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David Geller

Here’s How Shop Expert David Geller Figures Repair Pricing

Remember: No matter what you charge, you’ll have a 90 percent closing ratio.

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You may price your repairs and such differently, but I’d like to share with you how I think.

As an example, let’s consider a new 3-millimeter wide half-shank. In the Geller Blue Book, sizing a half shank for a size 6.5 to 7 ring that is 3 millimeters wide and 1.5 millimeters thick has a recommended price of $244.

How did I get that price?

MATERIAL: 
As a bench jeweler, I would cut my own sizing stock, not buy the shank. I figured the weight at 1.13 pennyweights. As I wrote this article, on the Stuller website 14K gold was $41 per pennyweight. Cost of the sizing stock would be $41 x 1.13 = $46.33.

I mark up all materials three times. So, we would sell this piece of sizing stock for $138.99 (or rounded up, $139). Now we have to install it.

LABOR: 
If you look at a ring that’s going to be sized smaller as a clock, we cut the ring at the bottom at 6 o’clock. To make it smaller, we’d charge $42.

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If we install a half shank, we will remove and install the piece of sizing stock at 9 o’clock on the left and 3 o’clock on the right. I figure these as two instances of “sizing smaller.” At $42 for each side x 2 = $84 in labor.

But wait! If you solder on a piece of flat sizing stock and it doesn’t match, you must shave it to look good. It doesn’t take a torch/solder to do that, so I figure “shaping” is worth half the labor as sizing. Half of $42  is $21.

We add up $42 + $42 + $21 and we get $105 in retail labor, including polishing the ring.

When I owned a store, we paid the jewelers 26 percent of the retail labor price, including polishing. So the labor cost to install and polish the half shank was $105 x 26 percent  = $27.30 cost, paid to the jeweler.

TOTAL: 
We add the $105 in retail labor with the $139 retail materials price, and we get a total retail selling price for the half shank of $244!

No matter what you charge (because repairs are trust-sensitive and not price-sensitive), you’ll have a 90 percent closing ratio.

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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].

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