My strategy for studio equipment has been "don't buy a tool until
and unless you really need it." Should I maintain the same
strategy regarding raw materials?
Bruce, after closing my store a couple years back, I would highly
recommend don't buy it unless you need it. When gold prices were
stable for a few years, there was no reason to buy ahead other than
for volume discounts. When the price starts to vary quite a bit,
like now, then you may need to make a bet on which way it is going
to go, along with what your needs are for the next month, year, or
so. This is a gamble to invest in inventory for this range of time.
It may pay off, It may not.
If you look at how a scrap gold dealer works, they buy at current
prices, as sell the same day if they can. They are guaranteed a
margin by trading like this. If they hang on to it too long, it
might go away.
If you are buying stones, the volatility is some what less, but as
those of us who marketed Tanzanite know, the market can turn on a
single news story. For stones, I recommend that you purchase a
stone for a piece you have in mind, or when you find that
exceptional stone that you would like to design a piece around grab
it while you can. For the bread and butter stones, the ones you can
find with a phone call or two, buy them as you need them. Not