Opening the Pandora Braclet Box
September 12, 2011 4:14 AM   Subscribe

Pandora Braclet. My wife would like one. I want to appease the wife. Have you bought one online (in US) if so, where and were you able to save money via buy it in the store?

Is there anything you regret about it, anything I should know before hand except braclet size? ...etc
posted by bleucube to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I avoided the Pandora store, and went to a well-regarded independent gift boutique with a Pandora franchise counter. It was very quick and easy to find what I wanted, even during the X-mas rush, and cheaper than the mall store. I'd suggest springing for the more durable barrel clasp.

Be aware - there are a ton of Pandora "compatible" beads out there, that are not official Pandora beads, nor do they fit on the bracelet all that well. Some gift-shops and jewelers don't distinguish the real from the knock-offs, or carry only the knock-offs and claim they're real.

On the other hand, there are independent artisans, some of whom will be local, who make beautiful beads that fit in just well with the main-line Pandora stuff, and will be marked and marketed as "compatible" by the better shops.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:26 AM on September 12, 2011

If you're interested, I can put it together for you. Contact me.
posted by Yellow at 6:20 AM on September 12, 2011

It is hard to make super savings on Pandora beads. Though you can find deals of the buy $100 worth of beads get a free bracelet variety in stores and there are few good online sites out there.

The main problem with buying online say on eBay is that Pandora beads are forged a lot and it's easy to get a cheap knock. Though there are good eBay sellers out there it is worth getting a bit of a feel for the beads before trying to buy online. Pandora is very strict on controlling the pricing, quality control that sort of things so will not let any legitimate dealers heavily discount any of their items. So basically if the price is too good to be true it most likely is.

You can get Pandora "knock offs" and there are a lot of other similar brand out there, I have some Australian "Lovelinks" beads which are very cute and of a similar quality to Pandora but I have never seen them for sale in the US.

Etsy is a great place for one off beads and you can find a huge selection of very interesting munaro glass beads on there as well as silver ones.

Pandora has a very good guarantee for any problems with their jewelry which is one advantage to using a RL store. I have even change a bracelet I had for 3 months that after I got some beads on turned out to be too small. But that is void if you've used other brands on your bracelets, so make sure to take of any non Pandora beads if you take them back.

When buying a bracelet make sure it is loose when you first get it, you want to be able to get 2 fingers or about an inch or so of play in there because once you get the beads on the bracelet gets tighter.

Don't do what my mother did and use chemical cleaners on the beads, it strips of the black that they specifically put on them to highlight the details of the beads. Only clean them with a silver cleaning cloth and lightly rub. Don't wear them into hot tubs or pools for the same reasons.

I am addicted to Pandora beads and while my husband moaned when I first got one he loves it now as he is pretty much set for any and all present buying he just gets me a bead or 2 and I'm happy. As he hates present buying he talked his mother into getting one too.
posted by wwax at 6:22 AM on September 12, 2011

You don't have to give it to her fully 'loaded.' Buy the bracelet, and a number of beads, and get more for gifts. Nice opportunity for 'thinking of you' gifts throughout the year, and an easy answer to 'what to get for birthday, Mother's Day, etc.'
posted by theora55 at 8:50 AM on September 12, 2011

My mom just got one of these, but she's been having us get her beads from this jeweler on the Cape. He makes his own Pandora-sized Cape-Cod-themed beads. They're quite lovely, though I don't know how his prices compare to Pandora. Like I said, the bracelet is new, so I haven't looked in to the branded beads yet. At any rate, take a look around at your local jewelers and see if they offer anything similar, and maybe the prices will be lower.

Like wwax, I had great luck getting glass beads on Etsy for far, far less than advertised by the jeweler. Just double check measurements and buyer reviews, and you should be safe!
posted by Fui Non Sum at 9:26 AM on September 12, 2011

Contracry to the replies above, some of the "compatible" beads are nice and fit fine.

I bought a bracelet for my wife at local jeweler last year when they had a special, and I buy more beads -- official and compatible -- at different holidays/events/milestones. The jeweler doesn't much care which ones we buy. :7)
posted by wenestvedt at 11:07 AM on September 12, 2011

Is your wife attracted to the look of Pandora bracelets, or to the name and cachet they confer to the wearer? Does she tend to go for trendy things and costume jewelry most of the time, or does she only wear jewelry when she wants to "dress up"?

I ask because I'm the type that appreciates fine jewelry for special occasions, but I don't care about brand names, so most of the time I just go for a look that I like or that matches my outfit. I don't care about wanting, say, a "Coach" handbag, but one that is the right size for my stuff.

So figure out why your wife wants the Pandora bracelet (you know her best), and then you'll know whether to get the "compatible" beads from Etsy, etc., to fill it in or if you'll need to stay with the brand name.

If going purely with brand name, consider purchasing a starter bracelet with a few beads and then adding others for special occasions, like an anniversary, her birthday, or Christmas. It's not worth going into debt over a bracelet.

Also, "appease" is a weird word choice. It has negative connotations. If you are only buying this because she's mad at you and you want to get on her good side, then by all means use "appease". If you want to do this for her because it means a lot to her, maybe don't use such a loaded word.
posted by misha at 1:22 PM on September 12, 2011

"... Is there anything you regret about it, anything I should know before hand except braclet size? ...etc ..."

I bought an old girl friend several hundred dollars worth of Pandora bracelet charms, at a local Pandora retailer. I loved every minute of her and the sales clerk oogling her existing charm bracelet, and her wide blue eyes as I nodded first at this, and then at that, new charm.

"... Pandora Braclet. My wife would like one. I want to appease the wife."

Hell, man, do you love the woman, or not?
posted by paulsc at 10:25 PM on September 12, 2011

Thanks all - I will go with starter braclet and go from there.

Yes Appease very bad word. I meant I want to give her the stars and the moon because I love her and want to make her happy.
posted by bleucube at 7:28 AM on September 14, 2011

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