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Tip Sheet (EXTRA): Special For The Tucson Shows

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AFTER TUCSON, you’ll have a lot to talk about: new rubies from Madagascar, zultanite from Turkey, amethyst from Zambia. Most of your customers will never visit these places, but your new selection of gemstones will be better than the Travel Channel. Your reputation as a jeweler will be enhanced, and so will your bottom line. Here’s what you need to know:

There are about 40 separate shows happening in February, but retail jewelers are best served in the first two weeks. The AGTA and GJX shows are Feb. 6-11 and next to each other. You will find the most established firms there.

The two best days to buy are opening day and the last day. Get your hands on the amazing stuff that goes fast. Always buy the best stone you see. These are the pieces that will sell the fastest in your store too. The last day is good for scooping up bargains, as many dealers have difficulty taking back goods out of the U.S.

Bring some real cash in addition to your normal store checks. Many dealers here can’t cash checks.

Save a little money to buy fossils and mineral specimens. The best bets are along the I-10 service drive at the motels and the outdoor ?African Village.? These pieces make great display props, and you’ll probably sell them before next year. Mention the country of origin, and talk about how these deposits occur. It all adds to your image.

Buy a line that you’ve never seen before and may never see again. This could be sterling silver gemstone jewelry, gemstone globes, fountains, or just something weird that will have a good profit margin.

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Buy a quantity of cheap loose stones you can give away to promote your trip or just make sure every child who comes in your store leaves with a stone. Many of these will actually generate mounting sales.

Attend as many of the AGTA seminars as possible. Most are free and very worthwhile.

Visit Click here for schedules.

Abe Sherman is the CEO of BIG - Buyers Intelligence Group. BIG designs solutions for the merchandising challenges facing retail jewelers and manufacturers. BIG utilizes a data analysis tool, Balance to Buy, to help consult with clients and customize their individual experiences and results.

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