Friday, January 17, 2014

Hosting A Destash Event

On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, I hosted a destash event on my Facebook jewelry page.  I not only discovered some tips about how to run one of these events, I also learned a bit about myself.

I have been collecting beads for around 25 years.  At first I only bought beads at hobby shops like Michael's or JoAnn.  Later I discovered a delightfully funky bead and pawn shop on the nearby Yakima Indian Nation reservation.  My jewelry designs were very basic in those days and I didn't even know there was such a thing as artisan beads...and maybe that long ago there weren't any.  A lot of those beads are still hanging around in my studio (can we call them vintage now and charge more?). 
Bracelet made with beads from Michaels:

Then I went through my gemstone and sterling silver stage.  I still ogle gemstones, but they don't seem to make their way into many of my designs right now.
 Tourmalinated quartz and Swarovski crystal bracelet.

Meanwhile I'm now grabbing artisan beads like they were popcorn and then I start getting interested in polymer clay, metalsmithing and enameling.  I am very lucky to have a spare room as a studio, but suddenly there is not enough room in there.  Hence the need to destash!

As I was sorting through beads to let go of, I felt a bit like an archaeologist, sifting through the layers of my development as a jewelry designer. I realized that those old beads had become an added stress in my life.  Every time I opened a bead drawer and saw a pendant or string of beads that were 10 years old, I felt like I "should" use them or I was "obligated" somehow to not waste them.  They were becoming an emotional burden that I didn't need. And because every designer's style is unique, what no longer fits for me, might be exactly what someone else needs.  I discovered to my delight, that not only do I have more studio space after my destash, I also feel a sense of happy relief.

So if you to need to destash, I've got some tips that might help you to go about doing this.

It seems to work best if you offer a set of coordinating beads rather than just one type of bead.  In my last destash, I worked in numbered "lots".  Most lots had a focal and some coordinating beads.  I had the most success with lots that were priced at between $3-$15.
Including a coin in the photo, helps the viewer to gauge size.  If the focal was on the expensive side, I offered it alone, but those didn't seem to sell as well.
If I had a lot of one type of bead, I offered the whole group as one lot.
I sold my items at below cost.  My goal was not to make a lot of money.  I just wanted to clear space in my studio.  I wanted the destash to be a good deal for my buyers, while helping me to recoup some of my monetary investment.

Offer to combine shipping.  I learned this after my first destash.  From now on I'll post something like this, "Lot  #19.   $10 + $2.50 shipping USA, for the first item, $1.00 additional items, invoiced though PayPal.  Please comment SOLD or MINE if you want this item. First come, first serve."

Be sure to clearly state that the shipping rate only applies to your own country, (or within the EU).  You can offer to ship elsewhere, but make the buyer aware that shipping will be adjusted to cover expenses.

Be sure to charge more to ship heavier items, such as books or weighty beads. On my comments for this lot, I said that I was charging $4 for shipping because the stones are quite heavy, but if it turned out to cost less that $4, I would adjust the price downward.

I pinned the following general policies to the top of my Facebook page and alerted all buyers to refer to it first.

Destash General Policy
Here's how we'll be doing this destash event - Write MINE or SOLD in the comment section if you would like to purchase an item. I will combine shipping on multiple orders and I will gladly ship outside the USA, but we will have to adjust shipping prices to meet the added expense. I will then message you and ask for your email address, after which I will send you a PayPal invoice. Items ship in 1-2 days after receipt of payment. All items offered are at below my retail cost. All sales final. Feel free to ask any questions you may have. Thank you.
I have also been a buyer at destash sales and you can really get some awesome deals.  I noticed that one of my buyers on Tuesday and Wednesday, was destashing some of her own items on Thursday!  And so, as we are all potential buyers, I want to alert you to the fact that on March 10th-14th, AJE will be hosting a destash event.  There will be more details as we approach the date, but mark your calenders now.  I'm looking forward to coming away with some bargains!

Have you ever participated in a destash event?  What tips can you share?  Keep the conversation going.

Disclaimer:  Check with Facebook policy before doing a destash event.  It used to be that Facebook could close down your page for selling directly off your Facebook page.  But many of us are doing this routinely now.  I don't know if their policy has changed, or if they are just not monitoring it closely now.  Neither I nor AJE can be responsible for consequences, if there are any.

Linda Landig Jewelry – ArtFire 
Linda Landig Jewelry – Etsy



  1. Great info Linda. I'm glad to hear that others have the same "burdens" within their bead stash. I feel guilty often about the beads that I purchased before my style changed. This information was quite helpful.

    1. I am also glad to discover I'm not the only one who feels this way. I'm glad the info was helpful.

  2. Great idea and lots of good tips Linda. I REALLY need to do this and look forward to AJE doing it as a group. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  3. Great tips Linda! Thanks for sharing!

  4. From one Linda to another - I'd love to participate. I need to do this too.

  5. Thank you for this great reference Miss Linda! I never seem to be able to jump on any of the destash events as they are happening as I am not on FB that much. But I love the idea! As a hoarder of the highest degree, I can tell you that nothing would make me happier than to send these items off to happy homes. I really need to do this myself and am spending the day putting things away and trying to get organized. I have a dragon's horde of art beads. They are my crack. I can't get enough. But I am very serious about using what I have this year as well, more so because I have to buy a brand new car and need to put all my jewelry sales toward that. Thank you for this, and I will save it to help me in the near future! Enjoy the day. Erin

    1. Yes art beads are my crack, too. I didn't sell very many of my art beads, I was mostly selling off items from my life BAB (before art beads). lol!

  6. Great tips. I will certainly look through my own beads of burden, lol.

    1. I like that term "beads of burden". I'm going to remember that! ;)

  7. I probably spend too much time on Facebook, especially when I know there's a great destash going on. My super power this January seems to be spending money on new jewelry supplies!

    When I get some extra time to organize and decide what things I can/should get rid of, I should dip my toe into the de-stashing pool too. I'm sure that I'll feel lighter if I let go of some things I know that I'll never use. I appreciate the tips that you've learned and shared.

    I too love the term "beads of burden" that Keith has now coined! We all grow and change (if we're doing it right!) and our tastes and needs shift. It's great to think that someone else may find joy in things that are no longer speaking to me.

  8. Thanks for this interesting post. Good tips about destash and also fun to read about your changing style and the guilt that comes with letting beads "go to waste." It's always good to know other people feel the same way.

  9. Linda, your destash was so much fun. I'm glad it made you feel better. It made me feel better too! LOL

  10. This is brilliant and really helpful, I too have lots of items I would like to destash.

  11. Great tips! I have picked up some great beads by participating in these events. Who knows I may have one of my own some day.

  12. Great tips! I desperately need to destash!


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