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Commentary: The Business

Secret Shopping Is Wasting Everyone’s Time

This Denver jeweler won’t be playing detective in competitors’ stores.

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FACING COVID-19 head-on as a jeweler hasn’t been easy. Each of us has had to make changes to successfully navigate these trying times. Many jewelers have shifted to an appointment-only basis to ensure the safety of their staff, their clients, and to keep the doors open.

Appointment-only, whether a temporary or permanent change, has its perks, like being able to provide clients with a more intimate shopping experience, but it certainly can slow down the flow of any retailer. A common practice in the jewelry industry is sending employees out to “secret shop” other jewelry stores — but shouldn’t this practice be a thing of the past, given the current world we are living in?

Moving to an appointment-only basis has only proven and strengthened the value of time. Is it morally sound to take an hour or more of a jeweler’s time, and in turn money, for secret shopping practices? I cannot answer this for any jeweler, but I can tell you the reasons why my brand will not be using this practice; I respect jewelers in my local community, their time and money, and commitment to surviving through the pandemic. It would dishearten me to think I took their valuable time that could have allowed them to book a paying client. Even more importantly, there is the risk of unnecessary exposure of COVID-19 to my employee or another jeweler’s employee.

If you knew you were secret-shopped in today’s world on an appointment-only basis, how would it make you feel? Now more than ever, it’s important that we come together in the jewelry industry, that we uplift one another and learn from one another. Instead of sending out a secret shopper to your competitor, take the plunge, take the honest approach, and reach out to your competitor directly. Ask to get together in a safe manner, one that honors both of your time and allows for collaborative thinking. It might be surprising how much more you could learn.

It is the nature of this industry to be competitive, and what fun it is! But any true competitor must also exhibit a sense of respect, honor, and appreciation for their competitors. There are approximately 10 million people worldwide working in the diamond and jewelry industry, a staggering number, and how lucky we all are to be part of it. Only when we all come together can we emulate the strength of the diamond.

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Kaeleigh Testwuide owns the Diamond Reserve in Denver.

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Wilkerson Testimonials | Zadok Master Jewelers

Stick to the Program — And Watch Your Sales Grow

When Zadok Master Jewelers in Houston, Texas, decided to move to a new location (they’d been in the same one for the 45 years they’d been in business), they called Wilkerson to run a moving sale. The results, says seventh-generation jeweler Jonathan Zadok, were “off the charts” in terms of traffic and sales. Why? They took Wilkerson’s advice and stuck to the company’s marketing program, which included sign twirlers — something Jonathan Zadok had never used before. He says a number of very wealthy customers came in because of them. “They said, ‘I loved your sign twirlers and here’s my credit card for $20,000.’ There’s no way we could have done that on our own,” says Zadok. “Without Wilkerson, the sale never, ever would have come close to what it did.”

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