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
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!
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:
- 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
Here’s the real reason why you won’t use my book:
- 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
“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
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
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
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
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:
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,
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
How long have you been doing jewelry work?
How long have you worked for this company?
What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever worked on in your
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?
(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!