valuable lesson learned, absorb the costs, and the next time be sure that all is safely secured and taped up, etc. to avoid this happening again.

  5. avatar

    nancy beegle

    March 16, 2010 at 11:56 am

    I totally agree with what everyone has said here! You have to realize that pricing is going to be more competitive in the bad economy already, so raising a price because of something you did to cause you to lose money. I would think long and hard about raising prices and then trying to make a sale, with other artists charging lower prices, according to the actual worth of the materials and work.
    We’ve all learned the hard way at one time or the other, and had to pay the price for some costly mistakes!!That’s part of learning our trade, and you should practice on new designs with less costly materials, as the other artist stated.
    Best wishes to you in your continued endeavors, and keep on trying to better yourself, without beating yourself up over it. It’s okay, really! :)

  6. avatar


    March 16, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Definitely have to agree with the ‘Cougar’, I really can’t think of any situation where it would seem correct to have my customers pay for a mistake that I have made. When I do custom orders which have a high chance of some breakage on the materials, I build in a bit of cushion in the quote and if the worst happens, I honor the quote even if it ends up costing me some profit. Since I end up very rarely needing the cushion it gives me a chance to further make the experience positive for my customers by ‘refunding’ the cushion in the form of a thank you credit on future purchases or a small discount on the final price of the piece.

  7. avatar

    Alex Netherton

    March 16, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    It isn’t really nice or very good business practice to pass the cost of our mistakes to our customers. I have sweated over this myself. Occasionally, if we tell the customer our woes, they may offer to help with the cost, but I have been known to eat the cost of my mistakes, and consider it a lesson.

  8. avatar

    Dahg Melek

    March 16, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Integrity with your clients is priceless. You can’t buy it, it has got to be given and then it will repay you a hundred times. I speak from experience. Do the ‘right’ thing for your clients and they will do the same for you.

  9. avatar

    Thomas Hammett

    March 16, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    In most produced goods, the cost of the “raw materials” is only a small part of the market price of the finished good. With artistic goods, the raw materials are an even smaller factor in the price of the finished piece. If the destroyed crystals constitute enough of the finished price that they make a serious difference in your profit margin, then you are probably pricing your work much too low.

  10. avatar

    Mary Phillips

    March 16, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    Consider the price paid for the ruined ones as a tuition in your “life beading” class. And consider buying crystals mail order since then the damage is on the seller / shipper if they are mishandled.

  11. avatar

    Draco Dubois

    March 21, 2010 at 5:09 am

    Thanks for those inspiring tips…
    These comments are of great help.

  12. avatar


    March 27, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Putting yourself in the customer’s shoes, you wouldn’t be very pleased to find yourself paying more for someone else’s mistake. This would apply to any service. So, I also agree, to let the mistake be a lesson and chalk it up to experience.