Miles Martin - 2/19/2023

Good 2023 show!

I had a good show, and most other venders I know at the fossil show at Days Inn did well. We had a good turnout. I managed to sell over 500 pounds of fossil mammoth ivory, 50 of my first books, and a lot of my artwork. Much of the show is about having a good time, and learning. I learned from other venders what the news is on the latest laws concerning fossils, with the focus on mammoth ivory products. I have a better handle on what the future might look like from the viewpoint of a seller or a buyer. All of us are experts in our field, or we would not be here. It cost thousands of dollars to be here to be able to sell. No one has that kind of money to put up front without being good at what they do. All of us are happy to pass on, share what we know with customers. I get people bringing me a shard of bone, a fossil of some kind they would like to have identified, maybe sell it to me. I often trade something they want, my books, a custom knife, for a fossil or cool rock or wood they have. 

I traded for some local ironwood this year for example, a hard to come buy wood found only in this area in the entire world.  

Some customers want tips on how to find fossils, where to look! Or enjoy an adventurous story! I find most of my own fossils and specialize in Alaska materials. I carry about 5 kinds of rocks with no name, found only in Alaska that people who want interesting rocks come to me for. Since I trade materials, I get deals on Tucson material or from collectors, so can pass these deals on to others. I have larimar I acquired over 20 years ago when it sold by the pound, as well as Russian charoite. I get amber, and one favorite stone, opal. I acquire material I want to get rid of cheap, it’s not being what I usually carry. I may sell it for less then I paid in order to make room for my big money makers. I offer low end items for sale for children, so kids have something to look at and acquire, as adult parents have time to shop. I have Alaska crystals for $1, and stone heart, or shark tooth necklaces, for $3. Interestingly there may be a opal necklace for $2,000 nearby.  For customers who buy wholesale who own shops, I have a lot of advertising provenance material. Fliers, copies of news articles, photographs, links to my you tube how to, and adventures, there are my books on being a fossil hunter, life of Indiana Jones. This all makes a nice display, so I have shop owners who want my art, books, fossils, in a display. Many knife makers come to me for blank blades, like meteorite and other custom, as well as their year’s supply of fossil handle material with mammoth ivory as low as $30 a pound, often $90 a pound elsewhere. I remind these regulars, “Come to Tucson and write it off as a business trip!” I had 900 pounds of fossil ivory this year 2023 to choose from. My sign is easy to see on the upstairs railing at Days Inn at I-10 and St Mary’s by the pool, ‘Miles of Alaska- room 127.’  There are about 75 other vendors selling fossils at this show, so lots to see! Usually, easy free parking out front. I’m signed up, same spot for 2024.