When an avid rock collector comes to your store, you might not expect them to pick up a few souvenirs. Usually these are the customers who are looking for larger display stones, multifaceted crystals and rare specimens from around the world. But rock shop owners are often surprised how quickly spirit stones and word stones fly out of the store.
For those of us in the rocks and minerals business, buying and selling geodes is something we do on a daily basis, but the average owner of a specialty store may not realize how popular they are with customers. Not every gift shop or souvenir store attracts the type of customer that buys geodes, but if your store attracts families with children, it may be time to consider buying geodes wholesale from Brazil. Buying them in bulk at wholesale prices is the best way to make these profitable rough minerals even more profitable.
Winter may be a slow time of year for the average rock and mineral retailer, and with the holidays behind us, thoughts may turn toward spring and summer inventory. But not so fast! February is a time when shoppers find themselves back in the stores, searching for that perfect Valentine’s gift. It is also a time to buy amethyst for those with February birthdays. Knowing this, many mineral retailers make an in-store display that features the beautiful violet quartz.
It is rare to find people lining up at a local rock shop on Black Friday, but they are still a popular destination for gift buying. In fact, rocks and minerals are considered a very classy and unique gift all year round. As long as there are rock collectors, geology buffs, earth scientists and nature lovers, there will be a market for unique rock and mineral specimens.
Whether your customers are tourists, crafters or avid rock collectors, you will no doubt be selling a fair amount of jade. Because of its natural durability, jade is one of the most recognizable gemstones and a popular one for lapidary artists. For millennia, jade has been fashioned into jewelry, sculptures and other ornamental objects.
If you have ever tried to buy something for that person who has everything, then you know what some of your customers are dealing with. Many people find themselves shopping at rock and mineral stores around the holidays, simply to indulge the interests of a loved one. You may even be able to spot them when they walk into the store because they usually head directly to the nearest salesperson with a bit of a “lost” expression.
As rock shop owners and managers, we’ve all heard how important it is to learn about rocks and minerals, but is it really that hard to become an expert? That might depend on who you ask. Sometimes a customer will walk in asking for an obscure type of fossil or call to inquire about rare shades of amethyst, but they may not even consider themselves a collector. The truth is, few of the “collector types” know much about every type of rock or mineral; they usually know a lot about one or two of their favorites. Still, it never hurts for rock shop owners to know a lot about the geological sciences.
If you look closely enough at most minerals, you will see they all have the ability to reflect light, but they are generally limited by their color, cut and natural translucence. Not so with fluorescent minerals. These unusual stones have that unusual physical property that allows them to temporarily absorb small amounts of light and then an instant later release them at a slightly different wavelength. This “fluorescence” causes a temporary color change in the mineral as it appears to the human eye.
Unless you stay current on the latest rock and mineral trends, it’s easy to miss something as obscure at the Amethyst Flower. Thankfully, rock and mineral wholesalers are on top of the latest buying patterns and able to stock up on the most popular items before the holiday rush. The average rock shop retailer may not be able to tell the difference between Brazilian and Uruguayan amethyst, or an amethyst geode and an amethyst flower. One thing is certain though; your customers will. Most rock shops – even those located near tourist attractions – tend to cater to serious collectors.
Every year at around this time, retailers everywhere begin to panic about their holiday inventory. Yes, it is that time again; time to stock up on all the latest “hot” items for your rock shop, but it’s not all about geodes, rare specimens and fossils. No matter where your store is located, chances are you get a fair amount of customers who prefer natural stone jewelry to rock displays.
Whether it is a regular customer out shopping for gifts or out-of-town visitors looking for ideas, rock shops should be prepared with a selection of geologically-inspired jewelry.