News and Views from the 24 Karat Club Southeastern U.S.
At the recent Atlanta Jewelry Show, a Florida retailer was telling me about his "TLC" policy: Any piece he sells is covered by a lifetime TLC policy. For as long as the customer owns the piece, he'll clean it, tighten loose stones, adjust the clasp, size it, etc., all for no charge. The beauty and logic of this service policy is obvious.
One day a customer came in to price a diamond bracelet, and left without buying one. A few weeks later the jeweler saw her at a party wearing a similar, although cheaper version of the same bracelet. And, since she was a good customer, and it was a social gathering, he asked her about it.
The customer sheepishly explained that she bought it a place across town because it was a lot less expensive. The jeweler quickly pointed out it wasn't nearly the same quality piece that she had seen in his shop, the clasp wasn't as nice, the piece seemed to be much thinner and lighter, but that she should enjoy wearing it just the same, and to continue to feel free to stop by the shop any time.
Sure enough, a couple of weeks later the customer came by the shop because the clasp wasn't holding, and the bracelet needed to be shortened. Since she didn't buy the piece from him, the TLC policy didn't apply, and there would be a charge for a new clasp and the labor to shorten the bracelet (thank you, David Geller). A couple of weeks later, she was back. A stone was missing, and two or three others were loose. Again, no TLC, and an additional charge. Over the next few months, she was back several times, and the jeweler realized he probably made more profit in service charges on her piece than if she had bought the original piece she had seen in his store! His TLC policy was now bringing him rewards on pieces that he didn't even sell!
How does this story relate to the 24 Karat Club? The 24 Karat Club is an organization of industry professionals representing the leading members from the jewelry supplier sector. Among other goals, the organization's mission is to award scholarships to deserving individuals seeking to further their growth in the retail jewelry industry. The 24 Karat Club is proud to maintain a "TLC" relationship with the retailer jewelers in the Southeast. Deserving applicants receive scholarships, and everybody shares in the rewards.
Howard Kelrick is President of Finger Mate and a board member of The 24 Karat Club. Finger Mate manufactures and installs expandable ring shanks and sells to retail jewelers throughout North America.