After yet another awkward experience with a “jeweler” coming in my
store let me offer a few basic rules if you are a jeweler visiting a
If the jeweler is busy with customers do not engage them in
discussions. If a customer walks in while you are there, let the
jeweler talk to the customer instead. (A polite I’ll wait over here
will do.) Customers ALWAYS take precedence over noncustomers.
Do not assume that because you say you are in the trade that the
jeweler will a) believe it or b) tell you their life story because
you say so. Do not assume that because you take some classes, know
some other “name” jewelers, or have taken classes with other
jewelers that the jeweler will share trade with you.
Do not EVER ask questions about pricing when a customer is in the
store. Don’t ask costs. Don’t ask about markups. Do not make
comments about pricing either. If no one is in the store it is okay
to make some discreet inquiries about sourcing if the jeweler in
fact knows who you are, but do not ask a jeweler to tell you what
they paid for things versus what they are charging. If you want to
know about markups read the Orchid archives.
If it looks pretty obvious that the jeweler is working and needs
to get back to the bench (i.e. dirty hands, dirty aprons, a pained
expression in his/her eyes because they are stressed about getting
jobs done), then say thank you and goodbye.
I am not saying that you should never visit a jeweler, but please
use some common sense. Call or email ahead. Ask if they have time to
spend with you or if there is some time when they can. At least this
way they have some time to check on whether or not you are really in
the trade and how much they might be willing to share
with you. If you don’t schedule ahead of time and they look the
least bit busy come some other time.
Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC