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Editor's Note

Here’s Why You Should Work on Your Negotiation Skills

It could impact your bottom line dramatically.




The reports from jewelry retailers around the country coming out of the holiday selling season have been very positive. Of those who completed our latest Brain Squad poll, nearly 50% were up for December — a giant number considering that 2023 was also a good year for most. In fact, since businesses began reopening during the pandemic, jewelry retailers have mostly seen nothing but growth, generally speaking.

Of course, we’ve also seen high inflation, so the growth is offset at least somewhat by rising prices. That said, with inflation finally cooling off and interest rates likely coming down later this year, another profitable year would leave jewelry retailers sitting pretty heading into 2025.


That’s the impetus behind this month’s lead story on how to improve your negotiating skills. You can grow sales all you want, but if you can’t keep costs down, your bottom line won’t look nearly as healthy as it could. On the other hand, negotiations with your vendors, banks, service providers, and yes, customers, can help you achieve greater profitability through lower expenses.

Out of the 20 tips for better negotiation that are shared in the story (and 20-plus more in the online version at, I hope you will find at least one piece of advice that will make you a stronger negotiator. Then, when you sit down at a trade show with a vendor or a desk with your lender — or even a custom design situation with a client — you can lay the foundation for sustainable business health.

Now Introducing The INSTORE Show, Coming to the Chicago Area in 2023!

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  • Invite your customers to an “Appraisal Clinic” at your store along with a reminder that their insurance company will typically pay the oldest appraisal price. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 22)
  • Make table bookings at top local restaurants far in advance, then give them away to clients who make substantial purchases. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 22)
  • No matter how serious or important the negotiation at hand, try to have fun and use appropriate humor to lighten the mood. (The Big Story, p. 30)
  • Publish new content weekly on your web blog to keep the attention of search engines. (Andrea Hill, p. 46)
  • When selling to a couple, engage both of them in the process by asking relationship questions and finding out what’s important to each person. (Shane Decker, p. 48)



When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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