03052015Thu
Last updateSun, 01 Mar 2015 8pm
From flea markets to estate jewelry market leader

From flea markets to estate jewelry market leader

With Millennials marrying in record numbers, “some...

Take a proactive approach to jewelry retailing

OJA seminar to offer sales techniques, JA certific...

Dorothy Burke, co-founder of Burkes Fine Jewelers in Kilmarnock, VA dies at 90

Dorothy Burke, co-founder of Burkes Fine Jewelers in Kilmarnock, VA dies at 90

Dorothy Lee Thrift Burke, 90, co-founder of Burkes...

AJA, GJA to co-host annual Convention April 10 – 12

AJA, GJA to co-host annual Convention April 10 – 12

The Alabama Jewelers Association (AJA) and Georgia...

Jewelers of America names 2015 GEM Awards winners

Jewelers of America names 2015 GEM Awards winners

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers of America (JA), the national...

Elisa Ilana’s Lollies Collection has something for everyone

Elisa Ilana’s Lollies Collection has something for everyone

(OMAHA, Neb.) - The Elisa Ilana Collection offers d...

  • Newsletter

  • Latest Post

  • Most Read

Other News

AISociety AiCertify-2015 debuts with a Global Valuation Standard

The AISociety - Appraisers International Society (AIS) began live and self-study global, online, offerings of AiCertification™2015 at the start of Feb...

Readmore

Loading...

Industry Events

On The Move

What's New

Cas-Ker Company releases 8th edition catalog

(CINCINNATI) - The Cas-ker Company has released the eighth edition of its Tools and Supplies for Jewelers and Watchmakers. The new edition comes with a...

Readmore

Loading...

Featured Articles

Latest News

Dorothy Burke, co-founder of Burkes Fine Jewelers in Kilmarnock, VA dies at 90

3 DAYS AGO
Dorothy Burke, co-founder of Burkes Fine Jewelers in Kilmarnock, VA dies at 90

Dorothy Lee Thrift Burke, 90, co-founder of Burkes Fine Jewelers in Kilmarnock, Virginia - a family owned and operated fine jewelry and repair store - died on December 31, 2014.

Readmore

AISociety AiCertify-2015 debuts with a Global Valuation Standard

4 DAYS AGO

The AISociety - Appraisers International Society (AIS) began live and self-study global, online, offerings of AiCertification™2015 at the start of February with the live, AiResidence sessions of its 5-course series of Valuation Appraisal courses to AIStandard v4.0 for gems, jewelry, watches and othe...

Readmore

AJA, GJA to co-host annual Convention April 10 – 12

3 DAYS AGO
AJA, GJA to co-host annual Convention April 10 – 12

The Alabama Jewelers Association (AJA) and Georgia Jewelers Association (GJA) wish to invite all retail jewelers and vendors to the 2015 annual co-hosted Convention at Marriott’s Grand National Resort & Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Opelika, Alabama.

The educational program features industry s...

Readmore

Take a proactive approach to jewelry retailing

3 DAYS AGO

OJA seminar to offer sales techniques, JA certification opportunity

The Oklahoma Jewelers Association (OJA) invites retail jewelers in Oklahoma and surrounding states to attend a seminar developed to enhance sales techniques targeting today’s multiple generations of jewelry buyers.

Lynn Baldwin and Darc...

Readmore

Bulova celebrating 140th anniversary in 2015

4 DAYS AGO

Esteemed watchmaker commemorates 140 years of consistent creativity and innovation

(NEW YORK) - Since 1875, Bulova has been renowned as a force for innovation in timekeeping, known for its dedication to creativity, artistry and craftsmanship. In 2015, to mark 140 years of impressive achievements and a...

Readmore

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company earns 28 consecutive A+ Superior Ratings from A.M. Best Company

4 DAYS AGO

(NEENAH, Wis.) - Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company has earned 28 consecutive A+ Superior financial strength ratings from A.M. Best Company, a highly respected insurance rating and information source. Founded in 1913, Jewelers Mutual is an insurer dedicated solely to serving the jewelry industry in th...

Readmore

Cas-Ker Company releases 8th edition catalog

4 DAYS AGO

(CINCINNATI) - The Cas-ker Company has released the eighth edition of its Tools and Supplies for Jewelers and Watchmakers. The new edition comes with an expanded collection of equipment from it’s seventh edition release in 2013, and contains new reference material for watchmakers and jewelers to make...

Readmore

GIA to issue revised Colored Stone and Pearl Reports

4 DAYS AGO

(CARLSBAD, Calif.) - GIA has announced, effective Feb. 1, they began issuing revised Colored Stone and Pearl Reports and launched Report Check enhancements. The revised reports feature improved gemstone images and language that reflects the most current gemological terminology. Report Check for color...

Readmore

Let’s talk shops duex

Earlier this year I wrote an article about the relationship between retail stores and trade shops. I got quite a bit of feedback from both sides of the equation and decided that right before Christmas would be a good time to revisit the topic.

As a retail store owner with a bench jeweler on premises (me), I know how fortunate I am. But, as the owner of a trade shop as well, I find that jewelry stores fit into two categories: 1.) I’ve never had a bench jeweler on premises and have always used trade shops. 2.) I’ve had a bench jeweler on premises for 30 years but once she retired I haven’t been able to find a replacement so I am forced to use a trade shop.

Let me tell you, there is a huge difference between a trade shop and an ‘on-premises shop’ that only does their own store’s work. If you have a jeweler on your premises, you make the decisions about how much non-revenue producing work you want your jeweler to do on each job. I talk to a lot of bench jewelers that tell me their store’s policy is every ring is to be ‘refinished as new’ after every repair. I think that’s a great policy, but...if you put ‘refinish as new’ on an envelope and send it to a trade shop you’re gonna get charged for the original repair and around $18 for the additional finish out.

If a store has never had a jeweler, then they don’t expect the trade shop to spend an extra 30 minutes on something they’re not paying for. An $8 sizing is just that, an $8 sizing with a quick thorough cleaning and polishing. Not an $8 sizing (6 minutes tops) plus 30 free, un-billed minutes to just touch up some other stuff while it’s in the shop. Stores that have never had a jeweler know that if they want any additional work done, all they have to do is write it on the ticket and it’ll get done... just with an added charge $$$.

Trade shop jewelers also have the burden of remembering what level of service each individual store wants and expects. Case in point: Fifteen years ago I had a Bailey Banks and Biddle account (before the corporate price list and contract era) that was one of the highest grossing stores in the chain. The manager and I had an agreement that if something needed to be done to a ring they sold, just do it and charge her for it. Don’t call her and discuss it. At the very same time I had an account where the owner would ask me the cost of a repair. If I said $9.00, he’d tell me to only do $6 worth of work and stop. (Little did he know I would stop after $5 worth of work and bill him $6 anyway... Hah!) But all trade shops have accounts on both ends of the spectrum that we’re juggling daily.

Now store owners and managers fall into two mindsets when it comes to the shop: 1.) You think of your shop as an asset to your business. 2.) You think of your shop as a liability that sucks away at your life, your livelihood, your profit, and your soul.

I work with both types, but mostly I work with the stores that think of the shop as a profit center and an asset. Because these stores are charging their customers triple key for the work, they usually have a pretty good idea how much their bill is going to be when they send the work out, because they priced it to the customer based on their cost. But, the #2 group is alive and well out there. This group doesn’t add a mark-up to their trade bill. They do it at-cost as a customer service and usually guess at the price. This group is always shocked and surprised every time they get their bill. Anyone that uses a trade shop knows those bills can add up in a hurry. Okay, that’s the retail stores. How about the trade shop jewelers?

Trade shop jewelers fall into any combination of these categories (usually changing several times over the course of a day): Busy, harried, rushed, pissed, irritated, hung over, weird, cranky, finicky, anti-social, extremely talented, extreme self control, extreme lack of self control, and downright friggin’ awesome. And that’s all before lunch.

Store owners and managers on the other hand are: Confident, always in control, smart, goal oriented, social, engaging, driven, team players, counselors, confidants and well dressed.

So now I ask you... how in the hell did we ever meet in the first place? We have nothing in common. We don’t like the same people. We don’t hang out at the same places. Hell, we don’t even like each other. What’s the attraction? Oh yeah... we need each other.

I write this for one reason. As the ‘in-store jeweler’ becomes harder to find (Joe Cassarino quit hogging those 6 bench jewelers for yourself up there in Rochester, NY), more and more stores are being forced to use trade shops. And, more often than not, that trade shop will be in another state. I’ve never met the bulk of my trade accounts face to face, but we manage to get the work done to everyone’s satisfaction somehow, so it does work.

If you have a trade shop in your area that picks up and delivers to your store, I want you to think about this. The number one complaint I hear from bench jewelers that do trade work is the rising cost of fuel that they have to absorb driving all the way to your store to pick up a sterling silver bracelet that needs one charm soldered on. Now if it’s for a birthday present this weekend and you really do need it, that’s one thing. If the customer was just in the area and dropped it off and said no hurry, then call your jeweler and tell him to not come by today. It used to just be a hit on your billable hours driving all over town doing deliveries. Now with $4 a gallon gas, all the trade shops out there are taking a beating. Throw an extra $20 in the plate for gas once in a while.

With Christmas right around the corner, I’ve posted on my website my article from last Christmas about my shop policy for Christmas orders and repairs. Please take a look. You’d be doing your shop, your jeweler, and yourself a favor by reading it and thinking about implementing those policies in your store over the Christmas season. You can read it at www.CMKCompany.com. Good luck... sell a bunch... and try to have fun in these crazy times.

Oh yeah, I was just kidding. We really do like you retail folks. We just can’t let the other bench jewelers know cause they’ll make fun of us.

Chuck is the owner of Anthony Jewelers in Nashville, TN. Chuck also owns CMK Co., a wholesale trade shop that specializes in custom jewelry and repair services to the jewelry industry nationwide. You can contact him at 615-354-6361, www.CMKcompany.com or send e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Columnist



Media Kit