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Reader Thoughts on “Road Warriors” and Other Letters from March

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On “Road Warriors”

I am a road rep for the last 30-plus years. One issue I have is the lack of voice for salesmen in all the jewelry magazines. I recently read the “Road Warriors” article. Why not interview reps who can really tell the story of what it is like to work within the current industry?

I mean the following: retailers who do not return messages concerning appointments. Retailers who treat reps with disrespect. The struggle to get a buyer to look at your line. Vendors who cheat reps out of hard-earned commissions. Vendors who fire you even though you have opened dozens of accounts. Companies who expect you to pioneer a line for them without a draw or traveling expenses. I would love to see anyone be brave enough to write the truth about our current industry! — Brian J. Callahan, Alamea and Nambé

There are few experienced “road warriors” left in our industry who hazard traveling from store to store, lugging bags and cases behind them. I’m often surprised at the callousness and disrespect jewelry store owners show these brave guys. A little kindness can go a long way. The seasoned pros can offer great insights into what’s happening in your market. No doubt they have their finger on the pulse of the industry. So, to my peers: be nice to these brave men and women who risk their very lives making a living in this crazy industry bringing the market to your doorstep. Offer them a snack, call in for lunch, and maybe some bottled water for the road. They can teach you a lot … just listen. — J. Dennis Petimezas, Watchmakers Diamonds & Jewelry, Johnstown, PA

Peer Review

Love the magazine! Obviously written by people who have been there! We put it on the lunch table and often read articles to each other, knowing that the other person has been faced with this problem before and would be interested in the ideas mentioned in the article! — Greg Brooks, Benchmark Jewelers, Leavenworth, WA

My Fault Too 

I read your essay winner Justin Banaszynski’s column [from the January issue] that said, “I am to blame!” I am to blame, too!!! I did most of my shopping online at Christmas. While my store door was steadily swinging for my loyal customers, it was also swinging for the UPS man delivering my Amazon and mail-order packages. We need to look no further than our own environment to see why so many small businesses are failing. Get out your front door and visit a local small business (not just restaurants). We have the disposable income to help our fellow entrepreneurs succeed! Rethink that next Amazon/mail order. — Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL


This article originally appeared in the April 2018 edition of INSTORE.

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Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].

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