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These Are Jewelers’ Favorite (and Least Favorite) Things About the Holiday Selling Season

Favorite? Familiar faces of longtime clients. Least favorite? Long hours.

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What are your favorite and least favorite things about the holiday selling season?

  • Favorite is when a client knows what they want and I have exactly what they’re looking for! Least favorite are the zip-lock bags of watches for batteries! — Laurie C., Hyde Park, NY
  • My favorite is the chance to touch more customers’ lives than any other part of the year. My least is the slow building exhaustion that comes from working longer hours and having more work on my desk than I can keep up with! — Kyle B., Roswell, NM
  • The Christmas season is excruciating for bench jewelers. We never know when to stop making promises. — J. Mason C., Chapel Hill, NC
  • Favorite: Busy-ness. Least favorite: Things getting misplaced and mistakes being made. — Lee K., Cincinnati, OH
  • Favorite and least favorite thing about the holiday season? How long it is and how short it is. You figure out which is which. — Steven W., Chatham, MA
  • Favorite: selling, happy people, Christmas music, Christmas cards, Santa’s lap, chocolate, wine. Least favorite: snow-melt mess, driving on icy roads, long hours. — Erika G., Kearney, NE
  • Favorite: Seeing all the customers who choose our store. Least: Struggling to help all of them at the same time. — Jillian H., Coral Gables, FL
  • Running out of in-stock inventory (that is a favorite and a least favorite!). Favorite: decorating, customers abuzz, reemerging from the pandemic as a community business that generations cherish and can count on. — Jill K., Danielson, CT
  • My favorite thing is when husbands just throw me their credit cards and let me choose. My least favorite is when spouses think they can choose the best thing for their mate and then we get tons of returns because these same spouses don’t pay attention to what their mate wants. — Andrea R., El Dorado Hills, CA
  • I enjoy the fast pace and being able to help so many people. The paperwork becomes impossible to keep up with, but it’s all part of it. — Kate S., New Oxford, PA
  • Holiday music is the worst. Same 10 songs, just 20 different versions. — Krystal S., Plymouth, MI
  • Favorite thing is seeing all the friendly faces you’ve missed all year. Least favorite thing about the holidays are the unhealthy attitudes of people that obviously forgot about the 365 days leading up to Christmas. They could have been preparing a little better. — Ellie M., St. Michaels, MD
  • My least favorite thing is I do not get to enjoy Christmas. I work seven days a week, 12-to-15-hour days. One day, I want to have the entire family over for Christmas!! — Tommy T., Perry Hall, MD
  • My favorite thing about the season is the happiness we bring to our community through the gifts purchased. My least favorite thing is the ungrateful recipient after Christmas. — Trevor W., Myerstown, PA
  • This is where we get our BINGO Squares from: Do you have anything else? Just looking. Can you clean my rings (bag of jewelry)? Do you change watch batteries (bag of watches)? Can you size this ring I got off the internet while I wait? What’s this worth? Are these real? Do you do appraisals? I have to pay what? My ring is stuck, can you size it by tomorrow? What’s an express fee? Are you open? Do you fix eyeglasses? Can you copy my dad’s cluster ring by Christmas? Is the gift wrap FREE? Can you give me one of your fancy boxes for this ring you just cleaned up? Do you polish silver (opening a silver chest of flatware)? The list goes on. You don’t even have to wait very long for the next one before you can holler BINGO!!! Dead Benjamin Delight! — Denise O., La Grange, IL
  • Favorite: the rush of the holiday crowd, having fun with the last-minute guys and the idea of helping someone choose a gift that could put a WOW on someone’s face Xmas morning. Least favorite: the people who come in with a watch battery at the height of Xmas rush who refuse to leave it, demand to wait and “have no one to shop for in a jewelry store” and then complain that their battery is $15. — Mary Jo C., Rutland, VT
  • The least favorite thing is when the client’s problem becomes your problem. The customer knows all year that Christmas is coming, yet waits until two weeks out for a complicated, custom piece and it’s my fault if not ready to put under the tree. With supply shortages, delivery problems due to weather and this year, a potential rail strike; we follow a “Golden Rule”: If you can’t personally be responsible for the delivery of the finished product, don’t make a promise. — Jon W., Virginia Beach, VA
  • Favorite: I love the feeling of the holidays and I feel like people are generally happier. Least favorite: Floor flushers and people who expect you to size a ring for them that they just bought online. — Marc M., Midland, TX
  • We don’t decorate until Thanksgiving week, so we don’t get tired of the look. But the “looky lou’s” and “wellillbeback” customers get old-especially after they’ve tried on all the earrings and smudged up all the gemstones. — Beth C., Dublin, OH
  • I love how our regular customers bring us treats like they would their neighbor to say thank you for the year of service we have given them. I dislike those that come to town for just the holiday season and do not adjust their attitude to the small-town vibe. We do not live to work in our ski town; we work to live in our ski town. We just happen to be a unique specialized jewelry store that has drawn talented and capable jewelers that also need to enjoy powder days just like everyone else. And that is why sometimes, “We cannot replace your watch battery on the spot.” — Rebecca L., Ketchum, ID
  • The annual sightings of certain clients are always good. Least favorite is people bringing me booze, as I have never liked alcohol. — James D., Kingston, NH

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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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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