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Big Survey

Big Survey: Jewelry Retailers Confess Their Unpopular Beliefs

Said one, “I don’t like white diamonds!”

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BIG SURVEY RESPONDENTS stand by their opinions, even when they stand alone.

Q. What is something you believe about running a jewelry business that nearly no one else in the industry agrees with you on?
  • “It’s OK to use tarot cards to answer the big questions.”
  • “I pay for education for everyone who works here. Two of my staff is doing online GIA going for their GG and the third one is in the jewelry sales at Diamond Council. The bench jewelers are learning hand engraving and pave setting. Paying to advance everyone’s education makes me extremely happy. If they leave, at least they will have something to be proud of and use.”
  • “We pay salespeople fully on commission against a draw, it helps them to work together to make a sale, work harder at developing long term customers, make good business decisions, and be kinder to customers and each other.”
  • “Social media is not the best way to get your product and name out in the community.”
  • “We never hold sales, no discounts, ever.”
  • “CAD provides production advantages, but also provides design disadvantages.”
  • “Wishing our competitors success.”
  • “Lab diamonds are worthless.”
  • “Our customer is our greatest asset, and we go to the ends of the earth to make them happy. The $5 customer is as important as the $50,000 dollar customer.”
  • “Open on Monday.”
  • “Customers are not loyal! Everyone thinks their customer will only go to them. I have some bad news for you, there’s no loyalty. The rich couple that spent a month bargaining with you and changing CADs and texting you non-stop, but bought a big diamond from you will walk into a store on vacation and pay retail (vacation retail) on some silly semi-precious necklace knowing full well they could have called or texted you and you could have got it or made it for less than half. Don’t work for pennies. Charge them! Make your money. People only buy jewelry a few times in their lifetime; you need to make money when you have the chance. Nice guys finish last.”
  • “Pay your employees well so they’re not stolen.”
  • “I have a large sign in front of the store with a picture of Donald Trump.”
  • “Never photograph a pear shape point down.”
  • “You don’t have to sell online.”
  • “Don’t tell anyone, but I don’t like white diamonds. I find them boring and overpriced. Only color stones excite me.”
  • “Four-day work week.”
  • “No one wants to see your old ugly bald owner on a billboard!”
  • “Bezel settings are the way to go. I hate claws.”
  • “The magic blessed pebble in our foundation protects our business.”
  • “We do not let customers design jewelry. We do not let customers provide jewelry designs. Our reputation is about providing excellence. Won’t do it wrong even if you pay me.”
  • “No sales rep in the store; only buy at shows. Buying in the store disrupts the day for everyone. That’s the point of buying shows.”
  • “Construction workers SHOULD wear pearls.”
  • “Turning inventory- the conventional wisdom seems to be if you don’t turn it in a year, get rid of it. As someone who designs and creates more unique pieces, the question shouldn’t be how LONG one has had an item but is it STILL relevant in the market!”
  • “I do not know anyone who disagrees with me.”

The 2023 Big Survey was conducted via an anonymous online form from late August to early October, attracting more than 750 responses from American jewelry-store owners and managers. The full results will be published in the November edition of INSTORE.

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Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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