Is Mr. Noe Charge making us broke

Hello All:

Can a store survive while giving away free, Sizings and repairs on
everything they sell for life? It might surprise you to hear that on
average, excluding custom work, about one half of my time is spent
on “no charge” work. I am the only jeweler at the store and I work
forty hours a week.

I was wondering if many others out there are doing the same? Isn’t
it common to size a ring for free the first time, and then charge
after that? Is the practice of giving away service for free to the
people that can well afford to pay, so that they will come back and
buy more, a really good idea? When the boss looks at the numbers of
the amount of money that the repair department made them for the year
they may not realize how much they are giving away in order to
attract more bussiness. People walk into the store to get a service.
They expect to pay. Do they really appreciate getting it for free?

I call it the decreasing profit margin. You sell a ring that you
marked up and by the time it finally goes away for good you have lost

Michael R. Mathews Sr. J.A.Certified Master Bench Jeweler Victoria,
Texas USA

Michael,I’m a goldsmith and jewelry store owner, and I agree!
Sometimes one must do free work to keep a customer from going
elsewhere and for proper relations For instance, If customer was not
satisfied, felt the simple repair should have been done much
sooner(sometimes I get way behind). Or the size wasn’t exactly
correct. But I have noticed that customers actually feel uneasy and
maybe embarrassed, for me to insist work was no charge . David Geller
promotes nothing should be free, and I am starting to warm up to this
idea. (Enjoyed your Allset video) Thomas Blair Island Gold Works

Well we offer lifetime guarantees on everything we make (which is
everything that we sell) and we survive just fine (this includes
lifetime free sizings). It’s a great way of getting the customers
back in the store, plus if you are making and selling a product you
should stand behind it (of course we charge for our work initially

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140

Michael, I have found that when I gave away free service, my
customers often saw this as “having no value.” So I always write the
actual charges on the job ticket. I can always cross out the
charges and make the service complimentary. The point is that the
client sees the true value of what they have been given.

I charge a bit more for what I do than other stores in my area, but
I am a bit fussier about the quality of the work and the quality of
the whole experience of working with our store. I personally hate it
when I am charged extra for every little thing. Like ordering a
sandwich and finding out that lettuce, tomato, and mayo cost extra.
Or paying extra for the plate and a fork. I add a little extra to
every job, so I can afford to pamper my clients with a free repair,
and a glass of wine while they wait. The truth is, they are really
paying for the free service but they don’t seem to mind when I add
it to the original cost of the piece.

Dell charges extra for their warrantee service, and you can also
purchase a free service warrantee. These are not inexpensive, yet
most people do purchase them. Perhaps your store should consider
offering a similar “extended warrantee.”

Doug Zaruba

I would say that whether or not he is " Making us broke " , is his
problem. But you should have a job sheet that records every job you
do and how much would be charged if it is a no charge job. That way
at salary review time you have an accurate record of how much work
you did. Not just the jobs that were charged for.

All, I am inclined to seek a middle ground on this issue. Most
customers are quite reasonable about service issues. Obviously
issues of wear and sizing involve personal lifestyles. Some people
make mincemeat out of jewelry practically overnight and others will
take good care of their jewelry and it lasts indefinitely.
Furthermore, some blushing young brides who get their rings from you
will turn into behemoths whose rings not only require resizing, but
may also require new shanks !

Ultimately the issue of customer loyalty will revolve around very
simple factors; Does the customer like you and does he or she trust
you ? I really don’t think that people will shun you if you charge
for reasonable services…ergo, wear and tear.The best analogy
that I can think of is comparing automobiles to jewelry. Both will
wear out in time, but the person who abuses them will thrash them in
short order. This is why automobile guaranties have a cutoff. Can
you imagine an auto dealer giving a lifetime guaranty ?

We certainly stand behind our product but that assurance is based on
reasonable wear and tear and recognition of defects. On an entirely
different bent, should we also guaranty work done on some of the
crap that is now masquerading as jewelry ? Lately I have been
turning such work down. When you work on a promotion grade piece of
jewelry the customer can be inclined to blame you for any further
failure of the piece. I have learned to be very careful about what I
take in for repair. Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, Ca.

Someone told me customers were not looking to buy a piece of
jewelry, customers were looking for a place to by jewelry from.

Trust is the factor

David Geller