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David Geller

David Geller: Dirty Dozen

Want to beat the competition this Christmas? David Geller gives you 12 promotional ideas that will help do the trick.

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HERE’S AN EVEN dozen holiday promotional ideas you can use to get people’s attention this year:

1. If your staff wears nametags, have them slide a folded $10 bill under it so it’s easily visible. Customers will ask, “What’s the $10 bill doing on your blouse?” The reply: “Glad you asked, we’re giving 10 percent off today only on any of our gold bracelets [or whatever].” It’s a great way to start a conversation.

2. Have hot cider in the showroom with cookies at all times. The smell will entice passersby.

3. Have an easel board in front of the store with the day’s specials written on it.

4. Have an event party — three of them, in fact. One should be “Men’s Night Out” (not too unusual). The second should be “Caribbean Night”. The pitch? “Why go on a cruise to get the jewelry people buy on a cruise? Come to our store!” Have the staff dress up in Hawaiian shirts; have on memo lots of colored stone jewelry and diamond jewelry. Give away a free trip to the Caribbean. Also hold a “Women’s Wish Night.” Let the ladies chose the items they love and the staff contacts the significant other. Have it gift wrappable and deliverable to the “other.”

5. Give 2 to 5 percent of every sale you make during one of the big holiday shopping weekends to the Children’s Make a Wish campaign or to the Empty Stocking Fund. Send press releases to the local newspapers about it.

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6. Santa’s Secret Gift Box. Send all of your customers a key. Keep a “Santa’s Secret Treasure Chest” in the showroom with a lock on it. Maybe 10 percent of the keys will really open the box. Inside the chest are 12 gift-wrapped boxes, with glittering presents from your store. Let your customers choose any one.

7. Fill your showroom with helium balloons. Let your customers choose one to pop. Out falls a slip of paper with a discount off of the ticketed price.

8. Customer perk. Be like Discover Card, figure up the tally and let your old customers get 2 percent back on last year’s purchases towards their purchases this Christmas.

9. Great customer perk, especially if you’re in a mall. Hire someone to give foot or neck massages to your customers.

10. Let a Girl Scout troop have space in your store to gift-wrap packages. Let them make money by charging your customers for items not bought at your store. But their cost of “renting space” is to do your buyers’ wrapping for free or half price.

11. Give the staff one point for every $100 they sell. After the season they can trade in their points for prizes, including days off.

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12. Buy a 21” television for about $350 and set it up in the back. Big Sign “Largest Sale During Christmas Gets the Television.” It’s a great incentive for not much money.

This story is from the October 2003 edition of INSTORE.

David Geller is a 14th-generation bench jeweler who produces The Geller Blue Book To Jewelry Repair Pricing. David is the “go-to guy” for setting up QuickBooks for a jewelry store. Reach him at [email protected].

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Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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