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17 Profoundly Horrible Things Jewelers Did to Their Competitors

‘Reported us to the IRS!’




17 Profoundly Horrible Things Jewelers Did to Their Competitors

JEWELERS ARE GOOD PEOPLE — most of them, anyway.

But as in any other profession, there are a few unsavory characters. And unfortunately, our readers have had some run-ins with less-than-upstanding members of the industry.

One question we asked in INSTORE’s 2017 Big Survey was, “What’s the most unethical thing a direct rival has done to you in the name of competition?”

The answers were a bit disturbing.

Don’t try this stuff at home, folks. You wouldn’t want the bad karma that’s bound to result.

Our local rival once told a potential client that we were known to have cocaine problems and informed the potential customer we were engaged in unethical behavior so we could pay for drugs.

Used a picture of my late husband in his Corvette in his ad, stating they pay more for gold because they don’t have a Corvette.

We refer horrible customers to each other.

Said that they made my wife’s engagement ring!

Told people my watches were counterfeit.

Stopped by my store and in the middle of a presentation of loose diamonds told my customer, “Hmm, that’s nice. But you should come see what I have at my shop.”

Appraised an item and told the client that the sapphire we sold the client was too good to be real, that it must be synthetic and to demand a lab report or money. We gave the money back, got a lab report, called the customer, and he was upset because he had purchased another sapphire from the competitor’s wife and could not return it!

Our color stone dealer opened a retail store across the street from us, without telling us and while we were planning an event together.

Told our customer the diamond they bought from us was junk!

Pretended to be me.

Put our name on their website.

Reported us to the IRS!

Said they had never heard of our store when a potential customer walked into their location in error.

Said we were crooks. My response was that we did take $50,000 of sales from them last month, so guilty as charged!

Said our prices are lower because we sell stolen merchandise.

Hired an ex-employee and had them send postcards to my customers.

Told people I was unstable and might not be in business much longer.

The 2017 Big Survey was conducted in July and attracted more than 700 responses from jewelry-store owners around country. Look out for all the results in the October issue of INSTORE.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at



When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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