When I had my store I didn’t charge a separate fee to sit down with
someone. But I’ve met MANY jewelers who do.
Marketing statistic have shown that only one in ten individuals
will commit to a purchase over 750 dollars at any given time.
Making pre-qualifying a useful tool.
I don’t know WHERE you got that number and if your number is for
custom designing, which is what this thread is about. I poll, visit
jewelers, speak to hundreds. Here’s the real numbers.
If 10 people walk into jewelry store and ask a question about:
REPAIR: 9 out of 10 will go ahead with the repair.
CUSTOM: 7 or 8 out of 10 will have the item made.
BUY FROM CASE: 3 out of 10 will buy from the case.
My store had those same repair & custom closing ratios. When you
sell 70% or 80% of everyone you sit with a fee generally is not
To say its suicide to charge the fee is not 100% right nor wrong. If
you’re only selling 10% of those who sit in front of you, YOU will be
committing financial suicide. If you sell a 10 hour day, see 10
people, each takes 1 hour to try to sell and make ONE SALE at $750
and then have to stay late and spend 3-5 hours making that one sale,
that is a recipe for closing up shop.
Your 10% is way too low (unless it was product and that’s low), but
let’s say it’s 30-50%. You’ll still go out of business.
My suggestion of the design fee came from polling a lot of jewelers
who do cad/cam. I have found touching cad/cam is a longer process
than hand carving a wax. They could spend 3-5 hours just to show the
cad/cam rendering. Some folks charge a $100 design fee up front to
keep price shopping to a minimum and have only people interested sit
down and if they like it it’s credited against the labor and
material. If not, they got paid a WHOPPING $33 to $20 an hour for
getting to the screen shot.
But let’s address the 10% you mention. They stink at selling. Fee or
no Fee, they can’t sell and everyone here must NOT present a design
without knowing that customer must be sold.
You don’t make any money until you sell something. Keeping out of
poverty then goes into how much you charge.
Always offer a customer THREE CHOICES in design and they all 3 don’t
have to be custom. We showed 1 or 2 ways to custom make the item,
plus maybe a wax from a rubber mold and if need be a picture from a
Many folks in a store will sit FOREVER discussing the design and
hardly speak of BUDGET. Asking after a few minutes about the budget
will help you point the customer in the right way. No reason to
design if they were looking to keep under $400. That’s where our wax
and casting charge STARTS, no material.
Many people on this network have more than just a few reasons why
they might struggle, but mainly it’s because (not in order):
- They don’t charge enough for labor
- They don’t sell enough units from their case
- They don’t have enough folks walking through the front door
- When they do walk in looking at product, over 50% walk without
- They keep jewelry over a year old rather than dumping it.
There are 5 reasons for financial distress. 3 can be read now on my