Treasures for body and mind

10 October, 2012

How to Stretch Your $500 Part III

Continuing with ideas on how to save your money and grow your collection since you should never pay retail... 

8.  Yard sales are not the bonanza they used to be since everyone sells their gold, but some surprises still surface.  An acquaintance found a VC&A item at a yard sale.  Go at least a half an hour early before the sale starts and take cash.  Flea markets sometime cough up surprises, but go early.  Don't sneer at pawn shops and musty old antique/junk shops.  Local auctions are sometimes worth a look.  Do not turn up your nose at family pieces either.  Clean, fix, size, and, if necessary, remake items lurking in your grandma's, mother's, or great-aunt's jewelry box.  Ask if you can borrow them; usually, family members will loan items if they aren't wearing them.

9.  Birthdays- sometimes family and friends will help you finance a piece for your birthday or a holiday.  Sometimes they are willing to buy it and give it to you as a present on the big day;  my wonderful man is relieved to get me something he knows I will like.  

10.  Sales, including sale sites like Net-a-porter, Gilt, and other designer outlet sites, can help take some of the edge off of designer jewelry.  Designer jewelry is expensive, and in most cases at least half of it is the name (in BogV's case, its ALL the name).  Figure out what you like about a particular style and see if you can find something similar...but avoid direct knockoffs and counterfeits.
Isharya agate, gold plated unknown metal, crystal, and enamel snake necklace from
11.  Gem and jewelry shows are God's gift to magpies, but once you've been to one, you'll never shop at a normal jewelry store again.  "Tucson" is synonymous with an enormous event that lasts a week in February, and Las Vegas has a big one too, but there are localized ones as well.  At the Chantilly Gem Show I purchased items at costs that I blushed to tell people later.  There are some fantastic antiques and old designer pieces as well.  Again, know something before you go, because not all items are a deal and there a few ignorant or unscrupulous dealers. 

I was ordered to put my camera away before I got to the diamonds...
12.  Always bargain no matter the venue.  Sometimes the price will come down with a simple, "Is this the best price?"  If you are better at bargaining, do so.  Remember that retail is absurdly high, at least five to six times times the wholesale cost.

There you have it- tested ways to acquire jewelry for less money than you thought, all of which I have used and worked for me.  Why?  Because you should never pay retail for jewelry.  

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