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The Blue Book for repair prices?

I’m definately planning on purchasing the set. I’m just curious how
many use it as a guide?

Sandi

Sandi,

We have used the book for a number of years, and wouldn’t be caught
without it. Not perfect, but darn close.

Jon Michael Fuja

Hi Jon,

I have not heard of this book. Where did you get it? How much was
it? Does it have an ISBN # ? Who wrote it? Who published it? How old
is it?

Jim Zimmerman
@Jim_Zimmerman2
http://www.handengravingcanada.com

I have not heard of this book. Where did you get it? How much was
it? Does it have an ISBN # ? Who wrote it? Who published it? How old
is it? 

http://www.jewelerprofit.com/
Here is the web site.

Jerome

Thanks Jerome for mentioning my Blue Book.

I made the price book for repairs and custom design for my store, it
just so happened to start being requested by fellow jewelers when I
showed it around.

I sold my store in Jan 2000. In 1999 we did over 8800 jobs. We did
over 1.8 million in sales and 75% of that came completely from the
shop-a lot of custom design. 5 Jewelers, a waxer, a polisher, shop
foreman, 4 sales people and office staff. All retail.

I did a time study in the late 80’s, bought every jeweler a time
clock and times everything. Found out they take 25% longer than they
say to do a job and we added in 25% more to their pay for matching
Fica, medcare, vacation, insurance, etc.

We figured in the late 80’s that a jeweler should be paid $30,000,
so we used $15 per hour as the cost factor, times the time study plus
25% for benefits PLUS 25% for down time. So a one hour jobs ($15
cost), with added benefits and down time, ended up costing $23.75
rather than $15.

Then we marked up the jeweler as if he/she were nothing more than
inventory.

THREE TIMES.

Marked up the parts three times too,

Put it all in a book for the sales staff.

We were worried as you folks are that people would walk.

They didn’t. In fact every time we raised the prices we found the
same thing - 90% bought because of one thing and one thing only:

REPAIRS ARE NOT PRICE SENSITIVE, THEY ARE TRUSTS SENSITIVE.

By the way, I’m a 14th generation jeweler, doing this since I’m 10
at my fathers factory. I understand all of this.

Because of the book and time study we paid our jewelers on
commission, which financially turned our company around. In 1987 we
were about to go under because we paid fair hourly wages to the
jewelers but called our competition to get pricing. How dumb. So dumb
we almost went bankrupt (really).

So in '87 we did the time study and placed the jewelers on
commission. 3 out of 5 quit, the 2 who stayed increased their
personal income by 50% in 3 short months. I ran the company on
commission until selling the company. The jewelers made:

$30,000
$42,000
$49,000
$61,000

As did the sales staff, they were on commission.

This one act turned the company around and made it profitable.

You don’t have to use commission to use my book but that’s how I
know what it cost to size a ring or install a shank. I know my prices
are correct as it paid $45-$55,000 as an average wage.

Then we just marked up the jewelers wages 4 times and 90% of
customers said “OK”.

There are 2 versions on the web site, 3.2 and 4.0.

3.2 is about 4 years old and good for stores who have an AVERAGE
PRODUCT SALE of under $300 ($250-$300 and under).

4.0 is good for stores with an average product sale above $300. I
have found that repairs are not price sensitive, they are trusts
sensitive. But I’ve also found that Wal-Mart customer won’t go to a
Buick dealership to have their Hyundai fixed. If you SELL lower end
jewelry you’ll get lower end type customers and their jewelry to be
fixed so the lower priced book will work. (This all is in the hope
that you don’t pay high wages to your jeweler to fix low end
jewelry).

So 3.2 is good for lower priced stores and 4.0 works great with
stores with an average sale of $300 and up.

The closing ratio for folks using my book is about 90% for repairs
and 70-80% for custom design. Most stores tell me the price book
increased their shop sales 50-100%.

Every year or so on Orchid someone asks and I post about the book
and then 10 people post how they can’t won’t or had a bad experience
using commission. Commission system is built into the book but you
don’t have to use it. But it you PAID your jeweler $xx.xx every time
you sized a ring, installed a head, sold a half shank, you’d look at
your pricing structure completely different.

When I sold my store these were our average sales:

Average product sale $400
Average repair sale $65
Average Custom design (labor only-we’d use the customers gold) no
material at all - $750. If we sold material, average custom sales was
about $1500 +.

It comes with a 30 day money back guarantee. If any wants me to fax
some pages to them of either, email me your fax number and I’ll be
glad to.

So I sold my store to my top sales person and all I do now is help
jewelers make money in the same ay I did.

David Geller
Director of Profit
www.JewelerProfit.com
JewelerProfit, Inc.
510 Sutters Point
Atlanta, GA. 30328
(404) 255-9565 Voice
(404) 252-9835 Fax

I used to have a copy of a trade book in jewelry that had companies
around the united states that did different things. Such as stone
setting, casting, etc. I can not find the old copy that I had nor
can I remember what it was called. I remember it being yellow! I
could be wrong on that too.

There were some great shops in SF that helped me take some of the
overflow when I got to busy setting or day to day work loads. I
need to look up some of those companies again. Any help would be
great, thanks!

BW

Friends- I bought the David Geller book a couple of years ago. I
used it to price my repairs for about 6 months. A lot of my business
went 2 blocks away to another store as they didn’t use “the book”.
Note- I am a one-man shop who does repairs and custom casting. Sold
"the book". I know that David Geller put a lot of work into the book
but my market will not support his prices. Just my experience- your
mileage may vary.

Ted Finesman

Ted,

I run a one man shop as well.

I bought David’s book for myself as well as my trade accounts. Most
of those people won’t bother to use the book, but some will. My
advice when I gave them the book was to go by those prices. As long
as they did, we would both make money. Some of those customers are
still with me. Some are not. My biggest loss of trade accounts has
been with the mall chains that think that jewelers are just cheap
whores. When management changes or when management decides to “shake
things up” a bit the jeweler is a fine place to start. Most of their
work is of the solder chain/size ring variety. Doesn’t require a lot
of skill to do passable work.

David’s prices will support a business. David invested more than a
lot of time into understanding what is required. He utilized the
market to design a pay structure and price schedule that support
each other. Nothing is arbitrary about his prices. They were
created entirely by the market. If you have trouble understanding
this, I suggest that you listen to his tapes. He has had the
experience that only losing and winning can provide. In my SQHO, he
has a lot to share.

Customers that will not support his prices think that all they have
to do is charge hmmmm say … 10% less than everybody else to make
money. How does that work when everyone charges less than everyone
else? It doesn’t. Let those customers go. They have no interest in
supporting you. They expect you to support them.

Bruce-

I will not dispute the fact the David Geller has a lot of very good
experience and knowledge that he appears to share freely.

However, I have been in business for 30 years, at the same location
for 22 years, and I do know my customers. Your suggestion that I
listen to his tapes requires that I buy his “package” again, and I
don’t want to invest more money (no credit for upgrades) on something
that hasn’t worked for ME in the past.

If you have had success with his program, more power to you. As I
said in my original post, your mileage may vary.

Hi all.

Having heard a lot about the Blue Book lately, I have asked my boss
to let me order a copy after Valentine’s Day. There is another
jeweler in town (my old boss) who has it and uses it. I don’t think I
can raise our repair prices to as high as they are in the book-- we
have attracted good customers by doing repairs inexpensively. I
wonder if the book would be worth having-- are there other pearls of
wisdom to be gleaned from its pages?

Julia in NC

Who considers her current job to be paid training for opening her
OWN store someday!!

This is not to “tit for tat” of this thread. There are some stores
that can’t get higher prices. I’ve found them to be about 5% - 10% of
jewelers.

I’ve seen the three most common reasons for not being able to get
higher prices:

A. Your in a real mall with 8 others doing repair work. Competition
is within walking distance.

B. The store owner and staff think’s it’s about price and they can’t
sell.

C. The average retail selling price of PRODUCT in their store is way
low, like under $200. Their customer base are those who have little
deposable income.

My experience with chatting with over 5000 store owners is 95% of
them will get higher prices if they ask. These folks are in the 5%
range.

David Geller

JewelerProfit, Inc.
510 Sutters Point
Atlanta, GA. 30328
(404) 255-9565 Voice
(404) 252-9835 Fax
david@JewelerProfit.com

For the last year aprox. I have been integrating Blue Book pricing
strategy into my business, along with a ‘point of sale’ program
called “POSITIVE”, that is a POS system that isnt specific for the
jewelry business. Both products have been the best money spent on
management/operations in my store’s 18 years of business. We are a
small ‘mom & pop’ type operation, with only my wife and myself. We
do an extensive repair business, and a moderate amount of custom
work. There are aprox. 5 stores in our town (population 45,000) that
also have bench jewelers of varying levels of experience-2 with
lasers (I use a PUK 111), and another 5 or so chain stores. So there
is plenty of competition in every facet of what we offer.

e have a very loyal following, and have always been known as the
place that can do what others won’t touch. Our pricing ranged
anywhere from low to high(for our market area), depending on the
specific service or product, but I am relatively fast, and produce
quality work in most catagories, so I have always managed to make
very respectable money, even without advertising at all for over 10
years. The biggest problem with our type of operation is that one
can only make your hands turn so much per day, which limits you
severely from additional growth/profitability.

Our system of take-in, parts ordering, tracking, and job pickup has
always been manual, and has been revamped many times to handle the
ever increasing volume over the years, but we had reached a point
where manual was simply not feasible anymore. At the same time, I
really don’t want to hire employees due to government compliance
issues,i.e. taxes, workmans comp.,etc…Been there, done that, and
ain’t going back! We started with purchasing the “Blue Book” system,
reading thru, and then acquiring our POS system. The Blue book and
POSITIVE systems have integrated perfectly so far.As we instituted
this combo we have incrementally raised our pricing in nearly all
catagories, and will have to say that I have seen no resistance
whatsoever from our customers. Currently we are at , or near, the
bluebook pricing in all categories. In fact, my job volume is
continueing to increase, and I have begun eliminating certain
services so that I can focus on the more profitable, and enjoyable
categories. Afterall, I don’t want to work 24/7, even if it is all
profitable.

I realize that every community won’t have the same demographics as
mine, but I would still recommend the Blue Book system to any and all
who want to make more money at their trade. At least look at it, and
use parts of it to start, till you see the results. Incidentally, I
have no formal education beyond high school, so its not like I have
an amazing marketing/business degree, or arts education that sets me
apart from the others. The only thing that bothers me about the whole
thing, is the many, many thousands of dollars that I could have made
over the years and instead, simply worked myself into the ground and
gave my skills away. Now the tables will turn to my advantage.

Ed in Kokomo

All, Here we go again… Geller’s book on pricing custom and
repair work is very relevant for people who are operating in
expensive urban stores AND completely irrelevant for people who
operate in small and medium sized towns in the rest of America. You
just can’t expect people to pay a repair price that is double the
cost of the original acquisition price unless , of course, the
person is daft or deeply invested sentimentally. Furthermore, you
will have a helluva a hard time getting people to pay three times
what your competitor is charging ! If, indeed, you are operating on
the basis of being a Tiffanys, you can probably convince a narrow
segment of the market that nobody can do what you do…yeah,
sure…good luck !

We are living in the age of “bang for the buck” and it behooves us
to be competitive. After all, the most important function of doing
repairs is to get people into our stores and gain their confidence
so that they will become customers for our goods. Charging high
prices for services translates into rip off for goods. If you want
to get a good margin on your stock be kind to your service
customers.

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

Some of us are not going to buy the book. Can any of you give us an
idea of charges for some repairs?

I charge $35 dollars to size a ring up 2 size that’s no wider than
4mm. Then $30 dollars to go down as a min. Platinum is more,
restrings are $2 inch knotted, and any type of solder chain break,
jump ring, etc… is $25. Setting is a little bit different.

For a wax design fee I start at $300 and charge $110 a dwt for
figuring a gold charge. That includes flask, casting, finishing, etc
to get it to a finished product, and $195 dwt for platinum.

These are some basic charges I charge and I never have anyone walk.
I also NEVER do someday repairs, only batteries, polishing customers
items, and maybe a tweek on something.

I think anyone can come up with prices it is not that hard. We have
had this price list for over 4 years now and will change it again
maybe next.

    I don't think I can raise our repair prices to as high as they
are in the book-- we have attracted good customers by doing
repairs inexpensively" 

I promise you the reason they continue to come back to your store is
because of the nice work. TRUST.

How many people who come to you after they say they need something
done say

“Wow, you’re lots less than they guy down the street”, or “I’ want to
check around further”

Yes a few but for the most part, 9 out of 10 just say “OK”.

You think it’s because you’re inexpensive, it’s that your prices
might be FAIR and they trust you. Might be nothing more than
convenience. But after all is said is done, your prices should be
based upon COST, not your best guess to what is fair. Do you price
your jewelry to what is fair? FAIR in selling product ladies &
gentleman is selling ALL JEWELRY at cost + 18%! That’s fair.

Do you?

David Geller
JewelerProfit, Inc.
510 Sutters Point
Atlanta, GA. 30328
(404) 255-9565 Voice
(404) 252-9835 Fax
david@JewelerProfit.com

A couple of notes on David’s guide.

A jeweler in Romney, WV will be paying a lot less rent than one in
Trump Tower, NYC. These are two different markets. Likewise, home
and commuting costs will differ. This doesn’t mean that David’s
prices are invalid. His guide offers direction on what labor/
materials cost to run a business. It is a guide. Adjustments are
entirely possible. In fact, I still find quite a few that I think
are exorbitant. So what? I tell my retail clients that I will never
charge them more than 40% of whet is on the list. They don’t
complain about the prices. My delivery system sucks and they do
complain about that. I can’t blame them and I struggle to do better.

If you get a chance to listen to his tapes, you may find that he
woke up to find that he had lost a lot of money one year and
recognized that he desperately needed to change. He realized that he
had in essence, used someone elses price list and perhaps discounted
a few items. Unfortunately that list had gone through the same
revision as probably several previous generations. Not to mention
that the prices were seven years old. We jewelers tend to focus on
what is on the bench. My apprenticeship included nothing in the way
of business management. Too bad. I too have been through the wringer
trying to get by on a little less than I thought someone else was
charging.

Someone will point out that we need to be competitive. No doubt.
Maybe with a little more cash in the bucket we can afford to take
the time to really do the job right. Maybe being competitive means
learning newer ways of doing things. Going back to school. One time
I was talking to a Kay Jewelers VP and he said to me “I told Willie
that if he wants to improve business, improve service!” He wasn’t
complaining about Willie’s prices.

The bottom line here, as in any business, is: Am I making a profit?
I use the Blue Book, and I realize that the prices quoted do not
always apply to every business. Like David said, if you are
surrounded by competition, and are selling lower cost items, it may
be impossible to get many of the prices quoted in the book. I would
hope, however, that your overhead is correspondingly low to allow you
to make a profit at a lower selling price, or you are able to do a
higher volume of sales. If not, you will struggle to survive, and
will eventually be forced out.

I have the opposite problem with the Blue Book: many of the prices

quoted are too low for my store. I use the Express pricing for most
of the basic repairs, since they were written when gold was at
$300.00 per ounce. Our overhead is higher than many stores, but the
location is comfortable for our customers. We work primarily in 18k
and platinum, so the skill level required for the work is higher, and
so are the salaries. We do a LOT of custom fabrication, and the
prices listed for a custom bezel, for example, are far too low for
some projects. I simply cannot fabricate a heavy walled tapered bezel
for a 7x7mm Assher cut emerald in platinum for only $400.00. I would
actually lose money, would not be able to afford the equipment
necessary for complex jobs, or take home enough money to live
comfortably. If a plumber in my area can charge $60-$90 per hour,
and an attorney can charge $150-$250 per hour, why shouldn’t a master
craftsman with 30 year of experience and a fully equipped shop charge
a comparable rate?

The real value of this book is that it will let you know what MOST

stores need to charge for repairs, in order to make a profit. You
MUST examine your own situation and use the prices as a guide.
Honestly, I have heard more jewelers say that they were able to raise
prices based on the Blue Book.

Doug

Douglas Zaruba
33 N. Market St.
Frederick, MD 21701
301 695-1107
@Douglas_Zaruba

The only thing that bothers me about the whole thing, is the many,
many thousands of dollars that I could have made over the years and
instead, simply worked myself into the ground and gave my skills
away. Now the tables will turn to my advantage. 

Wow! That’s the best testimonial I’ve ever read for it. I don’t do
repair work, but it’s still a good reminder to value our work and
charge appropriately, whatever we do.

Elaine
Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay

Iv been watching the discusions on this blue book with interest.

My name is David baggaley and I specialise in jewellery repairs to
the trade we do not supply the public but send them to the nearest
retail outlet that we supply if they contact us we are strictly
trade only.

I have just started putting a web site together that gives more info
about us and includes the prices that we charge for repairs Ive
still got to add a lot more prices but hope to have it complete by
april 2005.

I think most shops mark up these prices about 100 to 200 per cent
depending on thier overheads

Any way have a look at our web site

http://uk.geocities.com/@dbsilversmiths/

D.B.Silversmiths & Goldsmiths
David Baggaley
Uk Sheffield

I would hope, however, that your overhead is correspondingly low to
allow you to make a profit at a lower selling price, or you are
able to do a higher volume of sales. If not, you will struggle to
survive, and will eventually be forced out. I have the opposite
problem with the Blue Book: many of the prices quoted are too low
for my store. I use the Express pricing for most of the basic
repairs, since they were written when gold was at $300.00 per
ounce. Our overhead is higher than many stores, but the location is
comfortable for our customers.

This is the 5th version of the Price Book and I usually quit
carrying the older version when a new one is published. But this year
I decided to keep both versions.

Version 4.0 is based upon $400 Gold & $840 Platinum. The labor
prices are 15-25% HIGHER then the previous 3.2 version.

The previous version (3.2) is approaching 4 years old this summer.
Even though this one is 4 years old it’s still good for many shops
who hadn’t tuned into pricing yet.

As an example a half shank weights 1-1.5 pennyweights.

In the 3.2 version it’s priced at $110. the 4.0 version is priced at
$140.

I figure TODAY gold cost $18 per dwt so a 1-1.5 dwt shank COSTS $18
to $27. What would you markup an item at that cost? As a finding in
any finding book it’s 3 times, therefore if a customer said “hey, I
want to buy the gold, my husband will put it on” you would SELL her
the gold piece for $54 to $81 just for the gold.

The 3.2 book has sizing smaller $22 ($28 in the 4.0). I figured to
install a shank is the same labor as 2.5 sizings. Think about it.
Putting on a shank at 9 o’clock is like sizing a ring smaller (pull
together and a solder) and the same goes for attaching a shank at 3
o’clock. So at $22 each smaller that’s $44 in labor. I then figured
SHAPING the shank as half the labor as sizing a ring smaller.

Therefore a half shank would be the labor:

2.5 times $22 = $55 for installation

Plus

The gold

(I figured 1.5 dwts for pre filed weight)

1.5 dwts @ $18 per dwt = $27 times a 3 time markup = $81.00 for the
gold

Add it together ($55 + $81) and you get $136.00, it’s $140 in
version 4.0. In 3.2 when gold was cheaper it was $110.

I STILL meet people charging $65 to $85 for a half shank. For those
who say “no one will pay” the correct answer is “I haven’t any GUTS
to ASK”.

My prices are based upon the labor costs of a $40,000 to $50,000 a
year hourly wage jeweler and a 3 time markup on the materials.

If your jeweler is making in the $30,000 range and your overhead is
low and maybe even a small town, the 3.2 version will work and make
you a lot of money and is proven over 4.5 years.

But if your jeweler COSTS you over $40,000 and you think you’ll need
to charge less then you can as long as a few things occur:

A. Your $40,000 a year jeweler is much faster than the 4 I had.

B. Your material costs are less than what I found at the Stuller
site (where I got the costs)

C. Your markup you want is less than mine. I wanted a 4 time markup
on the jeweler, so after paying matching taxes I got close to a 3
time markup. So if you’ll accept a smaller markup than an overall 3
time, then you can charge less and be happy.

I met one fellow who did this. He told his sales staff

“Increase all of my repair prices a dollar a day. A $10 solder today
is $11 tomorrow and $12 the next day.”

He figured one day business would drop off but he’d do MORE money
with LESS work.

When I spoke to him a $10 repair was now $25 and he was taking in
the SAME NUMBER of job envelopes.

For all of you skeptics, you should increase your repair prices a
dollar a WEEK and track what happens.

You will be amazed.

David Geller
www.JewelerProfit.com