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Quote du Jour

“Be yourself, no one can ever tell you you're doing it wrong.
~ James Herlihy”

Showing Off

Created by grupo mayan



Shopping at Gem and Jewelry shows

A question was asked on one of the sites I read about having a list before the show to shop from and pre-planning pieces. And a few other comments about going to bead shows.

I go to the International Gem and Jewelry Show two to four times a year. Here are my notes / observations on jewelry shows:

Never been:

If you can swing it – go the first day of a two/three day show – just to see what it’s about (if you’ve never been).

Then if you think you want to join the buying frenzy – get a re-entry coupon for the next day. They often have these – a few shows don’t do this – but the event management’s goal is to get lots of buying people in to keep the vendors happy enough to come back each time.

You can also ask vendors if they have admission coupons…some of the glitzier ones will likely have those.

If you use this tactic – then only go for 1-2 hours that first day… or you won’t want to go back the next day.

Been there done that – have the T-shirt:

Don’t go expecting to be an hour – four or five hours later you are exhausted and cranky and your feet hurt. Plan a minimum set of hours and prep accordingly.

Having someone with you…. they can help you make decisions, remind you of the time and prompt you to get something to eat or drink. If they really care they may help you carry the loot or make car runs to dump stuff off a few times.

I can get my husband to go – but he ends up encouraging me to buy more than I really wanted to spend. ie = $200 ends up as $500 or even $800 in the end. So I had to ditch him for a friend or go alone.

I do try to have a buy list – that said – I seldom have a “complete” list – more or less. I may be looking for findings and chains that are specific.

After the buy list is dealt with… I let my mood and inspiration dictate what I buy, within limits. If I can’t think of several specific ideas as I’m handling/looking at something – I put it down. If I get flashes of 5-10 ideas then it’s buy one or even two strands of whatever. Because at that point I KNOW that I’ll be able to find additional inspiration when I sit down with it later – away from the frenzy of the shows.

Always wear comfortable shoes…and I frequently bring my walking cane – just in case my joints start giving me a hassle.

Stay hydrated! – Bring your own water if they allow it – but be ready to buy some water to sip as you are walking around. These shows get hot and if you get tired or thirsty you may end up with a headache from lack of water.

Bring your own tote bag…to haul your stash in…. these places get crowded and trying to hold on to too many bags of various sizes will drive you crazy or hurt your hands.

Plan NOT to buy things on the first pass…

    Do a quick tour of all – yes ALL the isles/ booths before buying anything.
    See things to buy – grab a card from the vendor and make notes on the back about what’s interesting.
    It helps to write down the booth number too.
    On the first pass – look specifically for the buy list items – and making note of potential materials to revisit.
    Noting prices in general for individual booths. This will help for comparison during the off list shopping.
    After the list shopping is as complete as you can make it…now it’s time to play with the unexpected…have fun with the shopping but keep in mind what’s left of your budget.
    See something that’s a must have? – get those first – even before the buy list – especially if you tend to dwell on what you didn’t buy.

Remember to bring my own business cards, some with a tax id on them and others without. That way if you WANT to be on their mailing list and get free coupons for upcoming shows – just give then a card…it ensures accuracy and saves you time.

Many vendors won’t charge you the tax if you have a business (and can prove it). You may also want to have a copy of your tax id paperwork – just reduce the size of the copy – and keep it on you to back up your claim. If you have a tax id then you should definitely go to the wholesale section first.

As you buy your items try to include the seller’s business card with the receipts…and make some notes – about what you bought – so you remember when you get home. It will also help you remember who ripped you off – if you find out later it’s not what they said it was. It won’t get you you’re money back but you can make notes on who to avoid next time. I always get a card – but the notes on the actual purchase – well – I don’t do this as much as I should…but it’s a habit I’m working on cultivating.

And remember that there WILL be another show…. you don’t have to buy everything THIS time. Some of the vendors also do mail order or web sales, so collect info on those vendors who you would buy from if you could only remember what you already have and had more money in your budget.

Now get out there and keep that economy rolling…… have fun and I hope this helped you in your planning.

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