There are many methods for shopping for product.

First,

we know what products we currently have and what we need to “fill in”.  This year we’re looking for gemstone beads, a few gemstone chips, pearls and copper findings.  Tracy is looking for specific gemstone slabs and rough and a couple of specimens.  I’m not sure which ones because it’s on his list not mine.  Yes, we both have our own lists to watch for.

We’ve already decided how much money we have available to spend on the “regular” items we need/want, and we’ll add an amount of disposable income to buy impulse items.  Yes, we also have our own wish list for something different.  Whether we find it or not is another issue, but at least we have a sense of what we’re going to be watching for.  Mine is blister pearls.

I know how much these items should cost because I’ve done my research on new items on line and have consulted my price list for items I’m stocking back up on.  I’ll be able to tell if the vendors have good prices or not.

Second, I’ll spend the first day at each segment of Quartzsite walking the aisles and making notes of items and prices and booth names and space numbers.  This allows for further review.  The vendors see I’m doing price comparisons and usually don’t push for a sale.  If they do I simply tell them “I spend the first day of the showing seeing what is available and don’t buy.  When I get it all compared I’ll be back to purchase”.    Most vendors think “sure – you’ll be back” and are convinced I’m gone.  It’s always fun to see the expression on their face when I come back to buy.  This is a great time to ask each vendor what they accept as payment.  We try and write checks for most purchases or use plastic.  If they don’t take either we must be prepared to have cash to pay them.  Be sure you know how you’re going to pay for your purchases.

Third, and most important step, we sit down after we’ve been to all the booths and write down the amount we believe we’ll spend at each booth and the items we’ll acquire there.  This keeps us from buying the same thing (unless the patterns, colors, etc. are worth two smaller purchases over one big one) at different booths.    We tally up the amounts and make sure we’re within our budget. It’s always a great feeling when you’ve saved money for wonderful merchandise and have enough left for a nice dinner without the credit card.

Don’t forget – plan and know how much you can spend and what you want to buy; Walk the show and make notes before you buy anything; write it all down on one piece of paper before you spend any money.  And most of all – Have Fun.  Finding that one special piece is always fun.

My method may not work for you.  What method do you use save money?  Comment or post a link to your blog or Facebook page.  And thanks for reading.