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Renting / Bartering Workspace


#1

Hi! I’m new to the list and wow! what a resource. Thanks to all who
participate!

Does anyone have any experience with renting (or bartering)
workspace from a jewelry store? Such as using space in the back and
offering repairs in exchange, while also having an outlet to market
your pieces in the store?

A friend of mine is opening a store and is willing to let me set up
my equipment in the back of her store in exchange for doing sizings,
repairs, cleaning, etc. I’m a gold/silversmith more as an
artist/hobbyist and have intentionally stayed away from mainstream
jewelry stores,(so I know very little about what to expect) however
this is a direction I see myself going for the future, in the hopes
that bencho jewelry work can keep me busy between art projects.

Any thoughts or experiences would be appreciated.

Thanks!
-Barb Baur


#2

Hi Barb, I have worked on a piece work basis with several different
retailers and manufactures over the last 20 years. The relationships
you can develop can be beneficial to you and to the store provided
you both establish what is required and expected. I have never paid
rent to be in a store location or a shop location. Good store owners
will appreciate having a quality jeweler on the premises for their
work when they need it. Many cannot afford to pay the salary of a
good jeweler though. Piece work keeps the stores overhead down. On
the downside for you, piece work will require you to stock and supply
your own findings and materials so you’ll need to spend some bucks.
Also, I always had my own tools …soup to nuts… Most places will
have a bench, ultrasonic, steamer, and some tools. (A couple places I
brought the whole shop.) With hand tools I always preferred my own.

You benefit having work handed to you vs. traveling from store to
store picking up jobs or shipping back and forth. You also can have
the understanding that you will do other work while there (stores
work always comes first) …be it for yourself, or other
non-competing accounts. (The security and alarm systems also makes
insurance a feasible option to help you get the larger accounts.)

Another benefit of the piece work scenario is that you are now a
contractor (self employed) not an employee. You establish your own
hours. If work is slow you can go out and find more accounts or take
time off. (to be with my kids in my case) I also had a shop at home
making the work hours extremely flexible for me when my children were
growing up (I could work through the night). Being self employed has
it’s obvious advantages. Unfortunately, you will not getting health
insurance, paid vacations, etc…

To do ring sizing and repairs in a barter situation will only work
temporarily. If the store gets busy where do you draw the line if
you are not getting paid…Who supplies materials (gold, silver,
stones, burs, tools, machinery, etc) As far as displaying your line,
that is a two way street too…A lot of ground rules to establish at
the start. Example: Is your merchandise on display as memo goods as
if you are a supplier? When are they considered sold? On layaway or
on final payment? In other words, is it your layaway or the stores?
Do you keep the profits, a % of the sale, or straight cost that you
charge the store?

Sorry, I am rambling.

Lots to discuss, think about, and work out.

Good luck with your endeavors,
Mark


#3

hello barb: The best suggestion I can make is to get it all in
writing and make sure you both agree on some ground rules. Even
things you don’t think you may need to make clear - discuss it! What
kind of hours are you suppose to keep? What is the turnaround time on
repairs? Who is responsible for keeping space clean?? What if you
break something you are repairing- what then?? I have shared my space
with other jewelers and the best experiences were the ones where we
all sat down and established ground rules- everything from sharing
cleaning chores, buying TP to the stereo and displays.

dd


#4
    Does anyone have any experience with renting (or bartering)
workspace from a jewelry store? 

I have done this a couple of times with more and less success. The
best way to do this in my humble experience, is to pay no rent. What
the retailer will need from you is first consideration when turning
out work. Wait jobs when reasonable and your cooperation in
completing jobs so as to help close as many jobs as possible. Any
time that you have free should be yours to service your own clientele
as necessary. Get David Gellers pricing guide and agree on a split.
You should be given a key so you can come and go as needed. As the
wholesaler, your business will have different requirements than your
landlords.

Bruce D. Holmgrain
JA Certified Master Bench Jeweler
http://www.goldwerx.com


#5
   I have done this a couple of times with more and less success.
The best way to do this in my humble experience, is to pay no rent.
What the retailer will need from you is first consideration when
turning out work. Wait jobs when reasonable and your cooperation in
completing jobs so as to help close as many jobs as possible. Any
time that you have free should be yours to service your own
clientele as necessary. Get David Gellers pricing guide and agree
on a split. You should be given a key so you can come and go as
needed. As the wholesaler, your business will have different
requirements than your landlords. 

This advice seems right on the mark to me. I did lease operation
repairs for almost 12 years with various retailers. From small
independent to national chains. The rent was always free with a %
split on all repairs and custom work. The national chains usually
want to work from a piece work price sheet on repairs but
percentages were negotiable on custom work. Good luck on your first
experience. Frank Goss