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Do You Service Jewelry Bought Online? Jewelers Weigh In

Some say it’s a nice conversion opportunity.




Yes: 93%

  • They are proven jewelry purchasers, and I want them to visit my store. We sell lots to internet shoppers once they visit us. Getting them in the store is the barrier, not service or price. — Steven B. Goldfarb, Alvin Goldfarb Jeweler, Bellevue, WA
  • We have a four-month selling season: June through August and December. Repairs and custom work keep us alive in the other months of the year, so choosing to NOT do repairs of any kind would be the absolute WRONG decision. — Joe Caron, Caron’s Jewelry, Bristol, RI
  • We’ve raised our prices and figure that even though they bought it online, once they get to know us, maybe they’ll start shopping in our store. Plus, we raised our repair prices and use some of that extra money to be a little more generous with our customers that do buy here. — Chuck Jacobson, International Diamond, Adrian, MI
  • We make money doing it. We usually get other sales as a result of being known for our excellent service and quality merchandise. — William Selig, Bill Selig Jewelers, Simbury, CT
  • I want to help all of my customers. While items bought online may be lower quality, when they come in, I can share, politely, why they may not have gotten the deal they thought. If the ring is too poorly made, I will explain why I must decline to work on the jewelry and suggest they return the item or have the online store do the work. — Dale Robertson, Dale Robertson Jewelry, Loveland, OH
  • It is better than nothing. It gives us a chance to have them as our customers, to give them the pros and cons of buying online, and to show them how we can compete against the sites they brought from. Many times it works, making new customers out of internet shoppers and explaining why they should buy from us instead! — Susan Eisen, Susan Eisen Fine Jewelry & Watches, El Paso, TX
  • Service is a very big part of our business; why would we turn away business? — Tom Schowalter, Miner’s Den Jewelers, Royal Oak, MI
  • I started this business to help people buy jewelry and make ‘em happy. We try to do everything we can to help and service folks … can’t go wrong doing right. — Alan Perry, Perry’s Emporium, Wilmington, NC
  • We educate. However they came upon a piece, we advise against work we can’t warranty for whatever reason. Most customers are disappointed they spent too much elsewhere and bought from a company who doesn’t stand behind their own manufacturing. They realize that cruise jewelry, tourist shops, some online sellers, and some department store items have no guarantee and no service … then they realize they were taken advantage of and are mad. Deflecting that anger without disparaging another business is most often our biggest time waster. — Jill Keith, Enchanted Jewelry, Danielson, CT
  • I need all the business that comes my way. If I didn’t have a relationship with this customer before they bought this jewelry online, I have an opportunity now to change that, so they think of me next time. — Laurie Langdon-Gerber, Elisa Ilana Jewelry, Omaha, NE
  • Most millennials do not understand loyalty or service. After the sale, we try to explain the concept; if they don’t get it, we let them move on and make the same mistake again. Maybe one day they will learn. — Tim Sherrer, Lou’s Jewelry, Mobile, AL
  • When a client brings in a piece for repair, we do not ask if it was purchased here or elsewhere, or if it was a gift from an old boyfriend or Aunt Susan. A job is a job. You don’t get to the head of the line unless you pay $50 on top of the repair, and if you complain about our pricing, we smile, hand the piece back and walk away. — Jo Goralski, The Jewelry Mechanic, Oconomowoc, WI 

No: 7%

  • We refer them to another store in town because our bench jeweler is too busy to deal with them. — Theresa Peregoy, Classic Facets, Edgewater, CO
  • We, as a rule, don’t work on ANYTHING that jeopardizes local business. We are not in the business to support online, and by servicing ANY online purchase, we are validating the customer’s decision to NOT shop local and support local business. — Jonathan McCoy, McCoy Jewelers, Dubuque, IA
  • I will work on older pieces no matter where they come from, but I refuse to help out the online merchants by servicing brand new jewelry. Let the customers send it back and see what a pain in the neck it is. Plus, my repairs cost so much that it’s cheaper for them to return them to the place they got them. They can beg me to size the bands that are received in the wrong size, but I refuse to do them. If they have something new from a legitimate brick-and-mortar jeweler, I’m happy to help them out. — Daniel Spirer, Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, Cambridge, MA
  • I am disappointed in the quality of the jewelry people are bringing in from online purchases. They are so excited about it being “original” or “made by a new designer” that they don’t look at quality. IF we work on pieces that are purchased online then we are responsible for that piece and I do not agree with that concept. — Kirsten Reynolds, Windsor Gallery, Salisbury, NC
  • Too many problems, stones falling out, thin shanks, etc. — Edward Guerboian, Edward Co. Premier Jeweler, Santa Monica, CA

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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