OK, I’ll tell you right now. I don’t like shopping.
I never have. Nope, never got my sox off at strolling through the mall & ogling at purses, shoes & clothes. In fact, I avoid malls like the plague.
BUT…take me crystal shopping…that’s a whole ‘nother ball game. I’m all in!
Perhaps its b/c its not quite as easy as just driving over to the mall & this makes it more like a hunt. You have to wait for a gem show to come to town, shop at your local metaphysical store, which for some may be well out of the way or do your shopping hunting online with a vendor that you really trust.
So, perhaps its the fact that its more of a quest, a challenging chase, or a MISSION even that hooks me in…
But I’m HOOKED; line & sinker.
As you know, I get most of my wholesale inventory (which I don’t really keep too much of these days) & shop for special order clients once a year at the big annual Tucson Gem & Mineral Show. And the entire trip is a joyous shopping adventure for me! I’ve come to love it more & more each year.
I’ve noticed that crystal shoppers, myself included, tend to behave just like any other shopper…falling victim to all the usual psychological shopping baits, sales, clearance mark-downs, etc. As all shoppers do, sometimes you make some really stooopid buying decisions or buy way too much of something that you have no use or need for when items are stamped with “50 % off”!
Oh how easy it is to overspend or buy the wrong thing. Except with crystals you really never know if you’ll ever see those specimens again. Really. Even miners don’t know if they’ll ever hit another pocket or vug of a particular crystal. Sometimes they do know that the supply is dwindling, Mama Earth only made so much & they’ll tell you the area is almost entirely mined out so “grab it while it’s hot!”
In addition, each & every crystal is an entirely unique specimen. You will NEVER find another one just like it. So there’s that added twist of psychological shopper’s arm-twisting & traps, except no one is really setting them up as traps. Its the geological reality, Lima Bean…most of the time.
How can you NOT fall prey to that?
- How often have I scooped up a lot of 50 rough azurite/malachite that no one else really wants & I end up hoarding for 5 years?
- How many times have I snatched up entire lots of mica thinking I’ll use them for something but never really do & they end up just gathering dust?
- Or how many times have I grabbed up way too many Navajo unakite pendants just because they were two-for-one & been stuck with them for years?
Well, I’ve only ever done each of these things once…but once is enough.
Oh yeah, this was all well-justified at the time. *wink, wink* After all, just think of all the $$ I was SAVING!
So over the years I’ve learned a few crystal shopping lessons & thought I’d share these golden nuggets with you, my Crystal Hottie.
Inventory your crystal stash. You really need to know what you have. If you’re like me , you’ll even forget what you own & purchase duplicates *ahem…or triplets* of things you already own but forgot about.
Make note of stones you use often, your “work-horses”. Do you need more of a certain kind, for instance you may need more small clear crystal quartz points or some more citrine tumblies for grid-work. Take time to think on this over a few months or even longer & really put some thought into what you’ll be needing & using.
Next, keep an on going list of your NEEDS . You can even break your list into categories: tumblies, jewelry (bracelets, necklaces, rings), large points, wands, chakra stones, crystal healing sets, etc.
Only purchase from reputable sellers…do you know someone else who has good experiences from this seller? Do they come with good recommendations? Gem shows can be tough unless your really know your rocks b/c if you end up with questions or aren’t happy with what you purchased, that seller may be gone next weekend. Ebay can be good if you stick to sellers with really high ratings. People always ask me if I still sell crystals. I don’t do so as much any longer, but do some occasional Special Order pieces (it’s rare, and when it happens I’ll let our email subscribers and Facebook fans know).
Now that you’re all inventoried & organized & can clearly see your crystal need gaps, if any; you can PLAN. Now you can decide what you’ll purchase at a bargain price & what you’d like to save up for & spend for a good quality piece or 2 without overdoing it, busting your budget or really getting something you truly don’t need.
Here are some ways you can make your crystal shopping/stone bargain-hunting useful yet cost-conscious:
If your goal is simply to collect rather than use & work with your crystals then your strategies will be a little different. Just be careful to not let it fall into the crystal-hoarding category. That’ll be a different blog post for another day. 😉
So do you have any organizing or shopping tips for us? Please post them in the comments below. I kindly ask that we please refrain from promoting various crystal shops & links here at this time as there are way too many out there & that can get a little hairy as I’m sure you can understand.