As you know, Rings & Things puts out a catalog every 2 years. (Our 2009-2010 catalog is coming in the New Year!) Part of the catalog-production process is to review and revise prices as needed.
For the last two catalogs–that’s 4 years–we chose to not raise gemstone prices across the board but rather “eat” vendor price increases we received over the years. Unfortunately this year we are forced to implement a price increase for most gemstone beads.
The reasons for the price increase are varied:
- Lack of “rough” material means higher prices for finished gemstones. Gemstones are not a renewable resource.
- Competition for high-demand gemstones has increased prices.
- Vendors have given us multiple price increases over the years.
- The US dollar has lost exchange value compared to the Chinese Yuan (RMB).
- Inbound freight cost has increased over 15%.
- China, where most gemstones are processed, has implemented three cost-of-living minimum-wage increases for its workers.
- New EPA-style laws in China raised our prices.
- China has changed their tax laws, which caused an increase in prices.
- Our desire to maintain a higher-quality gemstone than some of our competitors requires us to seek out new vendor sources at higher prices.
The average price increase is about $1.25 per strand at wholesale price–but many items went up only 25 to 50 cents. A few items have had a larger price increase due to the multiple vendor price increases we’ve received over the last four years.
We appreciate your business over the last several years, and our commitment is to continue delivering you the highest-quality gemstone beads at the best prices we can. We think you’ll see and appreciate the difference as always!