Being a Swarovski club member has always been a plus for the collector. Since 1987, the Swarovski Crystal Society has annually released and featured exclusive figurines only available to the SCS community.
Since the inception of the SCS, times have changed. For a number of years, the Swarovski club pieces grew tremendously in value. It seemed inevitable….pay for the figurine, store in safely in its original Swarovski Box with its Swarovski Certificate of Authenticity, wait a few years, then sell it for double, triple, or even higher from the original purchase price. What a deal! First were the Caring and Sharing series (1987-1989), Mother and Child (1990-1992), Inspiration Africa (1993-1995), and Fabulous Creatures (1996-1998). All performed very well on the secondary market after that restricted availability of one year to SCS members and immediate retirement.
The next Swarovski series were Masquerade (1999-2001) and Magic of Dance (2002-2004). The six years of human figurines (instead of animals) were not popular with the SCS members. Nor did it do any favors to the selling prices of the Swarovski crystal figurines following retirement. To date, Swarovski Masquerade remains the lowest selling Swarovski Annual Editions on the secondary market and online auctions.
When Swarovski returned to animals, they turned to a ‘sea’ theme: Wonders of the Sea (2005 -2007). Swarovski created a display, available in both a clear and a colored version. Then Swarovski allowed all annual editions in the trilogy to be available for purchase until the final annual edition retired. So effectively the first in the series was available for three years. While Swarovski SCS members were pleased with the decision to go back to the animals, they were not pleased with the extended purchase time of the ‘annual editions’…not so ‘annual’ any longer.
|Swarovski 2010 Annual Edition Tiger, no longer an SCS Exclusive|
Swarovski introduced ‘Endangered Species’ (2008-2010) and reverted to the original distribution method, or so I thought. I always purchased mine at the beginning of the year, and never paid attention to the end of the year. This year (I don’t know why), I did pay attention. I was surprised to see that the Swarovski SCS Tiger 2010 was still available online in January, 2011. It was explained to me that Swarovski has had a one month grace period for those last minute new SCS members. OK…I guess Swarovski is catering to the procrastinators and avoid destroying the excess produced. But now, it is February and the SCS Tiger is still available for purchase on the Swarovski web site. It is no longer advertised as an ‘SCS 2010 Tiger’, but as the ‘Annual Edition 2010 Tiger’. Furthermore, I was able to purchase the item under a fictitious name and a fictitious address without an SCS member number and complete checkout process. The only reason I won’t be ending up with another annual edition tiger is because I entered an expired credit card number. I was shocked when the reality set it that ‘SCS 2010 Annual Edition Tiger’ is retired and it is now available for purchase at the Swarovski web site under the new name Swarovski ‘Annual Edition 2010 Tiger‘ by ANY Swarovski collector. Just how many years will Swarovski continue to produce it under the new name? So what is the point of being in the SCS now knowing this? Perhaps this is really no different than how the crystal brand sold the Swarovski Limited Edition Rhinoceros, Elephant, and Bull ….they had multiple drawings of SCS winners and when the Swarovski Numbered Limited Editions never sold out to SCS members, Swarovski eventually allowed the general population to purchase from them from their web site. While I understand it’s all about making a profit, personally I am not real happy about purchasing what is advertised as an ‘exclusive’ item, then the manufacturer changing the rules of the game. It seems Swarovski may have ‘leftovers’ or another possible scenario is that Swarovski plans to continue production and marketing if there is significant interest from the Swarovski web site. Either way, the lack of exclusivity is a bum deal for SCS members.