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The Two Most Essential Pieces of Advice These Jewelers Would Share

A bit of concentrated jeweler wisdom.




The Two Most Essential Pieces of Advice These Jewelers Would Share

Imagine you were at a party and someone asked you, What are the two things I should know about jewelry retail? You’d reply …

  • Make it right/Keep it beautiful. — Frank Salinardi, Linardi’s Jewelers, Plantation, FL
  • Customers want something unique/(They want to be) just like everyone else. — Russell Criswell, Vulcan’s Forge, Kansas City, MO
  • If it’s good, it ain’t cheap. And if it’s cheap, it ain’t good. — Marc Majors, Sam L. Majors, Midland, TX
  • The industry will always change/Great customer service never goes out of style. — Julie Terwilliger, Wexford Jewelers, Cadillac, MI
  • Volume is vanity/Profit is sanity. — Charles Hood, C.B. Hood Diamond Co., Santa Maria, CA 
  • The customer is not always right/Treat them as if they were. — Casey Gallant, Stephen Gallant Jewelers, Orleans, MA
  • Be honest and treat people as you would like to be treated/No good deed goes unpunished. — Marta Jones-Couch, Elements Ltd., Des Moines, IA
  • If there is a great product, there will be a less expensive “me too”/If you have a good idea, someone will copy it. — Brian McCall, Midwest Jewelers and Estate Buyers, Zionsville, IN
  • Listen first. React second. — Joseph Delefano, Regency Jewelers, Rotterdam, NY
  • Have enough inventory to service the clientele you have. Don’t drown yourself with too much inventory. — Mike Doland, Doland Jewelers, Dubuque, IA
  • Listen more. Talk less.  — Allison Leitzel-Williams, Leitzel’s Jewelry, Myerstown, PA
  • 1) The customer is always right 2) Go back to step #1. — Peter Stavrianidis, Venus Jewelers, Somerset, NJ
  • Know your customer/Sell them what they want. — John DiEnna, JD3 Jewelry, Lansdowne, PA
  • You need the right sales team to create the in-store experience/If you don’t have a good online presence, you won’t succeed. — Chris Wattsson, Wattsson & Wattsson Jewelers, Marquette, MI
  • Romance every sale like it’s a three-carat diamond /Watch out for the fly-by-night dealers, they’ll piss down your back and tell you it’s raining. — Elysia Demers, Barnhardt Jewelers, Spencer, NC
  • Be truthful with your clients and your vendors … all the rest will follow. — Rex Solomon, Houston Jewelry, Houston, TX
  • Work hard. Play hard. — Buddy Bear, Buddy Bear Jewelers, Merion , PA
  • Don’t judge a book by the cover/Customers buy from someone they like, so be likable. — Steven Wardle, Forest Beach Design, Chatham, MA
  • Know the latest trends/ Stay focused on your market. — Ann Thacker, Thacker Jewelry, Lubbock, TX
  • A good bench jeweler knows when to say when/Some people just aren’t happy unless they aren’t happy. — Steve Stempinski, Steve’s Place, Madison, GA
  • Experience is key. The client has to want to buy from you since the competition is fierce/Prices will be better elsewhere. — Heather Burleson, Shelia Bayes Fine Jewelers, Lexington, KY
  • For custom and repairs, promise long/For custom and repairs, deliver early. — Ira Kramer, The Diamond Exchange of Maryland, Rockville, MD
  • Plan, plan, plan/Adjust the plan, adjust the plan, adjust the plan. — Corey Miller, Leighton’s Jewelers, Merced, CA
  • People are great/People will drive you nuts. — David Blitt, Troy Shoppe Jewellers, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Everyone does custom/Great designs are not always custom. — Richard Frank, Goldstein’s, Mobile, AL
  • Everything David Geller says is gospel/David Geller knows nothing about your market. Ignore him. — Cliff Yankovich, Chimera Design, Lowell, MI

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When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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