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Big Survey

Jewelers Finally Get Better at Closing the Band Sale

INSTORE 2021 Big Survey finds more than 6 out of 10 jewelers get the band sale most of the time.




How many customers who buy engagement rings come back to buy wedding rings?

More than half
About half
About a third
About a quarter
Less than 10%
Almost none

MORE THAN ANYWHERE else in the world, jewelry retail in America is about the engagement ring sale. That typically one-carat centerstone and its white gold setting also happen to be the glittering centerpiece of the trade, and that goes for just about everyone involved in the business, from the fancy upmarket stores to the suburban mall chains to the little downtown custom shops. With all that focus on the diamond and the setting, it’s perhaps not surprising that jewelers often forget to push the humble band sale. According to a widely referenced survey by the TheKnot back in the aughts, about half of jewelers don’t get the follow-up sale on the bands, a fact that has driven sales trainers and management consultants mad – surely if a customer trusts you to provide their engagement ring, the band should be a gimme!

Well, we have some good news from the 2021 INSTORE Big Survey – jewelers are getting better at sealing the band sale: More than 60 percent said their engagement ring buyers come back to buy the bands from them more than half the time. Another 18 percent said they get the band sale about half the time, while 21 percent said they secure the band sale about one-third of the time or less.

Sure, it suggests four out of 10 jewelers appear to be leaving money on the table but it’s an improvement.


In other findings in the 2021 Big Survey, 42 percent of jewelers answered “the stone” when we asked them where the money was in an engagement ring sale. That was just ahead of “the setting” (37%) and a long way ahead of “the design work” (11%). In one other finding, almost one in five jewelers said same-sex engagement/wedding ring sales were not accounting for 10 percent of more of their sales in this category.

The 2021 Big Survey was carried out between August and September, attracting almost 600 anonymous responses from owners of independent jewelry stores across the United States and Canada. The full results can be found online here.

Chris Burslem is Group Managing Editor at SmartWork Media.



It Was Time to Make a Decision. It Was Time to Call Wilkerson.

Except for a few years when he worked as an accountant, Jim Schwartz has always been a jeweler. He grew up in the business and after “counting beans” for a few years, he and his wife, Robin, opened Robin James Jewelers in Cincinnati, Ohio. “We were coming to a stage in our life where we knew we have to make a decision,” says Jim Schwartz. He and Robin wanted to do it right, so they called Wilkerson. The best surprise (besides surpassing sales goals)? “The workers and associations really care about helping us move out own inventory out of the store first. It was very important to us.”

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