Las Vegas 2002

All, Las Vegas 2002 was the first time I was a dealer in a Las Vegas
Show. I attended the show for two years in a row before I signed a
contract with G+LW to be a dealer. My experience was a mixture of
success and not so successful. I sell mostly cabochon
and facetted that I manufacture myself. At this show my success was
not measured by sales alone. Our sales were below my expectations.
After expenses and cost of production I figure we made maybe $200.
For a first time show this amount is acceptable, but not sustainable
goal for subsequent shows. What did make the show a success is the
number of suppliers of rough materials I met that had the time to
talk with me about supplies. These suppliers do not advertise in
magazines. They are the ones that normally talk only to the large
manufactures. I met three of these suppliers and will be doing
quite a lot of business with them in the future.

Another plus was that I further got to analyze a lot of customers.
The show was very well attended and there was a quite a lot of
buying going on. Unfortunately for me the buying was all for Chinese
and Asian goods. Shoppers were looking to buy finished products or
cheap One dealer of finished gemstones had them piled in
pie plates. Facetted stones and cabachons. He made a killing.
Another dealer was selling beads from China. The first day he sold
every strand on two six foot tables. He had to go to JCK and take
beads from his booth there to restock. Another dealer was selling
18K gold in multiple strand bracelets, rings, single strand
bracelets, and earrings all with very low quality sapphires, rubies,
and diamonds. All made in India and Thailand. He sold steady for
the whole show. One customer after another stepped up and bought
multiple items. It was painful to watch this occurring while I had
much higher quality stones 10 feet away and no one was interested.
When I say not interested, I mean these customers had no interest in
anything they had to assemble, fabricate, or cast. They wanted
finished. Needless to say next year my goods will be more in
finished products. To further enforce that it was just not my
products I talked with several high end opal dealers, and a dealer
of quality ruby,sapphire, and diamonds. They all had very poor
shows. I did not hear from any of the custom lapidaries that set up
in AGTA.

I have heard mixed reviews of success and failure from AGTA. AGTA
Gemstone Dealers had what they classified as a good show… These
dealers buy in Asia and sell in the USA. They are not custom
lapidaries. All the gemstone dealers I talked with from GLDA had
poor shows. I have only heard from one JCK dealer. She manufactures
sterling silver jewelry and gemstones in Mexico. She said that
Sunday she had only $20,000 worth of orders. Profit from that
amount of orders would not pay for the booth in JCK leave alone the
cost of manufacturing the product. She was quite distraught.

Like any show, Las Vegas must be approached very cautiously from a
dealers standpoint. Much success can be obtained and so can
failure. From a buyers standpoint I would definitely attend. AGTA,
GLDA, and G+LW are all fairly laid back and you get more personal
attention from the dealers. Unlike Tucson where it is always a mad
rush. I have never been allowed into JCK as a poor stone cutter so
I can not comment about the crowd in JCK I could lie to get in, but
that is not my way.

Gerry Galarneau .

Gerry, you have made a very interesting, and well documented
observation in the realm of jewelry show promotion. I wonder now,
who dictates the abstract rules that guide the pauper and the
fool…Robert R. Wooding