Last updateWed, 20 May 2020 12am

The Jewelry Test Drive

Would you spend thousands of dollars on a car before taking a test drive? Most of us would not. Car dealers are smart. They know that in order to make you feel comfortable spending $10,000, you need to try it first. What can we as jewelers, who also sell very expensive items, learn from the car dealers?

The first thing we can learn from a test drive is the feeling of ownership. When a person has something in their possession their mind begins to take ownership of the item. The longer you let your neighbor borrow that drill, the more his mind begins to think of it as partially his. Think about when you check into a nice hotel. The first day you marvel at the beautiful way the beds are made, the pretty folding of the towels, the mints on the pillow. By the fourth day if there is no mint on the pillow, you are thinking, “where the heck is my mint?” In your mind you are entitled to that mint.

This ownership feeling is demonstrated at the candy store. Lets say you ask for 1 lb of jelly beans. You watch as the attendant scoops your jelly beans into a bag. Whoops, she goes over 1 lb and begins to take some jelly beans out of the bag. How do you feel watching her take jelly beans out of the bag? You feel bad! Why? Because in that split second where she put the jelly beans in your bag your mind took ownership of them. You had already considered them yours. When we hold, drive or wear something, our minds begin to consider it ours.

How can this benefit you as a jeweler? The more you can get your customers to hold, touch, wear your jewelry, the closer you are to making more sales. You should have everyone hold, feel and wear your jewelry as much as possible! Even if a customer just comes in for a watch battery, they should be trying on the most expensive jewelry in the store.

A wonderful way to get customers to try on jewelry is to ask them to model it. You should tell them you need pictures for your Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram pages. This not only makes the customer feel flattered, useful and important, but it also gets them trying on jewelry.

Besides, you should have real customers modeling jewelry on your Facebook anyway. People today want real women, not air brushed fake models. Extra Bonus? These women will hopefully post the pictures you take of them in your jewelry on their own social media pages. This is great exposure. It allows you to reach a whole new group of followers!

Another way to give customers a jewelry test drive is by lending them jewelry for weddings or large social events. As long as you pre-qualify the customer and have either a large deposit, paid in full, or a valid credit card scanned, this could be a great opportunity for you. The more people you have wearing and enjoying your beautiful jewelry the better. They will show it off, they will tell their friends, and often their husbands end up buying it for them. It’s like a walking billboard, but better. Talk to your insurance company or other jewelers on Jewelers Helping Jewelers who do this and see what options are for you.

Ready to really take advantage of the jewelry test drive? Why not use it to close sales? Take that jewelry test drive to the next level! Here is an example.

“Oh Beth you have been looking at this necklace for an hour. Why don’t you take it for a test drive! That’s right, buy it, take it home, if you don’t like it in a few weeks bring it back.” You just closed a sale!

You might need to adjust your return policy to make this work, but I promise you will make it up in sales. Once they take it home, their mind will take ownership of the jewelry, and many less will bring it back than you may think.

Consider trying some form of the jewelry test drive at your store. If it works for the car companies,  it can work for you too!

Aleah Arundale is a 3rd generation GIA Graduate Gemologist, a 5th generation jeweler turned loose diamond wholesaler and the founder of the immensely popular Jewelers Helping Jewelers Facebook page. Selling diamonds on the road lets her share great ideas from hundreds of different jewelers from all over the country. Sign up for her Jewelry Sales Tips Newsletter by e-mailing her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 800-882-8900. “We are all in this jewelry business together, lets help each other!”