=46irst of all I guess I should say I am not new to the jewelry
community. I have been a jeweler for over ten years. I work
independently and have a small business. In fact I recently made the
business into a corporation. I sell mostly through shows and word of
mouth. I work primarily in silver but after decade I have built very
strong customer base who return regularly for new pieces. So I guess
you could say that business is good.
After all this time I really felt I had a good handle on suppliers
and sources. One of the cornerstones of my business is fanatical
customer service. I really pride myself on filling customer requests.
Lately the requests have be for gold jewelry. Specifically 14kt
diamond studs, hoops and band rings. I even had requests for wedding
sets and gold puzzle rings. Fairly normal stuff.
I don’t work in gold. I am just one of these weirdos that prefers
silver and there are several good custom goldsmiths in my area that
I would prefer not to compete with. But my customers told me that
they would prefer to buy gold from a jeweler they knew.
Now I thought I had the perfect solution. A couple months ago I
called up Andy Kroungold and requested a Stuller catalog. Andy posts
regularly here on Orchid as a representative of Stuller. He has said
more that once to call if you want a catalog. So I did just that.
When we spoke he assured me that once I had a catalog in hand I
would be able order whatever I desired.
Imagine my excitement when I saw Stullers Finished Jewelry Catalog.
Here was jewelry I’d be delighted to offer my clients. Everything was
gorgeous. And everything my customers asked for was here. So I made
up an order. Since the catalog Andy sent didn’t include exact prices
(they are counter catalogs) I assumed I had chosen about $3000 worth
of items. A couple of my regulars even picked out pieces and cut me
checks. Which I accepted because Andy said I could buy whatever I
wanted. Let me say I would have never accepted those checks if I
hadn’t trusted Andy and accepted his word as truth. Well guess
what? Andy wasn’t telling me the truth. I called Stuller this past
Monday. They would not take my order. Why? Because I didn’t have a
Stuller account. Well lets open one I said. Can’t do it. Why? Because
I cannot provide invoices proving I bought a “substantial amount” of
gold recently. Well yes that’s because I am a silversmith. I called
them because I wanted to buy finished gold jewelry. Interestingly
they didn’t seem to care that I was an established business or that
one of their employees had completely mislead me. Nor did they care I
had funds in hand to spend on their items. What they cared about was
that I could not provide at least 2 invoices from two different
suppliers showing sufficient gold purchased. Incidentally the few
bits of gold I buy now and then to accent my silver work from Rio do
not count. It has to be “a quantity of finished ready to sell gold
jewelry”. What that exact quantity is they would not say. I offered
to send business documentation or pay by bank check. "Nope ma’am we
can’t take your order without an approved account. Oh and that Andy
is sure a character. He should have never sent you catalogs at all."
I have since called back twice to speak to a mysterious manager who
might be empowered to make an exception. But they are never
available to speak to me. Surprise. I have been told I can order
tools if I want to though. Lovely. Tools I do not need. I have
enough tool to outfit 4 benches. What I need a reliable source of
finished gold jewelry. I am so angry I could spit.
So here’s my plead. Where does one order small amounts of finished
gold jewelry at a reasonable price. I don’t need to fill cases and
cases but I do need selection. Rios nice but a larger selection
would be better and if I could also get a counter catalog to share
with customers well that would be a huge plus. Stuller obviously
isn’t interested in my hard earned money so who is?