We went to the bead show and the gem and mineral show this last weekend and as always it was an experience. We stopped by the bead show first thing on Saturday since it was on our way into town. It take place in a hotel and the vendors are spread out between the ballroom, the atrium, and a side meeting room plus there is an entire hall of hotel rooms that have vendors set up in them. Last year we had wandered around and grabbed stuff that looked cool, which meant that we didn't always get the best deals. This time we did much better at doing some comparison shopping and looking for new and unusual beads. After we got done there we went to the gem and mineral show for a few hours. Again we did pretty well at finding some good deals and I found bracelets made out of bone Mahjong tiles strung on elastic that I can take apart and work into my own jewelry. The next morning we headed back to the gem and mineral show. Again we found some wonderful deals, although I think that had less to do with good comparison shopping and more to do with it being the last day of the show.
It's always interesting to me to go to these shows because it seems to be it's own little world. Have you ever seen shows on the diamond trade, with deals being sealed with a handshake and that's all? It is almost like that. If you pay with a credit card you end up with at least that receipt, but if you pay with cash, you are lucky to get an adding machine receipt. Usually what happens is they write it on the bag or you get nothing at all. Thankfully we only had one with nothing at all and I remember the price on that. This is the reason why it is taking me forever to try to get all of the new stone beads inventoried, because unless I remember what was a specific price, or we have one of the rare itemized receipts I have to sort out what cost what. The pearls are a bit better because they tended to be the same price per strand. I'm still not sure how the silver will be since it is by weight. I think it will be a complete pain to sort, but will be easy to work the price out on. Time will tell on that though.