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10 Ten Tips for Smarter Shopping at a Bead Show

Are you heading to BeadFest in Philadelphia next weekend? I’m busy working on some last minute creations, can’t wait to share them! You can find two of the Art Bead Scene contributors at the show this year. I’m so excited about returning to BeadFest. I’ll be bringing tons of new work!

 Humblebeads booth 565

Fellow ABS team member Ashley Bonney from Summer Wind Art will be debuting at BeadFest this year. I can’t wait to meet Ashley and shop for her beads!

Summer Wind Art – Booth 450B

Be sure to stop and visit William and Andrew from Allegory Gallery. We love having them as an Art Bead Scene sponsor. You’ll always find something for your next project at their booth!

Allegory Gallery – Booth 451A

Walking into a big bead show like BeadFest can be overwhelming for newbies and old pros alike. Here are my top 10 tips for getting the most out of a bead show.

1. Check out the list of vendors and mark your must see booths. 
  • Head to the booths with limited selections and one-of-a-kind items first for the best selection. 
  • Artisan’s Alley at BeadFest would be my first stop.

2. Get social before the show! 

  • Check out the Facebook or Instagram accounts of your favorite vendors to see what they are bringing to the show. 
  • Follow BeadFest on FB & Instagram to discover new vendors. 

3. Stop by Candie Cooper’s Tailgate Party before the show opens for exclusive specials!

4. Save on non-bead expenses like the show entrance fee. Here is a coupon for you to print out.

5. Test drive specialty tools at the show to try them out! 

  • Decide beforehand if you are going to budget for larger purchases like tools or if you’ll go home and order them. 
  • Take advantage of show specials  to save on larger purchases. 

6. Bring your sales tax license and take advantage of deeper discounts on beads you buy in larger quantities.

  • Before the show print out your business info and sales tax number on mailing labels to speed up the check out process at wholesale vendors. 
  • Don’t have a sales tax license? Pair up with the friend to shop at booths that offer discounts on larger quantities. 

7. Take breaks during the show. You’ll make better choices if you aren’t worn out!

  • Mix up shopping with visiting with friends. Check out demos and make & takes at the show to pace yourself. 

8. Shop for stones at the show. There is nothing like being able to pick out the perfect stands in person!

9. Before the show take a good look at your bead inventory. 

  • Take photos of your current art bead collection to help you shop the show for coordinating beads. 
  • Download a few color palettes or design challenges to use a shopping guide. Narrow down your choices while you shop for focal beads and coordinates so they are more likely to get used after you get home from the show!

10. Stock up on rare finds! If you find something you really love at the show, find out if you can purchase more online later. If not, stock up at the show. There is nothing worse than finding a great bead you love to use in your designs and not being able to get more after it’s gone!

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2 Comment

  1. Reply
    Divya N
    August 8, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Great tips, I loved attending beadfest last year. I hope I get another opportunity in the coming years

  2. Reply
    Terri Del Signore
    August 9, 2017 at 3:52 am

    These are all fantastic tips!! Oh I dream of bead fest!!

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