How to dispose old stock?

Greeting Orchidians,

I have been lurking and reading the posts here voraciously, and now
find I am at the point where I have to ask a question of those who
are obviously more experienced, and I believe, much more
knowledgeable in these areas than I.

Firstly as an introduction, I recently (10 weeks ago!) purchased a
jewelry store that had been closed for nearly three years in central
Nebraska, and am in the middle of re-structuring the whole business
that was based on 1988 business models and pricing regimes. So I have
gone from a “normal” wholesale business manager to a retail jewelry
store manager!!! I wanna stop the store from competing with the big
box stores and the “lower” end market which is saturated locally and
to stock and produce fine and designer jewelry, and thought that in
the light of recent postings regarding the price of gold and valuing
product based on metals markets versus trying to get the best scrap
value, it might be timely to step up to the plate and ask of y’all
now…

My current inventory of jewelry is mostly from the last century, and
going-out-of-business sales, so my question is “How do I dispose of
old stock?” to maximize return. I hesitate to advertise a sale when
so much is obviously out of style and was passed over during the HUGE
close-out sale of years ago, but need traffic to get rid of this
stuff and get what I want in the merchandise mix so I can start to
pay down the enormous debtload I took on to get this store to where
it is now. Have any of you had experience with the “sale-brokers” who
come in and put a load of their stuff in the displays and really just
blitz the area with ads for a sale, or offer cut-rate prices to take
it off my hands?

Guess that was more than one question, sorry. You all have my
compliments on the quality of your postings to Orchid, and as one
starting out in this business later in life, my heartfelt thanks for
all of the valuable I get from reading Orchid…don’t
ever stop!!! This forum is irreplacable!!!

Best Regards to All,
Tim Dwornick
Hastings, Nebraska

Your question is a touchy one, because there’s no “right” way. I
didn’t read all of your post, and I was going to suggest a
liquidator, and then I read the rest. I’m not going to put this as a
suggestion, because you might do it (HAHA). Let’s say, “If it were
me…” I knew a store quite well that did the liquidation thing -
They came in, literally took over the place, gave less money than
the owners hoped, the owners still had inventory, etc. My thought
would be to dump it on a liquidator - you’re going to get at least
spot for all your metal, a reasonable (fire-sale) price for your
stones, and walk away into your new store in a week or whatever with
cash and no headaches, and they will buy everything. I’m sorry, we
just got a flyer from a reputable company in Texas, but we threw it
away, and I don’t remember the name. There’s another issue: If you
have this sale, it’s a huge flea market, and looks like one, and it
could take awhile for the public to recover and want to enter your
art-jewelry store - “That dump?!?! I’d never shop in a place like
that!!” Or - just paper the windows, use the cash to remodel, and one
day unveil this wondrous new store everyone just has to see… Again,
it’s NOT advice - it’s just hard to sell old jewelry, and it’s
impossible to sell dated jewelry…

Tim, first, good luck on repositioning your store. That said, once
you run one of the ‘outside marketer sales’, you can forget ever
being able to sell merchandise for retail again, and count on having
the -=JUNK=- that they bring in to come back and haunt you for years
to come. These sales position you as the bargain basement,
untrustworthy and carnival-like, and pretty much remove your store
from contention with the higher end jewelers. One thing that you
could do is offer up your NEW merchandise at a good, profitable,
economically sustainable price, and have a showcase full of the OLD
stuff available at 2/3 or 1/2 off the old retail price with purchase
of a piece of the new jewelry. Some people will buy up the older
pieces for gifts, etc. Of course, keep an eye on the gold value - If
the pieces are below melt at 1/2 or 2/3 off, I wouldn’t hesitate to
send them off to a reputable refiner. It has reached the point that
I may be scrapping out $25 to $50 thousand in wedding bands,
herringbones, and heavy rope chains, among other items. If people
didn’t want them at 3 years ago gold prices, the SURE don’t want to
pay more today just because some traders are crazy enough to pay
$700/ounce for gold.

Lee Cornelius
Vegas Jewelers

Tim

If you ‘like’ certain items, why don’t you call them “antiques"
circa 1980’s or earlier. Heck the word presents an olde fashioned
thought to the customer. She just might want to capture her passed
year’s memories through your long kept designs. Call these pieces
"the last of a by gone era, never to be replaced”. Watch for the
line-up to start, then they will try to “remember their own memories
linked to the older jewellery”…:>) Call me wrong in my off the cuff
ideas, but it might work well for you and all reading this
posting…had to start a new thread of selling ideas, right?

Gerry!

Hi Tim

The BESt sale is a Going out of Business. The moving sale, over
stock sales are much harder to do. Having the vendor bring in their
goods to sell is good-you make money-but you don’t get rid of your
stuff as well.

There are many options. But scrapping it right now may be the
absolute best way to get money. Hurry, refiners are getting backed
up.

Take small stones out and save for repairs.

Your company lost money on it YEARS AGO.

So try before scrapping try another sale.

  1. Discount and add “Buy one get one free”

  2. Have balloons filled with discounts and people pop the balloon to
    reveal the discount.

  3. Connect with a charity, 10% of all proceeds from the sale goes to
    the charity.

But if it’s that old and out of style, take a hit and scrap it.

There’s a fellow on Polygon network who will give you money for the
scrap and the diamond in the scrap. Scrap value on the diamonds too.
Just unload it

PAUL REISER AND ASSOCIATES
Contact:Paul Reiser
Address:
P.O. Box 1595
Green Bay,
US, 54305
Phone:877475-4367

David Geller

JewelerProfit, Inc.
510 Sutters Point
Atlanta, GA. 30328
(404) 255-9565 Voice
(404) 252-9835 Fax
david@JewelerProfit.com

I would suggest that if you have diamonds in stock you really look
them over to see if they are really useable for you idea of going up
market. A lot of older stores used really poor quality stones in the
old days because they often didn’t have access to better goods. You
will need to have better quality to shoot for the market you want.
Today there is just too many well cut stones of good color to choose
from.

You might consider selling these older diamonds, in a promotion sale
if they are poor cuts, lower color and clarity or you might try and
trade them in on better cut stones from a reliable dealer you plan on
using. You might hope to get about 65% of their value if the dealer
thinks he can move them. [This might be more than you paid for them
if they have been setting around for a number of years]. If they are
all tone Light Brown promo type of stones., you might go ahead and
have a quick little promo sale and dump them at say 5% over today’s
replacement cost. You will get some attention from the Mall shoppers
because they work on pretty tight margins. Then you can go forward
with you plans, and get better stones.

With today’s high gold you probably ought to pitch the old stuff.
Remember the place went out of business trying to sell that stuff. As
for one of the sale promo companies coming in and filling your store
up with their good? I think it may be a bad idea. You can end up
sending the message that you are just going to be a liquidation type
of store. Then the big buck clients won’t ever come in, if they do
they won’t ever but top goods from you.

I hope that you can sell all of the junk as scrap quickly the market
is so high for gold now. In 1988 gold started at about $480 and ended
around $410. So, you should be able to make back more than you paid
for the stuff. Good luck

Dennis

Tim,

If any of your merchandise is from the 1960’s or earlier or if you
have any catalogs or merchandising items from the 1940’s or earlier I
would like to hear from you.

Greg DeMark
greg@demarkjewelry
www.demarkjewelry.com

Have any of you had experience with the "sale-brokers" who come in
and put a load of their stuff in the displays and really just
blitz the area with ads for a sale, or offer cut-rate prices to
take it off my hands? 

In a word, no, but I have a comment any way… I don’t have a store,
so this is worth every penny you’re paying for it.

It occurs to me that your “grand opening” is when folks will get a
chance to see what the store has turned into, and if they aren’t
excited about it, they won’t be back. So you may not want to start
off with a big sale of the “wrong” merchandise. Also, you could
start people off thinking of you as a discounter. If you’re going to
sell quality designer, custom or art jewelry, I would think you’d
need to project that image from the moment you open your doors.

If you agree, then you should probably sell off the old stock as
scrap, on eBay, or through a broker, not in your store.

Just a thought

Noel

If you 'like' certain items, why don't you call them "antiques"
circa 1980's or earlier. Heck the word presents an olde fashioned
thought to the customer. 

Don’t you think that smacks a bit of dishonest misrepresentation?
Legally, to call an item an antique, It must be at least 100 years
old. You can however call it “vintage”. That can mean just about
anything.

Jerry in Kodiak

I just did an “event” to liquidate my old stock and I was amazed at
how well it worked. I suggest hiring G.A. Wright company. They are in
Colorado. Nothing was left. Even stock 15 years old.

And I recouped all my investment.

Micky

Dang, stuff from the 80’s is “antique” now ? I remember as a kid
growing up in the 50’s and 60’s that stuff from the 19th century
wasn’t really thought of as “antique” yet. And now it’s the '80’s !
Modern times.

Brian Corll
Vassar Gems

Gerry,

why don't you call them "antiques" circa 1980's or earlier. 

This would be against the law! Federal law requires that a jewelry
item must be authenticated as 100 year old to be classified as an
"antique."

If you are trying to scam an unsuspecting public use the terms
"estate" or “vintage.” Estate simply means previously owned, which may
not apply to old stock. Vintage has no consistent or useful meaning
in jewelry at all, so go for it.

Nanz Aalund
Associate Editor / Art Jewelry magazine
21027 Crossroads Circle / Waukesha WI 53187-1612
262.796.8776 ext.228

I wasn’t intending to “scam” anyone, but the choice of words might
now be corrected. “Vintage” does sound better. I stand corrected.
Heck, my 11 year old car can almost be called an antique in 4 years
time. We use the 15 year aging on these autos,

will it then be a “vintage” car?..:>)

Gerry!