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David Geller: How To Make $52,000 a Year On Lost and Loose Stones




When you size a ring, it takes about 20 minutes and you charge for this service, right? (Typically about $39.) If you do another 20 minutes of work on it, shouldn’t you get another $39? Yes indeed. So what would that other 20 minutes of work be?

Stone tightening! Many jewelers already do it, although usually for free. But anytime your jeweler touches the ring, you should get paid. After all, the customer says that if you touch her jewelry and something happens, it’s your fault.

Let’s explain how we do it according to the Geller Blue Book. If we take in a ring or any jewelry for sizing or repair and it has four or fewer stones we tighten and guarantee stone tightness or loss at no charge.

But if the ring has 5-20 stones we would charge according to our prices: $39 to size the ring plus $25 to check and tighten the stones even if they aren’t loose.

My car insurance company has charged me $900 a year for the last five years and I haven’t had a single accident. The only thing I’ve cost them is 49 cents to mail me a bill. Why charge me $900 when I didn’t cost them anything? To pay for all the crazy people who do crash cars.

When I do have a wreck they never have to say “must have been your fault, we won’t pay.” They pay with a smile.


You should do the same.

Here’s how to present the charge:

“Mrs. Jones, it’s only $64 to size your ring smaller. This includes our jeweler sizing your ring to fit and you’ll not notice where the work has been done. In addition, she will check all of the stones for tightness. If any stones are loose we will make sure they are as snug as a bug when you pick it up. In addition, if during the next year the diamonds become loose we’ll tighten them at no charge and if you lose any we’ll replace them for you at no charge and with a smile. Further, our jeweler will make your ring shine like the day your husband gave it to you. We can have it back to you on Friday.”

I combined the price of $39 to size and $25 to check and tighten to make the money sound seamless.

Would you do this? Well, you’re likely doing already. Get paid for it. How much? Let’s calculate.

If you take in 50 repair jobs a week, that’s 2,600 jobs a year.


Of those 2,600 jobs, about 40-80 percent will have five or more stones in them.

That’s 1,040 to 2,080 jobs you could tell the customer that it’s $25 more to check and tighten. You’d charge this in addition to sizing for bails on pendants, new shanks, earrings repair, bracelets, etc. Some people may balk at the price and you can remove the $25 and not guarantee stone loss at all. Specify that on the envelope.

But typically 70 percent of women will gladly pay to have the peace of mind that “you’ll be responsible for.”

Seventy percent means between 728 to 2,080 people will gladly pay an extra $25 to have the items checked, tightened, and guaranteed. If you multiply those two numbers by $25 you’ll see that you’ll take in between $18,125 to a $52,000 a year for what you’re already doing!

How much do you spend a year giving away money on lost stones from your repair work? I’m told the average is between $3,000 and $5,000. I just gave you $18,125 to $52,000. Quit giving customers such a hard time whose fault it is. Do like my car insurance company. Guarantee it, take the money and treat them like a mensch.

David Geller is a consultant to jewelers on store management. Email him at This article originally appeared in the March 2016 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].



When Sales Beat Projections, You Know Wilkerson Did Its Job

There are no crystal balls when it comes to sales projections. But when Thomasville, Georgia jeweler Fran Lewis chose Wilkerson to run the retirement/going-out-of-business sale for Lewis Jewelers and More, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that even Wilkerson could one-up its own sales numbers. “Not only did we meet our goal, but we exceeded the goal that Wilkerson had given us by about 134%,” she says. After more than 40 years in the business, Lewis says she decided a few years ago to “move towards retirement.” And she was impressed by Wilkerson’s tenure in the industry. Overall, she’d recommend the company to anyone else who may be thinking it’s time to hang up their loupe. “As a full package, they’ve done a very good job and I’d definitely recommend Wilkerson.”

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