Insider’s Guide to Buying Italian Charms
Purchasing Italian charms on eBay is exciting because there are thousands from which to choose. It is important in such a large forum to understand criteria for screening sellers and deciding which to use. Here are some rules of thumb for making smart purchases of Italian charms on eBay:
Pay attention to both quality and volume of feedback. Of course, any positive feedback is a good thing when choosing a seller. But sellers who have compiled a large amount of positive feedback over time are a good bet for ensuring a satisfying experience.
Shipping Terms and Restrictions
Pay attention to the fine print concerning shipping. This can make a big difference in your savings! Seek out sellers who offer specials such as free shipping, combined shipping or both. Since differentiating between these terms is key to substantial savings, we will define the terms and common policies of eBay sellers.
Free shipping is generally offered when the buyer orders a certain dollar amount of merchandise. This amount is often set high, so look for sellers whose threshold is reasonable to achieve. Being mindful of shipping policies, you can plan your orders to take advantage of these deals. Working with sellers who offer these discounts will result in substantial and consistent savings.
Combined shipping offers are another great way to stretch your dollar. With these deals, there are a couple of advantages. First, your items will ship together. This way, you will receive the items simultaneously. There is also a smaller chance that one of the items will be delayed or lost en route. It is wise to choose a seller whose policy allows your items to ship in the same package.
Second, seek a seller who not only will ship your items together but will offer a discounted shipping rate for multiple items. For example, a seller might charge basic shipping for the first item and a reduced rate for subsequent items shipped in the same package. You can save by combining your shipping, even if you are not reaching the seller’s threshold for free shipping.
Too-low Prices on Licensed Charms
Licensed charms are bona fide, trademarked images that can really upgrade your Italian charm collection. You can collect charms featuring your favorite Disney character, sports team, brands and logos. However, you want to be cautious with too-low pricing on licensed Italian charms. Below average prices on these items is often an indicator that the charm is not a genuine licensed product. There are many knockoffs in circulation, so pay careful attention to quality.
A copyright is a form of protection, provided by United States law, for creators of original works. Licensing also protects the consumer! Authentic licensed charms offered from an Italian charm company are legitimate, official designs that are obtained through an agreement with the company that originated the image. Authentic charms do not have a “knock-off” appearance. Their look is unmistakably genuine and the design is visibly superior in quality to an unlicensed charm.
Choose a seller who has consistent experience offering Italian charms. Those sellers specializing in the specific product you collect will be able to offer superior customer service and likely a better quality product for a lower price.
Do your research! Do a little sleuthing around for information on the seller and their product. Once you find a seller that you are happy with, you can stick to that source knowing that you’ve educated yourself. It is a good idea to learn the seller’s experience and history, whether they sell multiple products or specialize in one type. Sellers who have focused in one area of merchandise naturally have more experience with the product. Their experience will improve your buying experience!
Research not only the experience and reputation of a seller, but the product itself. Get familiar with specific manufacturers and their product. eBay’s top seller of Italian charms, Pugster, marks each of its Italian charms with the Pugster imprint. When you see the name imprinted on the bottom of a charm, you will then know how it was produced.
It is useful to know what materials are used in manufacturing the charm. Look for imprints denoting sterling silver (grades such as 925) or stainless steel on the underside of the charm.
What methods are used to produce the charm? For example, manufacturers use either soldering techniques or glue in charm production. If your charm has been soldered it will be much more durable and have a longer lifespan. Some charms are hand-painted and some are mass produced. This method will affect the appearance of the charm’s details. Make sure you know the answers to these questions before bidding.
About Italian Charms
While traditional charms dangle, Italian charms feature individual pieces soldered flat onto the surface of a charm link. These flat, modular pieces form an Italian charm bracelet when they are hooked together. The standard sized Italian charm is 9mm, which is measured diagonally across the piece. However, Italian charms are also available in small (5mm), large (13mm) and mega (18mm) sizes. It is important to remember that since Italian charms have standardized sizing, they are compatible across brands.
When looking into purchasing Italian charms, you will come across the term starter bracelet. You will need to begin with a starter bracelet, which consists of eighteen blank links. In order to create a personalized Italian charm bracelet, these blank links are replaced, one by one, with selected designs of Italian charms. The modular style allows the charms to be removed and replaced with other designs as desired.
The intrigue of Italian charm collecting is that with so many styles available, the possibilities are endless. With such variety at your fingertips, you can create a truly unique collection. Choose from Enamel painted charms, laser charms, photo charms, licensed charms, double links and super links to add to your growing collection.
The X2 charm, developed by Pugster, features a double-thick enamel coating. This design is heralded by charm collectors as offering the finest detail available on hand-painted Italian charms. With this design, detailed scenes and characters come to life like never before.
Getting Started – Choose a Theme!
Italian charm collecting is similar to creating a wardrobe that is thoughtfully put together to reflect your personality and taste. Before you begin purchasing individual charms it is a good to decide on how the pieces will work together. You will want to choose a theme for your bracelet. Making a decision ahead of time as to the style of your bracelet will make your individual charm choices easier and ensure that you will not purchase charms that don’t make sense when combined.
You may choose to focus on one color or color combination. Other theme ideas include hobbies, career or family. With so many choices available in charms, you can get as specific as you’d like with your theme. Another idea is to make a keepsake bracelet that tells your life story. With this theme charms can be selected to commemorate achievements, and various aspects of your personality and life.