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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.



When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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