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True Tales: Sticker Shock

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Sticker shock in jewelry stores

I once had a client who asked me to design an elegant custom ring. I had her sign the estimate, which also stated that the price could change if modifications were made and that I would outline those as we went along. Which I did, first when she decided she wanted more diamonds set on the shank, and then when she switched from 14K to platinum. When I presented her with her completed piece she was thrilled … until she looked at the new price. She was appalled that we had gone over the original amount. When I reminded her that I had told her about the increased costs she said she remembered that. When I asked who she thought was going to pay for those, she said: “Why you, of course. I just thought you were giving me a better deal!” — Mary Harding, mary l harding, G.G., Bellingham, WA

We once had a woman come in for the first time. She had 10 envelopes full of jewelry for repair. As she was showing me what the problem was she asked how much for the repair. When I told her the price, she told me she could get it done in New York for less money. After all the repair envelopes were filled out, I opened them, took her jewelry out and said to take them to New York. She said she was going to be my best customer. I told her I didn’t negotiate repair prices. She left the store and was gone for six months. She came back in, gave me the same repairs. And became my best customer. — Diana Smires, Diana Smires Jewelry, Columbus, NJ

This article originally appeared in the January 2016 edition of INSTORE.

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True Tales

If She Didn’t Like the Platinum, She Really Won’t Like the Moissanite

This real customer wanted the sheen of sparkly copper.

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A customer sent her fiancé into the store with a piece of copper wire coated with a sparkling something. He said she wanted a ring just like it in platinum with the same finish. We told him there was no finish available to re-create what he was showing us. We called a month later to tell him his platinum band was ready for pickup. When they came in, she became quite snarly because the sparkle finish she asked for was not there. We tried to explain, but she was not hearing us. She said she needed the sparkle to remind her every day of “the sparkle in their lives.” She demanded to know why it took us a month to tell her it was not possible. We explained that we had told her fiancé the day he came in. When she glared at him and asked why he didn’t tell her, he just looked at the floor. (She is 5 foot tall. He is 6 feet 4 inches.) She refused the platinum band we had special-ordered and walked out of the store. We were left to wonder what will happen when she finds out the focal stone in her engagement ring isn’t the 1.5-carat diamond she thinks it is, but rather a stunning moissanite at a tenth the price?

Provided anonymously to INSTORE’s Big Survey

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True Tales

A 5-Carat Diamond Wasn’t Big Enough for This Client

Go big or go home? A jeweler wishes this customer would.

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A CLIENT LOOKED at many different fancy yellows, each above 5 carats, for over six months with countless meetings and still couldn’t decide. The most recent excuse? “It’s just not big enough.”

Provided anonymously to INSTORE’s Big Survey

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‘Even If You Were Cher, I Wouldn’t Loan You This Jewelry!’

An owner refuses to fall for this dumb yet real scam artist.

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ONE DAY, a limo pulled into my parking lot. The young lady who alit claimed to be the P.A. for Cher. She went on to pick out pieces from my case that she swore would work in that night’s performance and be returned the next day. I informed her if the star herself walked in, I wouldn’t hand over thousands of dollars worth of jewelry “on loan.” She called me some nasty names and left. Seems Cher was not performing anywhere near the East Coast that night and it was just a scam. Oh well! — James Doggett, Doggett Jewelry, Kingston, NH

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