Jewelry and watch niches have undoubtedly grown in the last decade, as consumers have taken advantage of their dramatically increased online buying options. That is really just the beginning of what has happened, especially if you consider the Web's impact on the wholesale world. Not only are retailers reaping the benefits of selling designer and knockoff styles of watches, necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings, but wholesalers and liquidators are, too. While previously such products were made for fashion, they are now also produced for marketers targeting sports aficionados and devotees of the latest mobile devices.
There is great potential for sales of cell phone and iPod charms, and many sellers are also offering incredibly profitable cubic zirconia products. These products and more can be found at WholesaleCentral.com, with sellers like Siskiyou Fine Pewter Gifts, GameTimeShop.com, Universal Time Zones Inc., ProCharms Inc. and Waliga Imports & Sales, Inc.
Jewelry That Sells
A glance at its website confirms that Waliga Imports & Sales Inc. is one of the crème de la crème importers and distributors for the jewelry and accessories industry. The product selection and the pleasing, functional aesthetic at www.waligaimports.com tells you all you need to know. After browsing for a few minutes, it is evident that Waliga's staffers keep a close eye on trends in the jewelry market.
"Due to the high cost of 14 carat yellow and white gold, we see an increasing demand for sterling silver and vermeil [gold over sterling] jewelry," said Sherri Waliga Cantara, who co-owns Waliga Imports & Sales, Inc. with her sister, Michele Aubin. "We are able to offer a complete line of necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings in sterling silver and vermeil at the very low price of $ .59 a gram."
The Johnston, RI, wholesaler also offers what she called, "high quality ladies' estate type," fashion rings, in sterling silver and vermeil. The ladies' estate rings feature large cubic zirconia (CZ) stones, as seen on popular television programming and in high end department stores.
They are offered with potentially incredible margins, coming in at $10 per wholesale unit and sometimes retailing as high as $120. In addition, the company's 85,000 square foot facility consistently gets orders out in a fast, efficient manner, as it has all items in stock.
"We cater to wholesalers, catalog companies, fundraisers, amusement industry, dollar stores, boutique stores, drug stores, etc.," Cantara said. "Making our customers happy, of course, is of the utmost importance to us. It is worth mentioning that our extensive line of CZ fashion jewelry is available in necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings, in various types of packaging. We find that pearls and rhinestone jewelry are always in the mainstream of basic fashion."
From High to Low End
Some items never really seem to go out of style. While the watch market has been hot for decades, unique watches recently have made cash registers ring. One company in the forefront of this trend is Universal Time Zones, which manufactures and wholesales its proprietary QUEMEX brand of watches.
"We have been making them for more than 20 years," said Zora Chagany, Co-President, Universal Time Zones, Inc. "For the price, you get great items that are very comparable to higher end watches. They range from $3 wholesale for the simple models, up to $70 for the multiple function styles."
Her firm also has a huge selection of other brands and products, which can be browsed along the left hand navigation on www.quemexnyc.com. All in all, the company keeps thousands of SKUs in stock at its 4,000 square foot warehouse in New York City. "Outside our proprietary brand, our most popular items are the Casio watches," Chagany explained. "Kenneth Cole, Fossil and Bulova are starting to do fantastically well, too, as we integrate some higher end brands."
One of the great things about Universal Time Zones is that the firm provides price points that allow retailers to test products in small doses. For instance, the company's minimum order is only $100. This gives buyers a low risk, high reward scenario when ordering from www.quemexnyc.com.
Meanwhile, a purchase of $250 gets resellers a free ground shipping bonus. "We get our orders out in one to two business days," Chagany said. "We have had an established superb reputation on the wholesale market for a long time. We build trust with our customers, because that is really where everything starts and ends."
Score Big with NFL, MLB & NCAA
Of course, the sports world has been colliding with fashion for the last decade or so. Thankfully, Siskiyou Fine Pewter Gifts, part of Siskiyou Buckle Company, specializes in licensed sports jewelry and watches for National Football League and Major League Baseball teams, as well as popular NCAA squads. The firm offers dangle earrings and chain pendants, as well as studs and flashing styles (the latter for football only).
"Typically, our sports earrings do the best," said Karyn Christensen, Marketing Director, Siskiyou. "Our dangle logos are our top sellers out of that particular group. They include emblems for all of the major teams. The earrings are generally for females, but our chain pendants are very unisex."
The items range from $2.80 per wholesale unit to $3.50 at www.siskiyougifts.com. They attract distributors and retailers of all sizes, including stadium shops, mall kiosks and convenience stores. The Medford, OR firm also has pocket watches and other terrific items available for wholesale orders, offering sellers the chance to cash in on their local sports markets with a unique product.
"The styles we have are three dimensionally sculpted, hand painted and a lot higher quality than you would normally see with the 'trinkety' jewelry," Christensen explained. "Sports fans are incredibly faithful to their teams and want to get their hands on any products they can. Our items are all officially licensed, too."
Teams and NASCAR
Some merchandisers like to focus on tighter niches. For instance, GameTimeShop.com has invented a sports schedule watch line that includes, among many other things, a stylish emblem of the fan's favorite team. The watch alerts the wearer whenever his or her favorite team's game is about to begin by playing its school anthem, team fight song or, "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," in the case of Major League Baseball squads.
"It is available for every pro baseball and football team, basketball and hockey team, 20 NASCAR drivers and 75 major college sports brands," said Patrick McGeough, President, Game Time, Inc., Fishkill, NY. "They wholesale for $55 per unit, no matter the quantity, while retailing usually for $99. It is everything a sports fan wants in a watch."
The interactive watch helps the fan keep in touch with almost anything about his or her favorite team or sports figure. It even includes past sports history info that is stored within its microchip.
In the case of NASCAR licensed versions, the watch will tell the wearer which racers were the top five finishers for NASCAR races last year, as well as the champions for an event going all the way back to 1975. A quick note for East Coast buyers: With interest in the New York Giants still strong off a Super Bowl win, that team's watch promises to be a big seller all the way through the end of holiday season 2008.
McGeough said that the retailers or resellers picking up his interactive watch styles include drop shippers, the actual sports teams themselves, stadium stand merchants, mall kiosks, fan stores, general gift stores, etc. The company will also be launching five new products at www.gametimeshop.com this year. Two of them involve lines of ladies' watches that feature charms and rhinestone looks. Another includes a stainless steel collection with 23 karat gold accents, and there is also a chronograph watch with Italian leather. These watches wholesale anywhere from $30 to $50 per unit, depending on the style. But Game Time also has unique lines that are designed for the most executive levels of sports fandom. "We have wholesale price points all the way up to $7,500," McGeough said. "We have dozens of different styles that can fit your needs."
Mobile Devices Market
Another company that makes its revenue off licensed sports products is ProCharms. The six year old firm expects cell phone charms to be the big hit for 2008, as its pro versions wholesale for $9 per unit and the collegiate items cost $8 per unit.
"We have seen a resurgence in top charms for our jewelry items," said Jennifer Gonzalez, CEO, ProCharms, West Sacramento, CA. "They were hot five years ago, but they have really come back strong. The higher end, nicer charms are continuously doing better and better. They are well made products. You know that when you buy from us, you are getting a true product, unlike all of the knockoffs out there."
In addition, ProCharms has a diverse customer base, selling to mall kiosks, sports focused shops, Hallmark stores and boutiques via www.procharms.com. Minimum orders are $250, while free shipping is available for purchases over $500.
"This year, we are premiering a new kind of cell phone charm," Gonzalez said. "It is a 'peel 'n stick' charm, which starts at $3.50 per unit wholesale. It is not just for cell phones. The item is also targeted at other mobile devices like Game Boys, iPods, iPhones, etc. What makes it unique is that it is the size of a quarter. But it has a 3M sticky backside and will stick on anything. It is really geared towards the female buyer. The mobile device charms product line constitutes an emerging market."
For more information, contact:
Waliga Imports & Sales, Inc.
1467 Atwood Avenue
Johnston, RI 02919
Universal Time Zones Inc.
1201 Broadway, Suite 909
New York, NY 10001
Siskiyou Buckle Company
3551 Avion Dr.
Medford, OR 97504
10 Stage Door Rd.
Fishkill, NY 12524
P.O. Box 980383
West Sacramento, CA 95798
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