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David Geller

David Geller: Guarantee Your Work

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And make more money while you’re at it

BY DAVID GELLER

Published in the May 2013 issue.

Do you provide a warranty on your work? Certainly, customers expect it.

Think about it: You go out and buy a cellphone or other electronic device and you expect it to work flawlessly for a year. If it has any problem, you take it back to the retailer, and they exchange or repair it to keep you happy.

But a jeweler sizes a ring for a customer, and a month or so later a small diamond falls out, and the typical jeweler’s hair is straight up on his back: “We only sized the ring, and the diamonds were tight when it left the store!”

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Think that client will be back?

Why do jewelers treat customers this way? Because they take their work personally. They think it says they did a bad job.

Don’t take it personally. Instead, make customers happy who come back with lost stones from work done in your store and profit in spite of those occasional additional repairs.

Here’s the place to start: Charge to check and tighten stones, especially for ring sizings. If the ring has five to 20 stones, we charge an additional $25 on top of the $39 to size the ring smaller. (For rings with fewer than five stones, we don’t charge.) The $25 charge is to check each stone to see if it is loose when we finish the work.

In addition, we guarantee if they get loose in a year, we’ll tighten them for free, and if they fall out, we’ll replace them at no charge. There are some exceptions, but for the most part this covers all small stones (under half a carat).

Let’s say you take in an eternity band with seven 5-point round diamonds. You size the ring smaller and charge $39. Charge an additional $25 to check and tighten. (Or $35 for 21-25 stones, or $50 for 36-50 stones.)

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The speech to the customer goes like this:

“Mrs. Jones, for $39 our jeweler is going to size your ring to a 6.5. He’ll make sure it’s round and you won’t see where it’s been sized. Our $25 ‘check and tighten’ gets the jeweler to make sure every stone is tight, and if they get loose in a year we’ll tighten them at no charge. If any of them fall out we’ll replace them at no charge. Then our jeweler will refinish your ring like when it was new. We’ll have it ready next Thursday.”

That’s now a $64 charge. If you take in 10 repairs a day that’s $2,600 a year.

Most stores tell me 50 to 75 percent of jewelry taken in has at least five stones in it. Out of 2,600 jobs 1,300 to 1,950 jobs are eligible for the “check and tighten” service.

Once offered to a customer, easily 70 percent of them will say, “Sure, go ahead I want that service.” (If the customer does not want to pay the additional fee, write on the envelope: “No guarantee on stone loss; customer didn’t not want the service.”)

The 70 percent who say yes mean between 791 and 1,365 jobs will earn an extra $25 each. That adds up to $19,777 to $28,412 taken in without any effort. So what’s it cost to replace two 5-point diamonds? $60? Don’t anger a customer for $60. Instead, make him happy, and keep $19,777 to $28,412!

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