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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)



Moving Up — Not Out — with Wilkerson

Trish Parks has always wanted to be in the jewelry business and that passion has fueled her success. The original Corinth Jewelers opened in the Mississippi town of the same name in 2007. This year, Parks moved her business from its original strip mall location to a 10,000-square foot standalone store. To make room for fresh, new merchandise, she asked Wilkerson to organize a moving sale. “What I remember most about the sale is the outpouring excitement and appreciation from our customers,” says Parks. Would she recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers? “I would recommend Wilkerson because they came in, did what they were supposed to and made us all comfortable. And we met our goals.”

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