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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].



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If It’s Time to Consolidate, It’s Time to Call Wilkerson

When Tom Moses decided to close one of the two Moses Jewelers stores in western Pennsylvania, it was time to call in the experts. After reviewing two candidates, Moses, a co-owner of the 72 year-old business, decided to go with Wilkerson. The sale went better than expected. Concerned about running it during the pandemic, Moses says it might have helped the sale. “People wanted to get out, so there was pent-up demand,” he says. “Folks were not traveling so there was disposable income, and we don’t recall a single client commenting to us, feeling uncomfortable. It was busy in here!” And perhaps most importantly, Wilkerson was easy to deal with, he says, and Susan, their personal Wilkerson consultant, was knowledgeable, organized and “really good.” Now, the company can focus on their remaining location — without the hassle of carrying over merchandise that either wouldn’t fit or hadn’t sold. “The decision to hire Wilkerson was a good one,” says Moses.

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