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This Is Why It’s “Cheaper Down The Street”

Price is what you pay, value is what you get.




I HAD A GUEST bring in a ring this week with a loose center stone. Wasn’t purchased from us and they mentioned what a “deal” they got on it. Upon further inspection, the center prongs were not set properly, nor were they cut properly to set that diamond in the first place. It gets worse. A two-row pave style ring that from the top you can barely see the diamonds because they’re set crooked and covered in a ton of platinum. Underneath, you still see the original burrs from the holes that were drilled to set the diamonds. All in all, an absolute mess of a ring, but hey, he got a “deal.” I showed this ring to my team during our weekly sales meeting and told them point blank, “this is what cheaper down the street looks like.”

Any time you have a price objection, that should be the surest sign you’re on the right track. If a customer didn’t want it at all, they wouldn’t bother asking the price. A price objection is simply a customer saying “I want it, but I don’t think it’s worth what you’re asking.” So how do we build value in our jewelry?

If you have a warranty, talk that up. One thing I bring up to customers that give a price objection, particularly on engagement rings, is that there is a difference between price and cost. Price is a one-time thing; cost is a lifetime thing. Thanks to our warranty, you never have to pay another dime for your ring. It may be cheaper somewhere else, but there’s probably a reason for that. The reason is that you’ll end up paying over the life of the ring to maintain it.

Talk about the quality of your pieces. Quality is one of those things we often take for granted because we work so closely with our pieces, but our guests have no idea. To them, it’s all the same. “Well your ring is 0.25 TCW in platinum with a 1-carat center. I found that same thing online for less.” Then it shows up and it looks like hell. We need to stop treating this business as if we’re selling commodities. Quality matters. Talk it up, even brag a bit about yourself. If you carry top quality jewelry, you should be proud of it.

Last one, the one that everybody “knows” but not everybody “does”: Service. We all say we give excellent customer service, but how true is it? When a sale is on the line we beg, borrow, and plead our way into a sale by telling ourselves, “If they only buy from me, I’ll give them the best service they’ve ever had, I swear!” Do you? Do you send a handwritten thank-you for every sale you make? Do you follow up regularly to make sure it was well received? I make it a point to tell my team all the time that “the difference between us and them is us.” Caring about our guests, offering superior service is the best differentiating value that you can offer.

So next time Mr. Price Shopper puts the screws to you, walk him through why he’s actually getting more than he’s paying for by shopping with you. Lean on your warranty, on the quality of what you carry, but most of all, be able to look them in the eye and know that if they buy from you, the service they receive will be second to none.


Peter Hannes IV is the sales manager of Craig Husar Fine Diamonds & Jewelry Designs. Peter has earned Accredited Jewelry Professional and Diamonds Graduate certificates from the GIA and has 10-plus years of experience in the industry. Reach him at



It Was Time to Make a Decision. It Was Time to Call Wilkerson.

Except for a few years when he worked as an accountant, Jim Schwartz has always been a jeweler. He grew up in the business and after “counting beans” for a few years, he and his wife, Robin, opened Robin James Jewelers in Cincinnati, Ohio. “We were coming to a stage in our life where we knew we have to make a decision,” says Jim Schwartz. He and Robin wanted to do it right, so they called Wilkerson. The best surprise (besides surpassing sales goals)? “The workers and associations really care about helping us move out own inventory out of the store first. It was very important to us.”

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