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Silver jewelry "Made in Italy"


Last week a gentlemen stopped by my store, handed me a card, told me
that he wholesaled Italian silver jewelry, and asked if he could make
an appointment to show me his merchandise.

I’m located in a major mall, and people stop by all the time wanting
to make an appointment to show me jewelry; the reality is that 90% of
the time I end up not being interested, usually due to quality or
design reasons, but sometimes price. As such, I nearly always ask
them to mail me a catalog, photos, or even photocopies of their
merchandise first before agreeing to meet with them, as again,
normally it’s a waste of my time. Or I tell them to drop by when the
manager is on duty and show her some samples–based upon her
recommendation (she knows what sells) I’ll then agree to meet with
the person. (FYI to all traveling wholesalers–never walk into a
store empty handed and try to get an appointment! Always bring a
small tray of samples that you can quickly flash in front of a
manager’s/employee’s eyes. If they like what they see you’ll probably
get an appointment, and if they don’t you won’t have wasted your time
making another repeat visit!)

Anyway, I explained all this to the man, and then explained to him
that due to the facts that A) I just got back from two trade shows
where I bought a ton of jewelry and B) the increase in the price of
silver AND strength of the EURO vs the dollar, it was highly unlikely
that I’d be willing to buy at the prices he’d need to get. Here’s
where the conversation got interesting:

He tried to tell me how special his designs were, blah blah blah,
but when I returned the conversation to price, he finally said that
he’d be able to meet my price requirements because his “made in
Italy” jewelry (with a “Made In Italy” stamp) was actually made
somewhere in Asia and simply “finished” in Italy!! I posted a note
about this practice before, and this person substantiated that a
significant amount of the silver coming out of Italy is in fact
primarily not being made there! Interesting, no?!