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Man, you really ticked off David Geller Now!


#1

This letter is addressed to YOU, the store owner who has my “Geller
Pricing Book” who said “That David Geller is a complete nut case, he
doesn’t know my city and his prices won’t work here. We’re not a big
city like Atlanta. Where does he come off telling me what to charge!”

Yep, I’m talking to you.

I heard this quote a while back:

“If you’re so damn smart, why ain’t you rich?”

First let’s address “David Geller is nuts”. Yes I am, but that’s how
I’m able to put up with my fellow nut case jewelers. But that’s a
different story.

I get emails from employees, spouses and jewelers themselves telling
me “we can’t charge those prices, it will run customer’s off.”

So let’s discuss running customers off. You’re doing that right now
without my help. Yep, its you, not me. It can’t be me…you
bought the book and put it on a shelf someplace, maybe next to your
bench. You don’t use it, you haven’t even tried it. Wimp.

So how are you running people off? Simple.

David Geller has nothing to do with showcase sales, right? That’s
your baby. 10 people walk in today and look in the case and say

“Let me see that ring.”
“My wife’s birthday is Saturday.”
“Do you have a bracelet to match this necklace?”

So you show 10 people something, how many actually Buy? 2 out of 10?
3 out of 10?

Typical American jewelry store sells 3 people out of 10. I’m betting
you’re pretty typical. You’re surely not exceptional.

If that’s you then you’re the nut case! You bought 1/4 million; 1/2
million or even 1 million dollars in merchandise, it sits there in
the case and seven out of ten people walk! What are YOU doing to turn
them away? Who cares? I had nothing to do with that.

Now lets talk repairs. 10 people come in with a repair and ask:

“How much to size my ring?”
“What will it take to replace this lost diamond?”
“Can you shorten this chain?”

How many people out of 10 say "Alright, go ahead and fix it?"
Typically across the country, all I hear is 9 out of 10 say yes. And
guess what nut case? It doesn’t matter what you charge, 9 out of 10
will always say “OK”.

Remember when you charged $15 to size a ring smaller and went up a
whopping five bucks to $20? That’s a 33% increase in your prices!
What happened?

Absolutely nothing, whiner! Why is that? BECAUSE REPAIRS ARE NOT
PRICE SENSITIVE, THEY ARE TRUSTS SENSITIVE!

So why are you so against raising your repair prices? Typical price
to size a ring smaller is $18 to $65. Guess what? The $18 store sells
9 out of 10 as does the $65 store.

There’s two reasons why you’re a wimp and won’t try it:

  1. Because you’ve been doing this so long you think you know what
    your customers will pay. Ha! You don’t know anything. In 2006 you
    bought a wedding band for $100 and sold it for $250. Then you had the
    audacity to raise the price by 50%! Yes you did, you now sell it for
    $375. How dare you? What gives you the right to raise your prices 50%
    on product but won’t even raise your prices on repairs? You think
    cost of repairs didn’t go up? Call Matt Stuller at (800) 877-7777 and
    ask him if he’ll sell you a lobster claw today for what he sold it
    for in 2006.

Ask him if he’ll sell you a mothers ring mounting for the same price
he did in 2006. Or maybe casting grain. Go ahead, tell him the repair
profit guru told you to call. He knows me. They sell my book for
Pete’s sake.

Here’s the real reason why you won’t use my book:

  1. You only sell 3 people out of 10 something from the case. You let
    7 people walk and leave you with all of that old inventory. That
    doesn’t bother you. When they leave and don’t buy its for a few
    reasons. Wanna guess the reasons? How about:

a. You didn’t have what they wanted.
b. Poor selection, or maybe
c. Your price was too high!

How does a customer who doesn’t buy your product because of price
vocalized that to you? They leave and might say:

a. I’ll be back.
b. I’ll think about it.
c. I’ll have to ask my husband.
d. We’re still looking.

Do they ever say “Man you must really think a lot of yourself. Do
you really think I’m going to pay THAT much for that? There’s a
hundred people selling that and you can be assured I’m not buying it
here!” No, they don’t say that but they are thinking that and if they
are serious they are going to buy it SOMEPLACE, just not with you.
But those people are polite and just say “We’ll think about it.” You
then go to the back room, where your spouse or associate says
"So…did they buy?" What do you say?

“No, but they’ll be back.”

Now lets discuss the repair customer:

You’ve already agreed that if you give 10 repair quotes 8 or 9 say
"Okey Doeky". So now the question is “How does the 1 or 2 people who
will not pay your repair price let you know they won’t buy or its too
high?” I’m betting most don’t say:

a. I’ll be back.
b. I’ll think about it.
c. I’ll have to ask my husband.
d. We’re still looking.

I’m betting after you quote a repair price and if its too high that
the one person in 10 who leaves looks you square in the eye and yells
at you:

“Are you crazy man? Do you think I just fell off the turnip truck or
landed here yesterday? This ring didn’t cost that much to pay for
your kid’s college education. I’m never coming back here again and
I’m telling all of my friends. I was going to buy a $10,000 diamond
from you, but noooooooo, not now. $65 to fix this ring. That’s
absurd!”

There you have it. Product customers are polite. It doesn’t bother
you that 70% of polite product customers walk. But one grey haired,
little old lady yells at you and gives you a stomach ache about a
repair price so bad you have to reach for the Pepto Bismol and you
run screaming to the back and yell “That David Geller is crazy. I was
right. NO ONE will pay those crazy repair prices”.

No one? 1 out of 10 is no one? Sheesh.

I’ve had some stores tell me that in the beginning, if they were
selling 9 or 91/2 out of 10 and they used my book it could have
dropped back to only 8 out of 10 buy a repair. One more person (2
total) leave. But their shop sales easily increase 25-50%. Many
doubled their shop income. After they become familiar and comfortable
with it and sees how well it works, it shows up in their explanation
to the customers and their closing ratio goes back up.

You make more money with less work and that bothers you. But no,
you’d rather work until midnight sizing rings and installing shanks,
working out a meager existence so you can take 1/3rd of your hard
earned shop profits and put it into the showcase inventory to sit
there for 2-3 years before that stuff sells and all along 70% of the
people won’t buy it! Man, I wish you were there when I started in
1974. Sure could have used this valuable piece of from
such a business genius guru such as yourself.

Your job is not to go through life, die, be buried and have this on
your tombstone:

Here lies Joe the Jeweler
He sized every single ring that was
Brought into his store.
Praise the lord that we had Joe

MAYBE it just might be better to come home and say

“Hi honey, paid off all of our vendors today. Let’s eat out
tonight!”

So for you folks who think I don’t know your customer nor your town,
you’re dead wrong.

A. Been there, done that.

B. I talk to and visit to more jewelers than you have friends from
high school.

C. Matt Stuller has the gall to charge every retailer the same for
his 10x4mm 14kt lobster claw across the USA no matter if you’re in
Manhattan, Atlanta, Boise Idaho; Wichita Kansas, St George, Ut or
Tyler Texas. He also suggest a triple key markup.

D. The only real difference in repair prices then has to be either
you want a low markup or its your labor cost is lower.

So if your labor cost is lower than mine, fine. I figure labor at
$40,000 to $50,000 a year. One jeweler who balked about me being a
nut case is the bench jeweler and the store owner who takes home more
than $50,000 a year. So his labor cost to size a ring is even more
than my book. But even if you pay a jeweler $30,000, don’t you think
its time to give them a raise? Who wants to work for you as a trained
craftsmen for that little wage?

So here’s the challenge to you. Yes you! The one who thinks folks
won’t pay. This winter has been a real bear. Even here in the sunny
south we’ve had snow and ice. It was reported that 49 out of the 50
states had snow in February. So if you were in an area with tons of
snow and people stayed home and even worse you had to close the store
for a few days, did your store go out of business? Go bankrupt with
such little traffic? No! If you can survive when there’s little
traffic because of the weather, then take a chance. Try the Geller
book for one week. If 10 out of 10 people say “No way”, would you
close up? NO!

So just do what so many other people have done.

Just use the book for one silly week. Start on Monday. Open the
book, point to the price and say “and that’s all it’ll be.” Don’t
gulp, don’t apologize. Just point.

If the customer asks why its that much, don’t say that dumb stuff
you’ve been saying, like:

“Hey lady, that’s our price”
“The other guy must know the value of his work”
“Fine, then take it there”
“OK, fine, I’ll give it to you for less”

Instead try to explain, without apology how the work is performed.
Tell them about your expertise and years of experience. Because after
all is said and done my whining jeweler friend, your wedding band or
ring they might buy can be shopped down the street or on the internet
but don’t think for a moment that this lady can buy the same “ring
sizing” down the street as they can from you. That store doesn’t have
one thing your store has:

YOU

This next paragraph is true and this is what I’d tell my customers
when they asked about the price. This is true, you may have not known
this about me:

"Mrs. Jones. I know you think this repair is a simple one but it
takes a lot more expertise than what you might think to do it
correctly. We’ll size the ring so you can’t tell that its been worked
on, we’ll check and tighten the stones and guarantee them for a year
and completely refinish the ring so it looks just like the day that
your husband gave it to you.

But in addition we can’t hire 75% of the jewelers who apply for a
job here. They just can’t cut it. In fact as the main jeweler here,
I’ve been doing this since I’m 10 years old. I’m a 14th generation
jeweler and have set diamonds and emeralds valued at $100,000 each.
In owning this store for 25 years this is the kind of expertise that
will be working on your ring. You do want this kind of expertise,
don’t you?"

After explaining this to a customer, can they turn you down? Can
they possibly buy they same expertise down the street? No way.

So to arm yourself with this ammo, ask your jeweler or yourself
these questions so you can answer them easily, quickly and without
hesitation:

  1. How long have you been doing jewelry work?

  2. How long have you worked for this company?

  3. What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever worked on in your
    whole career?

After you’ve answered these questions and express them to the
customer you’ll be able to answer is a professional manner and still
keep an 80-95% closing ratio.

I know how much a repair really cost. Based upon most everyone needs
a 3 time markup on a measly $65 sale (average repair sale) my repair
price book is about the prices you should charge.

You should be more worried about the 7 people who walk out of your
store, not buying the stuff in the cases, leaving you with 1/4 to a
million dollars of unsold inventory than worrying about 1 or 2 people
out of 10 who won’t pay for a repair. Because I can tell you if the
repair was 30% less these people wouldn’t pay that price either.

You really get my dandruff up.

What do you want written on your tombstone?

Sincerely
David Geller
(aka Repair Profit Guru)

P.S. I’d suggest you print this out and lay it in the bench pan of the
culprit I’m talking to. Let’s see how much guts they’ve got!


#2

I joined Davids nuts club by buying his book and using it like a
preacher uses a bible. Another jeweler in my town charges half if
not more than half that I do. Funny thing is I do the 9 out of 10
easily. I even get people who come back or went there first and say
"geez why are you so expensive"? I tell them about the expertise and
knowledge my shop has, the laser welder that does things people can’t
do and how I have been doing repairs and manufacturing in the
community for over 22 years. I tell them if they are not happy with
the result, I will redo it for no extra charge and I will call them
in a couple of weeks to check on their satisfaction. WE OFTEN GET
TIPS!!! Let me tell you people something, you work hard to perfect
your craft and work long hours to make a living. Do not cheat
yourself by being the cheapest guy in town. Let me also tell you, the
chain stores in my area are more expensive than David Geller’s book
and they are now sending the repairs to N.Y… Be confident, be
honest, do a great job, you too will be 9 for 10. It is a tough
economy but being the cheapest is not the right weapon to fight it.
The cheap guy will not survive.


#3

David, as always, your advice is on point and very good. I bought
your system (the book and all the sales aids that come with it) and
raised my prices to your book level. After two weeks, I was doing
the same amount of work and MAKING MORE MONEY. I recommend you book
to anyone who want to work less and make more money…

Teddy


#4

David

The store owner where I work adjust watch bands (watches bought
elsewhere) for $5. It drives me crazy watching him struggle with some
of these difficult watch bands and then saying “that will be $5.” I
keep asking him "WHERE can you get ANY professional service for $5?"
Most of the time it is not even a regular customer. He says that they
will come back if he doesn’t charge allot. I say IF they come back it
will be for CHEAP services.

He has two jewelers who work for him. Myself at 20 hrs a week and a
contract labor jeweler for when we get backed up. Of course he has
to pay more for the contract labor. He has to charge more for the
job. But when I do the same job he just can’t bring himself to charge
the same. Somehow this makes sense to him. I say a job is a job and
worth x amount.

A customer brings in 9 silver rings that all need to go up 2 sizes.
He tells her $20 each and she balks. "I can’t possibly afford that!"
I would have said to her “Why don’t you budget yourself and do two at
a time until they are all done.” Noooooooo He says “I will JUST bump
them up and charge you $15 each.” #1…He needs to take that word
JUST out of his vocabulary. It says that this job is no big deal.
#2…bumping up a silver ring 2 sizes is a hell of allot more work
then a regular sizing. #3…I just don’t buy it when a customer says
I can’t afford. Jewelry is not a life necessity. It is not like they
have come in for a life saving blood transfusion. They have decided
to bring in their jewelry today to have it worked on. They need to
pay a fair price.

I could go on and on about him not charging enough, but it’s kicking
a dead horse. The bottom line is, we are on the verge of closing the
doors. Creditors calling all the time. Always scrambling to pay the
rent. His entire demeanor is doom and gloom. It is very sad that he
has given 30 years to this store and now it is about to give him a
heart attack. He keeps saying “The economy!” But I have been there 8
years watching him shoot himself in the foot. All of his repair
prices are from 15 years ago and he just won’t do anything about it.
The economy is a challenge for sure. But he has and is running his
business to be everyone’s Buddy more then to make a living.

To all of you store owners struggling who think you are in this boat
alone. Your jeweler is working very hard to keep you afloat. Don’t
think we are not effected by your store problems. We are
internalizing your stress and it is doing a number on our health as
well. We are in that boat with you. There are days that I just want
to flee. But I can’t be the final straw that broke the camels back.
So I will stay until the bitter end. I am sure it is near, because he
just won’t do anything about it.

Julia


#5

Easy now, easy! Go to your quit place. Breath in… breath out…
better? Why even waste time responding? He won’t get it, he doesn’t
want to get it and you won’t change his mind. Instead YOU come off
looking like a cocky know it all that’s offended because someone
called you nuts,etc. SO WHAT. Rome wasn’t built in a day and the
good word will get out. Take it easy! Not everyone will agree will
everyone all the time, NOW that’s nuts it they did. If you are going
to put yourself out there, then you have to be prepared to be put in
the crosshairs. If you can’t let it roll off, then don’t be out
there. Not advise, because you didn’t ask for my advice, just my
opinion, and that’s free. Steve


#6
the laser welder that does things people can't do 

You may be right on the rest of your post, but this part you should
take back. Laser welder is a crutch, and like a crutch helping you to
get around, laser welder may get through tight spot, if you have no
ability to solder. But do not call yourself a goldsmith, if you need
one.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#7

It’s even worse, from outside the USA. The US dollar has fallen in
value so much against many other currencies. Just to make the same
number of Aussie dollars as I did a couple of years ago, I would have
to charge 85% more for my product In USA! That’s not to cover my own
increased labor and premises costs, it’s just to stay even with the
price of 2 years back, after currency conversion.

You can imagine how likely it is that prospective USA clients will
pay around double, when they are having a tough time. Not very
likely!

So my business is drifting towards European, Asian and Middle
Eastern sales, which have taken the majority positions in my sales
figures. They are the new rich and they can afford what they want,
thanks to their strong currencies.

Mark B
Fourth Axis
http://fourth-axis.com/tilt-motor-axis-tutorial/


#8

I recently took a job on the west coast in a mom and pop jewelry
store in a small city about 100,000 people. They were using Davids
book for a guideline when I went to work for them. The problem was
they were using a copy with prices at $600 gold when gold was at
$900. I could not believe it. It took me almost a year of constant
harping before I finally got them to switch out for the higher
prices. Their excuse was “our customers won’t pay that price” “we’ll
lose business” I finally got through to them by pointing out the
large bold print in caps from Davids book. REPAIR WORK IS TRUST
SENSITIVE NOT PRICE SENSITIVE. Since we switched to the realistic
pricing and actually use the book to figure prices and not just as a
guide line, profits are up, and we have had 2 count them 2 customers
go somewhere else because of pricing. I have all the repairs I can do
and don’t want any of the ones that have to be done cheap. Thanks
David for the best thing to happen for the retail repair jeweler (the
guy at the bench) as well as for the retail store in the 35 years I
have been in this business. Now if wages will just go up as well…

Frank


#9

I have always said that if you do good work and have confidence in
what you produce, customers will still come back…but there is one
thing I haven’t heard on here yet about customer service. If you have
a good personality and great customer service, it will go a long way
when you price your work. I used to be a police officer and when we
were going to pull someone over for a speeding, if I was going to
give them a ticket I told them that right out of the box. The analogy
here is to explain what you have to do to repair the piece “in
professional terms” with a little bit of salesmanship and you will
get your price. I had a great following at my trade shop for years,
27 retail accounts we catered to with 98.5% no returns. I wanted to
sell the shop to an individual from Utah. He came and saw and I
showed him the numbers, blah, blah, blah. The next thing I know he
opened his own trade shop in my area and seriously undercut my
pricing structure…Well he lasted about 6 months and closed his
doors…enough said…charge what you are worth and know your
competition and you will do well…quality folks…quality.

Russ
www.thejewelrycadinstitute.com


#10

the laser welder that does things people can’t do

You may be right on the rest of your post, but this part you
should take back. Laser welder is a crutch, and like a crutch
helping you to get around, laser welder may get through tight spot,
if you have no ability to solder. But do not call yourself a
goldsmith, if you need one. 

Leonid, with all due respect, this is not entirely correct. A laser
welder is indeed easier to learn to use well than is good soldering
technique, and some people will find they can do things with a laser
that they cannot do with soldering simply because their soldering
technique is not good enough. In those cases, perhaps the laser can
be indeed called a crutch. But it’s still just a tool. If the user is
able to create what they wish, in a high quality end product, then I
see no reason why they should not still call themselves a goldsmith.
Yes, their soldering skills might be less, but ability to solder by
itself is not the test of whether one is a goldsmith. For example,
before the use of gas fed torches, people soldered essentially with a
furnace, or perhaps an alcohol lamp with blowpipe, or open soldering
"hearth". Few goldsmiths today would quite know how to solder with
just an open hearth. And many more highly skilled goldsmiths who
didn’t happen to learn in Europe, probably wouldn’t know what to do
with a mouth blown blowpipe torch either. Yet they remain,
goldsmiths.

Or another example. There was a time when buffing and polishing and
finishing had to be done without the benefit of electric motors.
Drilling was done with a bow drill, not a flex shaft. Many jewelers
today wouldn’t quite know how to use a bow drill, or how to use only
hand buffing or burnishing methods to get a final finish without
electricity. This doesn’t mean they are not jewelers. They simply
have learned the craft with tools that, like the craft, have
evolved. We no longer have to know how to make our own files and saw
blades either. Or how to manage to see what we’re doing without good
electric lights and various magnifiers. And gosh. We can make wire
with drawplates, and sheet metal with rolling mills. No longer need
we do it all with hammers or the laborious methods of making wire
without drawplates. Learning these skills are educational, and give
one insight into the craft, but it’s not needed in order to be
skilled at the craft as it stands today.

And back to a laser. While there are many things a laser can do that
perhaps might better be done with a torch, I assure you that there
are also many things you can do with a laser that are completely and
totally impossible with a torch. If you, with your torch, need to
retip the prong on a heat sensitive stone, you often must remove it.
How do you repair a deep ding on the outside of the bezel on an
emerald if it’s not a design where you can remove the stone first? A
ring with many bezel set stones, for example, that needed repair,
might simply not be economical to repair with torch soldering, since
you might have to unset and rebuild a whole lot of bezels, and such
cases, it might be much cheaper to simply remake the piece. A laser
can join a piece of metal without annealing it. And without messing
up the patina on adjacent metal. Or without disturbing prior repair
work that might have been done with lower melting solders than might
have been preferred. It can do repairs that previously, many jewelers
relegated to materials like TIX solder, an unfortunate choice for the
jewelry when it has to be done that way, but sometimes, it’s the only
realistic choice before the introduction of the laser welder. With
the laser, worn prongs can be retipped with not just the same type of
metal, so there’s no solder discoloration or join, but the retipped
prongs, since laser welds tend to self work harden in the process,
are more durable than soldered on retipped prongs. One can rebuild
individual defective beads on pave work, even on platinum, and have
the end result as good, or better, than the original setting work,
with the repair completely undetectable.

With the laser, if used with skill (and it DOES take skill and
practice to use a laser well, just like a torch, though the skills
are not the same) one can do repairs and modifications within
fractions of a millimeter of a heat sensitive stone with no damage to
the stone, and for that matter, repaired metal that is the same as
the parent metal, without the use of solder which may not always
exactly match.

Here’s another example. Make yourself a nice ornate platinum and
diamond eternity ring, pave set with diamonds all the way around, set
almost next to each other. Do a nice job engraving it and everything,
etc. Now the customer wants it a half size smaller. As it turns out,
the half size space is about 1.25 mm, which happens to be the size of
the diamonds you used. So in theory, you can just remove one diamond,
close the gap, and it’s sized. With your torch, you cannot do this
job with high quality platinum solders or a weld, as it’s too close
to the other diamonds for the temperatures involved (unless you wish
to take a bunch of them out, which might be difficult, if they were,
for example, finely pave set, or channel set, etc). Instead, you’d
have to do it with gold solders that have a low enough melting point
that the diamonds won’t be damaged. And as we all know, even the best
gold solder joint on a platinum ring will be weaker, and tends to
show, at least a little, especially after wearing for some time.
Anyone who’s done repair work for some time has seen any number of
such prior sizing joints on platinum rings, and some of them just
don’t look very good. Others, the well done ones, are better. But the
seams still show a little. On the other hand, with the laser, I can
do that sizing in a few minutes (well, re-engraving the sides takes a
little longer, but not much), and end up with a sizing joint that is
totally invisible, indistinguishable from the original ring. if I do
it well, even I, knowing what I did, won’t be able to find it again
even with a microscope. In my work for a jewelry manufacturer, the
ability to do this level of service work on our own products is
critical. If the stores who carry our product couldn’t have us size
our own rings when needed, we’d have a number of designs we simply
couldn’t sell very well.

That is NOT just a crutch. it’s an improved way to do the job, and
sometimes a way to do a previously impossible job. Yes, sometimes a
laser is a crutch. But any tool can be a crutch if it’s used as a
poor or easier substitute for the right way to do a better job. If,
on the other hand, it does the better job than the original way, no
matter how much more or how much less skill it takes, then it’s a
tool worthy of respect.

In my work, I do a good deal of repair and restoration of antique
jewelry. Some of it is often very worn, or fragile, or basically
never intended to have been repaired. Some of these things require a
good deal of thought as to how best to go about the job. Now, on my
bench I’ve got the choice of several types of torches, from a little
torch, a larger Meco midget, a casting torch, or an air/acetylene
type. And I’ve got a laser welder. When I have a joining task to take
on, I have choices. I don’t choose the laser because it’s easier. I
choose it when it does the best job. My soldering skills are quite
good enough to be able to handle anything where that is the right
tool. And sometimes, maybe even many times, a torch is indeed the
right tool. But there are also many times when I’m able to offer well
done and economical repairs, service, modifications or newly made
items that end up better, or more economical, because I’ve got the
laser available when it’s the right choice.

It’s a tool. Not a crutch. The difference depends not on the tools
themselves, but on the choices of when and why to use one or the
other. The ability to make those choices, and use the tools I choose
with skill to achieve the results I wish, are what make me a
goldsmith. Not whether or not I happen to have one tool or another.

And I can think of no single skill that is absolutely required in
order to call oneself a goldsmith. There are many very fine
goldsmiths who do have many types of skills mastered. But very few
who can say they’ve mastered ALL the skills in the craft. Yes, some
skills are more basic than others, and more needed before one can do
the desired work. But almost any single given skill is at some
point, optional. Again, the definition of “goldsmith” doesn’t depend
on exactly which skills you’ve mastered. Again, it’s about choices.
If you’re a competent goldsmith, you know your abilities as well as
your limits. You do good work because you stay within those limits
enough so that the quality of the work ends up being as it should be.
The end result, the jewelry or final product itself, and the choices
made to achieve it, are what should define whether the maker is, or
is not, a competent goldsmith, silversmith, jeweler, or whatever
label you choose to describe your craft.

Peter Rowe


#11
I have always said that if you do good work and have confidence in
what you produce, customers will still come back...but there is
one thing I haven't heard on here yet about customer service. If
you have a good personality and great customer service, it will go
a long way when you price your work. 

So true. My daughter was engaged this month. The ring was a platinum
fam= ily heirloom which needed resizing. I researched their area of
the country and referred them to a jeweler that I thought would do
good work for them.

When they went to see him, they found his personality a bit "gruff"
and my daughter called me in tears. She thought he was technically
good, but also wanted a happy engagement “experience” and my
referral didn’t do that.

They found another jeweler who was perfectly adequate from a skill
stand point. They paid almost $100 more than the first jeweler, and
had a wonderful experience. (I can hardly wait for the wedding
planning!!)

Jamie


#12

Leonid… A laser welder is just another tool in a goldsmith’s bag
of tools. It is not meant to replace a torch for each and every
solder job you have. Personally, I use one of 3 different torches,
depending on the job at hand. And if I had a laser welder, I would
use it for the jobs the other torches cannot do, like soldering near
heat sensitive stones when it is impractical to remove the stones. A
goldsmith is determined by his ability to use the various tools that
are out there, it is not a crutch, but rather an asset. I really
wish I had one…

Teddy (a goldsmith)


#13
It's even worse, from outside the USA. The US dollar has fallen in
value so much against many other currencies. Just to make the same
number of Aussie dollars as I did a couple of years ago, I would
have to charge 85% more for my product In USA! 

OK, this is one of those things I should probably stay out of, as I
am out of my depth, but that said–

Isn’t there, then, some way to also make the currency conversion work
in your favor? If it makes it bad for Americans to buy from you, it
seems it would make it good for you to buy from them. Maybe there are
supplies, raw materials or whatnot that you now buy locally or from
European sources that will be worth shipping from the US because of
the greater buying power of YOUR money. Worth a thought… (though
you’re probably way ahead of me)

Noel


#14
laser welder may get through tight spot, if you have no ability to
solder. But do not call yourself a goldsmith, if you need one. 

PFFFT!

Laser works in a completely different manner than torch. Only after
someone understands the difference thru ACTUALLY USING ONE can
someone appreciate the difference and put the instrument to good use.

Seriously, you have no innate right to tell people who may and may
not call themselves goldsmiths. If you haven’t noticed, continuous
innovation is very much the nature of our field, head in the sand or
not.


#15

I am enjoying this whole discussion. I too was a bit skeptical when
the owner of the store I work at puchased the Geller book. We live
in a small town of about 3500 and I didn’t think this would fly. I
was proven wrong! What everyone here is talking about…customer
service, good reputation, quality work, explaining the job,
trustworthyness (word…dunno). It all has a price on it, and is
worth paying for if the customer believes it is. If they don’t they
will go somewhere else, but that doesn’t happen often.

I must say even after being in this business for 20+ years I am still
amazed what people will spend on jewelry. And when it is a very
special piece or sentimental the price repair it does not matter.

Sandy


#16

Well said. [Peter Rowe]

While I learned to solder with an alcohol lamp and a blow pipe, and
do all cutting, filing and drilling with non powered handtools, that
does not mean that they are the most efficient or effective tools,
or that I am limited to using only these antique tools, or I will be
less of a craftsperson. If I use a torch or any one of many powered
tools at my disposal that does not make me any less of a jeweler,
goldsmith, or diamond setter.

The laser is just one of the tools at my side when I am at the
bench. It is far superior to the torch for many jobs, giving results
that are impossible to achieve with the torch in some situations,
superior in others, and simply more efficient in some other
situations.

There are also many situations where the laser is not the tool of
choice, but rather one of the torches is the right choice for the
job. As a goldsmith one learns not only how to use one tool well,
but also learns many tools, techniques, and skills, and can choose
from among many options when approaching a project, picking that
which best suits the situation, and produces the best results.

It is not the tool the makes the craftsman. It is how the tools are
used. IMO

Jim Newton


#17
The bottom line is, we are on the verge of closing the doors.
Creditors calling all the time. Always scrambling to pay the rent. 

Having been there I’ll say that raising repair prices is not going
to fix the problem. If a shop is doing both over the counter sales
and bench work, they need to be treated as totally separate entities.

Like Geller says, retailers are addicted to buying. Once it starts
you wind up with the “When this order of new goods sells it will
hopefully pay my overdue invoices” frame of mind. Fine, to a point it
can. But look at what’s really happening…inventory is aging
progressively. For every one new item that sells there are two more
going passed a year old. And most jewelers just will not give a big
discount to move dogs. So it just gets worse and worse. The dogs get
even doggier.

Repair should not be viewed as an accommodation to the public. It is
and should be viewed as, a source of revenue. Its dependable. Buy a
load of jewelry on say 30-60-90. Oh cool you think, maybe I can sell
some before the notes are due. HA! Fat chance if you’re already
sitting on a load of 1,2,3 year old stuff. The fact that there IS
that much old stock indicates that the buying is not especially
efficient. The buyer is not in touch with the clientele, to be blunt,
or marketing is not up to snuff.

But take in a volume of repairs and not only can you get a deposit
to cover your costs up front, when you get paid the balance…Ta Da,
the money is yours! Use it to pay overhead, use it to pay
yourself…try not to use it to pay for merchandise that just drags
you under. You dig a deeper hole. Why? Because you haven’t addressed
the over buying.

My unsolicited advice(hey like I said I been there) is to call the
creditors first. Make new arrangements. Make a realistic timetable.
They know what’s going on in the market. You’re not the only one with
difficulties. They’d rather have a trickle than broken promises. Put
a moratorium on new merchandise. Sell some old stuff at whatever it
takes. Turn the dogs into cash. Try to get even. Then start buying
again with a different point of view. This is tough but has to be
done before its too late.

Well, I probably butted my nose in too much, sorry.


#18

Wow Leonid love to see you size a titanium band with a torch or even
a stainless one.


#19

there is alot more to this plan than just raising your prices &
“loads of money coming in” is the sales hook concept, if you buy it
& doesnt work there is no money back and there will be no apologies
from the seller (i know), i personally think the person making the
most money is him. - warm regards goo


#20
If I use a torch or any one of many powered tools at my disposal
that does not make me any less of a jeweler, goldsmith, or diamond
setter. 

It does if you do not understand the limitations of these gadgets.
Laser welds are far inferior to solder joints. Jewelers love them
because repairs can be done without removing stone, but as far as
comparative quality, they are junk.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com