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Eileen McClelland

Expert Guides on Buying and Selling Silver



Michael Barlerin, director of the Silver Promotion Service, says that a key 2014 retail survey found that 67 percent of jewelry retailers who sell silver jewelry watched that category increase in 2014.

In addition, Barlerin says most jewelers who have been selling silver don’t see it as a blip, but as a long-term opportunity.

Barlerin moderated a panel at the Smart Jewelry Show on Friday that included Aida Alvarez and Nancy Ginsberg of Chicago retailer C.D. Peacock, and Debra Puzio, representing the silver line Ariva Fine Jewelry.

The title of the talk was “Hot Sellers: Expert Guides on Buying and Selling Silver.”

One thing to keep in mind is that the silver customer often demonstrates purchasing behavior that is far different from traditional fine jewelry customers.

The silver customer, Puzio says, loves to come back for more and tends to be a collector. “It’s sport,” she says. “It’s different than gold, bridal and milestone purchasing. The point is you have to have variety. “ Make sure that philosophy extends to the designers you choose for your store. “Designers should be changing out their look often enough to keep it fresh for your customers.”


Other tips from the panel’s collaboration:

Have a mirror in your store and adopt a hands-on approach to silver sales. Because price points are generally lower, there’s a minimal security risk compared to other merchandise.

Highlight silver collections in your front window and emphasize price points – Gifts under $300; or “Must Haves Under $500.”

Don’t create an additional threshold barrier in our store by placing all high-priced merchandise up front. Instead, make it more welcoming by putting something affordable up front.

Use signage to identify silver selections in the store so that customers won’t have to ask whether it is silver.

If you’re just beginning to sell silver, offer your customers a coupon; word will quickly spread.


Look for innovation when choosing a silver designer line. “It tends to set you apart and it allows for good conversation,” says Puzio, who formerly worked for QVC.

Promote silver for weddings: Silver is the perfect choice for bridal party gifts.

If you’re choosing an assortment this year, don’t skimp on bracelets. “It’s all about the bangle this year,” Ginsburg says.

If you’re short on case space and want to test a silver line, consider bringing it in as a counter display, suggests Ginsburg.

Bring in designer jewelry for innovative looks, and consider branding your own silver line for basics like hoop earrings.

For more information about building your silver business, check out


Eileen McClelland is the Managing Editor of INSTORE. She believes that every jewelry store has the power of cool within them.



Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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