(Not a good thing to do...)
Once again, You can trust me to tell it like it is when it comes to all things gold mining. This character trait has been both a blessing and a curse for me at times but so it goes. In my previous post I made a few points about gold claims and claim sellers (my least favorite subject) and now I'd like to discuss another topic, so bear with me.
Dream Merchants and Mining Gear Vendors
I know some of you are sitting there scratching your heads and asking yourselves this question: "Aren't they the same thing?" To put it simply...no, they are not. Sure, they both sell mining gear, equipment, books, videos and CDs, etc., but their intent and mode of operation is where the difference lies.
(Some dream merchants are just like shyster used car salesmen.)
I've ranted at length in the past here at "Bedrock Dreams" about dream merchants, including giving you my personal definition for them so I don't want to beat that dead horse again. But in dealing with the often questionable approaches and businesses practices of these folks I fear that I may have (yet again) thrown the gold mining baby out with the bathwater.
What Separates the Good from the Bad
Most mining and prospecting gear vendors are NOT dream merchants. They are honest, decent, hard-working folks with a love for gold mining and prospecting, treasure hunting, rock hounding, and many other outdoor activities. When you purchase items from them you can expect a fair shake and prompt resolution to any transaction issues.
- They're not working a hustle, just running a small business and providing all of us with a much needed service.
- They're "real" about gold mining and will tell you the good, bad, and indifferent sides of that story freely and honestly.
- They're imminently accessible and will encourage you but won't make any false promises about striking it rich or recovering an ounce of gold a day IF you just buy what they want to sell you.
- They don't (or won't) sell crazily expensive bullshit like "gold wands" or "gold locators" that can supposedly detect or "sniff" gold from miles away.
- They don't sell crap like bogus gold maps that (for the right price) will lead you right to the mother of all motherlodes.
- They don't try to exploit your dreams by force feeding you theirs (and what they want to sell you).
For the sake of fairness, I try to refrain from making recommendations of any sort when it comes to mining gear, claims, prospecting clubs, and so on. Once in a great while I will, but it's a rarity.
That said, I've been both an associate and a customer of Eathan Mertz's "Black Cat Mining" for over 5 years now and as far as I'm concerned, Eathan and Black Cat represent all that is good in a prospecting and mining vendor. I've also had good experiences with Gold Fever Prospecting, Colonial Detectors, the Garrett Store, and a number of other vendors.
(Reputable gold prospecting and mining vendors operate with a full dose of honesty.)
On the flip side, I was disappointed with a recent small purchase when a fairly large mining supply vendor (not here in the Lower 48) sent me a damaged item that was supposed to be new. I didn't return the item or make a stink simply because the cost of the item was under $15.00 and the shipping costs would've been at least that. But guess what? I'll never order anything again from that company. That's how I roll...
It's Up to You
Anyway, the fact of the matter is that there ARE many reliable and honest mining and prospecting gear vendors out there. The dream merchants? Well, they're out there too and always have been.
It's up to you who you decide to do business with.
Best of luck.
If you liked this post, you may want to read: "False Expectations of Success"
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2013
Questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org