Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tucson Tips

One of the most complete sources of information for Tucson is found on the;  If you need to find the dates of a show, a vendor, or certain kind of product, look in the show guide on line. The printed version is the size of a big phone book but the show guide on line is weightless and you can print out what you want.

Getting to Tucson is interesting. Some fly - some drive - some live there. Flying into Tucson is easy, getting a rental car isn't so easy if you book late in the season. There are shuttles and they visit some of the hotels and most of the shows. If you look in the jewelry show guide you will find out which goes where. An option is flying into Phoenix and getting a rental car there and then driving to Tucson - 2 hours or so. You then will have wheels to go where you want to when you want to go.

  • A wheeled suitcase or shopping bag is important I think. After carrying many pounds of beads from place to place you will have a numb arm or a sore shoulder.
  • Bring water and easy to carry snacks - making decisions on an empty stomach is not good. 
  • If you have a tax id and plan to purchase in quantity - bring copies of your tax license, business cards, etc. so that you have the opportunity to purchase at a wholesale discount. Also some shows that are wholesale only will not let you in without this proof.
  • Inform your credit card companies and bank that you are going to the show and that they should expect charges from all over. There is nothing worse than finding out that your credit card is frozen on a Friday night.
  • Make copies of all important credit cards and documents and keep them separate in case you lose the originals. Use the safe at the hotel.
  • Some of my favorite shows include AGTA (wholesale only),  GJX, Best Bead, the Holodome (overwhelming), the shows in the motels next to the freeway where you can find everything from genuine plastic amber to gemstones that will blow your mind. Some of the shows have great educational opportunities, many free.
  • Last little note - I have bought genuine plastic amber - and gemstones that blew my mind.
Surrounding Tucson are beautiful mountains. For those that have the time and desire there are places not associated with gemstones, beads and stuff. It is worth a visit in it's own right.

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