Five myths about custom design

Five Custom Design Myths That Aren’t True 1. You can’t sell a custom
ring that is so similar to a ring in the case for a higher price
Jewelers across the country prove this myth to be incorrect.
Customers will pay to “have it their way”. Car dealers advertise the
car at a low price but consumers add bells and whistles to get the
car their way. Friends who had perfectly wonderful kitchen and bath
upgraded them to the tune of 100K. Explain how much they’ll love it,
it’ll be just the way the wanted it and rings in the case are
manufactured by the dozens at a time and your ring will be
manufactured one at a time. Time is money. Lastly 6 months after you
get the ring you’ll forget the price and just remember every day how
special it is. This myth is perpetuated by sales staff not

  1. Our staff can’t sell such technical items. Put a 14 year old
    behind the wheel of a car and it’s an accident bound to happen. But
    with training and practice you became an excellent driver. Selling
    custom design doesn’t mean you have to manufacture it. First thing
    you’re selling is a dream; a desire. Next you can use many jewelry
    trade magazines and fashion magazines like Vogue; Elle; Glamour;
    InStyle to get ideas from them and the celebrities. During store
    meetings go over selling; drawing and pricing custom pieces. One a
    meeting. After sketching a design the sales staff might need to ask
    the jewelers about a) weight b)size of stones. The actual design
    itself can be done on a Cad/Cam computer program and the customer can
    come back later to view it. Many stores still carve the model in wax
    and will show that to the customer.

  2. My jewelers can only do repairs, they could never do wax carving
    or cad work. If your jeweler can’t carve wax nor work a cad/cam
    program this is easily outsourced. In the back of jewelry trade
    magazines you’ll find plenty of places to help you with this. In many
    cases after you send over your sketch they can email you great
    pictures of what the finished product would look like when made to
    show your customer.

  3. It takes away from my staff selling from the case. If you’ve
    opened jewelry store to make money this is actually better than
    selling from the case. Case sales “average $400 to $850” and you
    have to keep hundreds of thousands of dollars in inventory to make a
    sale. Plus your product is found in other stores and on the internet.
    You may not get the margin you want from the case, typically 43% and
    up. Meanwhile the average custom sale is $1200 to $3500 and requires
    virtually no on hand inventory as almost everything is “ordered as
    sold”. Typically your expertise and designs can’t be shopped.
    Margins are easily 50-65%. Most jewelers find custom enhances
    showcase sales especially if the engagement diamonds stay in the
    case. You’ll make a higher overall dollar and margin engagement ring
    sale if the mounting is custom designed. Plus there is probably a
    fourth the numbers of jewelers in town making custom item versus just
    selling from the case. Less competition.

  4. Why mess with something when we sell it every now and then?
    Advertise it; put on your web page; Facebook and Twitter pages that
    you do this and show pictures and this side of the business will
    surely grow quickly. Want to skyrocket sales? Take pictures as the
    process goes along and email the customer “today we made your
    model-see picture”. “Today we are melting the white gold into your
    mold; see John the jeweler doing this in the attached video. It’s
    your ring being made!” The customers will send this viral and to
    their friends. Best free advertising you’ll ever get.

David Geller Director of Shop Profits