One of my best sources for new customers is my competitor. He runs a
very upscale store, but seems to have little respect for the bench
jeweler. He will hire anyone who can hold a torch, and pay them very
little. In turn, he expects them to crank out work like a machine.
As a result, a lot of jobs are too rushed to be done properly.
Nothing seems to turn a customer away like a repair job that breaks.
So, his customers come in my door, with their ring in hand, asking
me why the solder joint broke. I will take the time to talk to them,
and take the proper amount of time to do the job properly.
Now, I have a customer for life.
Some bench people are naturally fast and totally organized. Most of
us are on the slower side. Speed at the bench, or on a musical
instrument, comes with practice and repetition. You build it over
Please don’t be afraid to charge for your work, and don’t forget the
time you spend working with the customer, carefully inspecting their
jewelry, and treating it with respect. If someone is only shopping
by price, let them walk away. They can go to one of your
competitors…and make THEM lose money…
PS: I would expect that 3-5 sizings per hour is a reasonable amount
to expect from a bench technician. We have had sizings that were so
complicated, they took over an hour to complete, and some that were
so easy that they were done in only 5 minutes. The real question to
ask is: are you making enough money doing sizings to continue to