Does anyone have something to share regarding "integrity"
in the retail section of the industry?
Hi all; I’ve been fortunate in that the majority of the people I’ve
worked for have been scrupulously honest regarding the products they
were selling. There were other types of dishonesty that customer’s
were exposed to, but these were usually along the lines of white lies
concerning why a repair wasn’t done on time (materials were
backordered, etc.). This didn’t seem to present a “slippery slope"
either, the dishonesties remained pretty innocent, and I’ll admit, I
sometimes was a party to these methods of “molifying” customers. I
didn’t always point out to a customer that one of the single cut, one
point diamonds from their worn out old mounting got crunched during
setting and I had to replace it with another one. Sometimes
misrepresentations of products are due to ignorance and aren’t an
attempt to decieve. I don’t think this excuses them completely, as I
believe it’s the responsibility of the merchant to know the truth
about what they are selling, but mistakes do happen. An honest
business person is eager to make things right. I think some
companies actually prefer ignorant sales staff, as an informed
salesperson wouldn’t be able, in good concience, to sell some of the
crap they pawn off on customers. I still come away with the opinion
that our industry is, for the most part, doing business with more
integrity than the public suspects. Now wether some of them are
charging exhorbitant prices is another issue. There were a couple
"colorful characters” I did have the misfortune of working for (they
bought the business I worked for). I wouldn’t have put anything past
these guys, and believe it or not, they are still in business. I
really don’t know why they are not in jail. I swore working for them
would be my last jewelry job, but I fell off the wagon and took yet
another job in the trade. And the last people I worked for had
integrity which they deserve to be proud of. I left that job for my
own reasons. I prefer to be scrupulously honest, because I demand
to be able to do business that way. Now I’ll tell them about that
single cut and if they get bent about it. . . . I’m truly sorry, but
it happens. If I weren’t as good as I am at what I do, I’d have to
be perfect and therefore, I wouldn’t be able to admit to making
Does anyone have any suggestions for improving any defects you
might have encountered?
The good ones need to be acknowleged, even if they are our
competition. The bad ones need to be prosecuted, even if it means
our job. There is a lot of legislation in our trade, but I don’t
think we need to single the industry out for more extensive policing.
But then again, that depends on who you count as “one of us”. I’m
much more suspicous of the internet component and the televised sales
venues. And when you get below a certain quality and it’s respective
price points, caveat emptor is the rule of the day. In other words,
what do you expect for a one carat total weight tennis bracelet for
When I took my complaints to the Jewelers Vigilance Committee,
They just wrote me off as a disgruntled employee. Never did any
investigation as far as I know. This outfit is still in business.
Small independent cheats are apparently tolerated.
Perhaps the JVC isn’t the last resort. In many cases, the State’s
Attorney General is interested in these things.
Thanks for any replies. If you would rather not reply, I
certainly can understand that. Perhaps this topic is too deeply
seated to discuss.
Not for this grizzly old bench gladiator. I love to turn over rocks
and see what crawls out. Seriously, secrecy is how things like
We all need to do what we can to keep the business honest.
Agreed. Let’s keep an open mind as to how we all can do a better
job of it in terms of our own honesty. Just in case we’ve missed
something, that is. . .
David L. Huffman