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Buy low, sell high is the basis of successful retailing. But it’s not all about the price. The relationships are key, especially in jewelry.




40. Do you stock…

The Big Survey 2021: Buying

Need some silver cutlery, glassware of other giftware? Your local jeweler is probably not the best place to look. The overall trend for such non-core goods is clearly headed down.

41. From how many vendors do you regularly order stock?

More than 30

42. Has a vendor ever gone the extra mile to help you through a tough time? Please share your story.

  • “I was making a ring for my wife and wanted to give it to her in time for my son’s wedding. Two weeks before the wedding, I had a bad accident. Stuller heard about it and called my son and said to send it to them so they could finish it up for me. I was able to present it to my wife the day before the wedding. It meant the world to me.”
  • “A client of mine was going to die any day and her husband wanted to give her one last gift and he chose an Ostbye ring we didn’t have and wanted it engraved ‘Forever’ inside. I told Craig MacBean, the owner of Ostbye, and his jeweler and engraver volunteered to come in on a Saturday, size the ring and engrave it. Then Craig personally flew it to me that night. I was able to deliver the ring on Sunday before she passed away.”
  • “Many years ago, I was deep in debt. I was visiting a couple of vendors in NYC, one of whom I owed a ton. He said ‘I don’t care if you only send $10 a week. If you send me and all your other vendors just a little bit, we all know you’re trying.’ He then handed me a roll of stamps. He said let me know what your debt is when you get done with the roll. I took his advice. Never finished the roll before becoming debt free.”
  • “My shop manager accidently tossed a box with a new CAD model and the 1.08 carat matched princess cus that went with it. Deep sadness, but Gemco International, the company we bought the original diamonds from, replaced them for less money and with better quality.“
  • “Joseph of Empire Corporation is a great vendor for us, with a 20-plus year track record of quality product and superior customer service that started with his father. The Tsui family has supplied last-minute requests overnight, multiple times, resulting in not only sales but happy loyal customers!“
  • “Nine years ago, we had a very high-profile burglary. My phone blew up with calls from our suppliers asking what they could do to help. I had new merchandise sent on memo, terms for new purchases dated ‘pay upon insurance settlement,’ and offers to help clean up and staff the store so we could get up and running again.“

43. What’s more important in your dealings with (non-brand) vendors, the goods (1) or the relationship (10)?

The Big Survey 2021: Buying

44. What’s your biggest pet peeve in dealing with vendors?

The Big Survey 2021: Buying

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Moving Up — Not Out — with Wilkerson

Trish Parks has always wanted to be in the jewelry business and that passion has fueled her success. The original Corinth Jewelers opened in the Mississippi town of the same name in 2007. This year, Parks moved her business from its original strip mall location to a 10,000-square foot standalone store. To make room for fresh, new merchandise, she asked Wilkerson to organize a moving sale. “What I remember most about the sale is the outpouring excitement and appreciation from our customers,” says Parks. Would she recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers? “I would recommend Wilkerson because they came in, did what they were supposed to and made us all comfortable. And we met our goals.”

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