Why Are Cuban Link Chains so Hard to Find?
Cuban link chains — maybe you’ve seen them dominating our list of the hottest chains in hip hop. Or maybe you’ve seen athletes and other celebrities wearing them. They’re stylish, valuable, and they make a statement. Megastars like Kevin Hart and Jay-Z chose Cuban link chains to show off their success, which as we all know, is plentiful.
So, you want to get your hands on one, and show the same sort of flash your favorite rapper shows. You set about getting ahold of one, but you ran into a brick wall in your search: you either 1.) couldn’t find these chains in stock anywhere near you, or 2.) found an online seller’s terms to be absolutely unacceptable.
If you’re like everyone else, that was a perfectly normal experience. Cuban link chains, while immensely popular, aren’t always easy to get around your neck. There are a few reasons for this, and we’re going to explore those reasons in detail. Here are the three main ones. Make sure you stick around until the end to hear the good news:
Cost of starting up
Let’s say you want to open up a lemonade stand. That’s a business venture with a low startup cost. All you’d need to start serving the finest lemonade in your neighborhood is some kitchen supplies, some lemonade mix, some cups, and a spot on the side of the road. At most, we’re talking about ten or fifteen bucks.
You can see why even children find it to be an easy venture.
Gold and jewelry distribution falls way, way on the other side of the spectrum. Let’s say you want to get into the business of selling jewelry — even without knowing the business, you probably (correctly) assume that it’ll cost a bit more than a lemonade stand. Even if you open a modest, small time shop, it can still cost a fortune to get off the ground.
You need real estate, and you need a great deal of security for that space. Most importantly (and more costly): you need the merchandise. That means buying some of the most expensive metals on the planet in bulk, and sometimes, the labor to transform it into sellable jewelry, too. Don’t forget shipping, either.
There are tons of other costs. Speaking from personal experience, we can tell you that a whole showroom’s worth of jewelry costs quite a lot of money. How much do you think it would take to stock an entire store — even a small one — with bling? Thousands? Obviously. Tens of thousands? Yep, even for really tiny stores. Hundreds of thousands? Often enough! Millions? Walk through the Diamond District, and you tell us what you think.
The point is this: the jewelry business is hard to get into because of the very high startup costs associated with it.
Now, keeping that in mind, imagine how much more expensive it is than that to get into the business of selling Cuban link chains, or other hip-hop styled pieces? It’s enough to make you cringe. Even reputable, large-scale gold and jewelry distributors shy away from stocking this sort of jewelry.
That’s exactly why it’s tough to find a store near you that stocks these chains. It’s simply too expensive for most vendors to get into, so they don’t. Simple as that.
Some retailers try to get around this by providing Cuban link chains without physically stocking them. When you place an order with these businesses, they turn around and piece together the order using their contacts. There’s problems with this approach, though. Most notably:
Turnaround times are too high
Turnaround times — in other words, the time it takes for retailers to deliver a Cuban link chain after it’s been ordered. We can say with confidence: the industry-standard turnaround times on these items are positively terrible. Many facilities are located overseas. This means high shipping costs, and long travel times.
Both can be a nightmare to deal with.
Think of how many links there may be in the distribution chain. The metal comes from one place, and then has to be shipped somewhere (usually) far away for manufacturing. Then, the jewelry has to make its way into the country to the retailer’s location, which often requires processing from U.S. Customs.
This all takes time. Those businesses who do offer Cuban link chains without physically stocking them are offering them under the condition that you wait — and you wait a long time — for your jewelry. Not to mention that you pay for all the costs associated with bringing that jewelry to life, and to the states.
Most businesses, even those in a position to put together a deal with distributors, refiners, shippers, etc. don’t want the potential hit to their reputations. Taking a month or more to deliver someone their product in what’s usually a same-day-transaction industry could generate some pretty harsh online reviews.
Time isn’t the only thing to consider when you’re stocking Cuban link chains. Consider the merchandise itself. Namely, its dimensions.
Difficulty of accommodating all individuals
When it comes to jewelry, we’ve all got different needs and different tastes. Circling back on the difficulty of stocking our hypothetical jewelry store, consider this: not everybody is the same size. But you have to fill your display cases with jewelry for all sizes. You and I probably don’t wear the same sized bracelet or watch, and retailers have to account for that.
When it comes to hip-hop jewelry, or any high-cost jewelry for that matter, that can quickly become the most expensive part of the entire process of stocking them. When a chain costs $50,000, and you need to stock three of them just to accommodate everyone, costs could get pretty unforgiving, and fast. It’s all because of body styles and personal preferences — there’s rarely a one-sized-fits-all approach when it comes to expensive jewelry. “Custom” is always popular. Just take a look at this Cuban link chain:
A store’s owner would have to be crazy to assume this size would be popular. Still, without one hanging around in the display case, some company would have lost this young man’s business to someone else.
As you can see, stocking hip-hop chains is not something that’s easy to do. They’re often very large, and people don’t buy big, flashy, expensive jewelry just to hide them under their wardrobe. These pieces are meant to be showed off. That means big, flashy chains that are downright expensive to stock. This keeps businesses out of the game.
There are other difficulties to keep in mind. Do you stock just gold, or silver? Both? Prepare to pay! How about stocking both hollow, and solid-body chains? We don’t mean to beat a dead horse, but costs can spiral out of control.
But hang on a sec!
That all sounds like very bad news, indeed. But, there’s good news:
We’ve overcome all of these hurdles, and are one of the only companies in the industry that stands ready to hook you up with the Cuban link chain that’s perfect for you. We’ll get it done faster than anyone else, and our inventory is one of the most impressive collections in the world.
Get in touch with us today to get started.
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