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
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.
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.
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.
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