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Reader Letters on Online Reviews, Russian Sanctions and More

Plus one recently retired reader checks in.




  • Would love to have some role-playing sessions for us to practice with. I enjoyed reading about negotiating and would love to hear how to answer some of the most common requests so it is a win-win for everyone! — Susan E., El Paso, TX
  • This is my first week out of The Village Gem. I miss it and then I do not. I think being retired will grow on me. I was such a workaholic. But one thing will not change, and that’s the feeling I get when my INSTORE magazine arrives. Thank you!! — Tommy T., Perry Hall, MD
  • Always so very grateful to read the stories. The comic cartoon [“The Jeweler” by Tim Searfoss] is one of my favorites. — Sherrie S., Tigard, OR
  • It is incredibly difficult to hire skilled bench jewelers. It’s a dying profession. The industry of handcrafted, locally made jewelry is fading. This is sad, because not all jewelry businesses want to outsource their work or mass-produce outside of their homeland. — Nellie O., Christiansted, VA
  • So, you ask your customer to give you a review and they are happy to do that. Then they try to do it, and the Google site asks them if they have Gmail, and if they don’t, to sign up and a bunch of other unrelated things, at which point the customer says “never mind” it’s not that important to them and this turns into a hassle. There are some companies, Podium is the one I’m thinking of, that offer to post the comments my client makes, and for this they charge somewhere around $300 a month. Which makes me feel scammed by both Podium and the review sites. — Janet A., Mill Valley, CA
  • I want to know why certain things in jewelry cost so much money. A few examples: 1) Why does a six-foot showcase cost so much? it is wood, glass and minor electrical. 2) Why are earring backs and lobster clasps so expensive? — Christopher S., Wexford, PA
  • We have never been busier. It’s a catch-22 because most jobs are now taking three weeks. I now give speeches on the due dates to avoid a million calls. I say it will be done around three weeks or thereabouts. I know you want it faster, but hey, I’m just one guy! — Rick N., Fernandina Beach, FL
  • Just read where Russian diamond sales were up when there is supposed to be sanctions. At the highest levels, our industry is missing the mark and giving every journalist with a bone to pick an opportunity to bad-mouth us. Seems like integrity is not high on the list when making money is. — David B., Calgary, AB

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This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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