Tucson Gem Show Survival Guide – 30 tips
- If you are a buying wholesale, bring a few copies of your state resale license (sellers permit)
- Bring extra business cards since dealers will ask for them to make your order ready or hold it for you.
- It is good idea to bring some stickers with your company name, address and a phone number
printed on them so sellers can put them on your invoice (you can even have your resale
certificate number printed on the stickers ). It will save a lot of your and seller’s time and
dealers will really appreciate it.
- Bring a small scale and calculator with you. You can use it for checking the weight and proximate price of some stones or jewelry if it is sold by weight – you will not have to wait for the salesperson and ask them to check each piece for you.
- Walk around the whole show before start buying. Check prices, make notes in your guide or
on the floor plan and then go back and shop. You will find that some vendors are selling similar
merchandise – find the best quality merchandise for the best price you can afford.
- Decide on your budget. Put aside some extra funds for the items you were not planning to buy.
You might find new ideas and trends and would want to purchase a samples of the new lines.
- Call your credit card company before you are going to the show and let them know that you are
planning to make some buying so they will not “freeze“ your account later for your security.
This will help you to avoid calling your bank from the show and spending time authorizing
transactions with your bank.
- After making you purchase check if you have your receipt, resale license, credit card and
- Always put your wallet and credit card at the same place (designate a pocket in your bag or
purse for them). It is really frustrating when you are standing in front of the dealer and trying
to find them!
- Bring a dark sharpie pen. You will need it to mark prices on the plastic bags.
- Bring a check book and cash. Some international dealers are not accepting credit cards. Ask
them if they can accept your credit card using their company PayPal account.
- Put dealer’s business card in the bag with merchandise you have purchased from them. It will
help you later to remember whom you bought your merchandise from, make some notes right
on their business cards about their product and prices for future reference.
- Wear comfortable shoes. Very important! Some shows are outsides tents with a ground floors
and some would have a concrete or cement floors. Sometimes it rains in Tucson in February -
Bringing rain boots, umbrella or raincoat would be a good idea.
- Wear layers. It is cold sometimes in the mornings and evenings, but it is much warmer during
the day (typical weather for the desert).
- Bring shoulder bag or cross strap purse which you wear in front of your waist area to keep booth
of your hands free for choosing a merchandise (cross strap purse on your waist is also safer
place to keep your cash, wallet and credit cards).
- Rent your car prior arriving to Tucson to get lower prices for rentals.
- Bring a sample of your cut stones if you are trying t match them (colors or shapes).
- Bring a hand sanitizer since some beads are dirty.
- Write down and have a list of the dealers with their booth numbers where you have to return
to pick up your merchandise at a later time.
- Some shows have paid and very limited parking for buyers. You can always park for free at JOGS
Show parking (Tucson Expo Center, there is a large free parking lot for Tucson buyers) and take
free limousines and shuttles to major Tucson Gem Shows.
- Bring some snacks with you (bags with nuts, some fruits) and small bottles of water. Some
shows have a food courts offering nice hot food. G&LW Show has several food kiosks in front
of the tents and JOGS Show has an international food court and free daily champagne brunch
buffet for buyers daily.
- If dealers pack all purchases in the promotional bags make sure you check your bag while
getting your merchandise from them (some buyers can pick your bag from the dealer by
- Check the amount of the bags in your order with lines on your invoice to make sure that the bad
with merchandise did not fell out from your order.
- Bring small mirror if you have one since some dealers do not carry them and you would want to
see how some merchandise looks on you.
- Try to register online and fill registration forms for the shows prior to arrival so save your time.
- Check the merchandise you are buying especially if it is closeout. Make sure that beads have the
right size of the holes, that the holes are drilled strait. Ask the dealer about the quantity of the
certain beads or findings – if they would have them available later if you need to reorder this
- Bring a magnified glass if you are buying a cut stones to check the clarity and the cut of the
- If you are buying a heavy stones bring a bag with a wheels to carry your merchandise.
- Pick a free Tucson Gem Show directories and show guides to plan your next day shopping plans
in the hotel.
- Write down and your UPS or FedEx account number if you are planning to ship some of your
purchases right from the Tucson Gem Show (some major shows have a shipping companies in
their buildings during the Gem Show period).