I’m just sitting here looking at a job I don’t want to do. It’s written up in some unknown language, I’m stuck at work, and it’s a nice day. So I’m thinking about lots of things I don’t like: a warm beer, a cold steak and jobs I wish I didn’t have to do. So I take a quick poll of a few bench jewelers, and we come up with some things we’d like to teach to the next generation of new retail jewelry store associates… before they go bad.
Emeralds are a bad choice for wedding and engagement rings. Emeralds are too soft and fractured to handle the rigors on someone’s hand every day for 50 years. Yeah, I know that’s what they really want, and they promise they’ll take it off when they garden. Well, guess what? They won’t. Once that wedding ring is on the finger it never comes off. That is to say until they’ve broken out an emerald and need it replaced. And, when they discover that an emerald is missing, it’s always your fault. Sell diamonds… Yeah!
Promise Dates, Promise Dates, Promise Dates. A job without a promise date means ‘Not Today’.
Legible writing. Oh, I give up, that will never happen.
You cannot set a piece of jewelry with CZs today and then swap them for diamonds a year down the road. There are a few exceptions, but very few. If a customer pays for CZs, they get CZs. When it’s time to upgrade, you start all over with a brand new ring, with brand new stones.
When the cost of the repair exceeds the cost of the jewelry, get the money up front. Most people are only sentimental about their precious heirloom when they drop it off. Some sinister force attacks people between the drop off and the pick up, rendering them helpless and unable to justify paying you more than the value of the jewelry. Once again, your fault. But, if they pay in advance, and then get buyer’s remorse, it usually happens the same day, usually within hours. No harm, no foul. I usually tell people to retire it to their jewelry box, look at it every now and then and think happy thoughts. It’s time for their husband to buy them a new favorite piece of jewelry anyway.
Estate jewelry – Ah, the good old days. Land of milk and honey. RC Cola and a Moon Pie. And, grandma’s fabulous jewelry. Here’s the real story. People have been buying cheap, poorly manufactured jewelry for over 100 years. The first synthetic ruby was produced around 1902. By the time the good old days actually rolled around, the jewelry industry was already a seasoned pro at producing disposable jewelry. Now, fifty to a hundred years later, please don’t send it to me to “Make it like new again’.
We can’t just put ‘a little dollop of solder’ on jewelry. It would be neat if we could. We’d make more money and have lots of free time. Unfortunately, it’s a lot more complicated than that, hence, the cost.
And lastly, when we tell you a part is back ordered and the jewelry is not ready, we’re lying. I think we both know that, but hey, it’s our way of helping you with your excuse to ‘your customer’. See, we’re not all bad.