New Bagging Machine Sourced Online

Shipwreck Beads, Olympia, WA, a major supplier of beads and associated products to the jewelry and clothing accessories industries, needed a new bagging machine.

In the past, it would search in phone books or directories to find a supplier. In September 2000, Shipwreck Beads owner Glenn Vincent typed in the keywords “bagging and/or packaging” on Apple Computer’s Internet search engine, Sherlock. Vincent found Sharp Packaging System’s Web site ( and researched its bagging machinery. Sharp (Sussex, WI) includes a photo and video of its machinery, explanations of standard features, specifications and options, and lists the base retail price. “I really spent quite a bit of time on the site,” Vincent told Net Sourcing. He then contacted Sharp over the telephone for specific information on its products. “[After researching online], I was more informed and able to make a purchasing decision a lot faster than if I had to wait for information via the mail or even fax,” he says. Shipwreck Beads bought a BPS-2™ bagging machine with a thermal-transfer imprinter. The purchase was made offline. “I spent $27ꯠ before I even saw the machine,” says Vincent. “I had to wait 40 days for the equipment because Sharp builds each machine to order.” When asked why he decided to purchase offline, Vincent replied, “This is new territory. I am much more familiar now, but there are specific questions that come up that I would not know how to ask online. You need someone who is an expert and who is live . . . and I hate to type!” Nevertheless, Vincent estimates that researching the equipment purchase via the Web saved about a week’s worth of sourcing time. —E.F.

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