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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.

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].



It’s Going to Set Us Up Very Nicely for Retirement

You’ve worked hard all your life. And if you’re like most jewelers contemplating retirement, you’re hoping that your going-out-of-business sale will add to your nest egg — with minimal complications. That’s exactly what Doug and Jacki Friedrich, fourth-generation owners of Friedrich Jewelers Inc., of Vernon, Conn., experienced when they selected Wilkerson to run their sale. “Jewelers who are contemplating a sale should go with Wilkerson because of their experience,” says Doug. And with financial goals “exceeding expectations,” the couple can now focus on enjoying the next chapter of their lives. “It’s going to set us up very nicely for retirement,” says Jacki. “The money’s coming in and we have no complaints. It’s been wonderful.”

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