04292017Sat
Last updateTue, 25 Apr 2017 11pm

Other News

PGI takes a look at breathtaking and iconic platinum engagement rings

PGI takes a look at breathtaking and iconic platinum engagement rings

Royalty and Hollywood celebrities are known for gifting their betrothed with the most opulent and exquisite platinum engagement rings. From Queen Elizabeth’s solitaire diamond to Elizabeth Taylor’s 29.4-carat diamond, these baubles were all set in pl...

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Industry Events

Jewelers for Children to celebrate 5th annual Rings of Strength

Jewelers for Children to celebrate 5th annual Rings of Strength

The fifth edition of the popular Jewelers for Children Rings of Strength will be held on Sunday, June 4, at Mandalay Bay Resort Casino in Las Vegas, NV.  The very popular event includes options for a 5K walk or run, a 50K challenging bike ride in the...

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On The Move

Kim International appoints new Sales Manager for Midwest region

Kim International appoints new Sales Manager for Midwest region

Kim International Manufacturing, L.P. is pleased to announce that Bill Reilly has been appointed as their new Upper-Midwest Region Sales Manager. He will be covering the states of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota. Bill brings 30 plu...

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What's New

Gesswein introduces the PUK4c welder with SM03 Scope

Gesswein introduces the PUK4c welder with SM03 Scope

The PUK4c precision welder is a compact and versatile TIG impulse welder. Fine and minute welds are carried out under a 10x welding microscope (SM03 Microscope). Very close to laser welding, the PUK4c allows the exact positioning of small, stable spo...

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Featured Articles

Stuller, Inc. wraps up annual Bench Jeweler Workshop

Stuller, Inc. wraps up annual Bench Jeweler Workshop

Jyothi Forman walks away with overall win

(LAFAYETTE, La.) - Stuller hosted their annual Bench Jeweler Workshop this past weekend welcoming more than 200 jewelers from across the country to its global headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana.

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Latest News

PGI takes a look at breathtaking and iconic platinum engagement rings

3 DAYS AGO
PGI takes a look at breathtaking and iconic platinum engagement rings

Royalty and Hollywood celebrities are known for gifting their betrothed with the most opulent and exquisite platinum engagement rings. From Queen Elizabeth’s solitaire diamond to Elizabeth Taylor’s 29.4-carat diamond, these baubles were all set in platinum, a highly secure setting for their valuable...

Readmore

Origin of gold stash found in piano remains a mystery

3 DAYS AGO
Origin of gold stash found in piano remains a mystery

LONDON (AP) —  British officials say they've been unable to trace the rightful heirs to a trove of gold coins found stashed inside a piano and worth a "life-changing" amount of money.

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Jewelers for Children to celebrate 5th annual Rings of Strength

3 DAYS AGO
Jewelers for Children to celebrate 5th annual Rings of Strength

The fifth edition of the popular Jewelers for Children Rings of Strength will be held on Sunday, June 4, at Mandalay Bay Resort Casino in Las Vegas, NV.  The very popular event includes options for a 5K walk or run, a 50K challenging bike ride in the scenic foothills of Red Rock Valley, or a street ...

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New jewelry show planned for Midwest

17 DAYS AGO
New jewelry show planned for Midwest

New Horizons Jewelry Show to be held August 19-21

Jewelry manufacturers, retailers and other industry professionals will come together for the launch of a new event this August in Columbus, Ohio. “The New Horizons Jewelry Show is the only show serving the Midwest and will feature more than 250 booths...

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Kim International appoints new Sales Manager for Midwest region

3 DAYS AGO
Kim International appoints new Sales Manager for Midwest region

Kim International Manufacturing, L.P. is pleased to announce that Bill Reilly has been appointed as their new Upper-Midwest Region Sales Manager. He will be covering the states of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota. Bill brings 30 plus years of experience calling on the independent j...

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Jewelers of America expands IDEX partnership

10 DAYS AGO
Jewelers of America expands IDEX partnership

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers of America (JA), the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace, has expanded its partnership with IDEX, the International Diamond Exchange.

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Gesswein introduces the PUK4c welder with SM03 Scope

3 DAYS AGO
Gesswein introduces the PUK4c welder with SM03 Scope

The PUK4c precision welder is a compact and versatile TIG impulse welder. Fine and minute welds are carried out under a 10x welding microscope (SM03 Microscope). Very close to laser welding, the PUK4c allows the exact positioning of small, stable spot-welds or welds in hard-to-get-to or deep lying p...

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Ed Levin Jewelry introduces Summer Dance Collection

3 DAYS AGO
Ed Levin Jewelry introduces Summer Dance Collection

(CAMBRIDGE, N.Y.) - Ed Levin Jewelry, shaping American design since 1950®, invites you to get in a summer mood with Summer Dance, Ed Levin Jewelry’s latest collection of new designs.

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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..


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