Tips for Enjoying Gem Show Exhibitions

by on March 3rd, 2015
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Gem shows and exhibitions are the places to go for the latest in jewelry. Cities around the country, including New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, Philadelphia, Oklahoma City, Quiartzsite, and Tucson host the largest exhibitions. The shows, however, aren’t confined to finished jewelry.

What is exhibited includes everything from gemstone roughs right out of the ground to finished jewelry designs ready for retail, complete with the tools and equipment to make them from start to finish. Besides jewelry and gemstones, show exhibits also feature fossils, lapidary, and minerals along with artwork and sculpture created from these natural materials. With such wide coverage of all aspects of jewelry, the shows offer something for everyone.

If you haven’t been there, you’ll want to go. If you’ve been there before, you’ll want to go again. Whether you are looking or buying or tracking the latest trends, here are some tips to make your trip to the show a success.

Have a plan

Make reservations for airfare, accommodations, car rental well in advance if the show takes place beyond your local driving distance. Some shows have multiple venues and are not confined to a single exhibition hall. Plan the length of your stay according to the size and spread of the show in your chosen city.

Call credit card company

Call your credit card company in advance to inform them that you may be making frequent, perhaps large purchases at the exhibition. Give them the dates you expect to be there. Neglecting to do this may result in your credit card being denied at the very moment you need it most.

Bring cash

Gem shows attract international vendors who accept nothing but cash, especially for smaller purchases. If you haven’t brought cash to cover your largest purchase, however, you haven’t brought enough. It’s what you’ll use for the treasure you finally found at an exhibition but can’t pay for because your credit card was denied. Besides, some of the best bargains are had for cash.

Target your purchases

Look at what you like and like what you buy. Exhibitions allow for looking while purchasing allows for ownership. A few thoughtful purchases are much more satisfying than succumbing to all that glitters in impulse buying. It is easy to return from the show with merchandise that says you did more buying than observing.

Negotiate price

Goods for sale at the gem shows and exhibitions usually have some sort of price indications. They, however, may not be what you pay. Always verify the cost of the piece, then bring all of your negotiating skills to bear on the price you’d like to pay. Sellers often seek “relationship pricing,” which means they want to bicker with you a bit to arrive at a price on which both parties can agree.

Stick to budget

It is also extraordinarily easy to spend too much. Have a budget and stick to it. A practical tactic is to avoid buying in bulk. While the price per item is cheaper when bought in quantity, in the end you pay more than you wanted and have more than you need.

Wear comfortable shoes

You will walk for what seems like miles and be on your feet most of the day. Sturdy shoes also work well on gravel parking lots and uneven ground. Wear socks to prevent blisters. Feet that are killing you will take the glitter out of the most precious gems.

Carry a tote

Have a large carry-all handy to capture your goods. There will be many and too many to handle without one handy bag in which to put them.

Hydrate

Dehydration comes rapidly, especially in large, warm, dry, highly lighted exhibition halls. Attention to the glitter and glitz of gemstones and jewelry can trump a growing thirst. Carry water and drink frequently.

Then, enjoy the show!


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