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Letting customers try it on?


#1

Hi,

I would be interested in hearing how some of you deal with the issue
of customers handling/trying on your jewelry for sale. People come
in to my gallery wearing all sorts of lotions and cremes, and some
are plain sweaty.

especially in the hot climate I live in! Still, I know that you must
let people try things on in order to sell"and I know that not all
people will buy what they try on.

Some of my items include silk cords and woven fiber “which can’t be
cleaned and polished, ha ha” so what can I do? On one hand I want to
try and sell, and not hurt people’s feelings. On the other hand, I
must protect my items for sale.

I am reminded of the fact that one must wear socks to try on
shoes… Should I place a neutral scarf around them, explaining the
reason? Before I try this, any other ideas?

Thanx and keep shining,
Devora


#2

a microwave or refrigerator and pre-wrapped, logo stamped/imprinted
towelettes (available from restaurant suppliers) and a tray
appropriate to the design of your store with a large mirror next to
it on the counter where you have your fiber work displayed.
Otherwise there are no alterrnatives that I can imagine that are not
offensive, and that clearly get the point across without telling
every potential customer that you have a problem with them trying on
your work. or put the fiber collection on hold until the weather
changes. There is no way to exclude people that wear cosmetics,
lotions, etc. from trying on pieces they may potentially buy without
being offensive. in fact why is it you have it for sale to the
general public at all if your target market is limited, as it seems,
to people that have normal skin, don’t wear cosmetics and don’t
sweat? seems a bit constrictive from what I read in your post. . is
protecting your work more important than selling it? I know of one
fiber included jewelry artisan that said to me recently" wool has
lanolin, I use wool felt because it’s naturally repellent. other than
scotch-guarding it I just can’t worry about people’s sweat
contaminating my work. If I do I would never sell anything!" This was
outdoors in New Orleans at the Jazz and Heritage Festival in 98
degree heat. She sold over 2K by 3 pm and no one’s make up appeared
on the pieces that I could see. If someone’s make up should obviously
have rubbed off after they trued it on, either make up your mind that
you will alienate that person when enforcing some posted policy you
choose to post in the store about damages or relax, provide a
"cleaning station" of sorts and subtlety and be ready to replace that
damaged piece and write it off at tax time! RER


#3

Hi RER,

There is no way to exclude people that wear cosmetics, lotions,
etc. from trying on pieces they may potentially buy without being
offensive....I just can't worry about people's sweat contaminating
my work. If I do I would never sell anything. 

Thanx for taking the time to reply and for sharing your knowledge of
this matter with me. I have already thought of the towelette and
tray possibility - as well as draping some (nice but neutrally
colored) material over the person before they try on the fiber
jewelry. This way customers can see the item’s colors on them
without imprinting their scent on it. Of course once it’s theirs, I
ams ure they will follow my instructions on caring for the item…
But, I need to protect the item until it is sold.

My point in posting this issue is to hear how other artists and
salespeople may deal with this. My pieces will not melt away like the
Wicked Witch of the West. I am not one of those artists who won’t
let anyone come close to their pieces, ha ha!!! Not at all!!! I need
them to feel that drop of my energy that I put into each item that I
create. But, as I incorporate kumihimo, needlweaving and handwoven
silk and fibers along with metals and beadweaving in some of my
pieces, I would just like to hear if there are any additional ideas
that I hadn’t thought of. As I write this post I am thinking of
another idea. How about a sign that reads something like “You break
or soil it, you buy it!”, but nicely worded?

Thanx and keep shining,
D


#4
I have already thought of the towelette and tray possibility - as
well as draping some (nice but neutrally colored) material over
the person before they try on the fiber jewelry. 

I don’t do fiber work, so for whatever it’s worth… I would worry
that the measures you describe would convey to the potential
customer that the work is too vulnerable or fragile to wear.

Noel


#5

I like the idea of a neutrally coloured, perhaps silk scarf that the
customer can drape around the neck and shoulders when trying on your
necklaces for example. I’m not sure what you could do for a piece
like a bracelet - a section of a skin-toned stocking? It’s going to
call for some ingenuity as your product which includes silk is not
the norm (I would think) - sounds lovely by the way.

Perhaps in addition to the scarf idea, you could use a carefully
worded notice as well. Something like “Due to the handwoven nature
of my work and the fact that they [may] contain natural silk which
can pick up perfume oils, scarfs are provided so that the jewelry can
be tried on and enjoyed, without transfer of perfumes” - or something
of that nature. Although we are talking about skin oils too,
mentioning that can come across as offensive, whereas the perfume
oils mention is not personally to do with the customer and I would
think it would not be offensive in the slightest.

Helen
UK
http://www.hillsgems.co.uk


#6

Maybe you should consider spraying the back of it with Scotchguard,
or some similar protectant. We try clothes on all the time before
buying, and I would think a serious buyer would want to give it a
try. I think offering a towelette or something similar would be
offensive.


#7

Devora,

If you can take a clue from the Airlines, when they really offered
Customer Service, invest in small face towels, even the one time use
ones, and sprinkle with some citrus scent, keep them cool, in a frig
if you have one at your studio, or even a portable picnic cooler on
ice, and offer them to all entering customers, to "refresh"
themselves, allowing them to wipe away any dew on their face, neck,
and hands. That should keep your jewelry, if not bought at that
moment, clean and perspiration free, for the next customer.

That gesture, will be very much appreciated, and not negatively
thought of at all.

Shalom and Hugs,
Terrie


#8
Some of my items include silk cords and woven fiber "which can't
be cleaned and polished 

What does the person who purchases your items do after wearing them
a few times if they cannot be cleaned?


#9
What does the person who purchases your items do after wearing
them a few times if they cannot be cleaned? 

Customers can have fiber jewelry dry-cleaned. This is, however,
different IMHO from polishing an item for sale that has tarnished or
been soiled as a result of multiple handlings. Or is it, indeed…
Still, it is a lot easier to to clean jewelry in your studio than it
is to send it out to the cleaner after only two/three "potential"
customers (with fragranced/cremed/lotioned hands) have touched it.
One of my current workarounds is to explain that it is preferable to
wear fiber jewelry over a piece of clothing. I don white gloves to
show them how I treat the piece (gives it a little extra swank).
Then, I drape a neutrally colored but elegant piece of material on
the customer’s front, and hold the piece up to their neck (allow me
to help you). At that point in the sale process, I can tell whether
the customer will buy or not and allow them free access to the piece,
accordingly. This is different than letting all customers handle
the piece.

Keep shining,
D


#10

Sorry for this delayed reply. Software release at work, and all
(sigh).

  1. Hi Helen - Thanx for the kind words:
I like the idea of a neutrally coloured, perhaps silk scarf that
the customer can drape around the neck and shoulders when trying
on your necklaces for example. 

I try and convey a feeling of exclusivity and luxury, rather than
fragile. :wink:

  1. Hi Noel -
I would worry that the measures you describe would convey to the
potential customer that the work is too vulnerable or fragile to
wear. 

Some people buy pieces as collector’s items. They don’t really wear
them, per se. Go figure!

  1. Hi Renaissancewiz
Maybe you should consider spraying the back of it with Scotchguard
or some similar protectant. 

Thank you for this tip and the comparison to trying on clothing. The
two are similar, indeed!

  1. Hi Terry :slight_smile: (waving) -
Invest in small face towels, even the one time use ones, and
sprinkle with some citrus scent, keep them cool, in a fridge...and
offer them to all entering customers, to "refresh" themselves. 

Yes, and I also have AC in the gallery so, ha ha, we can maintain
that freshness!

Thanx again to all and keep shining,
D