Avoid blowing your budget
by defining your market and planning your gemstone purchases in advance
by Melissa Jeffries.
If you’ve been to gem shows, you know how overwhelming and daunting they can be. Although it’s difficult to narrow down all those tempting options, your jewelry business profit margin will be greater if you plan ahead and focus on shopping for a particular line and color scheme of jewelry.
You must keep the bigger picture in mind and try to keep your emotions out of the design process. Here are some tips for defining your market and researching it so that you can walk in and out of a gemstone show feeling confident in the business investments you’ve just made.
What Is a Gem Show?
Gemstone shows and fairs are marketplaces for vendors of gemstones, findings, jewelry supplies, and tools. Due to the large amount of competition between the vendors, prices tend to be competitive. I’ve found unbelievable deals on high quality gemstones and findings at gem shows.
How Do I Find the Nearest Gem Show?
To find gem shows near you, you can simply do a Google search for “gemstone show” or “gem fair”. Other sources of information are your local convention and visitors’ bureau and any lapidary clubs in your area.
Is There an Admission Fee?
Anyone can attend most gemstone shows. Although you don’t usually need a wholesale license to get in, some vendors may ask for your resale permit before letting you buy at wholesale prices. Show admission fees tend to be in the $5 to $10 dollar range.
Define Your Market Ahead of Time
What market are you trying to target with your jewelry? Don’t try to please everyone. Are you trying to appeal to individuals like yourself? What age bracket are you trying to reach? Does your jewelry line appeal to funky or traditional individuals?
Research Your Market
Next take a trip to your local department store and take note of the colors that are being used for the upcoming season. Look at the jewelry and observe the lengths of the earrings/necklaces, the sizes of the stones, and the other various style elements for the season. While your designs should not be copies or replicas of the jewelry in the stores, you can simply incorporate the observations you make into your own original design ideas. Fashion and jewelry magazines are also a great place to find out what trends are coming into the stores.
Attending the Gem Show
There will be an overwhelming array of gemstones and supplies at the show. Having a jewelry line style and color scheme in mind will allow you to narrow your focus. Vendors will offer gemstones in more shapes, sizes, cuts and colors than you can imagine. Stick to the colors you’ve mapped out for yourself and walk through the entire gem show once before buying anything. Jot down and compare the prices of items that you’re interested in.
Then take a break, go outside for some fresh air, and reflect on the items you saw and really liked. Then review your budget and the jewelry line you have in mind before returning into the gemstone show. This will help you get the best deals on the items you’re most interested in, so that you don’t blow your budget or become overwhelmed by the options.