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Be sure to check out my other great posts about planning your trip to the Tucson Gem Show here!
Start at the back and work your way forward: Start at the back of the tent/alley/hotel and work your way forward. The vendors at the back are in the lower rent district (though truly, there is no low rent district at the gem show…I heard that a booth at River Park Inn sells for $16,000!) The vendors at the back are the little guys that might not have heard of because they don’t have the same promotional budget for ads that the big guys do, but in my experience means lower prices and better deals. Many of my best finds at gem show are tucked away in a back corner. Seek out the back corners!
Combine your purchases: If you are shopping in a group and you are all likely to purchase something from a particular vendor, you can try combining your purchases into one lot and see if you can get a better price. This works especially well for vendors that have a minimum quantity for offering wholesale pricing (and you would be surprised at how fast a few people purchases can add up to that $100 or $150 minimum for wholesale pricing that many vendors have.)
Cash Discount: Always bring cash. On top of the fact that many vendors cannot process credit card transactions, they will often offer a discount if you ask and you are paying cash (around 5-7%). The reason? If you are paying cash, they save on the processing fees that they pay for each credit card transaction.
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Bring a Business Licensee: Your business licences will get you wholesale pricing and you will save 50% this way. If you know someone else that is going that has a business, often they will be able to get extra buyers badges under their bsiness. If you can’t find someone and you don’t have a business, you might think about making one up and registering with your state or county for the appropriate business license. The $50 or $100 fee will quickly be made up if you are making a moderate number of purchases at gem show.
See if the vendor will round down for shipping: If the vendor isn’t budging on the price, you could try explaining that you need to take shipping costs into account and see if they will round down a little bit to help with your shipping costs.
Bakers Dozen: If you are purchasing a number of items and the vendor can’t come down on the price at all, see if they can throw in a couple extra stones.
Make a list and stick to it: This is harder the first time, because you don’t really know what you will find, but always try to make a list of what you are looking for at the gem show and make sure that you are well on your way to finding all of these items first before making too many other purchases.
If you have been to the Tucson Gem Show before, what are your favorite tips for saving money and staying within your budget?
Be sure to check out these other great posts about visiting the Tucson Gem Show:
- Packing for the Tucson Gem Show: Must Bring Items
- Strategies for Planning Your Time at the Tucson Gem Show
- Transportation and Parking at the Tucson Gem Show