Trust is not earned because you have a nice store. It is earned
through a relationship made over time.
Well perhaps it's because I have been in business for over 20 years
in one location that I feel this way. I can understand someone not
wanting to trust a place they walk into blind, but most of my
customers come to me because they were referred by satisfied
customers or they have been seeing my ads for the last 15 years.
They know that I am not going anywhere. I also have a microscope on
the selling floor so that we can talk about how to identify their
diamond after it's set and any customer is welcome to use it. I will
even do a quick plot on the diamond's inclusions if that makes them
feel better. However, when the customer resists all of these ideas
and insists that I am a risky person for them to leave their stone
with then I feel much more comfortable having them go somewhere else
as it's generally an indication that the job, as a whole, is going
to be a problem. Additionally, any jeweler who allows a customer
into their workshop so that they can "watch" the setting process is
leaving themselves open to being robbed (or worse) by the customer.
I'm not saying my way is the only way here but having the experience
I do has led me to believe pretty clearly that when the customer is
that convinced I'm going to rip them off they are going to have a
lot of other problems too and it's better to let someone else handle
Also customers must leave there jewelery when getting an
appraisal. (I really don't understand that one )
I also insist that customers leave their jewelry for an appraisal.
Why? Because an accurate, honest and legal appraisal cannot be
completed within a short period of time while the customer is
standing there. Any diamond .25 ct. and larger should have a full
detailed write up done (including plot), any colored stones need to
be accurately identified, and often it isn't possible to get an
accurate idea of what is there without removing the stones from the
settings. Additionally, proper cleaning of some of the older pieces
people bring in can need up to an hour of cleaning time in the
ultrasonic before you can even begin to figure out what they have.
Plus if you are actually using true valuation methods (and not just
saying what does this sell for in my store) you need time to do
proper research. The idea that you can scribble a few notes on a
piece of paper you hand over to the customer as a legal appraisal
is antiquated, and will probably lead you into legal difficulties
later. Proper appraisals should include in a typewritten document
with accurate, detailed descriptions of the stones, the metal
content, a description of the piece itself, a value established
using proper valuation techniques accepted by most ethics and
appraisal organizations, a disclaimer, and a statement about the
type of appraisal and uses that can be made of it. Anything less is
cheating the customer.
Over the years I have been in business it has shocked me to find
out that my co-workers were theives. Sometimes office help actually
embezzels. And stores do get robbed.
That's why you should always have a good insurance policy. The
customer could also get robbed at home--and then it's up to them to
have a good insurance policy.
Although I prefer to have the customer leave me their work I do
understand that some can be unwilling to do so and I don't take it
I don't ever take it personally when the customer doesn't want to
leave the stone, any more than I take it personally when a customer
doesn't like one of my designs. If I took everything customers said
personally I'd be an emotional wreck. I love my customers but there
are a lot of insensitive people out there no matter what and when
you are open to the public anyone can walk right in. However it's
still my choice about whether working on the customer's terms are
going to be better or worse for me.
Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140