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11 Things That Only Jewelers Can Understand

Dirty rings, for starters.

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EVERY INDUSTRY HAS its quirks. They are the things that make the industry unique from others – things that only folks who belong to the trade can relate to.

As a jeweler, you know there are some things from your job that only your fellow jewelers can understand. Take, for example, that customer who brings in her ring to have it reset – you know that moment when she hands it over and you realize it’s filthy or is partially coated in some kind of weird substance that only a forensics lab could identify? This is the kind of anguish that only your colleagues have felt.

After years of engaging with customers from every walk of life, experienced jewelers have seen it at all, for better or for worse. Stick around long enough, and you might find yourself empathizing with the folks below who shared these comments on our INSTORE Magazine and INSTORE Community Facebook pages.

Some customers just don’t get it.

“We do a lot of repair work at our store, and I love it when the customer says, ‘Well how come it’s so much money for soldering? … I tell them, ‘Why don’t you YouTube ‘soldering jewelry’ and see how difficult it actually is.’ Then after the work is done and the item is cleaned and polished to perfection, they don’t understand why it costs what it costs. It really irks me.” – Dana Bracco Mac, Country Store Jeweler, Brick Township, NJ

Others think they do …

“We all have that ‘know it all’ customer, right? I love the ones that want to use a loop and put it to their eye upside down! Or the customers who think they know what an appraisal actually is, and they ask for one for a bubblegum machine ring they found in the dirt. SMH!” – Caryl Francis Moore, LeRAVe Jewelry, South Boston, VA

And still others live in alternate realities.

“Being told by someone that they are a ‘good customer’ who comes into your store all the time, so you should do their repair for free and/or give them a discount – only to check your POS system and see that they have had one chain repair and three batteries in the last 15 years!! Such a good customer.” – Angela Cisneros, K.Jons Diamonds & Gems, Atascadero, CA

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Those melee diamonds have minds of their own.

“Showing a diamond with tweezers and it pops out and flies across the room. Then all of us are on our hands and knees looking under chairs and counters, even using flashlights to see it show up.” – Rick Borchert, former general manager for Jared in Virginia

You see which romances will end before they begin.

“The young guy that you help find an engagement ring within his budget. Then he comes back with the girlfriend, not for sizing but for a different ring, because this diamond is too small. He winds up spending much more than he can realistically spend to avoid a tantrum. Just want to tell the poor guy, RUN! Run fast in the opposite direction!” – Elisa Reyes, Austin Roberts Jewelers, Ocala, FL

All you see is statement pieces.

“When I meet people (in a social setting), I can’t remember their name, color of their hair or what kind of clothing they have on. But I remember their jewelry – earrings, necklaces, rings, watches. Then when I speak about meeting them to someone else, I describe them by their jewelry! Example: Talking to my husband
about the picnic we were at last week and he asks, ‘You remember the woman with the red hair and blue dress? Me: (blank stare) … Then I say, ‘Oh, the girl with the 5ct diamond tennis bracelet and Cartier Tank Francaise watch? Yes, I remember her!’ – Rosalie Fittery, GN Diamond, Philadelphia, PA

Everyone wants to pick the expert’s brain.

“Being handed jewelry for repair/resetting everywhere I go – sidewalks, restaurants. … I was once given a 1.5ct diamond at a party to come up with ideas for.” – Chrissy Cook, MADE Jewelry Boutique, West Reading, PA

Sometimes things get emotional.

“Being unsuccessful in trying my best to hold back tears while a customer shares a heart-warming story of the love and meaning behind a sentimental piece of jewelry from a beloved one who has recently departed, and is entrusting me with the necessary service that needs to be done. I end up doing it for cost or for free just because I can.” – Sherry Jones Almond Ward, retired after 32 years in fine jewelry

The filth.

“How incredibly dirty rings can get. It’s crazy that people don’t think twice about sticking their germ-ridden ring fingers in their mouth to loosen their even germier rings. Then they want to share those rings with us to clean, all the while telling us about all the food, paint and other gross things that could be in it. And they never once think about all of that just having been in their mouth!” – Jennifer Zermeno, Rinehart Jewelry, Nevada, MO

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And the nail salon is out of the question.

“Getting a manicure is never an option. I can’t go a day without rouge under my nails.” – Potere Azure Jewelry, Ellensburg, WA

But it’s all worth it in the end.

“What other job is there that puts smiles on people’s faces when you create something for them that everyone else said couldn’t be done, or you repair that heirloom that they were told could never be fixed. Those are the rewarding moments.” – Arabesque Jewelers, High Ridge, MO

Jesse Burkhart is a freelance writer based in North Carolina. A hair stylist from Poland once told him he looked like a conquistador, a compliment he accepted without questioning its merit.

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Thanksgiving Weekend to Draw 165M Shoppers With Deals ‘Too Good to Pass Up’

Holiday retail sales are expected to grow 4%.

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(Press Release) WASHINGTON – Retailers are preparing for one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year with an estimated 165.3 million people likely to shop Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

“The tradition of Thanksgiving weekend holiday shopping has become a five-day event with consumers spending money in stores, supporting local small businesses, and online with their mobile devices and computers,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Even as people are starting to purchase gifts earlier in the season, consumers still enjoy finding good Thanksgiving deals and passing time shopping with family and friends over the long holiday weekend.”

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Throughout the course of the holiday weekend, 39.6 million consumers are considering shopping on Thanksgiving Day, 114.6 million on Black Friday, 66.6 million on Small Business Saturday and 33.3 million on Sunday. The shopping weekend will wrap up on Cyber Monday, when 68.7 million are expected to take advantage of online bargains.

Shay said younger consumers are significantly more likely to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend. Among those ages 18-24, 88 percent say they are likely to shop and particularly enjoy the social aspect. Similarly, 84 percent of those ages 25-34 plan to shop. That compares with 69 percent of holiday shoppers overall.

Of those planning to shop, there is an almost even split of people who plan to start their shopping in-store (47 percent) compared with those who plan to start online (41 percent). Those under 25 are even more likely to say they expect to start shopping in-store (52 percent).

“We expect the biggest increase in potential shoppers for Thanksgiving Day this year,” Prosper Insights Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “We anticipate that people may head to stores if they are open or shop from their phones while watching football.”

The top reasons consumers are planning to shop include:

  • The deals are too good to pass up (65 percent)
  • Tradition (28 percent)
  • It’s when they like to start their holiday shopping (22 percent)
  • It’s something to do over the holiday (21 percent)
  • It’s a group activity with friends/family (17 percent)

For consumers who do not plan to shop, more than half (53 percent) say something could convince them. The top reasons given that would change their minds are a sale or discount on an item they want (26 percent), if a family member or friend invites them to shop (12 percent), if they could be sure the items they want are available (11 percent) or a free shipping offer (11 percent).

NRF’s annual forecast estimates that holiday retail sales in November and December will be up between 3.8 percent and 4.2 percent over 2018 for a total of between $727.9 billion and $730.7 billion.

The survey of 7,917 adult consumers’ Thanksgiving weekend plans was conducted Oct. 31 through Nov. 6 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

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Video: How to Achieve a $100,000 Day in Your Jewelry Store

It’s possible to make it happen every year.

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WOULD YOU LIKE TO sell $100,000 worth of jewelry in a single day?

It’s very possible to achieve this benchmark one a year or more, says Jim Ackerman.

In this episode of Marketing Gems, Ackerman explains how to go about it.

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Jewelers to Pay $16,000 in Restitution for Scheme Targeting Military Families

They were convicted last year.

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SACRAMENTO, CA – A California jeweler must pay restitution in connection with a scheme targeting military families.

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ordered defendants Ramil Abalkhad, owner of Romano’s Jewelers, and Melina Abalkhad, owner of MBNB Financial Inc., to pay the victims $16,440.56 by May 4, 2020.

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“Individuals who participate in despicable crimes by targeting our young men and women in uniform will pay the price,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “We hope today’s announcement brings healing and closure to the victims of this scheme. Our office will continue to protect all Californians from all types of fraud – large or small. The California Department of Justice will always have the backs of our military families.”

Romano’s Jewelers had several retail locations in California, including stores near Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, according to a press release from Becerra’s office. The Abalkhads were alleged to have targeted young Marines and sailors, encouraging the purchase of jewelry using MBNB Financial for credit. According to the criminal complaint, Ramil Abalkhad failed to provide legally required disclosures about monthly payments, interest rates and others terms of financing.

Those customers who fell behind on their payments were allegedly harassed by the defendants’ debt collectors. In addition, the complaint alleged that Romano’s Jewelers used debt collectors who falsely posed as attorneys and illegally threatened servicemembers with court martial and other military disciplinary actions.

The California Department of Justice filed a 14-count felony complaint charging the defendants with conspiracy to violate the Unruh Act, which protects consumers who buy goods or services on credit, and the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which protects Californians against unlawful debt collection practices.

Becerra announced the sentencing of the defendants in December 2018. Ramil Abalkhad was sentenced to three years of felony probation, including a requirement that he serve 90 days in jail.

He will also be required to cancel outstanding MBNB debts owed by the victims identified in the criminal complaint and was also ordered to remove any negative credit reporting by MBNB from the victims’ credit history.

Melina Abalkhad was sentenced to complete a misdemeanor diversion program for her role in operating Romano’s Jewelers affiliate MBNB Financial.

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