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Stone markups for resale

I have no problem marking up the gold in my work or even marking up
my labor. But as soon as I put a stone in the piece and mark it up
I get pressure from retailers. Usually they ask if I can make the
piece but use their stones.

How do those of you who sell to stores deal with marking up stones?
Do you actually get a decent markup? I can buy some stones in
quantity, but it still doesn’t allow for a decent mark up if I
can’t sell volume. I do mostly custom and hand made work, not
production. I know I can buy unique stones, ones that a retailer
can’t really comparison shop. But I’d love to be able to use
larger, high demand stones without store owners asking if I could
remake the piece using their stones.

What kind of strategies work for marking up stones for resale?

Larry Seiger
Cary, NC


just a couple of thoughts on your problem. Are you sellng well at
those stores that are giving you grief about stone markup?

I don’t understand, are you marking the prices on your pieces as a
price on the piece or are you marking them with different pricing
structures, i.e. are you giving them a price on a specific stone as a
seperate price so that someone could order the piece with a different
stone? If you are selling well at the stores then it is none of the
business of the store owners how you price your work. Your price is
your price, if they don’t have the client base to handle your pieces
perhaps you are at the wrong locations. You shouldn’t have to defend
your work in that manner. You are not their employee you are a
self-employed person offering them the opportunity to make money off
of your services. Of course, they are offering you a service as
well. Perhaps they can suggest a price point that they feel they can
sell successfully move a lot of your work in , then you can use
stones that will fit that structure and keep your profits where you
want them. This may mean more Garnets, Amythist, Citrines etc and
not higher cost stones. Pricing is difficult, generally, colored
stones are marked up about 200 to 300 % at retail. that means a $50
wholesale stone will retail for $100 to $150. On cheop stones $3-$5
it isn’t uncommon for a retailer to sell them for 4 or 5 times
wholesale. This means at the wholesale level you can’t get much
markup if you seperate out the costs. If you sell the pieces as a
piece of art/jewlery then you can set your price however you feel the
market can bare. Faberge’ sold his work at a 1000% markup. BUT, he
used inexpensive materials, he didn’t try to get that kind of markup
on valuable stones.

Hope this helps, Dennis