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Feedback - Salesman with Loose Color


#1

Seeking feedback as to how other independent loose colored stone
dealers are doing on the road.

Traveling expenses are increasing as well as the risk. Other than
established accounts, how do you find new retailers reacting to a
walk in?

I just spent 6 months on the road, watching over my shoulder and
finger on the trigger. Feedback from jewelers suggest they are
saturated with colored goods and turning away 3-5 dealers per day.
There seems to be little in the way of cash sales for loose color,
but all memo/consign. Timing between Tucson and Vegas may be a
factor, but I appreciate hearing from others on or offline.

Sincerely,

Ed Cleveland
303-882-8855
www.kashmirblue.com


#2

All,

Gemstone business in the USA has changing so much in the last five
years that it is hardly recognizeable. Differences between wholoesale
and retail are often so small that there is no difference. I can get
almost any stone you can think of on memo for 30 days, 60 days or
more with no charge. Supply is seemingly unlimited. Sales people are
all over. Africans, Brazilians, Sri-Lankans, Chinese, Thais, and
Australians, just to name a few countries people that have contacted
me to show stones to me in my place of business just since Tucson
(Feb 2005). No money necessary. Sales people say - Take my stones and
sell them. Then send me the money. Add to this dealers that are US
citizens and the market is flooded with product. Sapphires, emeralds,
alexandrite, opals, you name the stone and I can get enough to fill
any store front for no money down.

All the sales people in the USA, both foreign and USA dealers, I
have talked to say the same thing. Travel on the road is dangerous,
expenses are high, and thier product is not selling. Yet these same
sales people are still on the road bringing into the USA more
product. Many gemstone dealers have now opened thier own store fronts
selling finished jewelry. These deallers travel to Asia to buy thier
stones. Cutting out all other dealers in the USA. Television and
computer sales also cut out the middleman.

The old system in the USA of a gradual increase in price of product
as it passes from supplier to supplier is now broken. Instead of
three, or more, people in the USA making a little money off one
product as the product changes ownership, one person hogs all the
profit.

My opinion is simple. To survive you must diversify, take advantage
of opportunities, sell direct and get immediate payment, do not make
alliances that are closed loops, take chances that are reasonable,
and protect yourself first. It is a tough world when there are no
protections against worldwide trade abuses. It has become survival
of the fittest, not the most ethical or caring. The business is not
all gloom. Some of us are doing quite well by adapting our sales
techinques to the changing environment. If you stick with the
traditional sales approach you will have a much tougher life.

Gerry Galarneau, Showing this weekend July 1-3 at the Flagstaff,
Arizona Little America Hotel, just off the I-40 exit at Butler
Avenue. This is a great show in the cool pines of Arizona. see you
there.


#3

Continue from:
https://orchid.ganoksin.com/t/feedback-salesman-with-loose-color

        The old system in the USA of a gradual increase in price
of product as it passes from supplier to supplier is now broken.
Instead of three, or more, people in the USA making a little money
off one product as the product changes ownership, one person hogs
all the profit. 

Funny … I’ve always thought of all those middlemen as the hogs.

There’s something really wrong with the delivery system when a
farmer gets $2.50 a bushel for corn and a box of cornflakes is $4 in
the grocery…

Hopefully the people who do the actual work are getting a bigger
piece of the pie, once so many middle men are cut out (and have to
go find real jobs). The truth is we don’t need 8 different guys to
move something from one side of the country to the other (or one side
of the world to the other). UPS does it quicker and for less.

Fewer middlemen mean people like me have a shot at working with some
of the nicer gem materials, whereas before they were just priced too
far beyond our reach - because all those middlemen kept jacking up
the price of the raw materials.

Sojourner


#4

Yes, I agree. Few changes have been for the better. The market may be
flooded until a natural color ruby, 3ct Alexandrite or Kashmir
sapphire is needed. (By the way, I am currently searching a 1-2ct
’gem’ Kashmir sapphire. I can spend $10,000.)

So, why do 80% of jewelers turn away every salesman to call or walk
in? Could 2 minutes of time save hours of work or thousands of
dollars? You may have the right idea. Create a pull vs. push model
of business. Trade shows may far outway the benefits of going on the
road or cold calling.

What are your thoughts, Orchid?

Ed Cleveland
303-882-8855
www.kashmirblue.com (online prices are key)