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Cruise-related jewelry


#1

Today two women visited the shop for jewelry repair.

The first lady had taken a cruise to Cozumel a few days ago, bought
a ring and a bracelet in Cozumel and had the ring sized. She brought
the bracelet to us for repair. While my boss was looking at it, she
asked him to also look at her ring, was the stone any good?

He said the stone was man-made and the ring was silver plated with
rhodium. The woman was stunned - she said she had bough the jewelry
at $600, discounted from $1200. It was supposed to be white gold and
aquamarine. (The stone was colorless.) The sizing job on the ring was
atrocious. It looked like someone had gripped the upper part of the
shank with pliers that had serrated jaws.

A few hours later, the second woman comes in. She and her husband
had been on a cruise, she saw a necklace and matching bracelet, and
they bought it. Today the lady wants my boss’s opinion on the
jewelry. He looks at it and asked her how long she has owned it. She
replied, “We bought it just last week.”

“Well, you bought used jewelry,” my boss said. “There are two places
on the necklace where repairs have been made with solder.”

Moral of this story? I wish our customers would get all sentimental
on their cruises, then come buy nice jewelry from us.

Things that make you go "huh?"
Kelley


#2

I have a friend who bought a ‘beautiful 14k opal bracelet for an
amazing price’ on a cruise.

Since it needs repair she brought it to me and I agreed to fix it. I
don’t have the heart to tell her that the opals are the synthetic
ones from Rio Grande.

I will fix it and let her keep her treasured piece.

Moral of this story? I wish our customers would get all sentimental
on their cruises, then come buy nice jewelry from us.

Agree
Simone


#3

I learned a long time ago to not pooh-pooh somebody’s recent
purchase in ‘The Islands’ or elsewhere. Odds are against you if you
think you can flip the sale.

When people buy in those circumstances, they are not buying a piece
from ‘them’ instead of ‘you’. You don’t enter into the picture at
all. They buy on vacation as a celebration of the vacation. Ya know,
jewelry itself is a celebration. Why the heck would I alienate a
customer by badmouthing their special experience? Yeah, that’d get
them to come here again. Nah, there’s nothing you can do. Better to
stay in their good graces. If it needs repair, do it and charge them.
You’re the hero when you save their fond remembrance in a dignified
manner. If its truly a piece of junk they will find out on their own
and won’t shoot you(the bearer of bad news). I don’t lie about it
when asked but things can be phrased diplomatically.


#4
Since it needs repair she brought it to me and I agreed to fix it.
I don't have the heart to tell her that the opals are the synthetic
ones from Rio Grande. 

She may be a friend but when she brings the piece to me (or someone
like me) to repair the next time, we’ll tell her what she has. Then
she’ll think you switched the stones on her. I would get your heart
in hand, think about your personal liability, and tell her exactly
what she has. Besides that risk, by not properly educating her, you
leave her open to making more purchases of fake and shoddy material.
Do you really want your friend to waste more money on the junk in
the future? In our business honesty in all things is always the best
policy.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
www.spirerjewelers.com


#5

Oh, dear, oh dear! Kelley Dragon’s email made me cringe, because
passengers on cruise ships are a major outlet for me.

As part of the Fremantle (Australia) Tourism 'Meet and Greet’
program, a small group of selected retailers set up shop in the
passenger terminal when overseas cruise ships visit our shores.

The criteria for acceptance into this group are that items should,
wherever possible, be made in Australia (not Taiwan or elsewhere). My
own work includes Australian pearls, opals, natural nuggets and
diamonds. I can’t guarantee that the diamonds are Australian, so I
always make this clear.

Through my business, I am a financial member of the Jeweller’s
Association of Australia and proof of this membership is prominently
displayed on my stand.

My colleagues and I design and make all the pieces ourselves; most
of them are ‘one offs’. We’re proud of our work, and back up
purchases with a certificate of authenticity which we mail to the
buyer’s home address. I realise that in this day and age, some
consider such a certificate is only worth the paper it’s printed on -
but that certificate has enormous value to me because it carries my
name and it’s my reputation at stake if someone has a problem.

And yet, and yet. when I went on a cruise in the Caribbean and was
taken to the ship’s chosen ‘shopping bonanza’ outlets, I was in full
’buyer beware’ mode and I can well understand when visitors to
Australian shores exhibit the same caution.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can reassure people that
I’m ‘genuine’ and not in the rip off market?!!!

Jane Walker
Australian Natural Gem Jewellery
www.australiannaturalgemjewellery.com.au


#6

jane - you could do the goldsmishbowl where you put the bench people
behind glass behind the showcases

goo


#7

Jane,

How about asking those happy customers to write you a letter, on real
paper of their experiences and post it on the wall of your shop.
Testimonials of happy people with their purchases and pictures of
those people wearing their cool jewelry speaks more than any
advertising could. These letters and the visual connection will
reduce doubt and create security that their vacation dollars are
being spent with somebody reputable.

Reporting here will make a difference, as I am sure there will be one
person from this list that will walk into your shop. Word of mouth is
a powerful advertising and a referral from a friend is priceless.

karen christians


#8
tell her exactly what she has. Besides that risk, by not properly
educating her, you leave her open to making more purchases of fake
and shoddy material. Do you really want your friend to waste more
money on the junk in the future? In our business honesty in all
things is always the best policy.

I do as Daniel does. I believe educating the customer is important.
As important as making or selling jewelry. I am always honest about
defects in craftsmanship, about mistakes in how gems were set, or the
truth about gems purchased.

When I am finished with my evaluation I tell the customer that I am
educating them so they can hold me to the standards I have educated
them as to how things should be. I am very nice in how I explain,
but I am brutally honest. I have

been known to use the word crappy in relationship to gold work and/or
how the gems were set.

I have never had a customer react badly to my evaluation. Quite to
the contrary I believe my customers appreciate my attention to
detail. I also say "I don’t know about you, but some of my customers

work hard for their money and I want to make sure you get the best
value for your money."

I just had a customer who had a ring that needed sizing.

About a week or two later he comes back in, one of the baguettes
fell out. The company he purchased it from on the internet would not
do anything as it had been sized. I explained that I stand behind the
work I do, that the diamond was not set properly and the sizing had
nothing to do with why the diamond fell out. I told him if he had
bought the ring from me I would stand behind what I sold and I would
do the repair for free. I sent him to an appraiser and told him I
will fix it if the appraiser thinks the diamond fell out from the
sizing. I also told him that people buy poorly made jewelry on the
internet, take it to the local jeweler to have something done, as a
result of poor quality craftsmanship a problem develops and they want
to jeweler to take responsibility. He comes back with a written
evaluation of why the diamond fell out, expecting me to fix it.

Apparently he did not read the evaluation. I point to the statement
where the appraiser stated that the stone did not fall out from
having been sized. Then I told him how backed up I was with work and
I could not take in any more repairs now and sent him to the person
who does wholesale repairs for me when I have to sub contract work
out. I did call the repair person and warned him about what had
happened so far.

If the jewelry is from someone local I act as an advocate and advise
the person on what to say and how to stand up for themselves to
request a resolution without having to spend money to correct what
should have been done right to begin with.

I get a lot of referrals. Referrals are pre-sold for repair and
custom work.

Richard Hart G.G.
Jewelers Gallery
Denver, Co


#9
Oh, dear, oh dear! Kelley Dragon's email made me cringe, because
passengers on cruise ships are a major outlet for me. 

As part of the Fremantle (Australia) Tourism

Well, Jane, I don’t know you but it sounds like you don’t have
anything to worry about. Quality will out, as Will would say.

A friend and client of ours went to Australia, and she came back
with a loose opal she bought. She was a little nervous about the
value - she paid $800US for it - I told her it was at least a good
deal. It was a lovely stone, and the real deal.

Among those who travel a lot there is a distinction between
sensibilities - there are travelers and then there are tourists. We
used to also call tourists “Hilton-Hoppers”. When I go to a foreign
country, I’ll step out the door, look left, look right, pick a way
and start walking. While the tourists will step out the door onto a
tour bus. I had the misfortune of spending two weeks in Northern
Italy with one…

So, I don’t think this thread and the diamond thread from whence it
came are blanket condemnations of anything. Every place and country
has things of real value to offer. On the other hand, souvenir
jewelry is a bona-fide genre…

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