Do any of you offer free jewelry cleaning? I’ve had a few customers
ask me about cleaning services and I’m debating whether or not I
should add it as a regular service. I tend to just tell them to go
to a jeweler in their neighborhood but that’s literally sending them
to my competitors.
From what I have been able to gather, it’s traditional for jewelers
to offer this service for free, but given the fact that there would
be shipping costs involved and I am a one person operation, so also
costs of time involved, I’m not sure how much of a benefit this would
have on my business. Any thoughts?
Retailers, like me, do it to build traffic and expose potential
customers to the goods on display. That probably wouldn’t apply to an
internet seller. We also do it to build good will, that most
definitely applies to you.
Consider a thank you package…send them a shipping box/label that
they can use. Enclose any merchandising materials you think
appropriate. They pay all shipping and insurance. How neat is that,
they pay the cost of you promoting yourself! The cleaning service
itself is free. You may sell repair service because often you will
find loose stones etc. If you don’t want to handle the repairs
yourself you can farm it out, hopefully there is a local trade shop.
And don’t be afraid to charge for it, triple key on smaller repairs
is normal. This can become a real bread and butter income source, and
every business needs the bread and butter. This would probably not
work well with people who haven’t bought from you, but those who are
asking seem to already have faith in you, Take advantage of that
cashflow opportunity and build customer loyalty.
If that is not suitable for you, you can send them imprinted jars or
cloths. Lots of sources for those.
You are correct, you don’t want to send them to the competition.
Even if what you do cannot be had in their local market, they still
may spend their jewelry dollars elsewhere.
I offer free cleaning on any of my pieces and any other pieces that
customers of mine own (with a few exceptions) but I do charge for
someone who doesn’t own any of my jewelry. The problem you are going
to have is that it is usually a nominal charge ($5 unless it’s
something complicated that I need to actually take in) and I don’t
know how you are going to charge something like that PLUS shipping.
It would seem to me that it simply wouldn’t be worth it. On the other
hand you don’t know what people are willing to pay unless you try it
so set a price that covers all of your costs and that you can make
something on and see if anyone bites. If they don’t you know it’s not
a service you should offer.
Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
Retail jewelers offer free cleaning because it brings people into the
store. It it unbeatable for good will. We are a trade shop - a
factory, though we have some certain “retail” clientele. So, we don’t
accept cold calls of any kind (“Do you sell watches and stuff?”).
Everything is by referral only. If someone is here, we will usually
offer to clean their jewelry, and check it over. If someone bought
something from us they also bought service in perpetuity. That’s just
how we do things. But, even though you didn’t elaborate very much,
shipping jewelry back and forth just to have it cleaned, or perhaps
having a store ship a big box full of inventory, is somewhat bizarre.
I have some customers, and pieces, that are “special”, and the
attitude is, probably rightly, “I only trust you to handle this.”,
but that’s different.
I sell solely online and I would not offer or agree to that. Besides
the cost of the shipping why take on the risk of loss in transit. It
is mind boggling how customers will send me their rings for resizing
and such despite my clear instructions about insurance, shipping etc.
I recently received a $2000 ring wrapped in tissue in a letter sized
envelope through the post. Cost them less than a dollar to send and a
whole lot of luck that the envelope remained intact throughout the
journey to my mailbox. I don’t see any advantage to offering free
cleaning if you’re not face to face in a shop and using the service
as a way to bring in customers and keep old customers returning.
We offer a little package of a cleaning cloth with our name printed
on it. This is mostly for silver jewelry and we send a card that
explains how to take care of the piece. Now that we are going to be
opening a store, it will be easier for people just to stop in for