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How long do you warrant work?


#1

I was just sent a piece to repair and polish that had been sold 11
years ago. The gallery sent a note saying that they were important
clients of theirs. The piece was so tarnished it looked like it had
never seen a polishing cloth, and also looked as though it had been
through it’s fair share of tweaking. My question is: Should I repair
it for free? Polish it for free? It did come apart at a solder joint
so in retrospect It could have been a funky solder joint that lasted
11 years. Do you warrant your work for life?

Lisa Hawthorne


#2
It did come apart at a solder joint so in retrospect It could have
been a funky solder joint that lasted 11 years. Do you warrant your
work for life? 

There was another thread when some complained of how underpaid
jewellers were and that plumbers charge so much and jewellers work
for peanuts.

Well, when plumber joins 2 pipes, the joint last much longer than 11
years. May that is why they are paid so much more than jewellers.

Leonid Surpin


#3

At eleven years I don’t think any reasonable person would expect the
repair for free. However, in this case I’d ask several
questions…Does the gallery indeed expect it for free? How big a
deal is it to repair? Did this important client of their’s buy your
work more than once? Does the gallery buy from you on a regular
basis?

I hope you see where I’m going…if its to your advantage to give a
freebee and it doesn’t cost you much, then you have the opportunity
to reward loyalty. On the other hand if the gallery has been a thorn
in your side or has ceased buying, then legitimately charging for
work is justified, imho.

If the important client has purchased your work only once then they
are important to the gallery only, not you. The placating of the
client is actually the gallery’s situation to deal with. Its not
unheard of for retailers to eat the cost of a repair but charge the
client nothing.

Whether you charge or not, it might be a good thing to clarify your
policy with there gallery for future reference.


#4
Do you warrant your work for life? 

Yes. 100%. No questions asked. Could be 1 year old or 25 years old,
it gets the same treatment.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
www.spirerjewelers.com


#5

Hello Lisa,

My question is: Should I repair it for free? Polish it for free? It
did come apart at a solder joint so in retrospect It could have
been a funky solder joint that lasted 11 years. Do you warrant your
work for life?

When a solder joint comes apart and the piece otherwise looks
undamaged, YUP, I fix it for free. If I see obvious damage however,
nope. I can’t guarantee a piece will survive being run over by a car!

Judy in Kansas


#6

Do you have a guarantee or a warrantee policy? If not, it’s time to
make sure you do! If a gallery came to me after just 1 year (I will
warrantee for 1 year), I would charge an hourly fee plus materials
to fix it. (I personally would) Call the gallery back and say, “I
would be more than happy for fix it for your client, the repair fee
will be $xx.xx due to the age of the item” period. If you don’t, you
open yourself up to free repairs for life on all items and that’s
just not good business.


#7

I warranty my work for life. I also resize rings that I have made
for free after purchase. I do not do any repairs on anyone else’s
work. Ever.

Lisa (Time to trim the goats hooves again…sigh…wrestling a 200
lb goat to the ground in this heat somehow holds little appeal for
me) Topanga, CA USA


#8

If these people are important clients then the gallery should be
more than willing to pay you for your work.

KPK


#9

I cover one year for workmanship and material. I do not cover abuse,
damage, accidents, etc. Warranty is not the same thing as insurance,
and it sure doesnt last 11 years.This aint wally world. When people
expect more than this for warranty, you don’t need them for
customers. Send those kind to your competitors.

Ed vin Kokomo


#10

Hi Lisa,

In my view, the time frame is the smaller issue; if the ring shows
obvious signs of wear (parts worn out) and abuse (parts are bent,
dings, deep scratches) then I would charge for any work done on the
ring. If the ring appears well looked after then even at its age I
may restore it for free, but I would be doing that in order maintain
good will with the gallery.

Definition by WordWeb: “Warrantee - a written assurance that some
product or service will be provided or will meet certain
specifications”. A warranty is what you say it is (in writing). If
you think of it as insurance, then how do insurance companies go
about it?

  1. They state their policy clearly (or in garbled legalese)…in
    writing.

  2. They charge a premium and adjust it according to the calculated
    the risk and the cover provided.

  3. They treat every claim individually on its own merits, and guard
    against fraudulent claims.

  4. When assessing a claim, the option they select will be the one
    that serves THEIR business interests the best. In the absense of a
    written warrantee then statutary laws prevail as a bottom line, but
    that does not prevent dodgy or speculative claims. I would say that
    the example you give is a speculative claim.

Who is making the claim? In your example the customer appears to be
the gallery, not the owner of the ring. Definition by WordWeb:
“Agent - 3. A representative who acts on behalf of other persons or
organizations. 4. A businessman who buys or sells for another in
exchange for a commission.” I trust it is #4 - the gallery is your
customer, and the owner of the ring is a customer of the gallery,
therefore you must consider your relationship with the gallery in
deciding what to do with the ring.

My own policy on warrantee is that I am the warrantee! I tell
customers that I can write anything I like on a piece of paper and it
means nothing. They either know, or do not know, that I will do the
right thing.

Hope this helps, and I can’t wait to see other responses to your
question.

Alastair


#11
Well, when plumber joins 2 pipes, the joint last much longer than
11 years. May that is why they are paid so much more than
jewellers. 

Well and how about the fact that jewelry is a luxury and plumbing a
necessity? Although I warranty my custom made pieces for life, but I
charge more than plumbers.

Doc


#12
Well, when plumber joins 2 pipes, the joint last much longer than
11 years. May that is why they are paid so much more than
jewellers. 

No, that’s not it. It’s because if you don’t have a toilet that works
you are willing to pay to get one.

Elaine
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com
Hard to FInd Tools for Metal Clay


#13
Do you warrant your work for life? 

Yes, absolutely. Some of the replies seem to go farther than that,
though. I won’t repair wear-and-tear for free, I won’t size rings
because people’s fingers have changed for free, or retip worn prongs
or banged up jewelry for free. But if it’s something related to a
warantee - that the piece is made properly and has no technical
problems - yes, forever.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#14

Below is some of the items I write in the front of my price list I
give to my accounts. When I first sign up with them I make sure I
give them a copy to sign that I can keep on file. most of these have
been things that at one time I had to cover because it was not
explicitly spelled out in very small, one syllable words.

I have included notes after most describing the situation that made
me write it down, some funny, some sad. I hope my experience might
help some one else.

my 2 cents, Jerry

Before a estimate for repair can be given the item will be cleaned.
If the item falls apart after removal of the grime,( heads fall off,
stones fall out, shanks fall apart, etc), and the customer refuses
all of the work then Livingston Jewelers will not warranty and can
not be held responsible the condition of the item.

*(this ring set had not been off of her finger in over 30 years, a
fact she was quite proud of.after a week in the ultrasonic with
several soakings in alcohol and paint thinner[yes there was paint],
the wedding band fell apart because the only thing holding it the the
engagement ring was the filth and the paint)

Rhodium, gold, and silver plating is very thin, Livingston Jewelers
will not warranty plating after the customer has picked up their
jewelry.

*( 2 days after a simple sizing of a white gold band I received it
back with the salesperson and store manager literally screaming at me
for my shoddy work. I had seen 20 year old bands that did not look
that beat up so I asked what this guy did for a living. turns out he
worked for the WI highway department laying concrete.)

When a repair estimate is given for work needed and the customer
refuses all of the work then Livingston Jewelers will not warranty
and can not be held responsible the condition of the item.

*( I had received a small herring bone chain for an estimate that
had been ‘repaired’ by the customer with way to much superglue. by
the time I got it it was again in 4 pieces. the customer freaked out
and I was out the cost of a 20 inch herring bone.)

When a repair estimate is given for work needed and the customer
refuses part of the work then Livingston Jewelers will not warranty
any work done and can not be held responsible for any additional work
after the job is picked up.

*( this ring came in for a sizing but needed a half shank due to
being paper thin, new head/set as well as some re-tips on the side
melee. after just sizing it like the customer wanted it came back to
me 4 months later for me to replace the center stone. after much
discussion back and forth I agreed to pay for the head/ set and other
work while the store replaced the diamond.)

When sending chain repairs do not include pendants unless they have
to be soldered onto the chain. I will not be held liable for loss or
damage to pieces that are unnecessary to the repair job.

*(received a job envelope with no description written on it. I did
my normal sketch and description on the back as it was a simple omega
shortening. I did the work and sent it back, a couple of days later I
received a call asking where the customers aqua enhancer was,and if
they sent a copy of the appraisal how fast could I replace it?) (side
note: this went to the stores loss prevention as the sales person was
a friend of the customer and the ‘Appraisal’ was from when the
enhancer was sold at the ‘mine distributor’ in the Bahama’s)

Rings with inlays of any gem or stone will only be repaired at the
clients risk.

*( store was trying to sell an inlaid opal ring, even after I said
it was a bad idea the manager still wanted me to stretch it up a half
size. they ended up special ordering the ring and they tried to give
me a bill for over 800 dollars to replace the inlays on the first
ring. when I reminded the manager of what I said she looked me in the
eye and told me that I had never mentioned that before.)

Broken or chipped gems will only be set / reset / tightened at the
clients risk.

*( the store wanted a head/set on a princess cut Tiffany. this was a
botched job from their home office jeweler. when I looked at the
stone before removing it you could see where the corner was broken
off. the description on the job envelope said the customer stone was
chipped. as it was chipped on the one side of the table I made a
quick plot on the back of the envelope showing the table chip and the
broken corner and set it. about 6 weeks later I received a bill for
just under $6000. the original job envelope to their home office had
no description, the only description said ‘chipped’ they tried to
argue that I made the plot after I broke the diamond.)

Gems with surface coatings or treatments will only be set / reset /
tightened at the clients risk.

*( I have tightened, re-tipped / set way to many mystic topaz rings
that were worn for a while before I saw them. many times the sales
people can not seem to convey to the customer that to tighten a stone
that I have to actually have prongs in contact with the surface and
that polishing may remove this ‘mystic’ layer showing that they have
a clear stone.)

Livingston Jewelers is not responsible for any damage to color
enhanced, fracture filled or clarity enhanced gems, including
diamonds, which were not disclosed in writing at the time of order.

*(broken prong on a very light blue,clear saph. my estimate was to
pull the gem and reset but the store did not want to eat that cost so
when I replaced the prong the stone ended up with a nice greenish
streak near the prong.)

Unless otherwise stated, it is assumed that all colored gems have
been subjected to a stable and possibly undetectable color
enhancement process.

*(this is pretty self explanatory to us on orchid but try explaining
this to sale people in a mall store.)

Quality of workmanship is guaranteed for 3 months. (Gem tightening
is warranted for 1 month).

Livingston Jewelers will not warranty gem tightening for more then
one month. Generally, a loose gem is an indication that some type of
repair work is needed on the mounting or crown, or that the gem is
damaged.

*( this is my ‘out’ when I am asked to tighten stones in rings that
need more work. I also refer to this line when I have to explain my
policy about repair estimates that are given for work needed and the
customer refuses part of the work[from above].)

All jobs submitted for a no-charge redo must be accompanied with the
original job receipt to receive credit.


#15

For the last 30 plus years with few exceptions, we have repaired and
maintained the jewelry we have made without charge. We explain to our
customers that we expect them to treat our jewelry with respect. We
caution them on things like the potential for damage caused by
lifting weights when wearing wedding bands and the dangers of the
chlorine to gold prongs in hottubs. On the few occasions when the
rings were damaged through abuse we talk it over with our customers
to decide on the best way to handle the situation. As I am writing
this I can’t think of a single time when things got contentious.

The “we will take care of your (our) jewelry” attitude creates life
long customers (and friends). We will not, however, repair anything
that someone else has made.

When we clean jewelry and do work on our pieces we encourage our
customers to put money into a box that we give to a local charity
(food bank). They are almost always very generous, it creates a lot
of goodwill, and they don’t get out of the store for free.

John Winters


#16

Lisa, if its over 10 grand, yes warranted against defects in
materials and workmanship for life…if its a 300 dollar semi-mount,
five years should be the statute of limitations!..I have never
retipped anything for free though, and would not, defect is - just
waht you described, wear and normal use or abuse is the customers
doing, you have no control over that- but a good quick polish is
cheap, easy and gets you a great reputation with a customer- their
socio-economic status to someone else (the gallery that you are sub
contracting for) should have zero bearing on what you need to charge
to make your living and that should begin at about 17. 00 an hour in
a home studio and more if you have rent to pay on studio space…

R. E. Rourke


#17
For the last 30 plus years with few exceptions, we have repaired
and maintained the jewelry we have made without charge. 

The attitude you describe seems to me to be the necessary approach
for what one might describe as “personal jewelers” such as myself,
though it probably won’t work for a general, mall-type store. In any
case, this is the approach that I am comfortable with. After all,
the greatest single difference between buying from me and buying
from overseas makers (leaving the whole art question aside) is that
I am here and can offer a service relationship.

I wonder, though-- when you say you “maintain” jewelry at no
charge-- does that include sizings for, say, weight gain and loss?
There could be significant costs to enlarging some rings. If yes,
would you also re-size an inherited piece? I haven’t been asked yet,
but I’m thinking ahead.

Noel


#18
what you need to charge to make your living and that should begin
at about 17. 00 an hour in a home studio and more if you have rent
to pay on studio space... 

$17 an hour? $17 an hour??? Where can you live on $17 an hour??
That’s $34,000 (if you get enoiugh work) a year-- gross-- and that’s
not a living.

Noel


#19

1 year unless we tell you differently up front.

David Geller
JewelerProfit
www.JewelerProfit.com


#20

Deciding whether to charge for sizing a ring we’ve made or not
depends on a lot of things. If it is a band that can be stretched or
if the ring is new enough that we are still trying to get the size
exactly right then we suggest contributing to the donation box. If
they are having the ring sized for reasons unrelated to the original
purchase then we talk. In those cases more the significant the metal
cost and work involved is, the more we are inclined to charge.
However, those situations don’t happen often and are a very small
part of the total effort required to run a custom jewelry store.

I agree that this approach probably won’t work for mall stores or
when the maker of the jewelry is more removed from the customer.

John Winters