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To Gift or Not to Gift? Our Brain Squad Weighs In

do you or don't you: Jewelers seem to be split 50/50.





Do You Give Gifts or Goodie Bags to Customers?

Yes: 52%

  • Yes, we give cleaning kits to all of our customers purchasing over $5,000 worth of jewelry at one time. Sometimes, if I get a freebie from a vendor, I’ll pass it on to a regular client and ask them to give me product feedback to see if we should bring it into the store. — Rebecca Larson, Barry Peterson Jewelers, Ketchum, ID
  • I know how I feel when I get a little treasure … and I love it, so I try to do the same. — Sherrie Schilling-Devaney, Sherrie’s Jewelry Box, Tigard, OR
  • We give our Linnea “Customer Love” bags out with purchases. Fully logoed items like hand sanitizer, polishing cloth and cleaners, rhinestone pens, nail buffs, lotion and cuticle oil. Brides get a wedding bag when they come in for final cleanings before the ceremony. Those are basically the same contents as the love bags, but in a reusable lace drawstring purse along with freshwater pearl earring sets from United States Pearl Company for last-minute unplanned gifts. We get rave reviews, especially during the holidays. — Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL
  • At least our top 20. We do wine, charcuterie boards and centerpiece flower attachment for Thanksgiving. — Joel Wiland, J. David’s Jewelry, Broken Arrow, OK
  • We have custom candles made with our logo on them for customers who spend over $1,000. They always love this little treat, and the scent is part of our store branding plan. We burn the same candles in both of our stores! — Daniela Balzano, Water Street Jewelers, Guilford, CT
  • When we sell an engagement ring, we give a bag with champagne glasses and other little gifts. — Karin Burg, The Corner Studio, Sheboygan Falls, WI
  • I give custom chocolate bars with my logo embedded. They know I appreciate them, and who doesn’t like chocolate? — Amber Gustafson, Amber’s Designs, Katy, TX
  • 200 goodie bags including $100 gift certs to top customers. — Dorothy Vodicka, The Gem Collection, Tallahassee, FL
  • We give out reusable shopping bags with our name on it. Everyone likes to get something extra for free, and it keeps our name out in the community! — Christine Graichen, Malloves Jewelers, Middletown, CT
  • We give to our top 100 customers every Christmas season a new ornament from 24K Rose; we also give a bottle of champagne with their picture on the bottle of champagne for those buying an engagement ring. Who doesn’t like a gift? — Kriss Roethlisberger, Ace of Diamonds, Mt. Pleasant, MI
  • Everyone likes something free. We give them homemade peanut butter balls and a special “diamond topped” pen. They love it! — Jeffrey English, J.D. English Jewelers, Dallas, TX
  • We have handmade chocolates we send and give out. Many customers have grown to expect them as they really are a treat. — Don Bullock, Bullock’s Jewelry, Roswell, NM
  • At Christmas, we give away bags of maple syrup popcorn. — Ragnar Bertelsen, Ragnar Jewellers, Vancouver, BC
  • We do in conjunction with special events. The last bag contained a drink box for a signature cocktail I am really proud of. It’s called the Steve Quick 35 in honor of our 35th year in business. We worked with a local mixologist whose bar was closed for 12 months during the pandemic to develop something really special. Then we had it bottled with custom labeling and gave it away! — Melissa Quick, Steve Quick Jeweler, Chicago, IL
  • No-strings-attached gifts have power. — Bill Elliott, Ross Elliott Jewelers, Terre Haute, IN
  • I mail my VIP special packages. Sometimes jewelry related (travel jewelry cases, cleaning solution, etc.), but it could be as simple as flowers, candies, even giant stuffed animals. I prefer to send something based on a conversation or funny experience I’ve had with the customer. — Jeremy Auslander, Roxbury Jewelry, Los Angeles, CA
  • We send Thanksgiving baskets from a local farmer to our top 50 clients of the year. We include a handwritten thank you note and track their Christmas spending. On average, about 75 percent return for a Christmas gift. — Dianna Rae High, Dianna Rae Jewelry, Lafayette, LA

No: 48%

  • Don’t be stupid; my customers are smart enough to recognize a free gift they paid for. — Craig Warburton, BJW Group, Ann Arbor, MI
  • I am too stretched to contemplate adding another worry! — Eve J. Alfille, Eve J. Alfille Gallery & Studio, Evanston, IL
  • Never considered or felt like there is a reason to do that. — Alex Weil, Martin’s Jewelry, Torrance, CA
  • We have never discovered the right item to gift to the customer. — Donnie Blanton, Brittany’s Fine Jewelry, Gainesville, FL
  • We have given gifts in the past, but while it was well-received, it wasn’t worth the cost and effort. — Vance Reusch, Reusch Jewelers, Petoskey, MI
  • We have done this for many years with so-so results. It may be a silent reminder though to continue shopping with us. We do very little marketing besides review gathering and seem to be busier than we can handle. — Jana L. Smith, Wiggins Jewelers, Lebanon, TN
  • Expensive. It needs to make an impact, not something to be thrown away when they get home. — Bill Archinal, Barnes Jewelry, Amarillo, TX
  • Too busy. Maybe a freebie here or there. — Rick Nichols, Nassau Jewelry, Fernandina Beach, FL

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.



This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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