I have been in the jade and gems trade for many years. I have learnt a number of lessons for which I have paid a high price. These hard knock lessons may be due to pure stupidity, greed and an innocence born of being too eager, too fast and too hungry. It is said that good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment. This statement always hold true.
But when you are in the thick of it, when you are shown some excellent jade carvings going for a song, when you are shown a rough jade boulder with intense green streaks on the crust and most important as when you are on a buying trip and your pocket has some loose wads of dollars, you just cannot resist the temptation to deal even when your gut instinct tells you to leave it. One might think along this line (which I often do) – I work out a base price, then I make an offer to the seller and I am prepared to walk away without the purchase. Isn’t is true that the best bargaining chip a buyer has is his willingness to walk away without a deal. This is excellent in theory but in practice one often falls for some great stories that a seller told you.
I have heard a lot of these tall stories as told by sellers and I am getting wiser by each buying experience abet poorer each time (if merchandise turns out sour) when I thought about it and it struck me that I have been had. There were also times when I actually believed in their tales and gained a windfall. So I am going to share them with you so that you can be a learned and savvy buyer as you continue reading my posts.
But you must be aware of this. Every buying experience is unique. There is no one set of rules that applies in all situations or one glove that fits all. Your buying power becomes better and better with more purchases. Is all in the game, you just have to be in it to learn and learn. Sometimes you might land a big fish, sometimes you just got yourself a lemon and more often than not you find yourself paying a much higher price because the seller is too persuasive, too slick and you buy his story, hook, line and sinker first and then you shake your money out of your pocket and pay the seller.
But at times I also learn to throw caution to the wind. When my air fare, accommodation, travelling expenses and time are factored in when I am in a foreign country, I would not hesitate to buy an item if it is affordable and within my budget. It is better for me to regret buying an item than to regret not buying it and I come home empty handed and thinking of the big fish that slips away. I too have seen too many travelers where they will not dish out any money for fear of getting cheated by the seller. These are the buyers who will get nowhere.
So it is all judgmental and it depends all on yourself and your appetite for risk taking. Luck – 50%, Skill – 20% and Foolishness – 30%.
Go! Go! Go!
Filed in: Jade Trade