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Stuller edge

Hi everyone in orchid land,

Having Stuller’s mounting book has been great for me, large
selection, great quality, next day shipping, triple key pricing. The
problem though, is I’m situated in a mall, surrounded by the big
national chains…that ALSO have Stuller’s mounting book! I
certainly can’t blame them either, Stuller’s got it all. But I feel
I’ve lost my edge. Can anyone suggest another mounting company with
so much to offer.

Thanks in advance!
Mickey Kapoor

Hi Mickey; Rio Grande has a pretty good selection of a lot of stuff
Stuller carries but I’d also suggest Rochester Findings. Not nearly
as large as Stuller, but for calibrated colored goods some great
prices and the service is excellent. Frei and Borel, Hoover and
Strong, these also have mountings and findings. Crystal Gem Co. has
colored stones. Need real nice high end gems, try Roger Dery at
Spectral Gems. Diamonds, I’d go to Nice Gems in NY. Stuller is the
place for one-stop shopping and unparralled service. You won’t
match them with any single source. Problem is, you’re in a typical
retail paradigm. Everyone has the same product, so it becomes a price
war. You need to distinguish yourself, either with a certain style
of inventory, a “look” as it were, or become the specialist in custom
design or become known for the best repair service our just the most
helpful, pleasant service. None of these are off-the-shelf solutions
but if you have a distinguishing characteristic to your business, you
will eventually develop some customer loyalty. Best of luck.

David L. Huffman

The advantega that you have over the mall stores is that you don’t
have to use the “special order” depoartmant and can have it the next
day! The mall store can’t hang with that! When I used to work at
the big Z, the procedure was to fill out a requisition form, ring it
up and fax it. The next morning, the special order department would
retrieve your fax and batch order it for you. This is fine, except
for when the recpt was too light. Then the process would start all
over. Somewhere in there, you’d have a day off. By the time it was
all said and done, it would take at least 2 weeks to get the item.
(on the average)


Hmmm strange request, You claim Stuller has it all, quality,
delivery and price and you want to look else where. Isn’t that what
we all strive for, only the best.

Going head to head with national chains seems real scary they get
even better pricing from Stuller than you do large companies such as
Helzberg, Zales and Kay get special pricing on most all of the stuff
Stuller sells. I think the best way you can separate yourself from
the chain stores is to do custom work. As far as other catalog
companies go there are hundreds and most offer more unique designs
than Stuller but once again all the large corporations have accsess
to them as well. The best thing you could do is get yourself a first
class goldsmith and focus on higher end merchandise than the chain
stores you will not be able to beat them on price but you can
anialate them on quality.

For my money, Stuller is unquestionably the best supplier. As a
matter of fact, in my forty years of being in business and a like
period as a consumer, I know of no other company that is as well
managed as Stuller. Stuller would serve as a model to any business
in any field in any locale in the world.

On the other hand, because Stuller is so admirable, most retailers do
have their catalogs. At last count, I heard that Stuller has forty
thousand accounts ! So then, how do you compete when everyone shares
the same source ? The answer lies in your personal creativity and
ability to absorb The way to do this is to study the
Stuller catalogs as if you were in divinity school studying the Bible
! There is so much in their catalogs that one could
devote a lifetime to absorbing it all ! Just learning the
organization of the catalogs is a daunting task. But, if you have
done as I have suggested and, if you have performed an in depth
analysis of the customers needs and preferences, you will be able to
go directly to the merchandise that serves the customers needs.

Ron MIlls , Mills Gem Co. Los Osos, Ca.

Hi there, I agree, Stuller does seem to be a bit generic. Not in a
bad way but they are the common product king. Have you tried Adwar
castings? They have a great product and a lot of different mountings
to choose from. Some you will also see in Stuller but there are a lot
they Stuller does not have.

Also have you thought of trying to get a signature piece or pieces
that will set you apart? If you can come up with an idea there are
many who can produce the product for you. Namano and Southeastern
Findings have a WONDERFUL wax carver and can reproduce any thing and
does a great job. Tell them what you want with a picture and they can
do it. Their contact info is

Good Luck,

YES! except the customer has already seen Stuller’s mounting book at
every other national chain store, so when I proudly pull it out,
they’re not impressed to see it yet again! Sue Kapoor

You might want to contact Quality Gold in Ohio. 800-354-9833. They are manufacturers, importers and wholesalers.
Extensive line of offerings that you will find somewhat comparable
and competitive with Stuller. Also Overnight Mountings in LIC,NY.
888-731-1111. Also ALA Casting - over 120,000 I have had good experience with all three.

strange request, You claim Stuller has it all, quality, delivery
and price and you want to look else where. Isn't that what we all
strive for, only the best. 

Not as strange as you think. When you are in the retail arena and
your competitors are using the same “tools” as you are, there is not
much to differentiate yourself from the store next door. If you are
showing the same items, only price becomes the consideration. Having
more tools in the toolbox gives you an edge.

Yes, having more tools in the toolbox is an advantage. I often find
that as broad a selection as Stuller has, they just don’t have what I
need. It will either be a style that I have seen and they don’t
carry, or a size I need that isn’t in their line. NOW, Quality Gold,
ALA and a number of others often fill in where Stuller comes up
short. Even the best doesn’t have it all. BUT…

No matter how many tools you have and how good they are, they aren’t
worth a bit if you don’t know how to use them. Price will NOT be the
only consideration if you can demonstrate that your shop has
something more to offer the customer than the guy down the street.
You may even be able to charge more than they do. If they think that
price IS the only issue, they won’t be offering extra services, and
perhaps they aren’t offering the same friendly, expert service that
you do. Find ways to give your customer something they can’t get at
the big mall store, or the store down the street. Make sure you
promote it. You won’t necessarily draw the customer who only thinks
in dollar signs, but you will draw the ones who appreciate real
value, and recognize that value is not determined by dollars only.