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The Do's and Don'ts of Buying Beads at a Show

I recently attended a 20mm Chunky Beads, gem and mineral show the first one that I have been to in a long time. As a buyer, I learned a few do and don about buying beads at a show that will make your next buying trip enjoyable and worthwhile. But the most important one of all DO have fun.

1. DO bring your wholesale or tax ID form with you, if you have one. If there is a wholesale section at the show, you will need this to gain entry. There are often wonderful items at deep discounts in the wholesaleonly section, and unless you bring your identification or are with someone who also has a tax ID number, you won be admitted.

2. Think about specific projects that you need beads and supplies to start or finish. If you sit down and make a list beforehand, when you walk through the doors, you will know what to look for, and if you don see it right away, you can ask.

3. DO bring a pocket ruler.

A small ruler that fits into a pocket or purse can help you make sure that you get the right size bead or cabochon. You can also measure the length of bead strands and figure out how many beads you need to make a particular length piece of jewelry.

4. DO stick to your budget. Set a limit ahead of time. This way, if you see an absolutely scrumptious strand of watermelon tourmaline with a hefty price tag, you have to make sure that you really want it.

5. DO walk through the entire show two or three times before you start making purchIt good to get a general idea of what is being offered and what the prices are before you start in on the buying frenzy. Of course, if you see a pendant or strand of chunky acrylic beads that captures your attention, you don have to make yourself wait.

6. If you pay with cash, you will probably be more careful about your purchases.

7. DON forget your manners. It easy to be overcome by the sparkly things laid out in front of you and want to get to them the fastest. But be patient you get your turn to see the goodies just like everyone else. The simple phrases of me and you can make for a much more pleasant shopping experience.

8. DON buy something just because it cheap. Cheap beads are usually just that cheap. Low quality beads will not improve your work, even if they might help your bottom line. But if you look for higher quality beads that have other unique qualities, you will increase your enjoyment of beading as well as the quality of your finished pieces.

9. DON beat yourself up over one that got away There will be other shows. Just because you didn see that strand of bullseye onyx until after you spent your entire budget doesn mean you won see another strand somewhere else. You can also ask the vendor for a business card and their show schedule so you can catch up with them another time.

10. DON buy beads. There are hundreds of places where you can get a 4mm round agate bead. But chances are you won be able to get those graduated pencilshaped turquoise beads anywhere else. Look for items that are unusual or that stand out when making up your shopping list if you want to add a touch of the whimsical in your online wholesale chunky beads beadwork.

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