First Bead Show!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

So here's a picture of my loot from my first bead show. It's an Intergalactic Bead Show, and being held in Nashville, TN this weekend. The drive wasn't all too bad and it wasn't hard to find the fairgrounds where this was. Of course I loved the dichotomy of having a bead show in one building, and a gun show in another!

As you can see I ended up with mostly stone beads, some crystals, findings, and one lonely strand of pearls (a rariety for me). Frankly it seemed like I had bought a lot more than this while at the show - at least judging by how much I spent and how heavy my bag felt after 4 hours, lol.

It wasn't all that big, which in reality is a good thing I think cause I'd hate to imagine trying to get thru even more booths! All in all I figure there were around 20-25 booths, most of which were selling stone beads, a couple had metal beads and findings, and while there were a lot of little *cheap* pearls (like $4 or $6) there were few higher quality, more costly pearls.

The prices weren't all that bad either. A number of people felt that most beadshows would price things higher, and while I did find this at some booths, for the most part this wasn't the case. Of course the prices really varied from either pretty much what I'd pay for it online to great savings. What was great, was that many went ahead and charged whole sale prices because they didn't want to fool with the change in pricing. How do I know this? I overheard more than one seller tell a wholesaler that they couldn't really mark their stuff down more cause it was already marked down - some offered to take off a % if you bought in large quantities or $$, but many offered that deal to everyone not just wholesalers. So I benefitted from that. And a number of sellers were wanting to get rid of stock, so they had a lot of good stuff marked down.

The only disappointments were the lack of good white coin pearls (that were a fair price), and bulk earwires - most everyone sold no more than packs of 5 pair which surprised me. Biggest regret is not getting that strand of choclate brown and green stick pearls - they were fab!

My top 5 tips for going to bead shows after my little experience here, and drawing on my loooonnnggg experience going to rock shows:

1. Peruse all the booths first before buying anything (unless there's like only 1 of that item left in which case if you really want it, buy it). That way you don't spend all your money on the first few booths, when there may be something you'd rather had at another booth (or at a cheaper price!) Having a plan/list of things you want/need to look for helps with this too.

2. Bring cash - its quicker and easier to deal with, and sometimes sellers are more inclined to give discounts or round down prices if you do!

3. Bring a backpack, large purse, some kind of bag to put all your goodies in one place - better than holding onto a buch of bags while trying to look!

4. Check out the bead show's website for info about the show before going, and check for coupons either for admission, or from vendors.

5. Don't be shy. Don't let others force their way in line, or keep you from looking - if you try to be extremly polite and hang back for people to clear, it'll never happen. If you have questions, ask the seller, whether its about the quality, price, or material - you have the right to know before purchasing. Don't let sellers push you into buying something you don't want. I'm not saying be agressive or rude, but being assertive at a show (whether rocks or beads) is really the only way to do it - otherwise you'll likely end up miserable and not want to go again. (I know this makes it sound like people are rude/mean/inpolite, and most are actually not like this, but you will encounter it to some extent regardless, so its better to expect it).

Well that's it for now - its been a long day and I'm exhausted! Tomorrow (or should I say later today), I will finally get the Mineral ID post up!


Regal Beads said...

ohhhhhhhh lucky!!
I'd love to go to a bead show!! :)