Retail store workers dealing with fashion jewelry, untie!
February 3, 2010 6:51 PM   Subscribe

I work for a manufacturer looking to sell fashion jewelry (necklaces, bracelets, earrings that sell for appx $5-$20 at retail like the kind you'd find at stores like Claires, H&M, Forever 21, etc) to retail stores. For purposes of this question, we're looking to sell to general retailers like the ones above, NOT to jewelry stores. We're trying to figure out packaging as it relates to polybags. Most stores, such as the ones above, display their fashion jewelry without polybags i.e. people can touch and feel the jewelry.

What I'd like to know is: when retailers get their fashion jewelry orders from the manufacturers, distribution centers, etc., does the jewelry come in a protective polybag that need to be removed before being put on the display racks? Or do they come "as-is" without any outer wrap? And if they do come in polybags, are the polybags sealed/stapled or otherwise shut? Or are they "open ended," allowing for the necklace or earring to be simply pulled out of the bag before they're put on the displays?

Does anyone have experience with this or maybe have worked in a similar retail store that sells fashion jewelry? Any advice, feedback, or anecdotes would be appreciated!
posted by edjusted to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total)
During the (mercifully brief) summer I worked at Charlotte Russe, I had the privileged of replenishing the jewelry display wall one morning. Each piece was wrapped in its own polybag which was, I believe, stapled shut. 10 of these little individual bags were then sealed in a larger polybag.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 6:57 PM on February 3, 2010

My daughter worked at Wet Seal (mostly a clothing store, but a lot of costume jewelry, just as you described), and I just asked her how their jewelry came. She says each carded piece or set was indeed in a plastic bag, which had to be removed before displaying the item. Some bags were zip-loc type bags, and some were just heat sealed. Then, a certain number of the small bags were within a large, sealed plastic bag. And there were a number of large plastic bags shipped in a single box.
posted by The Deej at 7:01 PM on February 3, 2010

I worked at a place that was like an independent Claire's. Most of our merchandise came bundled by the dozen or gross in a big clear plastic bags, but some of our merchandise came from local workshops in big black plastic trash bags. So we didn't really use protective poy bags. A few necklaces with elaborate beading came poly bagged (resealable with a little flap and some sticky strip) and we displayed them in the bag but customers rarely bought those. And most earrings came on a plastic card. We didn't have proprietary labeling the way Claires does, so our merch went out naked.
posted by abirae at 7:02 PM on February 3, 2010

I used to spend a lot of time taking those bags off in the Juniors department when I was doing visuals for a big department store. I believe that two of the manufacturers were the same as one's that Claire's uses in their Icing stores.

The jewelry comes in all kinds of ways - most of the time it was in a bag that had been folded and taped shut one item per bag, but I can also remember stapled bags and completely open as well. You really will find every variation depending on the supplier. I remember that for things like necklaces and belts sometimes they would be in lots of 5 or so, twisted into a kind of loose rope, and then bagged.

All of them had already been labeled and carded, though. We never did any of this at the store level.
posted by Tchad at 7:05 PM on February 3, 2010

I work at a small, independent retail shop that sells a variety of jewelry. Our average price point is higher than yours (it's closer to 40) but we do stock a variety of jewelry - some high-end craft jewelry from US based artisans, some from a pretty generic wholesaler.

With this range of vendors, almost 100% of our jewelry comes in unsealed polybags. The higher end jewelry is also wrapped in some flexible, thin foam, sometimes each individual polybag (that's the really high end stuff), sometimes groups of five polybags or so.

To preserve our image of a small-town independent shop, we are slightly obsessive about undoing any packaging we receive. All our jewelry is removed from the company's backing and placed onto our own cardstock with our logo. (That's the owner's neurosis; if it were my shop I don't think I'd do that.) It seems to me that your targeted customer base wouldn't do so, but I do think it important to have a sturdy, attractive backing for your product.

I will say that packing your product carefully is tremendously important. As someone who unpacks from scores of companies, I'm amazed at how much comes in damaged. This might be less of a problem for something as small as jewelry, but my store has decreased orders for companies with consistent damages due to the chain of hassles it causes. So, pack wisely!
posted by missmary6 at 7:14 PM on February 3, 2010

I worked at Brighton and each piece was in it's own bag or tin (some items came in devoartibe metal tins). It was a PITA, to be sure.
posted by Brittanie at 7:34 PM on February 3, 2010

Holy cow. Make that *its* and *decorative*.
posted by Brittanie at 7:35 PM on February 3, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks everyone!
posted by edjusted at 12:20 PM on February 4, 2010

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