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David Geller

Four Powerful Ways to Increase Your Repair Prices

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Charging more to do a better repair can increase client satisfaction and loyalty.

Over the years, I’ve asked jewelers what their average repair sale is in dollars. It can range as low as $65 and go as high as $150.

When I first started as a jeweler, I remember being what I thought was considerate of a customer’s purse strings, not wanting to overcharge them. Fix the item for the least possible price. I remember one time when I had fixed something for the “least possible price” and the customer had her jewelry break in another spot, losing a quarter-carat diamond from her mother’s jewelry. We took the hit, but the customer said, “It’s not the money; I lost a stone that my father gave my mother. Do you really mean that for a measly $60 more, you could have fixed this in a top-notch fashion and I’d still have my mother’s original diamond?”

I realized that when it comes to repairs, it’s best to give the client all of the options. Increasing the average sale really means doing the job in the best way possible, even if it costs the customer more.

Here are four ways to do what’s right for your customer and thus increase the average repair sale:

1. When a client wants a ring sized, replace the ring’s half shank instead.

If a ring shank is less than 0.80 mm thick and you size it, there’s a good chance that in the future the shank might crack at that spot or bend easily. Replacing the shank will make it thicker and stronger, and there will be no visible seam as there might be if you sized it.

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Sale Increase: $200 or more

2. On a ring with a worn tip or missing prong, re-tip or re-prong all of them, not just the bad or missing one.

Prongs typically wear down evenly, but if an asymmetrical ring is worn the same way daily, then when the ring turns, a few prongs will wear down faster. With all of the prongs rebuilt, they will be stronger and hold the stone tighter. Also, being rebuilt will probably get rid of any causes for snagging on clothing. Finally, all the prongs will look the same, like when it was new.

Sale Increase: $70-120 more

3. Charge to check and tighten all of the stones.

Many stores check stones and charge only if they are loose. But if you check them and they are tight, will you warranty the loss later? Aha! Charge to check and tighten stones, even if they are tight when you receive the job. This pays the jeweler’s salary as he or she will still spend time checking them. If a stone is lost later, you can please the customer with your one-year guarantee.

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Sale Increase: $28-$50 more

4. Have many gemstones re-polished or chipped diamonds recut.

The customer wants everything to be beautiful! Many gems are so soft that the table shows scuff marks and the gem loses its shine and brilliance. If you’re removing the stone to repair the ring or prongs, suggest having it polished while the work is being done. Fixing chipped diamonds helps in the same way, and older cuts can be made to be most brilliant in today’s cuts. Sale Increase: $250 or more

Just suggest these things to almost every customer. You’ll find probably half of them will think of this as an upgrade and say yes!

The staff didn’t know until a week later that I had had us shopped. The customer gave us an A+. Personally, I was hoping for some failure to use as a learning point, and you’re probably better off if your mystery shopper is a little more critical.

The other thing you need to do is get out of your store and visit a retailer that is not another jeweler. Take your staff out to look at cool restaurants, expensive shoe and handbag stores and other modern retailers. Electronic stores are cool places to get hip ideas. You never know where you’ll find the next big idea to take your shopping experience to the next level.

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DAVID GELLER is a consultant to jewelers on store management. Email him at dgellerbellsouth.net.

This article originally appeared in the November 2016 edition of INSTORE.

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