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People Clueless About Gold Prospecting


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Below is one of the most common emails I get every day. :angry-smiley-010[1]: So many in fact, that I have standardized my response to them. I get sad ones too. The ones from disabled vets that just can’t find a job and think they can make a living gold prospecting break my heart. Others, like the one below, just leave you scratching your head. :stupidrb: I have changed the actual email address, the rest is absolutely real. :hahaha: - Terry

>>>In a message dated 1/18/2010 2:51:36 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, Clueless@yaboo.com writes:

What is the percentage of people who find gold that equals the cost of your trip. Say if the cost is $299 for a day, do most people get at least $299 worth of gold? I have a Bounty Hunter metal detector, and I want to come for two days, but I would need to find at least $400-$500 worth of gold. Please get back to me. <<<

Dear Clueless@yaboo.com,

You know, it would be a lot cheaper for you just to buy $400.00 worth of gold. We don't sell gold. We sell knowledge, adventure and a good chance to find gold that your eyes are the first to see.

It’s possible – it’s never happened – but it’s possible, you may not even find gold with us. Seriously, just buy some gold if you are looking to invest, because gold prospecting is expensive. You’ll need a good claim, equipment, knowledge and a lot of patience to be a successful gold prospector.

Most Sincerely,

Terry Soloman, COO

Arizona Gold Adventures Inc.

(914) 589-3985

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I think part of it has to do with the fact that some people over-hype the whole "gold is easy to find" thing. It's not--in my experience it's a lot of hard, gritty work, and oftentimes you'll never cover your expenses--but the experiences you have while you're at it? To say they're priceless is dramatic understatement--to think of a gold-hunting expedition as an investment? Only if you're thinking of investing in something that no one can ever take away from you, and that's a fact--no one will ever be able to take those feelings and encounters away from you. Nor will anyone ever be able to rob you of the memories of the fine people you'll meet, and maybe of some incredible discovery you'll make, or some lost part of history that you'll re-discover--those are the true treasures that are worth the investment. The gold--well, it's cheaper to buy it off the Internet if that's all you want--I agree.

All the best,

Lanny

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Hi Lanny

I'm with Garimpo 100%!!!

You just described the reasons that this is one of the greatest

hobbies ever. I've been skunked more times than I'll ever admit,

and never came home discouraged, just wanting to get back out there.

Good Beepin

Herb

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I think part of it has to do with the fact that some people over-hype the whole "gold is easy to find" thing. It's not--in my experience it's a lot of hard, gritty work, and oftentimes you'll never cover your expenses--but the experiences you have while you're at it? To say they're priceless is dramatic understatement--to think of a gold-hunting expedition as an investment? Only if you're thinking of investing in something that no one can ever take away from you, and that's a fact--no one will ever be able to take those feelings and encounters away from you. Nor will anyone ever be able to rob you of the memories of the fine people you'll meet, and maybe of some incredible discovery you'll make, or some lost part of history that you'll re-discover--those are the true treasures that are worth the investment. The gold--well, it's cheaper to buy it off the Internet if that's all you want--I agree.

All the best,

Lanny

Well said Lanny. You took the words right out of my mouth. Doug :thumbsupanim

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I dont see that as an unreasonable question. You are basically providing the service as a guide not only a teacher. If they knew the deal they would not need you and then you would not get to charge 200 a day.

You could always tell them that as a unseasoned detectorist and they are being taken to heavily hunted spots so their chance in finding gold is poor, but that wouldnt help you book trips.

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Robbor, I never said the original question was "unreasonable," I said it was clueless. How long did it take you before you "knew the deal?" How much time, money and sweat did you put in before you found your first nugget? - Have you even found a nugget? Did you have a mentor, or did you get into the hobby all by yourself?

We sell knowledge and adventure to folks that can afford it, and know exactly what they are paying for. That is why I send out the responses like the one I posted, so that people know what to really expect - a great day in the Arizona sunshine learning the basics (and some advanced tips and techniques)of placer gold mining, a little adventure, Arizona gold mining history and, if they are lucky, a little color!

Do you even know where, or what gold claims we operate on Robbor? I already know the answer - you don't. I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts you have no idea of what we teach, who we teach, or where we teach. It's OK though, everybody dislikes something - or someone - especially when they don't understand it, or feel threatened by it. My original point was very simple Robbor: A lot of people think gold prospecting is easy and inexpensive, and that if they just find the right spot they can make a living at it.

In closing, I hope I have made my point without personally attacking you Robbor, and I hope I have brought this thread back to where I intended it to go - pointing out that a lot of people think gold prospecting is easy and inexpensive, and that they can make a living at it. I guess nothing has really changed since the first gold rush in antiquity! - Terry

I dont see that as an unreasonable question. You are basically providing the service as a guide not only a teacher. If they knew the deal they would not need you and then you would not get to charge 200 a day.

You could always tell them that as a unseasoned detectorist and they are being taken to heavily hunted spots so their chance in finding gold is poor, but that wouldnt help you book trips.

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Robbor, I never said the original question was "unreasonable," I said it was clueless. How long did it take you before you "knew the deal?" How much time, money and sweat did you put in before you found your first nugget? - Have you even found a nugget? Did you have a mentor, or did you get into the hobby all by yourself?

We sell knowledge and adventure to folks that can afford it, and know exactly what they are paying for. That is why I send out the responses like the one I posted, so that people know what to really expect - a great day in the Arizona sunshine learning the basics (and some advanced tips and techniques)of placer gold mining, a little adventure, Arizona gold mining history and, if they are lucky, a little color!

Do you even know where, or what gold claims we operate on Robbor? I already know the answer - you don't. I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts you have no idea of what we teach, who we teach, or where we teach. It's OK though, everybody dislikes something - or someone - especially when they don't understand it, or feel threatened by it. My original point was very simple Robbor: A lot of people think gold prospecting is easy and inexpensive, and that if they just find the right spot they can make a living at it.

In closing, I hope I have made my point without personally attacking you Robbor, and I hope I have brought this thread back to where I intended it to go - pointing out that a lot of people think gold prospecting is easy and inexpensive, and that they can make a living at it. I guess nothing has really changed since the first gold rush in antiquity! - Terry

Terry

Check this link out. Thought you might be interested.

http://www.dcourier.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=77016&TM=50906.55

Wayne

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Thank's for the post Wayne! I have worked with Brian Witty up in Prescott Valley. This is an ongoing problem up there. Good post! - Terry

Terry

Check this link out. Thought you might be interested.

http://www.dcourier.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=77016&TM=50906.55

Wayne

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Yep! It is sorta funny the way some people are thinking you can just go out there and pick it off the ground.

It seems they didn't hear about the part of Digging, Digging Digging and sampling finding the Flake or two and Digging some more.

After a few days of fruitless Digging and Maybe a run in with the sheriff for being on someone else's claims they will figure out that it is work.

Free Lunches Don't last long!

They just Make problems for the folks that are in it for the long haul and Pizz off the Law and Tree Huggies.

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They are clueless, that is why you are being asked questions. You should not look at potential customers as being stupid and clueless. If they were in the know, they would not need your services. If I hire a hunting guide, my first questions would always be what can I expect, what is your success ratio? Same thing with a Doctor or Lawyer.... If they even give me a hint of arrogance, I would not hire them no matter what.

I have many people that are clueless about the procedure of getting a custom ring made. I look at it as my job to teach them. For me at least, it is a pleasure to do it especially if they go for the deal.........

For you to slam robber over his reply seems kind of uncalled for.....just mytwocents[1].gif (that might be only worth a single penny these days)

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My apologies to you El Dorado, for any percieved "slam." You and I are saying EXactly the same thing. I'm not upset about being questioned, I'm simply amazed that with the amount of free knowledge available, anyone could think they were going to be gauranteed $400-worth of gold in 48-hours - the first time out with a Bounty Hunter metal detector. Why don't you like me El Dorado? You have picked on me since my very first post here. I'm not a bad guy - really!

They are clueless, that is why you are being asked questions. You should not look at potential customers as being stu- Terryid and clueless. If they were in the know, they would not need your services. If I hire a hunting guide, my first questions would always be what can I expect, what is your success ratio? Same thing with a Doctor or Lawyer.... If they even give me a hint of arrogance, I would not hire them no matter what.

I have many people that are clueless about the procedure of getting a custom ring made. I look at it as my job to teach them. For me at least, it is a pleasure to do it especially if they go for the deal.........

For you to slam robber over his reply seems kind of uncalled for.....just mytwocents[1].gif (that might be only worth a single penny these days)

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Now boys ... before we get into a pissin contest lets meet in the center of the ring and shake hands first! After that a fair fight, if there is to be one, nothin' below the belt, no eye pokin' or gougin' ... and when it's over let's all go have a beer. :inocent:

Mike F

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:yuk-yuk: :thumbsupanim OK, Ya'll are right (placing pecker back in pants) :inocent: My sincere apologies to all - Terry

Now boys ... before we get into a pissin contest lets meet in the center of the ring and shake hands first! After that a fair fight, if there is to be one, nothin' below the belt, no eye pokin' or gougin' ... and when it's over let's all go have a beer. :inocent:

Mike F

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No fight at all and no dislike and I am positive you are a "good guy". It's just when inexperienced people go to a supposed expert on anything they know nothing about, it's because they want to find out information. Since you are selling a service to these kind of people all information they want should be taken seriously and those inquires should be considered as potential customers, not clueless idiots (which they may very well be). When folks want to book a trip to Moore Creek there is data available on how much gold has been previously found but certainly not to be taken as what will be found on the next trip. ( I was just using this as an example, I know that operation has changed). Robber's input was exactly what I am talking about, then you slammed him. You are lucky in this day and age to get numerous responses for your services. I think you should try to develop each and every request no matter how stupid or clueless they are. A simple response would be people certainly do find gold on my trips but I cannot guarantee that it would be enough to pay for the trip. But I can guarantee you will learn enough to be able to prospect on your own in the future. Verses just telling them to go buy gold instead.

Still just my twocents[1].gif and if this seems like an attack on Terry, I am sorry I did not mean it to be please accept my sincere apology. I will just be quiet.

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Hi all. Here's my :twocents:

The average person is clueless about every aspect of prospecting and mining. That's just the way it is. They don't teach this stuff in school and in the overall scheme of things very few people have friends or family who can teach them anything.

BUT, there is a growing number of people who want to learn and they are turning to the internet and forums like this to find out more. I think most will quickly realize it is unlikely they can make a living at it. Many have to weigh the costs associated with the various ways to get a *realistic experience* before they even make an attempt.

I consider myself lucky in that I've found enough gold to pay for the equipment I've purchased but Nugget and I would both be real skinny if we had to eat off the gold we've found. Then again, I don't work at it real hard. I'm sure if I put in more time I would find more gold. We can probably all say that.

Back in the days of the gold rushes people could live off the land. They don't allow that anymore. In some ways I wish they did. Unfortunately, for every person who thinks it would be great to go out and find a nugget, there are a number of people who don't think you should be allowed to do it.

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I must admit that I’ve been guilty of being “clueless” a time or two and managed to step in a “pile” at the same time in my life however, this issue of being clueless brings something to mind that has been discussed in many different ways or subjects relating to prospecting on this forum over the past five years since I’ve been a member.

Take for instance the precautions we’ve noted when being out in the desert e.g. rattle snakes, some two-legged ones as well, rules and regulations, mining laws and claims, being prepared for conditions, riding ATVs etc. and I could go on and on!

That said, the clueless side of the issue reminds me of this phrase that we’ve all said from time to time in our replies to ‘newbies’ just getting started…..”There is no such thing as a dumb (clueless) question”!

Terry, my words are not meant as an affront to you personally and what you do as a service for others. I do want to remind you that you have said in past threads here, that it is “our duty” to educate the unwashed. You have a great opportunity to do so with what you’re doing by allowing others to camp and visit, for a fee, on your mining claims and keep the gold they find and take home the experience as well. I also understand claim maintenance costs.

I must add and you well know this, there is no such word as “hobby” or “recreational” relation that can be directed to a mining claim. I look at things this way, I don’t expect others to understand the knowledge of prospecting and mining that I have gained in my lifetime and to this extent I don’t know as much as I’d like to but, I’m damned sure working on it!

The gold is in the hunt, preparation, the outdoors, campfires, good food and an adult beverage or two, and with that comes some great BS sessions where “clueless” doesn’t seem to matter! By the time the fire dies down we’re all a bit clueless! :inocent: :yuk-yuk:

Gary

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See ... I said earlier in this post we should all go have a beer or two ... I did forget that we needed the campfire dying down for us all to become a little more clueless ... But Gary ... you are absolutely right! ... Now about that beer ... is there any more in the cooler?! :thumbsupanim Pass me one would ya! :whoope:

Mike F

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Great post Gary! :thumbsupanim You folks have made some very good points, and argued them with passion and experienced knowledge. I respect your views and agree with 99-percent of what has been said. Let me try and make my point another way.

If a man walks into a busy Minelab dealership and says to the dealer, “What percentage of people find enough gold on their vacation to pay for this $5,000.00 machine? I want to buy a GPX 4500, but only if I can find enough gold on my vacation to pay for it.” What response do you think that person would – or should receive? - Terry

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Terry ... let me lay it out for you this way:

I'm on vacation next week for the month of February. If I pay for my GPX4500 and peripherals say $6000 worth with gold I find on my vacation I have a choice. Go back to work and make what I make ... right now it is a far cry from $6000 per month ... or I can take another month and play. Now my living expenses here in NH ... it's just me ... are about $3500 a month for everything including truck, taxes, housing, food and all the extras. That's $42,000 per year. Now at the vacation rate I need 7 more months to make expenses and that leaves me 4 months to do whatever I want ... hunt, fish, kayak, hike, camp, play, drink beer ... you get the picture ... before I have to go back to the well for more gold. Question ... how many people do you know who make $42000 plus the $6000 for equipment a year prospecting for gold? I know a number of great prospectors on this forum and I would be willing to bet that not a one of them makes $48000 a year prospecting even if they were to do it full time ...! :shrug:

So you or anyone else can answer the question ... not likely ... it is possible to get really lucky and stumble on a big one month payday ... but the consistency factor becomes iin question :grr01: ... can you do it every month? ... not likely even for the most experienced amongst us.

BTW ... if I go home at the end of the month with a nugget or a handful of nuggets I will be happy ... after all this is a hobby ... or so I have been told! :inocent:

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If a man walks into a busy Minelab dealership and says to the dealer, “What percentage of people find enough gold on their vacation to pay for this $5,000.00 machine? I want to buy a GPX 4500, but only if I can find enough gold on my vacation to pay for it.” What response do you think that person would – or should receive? - Terry

Wow Terry, a number of things could enter that picture depending on the integrity of the dealer. If the dealer is only interested in making an immediate sale I’d bet that the man would hear every “pie in the sky” sales pitch created, kinda like the ole vacuum cleaner salesman of years past that went door to door and couldn’t remember how to pronounce your last name correctly more than once because his lips were moving to fast!

The other side of the coin goes to the dealer that wishes to build a customer base and provide customer service and support thus gaining ones trust. With this in mind the man should be told by the dealer, “I can’t guarantee that you will find enough gold to pay for your metal detector purchase during your vacation nor would I do so with any other detector I sell…..there are to many other factors that can play into the picture! As much as I’d like to take your money for the GPX, I’d rather you feel comfortable regarding your decision to make such a purchase”!

Terry, I’d be willing to stick my neck out and maybe step in a “pile” but I can envision you on the phone with a potential customer who just asked a similar question! :inocent: :ph34r2: :yuk-yuk:

Gary

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Great post Gary! :thumbsupanim You folks have made some very good points, and argued them with passion and experienced knowledge. I respect your views and agree with 99-percent of what has been said. Let me try and make my point another way.

If a man walks into a busy Minelab dealership and says to the dealer, “What percentage of people find enough gold on their vacation to pay for this $5,000.00 machine? I want to buy a GPX 4500, but only if I can find enough gold on my vacation to pay for it.” What response do you think that person would – or should receive? - Terry

How much vacation time do you have?

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