It might just be me, but I am heavily into small business TikTok and crystal TikTok, and it’s lead me to see a trend I don’t particularly like. After one viral TikTok reached the pages of many crystal sellers on TikTok, other business owners started to follow suit. The new and booming trend is that crystal sellers give out a free scoop (or many) of crystal confetti with your order every time you purchase something from their online store. And I personally think this trend is part of a big issue in the small business community.
Now, what exactly is crystal confetti? Crystal confetti is whenever you buy something from an online crystal store, they give you a scoop out of a bin full of other crystals. And these bins contain items that range from very small tumbled crystals to huge chunks and slabs, pillars, bracelets, pendants, herbs, anything in between. The purpose of these confetti scoops is to be a freebie that the customer receives in their order as a little thank you for giving the owner their business. If you ask me, this just feeds into the very problem that a lot of small business owners are facing.
I am not one to tell a small business what to do by any means. It’s your business, your child, your pride and joy, and I would hate for anyone to tell me what to do. My issue is with the expectation these trends place on businesses.
Small businesses have it hard. Compared to corporate giants like Amazon, Target, and Walmart, who have the means to produce items and sell them for cheap, how can they compare? Getting the word out for a brand new business is hard, and the initial investment certainly hits deep. And this trend of freebies is only hurting more.
As a consumer, I love freebies. I think that it’s cute when I get a free little sticker in my order, and I still have many of them that I have received. But as a consumer, I don’t expect a business to break the bank to offer me free items. If your scoops of crystal confetti have such big-ticket items as opalite eggs, which sell for almost $20 a stone. And these high costs can mean two things for a business: they are greatly losing money, or you’re paying too much for your items due to the owner having to increase prices to still gain a profit.
The issue comes where consumers are expecting these freebies: they’re expecting to get these great scoops with great items, and well if ABC can do it, why can’t you? These scoops are giving competitors a competitive advantage where almost no one really wins, except for the consumer.
Now that’s not to say that this idea of crystal confetti scoops always turns a loss for a small business. I think that idea could be so much better and more effective if it was executed better. Not putting high ticket items in these scoops and leaving them for the customer to buy, making scoops full of smaller pieces, and giving a threshold of a dollar amount of when you will receive a scoop. This may look like one scoop if your order is greater than $35, has smaller chips or tumbled stones, or anything of this sort.
I think seeing trends like these across TikTok is an interesting way to see how consumers can impact the actions of small businesses, but a lot of these trends tend to be more harmful to the growth and profit of these companies. In the long run, that’s what this is all about: being able to grow more and increase the amount of money one earns from their business. So, no matter how much I may love to get a scoop of crystal confetti myself, I can’t support this gouging of small business owners.