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Do You Or Don't You?

Do You Or Don’t You … Carry Prototype or Virtual Inventory?

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[componentheading]Yes, I Do[/componentheading]

It increased our selection tenfold. Our clients treat it as live, we handle the items as if they are live, and customers are surprised when they are told they are samples. — Alex Weil; Martin’s Jewelry, Manhattan Beach, CA

The biggest hurdle for us was us. We needed to get over the fact that these were not live. Before, we would pull out a catalog and show pictures. Now, we can let them put on a ring, see how it really looks and feels. It also has allowed us to sell loose diamonds. Put the two together and it’s a marriage of success. — Dale Robertson; Jacob Stone, Milford, OH

When I opened my second store, I didn’t have a lot of money to buy new inventory, so I bought lots of sample jewelry. It worked well and continues to fill a niche. — Rochelle Klieger; Ruby & Sons Jewelers, Endwell, NY

In the past no matter what we had in stock, the customer wanted something different, or it was not their size. Ninety percent of the time we were placing a special order. Brass and glass has allowed us to have a bigger inventory at a much smaller expense. — Rich Bennett; P.K. Bennett Jewelers, Mundelein, IL

It helps me keep my costs down. Therefore, I can pass along better prices to my customers. I don’t have to put it away in the safe and can lower my insurance costs. — Cliff Yankovich; Chimera Design, Lowell, MI

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As a small downtown store, it has given me the opportunity to have similar depth to the big guys. — Stew Brandt; H. Brandt Jewelers, Natick, MA

It has not worked at all, just takes up space in the case. Only live samples sell. — Jim Ellis; Ellis Jewelers, Frankfort, IN

Even though we had some initial excitement with the pieces, quickly the interest waned for both our customers and, worse, our salespeople. — Shawn Przeclawski; Jewelry Plus, Casselberry, FL

[componentheading]No, I Don’t[/componentheading]

Soon we will just have a television monitor for each customer, and they will scan the virtual inventory to make their selections. I only hope they don’t pay with virtual money. — Randy Martin; Martin’s Jewelry, Ada, OK

People like the real thing. — Laura Stanley; Stanley Jewelers Gemologist, North Little Rock, AR

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I plan on looking into it. Any method of reducing direct costs can only be a benefit. — Jon Michael Fuja; Jon Michael’s Jewelers, Durand, MI

This concept eliminates the impulse buy. A lot of my clients want to wear it out of the studio. — Mark Thomas Ruby; SunSpirit Designs, Loveland, CO

It works probably in small towns, where there are no competitors with real inventory. But you can’t beat the real thing, and its emotional pull. — Eve Alfillé; Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio, Evanston, IL

[span class=note]This story is from the March 2011 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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Hosting a going-out-of-business sale when the coronavirus pandemic hit wasn’t a part of Bob Smith’s game plan for his retirement. Smith, the owner of E.M. Smith Jewelers in Chillicothe, Ohio, says the governor closed the state mid-way through. But Smith chose Wilkerson, and Wilkerson handled it like a champ, says Smith. And when it was time for the state to reopen, the sale continued like nothing had ever happened. “I’d recommend Wilkerson,” he says. “They do business the way we do business.”

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