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David Geller

Want To Make Higher Profits On Bridal? Push Custom

Millennials are willing to wait for the ring of their dreams.




CUSTOM BRIDAL IS the bomb! Why?

It’s very, very difficult to price shop a “design.” You can come close, but it’s not like shopping a name-brand bridal ring with the picture and vendor’s SKU number online.

In the 1970s and up, baby boomers drove our economy. But boomers have now been outnumbered by millennials. They are driving the economy now, even with COVID-19. They’re getting married later in their 20s and spending a lot more on the bride’s ring.

Because of social media and technology, it’s easier for them to find you and see your “story.”

In addition to buying bigger stones, news came out last month that unlike boomers, millennials are skipping “starter homes” and going right for the home of their dreams. Likewise, when it comes to custom design for bridal, they are willing to wait to have the ring of their dreams made. Because of all this, custom bridal can easily make you greater profits. And in regards to the center stone, we may now have smaller margins, but it’s smaller margins on a high price point.

You’ll never know what the client thinks is the right price for the custom ring. One of INSTORE’s America’s Coolest Stores is Green Lake Jewelry Works in Seattle, owned by Jim Tuttle. Jim recently told the story that when he first started years ago, he waited on a couple who wanted custom designed wedding bands. He went through the quote and told them, “and it will come to $850.” They asked if they could walk outside and talk about it, and of course he obliged.


Moments later, they returned and said, “And to be clear once more, it’s a total of $850 for each band, his and mine, right?”

He had actually meant $850 for both bands, but he bit his lip and said “right” instead.

I find that breaking down the bridal ring by these factors makes the cost of a custom ring look small by comparison:

  • Center diamond
  • Custom designing the ring itself (CAD or wax charges/casting)
  • Metal/ stones
  • Setting charges

Jewelers I talk to across the country have had a great year, and of course we stole money from the entertainment, travel and restaurant industry, but millennials are getting married in droves. So push custom design, even if it’s not bridal. Everyone young and old has old jewelry to remake into something new and exciting.

Let’s hear it for millennials! Let’s hear it for custom design!


David Geller is a 14th-generation bench jeweler who produces The Geller Blue Book To Jewelry Repair Pricing. David is the “go-to guy” for setting up QuickBooks for a jewelry store. Reach him at [email protected].



Wilkerson Testimonials | Sollberger’s

Going Out of Business Is an Emotional Journey. Wilkerson Is There to Make It Easier.

Jaki Cowan, the owner of Sollberger’s in Ridgeland, MS, decided the time was right to close up shop. The experience, she says, was like going into the great unknown. There were so many questions about the way to handle the store’s going-out-of-business sale. Luckily for Cowan, Wilkerson made the transition easier and managed everything, from marketing to markdowns.

“They think of everything that you don’t have the time to think of,” she says of the Wilkerson team that was assigned to manage the sale. And it was a total success, with financial goals met by Christmas with another sale month left to go.

Wilkerson even had a plan to manage things while Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. This included limiting the number of shoppers, masking and taking temperatures upon entrance. “We did everything we could to make the staff and public feel as safe as possible.”

Does she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers thinking of retiring, liquidating or selling excess merchandise? Absolutely. “If you are considering going out of business, it’s obviously an emotional journey. But truly rest assured that you’re in good hands with Wilkerson.”

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