I was trying to keep my reply to (the other) Beth relatively short
and I see that I opened the door for some misinterpretation. I
carefully opened my statement with, “For the purpose of making a
presentation…”, and in that context, I stand by what I said.
If you your self sell direct it should always be above what a
store would reasonably sell your item for. That way you never
embarrass your customer with a lower price, and that will end any
further sales to that store.
In principle I agree, but in practice it won’t work. If various
stores are pricing your work at anywhere from keystone to triple
keystone, are you supposed to sell your work to the public at more
than triple key? Uh uh. If you keystone your work to the public, you
are doing all that can be expected to keep things on a relatively
even playing field.
Also, keep in mind that there are differences between how a
one-of-a-kind/limited edition studio jeweler and a
multiples/production operation (including designer jewelers like,
say, Jose Hess or David Yurman) would handle these issues. I’m
approaching this discussion from the viewpoint of the former.
You should never tell anyone what to charge the retail customer.
I have to disagree with this statement, despite the fact that I
don’t personally insist on setting retail prices. It depends on
circumstances and it depends on what kind of business you run. It’s
harder to set retail prices if you’re a studio jeweler, but it can be
done; after all, a store can always refuse to carry your line if they
don’t like your price points.
Every piece of jewelry I send to a consignment account is stickered
with an ID number and the keystone price. Some of my accounts use my
stickers while others don’t. Some of my accounts discuss their
retail pricing policies with me and others don’t. I’m aware that
some raise my prices by 10% or so. I accept that. If I discovered
that an account was using triple keystone prices, however, I would
pull my jewelry from that account. I work very hard to price my
pieces fairly and I don’t want someone else inflating those prices
All this being said, I still believe that “for the purpose of making
a presentation,” a retail/keystone price list is the way to go.