I went to the Philadelphia Gift Show yesterday. This show is “a wholesale trade show for professional gift buyers of the gift industry”. The reason I was allowed in was because my girlfriend used to own a store and she keeps her tax ID# active just so she can go to these shows. When someone asked where her store was she told them she was “in transition” right now. She actually isn’t lying, because she has been decorating a lot of weddings for friends in the past year.
So this is how these shows work. If you’ve bought something at a Hallmark store, a museum or airport gift shop or an upscale clothing boutique that sells scarves, jewelry, bags, etc., the buyer probably went to one of these shows and picked out that item.
You know the saying, “Never pay retail!!”? Now I know why. The mark-up on the items we purchase for Mother or Father’s Day or our sister’s birthday, or even the little cat statue for our desks are sometimes marked up 4 or 5 times the wholesale amount!
Every time you buy a souvenir in a city you’re visiting or purchase your grand daughter a cute little pair of pink sunglasses in the local card store, someone is figuring out how much profit they just made from your wallet.
I purchased some silk flowers for the wedding centerpieces at $3.50 each – retail I’ve seen them sell for 15.99 a piece. I also purchased two strings of cultured pearls from Hong Kong for under $50.00 that sell in jewelry stores for over $200.00 each. Someone was purchasing a garden bench for $200.00 and my friend just saw the exact same bench in the local snooty, high-brow, garden supply store for $1200.00. $1200.00!!!!!!!! That is 6 times the purchase price!
No wonder I hate to shop – I must have known deep down that even when I buy something on sale, I’m probably still getting ripped off.
Now, if I can just figure out how to get a tax I.D # and some business cards!