Wholesale Silver and Gemstone Jewelry

Wholesale Silver and Gemstone Jewelry

Are you a business owner considering sourcing silver jewelry from outside of your country? This article will give you some useful guidance.

A customer recently told me she bought bracelets form china advertised as “sterling silver” they were about 20 grams and she bought them for $7 each. Hmmm the cost of the silver alone for each bracelet would be $30. So when she received the product she saw that they were all stamped “925” but were in fact silver plated. 

Wholesale Silver and Gemstone Jewelry 2

When you buy direct from overseas keep in mind a few things:

Most companies will require you to order a minimum quantity per design as well as a minimum dollar value. Typically you will have to order 10-30 of each design. If you have a small retail operation – is it advisable to have 10-30 of the same design in stock? Probably not, especially if it is a design you have not sold before.

Shipping will be a minimum of $100-$150 for an order of 1kg or less. If you are ordering heavy or bulky items shipping via Fedex and UPS is very costly. The Postal Service has a reasonable international express service, however, it usually takes 5-10 days longer than fedex/ ups/ dhl and if there is a problem with customs or you just want to call and check on the tracking, there is NOONE to help you!Wholesale Silver and Gemstone Jewelry

GSP – the trade act that allows products from overseas into the US duty-free is currently not in effect. So expect to pay 5-13% duties on anything you import. This is in the USA. For the UK and Canada, tarrifs are higher. I believe Australia allows up to $1000 AUD duty-free.

Customs – If you are planning to import anything containing shells, mother of pearl, bone or other organic materials you are supposed to have a Fish and Wildlife Permit. Be sure you are familiar with country of origin labeling requirements as well. If you don’t have your products labeled correctly you could have to send it back to wherever it came from or make a trip to the port and put stickers on all your items! I know someone that had to do this once and it sounded like a complete nightmare.

What happens if… you order directly from India and your parcel gets stuck in customs for weeks because you did not have the proper import permits? What if you order $2000 in product and it is not as described or you just are not completely satisfied with it?


Designs – Are you confident the designs they are showing you are marketable in your region? I look at the ornate, gaudy designs that some companies in India and Bali market to western retailers and laugh to myself because I know these designs will never sell here. Some of these outfits that sell in the Indian market try to market the EXACT SAME products to customers in the USA, AU, UK and Canada! That simply does not work.

Are they looking out for you? Does your overseas partner care if you succeed or just looking at you as a one-timer. Ultimately if you succeed they succeed. That’s how I see it, but that is not how all manufacturers operate

Timeliness – When you order from overseas manufacturers, you are going to wait 30-60 days from the time you make your order and payment until your jewelry is ready.

In summation, there are benefits to buying directly from overseas, but if you decide to go this route think it through carefully. There are considerable risks and inconveniences that you will incur along the route, of that I can guarantee you.

The author is the owner and operator of Wholesalegemshop.com, a trusted supplier of wholesale silver and gemstone jewelry for small businesses across the globe.