Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Paying for repairs upfront


#1

hello all, I was wondering if you have your repair client(retail)
pay for repairs up front and what are the benefits of this. Also how
do you overcome objections to this idea in your clients mind.

Thanks will.


#2

No reason to. If I were the customer trusting a jeweler with a piece
worth hundreds or thousands of dollars and they told me I had to pay
in advance, I wouldn’t wait for their explanation - I’d be gone to
the next shop down the street.

Brett


#3

I always (unless it’s a really big repair job involving expensive
replacement stones and then I’ll take a deposit) charge when repairs
are picked up. Since price quotes are often estimates it’s easier to
deal with at the end of the process instead of trying to get more
money from someone who thinks they’ve already paid in full. I do
this with all repairs and only extremely rarely take money up front
because that way the people who always seem to think they paid you
already haven’t got a leg to stand on (and I get a few of them every
year) because the policy is always the same.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
www.spirerjewelers.com


#4

We only have our customers pay upfront for repairs if the item being
repaired is of lower (salvage) value than the cost of repair. We have
been stuck with hundreds of repairs over the last 30 years, most of
them low in value. It is easy for a ‘customer’ to authorize a $400.00
prong repair on a worn out promotional quality 20 stone, 1/2 carat
diamond cluster ring that was originally purchased at a discount
store for $150; It is quite another thing to get them to come in and
pay for it! It is amazing how many money-losing jobs like this ‘go
away’ when you request a deposit. It really saves us a lot of hassle.

Lee Cornelius
Vegas Jewelers


#5

Hi William,

Interesting concept, although I don’t know how to justify it to a
retail customer other than to say: “You know that you will be
delighted with the repair and have full confidence that it will be
done on time as promised”. Funny thing, if the customer already knows
that then they frequently offer to pay upfront anyway!

If the cost of the repair is greater than the value of the item, and
I don’t know the customer, then I may consider demanding a deposit
for the difference in values. Thus the full cost of the repair can
eventually be recovered if the customer fails to collect the item.

The bottom line is you can keep the item in your posession until the
repair is payed for. The customer is trusting you more than you are
trusting the customer. I think that asking for an upfront payment is
generally not a good policy.

Regards, Alastair


#6
No reason to. If I were the customer trusting a jeweler with a
piece worth hundreds or thousands of dollars and they told me I had
to pay in advance, I wouldn't wait for their explanation - I'd be
gone to the next shop down the street. 

So what would you do if the customer gives you an expensive diamond
to make up into a new custom piece? By your logic you wouldn’t take
a deposit then either but you would still have to fork out money for
materials and labor. Customers routinely try this logic on me on
custom work and I always look at them and say fine, then I’ll sell
your diamond so I can get the money to buy the materials (note: it
is said with clear humor, but it gets the point across). Nonetheless,
as per my other email on this subject, I take money on repairs
afterwards, but for other, somewhat more logical reasons.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
www.spirerjewelers.com


#7

Once in a while I get burned because someone doesn’t pickup their
repair. So rather than stew about it and swear from now on I’m going
to get paid upfront on questionable repairs I just stash it away in a
separate file and just forget it. The few bucks is not worth repeated
calls and time away from other things.

On a project, either a new piece or a repair that requires
significant material or labor or some other risk to me, I’ll ask for
half down.

Getting paid at the end provides incentive to get the jobs done. I
would not want to be in the position of being paid upfront, getting
backlogged(which I am usually), and having a customer upset that the
work ISN’T READY YET?

Its better the customer owes you than the other way around.


#8
If the cost of the repair is greater than the value of the item,
and I don't know the customer, then I may consider demanding a
deposit for the difference in values. Thus the full cost of the
repair can eventually be recovered if the customer fails to collect
the item 

OK, I’m poking my nose in what is-- literally-- none of my business
(I don’t repair stuff I didn’t make), but-- didn’t we establish in
an earlier thread that unclaimed repaired merchandise technically
belongs to the state in most places?

Noel


#9

We usually didn’t request $$ up front unless it was of low value. We
did offer a 5% discount to PREPAY and many folks did. I have several
$3000 custom jobs prepaid just for the 5% savings.

David Geller
JewelerProfit
www.JewelerProfit.com


#10

I don’t think I was around during the previous thread.

I do know that laws vary from place to place. The surest way to
handle the situation is to have a contract (preferably written up by
an attorney or even from a legitimate source.)

There is always a chance you won’t make your money if you don’t ask
for a down payment. But if you do have a signed contract stating that
the person has a certain amount of time (check on what the policy is
where you live) to pay for and pick up the piece or pieces. Where you
live will decide what some of the conditions are. Other conditions
may apply. Arbitration or court are options as well, but the piece
has to have the work done in order to hold it if you do choose one of
these. And if your contract says 6 months after contact, you have to
actually contact the person, even if their number is disconnected.
Which means you have to list a date it can be picked up by, or have a
rider that states if you attempt to contact the person (x number of
times, record it on the contract in spaces pre-provided) and are
unable to do so over a certain period of time, there is x amount of
time before the jewelry becomes yours. So be very mindful of what you
put in the contract, as any errors fall in favor of the party who did
NOT write the contract.

And this is not intended to be legal advice. Contact a lawyer to
draw up a contract…it’s a one time expense that could save you
trouble whether the person offers a deposit or not.

Kim


#11
I'm poking my nose in what is-- literally-- none of my business (I
don't repair stuff I didn't make), but-- didn't we establish in an
earlier thread that unclaimed repaired merchandise technically
belongs to the state in most places? 

Yes but the reason many people don’t pick up the repair is because
in their mind the value is less than the trip. And here you have
fixed it and insured it and handled it. It’s a pain to keep it. If
you take a deposit they are more likely to pick it up.

On getting estimates for watches, we found many old watches when we
called with an estimate, they took forever or never picked them up.

So we started taking a $20 CASH DEPOSIT. We put the $20 IN THE
ENVLEOPE and if they picked up the watch (not fixed) they got the
watch and $20 back and the $20 bill caused them to actually come back
in.

David Geller
JewelerProfit
www.JewelerProfit.com


#12

I NEVER take payment before finishing a repair job. I quote precisely
and describe the piece and the repair on the job envelope. I give the
customer a copy and have the repair done in 1 hour. I have found the
customer is more likely to be pleased with the work if done this way,
and my “tips”, although never solicited are amazing! If any of you
young jewelry technicians want to learn this method, and make a good
living while doing so, just call.

Phil Sykes
Treasure Isle, Ltd.
Raleigh, NC


#13

I ask for repair payment upfront if, like others have said, the cost
of the repair exceeds the value of the jewelry and if the customer is
asking for a rush job. ie: they state the repair is for Christmas so
you stay late to get it done and then they don’t come back to pick it
up. Once we hit December, any work done will have to be paid for
before I do it, or it’ll be ready after the holidays. No sense
stressing more than I have to!

Pam