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David Geller

David Geller: Maximize Your Custom Design Sales

Many jewelers are leaving dollars on the table when it comes to custom-design sales. Here are 5 easy ways to increase your average ticket.




WHEN SELLING CUSTOM design, always steer away from comparing your design to something in the case or catalog. If a customer asks why it costs more (and yes, indeed, it does) than the ring in the case, let them know honestly why it costs more:

A. Showcase and catalog items are made by the hundreds, labor is less for mass-produced goods and nowadays most items are made in developing countries where labor is cheap;
B. The expertise of your jeweler has no comparison to the last production piece;
C. The infinite attention to detail is far superior in a handmade piece.

Explain that the only way to get what you want is to have it handmade. It will be made the way “You want it.” Maybe even mention “You know, I think your design is prettier!”

Suggest enhancements that the customer would love forever:

A. 18K yellow gold over 14K has a richer, more royal color;
B. Platinum won’t tarnish or yellow;
C. Platinum will hold your stones more securely.

Have some heads already set up with CZs in them (the heads are loose in small plastic boxes). When showing a wax model or a ring you’re going to copy, place these heads in with some clay to hold them in place. This way the customer can see what it will really look like. From a findings house, buy some 5-stone strips in white gold and set some 3-point or 5-point CZs in them. Laying out stones already set gives a much more true-to-life look of what the ring could be?

Finally when it comes down to money, mention this phrase that I used all the time, and it’s so true: “Six months from now you won’t even remember the extra money you spent, but if you don’t go ahead and get the ring you want now, you’ll be looking down at your hand every day wishing you had gotten what you really wanted.


This story is from the April 2009 edition of INSTORE.



This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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