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Hints to survive a difficult economy

I am looking for hints, ideas, suggestions, thoughts, words of
wisdom, insights into what you are doing to protect yourself in these
difficult economic times? How are you surviving?

Thank you.
marlene richey

my strategy: don’t spend much money, and save the rest. seriously.

joanna gollberg jewelry, inc


I knew this was going to happen. You can count on down cycles. I
planned for it a long time ago. I’m pretty much ready and able to get

My inventory is mostly paid for. My bills are paid so when I have
sudden need for anything my suppliers will ship me.

I think you have to exercise self restraint when buying. There’s the
old saw about “You can’t sell it if you don’t have it”, which while
mostly true should not be an invitation to buyer’s gluttony. Should
not be read as “you will sell more if you show more”. Your cash flow
is much more manageable when your inventory level is in sync with
demand. There was a time I reasoned that over-full cases were good
for ‘image’…except that it costs you alot of money to maintain
inventory that just sits there. When times get really lean its your
cash flow that can be the most disruptive and dangerous challenge
you face.

If there was ever a time for service this is it. If customers want
just merchandise, there’s plenty to be had and some of it at big
discounts. Online, in the mall, in the big box, tons of goods abound.
But what makes us, as working jewelers, in demand is that we ‘can
do’. We can fix Grandma’s lavalier, we can make an original
engagement ring, we can interpret a customer’s half baked design idea
into something aestethically viable and day to day practical. We
enable. Can’t get that at Mallmart.

Its pretty easy to make money when things are good.
Surviving/thriving during your first big down market means when it
gets good again you are positioned to really capitalize because you
have conditioned the clientele to come to you.

My experience anyway.

This is not an investment advise and everybody should act in
accordance with their circumstances, but there are great
opportunities are let go by right now. The prices for stocks broke
all the records on the low side. This is like buying platinum for the
price of silver as far as I am concern. Do not listen to the
belly-aching fools on TV. This is the time to really make money and I
mean REALLY.

Leonid Surpin

1-I am looking very closely at inventory for starters. Trimming some
areas and building up in others.

2-Taking steps to upsell when someone comes in for a battery-
suggest a new band crystal, or back gasket at a discounted combo

3-Know which items provide your best margins and promote them.

4-Beefing up countertop displays of items that people will buy

5- Better/more window signage, as well as instore signs.

6- Many people are fearful of burglary right now so promoting
insurance appraisels.

7-Always offer free cleaning and prong checks, as repair business is
more recessionproof than merchandise sales.

8-And never ever ever leave home without a pocket full of business
cards to handout to anyone you see.


I am taking this opportunity in preparing a new high-end jewellery
line…one of a kind merchandise …this will take some more legal and
marketing time… So when this downturn in the economy starts up
again I will be fully prepared in my mfg’ing to forge ahead without
"running fast and getting nowhere"… my new line of items are now
entering its final developmental stage!..Gerry!

One of the things I worry about is that people may tend to think
that it is not too cool to be buying expensive baubles when times are
hard, even if they can personally afford it. My policy is to avoid
the subject of the bad economy when talking to customers or potential
customers and to keep a cheerful and positive tone when talking about
business with casual acquaintances. People need to have a certain
assurance that what they are buying is really a good idea and a good
value. Remind them that the stock market has tanked and you undermine
your sales effort.

The economy is a lot like the weather. I read once about an
experiment where actors were substituted for waiters in a restaurant
that had no windows. If the actors said that the weather was nice
and that it was a sunny day they got better tips than if they made
negative comments about the weather like cold or gloomy. The
customers obviously had some clue about the weather since they were
outside before they came in, but still comments at the end of their
meal did influence how free they were with their money. So don’t
talk down the economy with your customers.

still don’t know what this “R” word means… just had a call from a
fourth sales contact…he said another inquiring person from another
casino center in the far east is to come over and view my line…two
of my lines are going to the Caribbean. another line is still in Las
Vegas and Tuscon. am not complaining, but this is the time to “think
laterally” and get out of the proverbial box and try and rediscover
yourselves. all of this “doom and gloom” is affecting many of us.
but goodness there are other ways to make a living…“find an idea and
open up your mind”. I am finishing teaching a setting class this
coming weekend. I told my students learn this side of the trade,
then you can go anywhere you want with it. Your new found knowledge
is like a new tool to make a decent living. Once the learning is
done, you will find other doors opening up to you.


On the other hand, Sam, we sold an expensive pair of earrings to a
woman who said she might as well buy something she loved as have her
money evaporate in the stock market!!