In this case study, I will describe how the Pelotek team sourced Turkish zamak jewelry via our service, “Price Quotes from Turkish Manufacturers for Product Groups.”
A US-based client who wanted to find Turkish metal jewelry manufacturers hired us. The target product was not Turkish zamak jewelry at the beginning. The client provided us with 52 product photos and told us that they were made of melchior, a type of alloy. Our task was to identify the main Turkish manufacturer of these jewelry items and contact them for price and quality information. We completed the task in 17 days and charged $160 for it. In this blog post, I will show you how we did it and what I learned from it.
- 1 Difficulties in Sourcing Turkish Zamak Jewelry
- 2 Surprising Melchior Jewelry Facts
- 3 Exact Match: I Found the Turkish Zamak Jewelry Manufacturer
- 4 Conclusion
Difficulties in Sourcing Turkish Zamak Jewelry
Before actually working on Turkish zamak jewelry, we wasted around 4 days searching for jewelry manufacturers that use melchior as the raw material.
Melchior is a copper-nickel-zinc-tin alloy. Its silver-like appearance, corrosion resistance, and low cost make it popular in metal jewelry. However, melchior can tarnish, cause allergic reactions, and require careful care. Thus, some jewelry makers favor zamak and brass, metal alloys that can be plated with silver or gold. However, why did we choose Turkish zamak jewelry manufacturers over melchior?
Please read the post: Turkish Jewelry Manufacturers to get an idea of the Turkish jewelry sector. I can only say that Turkey is one of the leading countries in the world for metal jewelry production due to low labor costs, high quality standards, and easy access to raw materials and markets. Turkish zamak jewelry is the most popular.
Difficulties in Supplier Identification Phase
The client sent me 52 product images of metal jewelry that they wished to import from Turkey. They informed me that these jewelry items were made of melchior and that they were looking for the Turkish company that crafted them. The first thing I did was use Google Lens. However, Google Lens returned no results, indicating that the products were either unique or were not generally available online. Then I decided to look for all the Turkish metal jewelry manufacturers. This was the point at which I realized the client might be wanting Turkish zamak jewelry.
Change in Search Keywords from Melchior to Turkish Zamak Jewelry
I had to work on 20–25 photos and check until the 12th page of Google search, as well as all Turkish marketplaces, to find the target Turkish manufacturer. I also used Facebook groups and a women’s forum to ask for recommendations and referrals from other people who knew about these pieces. I excluded gold and silver jewelry, as they were not relevant to my task. I determined 10 metal jewelry companies and called three of them. At this stage of my search, I confirmed that the client was looking for Turkish zamak jewelry.
Surprising Melchior Jewelry Facts
As I was contacting the suppliers, I learned that the Turkish jewelry suppliers did not use melchior, but instead used zamac or brass and covered it with silver or gold. They said that they did not use melchior because it caused problems in the exporting phase.
Melchior Jewelry at Turkish Customs
Turkish customs require the products to have test reports that confirm that they do not contain nickel. Therefore, it was almost impossible to export melchior jewelry. Besides, it was suggested that I look for Turkish zamak jewelry manufacturers since zamak and brass were better substitutes for melchior for metal jewelry and they were more durable, shiny, and affordable.
Consulting Jewelry Experts
To find out the reality and convince the client about the raw materials of jewelry, I decided to contact some metal jewelry experts. I contacted two Izmir-based metal jewelry professionals with years of expertise and understanding. I emailed them photographs of the products and asked them what material they thought they were made of.
Both jewelry masters agreed that the products were not made of melchior but of zamac and brass. They explained to me how they could tell the difference between the materials by looking at the color, shape, weight, and texture of the products. They also told me that melchior was not a common material for metal jewelry in Turkey. They confirmed that I should stop looking for melchior products and focus my search on Turkish zamak jewelry manufacturers.
Exact Match: I Found the Turkish Zamak Jewelry Manufacturer
I gave the client the above information, along with the phone numbers of the two experts. After clarifying the raw material issue, I focused on Turkish zamak jewelry manufacturers. I also told the client that I had good news for them, as I had found the exact match for the products that they wanted.
Yes, you read that right. I had found the exact match for the products that the client wanted. It turned out that the photos that the client sent me in the first place were all from a Turkish company in Istanbul. Surprisingly, this company was already on my first list of suppliers. But the client refused to contact them because they could not see their products on the company’s website.
I immediately contacted the company and asked them if they were the original manufacturer of the products. They confirmed that they were and that they had been producing metal jewelry for over 30 years. They checked the client’s photos and said that these models were too old. They said that they had a large and diverse collection of metal jewelry and that they could customize them according to the customer’s preferences.
I asked them to send me their catalog and price list, as well as some samples of their current products. They agreed and sent me everything that I requested. I was convinced that I had found the right source of Turkish zamak jewelry for the client.
I was very happy and proud of myself for completing this task successfully on behalf of my team. I had found the Turkish zamak jewelry manufacturer that the client wanted. I had also solved a mystery and corrected a mistake about the material of the products.
I reported everything to the client and sent them the catalog, price list, and samples of the products. I also introduced them to the manufacturer and facilitated communication and negotiation between them. The client was very pleased and satisfied with my work. They thanked me for my professionalism, honesty, and diligence. They also apologized for their wrong information.
I was very happy and grateful for the client’s feedback and trust. I also felt that I had improved my knowledge and skills in sourcing metal jewelry from Turkey.
This was one of the hardest sourcing tasks that I had done in my career with my team. However, it was also one of the most rewarding and enjoyable ones. I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and that you learned something from it too. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me. I would love to hear from you. Thank you for your time and attention.
Please note that I could not share the original photos to protect the privacy of my client. Furthermore, the client was not US-based. My next post is another case study from the same client: Jewelry dropshipping from Turkey: A $55 Challenge