Anyone take out an ad in the Designer Jewelry Showcase? I know
one Orchidian, Alan Revere, has - I'd like to hear your feedback.
Hi Sarah! I’m a salesperson at Designer Jewelry Showcase, so of
course I want to respond to your questions! You can also go to
our website and read many comments from designers and gallery
owners: http://www.serbin.com (See my comments on the bottom of
this page about how to contact us to receive our brochure by
Has it been worth it for you? What kind of responce did you
This is a very subjective question. I asked one designer today
how the book was doing and she indicated that she’d had good
response and was happy with it. The book’s only been out two
months, which isn’t long for a book that generates calls all year
long and even over several years. I asked for more specific
feedback and she’d received 50 calls! That’s super hot! Smokin’!
On the other hand, I talked to another advertiser this week who
said they’d established a couple of good contacts and they felt
they’d already achieved their objectives. Some of the jewelers
do one-of-a- kind pieces and work alone. They just can’t handle
that much volume and are more concerned about quality of
It’s difficult to track the impact of the book sometimes. One
designer got a $10K order at a show only to find out later that
the customer had come to the show specifically to see them and
place the order, because they’d seen them in Designer Jewelry
Showcase. Often buyers will actively study Designer Jewelry
Showcase before attending the show and they’ll make up a
checklist of booths to visit. Given the chaos and vastness of
the shows, this edge can be invaluable.
Depending on how you lay out your page, you can get as many as
3,000 postcard reprints of your page. You can use these in
conjunction with wholesale or retail shows, or send them to your
own mailing list.
Designer Jewelry Showcase is distributed to 6,000 stores and
galleries that handle hand-crafted jewelry. We screen out the
low-end mall stores that carry only manufactured pieces. This is
more buyers than you can reach at any show, or combination of
shows. And they use the book throughout the year. Many stores
have told us they keep it on their counter and allow their
customers to place special orders.
Given the longevity, when asking for feedback from those in the
book, ask them how many years they’ve been advertising. The
current book has only been out two months. If this is the first
year for them, there HAS NOT been enough time to evaluate the
book’s performance. And a single account can easily cover the
cost of your page, so you don’t necessarily need a ton of calls
to be successful.
We have very consistently heard the same feedback from those
who’ve been in the book for several years running: The response
builds from year to year. Even those who did well the first year
will see an increase the second year, and a further increase the
third year. This demonstrates how important name recognition and
familiarity is to generating sales. I’ve heard that the same
thing happens to designers attending shows…it takes a couple of
years to become completely at home and for your booth to get
substantial traffic/orders. (The woman with the 50 calls that I
mentioned above is new to the book this year, though, so this
building effect doesn’t mean you can’t do very well your first
I can tell you a few factors that will really contribute to your
success with Designer Jewelry Showcase.
First and absolutely most important (besides having nice pieces
to promote ) is the photography. It is absolutely
imperative that you invest in good professional photographs. You
want those pieces to really leap off the page. If you call us at
Designer Jewelry Showcase, we can give you a limited list of
recommended photographers, and others on this list can probably
offer suggestions, too.
Probably the most common mistake is having too many pieces on
the page. You can’t come in as closely on the pieces when there
are more of them. You want close, well-lit shots. Creative
"mood" shots probably aren’t a good idea. Fancy backgrounds
usually detract from the pieces. We can send you sample pages
from the book that demonstrate what a well put together page
What kind (metal types, price points) of jewelry did you
The book is divided into three sections: Gold/platinum, silver
and mixed media. There are very successful pages in all three
sections, so there isn’t a particular price point or metal that
will get you the most response.
We have one page in the current book with a bracelet that
wholesales for $12,000. This designer has managed to place the
piece at a gallery in SoHo (thanks to us! )and in time will
probably sell it. The granulated gold pieces have done very well
in the past few years and these are also quite pricey. On the
other hand, some of the mixed media people are doing very well
with much lower price points.
In fact you’ll occasionally hear someone suggest that the book
should have more this kind of work, or that kind. Just remember
that the galleries are the end-users of the book. The more it
addresses THEIR needs, the more often it will be used. The same
gallery that buys $5,000 pieces is also buying $100 pieces. We
have gotten a flood of feedback from the stores. They LOVE this
book. There is no other resource for them like this.
Some designers are better at turning inquiries into sales and a
lot of this depends on how they handle the call initially and how
well they follow-up the calls.
You must really talk to the buyers when they call.
Sometimes they will ask for a price, you give the answer, they
thank you and hang up! If you find out first what kind of store
and clientele they have, you might offer something that’s
appropriate for them. You might agree to make up the pieces less
expensively by replacing stones or simplifying some of the
detailed handwork. Sometimes it helps to explain HOW your pieces
are made, especially if they are made from unusual materials. If
there is a great deal of handwork involved, explain that and
they’ll understand your pricing better. If you don’t get them
talking first, you’ll miss opportuntities to work with the stores
to make sales.
Sometimes the store will ask about consignment and the
designer, not liking to do consignment, will say no and the
conversation ends there. If you talk to the buyer, you might be
able to work out a good compromise. Perhaps you can get the
store to buy the smaller pieces, and then let them have a large
piece on consignment for a short period of time. This allows the
store to show a grouping of your work which will sell ALL the
pieces more effectively. It also gives you a chance to move a
large piece that perhaps hasn’t been selling. Better to have it
in a gallery than in your safe! Sometimes the gallery will offer
to have a gallery show for you!
Sometimes you can have a stricter policy for new accounts, but
get more cooperative with them once you see their ability to move
pieces and their integrity in paying you without hassle.
One of our advertisers did $7,000 in consignment in one year and
was very happy with this arrangement. The trick is to establish
a good relationship with a credible gallery.
- It’s important to have some kind of catalog to send out when
you get calls. The galleries expect it. It’s only natural that
they want to see your full array before making a choice…any
shopper wants to do that. These catalogs don’t need to be fancy
by any means. Some have a simple black & white sheet with line
drawings, a brief description of size, materials and prices.
Many use color xeroxes or computer printer copies.
The stores seem to understand that these are often
one-of-a-kind, they are interested in the general style, and
don’t necessarily expect to get the identical piece shown on the
page or in your catalog.
You must follow-up with these galleries a week or so after
you’ve sent them your catalog. These are very busy retailers and
they will forget. You want to talk to them again before your
catalog gets lost in the shuffle. If they have hesitations about
pricing or anything else, you can discuss and perhaps come to
Even if you aren’t able to work out something on that first
contact, get their name and address and put them on your mailing
list. If a buyer took time out of their busy schedule to
contact you, they like your work. Keep in touch with them and
you might make a sale later on.
I know this got rather long, but we’ve got many ideas to share!
If some of you haven’t received a brochure regarding the book
for 2000, you should email us or call the office to get on the
mailing list. Please do this quickly as the first space
reservation deadline (the least expensive one) is May 26th.
Artwork/photos aren’t due until August 20th.
We have 5 standard page layouts and we can set all the type for
you, for $35. If you prefer to design your page and set type
yourself, that’s fine too. Your photography can be provided on
slides, transparencies, or digital files.
You can email us from our website (see above) or at
email@example.com. You can call us at 1-800-876-6425. Please
indicate that you heard about us on the Orchid list.
You can also respond to this mail list if you have more