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Dealing with stones that fall out in cleaning


#1

Question for retailers and tradesmen:

How do you deal with stones that fall out in cleaning. Retailers, do
you charge your customer to put back her stones that fell out in the
ultrasonic? and tradesmen (those who work for retailers): same
question.


#2

Hello Pat,

I would charge, but I would first let the customer know what happened
and what the charge will be for resetting (and possibly rebuilding
the setting, if necessary). Keep in mind that you are performing a
valuable service to this individual who may have eventually lost the
stone.

Jeff Herman
http://www.hermansilver.com


#3
How do you deal with stones that fall out in cleaning. Retailers,
do you charge your customer to put back her stones that fell out in
the ultrasonic? and tradesmen (those who work for retailers): same
question. 

I call the customer if stones fall out while doing cleaning for
repair and give a quote.

If it is a cleaning while the customer is in my store, I tell them
that a stone fell out and ask if they want to have me reset it and
give a quote. If I am cleaning and a stone falls out or gets blown
out by steam cleaning and I find the stone, I charge for resetting,
if the stone disappears during the cleaning, I replace the stone for
free and charge for the resetting.

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver, Co.


#4

Paf,

I cleaned the rings etc for free and always advised customers that
there was a likelihood that stones could come out in the sonic when
the dirt was removed - if this happened and the claws looked worn it
was up to the customer to maintain the ring - so yes there would be
a charge. If however the ring was relatively new the work should be
covered by the manufacturer.

Roger


#5

Once you take something into your shop, you pretty much own it. We
always take responsibility for everything that happens on our watch.
The best way to deal with this is to reduce the chances of this
coming up.

When I worked retail, I once worked for a guy who would fine us a
buck every time we would take in a job for anything, including just
a quick cleaning, that we didn’t loupe and check with tweezers first.

It’s a good habit to get into and reduces the chances that a stone
would fall out in cleaning.

When on the rare occasion that something does fall out Tim and I
always get a little pissed off at first and then say, "Well better
that it happened here than fall out when the customer is wearing it.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer
www.timothywgreen.com


#6
How do you deal with stones that fall out in cleaning. Retailers,
do you charge your customer to put back her stones that fell out in
the ultrasonic? and tradesmen (those who work for retailers): same
question. 

Where I work, we do not charge to put them back. We try to get the
sales people to check the stones first and suggest ordering
tightening or retipping (for which we do charge, at least if the
piece is not ours) before the stones get knocked out by cleaning!.

The other day, a sales person decided to just clean a pair of rings
herself-- while her eyes were still dilated from an ophthalmologist
appointment. I stepped in and offered to help, since she clearly
could not see what she was doing. “Um, were these stones missing when
you brought the ring back here?” She had no idea. I’m not sure what
we ended up doing about that one!

Noel


#7

Hello Paf,

I am a retailer and we routinely clean rings for customers. I do not
charge customers to reset the diamonds that fall out in our cleaner.
I have in the past tried to charge a customer and it caused too much
ill will. In theory, we should check the stones before we clean them
but since that is very time consuming we normally ultrasonic and
steam and hope for the best. What is more irritating is when we lose
the stone and have to replace it at our expense.

Dale


#8

You may not be able to see this correctly but in our price book kit
we include a color counter mat for take in. It gives the customer 3
choices BEOFRE we do anything on cleaning their jewelry:

  1. Ultrasonic and steam clean only - FREE

  2. A budget buff. No check and tighten, just a tripoli and rouge,
    along with a cleaning - $8 for gold and $12 for platinum.

  3. “Back to Factory Specs” Remove scratches, round out ring, check
    stones for tightness, tighten ones that are loose, guarantee most
    stones we check, refinish the ring like new: Starts at $35.00.

You’ll get a lot of free cleanings but you’ll be amazed at how many
"buffs" will turn into $8 income! And even some $35 factory spec
ones!

David Geller
http://www.jewelerprofit.com


#9

hi paf. well this onesthe proverbial pain in the b/side, you gotta
check embefore you dip em i,m afraid, so its down to you to put them
back. been trade and retail bench jock for forty years and thats
always been the expectancy in the trade. though you dont have to
swallow the retip job, but advise the customer on whats required.
many retailers try hard to please the customer buy cleaning rings out
of curtesy, andforget that often its the dirt thats holding the
stoneand pop em in the cleaner hey ho they pop out, tired telling
them to check them first its so easy to forget when trying to please,
but if your on the bench then if you forget this golden rule then its
down to you. and that curtesy becomes an irate customer who aint
happy, better to tell them it needs work before youve touched it.!


#10
In theory, we should check the stones before we clean them 

I’ve never had to deal with this situation before the last two
months, but I’ve noticed that the sales people are reluctant to
touch a lot of the rings and earrings before they’re cleaned-- aside
from the fact that the dirt may be holding in the stones.

Noel


#11

I am hoping you are close to my store, I have rings I can bring over
and have cleaned by you before I start repair work on them for what
is obviously wrong. You would save me a lot of time and trouble.

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver, Co.


#12

So how do you to-the-trade craftspersons deal with clients
(retailers) who refuse to check for loose stones or clean stuff they
take in? My clients believe me (they know I’m not padding the bill)
but they kvetch about it because it happens so often.

How can I convince them to tell the customer that this (stones
falling out in cleaning & a charge for replacing them) might happen?


#13

A. The low end. Retail jewellers who sell new items that shed stones
in the ultrasonic. You will be expected to deliver the minimum and
paid accordingly.

B. The high end. Retail jewellers who deliver the highest quality,
demand the highest standards, and are willing to pay whatever it
takes within reason. Take pride in consistently meeting or exceeding
all standards in both ‘A’ and ‘B’.

C. Worst case…‘A’ posing as ‘B’. You will be screwed. Suck it and
get to ‘B’ at the first opportunity.

When receiving any item for repair or modification, take the time to
study it using 10x magnification or higher, and quote for the worst
case scenario.

A careful study will reveal existing chipped or scratched stones,
small cracks and other defects in the metal, and any previous repairs
done. A gentle prod with a sharp point will reveal stones that are
already loose and need tightening. Quote for the work you think ought
to be done regardless of what is asked for. Note the existing defects
and photograph them if necessary. Communicate and await confirmation
from your customer.

Be open to negotiation and plan for your customer to be fully aware
and completely happy.

Alastair


#14
"Back to Factory Specs" Remove scratches, round out ring, check
stones for tightness, tighten ones that are loose, guarantee most
stones we check, refinish the ring like new: Starts at $35.00. 

As a customer, I’d go for the “back to factory specs” option every
time!

Helen
UK


#15
How can I convince them to tell the customer that this (stones
falling out in cleaning & a charge for replacing them) might
happen?  

Just a pertinent quote. We come from another angle - a trade shop,
not a retailer. We have one client who’s big on what most call “micro
pave” though not all of it is strictly that, but near enough. I told
them that there would have to be times that we would charge them for
stones, and they said Ok, fine. Just about every job loses a stone in
sizing, polishing and/or cleaning, or they just come loose. If we
lose a one pointer we’ll look for it for a few minutes and then just
replace it and charge for it (like ten bucks, stone and set).
Eventually we find them in the sweeps. It’s not OUR fault, we don’t
pay for that - if it IS our fault we comp it. It’s not optional, we
don’t work for free. Customer rings are the same - they came in
loose, they pay us to tighten them. Usually it’s not a lot of money
so people don’t squawk too much.


#16

You touch it, you own it. This is Universal Customer Imposed Rule
Number One in the business of jewelry repair. Embrace it or hate it,
it is what it is.

Wholesale clients tend to be a little more understanding, but the
bare-bones truth is that it is your responsibility to inspect every
single piece and discuss any potential problems, their repair and
costs with the customer before doing anything more radical than
holding and looking at it.

Alastair was pretty much spot on. The only thing I might add to his
post is that when you give an estimate for working on a real can of
worms, make sure that the estimate you give will be high enough so
that you’re going to be OK with it if the customer says yes. Really
think about it before you give what you may think off the top of your
head is a high enough price to scare them off. They just might call
your bluff and tell you to go ahead. I’ve been burned by that one
many more times than I care to admit.

Which leads us to Rule Number Two. Very few customers will ever give
you a second chance to hit them with a final price over your
estimate, or worse, charge them without giving them an estimate
first. That is a sure way to anger someone. Think how you might feel
if an auto mechanic calls to tell you your car is ready and when you
get to the counter, he hands you a bill for $100 for a new battery
and installation and an estimate for the new alternator you’re going
to need (or they won’t warrantee the battery), after you brought it
in for an oil change and “Free 20 Point Inspection”.

There is a simple way around these rules. All you have to do is have
a marketing strategy that is so good that you don’t need to worry
about repeat customers or word-of-mouth referrals. Lots of companies
seem to be able to make a lot of money doing that, so I wouldn’t even
think of arguing that it isn’t an option.

Dave Phelps