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Economic recession and Tucson shows
  
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alfredo
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PostPosted: Feb 04, 2009 09:19    Post subject: Economic recession and Tucson shows  

Before coming to Tucson this year I read a lot of discussions on the internet with predictions of how the worldwide economic recession would affect the Tucson gem and mineral shows. Most of the prognoses were very pessimistic, of the “doom and gloom” variety. Now that I’m actually at the show I get numerous e-mails and calls every day from concerned friends asking how it’s going. So I’m happy to report that most of us, sellers as well as buyers, are doing well, keeping in good spirits, and enjoying the fabulous sunny weather.

As a seller, I notice perhaps a somewhat lower number of American buyers so far this year, although the true devotees are here as usual and many more buyers are still awaited over the next two weekends, and any reduction in purchasing power seems to be more than compensated by the larger numbers of buyers from Asia and Europe. Japanese buyers seem especially prolific this year, taking advantage of the relatively high value of the yen to the shrinking U.S. dollar.

When dealers run into each other in the hotel dining room, bar, hot tub or on the lawn, the “How is the show going for you?” is typically the first question everyone asks. One dealer told me his sales are down 30% from the same date last year, another said 50% down, and two others have told me their sales are up! Whether the economy is good or bad, it is typically the same people every year who tell me that the show is great, they sold a lot, they saw a lot of new things; and the same people every year who tell me the show is terrible, there are no customers, the parking lots are empty, it’s a bad sign, and they can’t even buy anything because there is nothing new to see! I can only conclude from this that, when a dealer tells you how the show is going, it in fact tells you much more about the personality and outlook of the dealer than it does about the actual economics of the show. For some people the glass is always half full, for others half empty.
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Joan Kureczka




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PostPosted: Feb 04, 2009 09:45    Post subject: Re: Economic recession and Tucson shows  

Alfredo -- I'm not there yet, but the report from UKMV is that we are having our best show ever, at least on the wholesale sales end.

Jesse hit the road this morning, earlier than planned, to bring in more material -- otherwise there might be nothing much left by next weekend! So I guess it depends on what end of the business you are in.

I sometimes think that the people who complain the loudest are those who tend to complain every year, good or bad.
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Peter Megaw
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PostPosted: Feb 04, 2009 10:32    Post subject: Re: Economic recession and Tucson shows  

Sales are brisk in my room and I have struggled to find parking at the Inn Suites the last 2 days. Japanese and French buyers here in force, Germans noticably absent...this of course could change any day. The observation that there's not much new seems justified...although there has been a huge whack of good Milpillas azurite and malachite pseudos!

Producers, first stage importers and top quality sellers seem to be doing well. Middle-market folks selling at the end of a mark-up cascade are (justifiably?) suffering. Jewelry and trinket shows are reportedly hurting, but I seldom go there.

Folks I hear complaining are the same I've heard whining for several years...since BEFORE the recession, suggesting the root of their problem(s) is more fundamental than current market conditions...like maybe their prices are too high for the quality offered?
The recession may be triggering the long-prophesied retrenchment in mineral prices and trimming of the dealer pool...at least below the top end, which seems to have a life of its own. I think it may be an accelerator, but the process has been in motion for several years as the disconnect between the high and middle-low end markets has widened. Lots of bargains to be had, and probably getting better over the course of the show, as folks with overpriced stock try to unload it before the music stops.

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Peter




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PostPosted: Feb 04, 2009 10:36    Post subject: Re: Economic recession and Tucson shows  

I agree completely with Alfredo.

I have seen many interesting specimens, even new, met many friends, bought several pieces for my collection, booth interesting, rare and beautiful and have had many friends coming by and bringing specimens with them when leaving with a smile on their face and joy in the heart. The comments do reflect the personality!
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Jim




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PostPosted: Feb 04, 2009 16:57    Post subject: Re: Economic recession and Tucson shows  

Peter, Alfredo

Thanks for the observations. I understand the points about the price segments in the market, but are you seeing any differences in specimen sizes on which people are focusing?

I mean are people consistently buying large specimens or gravitating more to the t/ns and small miniatures?

Thanks!

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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: Feb 05, 2009 00:34    Post subject: Re: Economic recession and Tucson shows  

Joe & Susan Kielbaso, both dealers from long, long time, and very kind persons, wish to publish in the Forum this text, I copied it on their behalf:

Contrary to some of the reports that have gone out, the Tucson Gem & Mineral Shows alive and well.
We have found an excellent selection of minerals to buy at reasonable prices and most of customers from around the world have come and we have made many new friends.
All in all we are looking forward to the rest of the show.

Joe and Susan Kielbaso
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Peter




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PostPosted: Feb 06, 2009 10:07    Post subject: Re: Economic recession and Tucson shows  

I have found many interesting and fine specimens, several new finds. Attendance may be a bit down, but more time to speak to people!!!! and that is great!
One dealer who sold very bad in Munchen told me he had had a very good show so far and just now the main collectors stream is coming in!
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