How to Take Care of Your Stainless Steel Jewelry


Most fashion jewelry products on the market are made of brass. Since brass jewelry is usually made of a combination of zinc and copper, it can often tarnish, or oxidize. If you wear brass jewelry, it can often leave a green mark on your skin when you sweat or wash your hands.

Stainless steel jewelry has become popular in recent years as a direct counter to the “green finger” effect. Stainless steel is durable, resistant to rust, corrosion, and tarnishing. However, just like any other material, stainless steel can still become scratched and stained.

Luckily, stainless steel jewelry is very easy to clean compared to brass. Here are some tips that you can follow to take care of stainless steel jewelry:

1. Water and soap

  • Add some mild dishwashing soap in warm water.
  • Dip a soft lint-free cloth in the soapy water and then gently wipe the stainless steel jewelry with the damp cloth until it is clean.
  • Use a moist cloth dipped in clean water to wipe the remaining soap off your jewelry.
  • Pat dry the jewelry well with a clean towel, and then air dry.

2. Baking soda and water

  • Mix the baking soda and water until you get a paste.
  • Use your soft-bristled toothbrush to apply the paste and gently scrub the jewelry.
  • After you’ve done this for all over the jewelry, rinse the jewelry in warm water until the baking soda comes off.
  • Wipe off the water with a cloth and then polish the jewelry with a polish cloth (not the one for sterling silver).

3. Toothpaste (use plain and white silica-free toothpaste)

  • Put a small amount of toothpaste on a damp soft cloth and gently rub the jewelry along the grain. For tough stains, use a soft bristle toothbrush.
  • After all the stains have been removed, immerse the stainless steel jewelry in clean water and rinse thoroughly.
  • Dry the jewelry with a soft cloth and polish it with a polish cloth.

How to store stainless steel jewelry?

Last but not least, storing your stainless steel jewelry properly is an important step after the cleaning work is done. Unlike silver and brass, stainless steel jewelry requires much less work to take care of and maintain. However, you can’t just throw your stainless steel jewelry anywhere. It’s very likely it will get scratched if it’s placed with other metals. So the most proper jewelry storage method is to keep your stainless steel jewelry in a clean and safe place, away from other items. Avoid storing your stainless steel jewelry in the same jewelry box as your rose gold rings or sterling silver earrings.

If you want to store all of your jewelry in the same container, you can store your stainless steel jewelry in a fabric-lined case with separate compartments, or wrap pieces individually in soft tissue paper.

We hope you find the above-mentioned tips useful and if you’d like to share your methods taking care of your stainless steel jewelry, leave a comment and let us know!

Best Men’s Accessories for Father’s Day This 2019

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 16, 2019. Your potential buyers are likely looking for a gift for the dads who consistently go above and beyond. We know this is not an easy task. Luckily, we did the majority of the legwork on your behalf. In this list, we compiled what we think are the 5 best-known archetypes of dads in relation to fashion accessories. Which category does your dad fall into?

The dad whose only item of jewelry is his wedding band: Tiger’s Eye Ring – TK378

Face it, part of becoming a dad is looking like a dad but it doesn’t have to be that way! There’s at least one guaranteed piece of jewelry most dad’s will wear every day and that’s his wedding band. Why stick to the same boring band day in and day out? The average man wants to look presentable but also does not want to be flashy, so the traditional sparkly stones aren’t going to be suitable for the standard dad. That’s why our pick for the most dad-friendly ring is the tiger’s eye. The polished stainless steel band is sleek yet understated and the polished brown sheen of the tiger’s eye stone matches brilliantly with a pair of brown leather dress shoes. It even goes well with a pair of nicely fitted of jeans and a casual blazer for a more laid back look. If he is going to be wearing a ring anyway, why not choose one that will make him feel just a little bit less ordinary.

The old t-shirt and jeans dad: Stainless Steel “Ivory” Necklace – TK2004

Maybe he’s lazy or maybe he’s bohemian. In either case, this type of dad wears the same few 80s metal band t-shirts most days and the holes in his jeans weren’t there when he bought them.  It’s no question that many men like this embrace a more natural and more simple way of dressing. But just because you’re bohemian, doesn’t mean you can’t still look like a gentleman. The key difference between looking slick and looking like a slob is accessories. When you pair a ratty t-shirt and torn jeans with a well put together accessories, you signify to the world that you meant for those holes to be in that shirt. Try to pair this more casual look with our stainless steel “ivory” and faux leather necklace. This stainless steel pendant is inspired by the natural look of ivory or shark tooth without any of the harm. Worn with a faux leather necklace and even the laziest outfit can look put together.

The cool dad: Serpent’s Trace Bracelet – TK575

The coolness of a dad is dependent on the age of the beholder. There’s no one cooler than your dad when you’re under 12 years old and there’s no one lamer than your dad when you’re a teenager. Even though this is an absolute law of nature when dealing with your own dad, when we look at another person’s dad, we know a “cool” dad when we see one. For those motorcycle riding, adventure sports loving “cool” dad, nothing fits better than this serpent’s trace bracelet. The ridged pattern of this bracelet is inspired by deadly snakes and other dangerous creatures. Wearing this bracelet lets the cool dad stay adventurous even when he’s just in the garage working on his Harley.

The dapper dad: Cufflinks – TK3290

Not all dads are slobs and if they are now, there’s a good chance they weren’t a slob before they became a dad. To the current and former dapper dads, there’s no better way to elevate a formal look than with cufflinks. Just wearing cufflinks shows that you care about how you look since the shirts themselves can be hard to find. To take your French style cuff to the next level, we recommend our gunmetal semi-precious cufflinks. The subtle glimmer of stones pairs elegantly with a white or off-white dress shirt.

The breadwinner: Money Clip – TK2091

You’ve seen it before, some dad’s just only want to talk about money. Whether it’s too much money or not enough, it’s safe to say that this type of dad already has a favorite accessory: cold hard cash. Then what’s better than getting an accessory for his favorite accessory! The interwoven pattern on this money clip is inlaid with a handsome black enamel. The design evokes playfulness as well as seriousness and is perfect for the guy that wants to show off the greenbacks every once in a while. It doesn’t hurt that it’s less bulky and easier to carry around than that old trifold wallet he’s carrying.


We wouldn’t dare claim that these 5 archetypes of dads cover all styles of dads but we would like to think that we got close. With these 5 styles of accessories, we are sure that even if your dad doesn’t fit into any of these categories, he will still feel loved this Father’s Day.

Own a clothing boutique? Increase your bottom line with accessories.

Do you own a fashion boutique? Perhaps you are in charge of maintaining or decorating a retail space. Even if you sell a small number of handmade items at a local farmers market or flea market, you are leaving money on the table if you are not selling accessories to pair with your clothing! Not only do small accessories delight your customers with additional ways to catch their eye, but they also dramatically increase your revenue per square foot of retail space. Accessories such as rings and necklaces add to your existing product line while taking up minimal display space. These small items also have “impulse purchase” appeal due to their eye-catching nature and often more inexpensive prices. Finally, accessories can help you sell more of your existing clothing by letting you re-frame your existing line in a new perspective.

Do’s and don’ts of displaying accessories

Now it’s easy to talk about adding accessories to your fashion line, but how do you actually do it? Here we will go over some easy do’s and don’ts to maximize your accessories selling potential.

Do: Utilize your existing space

Do you already have display mannequins to display your clothing line? Focus on what you already have and make sure your designs flow naturally. For example, if you already have a hat as an accent piece to your ensemble, add a chunky necklace to focus the eye upwards.

Also, not all displays are equal. If shopping for a new mannequin, consider one with articulated fingers. Not only does this type of display open you up to new display poses, but it also allows you to add rings which can have similar profit margins compared to much larger clothing items while taking up significantly less floor space.

Don’t: Use a flat lay that falls flat

Laying items flat on a table is probably the most basic and common way of displaying small items and accessories. There is not necessarily anything wrong with this method but avoid lining up items in perfect rows and groupings. Packing items together too tightly tends to create a camouflage effect where no individual item stands out.

Do: Use a theme and irregular display shapes and patterns

Breaking up regular patterns and shapes will draw attention to details where there was none before. These uneven patterns might make the perfectionist in you go crazy but that’s kind of the point. Regular patterns bore the eye. Try variations on height, color, materials, and shapes. When you do group items together, try to do so in a way that tells a story such as silver items from a particular place or gold items that evoke a certain time period.

Do: Optimize for impulse purchases

DA230 Bow necklace set
LO4217 – Vintage style layered CZ necklace
3W1537 – Long wrappable jade and crystal necklace

Fashion jewelry can be the perfect “impulse” purchase. Much like a candy bar at the checkout aisle, small and eye-catching items can give customers that extra dopamine hit right when they are already in the mood to buy. The price point is important here. Overly expensive items will not trigger that impulse purchase response. The right price depends on the relative price of other items in your store but under $10 or $20 is a good rule of thumb. Also, remember to utilize space to your advantage such as stand up displays. Veritical displays take up less space at the checkout line and can be placed in the direct eye line of the customer.

Don’t: Add accessories just for the sake of it

TK3499 – Stainless steel statement necklace

You will often not want to add an accessory for no reason. An accessory should be able to accent a particular item for a particular reason. In this case, the parallel lines created by this long stranded necklace helps complement the geometric design of this strapless dress. This complementary factor can not only help you sell the accessory but helps to accentuate the dress to make a potential buyer see your primary item in a new light.

Do: Reuse existing designs for multiple seasons

The beauty of selling accessories as a complementary item is that they are never the star of the show, so you can get away with reusing the same item more than once. This allows you to reduce inventory while still staying stocked for all seasons.

TK3611 – Jet black achromatic dangle earrings

Wrap up

Even if you sell primarily clothing, you should not forget about accessories. Small fashion jewelry such as rings and earrings not only adds another revenue stream with minimal display space, but it can also help you sell your existing products.

Have any questions? Leave us a comment below or email us at We would love to hear from you!

Free Alternatives to Gmail for Custom Email Domains

You finally did it. You found web hosting, you bought the perfect domain name, and you have set up your first online store. Even though you designed everything yourself, it looks professionally made.

Great! You got your first customer inquiry. But oh no, you’re still answering emails from your personal Gmail account you set up in 10th grade. Sure, some people might not notice that you’re answering their questions as but then again, you would have noticed. You can probably get “” and call it a day but it’s still not THAT professional sounding. People are already suspicious about buying from a new online store. A Gmail account might not make people more suspicious but it certainly doesn’t help. To make matters worse, you already bought that perfect domain name for your website, why can’t you just use it? Below we are going to compare some of the top ways to get free email hosting for your custom domain using email forwarding, Zoho, and Yandex.

The typical way… go with Google

But before we get started, let’s just go over what most people do. Google’s G Suite includes productivity apps like Google Docs and Google Drive but also includes a version of Gmail that lets you use your custom domain. Best of all it’s free… if you signed up before 2012.

Given that you’re reading this now, you are probably too late for the free version. At $5 per user, it’s not a terrible price for the convenience of Gmail and the included productivity apps. But then again, these are the same apps you get already get for free as a normal Gmail user. Also, $5 per user per month is not a lot for just one person but might add up if you have a few friends or family that could help out with customer support. Also what if you want an account or a or an account. While the costs are still small, it could still add up to a few hundred dollars a year for something that FEELS like it should be free. So what are the alternatives?

Email Forwarding

The simplest way to get your custom email domain routed is to use email forwarding. In essence, this isn’t much different than having one mailbox with your domain and just automatically pressing “Forward” to every email that comes in. Since these emails are forwarded, you can actually send all these emails to your existing Gmail account. With the right configuration, you can also, more or less, send emails as your custom domain directly from your Gmail account but it might show up to the receiver with a message saying “sent via”. In all, this is a fine solution if a little bit of a “hack”. Many people have used this method for years with no ill effects. You can find detailed instructions on how to do this here.


  • Easy
  • Can still use Gmail
  • Can send and receive as your custom domain


  • Kind of a “hack”
  • Your domain registrar needs to support email forwarding
  • Some domain registrars might limit the number of forwards
  • You have to configure Gmail to allow a “less secure apps” mode
  • People still might receive a message saying that your email was “sent via”

Zoho Mail

Zoho is an Indian productivity software company with their US headquarters in California. They are probably most well known for their CRM software that is a more inexpensive alternative to Salesforce. With their bundle of products, they also offer a version of their email services with custom domain support that is free for 5 users. The free option is a little hidden on their website but you can find a link to sign up here.

Much like G Suite, Zoho offers a variety of other free productivity applications when you sign up but most are arguably worse than Google’s offerings. The email client is fine. There is a small learning curve but some features are, in my opinion, easier to use than Gmail, such as group email accounts.

The big downside to the free Zoho Mail account is that there is no SMTP or POP access. This feature is only available in their paid version and this basically means that you will not be able to access Zoho mail from 3rd party apps. They have their own email app for both iPhone and Android which is decent but if you need to have all your emails in your current smartphone app then this might be a dealbreaker.


  • Full email services
  • Includes suite of free productivity software
  • Not a hack – won’t have issues with weird sender addresses and forwarding


  • Limited to 5 free accounts
  • Limited to their smartphone app for free accounts


Yandex is essentially the Google of Russia. As such, they offer very similar services, which includes a Gmail equivalent that includes custom domains for free. You can have up to 1000 free email addresses on each domain each with unlimited storage. There are free API integrations (which you probably won’t need, but still nice to know it’s there). Yandex includes SMTP and POP3 access or free which means you can use your preferred smartphone app to receive your emails. If you wanted to, you can even configure your current Gmail to send and receive your email through SMTP and everything will be synced. This syncing means that there would be none of the issues that you would see if using email forwarding.

The only potential problem is that the service is based out of Russia. While it is possible that your data might be more at risk in Russia compared to the US, Yandex is a well-established tech company and is probably well prepared to protect your data against attackers. In terms of privacy, given that many US firms are currently in the middle of data privacy scandals, I can’t say they would be better than an American firm but I also can’t say for sure that they would be worse. In terms of government surveillance, the Russian government certainly does not have a good track record, but personally, I don’t think the Russian government cares my emails nor do I care if they see them. I do not plan on going over there any time soon.

With that said, privacy is not my main problem with Yandex. The biggest problem is that their servers are physically located in Russia. Most internet traffic coming out of Russia is benign but some organizations will mark all internet traffic coming from a certain location as spam and automatically block that traffic. While this is not a good practice and would not happen if you were emailing someone using a major email provider like Google or Yahoo, this might still happen to very cautious and conservative organizations that run their own emails servers. Specific examples that come to mind would be hospitals and government agencies. Even though even among these organizations, this blanket blocking is rare, it can still happen and can be a real headache if it occurs.


  • 1000 free email addresses
  • Unlimited storage
  • Free productivity apps
  • Can use your existing smartphone and desktop email apps
  • Can be synced with your Gmail account


  • Is physically hosted in Russia


So in the end, what should you do? If someone were to ask me, I would tell them to just forget the headache and pay for email from Google or Microsoft (which is a little cheaper at 5 emails for $100 a year). With that said, when I personally set up email for a new domain, I use Zoho. Are all the little annoyances worth $5 a month? To me, yes it is but ultimately, you will have to make that calculation for yourself.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to write a comment down below and we will get to you as soon as possible!

How to add a product on Amazon without a UPC

Amazon is one of the easiest platforms to use… as a customer. As a seller, the story is quite different. If you have ever listed a product on the Amazon marketplace, you know how frustrating it can be. Waiting 15 minutes for inventory updates to show, pictures not uploading correctly and cryptic error messages. These are problems you will run into constantly if you use Amazon’s selling platform. However, the worst experience is when you are trying to do something that’s non-standard. Today we will do run through one of these activities by creating a new fashion jewelry listing without a UPC.

The problem

Amazon expects you to list an item by looking for an existing universal identifier such as a UPC or their own Amazon identifier ASIN. They do this to provide a better experience to end users since it would reduce the number of repeat listings. This is great for customers but what about new items that do not have a UPC, like jewelry.

Amazon does allow items to be listed without a UPC but often an exemption is required. For some products, like unbranded jewelry, Amazon gives a blanket exception and allows you to list against an ASIN that they generate for you. However, at the time of this writing, the Amazon Seller web interface no longer lets you do that.

Trying to add an item without an existing ASIN does not allow you to save.
The same problem occurs when trying to add a variation, which is all but necessary for items that require sizes such as jewelry.
As long as a section up here stays red, you can’t save your new product.

In the past, when you listed an item, like jewelry, without a UPC, you can choose to use an ASIN and the system would generate an ASIN for you. You could then add the product under the newly generated ASIN. As you can see in the screenshot above, this is no longer true.

Even reverting back to the original interface also does not work.

You still have the option to return to the old interface.
Still can’t save in the old interface.

So officially, you can still apply for an exemption or you can use a third party ASIN generator to get the ASIN to input into these forms, but that can be very costly and time-consuming.

The Workaround

Fortunately, we still have a workaround. We can still use upload templates to create new listings without having to use UPCs. Today we will walk through how to upload a new fashion ring listing with multiple size variations into the Amazon Marketplace using a template.

1. Download a template file

First, download the correct template from Seller Central.

Choose the appropriate category.

Since we are going to want to create a product with a size variation, make sure to select the “Advanced” template.

Choose the Advanced option if you are uploading a product with variations. If you do not have variations then you can choose the Lite option.

2. Fill in the necessary fields in the template

The first row will be the “parent” listing. The parent listing won’t have a price or quantity but the “child” listing underneath it will. In our case each child will be a different size variation.

Each child should have a different seller SKU. These can be anything you want since it will only be visible to you but it would be useful for you to name them so you can easily track your products. In this example, I will make each child SKU the parent SKU with the size appended at the end. You don’t have to have a different Product Name for each item, but it would be a good idea to add the size to each title to make it easier for customers differentiate your listings and for yourself when it is time to fulfill the item. Choose “ASIN” for the Product ID Type and leave the Product ID field blank.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is fill-out-template-without-asin.png
You can leave this field blank.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is fill-out-template-without-asin.png
You can leave this field blank.

3. Add image links

Be sure to add an image link in the Main Image URL field, even for the Parent listing.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is remember-to-add-image-links.png
The Main Image URL needs to be set for the Parent listing as well

This URL should be a publicly accessible link, so if you are using Google Drive or Dropbox, make sure that the link has the proper permissions set. If you are uploading an Alamode product, you can find our image links on the product page. You can also find all image links in our inventory list.

Our product page links are publicly accessible so they can be used directly on the upload template.

4. Fill in the parent child relationships

Not all fields need to be filled out, but make sure to fill in the “Variation” section and mark the first row as “Parent” and the following rows as “Child”. Each child will need a Parent SKU. In this case, the parent SKU will be the value of the “Seller SKU” field of the first row. Note that the Parent SKU and Relationship Type fields of the parent row should be left blank.

5. Check your file

After filling out any other optional fields, such as the bullet point descriptions, size, and quantity you can check your file. Although optional, it is recommended that you check your file for errors before you formally upload it. While this does add an extra step in your workflow, it is a lot easier to fix errors before your official upload than to try to fix errors after the fact.

It is recommended that you check your file before final submission.

The results of your check will be available on the next tab. It might take a few minutes to generate your results.

If you have a very large file, you might want to use the email alert feature to be monitored when the report is complete.

6. Upload your final file

Once everything looks good, perform your final upload in the section below the file check section on the first tab.

And that’s it! You can monitor the upload on the third tab. If there are no errors, the final tab will show you if your listings have uploaded successfully. Be aware that it can take up to 15 to 30 minutes before your listings show completely. Very often listings will appear without images. Give it a few minutes, if the images do not show up then you can edit the listing manually.


I hope this guide helps you list your products on Amazon more easily. If you have any questions, be sure to leave a comment below or send an email to and we will try to get back to you as soon as possible!

Are Swarovski crystals worth it? Are Swarovski crystals real?

As someone in the fashion jewelry industry, you hear this a lot. Are these CZs real Swarovski’s? I don’t want fake diamonds, I want a real Swarovski! For someone in the know, these questions are kind of nonsensical. But if you are asking these questions, it is not your fault! There is definitely a lot of misinformation in the fashion jewelry industry. So today we will figure out what Swarovski crystals really are and what you should know when buying them.

What are Swarovski Crystals?

Crystals, like Swarovski crystals, are also known as lead glass. As the name implies, lead glass is when lead replaces some of the content of a more typical glass you would find in everyday life. Adding lead creates a glass with an increased refractive index. For our purposes, you can describe a material’s refractive index as the ability of the material to bend light as light travels through it. This bending of light, along with the faceted cut faces, is what allows gems to sparkle and gives gems the “fire” that we all look for. It is no surprise that diamonds naturally have an extremely high refractive index. Swarovski crystals are faceted lead glass beads produced by the Swarovski company.

So are you trying to tell me that Swarovski crystals are just cut glass?

Well, they aren’t just any cut glass, but yes. By most definitions, Swarovski crystals, and all crystals used in jewelry, are basically a form of cut glass. But just because it is “only” cut glass doesn’t mean that it’s not special. By the same token, diamonds are just precisely cut minerals. With that said, we can answer one common question. Are Swarovski crystals real? Yes they are real. They are real lead glass. But more likely when a person asks this question, they are actually asking “are Swarovski crystals precious gems?”. In this case the answer is, no, they are not.

Swarovski crystals are non-precious lead glass meaning that the intrinsic value of the material is not very high. They do have a valuable brand name, however, which causes them to have higher prices compared to other crystal suppliers. At one point, Swarovski did have a noticeably higher quality crystal compared to other manufacturers. However, this is no longer the case and there are now many manufacturers of high-quality crystals. It is for this reason that we here at Alamode Fashion Jewelry tend not to use Swarovskis in our products. We still use them in some cases and we will certainly use them if a customer requests them, but in general, they do not look any better than any other crystal on the market.

Are Swarovski Crystals Worth it?

This leads us into our other common question: are Swarovski crystals worth it? The general rule of thumb for jewelry holds. If you think looks nice then it is worth it to you! But maybe you are asking: should I pay more for this ring with a Swarovski than this ring made with a different crystal? I would say the answer is if you value the Swarovski brand name, then yes it is worth it to be able to say it is a Swarovski. If you primarily value just the look of the product, then no since it will most likely look indistinguishable from less expensive crystals.

Swarovski Crystals VS Cubic Zirconias

Another common perception is that Swarovski crystals are “better” than cubic zirconias (CZ). Again, the answer to the question is up to interpretation. I think it could be argued that Swarovski has a better brand name compared to CZ which has a reputation for being cheap and fake. If the argument is that Swarovksi has better name recognition among the general population then yes, I think that you can say that Swarovski crystals are “better”. However if you are talking about objective looks, then I do not think you can say that Swarovski crystals are better than CZs. CZs have a higher refractive index meaning that they will sparkle more and have more “fire” compared to crystals. CZs and crystals can have comparable clarity but CZs are much harder so they will be much less likely to scratch compared to crystals. Often it is this scratched surface that makes stones look dull and “fake”.

Why use Crystals at all?

Now with all these reasons why crystals do not stack up to CZs, does that mean we should not use them at all? No! Crystals still have their place in fashion jewelry. In general, crystals are actually less expensive than CZs which makes them perfect for micro-pave settings. Micro-pave settings will usually use much smaller stones so each individual stone does not need the same level of clarity and detail of a larger stone. By using crystals versus CZs, the material cost of a piece can drop significantly without as significant of a drop in visual quality. Crystals are often also foil backed. This means that there is a reflective metallic foil added to the back of each crystal. Manufacturers add this foil to give the stone more fire at the expense of clarity. But this backing also means that crystals can be glued instead of manually set with prongs or other settings. Again, this is useful for very small stones where individually hand set stones would be too laborious and costly.


Hopefully, we were able to clear up some misconceptions about crystals and some of the stones used in fashion jewelry. It is true that Swarovski has a great brand name but that does not make it automatically better. While crystals might not be the best stone to use if visual quality is the main concern, they still have an important place in fashion jewelry.

Does fake jewelry make you look cheap?

Even though our company Alamode Fashion Jewelry primary sells fashion jewelry (we also carry a vast selection of 925 sterling silver and semi-precious stones — BTW), it may come as a surprise when you hear our answer. Can fashion jewelry make the wearer look cheap? Yes, yes it can. BUT so can flawless diamonds, rubies, and 24k gold. It all depends on how you wear it!

“Cheap” when talking about jewelry can mean inexpensive and economical or it can also mean tacky and tasteless. Both versions of “cheap” can be possible when talking about costume or fashion jewelry so we will tackle each category one at a time.

Cheap (inexpensive)

Well made fashion and costume jewelry will be indistinguishable from jewelry made from genuine precious metals and stones. In fact, cubic zirconias (CZ), the most common diamond simulant, only differs from real diamonds because they often had TOO much fire and sparkle. The industry has since dialed in the fire as to be indistinguishable from diamonds to the naked eye. Generally speaking, the easiest way to quickly spot a cubic zirconia is if it is too large and flawless to be found outside of a safety deposit box. The problem, though, is that cheaply and inexpensively made jewelry is common, especially at high volume fast fashion retailers such as H&M and Zara. Take these earrings from H&M for example.

These earrings look cheap because they are. They were probably stamped out of sheet metal and use a gold colored alloy instead of plating it with 18k gold and probably cost around $0.20 to produce. This type of accessory has its place but know that for probably two or three dollars more, you can buy similar earrings at retail that was cast, instead of stamped, and gold plated instead of using a gold tinted alloy.

Even more obvious than cheap base metals are cheap stones. Again, take these rings from H&M for example.

Even when photographed well, it is apparent that these rings are faceted plastic and only even remotely reflective because of the mirrored foil backing. Alternatively, take a well-made fashion ring such as this:

This ring also costs under $5 each and is made with stainless steel and cubic zirconia which are also not defined as precious materials but there would be no way to conclusively distinguish this from a platinum and diamond ring just by using the naked eye.

The key takeaway is yes, costume and fashion jewelry can look cheap but it can also look indistinguishable from the real thing. There will be a price difference between the costume jewelry you can spot from across the store isle versus ones that require a jeweler’s loupe to determine its authenticity but the price difference is often only a few dollars, not ten or twenty.

Cheap (tacky)

Tacky is usually described as ostentatious and vulgar and usually designated for jewelry that is explicitly designed to be pretentious to attract attention. Take for example this ring with a giant center stone encircled by smaller stones around the whole circumference.

If you were to see someone wearing this on the street, you would most likely assume this is fake and probably in poor taste. In fact, this particular ring is made of real diamonds and likely costs over $200k just in the raw cost of the stones alone. Even if this was made using cubic zirconias, it would likely cost $20 or $30 just to produce and would likely look indistinguishable to the naked eye compared to the original. The takeaway here is that you can use all genuine precious materials and still look tacky!

Starting your Fashion Brand on Amazon: A Step by Step Introduction

Starting an Amazon Fashion Jewelry brand doesn’t have to be difficult!

There’s no getting around it, e-commerce is Amazon. Because of Amazon, a significant amount of retail consumers expect 2-day shipping and free returns. Some customers won’t even purchase anything online without 2-day shipping. If you are an Amazon Prime member, this situation has probably happened to you! Many times, when you are purchasing something off of Amazon, you are actually purchasing from a third-party Amazon Marketplace seller. In this guide, we will go through the high-level steps on getting started with selling on the Amazon marketplace. Then, click through the detail links to get the illustrated how-to for each step.

Learn to sell on Amazon

Key terms in this section:

  • Amazon Prime: The Amazon service where customers can receive, among other things, free 2-day shipping.
  • Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA): The shipping plan where you send your products to Amazon and they send it to the end customer. This is the most common way to receive Prime shipping
  • Merchant Fulfillment/ Fulfillment by Merchant: The shipping plan where the seller sends the product to the customer themselves without using Amazon’s fulfillment infrastructure.  
  • Seller Fulfillment Prime: The option to fulfill 2-day shipping as the merchant and bypass Amazon’s fulfillment service
  • Buy Box: The box on the screen on the product page that has the buy button. Only one merchant can have the Buy Box at one time. Beating out other sellers to get the Buy Box is often called “winning the Buy Box”.
  1. Purchase an Amazon Professional Selling Plan

There are two types of Amazon selling accounts, an Individual account, and a Professional account. The individual account is free but has an additional cost per unit when selling and has a monthly sales volume limit. The professional account has no limit but costs $39.99 a month. The idea is that individual accounts are targeted for regular people just selling things they have lying around the house, a few times a month. The professional account is geared toward business owners that want to establish a sales channel on Amazon. While it would be great to start with an individual account and then work up to a professional account, unbranded or self-branded jewelry is one of the restricted categories of products that requires a professional account. So in the journey of starting a jewelry brand on Amazon, a professional selling account is required.

2. List your product

While listing on other e-commerce platforms like eBay or Shopify is as straightforward as just adding pictures and descriptions to a page, Amazon has a few more steps. More specifically, Amazon is only expecting only one product page for every unique product. For example, say you’re listing a brand new iPhone X on eBay. You would simply create your own listing with your own descriptions and your own pictures and set your price. In search results, your listing would show up alongside thousands of other similar listings written by thousands of other people. Amazon does not allow these repeat listings. Instead, if you want to sell your iPhone X on the Amazon marketplace, you will find the existing master listing and simply list yourself as an available seller of that item. You will not be able to edit the listing unless you have “page control” and for a popular product like the iPhone X, it will likely be impossible for an individual seller to get that control. In our case, since we are establishing our own brand, we will not be looking to list as an available seller on an existing item but rather we will create a completely new listing with our own branding.

Find out Amazon product listing guide here.

3. Ship your product

There are two main ways products are fulfilled to end consumers: merchant fulfillment or fulfillment by Amazon. Merchant fulfilled is probably what you are used to. In this plan, you physically box up your own item, buy shipping, add labels and send the package via UPS or another shipping company. Fulfillment by Amazon, more commonly referred to as FBA, is a little different. If your product is registered to be fulfilled using FBA, you will first send your product to Amazon and they store it in their warehouse. When the item is purchased, they will package it and send it to the customer without you having to do anything. The catch, of course, is that they will charge you an additional fee for the service. Also, note that FBA is the most common way for the customer to receive Amazon Prime shipping, Amazon’s free 2-day shipping plan. Yes, there are options for Seller Fulfilled Prime but that is a more advanced topic for another date.

While it may seem easier to first dip your toe into the Amazon Marketplace by using merchant fulfillment, there are many considerations that new sellers will have to contemplate when choosing these shipping options. Because you will have no reviews, it will be difficult to get visibility in the search rankings. Even worse, even when your product page shows up, you will not show up in the “Buy Box” on the right-hand side of the main product page. You will instead only be listed as an additional seller, even if you are the only seller! Using FBA can mitigate these problems to a certain extent. We will do a deep dive into this topic in our Amazon fulfillment section.

While this can be a lot of information to absorb, this is just a brief overview of the Amazon selling process. The process can be difficult but you will find it rewarding once you make that first sale and well on your way to building a sustainable fashion brand. If you have any questions, be sure to leave us a comment below and we will try to answer as soon as possible!

Three things to consider before starting your first jewelry brand

It’s great to have a passion and a dream. The only problem is when everyone else has the same passion or dream! If Instagram hashtags are any indicator, jewelry and fashion design are very popular interests and aspirations. And why not? What can be more exciting than not just being able to make a living off of your passion but also thrive and be celebrated for your own designs? While competition is fierce, all is not lost.

Here at Alamode Fashion Jewelry, we have been behind the scenes for over 30 years supplying, designing and manufacturing fashion jewelry for customers ranging from the largest department stores to small mom and pop boutiques. While not nearly as many startups rocket to success as ones that quietly wither away, here are the three initial questions that all successful fashion jewelry startup brands have to answer before they can find their way.

  1. Are you an influencer or an aggregator?

Do you want people to follow you or do you want to be a follower? While this may seem like an obvious and loaded question, there is no right answer here. In fact, it could be argued that fashion brands that aggregate and can communicate the latest trends are more likely to be financially successful that brands are completely forging new ground. The reason for this difference is simple: a brand that condenses the latest and greatest has a preexisting, built-in audience, while the alternative will have to start from scratch. Of course, an aggregator rarely reaches the heights of notoriety of a unique fashion brand built from the ground up. The good news is you are not locked into one strategy. Many successful small brands have reached success after switching from one strategy to another. The risk is trying to do both and splitting your focus at being the best in your category.

2. Who is your customer?

Your answer to question #1 will help you determine this next question: who is your customer? The most common fallacy is that the bigger the market, the bigger the likelihood of success. In reality, the only thing you will find from a big market is immense competition. Instead, think small. Be the best (and ideally, only) choice that the potential customer will have when looking in your specific niche. Are you an animal lover? Be the brand with the cutest and most luxurious jewelry that matches your puppy’s collar and leash. Into CrossFit? Be the only jewelry that’s safe to wear during an intense training session. The key takeaway here is that the more focused the brand, the less competition and the better the likelihood of success.

3. What is your sales channel?

Another seemingly obvious question: where will you sell your merchandise? Well, it’s the internet of course!

Not so fast, are you going to start your own store? Are you going to build it yourself with Shopify or Squarespace or hire a developer? Are you going to list on an existing marketplace like Amazon or Walmart? There have been many brands that started small on eBay or Esty. Even Nasty Gal famously started as an eBay shop. The problem with these channels is the same as all of the other difficulties listed above: competition. The old mentality of “make a great product and put it out there” no longer works. There is simply too much noise on the internet and you as a small startup will be quickly buried.

Our advice is that while you have to be on the Internet no matter what, think of it as a means to reach your community rather than the other way around. Find your community first. For best results, start small and in the real world. Do people in your church love your tasteful accessories? Offer a coupon code to your congregation. Does your friend run the local farmer’s market? See if you can get a small table to sell your merchandise while promoting your site and brand.

Maybe your community is online. That’s even better! If you’re influential in an online forum or run a popular Instagram account then you’re set. But just remember, your online store should serve your community, not the other way around.

And that’s it! You have a long and fulfilling journey ahead of you. These are just the first few questions that you will have to answer on your path to success and Alamode Fashion Jewelry is always available to supply you beautiful products from our over 10,000 item catalog. We can also model, cast and prototype your existing designs or even just a sketch or image with our DNA Custom Design service. Drop us a line any time at We would love to hear from you!