5 THINGS TO FIGURE OUT BEFORE STARTING A CRYSTAL BUSINESS
In this blog, I'm going to be discussing five things you should figure out before you start your crystal business journey. These five things are really critical to not only helping you figure out your business strategy but also helping you figure out your suppliers, how you want to utilize your budget, and what you want your shop to look like.
These are five pretty simple things, but I definitely recommend figuring them out before you go and start buying your inventory.
The first thing to consider is your budget.
Is your budget three hundred dollars or three thousand dollars? This is really critical because it will make or break the difference between how much money you're going to be investing initially in your inventory. Are you going to be taking out a small business loan, or are you going to be self-funding? And then, also with these budgets, make sure you are factoring shipping costs into your initial budget.
Crystals are very, very heavy and cost a ton of money to ship. Unfortunately, that is just part of the business. The more money you spend on crystals, most likely you will have a higher shipping charge just because you'll be ordering more, which means it'll be heavier, which means the shipping cost will be higher.
And one tip to help you potentially save on shipping charges: if you're shopping with an international seller, ask if they ship by sea. This is a lot cheaper, but it takes a lot longer to arrive(1-2 month). You have to kind of determine if you want your items quickly and are willing to pay a little bit more, or if you want to save on shipping charges and are willing to wait for your items to arrive.
The next thing is to decide if you're going to be shopping with international suppliers or domestic suppliers.
Domestic suppliers are local suppliers in the United States, and international suppliers are suppliers who work all over the world. Or do you want to shop with a combination of both? Either option is fine. I tend to shop with both international and domestic suppliers.
There are obviously some pros and cons to shopping with international and domestic suppliers. International suppliers tend to have lower prices on crystals but also tend to charge more for shipping. Whereas in the United States, the crystal prices tend to be higher, but the shipping prices tend to be lower because the package isn't traveling quite as far.(Our company has solved this problem,we ship large quantities of products by sea to our US warehouse,our large shipment volume and collaboration with UPS allows us to ship from US warehouses and receive up to 65% discount on shipping rates compared to standard rates. This partnership has helped us reduce our costs and pass the savings on to our customers. check our warehouse site >>>)
Another thing to know about U.S. suppliers is that they often require a tax ID to shop with them. This gives you the wholesale rate. Otherwise, you will receive the retail rate, which is sometimes double or triple what you are actually paying. So, before you start shopping with domestic suppliers, you will need to get that tax ID in order.
And one thing to know about international suppliers is that they do not require a tax ID to receive wholesale prices. So, this is a huge perk. But if you already have a tax ID, it doesn't really matter.
The third thing that you should consider is: do you want to specialize in common or rare stones?
You can find common stones from almost any supplier; just make sure you're shopping around for the best quality and the best price. When you're shopping for common stones, it does take a little bit more work because you have to invest a little bit more time into shopping around and making sure you're getting the best price and the best quality. This takes time. It is not like you can figure this out in one day.
（The pictures above are from crystalswholesaleusa.com）
This could take weeks or months to find the right supplier who supplies the right crystals for you. Now, I will be covering more of this topic on my other blog if you are interested. Link: (Places to Buy Crystals Wholesale)
So, if you want to specialize in rare stones, you're going to need a specialty supplier, and you'll most likely need a bigger budget because rare stones are often more expensive. I think ideally, if you can carry both rare and common stones, that is the sweet spot. And your budget is also a little bit of a limiting factor. If you have a smaller budget, it's a little bit harder to specialize in more rare stones.
Another thing you want to consider is, do you want to specialize in jewelry, cabs, bracelets, gemstones in smaller cut pieces?
That'll require a completely different supplier than a regular crystal supplier. A lot of the time, it's different machinery, different pricing, and different sets of sellers. So, you definitely will need to do some more research on finding those suppliers who truly specialize in that area.
Do you want to specialize in raw stones? Raw stones are obviously in their raw form. They are not polished; they are basically straight out of the mine and are sometimes cut down but usually left in their raw form. If you want to specialize in raw stones only, again, you will probably need to find a supplier who specializes in raw stones.
(high quality raw sunstone from crystalswholesaleusa.com)
A lot of the common crystal suppliers will have raw stones, but they won't have them in large quantities. So, if you do want to specialize in raw stones, I highly recommend finding a supplier who truly specializes in that area.
Do you want to specialize in carving? I mean anything from spheres to towers to animal carvings, free forms to flames—any of those shapes. Those are considered carvings.
If you haven't seen a crystal being carved, I highly recommend you see the type of machinery it takes and the type of skill set it takes because it is not easy. That's why carved pieces are generally more expensive because they take so much more time to carve than a raw piece. So, if you want to specialize in all these carved pieces, which is pretty common; a lot of people specialize in carved pieces, you're going to want to find yourself a supplier who has really good connections with a factory that specializes in crystal.
These are all things to consider when you're looking for suppliers and before you start your business, so make sure you're spending your time focusing on finding the right suppliers instead of spending hours looking at suppliers who don't meet your needs.
And the next thing to consider is: are you going to be specializing in large showcase pieces, or are you going to be specializing in smaller pieces, or are you going to be carrying both?
L: Large Druzy Moss Agate Tower 13.3*4.7*3.5in(34*12*9cm).
R: Green Moss Agate Points 2-3.5in(5-9cm).
If you're going to be specializing in smaller pieces, you're going to most likely be buying per kilo rather than per piece. If you are buying smaller pieces per kilo, usually it is a random pull, and you don't get a choice on what you get.
You'll get 10 or 15 of the same crystal and not really have a choice in what you pick. So, if you're going to be specializing in larger pieces, you're most likely going to be shopping per piece versus per kilo. If you have a smaller budget, buying per piece is much more beneficial because you will have a wider variety of inventory.
And if you have a bigger budget, purchasing stones by the kilo is a lot more cost-effective because you will save money when you buy more. And then for live shows, I think it is better to buy per kilo because you obviously need a lot more inventory. Whereas when you're selling on Etsy, you may not be moving through inventory quite as quickly, so you may want to buy per piece.
And the fifth thing to consider before you start opening your crystal business is: are you going to be selling crystals via live show or via Etsy or Shopify?
This is one of the first things you should be figuring out because it will help determine your initial budget and your initial inventory needs.
Typically, with live shows, you need a lot more inventory on hand than you would if you were on Etsy or Shopify. So, that's why this is one of the first things you should be figuring out because it'll dictate your entire business strategy. And if you have a larger budget, live shows are a great way to jump in with both feet. And if you have a smaller budget, maybe starting off with Etsy is a better bet.
Because you don't have the budget to buy the insane amount of crystals you need to have a live show. Another thing to consider when deciding if you want to do live shows or sell on Etsy is what fits your lifestyle better. Do you have time to spend hours on live shows, invoicing, shipping, and packaging? It's important to realize that live shows require a significant time commitment—potentially three days of dedicating yourself to your crystal business. Do you have a full-time job with long hours?
You may not have the time to go live on weekends. Consider whether you want to spend your free time relaxing from your job or dedicating it to your crystal business. Additionally, if you have a family with kids who need help with homework and dinner, or if you want to spend time with your partner after long work days, Etsy may be a better fit for you. It's essential to think about the time and effort required for live shows before investing in bulk lots of crystals.
Otherwise, you may end up with a surplus of crystals and no way to quickly sell them for a return on investment. Consider how much time you want to spend on a small business that may not generate significant profits right away. If you only have a few hours a week, Etsy may be a better option. However, if you have a lot of free time and are willing to grow and nurture a small business, the live show route can be a great choice.
But there are a lot of things to consider when starting a business: the time, the budget, the desire, and the work ethic. There's so much that goes into it, and small businesses take a lot of time, regardless of whether you are selling crystals or not.
That is everything for this blog. I hope you found this super helpful, especially if you are in the process of thinking about starting a crystal business. Even if you've already started, these are great things to go back and consider to help you focus your business strategy.
Feel free to ask me questions about crystal business or anything you have, l am happy to answer your questions