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December Special: Orders over $200 receive $7 off shipping.  

Let the games begin!
News reports are calling for a Holiday shopping season that is at least as good as last year's, if not better. From initial feedback, things seem to be going well.

We've got the Canvas Tote and the Thelli Bag back in stock. Both are good quality and have proven themselves great sellers.

Check out the Tucson Blowout pages. We've added new rings, earrings, necklaces and pendants over the past couple of weeks. Great prices, beautiful designs. These are terrific value, especially considering the recent increases in the price of silver!

Article: To Web or Not to Web?
So the internet has been around a while now, and the dazzling growth rates of the early years have leveled off somewhat. We all know that this Holiday millions of shoppers will spend billions of dollars online. Recent numbers say something like 46% of all US shoppers will make at least one Holiday purchase online.

Maybe you've thought about getting a website, and maybe you've even done so with limited success. Is it really worth it to build a site and maintain it? You can now find web site hosting for under $30 per month with lots of bells and whistles like ecommerce capability and merchant services (credit card processing).

The most important part of starting a website having a strategy. You should consider several issues when making a decision to start a website for your company. What is the ultimate goal of your site? How much time and money are you willing to spend?

For most businesses, selling retail products on the web is a difficult proposition. At last count there were more than 45 million websites on the internet. Add to the mix ultra-competitive sites like Ebay, Amazon.com and Overstock.com, and it can be difficult to generate enough traffic to make any money. For this reason, many brick and mortar stores use their website as a means of promoting the store itself rather than as a vehicle for online sales.

Keep it simple: showing your hours of operation, store location, upcoming specials or events, a list of products, and photos of merchandise can be a great way for customers to find your business. More importantly, the website can serve as a means for repeat customers to find out what's new and exciting at the shop. Of course, this also means updating the site regularly.

Ten years ago, you needed to know html in order to build a site. Now most web hosting companies offer an interface that allows you to make most or all of the additions to your site through a browser like Internet Explorer. This user-friendly software often comes bundled with the cost of monthly site hosting. Often a web hosting company will have several options for hosting, including initial set up, ecommerce, newsletter management, site stats, merchant services, etc. Often it is best to have an experienced designer do the initial set up so the overall look of the site is attractive and functional. After the site is up and running, updates can be done quickly and easily once you get the hang of the software.

We started indiasilver.com in 1996 with a shoe string budget and a small product line. With much less competition back then, we were able to place in the top ten for search terms like "wholesale silver jewelry" and "hanging lanterns." Eight years and thousands of dollars later we are still generally in the top ten for these search terms, but it is a laborious and ever-changing proposition to stay above the masses.

Which brings us back to the original idea of having a strategy. If you are hoping to start a retail site from scratch that competes with the big dogs, you better have deep pockets. If on the other hand you want to use the site to augment the business you already do face to face, then your website can be a relatively inexpensive and effective proposition. As the site grows in popularity, you may even want to start selling online. The key to a successful site is all in the planning.

December Birthstone: Blue Topaz
Topaz comes in many colors: blue, yellow, pink, brown, green and clear. Orange-red "Imperial" topaz is the rarest.

Topaz has a hardness of 8. As with all gems, protect topaz from scratches and sharp blows. Also avoid large temperature changes (don't leave topaz near a heater vent or in a hot car).

Do not clean topaz in a home ultrasonic cleaner. The best way to clean topaz is warm soapy water. Clear topaz is commonly irradiated and heat treated to become blue. Yellow and brown topaz is often heat treated to become pink topaz, since natural pink topaz is extremely rare.

Reputable dealers will not use the following misleading terms: "Bohemian Topaz", "Madeira Topaz" and "Occidental topaz" are really yellow quartz (also known as citrine). "Nevada topaz" is really smoky obsidian. "Spanish topaz" is really orange-brown quartz. Topaz is found in Africa, Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, Mexico, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Russia, and USA (Colorado, Maine and Utah).

Highlights of the Site
New Arrivals section has all the latest goodies.
Blue Topaz is the birthstone of the month,
New additions to the Tucson Blowout
rings, earrings, necklaces and pendants
Lots of new CLOSEOUTS!!!!

The next few weeks are the biggest of the year for most of us. We at Whirled Planet would like to wish you a safe, happy and prosperous Holiday Season.


Mike McGinnis
Whirled Planet
808-822-2335 tel.
888-408-0072 toll free (US only)


New Arrivals:

Canvas Tote
Back in stock. Great bag with funky Indian advertisements. Just: $4.50
Photo Locket
Double sided locket with two panes of glass. Insert two pictures back to back. $7.50
Thelli Bag
Made from exotic metallic sari borders, these purses are great for everyday use. Price: $3.50

December Special:
$7 off orders over $200

New Arrivals:

5 Stone Fancy Earring
Part of the Tucson Blowout earrings. Beautiful chandelier like design. Can't beat this price: $9.50

Faceted Stones Pendant
Eight faceted stones set in handmade silver setting. Gorgeous design, just $9.25

Square Jali Ring
Hand carved design on each of these elegant rings. With nice faceted stone, just $4.35

Our Promise:
You may return any item for any reason. We have a no-questions-asked policy. If you get something you don't like, for any reason, just send it back!

About Us:
All our silver jewelry is guaranteed sterling (at least 92.5% silver), and whenever possible each piece is stamped to indicate this. All our stones are genuine.

Please visit our FAQ page for questions about shipping, ordering, payment methods, etc.

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Visit our past newsletters archived online by clicking here.