[Chicago] The InStore Show

Just came back from InStore show

Was at the instore show for 2 days, Friday as a speaker and Saturday
morning just to hang with the Bench Competition.

Joel McFadden runs the competition where they have 3 jewelers making
a Cad design in a race against time. Pretty cool.

I left Saturday at noon and the show didn’t seem to be very busy but
it was the first day, first few hours.

If you’re a Shopkeeper owner go by and see Mark & Louis. They
program works great on a tablet. Run reports, make sales, take in
repairs etc.

Mark showed me how to take in a repair, take a picture with the
tablet and email the receipt to the customer. Pretty cool stuff.

Then he sold me a ring and used a credit card to just “tap” a device
and get my money. The receipt was immediately emailed to me.

On Friday before my workshop on making money in repairs Joel
McFadden had a workshop on custom design. He does not take in any
repairs (OMG!). None.

He’s only a custom store. All three of his benches are in the front
windows of the store.

He had one interesting aspect of selling custom.

He first asks how much they want to spend. If its less than $1000 he
tells them he can’t help them. He only wants larger sales. That’s not
my thing as If you price it correctly you can make money on all of
them. But then again its only he, his wife and one associate so he’s
doing everything. Works for him

He had one idea I really liked.

After he has an idea of money they want to spend then they sit down
and start sketching and he then gets a deposit. No deposit? Nothing
happens, no cad work, nothing.

So he gets a deposit and makes appointment for the second meeting
where he shows the cad design and presents the prices.

This is the smart thing. He DOES work up a design in price to thier
budget but he presents TWO more prices, both higher with different
material enhancements.

From his talk he gave if you asked to have a ring made and the
budget was $3000, he’d also have a $4,000 and $5,000 pricing
available for you to see as well (my dollars here, not his. An

The $4,000 and $5,000 are better quality diamonds and/or larger
diamonds, and/or a quote in 14kt/18kt/platnum. Just any enhancement
of MATERIALS with more than likely the same design.

Great idea.

He didn’t say but I’ll tell you that the majority of the time the
customer will chose the MIDDLE quote.

On another subject I spoke to many jewelers and a few asked me if
other jewelers reported a drop in repair jobs. I have been asking
that question and I asked at the InStore show as well. yes some
people have had a drop in repair traffic.

ration for those who did come in and they used my book as well. Its
not price but my thinking for those store with less repair traffic:

  1. Many didn’t advertise the shop and that they did repairs. If
    customers don’t know, can’t buy.

  2. I personally believe that much of the jewelry that could have
    been fixed/repairs has been scrapped over the last 5 years. Its just
    not available to be repaired.

  3. Yes indeed many customers my still be having money concerns and
    repairing jewelry is not important enough. Forget the cost to repair
    it, just don’t need to spend any money. But surprisingly they may not
    want to spend $250 to repair and ring but by golly, they’ll spend
    $2000 to design a new one. It may not be the same customer here
    folks. You might be trading off a repair customer for someone else
    that walks in and wants a custom job done.

But the majority of jewelers still had strong repair trafiic. But
for some yes traffic is off.

But even those with reduced repair traffic almost all said they were
busy as bees with custom. Custom is still strong. yes even with
higher metal prices.

If you’re at the show go by and see the bench competition area. Its
kind of like a boxing ring, without the ropes.


David Geller