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Pricing according to Geller's book

Hello, everybody,

I’ve been doing tradework, and I used Mr. Geller’s book as a basis
for my prices, and all I got last week was complaints about the
costs. Apparently, jewelers in my area are in bidding wars with each
other. It’s a real dogfight.

I was told last week that Mr. Geller’s prices are three times too
high and that he based his book on what Tiffany’s charges. It
doesn’t feel true.

Meanwhile, I’m expected to take 50 cents for setting a 7x5 oval in a
6mm round setting. The guy left the price tag on the ring, he’s
asking well over three thousand for it. I’m not looking to get rich
quick, but I have the sneaky feeling I’m being taken advantage of.
Am I wrong here?

Thank you,
Susannah Page-Garcia
Moonshine Metal Creations

I and many others, here in Central Oregon, use Mr. Gellers book. I
consider those retail prices and when I do trade work they are half.
I think his prices are good, some high some low, especially since
gold is much higher than when he did the book. All in all if you want
to make a living… this book has helped me make ends meet.



Tell him to take a hike, see if he can get someone else to do it,
it’s no loss to you if you only get paid a pittance.

Neil KilBane

Hi Susannah

I looked you up in my database, didn’t see you so don’t know what
version of the book you’re using.

If you have the 3.2 version, it’s based upon:

  1. Gold at $300
  2. Platinum at $610
  3. Jewelers W-2 at 435,000 to $45,000

If you’re using the 4.0 book, it’s based upon $45,000 to $55,000
jewelers W-2. There are many RELEASES of that book. If bought BEFORE
June 2006 (5 months ago) Gold in the book was at $400, Platinum at
$850. If bought AFTER June 2006, same labor, gold at $700, Platinum
at $1300.00

If you listen to my CD’s you know I preach repairs are not price
sensitive, they are trust sensitive.

That’s in a RETAIL STORE. Customers aren’t worried about cost as
much about trust.

But trade work IS price sensitive. Why? Because most of your clients
don’t have my book, haven’t tried to get higher prices to know they
can get it.

So here comes Susannah charging $9 when all other trade shops charge

The retail store owners think the prices are too high because they
can’t envision themselves getting that much.

And why even try, when if you’re $9, I can find Willy who’ll do it
for $5?

I tell all trade shop people to go retail. 75% of trade shops are
not making enough money. If asked, most would say “To do it over
again, I’d chose a different field”

Your problem? Doing what I’m doing: Training the retailer (your
customer) how to sell repairs. The other side of the coin is many
retailers are in financial binds and cutting your cost is so much
easier than cutting back on inventory over a year old (#1 killer of a
jewelry store).

Two things you can do:

  1. Offer to spend 30 minutes twice a month training their staff at a

  2. Take the prices you WANT, make up a price sheet for THEM. Make 2.
    One keystone and one triple key. Laminate them, give it to them and
    let them chose their profit level based upon their comfort level. To
    lower your price means:

a. You will make less money, or
b. You’ll have to do the job a LOT faster, or
c. You’ll have to buy your parts a lot cheaper, ot
d. All of the above.

Good luck

David Geller
510 Sutters Point
Sandy Springs, GA. 30328
(404) 255-9565


I was one of the very first, if not THE first jeweler to own one of
David’s most excellent pricing guides. I was skeptical in the
extreme, but David kept on me about raising my prices. I started off
with a 25% increase and guess what? Some complained, all paid.

So I raised them again, to 50% more than the original. Same result.
So I doubled them, and lost 4-5 customers over the next year. But,
guess what? Those were the whiners and complainers anyway. Happy to
see them find a new victim.

My goal ws to become the most expensive in town. I’m not sure I
reached that goal, but repair became very profitable, as it should
be. I entered the jewelery business at a time when many Mom & Pops
thought repair was a service to be done at no profit…I’m not

Geller’s guide requires a change in philosophy on your part, and,
what’s even more difficult for many is the shift from having an
"order-taker" mentality to true selling. Selling skills are not
something one s born with, they are skills that can and need to be
learned. They are at the very core of business profitability, and,
from what I have seen in the past 35 years, sorely lacking in many
small operations. The mindset that creates the “artist” is not often
one where selling skills are prized…but it needs to happen.

If you will listen to Geller’s tapes, it will certainly help, but
RIGHT NOW, what you need to do is learn how to sell repairs and be
able to explain why repairs doen at your place are indeed worth
more. Do you check and guarantee additional stones for looseness and
against loss? You should, and charge for it. Do you refurbish back
to original condition? You should, and you should point it out and
charge for it. In the end, a jewelry business is based on TRUST, not
PRICE. This is what must be understood, believed and conveyed to
each customer. You can not and will not make a profit trying to work
for the lowest possible price, and neither can your competitors. I
guarantee you that most worthwhile customers are willing and even
EAGER to pay more to get good work, reliability and excellent timely
service. And overnight is 50% more, while-you-wait is double.

Let the whiners go, work on excellence in all thing and PROMOTE it!
As David for his recommended reading list and read those books, now!
I don’t get remuneration for pumping David, but he has been quite
kind to me over the years. His persistence in my stubborn face
allowed me access to greater profits, and, were I to get back into
retail, we’d be using his book for business meeting discussions
every week, period! But he has never asked or expected me to promote
him, I do it because he is as close to a “Profit Prophet” as there
is! Hey, there’s David’s new catchword…“The Prophet of Profit”.
Darn, I’m a genius.

Wayne Emery

What geller created is a dignity to survive in this caotic world of
jewelry repair cut throat stick to geller pricess cause they are
right and I didn’t see geller runing a tiffany store. You will
acumulate customers slower but you will have your pride.


From what I understand from you post about what you’ll get paid to
set the oval stone, I would definitely say you’re getting the short
end of the stick. I work for a trade shop also, though we don’t price
our repairs to the Geller book. We just raised our prices within the
past month since gold has shot up so high. My best guess (which
considering I’m the employee, not someone who sets the prices) would
be to charge a 1/3 of the total cost for the repair. For example, if
you’re sizing a ring one size up and the retail cost is $27, charge
$9.00. This also goes up if the band is wider than say 3mm. You’re
working for yourself; not these stores. You have to do what’s right
for your own survival because these stores are a part of major
chains; they take care of themselves. Hang in there and don’t give up.

Rene Howard

Selling skills are not something one is born with, they are skills
that can and need to be learned. 


This is something I’ve been thinking about lately. As an “art
jeweler” selling at shows, I am constantly trying to improve my
"performance". I am not a natural salesperson. My daughter seems to
be, but now she has a career of her own…

I’m not a wallflower, and I think I’m great at telling stories about
the pieces, and talking to people. But I’m not a “closer”. I have
listened to Bruce Baker’s CDs (and live talks), but I suspect I
really need more help to learn to sell, in a way that is appropriate
for me.

Any suggestions?

If a friend asked you to go with them to buy something for your
opinion, how would you react with them?

Treat your customer as if you KNEW they were sent in to buy
something and ASSUME they will buy.

Choose 3 pieces they like, lay them out. Discuss the 3. Romance the

Then ask which one of the 3 they like the least, place it back.

You have two.

Discuss with them they two and get their words which one they like

Then assume you’re with a friend who’s reluctant to buy “just
because” and start chatting with your friend:

“you deserve to treat yourself”

“She’ll love it and will love it every day she wears it”

“6 months from now you won’t remember the price but you’ll look down
upon your finger and think 'you know, I wish I had gotten the bigger

David Geller
510 Sutters Point
Sandy Springs, GA. 30328
(404) 255-9565

Hi Susannah

Let me begin by saying that I believe that David Geller’s philosophy
is absolutely correct. Jewelers should be able to charge reasonable
prices for QUALITY work. In a world where people pay $4-$5 for a cup
of coffee and pay their auto technician $80/hour, why on earth would
a trade shop or store charge a ridiculously low price to size a ring
or set a stone, which requires quite a bit of skill and talent? Why,
because most people don’t want to hear that one little word…NO. So
to avoid hearing that word, they figure the EASIEST way to get the
sale or job is to cut the price. Always worried if that job will go
to the competition, they will cut their profit to the bare minimum or
less. But as my Dad once told me, selling something (whether a
product or service) without a profit is like eating soup with a fork.
You keep busy but you’re still hungry.

I do have to add, however, that quality and presentation can add a
lot of perceived value, whether at a trade shop or retail level. Is
the work really top quality? No seams, nicely polished, CLEAN, tight
and done complete. Nicely wrapped in tissue or poly-bagged instead of
just tossed in the envelope? Invoice neat and legible? Don’t get mad
because most of you probably do these things, but I’m sure there are
some that don’t and that creates a perception of cheapness and shoddy
work, whether its true or not.

And those people that will complain and try to beat that extra $.50
per job out of you, do you really need them? One of the hardest
lessons I learned was that there are customers you don’t need or
want. It went against my nature of trying to get every sale and job.
But I finally realized that not all business relationships are always
a good fit.

Gene Rozewski

Selling skills are not something one is born with, they are skills
that can and need to be learned. How? 

Just like we learn anything else.

You’ve defined the problem at hand, now let’s look at ways to solve

You are intelligent, articulate, polite while being firm at times,
and, judging from what I’ve seen here, an excellent communicator.
You also have the guts to publicly acknowledge what you see as a
professional shortcoming about yourself. Now, that is a rare

In the past I have been the Sales Manager for a high tech company,
and was able to help take them from sales confusion to a higher
road, resulting in a near-quadrupling of income in a two-year

Please contact me off-line if you would like some excellent and
practical reading suggestions, along with examples of the some of
the material I used to help train the salespeople. I had to learn to
become a closer, and you can, too.

Wayne Emery

Hello Everybody,

Imagine if I’d used the 4.0 version, the yelling would be deafening.
I used the 3.2, and even then scaled back the numbers. The mall guys
don’t want to pay their jewelers more than $8.50 hr. Well, here,
anyway. I cut the guy loose, I told him I felt he would be happier
with someone else. Now I have all this extra time to get ready for a
trunk show I have in a week. The reduction in stress should help my

All this has been food for thought, and I’ve decided that
financially it would be better for me to go back to school and
complete my degrees in microbiology/neuroscience. I don’t have that
many credits left, and the unemployment thing has made us eligible
for all kinds of financial help to make it happen.

Thanks for the input, the clarification helped a lot!

Susannah Page-Garcia
Moonshine Metal Creations

Wednesday, where my Alex and I spent a happy day playing in the dirt
with our children, while planting advocadoes, lemons, apricots, and a
rock our two-year-old found.

I’m not a natural salesperson either, but I spent 5 years selling
computers. Two things that I kept in mind that made it easier was:

  1. Go for a win-win situation, ie the deal has to make both you and
    your customer happy.

  2. Your customer is there because they need/want something that
    you’re selling… you’re there to help them get what they need. I
    found that if I approached my conversation with them as “here, let
    me solve your problem”, rather than the usual sales-spiel, I felt
    much more comfortable and was able to converse with them on a much
    more natural level.

Jewelry isn’t quite computers, but I think people are still walking
into that jewelry store because they need or want something.

The gift of natural smalltalk (a gift I wish I had) is also a huge
bonus. That can help you start off the conversation with somebody
that really isn’t in a buying mood yet.

Firelily Jewelry

Jewelry isn't quite computers, but I think people are still
walking into that jewelry store because they need or want

My question was specifically about my own situation-- art fairs.
People at shows don’t necessarily need or even want something.
They may just be wandering around waiting for inspiration to strike.
I feel as though anyone who steps into a store is much closer to
opening their wallet than the average person at an art fair who
comes to my booth.

Perhaps this doesn’t really make a difference. I often tell people
"Jewelry is not about “need”.