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Selling a client's engagement ring

A reputable auction house will get the best price.

Commercial buyers of second-hand jewelery will pay for less than the
value of the materials. If I was a pawn dealer, I would offer 1/4 of
the value of the materials so that I could sell at 1/2 price minimum
and get a quick turnover, or hopefully at near retail price for a
bonus profit.

From $16,000 to $2,000 tells the whole story. 

An auction house will promote the artistry along with an accurate
description of the materials.

If you made the ring, or if you are the trusted middle man/woman
then it’s a altogether different. Both parties are your customers
and their trust in you is more valuable than gold.


As Forrest Gump use to say

“Repairs are like a box of chocolates, you never know what’s going
to come in the door.”

Yep Forrest was right you never know what’s going to come in the
door. But if you price it right you’ll always make money.

Whether it be a simple ring sizing, half shank or rebuild 7 channel
set stones in a wedding band you should always feel like it’ll be a
profitable sale. Why not? 90% of people say “Ok, go ahead and fix

One way to make certain is to price from your brain and not from
your stomach.

What’s the difference? Simple:

Your brain actually thinks where as your stomach has feelings.
That’s nice but not when it comes to the science of money.

PRODUCT SIDE OF THE STORE: Pricing from your brain, commentary from
your stomach: Product arrives and the cost has gone up.

So you stock a ring #1234 that costs you $400 and you sell it at
keystone for $799. Simple brain math. “If our costs are between $500
and $1500 we will mark it up keystone.”

Now gold has gone up. So what do you do?

Your brain tells you what to do:

Stock #1234

Old cost: $400 New costs: $500

Brain Says: “My overhead hasn’t dropped, payroll continues, we have
to make a profit. Lets apply our markup formula of keystone.”

Stomach says "OMG, nobody will pay that! We must sell 100% of the
customers coming in the door. "

Brain Says: "You fool, who’s going to make payroll next week.

Your friend ’ ‘acid indigestion’? We still have to make a profit. We
can’t sell everybody. We need to continue with our selling 3 out of
10 people closing ratio."

New Selling Price: (was $799) NOW: $999.00

We sell it, takes a little more explanation but with all of the news
customers understand the cost of material goes up.

Pricing by the Brain:

“Cost of sizing stock, lobster claws and heads goes up in costs. One
jeweler got a raise (labor went up), another hasn’t gotten a raise in
3 years and my competition will soon hire him away with a pay raise.
The jeweler I want to hire is asking 20% more than I pay anyone in my
shop now. OMG!”

Pricing by Stomach:

“Yeah but if I raise my repair prices I’ll have people leave and
never come back. This could jeopardize my business. It could
collapse. I’d have to fire everyone.”


“You moron. Remember when it took you 7 years to raise your ring
sizing smaller from $20 to $25? A whole five bucks. That’s a whopping
25% increase. You didn’t raise the price because of rising gold price
but because 3 of your jeweler buddies told you they raised their
prices. Remember what happened?”

Stomach: “I had a pit in me. Nothing happened.”

Brain: “Excuse me? Nothing happened? Repair income went up as well.”

Stomach: “Ok, but this time its different. We fight for every dollar.
We can’t afford to lose any customer.”

Brain: “You really take the cake. How many people out of 10 who walk
thru the door with a repair don’t leave it and go home?”

Stomach: “One, maybe two.”

Brain: “How many people out of 10 come in, look in the showcase and
don’t buy jewelry and walk out? For whatever reason?”

Stomach: “Typically 3 buy out of 10 so I guess 7 walk. But we’ve had
many days where 5 people buy!”

Brain: “And how much do you own in inventory, Mr. Big Shot and what
is the average dollar sale when you do make a sale?”

Stomach: “Half a mil, give or take. Average sale is maybe $400, if
we’re lucky.”

Brain: "So let me get this straight.

On showcase sales you keep 1/2 million dollars in inventory so you
can have an average dollar sale of $400. When 10 people come in to
look at buying jewelry, 7 leave the store without buying, leaving you
with 1/2 mil of unsold inventory that ties up your accounts

Stomach: “Yes, but you see…”

Brain: This doesn’t keep you up at night? Besides every time a
replacement item comes into the store you just double it, without any
thought to will the customer pay? Even if it costs more to purchase
it this time."

Stomach: “Yes I worry but we’ve got to make a profit to stay open”

Brain: "Indeed you do. But then when a repair comes in it has a 90%
closing ratio. You want to know why? Because unlike product repairs
are NOT price sensitive, they are trust sensitive. That’s why so many
folks say ‘gosh just go ahead and fix it’.

But cost of labor and materials go up and you won’t raise the price
in the repair department.

How about this question. 5 Years ago an average wedding band cost
YOU $300 and you sold it for $599. How much does it cost you today?"

Stomach: “Easy, it costs us about $475 now and we sell it for $950.”

Brain: "So let me get this straight. A plain wedding band has gone UP
by $351 retail and you won’t raise your price from $28 to $39 to size
that darn ring? Eleven dollars more to size a ring that itself
increased by $350!

For crying out loud. No wonder you take so much Prilosec OTC. Heart
burn city.

You know what you need?"

Stomach: “No, what?”

Brain: “Besides maybe a knock upside the head, you need a crutch.
Just go get the Geller’s Blue Book to Jewelry Repair and Design. 2
shank jobs will more than pay for it and could easily increase shop
income 50%. The guy even trains you and the staff on his website.
You’ll keep the same closing ratio but you’ll be making more money.
Besides you can’t sell everyone, even though in the repair department
it sure looks like you do.”

It’s a no brainer. Here, take the 5 Tum’s, I’ll speak to you

Stomach: “Oh thank you brain, I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

Brain: "One last thing. Mama used to tell me this and it applies to
you: Stupid is as Stupid does

Don’t be stupid. Now drink this Maalox and get to making some real
money in the repair department. "

David Geller
Director of Profit
aka: brain

One thing I have told my clients who are selling to people out side
of a Store front is to have the buyers meet you at your Bank… and do
the transaction in the Bank…Never at your home… You can then have
their check checked to make sure it is real… and funds are there and
the funds can be transferred to your account before they leave the
bank… And you have a armed guard at the door just in case… For the
cost of a safety deposit box for a little while it is well worth the

Vernon Wilson

I Always advise the guys to keep it,and reuse it next time they get

That is the best way to save money.

I recalled a ring that was bought in 1984 for it had the date stamped
inside shank. 10 years later, ring comes back ( circa 1994-1995) and
the guy who ordered ring, divorced his first wife and wants to give
the same ring to his second wife. I had to grind off the 1984 stamp,
but left the ring shank blank so that we didn’t have to stamp a new
year on. At that time, I thought that guy was a cheapsake and bad
karma. Now, I can see the logic, but still, come on, reset the
diamond in a new ring or rework the gold for the second or 3rd wife.
You gonna start fresh on a new relationship.