Customer questions are a sign of interest, but sometimes it’s all too obvious their interest lies in nothing more than the price, what you’ll do for free, or whether you’ll do something unethical. And then there are the plain nosy customers. Here are the questions jewelers hate to field.

  • “Can you sharpen your pencil or is this your best price?” — Mark Neumann, Ross Designs, Highland Park, IL
  • “Is there any wiggle room?” We don’t wiggle. — Steven Wardle, Forest Beach Design, Chatham, MA
  • “How much for cash?” — Jim Allen, Genesis Diamonds, Louisville, KY
  • “Why do I have to leave it to get it repaired?” — Connie Stagner, Acori Diamonds & Design, Friendswood, TX
  • “You’re still working?” For some reason they think I should be retired. — Doug Schlotthauer, Douglas Jeweler, Hartford, WI
  • “Where is the (man) jeweler?” — Elizabeth Breon, Coast Jewelers, Florence, OR
  • “Did I get a good deal on this piece I bought on a cruise?” — Mike Doland, Doland Jewelers, Dubuque, IA
  • “What is this worth? I just need a ballpark. Is it real?” — Linda Brown, Heritage Jewelers, Shelbyville, TN
  • “I bought this online, did I get a good deal? I mean, I don’t need an appraisal or anything ...” — Donnie Blanton, Brittany’s Fine Jewelry, Gainesville, FL
  • “Are you going to steal my diamond if I leave it here?” — Stephen Ware, Ware Designs, Lafayette, CA
  • “Can I trust you?” — John E. Thompson, Shabree Jewelers, Sheboygan, WI
  • “Do you really earn a living here?” After 30 years in the same location most of the replies that flow through my mind wouldn’t be printable. — James Doggett, Doggett Jewelry, Kingston, NH

“What is your return policy?” When that question comes up before the close you know that this relationship is rocky at best. — Tom Duma, Thom Duma Fine Jewelers, Warren, OH

  • “How was your Christmas?” — Lee Krombholz, Krombholz Jewelers, Cincinnati , OH
  • “How is business?” — Deb Button, Hodges Jewelry & Gifts, Hastings, MI
  • If they have to pay sales tax. — Evan Duke, Classic Creations in Diamonds & Gold, Venice, FL
  • “What’s the breakdown of labor and metals?” — Theresa Namie, Stephen Vincent Design, Minneapolis, MN
  • “Why is Blue Nile cheaper?” — Peter Stavrianidis, Venus Jewelers, Somerset, NJ
  • “Will you copy this work of another designer?” — Marta Jones-Couch, Elements Ltd., Des Moines, IA
  • “How much are your engagement rings?” (Over the phone). — Wendy Smith, Jimmy Smith Jewelers, Decatur, AL
  • “Do you have this (custom design as in one-off) in another color or metal?” — Lisa McConnell, Lisa McConnell Design Studio, Fort Worth, TX
  • “Why does it cost so much?” (Referring to repairs, custom and retail sales.) — Murphy McMahon, Murphy McMahon & Co., Kalispell, MT
  • “What? You can’t do that while I wait?” — Mark Kasuba, M. Edward Jewelers, Pittsfield, MA
  • “Can I give you American Express?” — Cos Altobelli, Altobelli Jewelers, Burbank, CA
  • “How much do you charge for a watch battery?” — Chris Jacobs, A. L. Jacobs & Sons Jewelers, San Diego, CA

This article originally appeared in the February 2017 edition of INSTORE.


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