There is an interesting phenomenon that happens every year at this time. For anyone who loves crystals, stones and minerals, this is an amazing time to be in Arizona! The Rock Shows in Quartzite start the beginning of the year and run though most of January. Mesa Community College has a weekend rock show mid-month that is always fun. And finally, the Tucson Gem and Mineral show runs through the first two weeks in February.

This final show is the largest in the world and boasts over 18,000 vendors all over the city! There is no way you could see the whole thing, even if you went every day! For Rock Hounds it is the ultimate adventure! I love going to the Gem Show. In fact, if you are reading this on Monday morning, picture me wandering around among the tents, hotel rooms and tables filled with specimens from around the world!

If you have the slightest interest in crystals… GO! It is an amazing and fun experience. Don’t worry about having a plan or where to start… Driving down I-10, when you hit Tucson, you will see plenty of signs or banners on both sides of the freeway. Stop anywhere, enjoy what you find and then pick up one of the many guides. You’ll never see it all anyway… so just enjoy what you find! You will be able to get AMAZING deals!

Which brings me to the second part of this newsletter. EVERY year since we opened, folks come in to the store to share with me their stories of great deals, ridiculously low prices and one-of-a-kind finds. Trust me they can be found everywhere. And if you are a good negotiator… expect even better!

Most of the time I love hearing these stories! I love the excitement, and the thrill of the chase. As a fellow Rock Hound… I am thrilled for the adventure and those deals that are just to good to be true!

HOWEVER.., every year, I am also approached by a few folks who wants to challenge the prices we charge for crystals, stones or minerals; because they were able to find something (they feel is similar to something that we offer), for so much less than we are charging for it!

What? How are these experiences comparable? And I wonder if they even realize how offensive the whole discussion is? As a Rock Hound, I am ALWAYS looking for great deals… and I love the ‘once in a lifetime’ purchase. However, you can’t run a business that way.

Instead, as a business owner you look for vendors who you can build long-term relationships with. Vendors who can provide a consistent grade and quantity of items. You look for vendors who operate within your target price point. As business owners, we also look for vendors who are consistent in their pricing, so that you know you are paying the same price as everyone else and the next time you see them, they are not going be pulling random prices out of the air.

Shopping for a business… any business is a very different experience and requires a different discipline.   There are times when I will pay more for something, simply because I trust the source or know the quality of their minerals.

So… if you have Rock Hound stories PLEASE come and share them with us.  Bring in your new finds too.  All of us here LOVE seeing rock booty!    However, lets not assume that when we shop for ourselves it is the same as shopping for a business.

With Light, Laughter, and Love – Charles