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Jewelers Are Taking Longer to Do Repairs — Here’s Why

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It’s not that they’re complacent.

As the chart shows, repair turnaround times are clearly slowing. In 2007, 19 percent of jewelers promised to finish a repair job within three days. By this year, that had fallen to 12 percent, while 31 percent of jewelers were taking more than a week to complete a repair, up from 27 percent four years ago.

Are these numbers a sign of deteriorating service standards? Is the improved economy making jewelers complacent? Not really, thinks repair guru David Geller, author of Geller’s Blue Book to Jewelry Repair & Design.

Rather, he believes the longer waits times are a reflection of the rising demand for custom work and the “huge” shortage of bench jewelers.

“What’s missing here is that the jeweler’s repair box probably has other, better paying jobs,” Geller says. “The average custom sale is $1,500 to $3,000. So the jeweler thinks, ‘We can wait a bit to do this repair while I take care of the big money job.'” Geller notes that over 80 percent of bridal — a big custom sale — is still sold in brick-and-mortar stores. In contrast, the average repair is $125, he says. Jewelers’ priorities will be guided by the return, he notes.

Geller’s take was supported by the salary section of the 2017 Big Survey. Bench jewelers’ salaries have risen from an average of $45,305 in 2009 to $51,325 this year, outpacing wage growth in every other jewelry job category. Bench jewelers are in demand and the work is apparently piling up.

For all the results of the 2017 Big Survey, which was taken by more than 700 jewelers around the country, look out for the October issue of INSTORE. It should be arriving in your mailbox soon.

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2017
 

12%

 
2013
 

18%

 
2007
 

19%

 
2017
 

56%

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2013
 

55%

 
2007
 

53%

 
2017
 

29%

 
2013
 

26%

 
2007
 

27%

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2017
 

2%

 
2013
 

1%

 
2007
 

1%

 
2017
 

1%

 
2013
 

1%

 
2007
 

1%

 

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SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials

If It’s Time to Consolidate, It’s Time to Call Wilkerson

When Tom Moses decided to close one of the two Moses Jewelers stores in western Pennsylvania, it was time to call in the experts. After reviewing two candidates, Moses, a co-owner of the 72 year-old business, decided to go with Wilkerson. The sale went better than expected. Concerned about running it during the pandemic, Moses says it might have helped the sale. “People wanted to get out, so there was pent-up demand,” he says. “Folks were not traveling so there was disposable income, and we don’t recall a single client commenting to us, feeling uncomfortable. It was busy in here!” And perhaps most importantly, Wilkerson was easy to deal with, he says, and Susan, their personal Wilkerson consultant, was knowledgeable, organized and “really good.” Now, the company can focus on their remaining location — without the hassle of carrying over merchandise that either wouldn’t fit or hadn’t sold. “The decision to hire Wilkerson was a good one,” says Moses.

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Jewelers Are Taking Longer to Do Repairs — Here’s Why

mm

Published

on

It’s not that they’re complacent.

As the chart shows, repair turnaround times are clearly slowing. In 2007, 19 percent of jewelers promised to finish a repair job within three days. By this year, that had fallen to 12 percent, while 31 percent of jewelers were taking more than a week to complete a repair, up from 27 percent four years ago.

Are these numbers a sign of deteriorating service standards? Is the improved economy making jewelers complacent? Not really, thinks repair guru David Geller, author of Geller’s Blue Book to Jewelry Repair & Design.

Rather, he believes the longer waits times are a reflection of the rising demand for custom work and the “huge” shortage of bench jewelers.

“What’s missing here is that the jeweler’s repair box probably has other, better paying jobs,” Geller says. “The average custom sale is $1,500 to $3,000. So the jeweler thinks, ‘We can wait a bit to do this repair while I take care of the big money job.'” Geller notes that over 80 percent of bridal — a big custom sale — is still sold in brick-and-mortar stores. In contrast, the average repair is $125, he says. Jewelers’ priorities will be guided by the return, he notes.

Geller’s take was supported by the salary section of the 2017 Big Survey. Bench jewelers’ salaries have risen from an average of $45,305 in 2009 to $51,325 this year, outpacing wage growth in every other jewelry job category. Bench jewelers are in demand and the work is apparently piling up.

Advertisement

For all the results of the 2017 Big Survey, which was taken by more than 700 jewelers around the country, look out for the October issue of INSTORE. It should be arriving in your mailbox soon.

2017
 

12%

 
2013
 

18%

 
2007
 

19%

 
Advertisement
2017
 

56%

 
2013
 

55%

 
2007
 

53%

 
2017
 

29%

 
2013
 

26%

Advertisement
 
2007
 

27%

 
2017
 

2%

 
2013
 

1%

 
2007
 

1%

 
2017
 

1%

 
2013
 

1%

 
2007
 

1%

 

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials

If It’s Time to Consolidate, It’s Time to Call Wilkerson

When Tom Moses decided to close one of the two Moses Jewelers stores in western Pennsylvania, it was time to call in the experts. After reviewing two candidates, Moses, a co-owner of the 72 year-old business, decided to go with Wilkerson. The sale went better than expected. Concerned about running it during the pandemic, Moses says it might have helped the sale. “People wanted to get out, so there was pent-up demand,” he says. “Folks were not traveling so there was disposable income, and we don’t recall a single client commenting to us, feeling uncomfortable. It was busy in here!” And perhaps most importantly, Wilkerson was easy to deal with, he says, and Susan, their personal Wilkerson consultant, was knowledgeable, organized and “really good.” Now, the company can focus on their remaining location — without the hassle of carrying over merchandise that either wouldn’t fit or hadn’t sold. “The decision to hire Wilkerson was a good one,” says Moses.

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular